March 4, 2008

Why did it take so long for the media to ask Obama hard questions?

Jeralyn Merritt asks.
What a disgrace that it took the media so long. If Hillary should end up out of the race by next week, which I doubt, they'll be jumping on Obama and propping up McCain. I'll be having none of it.
She's commenting on this WaPo article by Dana Milbank about that press conference yesterday ("Ask Tough Questions? Yes, They Can!"):
It took many months and the mockery of "Saturday Night Live" to make it happen, but the lumbering beast that is the press corps finally roused itself from its slumber Monday and greeted Barack Obama with a menacing growl.
Here's the video, giving a preview of how Obama will look when he's treated like a regular politician:

105 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...

It has also been written that Obama doesn't give the press much access to him at all.
This in contrast to John McCain who will apparently answer questions forever.

If Obama is the nominee we are in for a long 8 months of reading about his campaign mistakes. Politicans that get re-elected in tough elections do so because they are skilled politicians along with having other qualities. It could turn out that Obama is a skilled speaker but not a skilled politican. The corrupt land deal in Chicago is probably just the start.

Middle Class Guy said...

What tough questions has Hillary Clinton had to answer? She has goten the same free ride from the press as Obama has and maybe more so. She has faced no real scrutiny, except when Bill Clinton stuck both his feet in his mouth. It seems the press is afraid of her.

I want one reporter to ask her to give specific answers- a specific list- of her experience or accomplishments. What has she done? No general "I have supported" nonsense. What has Hillary Clinton done; what policies is she responsible for? What changes has she made? What impact has she had on policy? Or has she been a glorified precinct captain for thirty five years?

Verso said...

As one prominent liberal blogger, despised in these parts, said yesterday:

Hillary Clinton has borne the far greater brunt of media hatred and hostility over the last year, and I wrote about that several times before (see here and here as examples). Like the attacks on Obama now, most of those attacks were exactly the sort of petty, personality-based, Drudge-rules-our-world trash that the establishment media specializes in -- her calculating cleavage and her wicked laugh and her evil 20-year plan to take over the world and her drowning ambition, etc. etc.

Now, when the Howard Kurtzs of the world start talking about how they have to subject Obama to "scrutiny," too, they don't mean that they're going to re-evaluate the trashy, vapid coverage they applied to Clinton and start examining his record, his positions, his views, etc. What they mean is that they're going to do now to Obama exactly what they did to Clinton: namely, take every right-wing gutter attack -- Obama is a Communist Radical Terrorist-sympethizing, American-hating cokehead -- and start chatting them up, asking Obama about them, inserting them prominently into the news narrative.


AS they have in the past, the media will work hand in hand with the Republican Party attack machine to destroy whoever wins the Democratic Party nomination.

titusportdebras said...

Obama needs to learn from Mccain.

He had a barbecue for the press at his home in Arizona last weekend.

And the good news his barbecue recipe is now up on CNN if you are interested in his ingredients.

Fen said...

What they mean is that they're going to do now to Obama exactly what they did to Clinton: namely, take every right-wing gutter attack --

Oh Bullshit. The media is left wing, Clinton is left wing, Obama is left wing. The Left needs to stop projecting its gutter-attacks onto the Right. They are your words, your attacks, your politics of personal destruction.

AS they have in the past, the media will work hand in hand with the Republican Party attack machine to destroy whoever wins the Democratic Party nomination

More Bullshit. The media has never worked hand in hand with the GOP "attack machine". Howard Dean Scream? That was your Leftwing media sabatoging a guy they thought would be weak in the general election. The MSM plays the same role as the Dem superdelegats. Stop projecting your filth onto us.

TROBlog said...

I'm would like to think, but am not very hopeful, that the press will continue to ask Obama the tough questions once he has secured the nomination.

Somehow I doubt they will though.

Then again, McCain is pretty damn liberal so they could stick with him over Obama - especially if they see weaknesses in Obama that could translate to a nightmare of a Dem presidency.

TROBlog said...

By "nightmare" I mean a Dem presidencey that is incompetent and does more damage to the Dems than good - think Jimmy Carter.

Any Dem presidency is a nightmare to conservatives.

TMink said...

My favorite right wing gutter attack against the socialist left is that they all want to turn our world leading health care system into the VA health system.

I am a bastard that way.

Trey

titusportdebras said...

it's 60 degrees in NYC right now.

I just took the rare clumbers for a walk and was actually sweating.

I cant wait for tankey season.

My arms are pumped as I have been incredibly productive this winter in the gym and ready to show it off.

But I don't want to be premature with the tankeys. The worst thing to do is to wear a tankey much to early in the tankey season.

George said...

Several weeks ago NPR ran a piece on Sen. Clinton and Obama's churches. The Afrocentricism of Sen. Obama's church was raised. A theologian said that that was okay because that church serves an oppressed, disenfranched congregation. End of discussion. Many things, such as that, are just non-issues in the minds of many reporters.

In general, the quality of what passes for reporting is pathetic. The NYT piece on Sen. Obama's college drug use relied largely on quotes from his half sister and a classmate who is now a fund raiser for him.

And check out these questions about Rezko/Obama that Clinton wants answered....Gnarly complex stuff...Would make a good one-hour documentary on CBS...It would be quite the harvest of shame....Calling Mr. Murrow!

Verso said...

Fen said, Oh Bullshit. ...
More Bullshit.


Clearly, some of this has to do with your relative position to the media. Suppose for the sake of argument that the media was straight down the middle. Then, clearly, relative to a liberal position, the media is conservative, and relative to a conservative position, the media is liberal.

Take Middle Class Guy as an example: he positively despises Hillary Clinton; he oozes with hatred for her. (He said recently he would like her to suffer a long, painful, tortured death.)

Naturally, to someone like MCG, nothing the media has ever done could be considered "harsh" towards Hillary (or Bill), despite the fairly obvious fact that the media has been brutal to both of them. MCG is a person who wants Hillary dead and to suffer while dying; no matter how rough the media has been on her, it's not enough for him.

Granted, MCG is a disturbing, disturbed, and extreme example, but it illustrates the point that most people want the media to express their own feelings and biases, and if it doesn't, it's in league with the enemy.

I'm sure where you come from, the media is, in fact, advancing liberalism. From where I stand, it advances conservatism.

Fen said...

MSM reporting on the Iraq War

[case closed]

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ricpic said...

