HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » DirkGently » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 21 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Orlando
Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 11,485

Journal Archives

If rich kids went to public schools,

which of course they generally don't, and probably would not even if they were free, public schools and public education would fare much better in the American political system. Suddenly public schools would be a huge priority, instead of a target for abuse, which would be GOOD thing.

Yes. Her justification was utter nonsense. And tasteless to boot.

I thought Hillary was doing very well last night. Better than my preferred candidate Bernie Sanders. She was sharp, and quick, and sounded reasonable and knowledgeable throughout. It was a good, thoughtful, smart-people's debate that made me proud of our party.

Until that moment. What happened was she overreacted horribly to what is obviously a sensitive issue for her, and deployed a completely unsupportable, emotionally manipulative rationalization that made her look defensive and weak.

It sounded like a Republican talking point.

As for donors and "quid pro quo," the Citizens' United logic that massive donations, whether through individuals or PACs are free of any expectation of self interest unless a favor is literally handed over in exchange for a sack of money, is ludicrous. None of those financial firms or individuals within them are forking over money out of -- what? Gratitude for something something 9/11?

They expect to profit from her leadership, period.

And this does go to Democrats' real, substantive issues with Clinton. She lacks credibility as someone who would work to reign in the disastrous game-playing by banks and financial institutions that broke the world, and absolutely will do so again if they are not stopped from doing it.

Invoking this Giuliani-esque 9/11 rhetoric sounds disingenuous, and reinforces in my mind that she really has no good answer as to why she is the overwhelming favorite among the billionaire investor class among Democratic candidates.

Anyone who wants to see her do well would be far better served dismissing this as a poorly thought-out glitch, rather than trying to defend or rationalize it, which is frankly impossible.

"Virtually a religious commitment."

For decades, conservatives and Republicans have pushed this "Government IS the problem / drown it in the bathtub" lie.

Along with this is the implicit assumption that business owners "create wealth," and workers are all overpaid.

It's never been true, economically, practically, or otherwise. Economists don't think it; history doesn't bear it out.

Which ties in with where Republicans are now, which is a sense of utter entitlement to their own reality. Ben Carson understands science, but feels it's okay to hawk aloe vera pills as miracle cures, or that evolution is nonsense because it means all the apes should be humans by now. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are well aware that literally no economists believe we could base the money supply on how much "gold" anyone has.

We have zero net immigration from Mexico at the moment, and the credible information on the impact of undocumented workers is that they contribute more to the economy than they take out. And yet the main talking point of the most successful candidate thus far is that we should build an enormous, physically impossible wall across our border, and attempt to ship 11 million people out of the country.

And yet not only are these viable positions to take for Republican politicians of national stature, but they are almost required.

Look at who their enemies are: JOURNALISTS, TEACHERS, AND SCIENTISTS. In other words, anyone in a position to relate reliable information from the real world -- all dismissed under the rubric of "bias."

We are not just up against people who disagree with us, but people who have been persuaded to reject reality as a basis from which to form their opinions.

Dr. Carson's snake oil experiments are not relevant?

Please. The man is running on his competence and intellectual superiority based on a brilliant medical career. The fact that he sold his credibility to a discredited MLM marketing scam selling people Aloe Vera pills is hardly off the reservation.

Neither were the questions about all of the fantasy "flat tax" programs. Carson choked. Rubio lied.

Neither was it unfair to ask Cruz to defend why he consistently wants to shut down the federal government by preventing us from paying debts already incurred.

Each time they appealed to the audience and whined about "gotcha" questions, because they could not and would not answer substantive questions, period.

"The media is mean to us" is an old, hacky Republican dodge they use for everything, to avoid the fact their principles and policies are simply wrong all the time. They do the same thing with "mainstream scientists" and "mainstream education."

Everyone's lying except the poor, picked-on Republicans.

What they're arguing is that facts don't matter, because the facts are not on their side.

Here's a few studies showing that's not a fact at all.


June, 1991 General Accounting Office

“If the US were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer, as in Canada, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the expense of universal coverage” (“Canadian Health Insurance: Lessons for the United States,” 90 pgs, ref no: T-HRD-91-90. Full text available online at http://archive.gao.gov/d20t9/144039.pdf).

December, 1991 Congressional Budget Office

“If the nation adopted… single-payer system that paid providers at Medicare’s rates, the population that is currently uninsured could be covered without dramatically increasing national spending on health. In fact, all US residents might be covered by health insurance for roughly the current level of spending or even somewhat less, because of savings in administrative costs and lower payment rates for services used by the privately insured. The prospects for con-trolling health care expenditure in future years would also be improved.” (“Universal Health Insurance Coverage Using Medicare’s Payment Rates”) http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/76xx/doc7652/91-CBO-039.pdf

June, 1998, Economic Policy Institute

“In the model presented in this paper, it is assumed that in the first year after implementing a universal, single-payer plan, total national health expenditures are unchanged from baseline. If expenditures were higher than baseline in the first few years, then additional revenues above those described here would be needed. However, these higher costs would be more than offset by savings which would accrue within the first decade of the program.”

August, 2005

The National Coalition on Health Care

Impacts of Health Care Reform: Projections of Costs and Savings

By Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D.

This fiscal analysis of the impact of four scenarios for health care reform found that the single payer model would reduce costs by over $1.1 trillion over the next decade while providing comprehensive benefits to all Americans. The other scenarios would be improvements over the status quo, but would not reduce costs as dramatically or provide the same high-quality coverage to all.

