Friday Open Thread

“They appear to have become so attached to their outrage that they are even more outraged that they won’t be able to be outraged anymore.”

–Barney Frank

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35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    The man with the very good brain who bankrupted casinos in Atlantic City is well on his way to doing the same thing to the United States. The budget deficit passed $1 trillion for the fiscal year – and the fiscal year isn't over yet.  Did you catch the laughable Kevin McCarthy (the patriot who takes Trump his favorite candy) say his first priority as speaker would be tackling spending?

    In other news David Dennison declares war on clean water and the DOJ is officially weaponized and hunting *rump’s enemies. After 283 mass shootings already booked in 2019  six deaths from vaping someone is finally concerned about 'the children'. 

    Oh, and somehow a major news network managed to air a political ad with AOC's face on fire. 

    #BeBest

     

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Hard to decide who blows more smoke up the old mans' ass, McCarthy or Pompeo.

      McCarthy is a power hungry weasel, but I think Pompeo is just reveling in being important and collecting data for his eventual book.

    • MADCO says:

      No "e" in Kamala.
      She identifies as Indian and black – but I know what you mean by African American and I agree an all anything* ticket is doubtful. 

       

      *I know all white male is pretty common.
      But selecting a VP at the nominating convention is about choosing a solid VP of course, but politically it's supposed to be about improving the electoral math. Harris would need electoral juice in WI or maybe AZ

       

      • itlduso says:

        Someday, not yet, but someday, someone will require Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and others who are supporting "Medicare for All" to answer what the tax rates will be to finance this idea.  A few weeks ago Chris Matthews asked Warren multiple times how high the tax rate will be to finance her "Medicare for All" plan.  She refused to answer the question, but repeated that "overall costs for taxes and health insurance" would be lower.  I understand her point, but I don't believe that will be true for all taxpayers.  Regardless, at some point she will have to acknowledge that tax rates will be raised to, I don't know, 60%?  Let's see how that plays in the general election should she be our nominee.

        American voters today aren’t particularly adept at nuance.

        • MADCO says:

          I predict October 5th.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          The beauty of Bernie and Warren is that only rich people will pay for these taxes.

        • ParkHill says:

          In a political campaign, the details of "Medicare for All" don't matter because it is a marker, an aspirational goal, like many political issues. What was it going to cost to put a man on the moon? What will it cost to de-carbonize the economy?  The actual legislation will have to go through the sausage grinder, and that is where the details will be handled. 

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            And yet we wonder why people are so cynical about vacuous promises made but never capable of being fulfilled.

            Because they are simply aspirational.

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

              You mean like the vacuous promise that we can change the country from the middle? 

              It seems a basic tenet of "moderates" that change can be made by "working with conservatives"…that bi-partisanship is the answer to progress. That, somehow, it will be different when the bankers and corporations and the filthy stinking rich people (the Sackler family, say) who control them come to Jesus and realize the error of their ways.

              Yesterday I attended a progressive picnic in Mesa county.  Someone asked Joe Salazar how you get oil and gas workers to willingly abandon their industry and be happy to retrain and change their profession.

              He responded by saying, "I don't have an answer for that." But I did. I told the crowd, "spend you energy elsewhere." It is unlikely oil and gas workers will ever accept their future, but the ever shrinking prices of nat gas and oil will make up their minds for them.

              Is it something less than "aspirational" to believe Mitch McConnell will suddenly change his ways? Are you going to shame the NRA into policy reversals? Doubtful.

              Big money doesn't negotiate…Big money dictates.

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                I was paying $1,200 per month for individual health insurance policy the year before the ACA came into effect. After the ACA went into effect, my premium – with the same deductible – went to $651 per month. That was the effect of the vacuous Affordable Care Act. Maybe there is something to "market solutions."

                And I didn't need to wait in line all day at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Division of Care Management, Office of Primary Care Provider Assignments, to get assigned to a primary care provider by the government.

                Or to wait at the DHHS, Division of Pharmaceutical Care, to get prescription refilled.

                I simply went onto the Colorado state portal and shopped.And by the way, another old ditty from the GOP talking points of yesteryear – that the lowest level of government sometimes governs best – proved to be true in 2011 when the federal government exchange website turned out to be such a train wreck while the CO site worked fine.

                But go ahead, keep chasing after those lofty promises of great things from E.W. ("I have a plan for that") and B.S. ("Free stuff for all")

                Promises which are going scare the shit out of more than half the country and re-elect Trump.