Don't worry about the taunts of your fellow homos, Titus, break that fashion taboo, wear your tankey or hankey or spankey out of season and flaunt those biceps, flaunt 'em.

Ann Althouse said...

Titus, you are a pussy if you are not ready to bare arms when it's 60°. Are you sure you're from Wisconsin? It's not 60° in Wisconsin right now. (It's 13.) But if it was, all the Wisconsin boys would be in T-shirts. (And shorts.) I'll bet there are even some guys in shorts on State Street right now.

Roger said...

Looks like Barack ran into a hornets nest--no reason for Clinton to drop out now--I would love to see them pepper each other with campaign contributions (Norm HSU and Chinese Cash versus Rezko and cash from god knows where). I love the smell of melting teflon. Feet of clay? I bet McCain's in-trade position is starting to rise. And if Hill stays in the race like I am sure she will, its going to get really ugly.

Fen said...

And if Hill stays in the race like I am sure she will, its going to get really ugly.

Yah, apparently she's willing to devolve into "right-wing smear tactics" to defeat Obama. LOL.

Freder Frederson said...

Hard questions? When is the press going to start asking the president hard questions? They've only got nine more months. Just once I would like to see one of them call Bush on one of his lies.

All the presidential candidates, especially McCain, have not been exposed to hard questions.

titusportdebras said...

I have no problem wearing a tshirt today-that is not the issue.


The issue is the tankey. That is a major statement and other queens will immediately blast me for showing off my guns. You don't understand the outrage and venomous attacks I may engender from my pepes. Its cut throat and brutal in my hood.

I don't ever wear shorts outside unless I am at a pool or a beach-so you would probably really like me.

Right now I have all my windows open and the juliet balcony door open and both of the rare clumbers are laying outside. It is fricking beautiful today.

Are you not in NYC today Althouse? If not, you are missing an amazing day.

And yes I am from Wisconsin. Waunakee. The only Waunakee in the world. Home of the world famous Waun-A-Bowl. Home of the Waunakee Warriors. Class of 89. My sister live in Mazomanie (home of some gay nude beach on the Wisconsin River-so I have heard) (or Cross Plains) I always forget which one and othe other lives in Lodi-home of Susie The Duck.

I love going up to Lake Wisconsin, riding on the merrimack ferry and then going to Okee to have the famous fish fry at the Bridge with the all you can eat salad bar....yum.

Roger said...

Titus: translation please: "showing off my guns..." and "pepes" ???? Thanks in advance.

Ann Althouse said...

Of course, I'm in New York. I have classes this week. Not spring break yet. But I wouldn't call it beautiful here. It's warm, but overcast and likely to rain. I don't have a problem with rain, but "beautiful" is an exaggeration.

Middle Class Guy said...

verso said...
despite the fairly obvious fact that the media has been brutal to both of them.

Recent examples please? My position is that Hillary is a bald faced liar. The media has not exposed her lies or verified her claims. They refuse to do the digging. They refuse to ask the hard questions. What and where is her record?

As to hatred; one who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.

John said...

Verso, I thought that was a really thoughtful post. I suspect you are right that most people judge media bias relative to their own.

I think we could also judge it relative to, say, the median American voter. For the last couple of prez elections, the country was very close to 50-50 between supporters of Republicans and Dems. But polls of employees in the big media usually find something like 90-10.

I think the evidence shows that most people in the media are significantly leftward of most Americans. But there are still, what?, 20% of americnas to the left of that. A big chunk.

Given that, it is hard for me to understand why "the media" would be trying to undermine the side they (mostly) agree with. If you think that is true, do you have a causal theory of why that would be?

Titus, I usually don't try to encourage people who post for trollish reasons, but you are hilarious. Keep it up. But not as hilarious as Althouse calling you a pussy.

Saul said...

I agree that the media has given everyone a pass. However, no one has done anything to expose Hillary's bs.

35 years of experience? Doing what? Sham land transactions? Setting up pardons for her brother to cash in on?

The vast right wing conspiracy that forced Monica to perform oral sex on her husband?

SteveR said...

Verso, you can, and have made some arguable points but claiming the MSM works hand in hand with the GOP is just ridiculous.

Roger said...

Verso--did I read your post correctly that the MSM AND the VRWC are going to be in league in attacking the democratic candidate?
Wow---that is a genuinely breathtaking asseertion--thanks for sharing it.

Moose said...

What we have is not a right or left wing attack machine, but rather a series of businesses (and yes, I am talking about NPR too, you ever see how much the chairman of NPR makes?) who make their money making news happen.

Not reporting it, making it happen. Doesn't (always) mean inventing it. Rather think of it as farming - planting seeds, gathering in the harvest later for the winter. The press industry sometimes husbands their reportage of "good" news for those lean times - like now.

Obama was a golden boy for a long time as he was good news. Now, however he is getting a tad stale, and so off to the dung heap for him! He'll still get a pass on many issues due to his racial background, but he's also fair game for real news - finally.

I think we'll see that he doesn't handle bad press coverage any better than HRH does. This'll show what seasoning Obama has for the tough job of President.

Roger said...

Moose: well said--I think Obama flunked his first test of a tough a news conference...

former law student said...

My favorite right wing gutter attack against the socialist left is that they all want to turn our world leading health care system into the VA health system.

That would be wonderful news. Check this article out:

"The Best Care Anywhere
Ten years ago, veterans hospitals were dangerous, dirty, and scandal-ridden. Today, they're producing the highest quality care in the country. Their turnaround points the way toward solving America's health-care crisis."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0501.longman.html

Richard Fagin said...

"Take every right-wing gutter attack -- Obama is a Communist Radical Terrorist-sympethizing, American-hating cokehead."

Look, pal, none of us right-wingers said Obama is a cokehead, ok? That was Hillary's people.

Soldier's Dad said...

One should never accept a free ride from the press. Slick Willy understood this and regulary made campaign appearances in front of semi-hostile audiences.

The British have something called "Question Time" in the House of Parliament where the Prime Ministers submits to skewering before his opponents on a weekly basis.

It makes for stronger debate and more defined positions.

Obama has had a free ride...the press now realizes it and they will do to him what they do to every celebrity they have overbuilt...tear him down. People who "compensate" for a past wrong..tend to over-compensate.

Obama's meteoric political rise makes for good press...unfortunately...the Britney Spears of the world will attest to..the meteoric fall makes even better press.

TheRadicalModerate said...