What is the craziest thing a Republican candidate will say / do at tonight's debate?

While we all thrash around debating the subtleties of which of our Democratic candidates has the better grasp of foreign policy, economic reform or civil rights, the still-vast Republican field is apparently competing to see who can say something crazy enough to be noticed in this crowd.

Which of our angry, loopy, blustering Republican opponents will say or do the most off-the-wall thing tonight?

It is a fantasy. One apparently immune to logic or reality.

The web of irrational thinking woven around the idea that carrying guns around makes people safer has no parallel in terms of outright delusion aside from religious fanaticism.

A small segment of the population is transfixed by the idea that weapons give them super powers to stop crime, protect others, and (this one is particularly screwy) intimidate the government so that it doesn't get out of hand.

None of that has ever been true. They stack fallacies on top of fallacies, to the point where now when someone goes on one of our increasingly common shooting rampages, they literally sneer at the victims because they think the government is staging massacres to make guns "look bad."

And it's nothing more than a marketing scheme to get the gullible to spend their money on a fantasy of personal empowerment with a likelihood of "paying off" on the level of a lottery ticket. Meanwhile crime still occurs, we're less safe than countries with more restrictive laws, and of course the government continues to do whatever it wants.

I guess it's good to see statistics puncturing one of the go-to talking points, that "concealed permit holders never commit crimes." Never quite understood how going to a class magically ensured no one ever misused a weapon.

Of course the cost of disproving just that one myth is measured in dead Americans, as usual.

++++ Everything old is new again. In a bad, bad way.

American Psycho struck me differently the second time. I had thought “Patrick Bateman” was just an over-the-top caricature of the soulless, "greed is good" ethic of the 1980 / 90’s. Striking, but not particularly insightful.

This time, though, I realized just what this piece is saying — Bateman’s character is actually the sanest person on the screen, because he’s the only one that reacts to the empty ambition and vapid greed around him with a homicidal inner scream. He’s the only one bothered enough by the inane babble around him to actually go crazy. Christian Bale’s portrayal of the inexorable unraveling of a man trying to “fit in” with an empty, Machiavellian ethic is both horrifying and masterful.

And tying it to the rise of the blue dog, Third Way, “pragmatic” Dems we have today is dead-on. Every time someone tries to raise any kind of principle, or philosophy or just an intelligent approach to problem solving or the collective good in general — the only things that might actually validate having a political party or a movement in the first place — we get the blank, uncomprehending stares of the doll-eyed Wall Street bimbos that drove Patrick Bateman to psychopathic rage..

We are awash in a sea of quasi-Republican, money first / principles-never operators who can’t see past the end of a checkbook, or the approval of insiders. It’s sad to see some of the up-and-comers buying into this hollow thinking, going to meetings to collect selfies with big dog funders like grinning collie dogs, willing to give up anything for a rub on the belly. Ask them “why” about anything, and they blink slowly and squirm away. “Because that’s where the money is” is the underlying answer, every time.

We can’t win that way, and we don’t deserve to. We can do better, and we must.

Thanks for posting this.

Wow. Ben Carson really IS psychologically disturbed.

Someone suggested on these pages recently that Carson is a "psychopath," clearly under the cultural, as opposed to clinical understanding of that term. Someone else took issue with using the term that way as being too cavalier.

I don't think it was. The more this man talks about himself and things he has done outside of his apparently brilliant career as a pediatric neurosurgeon, the more unbalanced he appears.

He also seems TOO relaxed in public. Almost doped up. His voice never rises above a sleepy monotone. Taken in combination with his truly disconnected-from-reality views of everything from evolution to gun violence to healthcare, and these really disturbing stories he is telling about himself, I think the man is ill.

Donald Trump would make a horrific President. He doesn't know a treaty from a trout, and doesn't seem to have a single idea in his head that isn't just a way to gain attention from the worst possible people.

But Ben Carson increasingly sounds like a dangerously deranged man.

It's almost got me thinking someone needs to carry Jeb or Rubio or one of the other corporate robots a few rounds to make sure neither Trump nor Carson gets the nomination. I joked yesterday that it would be fun for Carson to get the nomination, so he should stop worrying about the "secularists" being out to get him.

Now it doesn't seem so funny.

What do healthy people get out of sick leave?

Fairness doesn't require that everybody receive every conceivable benefit anyone else might need, or directly gain from everything we do as a society.

We all benefit when people's needs are met. We suffer as a society when people resent or resist efforts to provide necessary help on the basis they, personally, don't think they need that kind of help at the moment.

One of the worst examples we've seen of that thinking lately is when men rage that women's health needs cost more and thus that's "unfair" that everyone contribute equally to the costs of health care. Followed to its conclusion, it's basically a complaint that women exist, and a suggestion that maybe we shouldn't encourage that?

That's not how civilization (or fairness) works. We don't each receive an identical, direct benefit from everything we do to to make things work. You may not have kids in school, but you want the kids around you educated so you can live in a better world. You may live in a fireproof house, but you still want someone to help the neighbors if their place bursts into flames. The young don't need much healthcare, but expect it to be there when they're older.

Conservatives screw up their rationale in this way all the time. They don't use public transportation, so no one should have it. They're not afraid of crime because they live behind gates, so why fund the police? Their kids go to private school, so public schools can rot.

We have to take a longer, broader of view of the kind of world we need to live in. Asking "But what do I get?" about everything misses the point.

You get to live in a civilization where we see to our needs as a whole, and cooperate to that end.
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 21 Next »