• ruralresident commented on the blog post Governor Christie Changes Story On Bridgegate

    2014-02-05 23:06:05View | Delete

    Amazing what a poor job the radio interviewer did the other night. Nothing but softballs.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post Christie’s National Fall Continues

    2014-02-04 12:34:24View | Delete

    That radio host was obviously feeding him softball questions. Once Christie admitted that he knew about the traffic jam while it was happening, any REAL interviewer would have practically jumped over the desk to ask the obvious question: “If you knew t his was going on, why didn’t you 1) find out who caused it; and 2) put an end to it.”

    Ed Rendell commented weeks ago that, had this happened in PA when he was governor, it would have taken him about 30 minutes to get the traffic lanes open again.

    The fact that Christie did neither of these things is sufficient for the NJ legislature to impeach him and remove him from office.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post Christie’s National Fall Continues

    2014-02-04 12:25:33View | Delete

    I’m rooting for Rand Paul or Ted Cruz to be the GOP’s prez candidate in 2016. Would help the Dems win and make big gains in Congress.

  • I’ve had that thought many times. For a smart guy, it sure took him a long time to realize something that’s been obvious to so many of us for years.

    How much more successful would he have been had he come to this conclusion like, say, a few months into his presidency.

    He should have been suspicious as the stiumulus bill moved through Congress in 2009. It’s too bad he didn’t instruct Harry Reid to toss away the bill containing 40% tax cuts once the Republicans in the House produced zero votes and the Senate Rs filibustered it. At that point, he should have said, “Since you’re not going to provide any votes, we’re going to do this OUR way: $2 trillion in public works projects and zero for tax cuts.”

    Taking a hard line might have put a little more fear in the GOP. He couldn’t have had any less respect from them for the past five years.

  • No, no, no. Custard creme pie would be soooo messy to clean up. Could even mess up the circuitry if it got in the wrong place.

    Throw something like Nerf balls instead. You can throw them as hard as you like, allowing you to vent even more, without the risk of damaging anything or having to spend unncessary time on clean up tasks.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post GOP Senators Release More Serious Obamacare Alternatives

    2014-01-28 11:58:09View | Delete

    Sorry, but I have to agree with several previous posts that this isn’t a serious proposal. It’s not “Obamacare lite.” It’s little more than an attempt to maintain the old system by adopting a few popular changes without providing a way to pay for them and gutting the rest of the ACA.

    As long as Republicans center their proposals (such as they are) on 1) eliminating liability lawsuits and 2) selling insurance across state lines, their ideas aren’t worth even considering. The former is done to damage Democratic Party fundraising, rather than address problems with the medical care system. The latter is pointless if we’re going to maintain only state level regulation of health care insurance. Unless there is a strong, independent federal regulatory agency for the multistate sales of this product, the industry will exploit jurisdictions (mostly red states) with weak regulation. Repubs will never agree to expand regulation, especially the creation of an agency whose budget couldn’t be gutted by GOP budget cuts aimed at eliminating it or reducing its effectiveness at a later date.

    Let’s eliminate most of the problems with Obamacare by doing something REALLY sensible: replacing it with single payer.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post As Expected, the Obamacare Co-ops are Struggling

    2013-10-23 12:59:59View | Delete

    So what you and MaryM in IL are saying is that there were no hurdles of any kind (other than personal preference of the legislators) to Dems passing a single payer bill?

    If so, I strongly disagree and I’ll bet most savvy political analysts would also. I’ll agree that Obama wasn’t assertive enough about single payer, or at least the public option. He was ridiculously naive about having any chance to work with Republicans, who weren’t then–and aren’t now–the least bit interested in working with him on anything.

    And I will agree with you that neither Obama nor Harry Reid (who isn’t much of a leader anyway) used the power they had available to coerce recalcitrant legislators into voting for a much stronger piece of legislation. The Democrats clearly dropped the ball. Had they followed my preference and, it sounds like, yours, and enacted single payer, we wouldn’t have had the (nonexistent) “Tea Party” folks or the current problems with the ACA.