This is not about ideology; it's about ratings. To maximize ratings, you provide the most dramatic narrative available to you. Until recently, the best narrative was "Obamania." Now that Obamania has grown tiresome, the best narrative that the media can construct is to go back to Hillary as the struggling underdog. That in turn requires that Obama be taken down a few pegs to make things sporting.

If you want to know what the media will focus on, just pretend that you're the producer of the Biggest Reality Show Ever, and then plan your show around having McCain, Hillary, and Obama as your contestants. It's not good ratings to vote anybody off the island yet.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

AS they have in the past, the media will work hand in hand with the Republican Party attack machine

Leftie mirror on the wall,
who's the slickest liar of all?
The WaPo and the New York Times
compete for Democratic dimes,
Elbowing to win position
as Bush's vicious opposition,
Blindly striving to emplace
a Prez of femme or afro face,
with no regard for competence
in finance or, good God, defence.
With scribes like that, how can you mean,
Republican attack machine?
Leftie mirror on the wall,
who's the slickest liar of all?

former law student said...

Re what Hillary wants. Here's my list of what Obama's campaign could want from HRC (find replace is a godsend):

1. Will Sen. Clinton release all documents related to her relationship with Norman Hsu?

2. When, specifically, did Sen. Clinton become aware that Mr. Hsu was a fugitive from justice?

3. Sen. Clinton has returned money from several individuals who are publicly associated with Mr. Hsu. How much money did Mr. Hsu bundle for Sen. Clinton's campaigns in total, including people who are not business associates of Mr. Hsu? How many fundraisers did Mr. Hsu hold for Sen. Clinton? Has there been an internal investigation to determine how many straw donors Mr. Hsu used to funnel money to Sen. Clinton?

4. Where did Sen. Clinton get the $5 million she lent her campaign? She hasn't worked in the private sector since 1992. Why hasn't she released her tax returns? Why hasn't she released any of her White House files?

5. The New York Times reported that Sen. Clinton's husband attended a business meeting in Kazakhstan on behalf of Mr. Giustra to impress the President of Kazakhstan for his business schemes. How many events did Sen. Clinton's husband attend on behalf of Mr. Giustra to impress others? What was his role? Why did Sen. Clinton's husband agree to attend?

6. How many times did Senator Clinton visit Norman Hsu's house? What was the purpose of these visits?

7. Did Sen. Clinton intercede on behalf of Mr. Hsu in any governmental capacity?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My favorite right wing gutter attack against the socialist left is that they all want to turn our world leading health care system into the VA health system.

That would be wonderful news.


It would be if you were near a VA Hospital or approved facility. I have clients who are in the VA system. Here is a preview of what is in store for us if we go that route.

This one person was on the ships that they used to test Nuclear bombs and suffers from thyroid cancer. To recieve care, he needs to file for his treatments months ahead of time and travel over 300 miles (one way) to the "local" VA Hospital. He is not allowed to receive treatments at a nearby facility unless he wants to pay for them himself and of course he can't get health insurance because of his pre-existing condition.

If we go to a National Health system, and people like my clients are covered, I don't see how it could be any good or any better. The government cannot run anything efficently, economically or in a timely manner. Think the DMV on steroids except dealing with your health instead of just registering your car.

The VA system sucks.

Freder Frederson said...

If we go to a National Health system, and people like my clients are covered, I don't see how it could be any good or any better. The government cannot run anything efficently, economically or in a timely manner.

Actually, if you look at the overhead rates for government run health care and insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, the Military, VA, etc.) systems in this country and compare them with private insurance, they are all more efficient.

Your contention is simply not true. Simply put, private insurance sucks worse.

Fen said...

If you like what the Left has done to Public Education, the you'll love what they do to Public Health Care.

Of course, the elites will still send their kids to private school, while claiming that public schools are "efficient". Same with health care.

AllenS said...

Freder, when was the last time you went to a VA hospital? Is your wife seeking any care through the VA? How far do you have to travel?

Fen said...

This is not about ideology; it's about ratings. To maximize ratings, you provide the most dramatic narrative available to you.

That would ring true until you consider their coverage of Iraq. Daily heroics of hometown guys and gals go unsung because of their bias. Today: how Sgt Copeland rescued a child from a terrorist's grasp. The ratings would be through the roof.

Also the NYTs. They routinely distort the news and soil their reputation without regard to their stock tanking as a result.

LonewackoDotCom said...

The questions that were asked aren't that difficult, they just seem that way because of the preceding puffery.

Althouse might consider doing a public service by encouraging lawyers to go to candidate appearances and ask the questions the MSM will never ask (for instance, this one for Obama).

Unfortunately, Althouse's track record of coming up with puffballs for McCain and then not even being able to ask those puffballs makes me doubt that she'd even consider doing something like that.

George said...

A majority, sometimes an overwhelming majority, of prize and fellowship winners never studied journalism.

59 percent of print journalists who won Pulitzer Prizes never studied journalism;

75 percent of broadcast journalists who won DuPont Awards never studied journalism;

58 percent of journalists awarded Nieman Fellowships never studied journalism, and;

51 percent of journalists awarded Knight Fellowships at Stanford University never studied journalism.

--From an essay by an NYU prof (?)

One of the problems is that kids are encouraged to major in Journalism in college.

Majoring in journalism is like majoring in plumbing or carpentry. It's a trade. Increasingly, we have kids who don't know nothing about nothing working as reporters.

former law student said...

he needs to file for his treatments months ahead of time and travel over 300 miles (one way) to the "local" VA Hospital.

Where in the country do you have to live to be 300 miles from a VA Hospital? Montana? Here there are three within a 40 mile stretch. Is his treatment very specialized? Where would your client have to go for a heart valve replacement?

My father and his brother received almost all of their medical care from the VA system.

madawaskan said...

Why does the Associated Press have the Canadian Memo but does not release it in it's entirety?

So far all I have found is excerpted quotes from it.

What happened to the public's right to know and judge for themselves?

Especially before today-when this is supposedly the media's declared make it or break it day for Hillary?

If you want to get queasy to your stomache about Obama and Rezko-read this article from the Sun Times-

Obama's Rezko Connections.

Watch Hillary win Rhode Island, Ohio and the popular vote in Texas and the press will still be drumbeating for her to step down.

It'll be like the night she won Massachusetts,New York, New Jersey and California and the next morning the press was saying-

If you went to bed last night and thought Hillary won-guess again!

Fen said...