                 

                • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                  Thanks for that tired, unlikely, supposition. I am not convinced by your unsupportable confidence in corporate responsibility.

                  The ACA did nothing for me. I live in a "rural" area that did not seem to benefit from the plan created by the Heritage Foundation and the AEI. The functional problem with private health care is the 35%profit margin of health insurers. 

                  In the years I was paying thousands of dollars in insurance premiums to United Health Care, I could never quite afford a plan that didn't have a massive deductible. The result? In the 15 years I sent them premiums, the total they spent on my coverage was the postage to tell me of premium increases.

                  During that time, the CEO of United Heathcare was pulling down an 8 figure salary…as much as $75,000,000/ year.

                  I still have to pay $115/month to a private company, even on Medicare. You know as well as I do Bernies' plan will never pass. What will emerge under Democratic leadership when we win, will be an option to enter Medicare at any age. We will have to fight to keep the Republicans and moderate, insurance company loving Democrats from watering benefits down to the point of being uncompetitive. That is the next battleground.

                • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                  I was paying $1,200 per month for individual health insurance policy the year before the ACA came into effect. After the ACA went into effect, my premium – with the same deductible – went to $651 per month. That was the effect of the vacuous Affordable Care Act. Maybe there is something to "market solutions."

                  That wasn't a market solution. That was heavy-handed government intervention. You're welcome.

              • MADCO says:

                Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

                ~ Frederick Douglass

                • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                  👍                                                

                • harrydobyharrydoby says:

                  And the corollary to Douglass' profoundly wise observation:  moving the Overton window on health care discussions.  Eight years ago, the "Public Option" was politically unfeasible.  Now it is the most conservative of all the various plans being debated.

                  That is significant progress.

          • itlduso says:

            As expected, this link to Sanders' options to finance Medicare for all provides a lot of tax increases, mostly on businesses and the wealthy, but also on middle class taxpayers.  Because this white paper does not tell us how much his plan will actually cost (!) I assume all of the options are required to pay for his plan. 

            That dog won't hunt.

            • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

              The goal is obviously to mislead middle class people into believing they will have less money when it is exactly the opposite. If you take it seriously, the pundit posture is that middle class people prefer having less money over having higher tax. https://t.co/gSVFTkfLNe

              — Matt Bruenig (@MattBruenig) September 13, 2019

              From the linked white paper:

              The typical middle class family would save over $4,400 under this plan.

              Last year the typical working family paid an average of$5,277 in premiums to private health insurance companies. Under this option, a typical family of four earning $50,000, after taking the standard deduction, would pay a 4 percent income-based premium to fund Medicare for All –just $844 a year –saving that family over $4,400 a year. 

              Because of the standard deduction, families of four making less than $29,000 a year would not pay this premium."

              • MADCO says:

                pretty sure you have been warned about facty reasonableness.

                No one wants your truthiness.
                We want flames! with great big blazing all caps. Names and innuendo. Farm animal references and any kind of over the top implication you can muster.

                <watching>

              • itlduso says:

                Sudafed:  I saw the reference to the "typical working family" making $50,000 as supposedly saving $4,400.  Lots of questions about their assumptions there.  Whatever. 

                More pertinent is an analysis of his other tax increases.  The total revenue gains from his "options" is $1.6 Trillion per year.  (A trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money.)  Some of these increases will hit those making $250,000 per year. 

                The largest revenue generator @ $420 Billion/year is eliminating the employer paid premiums which are currently exempt from payroll and income taxes.  I am confused.   Apparently, employer paid premiums must be something like $1.4 Trillion (resulting in a 30% reduction of taxes = $420 Billion).  But, that's not a tax revenue generator unless employers will still have to pay the $1.4 Trillion in health care benefits. So, they have to pay $1.4 Trillion without any tax benefit?

                This plan needs a lot of vetting, but bottom line it entails raising $1.6 Trillion per year in taxes.  It will not pass and it's dishonest to let Bernie supporters believe that it has a snowball's chance that it will pass.

                • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                  Sudafed:  I saw…

                  That's weird.  That's how Voyageur refers to me when he's trying to mock me.  At any rate, here's some information from a paper from the Sanders institute.