    And, yes, they were far too subservient towards corporate interests. Might have something to do with little matters like campaign cash and getting re-elected. Ridding their caucus of Baucus, that tool of the insurance and pharma industries, will help–but only if we can elect a Dem in his place.

    However, YOU’RE the ones who are trying to rewrite history. There would have been some negative consequences, given the environment at the time, to being as aggressive as you seem to suggest the Dems should have been at that time.

    First, Reid and the Senate Dems remembered being in the minority. Doing away with the filibuster/closure rule (or even substantially modifying it) isn’t something to be done frivolously. At least not if you want SS and Medicare to still be in effect the next time Republicans are in control, as they were only a few years ago. It can be done more easily now, and with fewer repercussions. The Republicans have so badly abused those rules that public support for–and understanding of–those changes will allow them to do so. You already have a contingent of Dem senators pushing for this and, if the Dems also have the House, I think all involved will see the need to do so.

    The Dem majority, especially in the House, was very fragile. Their Senate majority was much more so then than now. And, Obama had to show that he was willing to work with–compromise with–the GOP. Had he simply blasted ahead and ignored them from the start, the country’s perception of him would be different than it now is. He might well not have been re-elected in 2012 had the Republicans not shown themselves up to the nation to be the jerkhammers they are.

    There are lots of subtleties in the legislative process that your posts don’t seem to acknowledge.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post As Expected, the Obamacare Co-ops are Struggling

    2013-10-23 11:48:04View | Delete

    No, they weren’t. The bill had to first clear the “60 vote” hurdle regarding closure/filibuster. It had to be tailored to do that. The “50 vote” standard didn’t come into effect until the end of the game when the bill went up for a final vote in the Senate.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post As Expected, the Obamacare Co-ops are Struggling

    2013-10-23 11:35:00View | Delete

    The 60 “Democratic” votes included Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, and, of course, the insurance-industry protecting Joe LIE-bermann.

    It’s likely that, if the Dems take back the House and have at least 55 senators, that they’ll at least reduce the filibuster (closure) number to something that fits within their majority. Something well under 60.

    It’s also likely that the House–which passed a public option and probably would have passed single payer–will have many fewer Blue Dogs in it in 2015. Most of them were defeated in 2010 when they learned a valuable lesson: that people would really have a REAL Republican than a DINO.

  • Does he need to put a “” statement at the end of his post for you to understand that he’s really saying the opposite?

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post As Expected, the Obamacare Co-ops are Struggling

    2013-10-23 11:13:50View | Delete

    Great point.

    One interesting point about single payer is that it would reduce the cost of government–one of the conservatives’ main goals. We’re currently paying out $12K-$20K for annual medical insurance premiums as part of compensation (which means somewhere around 30-40% of base salary for the average public employee). With single payer, assuming an increase in the Medicare tax from 1.45% to around 5% (with the employer picking up the employee’s share in order to maintain the status of this as a paid benefit), governmental entities would only be paying around $4K-$5K per employee.

    Even if the employer then purchased a supplemental policy (like Medicare recipients do) in order to cover the deductibles, etc., the cost of health insurance per public employee would drop dramatically.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post As Expected, the Obamacare Co-ops are Struggling

    2013-10-23 11:03:24View | Delete

    If the Democrats are able to take control of the House and hold the Senate, it should be the first thing they do in 2015. That is, if they are true progressives.

    No matter how well the ACA works out, it will NEVER be as good as single payer. Nor as cost efficient.

  • WILL they go after Dems though? The only effective way to do this is to primary them. That means finding a challenger who can win in the general election. If they can’t do that, they’re helping the other side.

  • The fourth paragraph from the end makes an important point: when we talk about “means testing” SS or Medicare, we, in effect, turn them into welfare programs. And we know what happens to public assistance programs whenever the conservatives want to reduce spending on the things they don’t like.