/followup

See, if the public was broadly exposed to images like this, the resulting pride would increase support for our efforts in Iraq. And the MSM simply can't have that. So instead, they cover liars like Jesse Macbeth and Scott Beauchamp. War is bad, m'kay?

Think about it. If the MSM reporting of the war was unbiased, people like Micheal Yon and Micheal Totten wouldn't exist.

Jeff S. said...

"Actually, if you look at the overhead rates for government run health care and insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, the Military, VA, etc.) systems in this country and compare them with private insurance, they are all more efficient"

Assuming for a moment that your statement is true, how does lower overhead alone make those systems better than private healthcare?

AllenS said...

fls said...
"Here there are three within a 40 mile stretch" Three VA hospitals in a 40 mile stretch? Where in the country do you live?

madawaskan said...

*its* entirety-Jeebus I hate when I do that.

Anyone have a link to the Canadian Memo?

Pogo said...

former law student said re:
"the socialist left ...all want to turn our world leading health care system into the VA health system."

That would be wonderful news. Check this article out:
"The Best Care Anywhere"
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/blahblahblah


Not one year after the WaMonthly spouted approval for the VAH system, it was again rocked by complaints that it was dangerous, dirty, and scandal-ridden, with some of the lowest quality care in the country.

It's the saga of all publicly financed health care: scandal leads to money influx followed by decay then scandal then corruption then scandal then money influx etc etc. etc. Just like Castro's hospitals, and for the very same reason.

Paul Collacchi said...

It might be convenient for the Hillary supporters to want to believe that there's nothing to Obama. Good luck with that strategy

I've seeded Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, with clearly "balanced" coverage on the Canadian Nafta Issue, including, just this morning, where new Canadian reports are now suggesting both the leak and the initial DISTORTIONS came from the people favorable to Conservative Steven Harper.

But Glenn always distorts, suppresses, or spins everything against Obama, as does Ann.

For those interested in positions on issues, and the latest on the Canadian NAFTA issue: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/
video_log/2008/03/
clearing_up_obamas_canadian_pr.html

Here are the initial distortions as described in the Washington Post:

"In its original form, CTV said that a "top staffer" from the Obama campaign had telephoned the Canadian ambassador to warn him that the candidate would soon be speaking out against NAFTA, the 1993 free trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The staffer allegedly told the ambassador that "the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric and should not be taken at face value."

In fact, no part of this is true.

Though there was a meeting between the Consul General and Goolsbee, no-one called the Canadian Ambassador to "warn him", and no-one called Obama's criticism 'campaign rhetoric that should not be taken at face value.'

Here's the part in the memo Goolsbee has acknowledged: http://www.newsday.com/news/
politics/wire/
sns-ap-democrats-nafta,0,
7542882.story?page=2

"On NAFTA, Goolsbee suggested that Obama is less about fundamentally changing the agreement and more in favour of strengthening/clarifying language on labour mobility and environment and trying to establish these as more `core' principles of the agreement."

Here's what Obama said, essentially three times, and in three ways to Tim Russert during the debate:

"I think that it [NAFTA] did not have the labor standards and environmental standards that were required in order to not just be good for Wall Street but also be good for Main Street."

"And as president of the United States, I intend to make certain that every agreement that we sign has the labor standards, the environmental standards and the safety standards that are going to protect not just workers, but also consumers."

"And I think actually Senator Clinton's answer on this one is right. I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced."

BTW, I personally don't have any problem with the use of the word "positioning" in the context of "positioning" this basic policy direction in Ohio.

It is true that during the debate Obama "positioned" this as if he and Hillary had real policy differences, and good for Hillary for smacking him back.

Does anyone have any questions about Obama's over-arching position on Nafta and trade?

Roger said...

With respect to the low overhead systems cited above, the military healthcare system should be taken off the table. It simply isnt relevant. Why? military recruits are screened into the service thereby eliminating chronic injuries; the system is designed to take young soldiers, patch them up and get them back to duty ASAP; it eliminates any soldiers who require long term care. In short it serves a very fit, prescreened group and gets rid of any severe medical problems. It performs an entirely different purpose than any other type of health care system in the country.

Hoosier Daddy said...

AA said Titus, you are a pussy if you are not ready to bare arms when it's 60°.

Damn Titus...did that hurt? I mean if I was just bitch slapped like that I'd probably be so upset I'd kick a rare clumber right in the ass if I wasn't still crying in the corner.

Just for the record, it was 60 here in Hoosierland on Sunday and I ventured out for a 20 mile ride for the first time in 2008. I even abstained from wearing my long sleeved jersey.

But then again, unlike some people, I'm a stud.

former law student said...

it was again rocked by complaints that it was dangerous, dirty, and scandal-ridden, with some of the lowest quality care in the country.

I tried to google such a report, without luck. Can you give me a pointer?

Three VA hospitals in a 40 mile stretch? Where in the country do you live?

In one of at least two populous regions with a lot of vets.

former law student said...

the system is designed to take young soldiers, patch them up and get them back to duty ASAP

Have you looked at the demographics of the military? The military health care system is also designed to take care of soldiers who can be in their fifties, their spouses, and their children.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Titus: translation please: "showing off my guns..." and "pepes" ???? Thanks in advance.

Roger, I have some street cred so allow me.

'guns' are arms, or specifcally bulging biceps and is an old bodybuilding term.

pepes I think he means peeps or peoples.

Then again if Titus really had 'guns', we wouldn't be scared of what some queen peeps would say to him. Not unless they would be afraid of getting their head crushed in his massive guns.

madawaskan said...

Paul-

Look the initial DENIALS from the Obama campaign is that they Never talked to the Canadian Embassy.

Now even the Obama campaign admits that Goolsbee went to the Consulate in Chicago to talk to the Canadians.

The Consulate is the embassy an extension of it-but the Obama camp is already playing word games with that.

Listen you don't go to the Consulate to casually shoot the shit.

Hence the memo-the memo that even the overly friendly Obama press says-essentially -looks like the Canadians have the evidence.

Also guess what-the Canadians know a hell of a lot more about diplomacy than Obama-for starters never, ever, bluff.

Obama is caught with his pants down here.

Oh and you know what smells to High Hell -it's that the Associated Press is sitting on that memo.

If it was a Republican candidate that memo would be all over the place, on Page ONE.

What the hell else is in that memo?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Where in the country do you have to live to be 300 miles from a VA Hospital? Montana? Here there are three within a 40 mile stretch. Is his treatment very specialized? Where would your client have to go for a heart valve replacement?