                  Financing Medicare for All

                  There will be two sources of financing for Medicare for All. The first is the same public health care revenue sources that presently provide about 60 percent of all U.S. health care financing, including funding for Medicare and Medicaid. Existing public sources of funds will provide $1.88 trillion to finance Medicare for All. Given our estimate that the overall costs of Medicare for All will be $2.93 trillion, the system therefore needs to raise an additional $1.05 trillion from new revenue sources.

                  We provide a set of illustrative financing proposals that, in combination, can generate $1.08 trillion, thus producing a revenue surplus of about 1 percent for the system. Other approaches are also workable. We emphasize at the outset that, regardless of the specific funding framework utilized for Medicare for All, all households and private businesses will be able to pay into the system an average of 9.6 percent less than they are presently contributing to the U.S. health care system. This is, straightforwardly, because Medicare for All is able to operate at a funding level that is 9.6 percent below the current overall funding level for U.S. health care.

                  I'm sure there are other ideas about paying for it, and the costs, floating around.  I know there was a Koch study that suggested that Medicare for All saved $200 billion across 10 years.

                  But, I'd settle for us paying the same amount as we do now for healthcare and making it possible for tens of millions of folks who have no coverage or can't afford to use theirs to be able to have the healthcare we all deserve.  Socializing the costs and the benefits isn't a problem for me.

                • kwtreekwtree says:

                  Warren is also solidly in the Medicare for All camp, although she has hinted that she might be open to other plans “if they work”. 

                  Vox published an analysis of a RAND study of New York State’s public health plan puts some numbers on how a single payer plan would affect consumer costs and health outcomes. Here’s a Rand study chart, comparing status quo (SQ) vs the New York Health Act (NYHA) over time :

                   

                   

                  As you can see, overall expenditures for status quo vs public health plan are similar; the difference is that consumers are getting more comprehensive health services, accessing health care more and earlier, paying no premiums or copays, and administrative costs are way down under NYHA.

                  • Diogenesdemar says:

                    And, therein lies the fundamental and most important difference between Warren and Sanders, across the board . . . 

                    . . . Warren will support other ideas that work; Bernie is simply incapable of supporting any other than Bernie.

                    In Warren’s world, it’s all roads that lead to better. In Bernie’s world there’s only one road, which should always lead to Bernie.

    • ParkHill says:

      Not having a TV I hadn't seen the candidates live & in-person before. I watched some of the debate, and I was impressed with how personable, articulate and impressive all the candidates were. Well, sometimes it is a little confusing to listen to Joe Biden.

      Even the candidates I'm not interested in are valuable to the Democratic Party. It is more beneficial to have a deep bench, rather than a single, designate heir to Obama.

  2. DENependent says:

    The Denverite on the Denver Sheriff firing resignation. Their headline about asking questions about electing sheriffs seems to push for the idea that Denver should elect its sheriff. Why in the world would an election for essentially the manager of the city jails and abandoned vehicles be an improvement over the mayor appointing someone? If anything it would mean that sheriffs would almost never "resign" to spend more time with their families, but would instead stay until the next election.

    If the city council thinks the mayor is failing to find good sheriffs maybe they should look at taking that power for themselves instead of saying, "Oh, well more democracy will solve that. Elections solve every problem."

    • kwtreekwtree says:

      DENee, I take your point about electing sheriffs not necessarily curing the problem of incompetent or biased sheriffs. But I invite you to take a look at Fort Morgan, Colorado, where there is a lovely incestuous arrangement between the police chief, the city manager, and city council. 

      City Council appoints the city manager. The City Manager appoints the police chief.  Only City Council members ever have to stand for election. So what happens when the police chief has to arrest his boss, the city manager, for assault on a child?

      Not a whole lot, it turns out. Jeffery Wells, who is a real jerk by most accounts, is still City Manager, having gone through trial and a very lenient sentence. And the police chief still is under his supervision. 

      This is why we should have recall elections.

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Joe Biden's answer on how to address the legacy of slavery was appalling — and disqualifying.

    It ended in a sermon implying that black parents don't know how to raise their own children.

    This cannot go on.#DemDebate pic.twitter.com/WuI4b8n5Yz

    — Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) September 13, 2019

    "…We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio. Make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night."

  4. MADCO says:

    Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/15/us/politics/trump-nsa-call-records-program.html

    This is a bad idea. 
    Why can't they at least call it what it is:
    The End of The 4th Amendment and a huge hit on the 5th, Patriot Act.

     

     

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