    It’s an incremental strategy. Change the nature of the program. Then make small cuts. Then make much much larger cuts. Finally, claim that the program isn’t really doing what it’s supposed to do–and eliminate it.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post It is Unacceptable For Sebelius to Ignore Congress

    2013-10-21 11:59:08View | Delete

    I disagree, Jon. This is another examkple of Issa exploiting the House’s “oversight” power in an attempt to embarrass Obama. If he were doing this with the intent of trying to improve the program and get health insurance to people more easily, I would feel differently. However, this is just more GOP game playing.

    Sibelius needs to direct her energy towards fixing the problem. Once things are working smoothly, there will be plenty of time to debrief the folks who didn’t get this right.

  • That was my first thought when I saw the amount they were paying to settle this. Phrases like “drop in the bucket” and “a grain of sand on a beach” come to mind to describe the payment relative to the damage that was done.

    They’ve made more from their virtual theft of Washington Mutual Savings than that. (I’d love to see a real expose of how they “acquired” WaMu for almost nothing during the cris.)

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post Late Night: All Over But The Pouting

    2013-10-17 22:51:03View | Delete

    Not much original thought there. You must like what we have now, because you sure don’t seem to show much interest in changing it.

    Yes, it’s hard to change things for the better. Dems decided in 2010 that it just wasn’t worth the effort to do something as little as voting. Look what that got us: a problem that will take 10-20 years to fix.

    Yes, it makes a difference who gets elected. If you can’t see that both parties aren’t just alike, you haven’t been watching. The Dems aren’t perfect, but they’re a darned sight better than the alternative.

    And no, when I look in the mirrow, I DON’T see someone from the nonexistent “Tea Party” (they’re just garden variety Republicans). I’ve gotten out an worked to get voters out to the polls when it counts. Because lots of people in our state have done that, we don’t have many of the problems in the Midwest swing states. And we certainly don’t look like the deep red states.

    But if complaining is your only thing, I’m sure you’ll never run out of opportunities.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post Late Night: All Over But The Pouting

    2013-10-17 22:04:33View | Delete

    Lots of conspiracy believers and cynics on this blog.

    But then again, maybe you’re right. It will be much better for everyone next November if the Democrats just sit at home on their disaffected derrieres and whine about how terrible everything is, while the Republicans sweep control of both the House and Senate. You can gripe about how terible corporate America is and how we can’t compete against those evil billionaire GOP backers. You can pine for the “good old days” (of 1935, I guess).

    Or, Dems can take advantage of an opportunity to turn out voters in the 35-50 swing House districts. They can put in the effort to make the ground game work to wrest control of governorships and Secretaries of State in those swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Virginia where we need to begin to reverse gerrymandering.

    It’s up to people like you, onitgoes, marymccurnin, blueokie, and Twain. Want a little cheese with that whine?

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post Late Night: All Over But The Pouting

    2013-10-17 21:28:09View | Delete

    Pelosi and the House Democrats did a great job in the first two years of Obama’s first term. They passed all kinds of great legislation. It just got bottled up in the Senate.

    There are three differences this time. First, many of the “Blug Dogs” have been defeated. We’re likely to have better Democrats in the House this time. Second, Obama is wiser and realizes that the Republicans aren’t interested in working with him. He won’t be quick to compromise, and he won’t have to. Because, third, the filibuster rules will be changed in the Senate if the Dems can hold onto it in the 2014 elections.

    Obama knows that his legacy is toast unless the Democrats control both chambers in 2015-2016. You’ll see a much more productive effort this time.

  • ruralresident commented on the blog post Late Night: All Over But The Pouting

    2013-10-17 20:38:14View | Delete

    It would help the Democrats if Cruz and his minions take us to the brink several times in 2014. Voters have short memories. The closer to the election we have another manufactured crisis, the more likely it is that voters will remember how crazy these people are. Could Dems take over the House next year?

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