California. Take a look at a map. It's a BIG State and not everyone lives in LA, San Francisco. There are many places and many people not in populous areas similar to where you live. You might try to keep that in mind when you are generalizing based on your own experiences.

The treatment isn't that specialized. He could go to a hospital within 10 miles. The issue is one of CHOICE. The VA gives him no choices but to go to the "local"/nearest VA facility.

With National Health Care provided by the STATE/Big Nanny we will have our choices taken away. We will be told where ,what, when and even if we will be allowed care. You don't think so? Take a look at England.

The rich will opt out of the system and the rest of the sheepels will be grist for the mill.

These are some of the questions that need to be asked by the Press and the rest of us when we have the carrot of National Health Care mandates dangled in front of our noses. Instead of particulars, we get vague promises of "Change".

vader said...

Verso,

That was a very reasonable post making a convincing argument that we can only view the press relative to our own position.

However, what you fail to give us is any reason to conclude "the press is to the right" rather than "Verso is way, way to the left."

rossi said...

The guy arranges a last second press avail and everyone jumps on him (Althouse, you're better than this), saying "this is what he'd look like with an angry press"?

Why did he arrange the avail? To counter a non-story, pushed hard by the Clinton team, even after it had died off (meaning the Canadians had verified HIS VERSION of the story regarding NAFTA). They even released a dirty radio ad posing as a news update in Ohio on the topic.

It also was to answer again the same questions already answered regarding Rezko, a sideshow designed to make it look like a big deal, such as Hsu ("who?", you ask? Ask all the angry old dems screaming HRC is getting unfair treatment). Obama already said that it was all a mistake on his part. Even had the balls to call it a dumb move. Let's find some admittance of error on the part of Clinton. Or Bush, for that matter.

This all has so little to do with the fundamentals of this campaign, and everyone gets caught up in it. Media (yes, that includes the bloggers) all want to see this show go on; it pushes their ad clicks, their ratings through the roof. Sometimes we need to stop and ask how important things like these are to those of us who are above pushing phony stories and opposing team talking points (including, ahem, questionable blog links).

I can see validity in exposing issues that call into question things candidates are pushing (like 35 years of experience not one news analyst has bothered to push), or campaign funding (Obama definitely deserves a slap here). But let's get real, people. This isn't what shit like this is about.

Roger said...

Seems to me there was some major Obama campaign parsing going on with respect to several terms: "senior advisor," embasssy, and government. And it looks like the Obama campaign got caught in some misrepresentations. The points raised by Paul are interesting but irrelevant to the veracity of the statements made initially and subsequently as when Goolsbee was named and the memo disclosed. I am neither surprised nor disappointed, as Obama is a politician, and politicians lie. Thats job one for a politician.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually, if you look at the overhead rates for government run health care and insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, the Military, VA, etc.) systems in this country and compare them with private insurance, they are all more efficient"

Freder, the government doesn’t run health care under Medicare or Medicaid but merely provides the funding for health care services. Medicare for example provides a list of covered services which they will pay for at drastically reduced fees. That is known as the Medicare allowed amount. So if your doctor’s office visit normally costs say $300, Medicare may only pay him $120 which means he eats the other $180. So it’s ‘overhead’ in the sense that they fix a price which can be charged which is not the same thing as efficiency. Private insurance generally does the same thing but usually will pay more in negotiated fees than Uncle Sam will. I’m not sure how VA works or if the doctors are actually government employees. There are no ‘Medicare or Medicaid’ employed physicians but private individuals who agree to a government negotiated fee for service.

AJ Lynch said...

There is no conspiracy or ratings devices at play in the MSM's crappy reporting of issue.

On average, the MSM employs incurious liberal leaning staff who think alike and so have very few probing questions. So, they are left to talking about ticker tape data like who has the campaign dollars, boxers or briefs, or chatting about the various ads or where a losing candidate's campaign went wrong.

God forbid they should consider that the losing candidate just sucked!

If they were making the news or after ratings as some here have suggested, Tim Russert would have invited Nader onto MTP, humiliated the asshole within minutes and thrown him off the show. That is what a pure ratings quest would do.

Nah - it is peas in a pod who have all the answers already because they are incurious and think in lockstep.

former law student said...

The treatment isn't that specialized. He could go to a hospital within 10 miles. The issue is one of CHOICE. The VA gives him no choices but to go to the "local"/nearest VA facility.

Requiring patients to go to in-plan providers except for emergency care is common for all the HMO PPO private health care models. Fee-for-service 80/20% private insurance is prohibitively priced. Your client may want to move closer to a VA hospital if he needs regular care.

El Rider said...

In Chicago we have not simply had months of overly favorable coverage, we have had years and years of that trash. The local media went after both of his Senste opponents with stories that were dragged out of their divorce proceedings. Here in Chicago the press repeatedly called his Sandanista church (the word used by his preacher) a mainstream church. Well that congregation just honored a man (Farrakhan) who spent a large part of his life preaching that Whites were "invented" by an evil, Black mad-scientist. That is neither mainstream nor Afro-centric, that is crazy-racist

The local press did not inform the people of Illinois concerning Obama's religious leanings and they have been slavering over the guy for years. One paper even ran a piece on Barack Obama thongs. His Senate opponents were smeared with "testimony" from previously sealed divorce proceedings despite support from their prospective former spouses. This only scratches the surface on the subject of media bias.

To the person who stated that the GOP "attack machine" would be aligned with the main stream press, all that I have to say is that Harvest Fest is/was during October. Please try to get it together

El Rider said...

In Chicago we have not simply had months of overly favorable coverage, we have had years and years of that trash. The local media went after both of his Senste opponents with stories that were dragged out of their divorce proceedings. Here in Chicago the press repeatedly called his Sandanista church (the word used by his preacher) a mainstream church. Well that congregation just honored a man (Farrakhan) who spent a large part of his life preaching that Whites were "invented" by an evil, Black mad-scientist. That is neither mainstream nor Afro-centric, that is crazy-racist

The local press did not inform the people of Illinois concerning Obama's religious leanings and they have been slavering over the guy for years. One paper even ran a piece on Barack Obama thongs. His Senate opponents were smeared with "testimony" from previously sealed divorce proceedings despite support from their prospective former spouses. This only scratches the surface on the subject of media bias.

To the person who stated that the GOP "attack machine" would be aligned with the main stream press, all that I have to say is that Harvest Fest is/was during October. Please try to get it together

Jim Hu said...

coverage of his record in the Illinois legislature is getting tougher too. As I comment on my blog, I'm not sure that these revelations affect my view of Obama. But then I haven't fully formed my thoughts on how to vote today here in Texas. I'm still vacillating about which primary to vote in based on Presidential vs. local races.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Paul Collacchi: Thanks for asking. In fact, I do have a question on Obama's support for trade agreements.

Why is Obama supporting Bush's SPP scheme (spp.gov), aka "NAFTA on steroids"? (And, why did he speak in code when he announced his support?)

At this point in time, it would be fairly easy to back out of the SPP, a program that few people know about because it's been intentionally kept under wraps. Yet, Obama wants to continue it.

Why? I guess he's more "establishment-friendly" than many of his supporters have been led to believe, eh?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Your client may want to move closer to a VA hospital if he needs regular care."

Right. That's a really good solution. Sell the farm that has been in the family for 3 generations and go live in some shit hole city, because the VA will not allow him to receive treatment under their auspices/plan at a local facility. Gee.. why didn't he think of that?

Let's let the government dictate to us where we need to live in order to get medical care.

Maybe he should just commit suicide and end it all rather than continue to fight with a monolithic government agency that consists of mindless drones. That would lower the overhead doncha think? Hey....he could become fodder for Soylent Green!!

Wow. Change can be very interesting.

Requiring patients to go to in-plan providers except for emergency care is common for all the HMO PPO private health care models.

True> And this is why 95% of the people in this area do not subscribe to the HMO model and chose PPO because there are multitudes of PPO providers but no local HMO. But again.....they have the CHOICE.

former law student said...

dbq: Once we have national health care, it won't matter where your veteran goes for treatment. Looking at the map, your client must live in Crescent City or Alturas; maybe Yreka. Can there really be that many hospitals there?

Pogo said...

I tried to google such a report, without luck. Can you give me a pointer?
Have you been asleep?

Unacceptable Waiting Times for Outpatient VA Care: House Committee on Veterans Affairs
At the VA Chicago Medical Center, veterans wait up to 214 days to be seen in the gastroenterology clinic. In New Jersey’s Brick and Ft. Dix VA community-based clinics, veterans are required to wait to be seen by a VA practitioner from 6 to 11 months for an initial, non-urgent appointment.

CNN: Army secretary quits in wake of hospital scandal
Troops recuperating from wounds they suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan were discovered to be living in substandard conditions in Building 18, an adjunct structure at Walter Reed that was once a hotel. There also were complaints of too much bureaucratic red tape.

Portland VA Budget Crunch Cancels Surgeries

the Portland, Oregon VA hospital has been sending a letter to veterans informing them that their non-"life-or-limb" surgery has been cancelled or postponed. The Portland VA facility, with a satellite campus in Vancouver, Washington, serves veterans in Oregon, southwest Washington and parts of Northern California. It all boils down to dollars, or lack of them. The Portland VA, like every VA facility, is caught in a funding crisis with no end in sight.

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility
When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

'It Is Just Not Walter Reed' Soldiers Share Troubling Stories Of Military Health Care Across U.S.
Stories of neglect and substandard care have flooded in from soldiers, their family members, veterans, doctors and nurses working inside the system. They describe depressing living conditions for outpatients at other military bases around the country, from Fort Lewis in Washington state to Fort Dix in New Jersey.

Sandy Karen was horrified when her 21-year-old son was discharged from the Naval Medical Center in San Diego a few months ago and told to report to the outpatient barracks, only to find the room swarming with fruit flies, trash overflowing and a syringe on the table.

Capt. Leslie Haines was sent to Fort Knox in Kentucky for treatment in 2004 after being flown out of Iraq. "The living conditions were the worst I'd ever seen for soldiers," he said. "Paint peeling, mold, windows that didn't work. I went to the hospital chaplain to get them to issue blankets and linens. There were no nurses. You had wounded and injured leading the troops."

"Most of us have had to sign waivers where we understand that the housing we were in failed to meet minimal government standards."

Among the most aggrieved are veterans who have lived with the open secret of substandard, underfunded care in the 154 VA hospitals and hundreds of community health centers around the country. They vented their fury in thousands of e-mails and phone calls and in chat rooms.

"I have been trying to get someone, ANYBODY, to look into my allegations" at the Dayton VA, pleaded Darrell Hampton.

"I'm calling from Summerville, South Carolina, and I have a story to tell," began Horace Williams, 62. "I'm a Marine from the Vietnam era, and it took me 20 years to get the benefits I was entitled to."

The VA has a backlog of 400,000 benefit claims, including many concerning mental health. ...For years, politicians have received letters from veterans complaining of bad care across the country.

I wrote a letter to Senators Feinstein and Boxer a few years ago asking why I had to wear Hospital gowns that had holes in them and torn and why some of the Vets had to ask for beds that had good mattress instead of broken and old. Wheel chairs old and tired and the list goes on and on. I never did get a response."

Bruce Hayden said...

My understanding is that VA docs, etc. are government employees. Which is far different than Medicare. I have also heard plenty of horror stories from Vietnam era vets about the care they got in VA hospitals. Obviously, they do some things well. Others, like Agent Orange, PTSD, not so well.

Part of the problem with Medicare was mentioned above. There is currently a huge amount of cross-subsidization going on right now, that would become infeasible under any national healthcare scheme. And, I think that there is a law that requires health care providers to accept Medicare for all patients if they accept it for any of them.

The reality is that much, if not most, Medicare treatment is below cost. That is fine as long as there is someone else out there to pay for it. Not so fine if there isn't. It seems worse for primary care, as opposed to more specialized care. Also, of course, there is the ongoing game of how to maximize Medicare billing.

AllenS said...

Poge and Bruce--

You both are so correct. People who champion VA hospitals are people who have never spent any time in one.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And, I think that there is a law that requires health care providers to accept Medicare for all patients if they accept it for any of them.

Yes, providers cannot pick and chose which Medicare patients they can see. Providers can 'opt out' of Medicare but they have to clearly disclose to their patients that they do not accept Medicare.

The reality is that much, if not most, Medicare treatment is below cost.

Pretty much although it depends a lot on the type services. Medicare/Medicaid may actually pay the full amount of a particular service and then only a fraction of another. Medicare is also always expanding the type of coverages they will pay for as well.

Also, of course, there is the ongoing game of how to maximize Medicare billing.

That of course is not just limited to Medicare as its done with private insurance all the time.

Not to hijack this thread but universal health care is inevitable if only to allow US businesses stay competitive. I'm betting few who are covered through thier group employer have any idea how much the employer forks over for their health insurance. There will come a point when that annual merit raise is simply leveraged against the increased in health care costs.

The trade off will be more competiveness however, individuals will need to come to grips with a more rationed health care system simply due to the increased demand and available supply. Yes increased demand because when people perceieve they are getting something for nothing (or almost nothing) they'll use it whether they really need it or not.

Pogo said...

Once we have national health care, it won't matter where your veteran goes for treatment.
Correct, because care will suck equally everywhere.

The usual liberal Ponzi scheme. If something fails on a small scale, the answer must be to expand the program, where it can fail on a really huge scale.

AJ Lynch said...

I had an uncle who was a 30 year Air Force vet. After he retired, he and his wife made sure (no matter what part of the country they chose to reside) that they were not far from a VA hospital since both had some serious health problems.

They never complained one bit about VA or their Champus (?) health plan.

That is my anecdotal two cents.

former law student said...

The shambles that the Army let Walter Reed become is a real tragedy. Note that it however has nothing to do with the VA. I agree the VA's lying about appointment times needs to be eradicated. Most of the other complaints seem to stem from the VA's newfound popularity. The supply of the medical care needs to be raised to match the demand.

The care my dad received at his local VA hospital was prompt and effective, although certainly it was a no-frills operation. I visited him several times while he was hospitalized, first for pneumonia, then for his chronic illness. The father of my sister's boyfriend swore that the VA was the only hospital for a Navy man. My uncle went there for various health issues, and ended up marrying one of the volunteers, a widow. They met when she made her rounds handing out change for the pay phones -- so you get an idea of the no-frills nature of the operation.

TmjUtah said...

The media is Left wing, and contrary to some previous commenters' positions that the establishment media EVER carried water for any con/rep (not the same these days; sad, that.) Asking substantive questions of a campus socialist who grew up to successfully exploit the Chicago machine that he doesn't want to answer on the record does not constitute an attack.

It may shock some people, but the practice is called "journalism". Used to be, before that industry set themselves up as the biased arbiters of who should be favored in elections.

Media is profit driven. Obama as an entity holds more potential for viewership than a combination train wreck, corruption scandal, and fire at the Women & Minorities Nike Manufacturing Factory. There's also that journalistic pride, which is all those noble folks have left after the salaries,expense accounts, research staff, national exposure, and speaking fees. Obama's inexperienced/doctrinaire activist team got him in trouble on the attempted tourniquet on the NAFTA issue, and then Obama assumed that the press would cover his ass for the gaffe... after he lied to them.

That wasn't real smart - even for the presumptive second black president. The Narrative is one thing, but a lot of the pack remembers the last liar in chief and what their relationship was to him; the pack, they smell blood. I think we'll be seeing more direct questions as the days go on.

Obama or Hillary!. Boy, sometimes I feel down about having McCain on the top of the Rep ballot, but it could be worse.

*exit laughing*

former law student said...

Yes increased demand because when people perceive they are getting something for nothing (or almost nothing) they'll use it whether they really need it or not.

Everyone who would visit their doctor because it was a bargain and for no other reason, raise your hands.

mark said...

Link to a post with the image of Canadian memo on the meeting with Obama's advisor here

madawaskan said...

mark-

I can't get the link to work.

Maybe if you tried it without the html coding?

[hopefully if it's short it won't blow out the page]

Thanks.

M. Simon said...

When I was a Communist I thought the media promoted conservatism.

Now I am of a different opinion.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Everyone who would visit their doctor because it was a bargain and for no other reason, raise your hands.

No but they'd be crowding the office cause junior has a 102 fever rather than give him a Tylenol. Or run off to the doc every time they get a migraine.

So yes, a lot of people will do it for that very reason, because its a bargain. Its called human nature. Have you ever seen Medicare utilization rates? Have you ever seen the types of claims that hospital ERs get? Do you have any idea how many people visit the ER when its not even remotely an emergency? Think that will magically go away once its all paid by the government?

You might want to save the snark for issues you actually know something about.

Pogo said...

former law student said...
The shambles that the Army let Walter Reed become is a real tragedy. Note that it however has nothing to do with the VA.

Of course not; the bureaucrats who designed the failure in that government setting will for some reason be completely different this time, and not fall prey to those selfsame errors to which all State bureaucracies are prone.

Most of the other complaints seem to stem from the VA's newfound popularity. The supply of the medical care needs to be raised to match the demand.
That of course is the Ponzi scheme. The funds will ALWAYS be insufficient for the demand, and this kind of scandal will ALWAYS recur.

It's funny that the VA is supposed to be both "no frills" and high quality.
I call bullshit.

Pogo said...

The supply of the medical care needs to be raised to match the demand.
An example of the liberal hubris: central planning can defeat the market.

The fact that this belief has been repeatedly disproven (and has never ever worked anywhere) has not however dissuaded its adherents that they are nevertheless correct and that this woeful method should be repoeated on ever larger scales.

mark said...

The html link worked in preview, but apparently not when posted. Here it is in it's full form, just copy and paste to a browser window:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2008/03/03/naftagate-leaked-memo-of-obama-advisor-and-canadian-consul-meeting.aspx

former law student said...

The supply of the medical care needs to be raised to match the demand.
An example of the liberal hubris: central planning can defeat the market.


Yes, the same insidious planning that allows McDonald's to ordering and start frying more burgers, or ensures that new housing tracts include room for an elementary school. Or helps Starbucks decide where to open a new outlet.

M. Simon said...

*

the memo [pdf]

*

Pogo said...

Yes, the same insidious planning that allows McDonald's to ordering and start frying more burger
No, it's not the same; not at all, not even a close resemblance.

You are talking about central planning in a market where prices are controlled, which is completely different. Quite simply, the centrally planned market, with fake 'Medicare' prices cannot succeed because it loses the essential and nonsubstitutable information contained in a real price.

And by 'cannot succeed' I mean it is an impossibility; failure to grasp that issue is a colossal failure, an error repeatedly engaged by the left, facts notwithstanding.

madawaskan said...

Thanks guys.

From that memo I would just say that it looked like Goolsbee went out of his way more than once to reassure Rioux that Obama was not meaing the entirety of what he was saying to the US electorate.

Here is this quote: He[Goolsbee] Also said the real "blood bath" is over expanding free trade to Peru and Korea?

Didn't Obama during the last debate say that he wanted to do more funding for South America?

Particularly funny is the reference to Obama as "the least protectionist -unintelligible-" candidate of the democratic nominees.

The Energy bill section of the discussion was interesting-but you have to love the veiled warning that Rioux was giving Goolsbee-

In short: Do you know where YOUR electricity comes from? Do ya punk?

Answer: Er, no, ghee I didn't know that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Yes, the same insidious planning that allows McDonald's to ordering and start frying more burgers, or ensures that new housing tracts include room for an elementary school. Or helps Starbucks decide where to open a new outlet."

You really have no grasp of the theory of supply and demand and market forces on costs ...do you?

the wolf said...

I'll bet there are even some guys in shorts on State Street right now.

Whoa! Ann, if I recall correctly, didn't you have a post recently opining that men should never wear shorts? I thought you were daft at the time (and still do, if you still think that), but does the above quote imply that you've changed your minde?

Paul Collacchi said...

To Lonewackodotcom

Here's a view on Obama and trade that appeared on Fox News:

" MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: ...

The truth is they're both doing the exact same thing. They're both saying horrible things about NAFTA now, and they're both essentially free traders.

HUME: You think so, really, now. You think if president each would be a free trader?

LIASSON: I think they are not saying they are going to pull out of NAFTA. They're talking about renegotiating it around the edges, seeing if they can improve it in terms of environmental and labor protections.

I think they have both been pandering to Ohio voters. Don't forget, in Texas, on the border, NAFTA is popular."

Seems obvious. I saw it live and read the transcripts a dozen times. He's a careful speaker. Very disciplined.

Most of his so-called "affluent" base benefits from free trade, and I doubt, being free-trade Democrats, that they take any issue with trying to cut slightly better deals that include labor and environmental issues.

former law student said...

You really have no grasp of the theory of supply and demand and market forces on costs ...do you?

Hey, weren't you the one complaining because there wasn't a VA hospital down the street from your client? The private hospital you have nearby is not part of the VA's cost-containment model.

Put it this way: if we enlist more soldiers, we'll have more veterans, so we'll need more doctors, etc. to treat them. This is not rocket science. The same logistics knowledge that lets the army order sufficient beans and bullets will enable the feds to provide our veterans sufficient health care.

Pogo said...

This is not rocket science.
Actually, it's far more difficult than that.

The core argument is that the socialist method of organizing production is utterly incapable of using the dispersed, tacit, and ultimately subjective knowledge that is available within a spontaneously organizing competitive economic system based on private property rights, and thereby ultimately fails on numerous levels.

The same logistics knowledge that lets the army order sufficient beans and bullets
This is an assertion you have not in fact proven to be the case.
Do they accomplish this?

Roger said...

FLS: if the government could increase its appropriations and take in consider inflation and those sorts of things, you would be right in theory. Unfortunately the things you are talking about are controlled by a political process that is influenced by many many other constraints.

former law student said...

available within a spontaneously organizing competitive economic system based on private property rights

Do we have one of those? This is an assertion you have not in fact proven to be the case. Frankly, in our system where taxes subsidize food production (to the point where raw whiskey is being burned as fuel), and where the price of oil is completely controlled by the suppliers, free-market arguments are a tough sell.

Pogo said...

there wasn't a VA hospital down the street
There is no evidence that the location of VA hospitals is based on supply and demand at all. More likely, as with all giovernment buildings, a a political basis for the decision is far more likely.

Two veterans hospitals, in Manhattan and Brooklyn, will remain open after a three-year campaign by city officials and representatives in Congress to save them from being closed or consolidated as part of a nationwide restructuring plan.

Market forces ain't got nada to do with it.

Pogo said...

Do we have one of those? This is an assertion you have not in fact proven to be the case.

According to 2008 Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings, The USA is 5th in the world, behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, and Australia.
QED.

Now show me yours.
Show me how accurate the US military is in the distribution of its bullets and beans. Otherwise, you're just making stuff up.

Pogo said...

In contrasty, the free market for bullets and beans in my town works perfectly. I do not need a requisition form at all, nor do I need to wait for a required signature, or for the next shipment, or for Democrats to vote spending approval.

Beans are mine for the asking at the local Hyvee.
Shotgun shells and other ammunition are available aplenty at Fleet farm.

Joan said...

DBQ, if you'll allow me to derail the comments for a moment here and put on my Thyroid Cancer Survivor counseling hat: please refer your client to the latest protocols from the ATA, available at Thyca.org. In most cases, survivors out of the active treatment phase can be followed using a blood test for thyroglobulin (our tumor marker) and a neck ultrasound. There is no need for nuclear scans after the initial clean scan in the majority of cases. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say this is rather revolutionary and has improved the quality of life of thousands of thyroid cancer survivors (including me.)

On with the politics, economics, etc...

Fen said...

dbq: That's a really good solution. Sell the farm that has been in the family for 3 generations and go live in some shit hole city, because the VA will not allow him to receive treatment under their auspices/plan at a local facility. Gee.. why didn't he think of that?

Ha. FLS's recomendation to move reminded me of a Noonan article advising Democrats on how to win:

"Liberals/leftists as a class--and I'm sorry but really, you've become a class--don't usually know people who shoot. They don't like people who shoot. They look down on them; gun owners are boobs and yahoos out in the sticks killing Bambi. As for living in a rural area where there's no nearby police force, why don't you just . . . move?

Ann Althouse, have you ever read this? You appear to be taking the same path Noonan did. Esp on Free Speech: "Be pro-free-speech again. Allow internal divisions and dissent. A vital political party should have divisions and dissent."

Dems: "This is the Democratic paradox: You want so much to run America and yet you seem not so fond of Americans."

Thoughtful Dems [not alhouse-haters] may want to check out Noonan's advice, if only because she was once you. Aren't you the least bit interested in how your party lost someone like her?

Why don't you just move... Priceless.

MadisonMan said...

Joan, this is something my sister is going through right now. The thyroid removal was in December, and the latest scan shows too much thyroglobulin -- but it was the first post-op scan, and maybe another does of I-131 will help. I'm hopeful at least that the next scan will show a downward trend. The thyroxin levels were a-ok though.

This all occurred in the EU -- and it was a nightmarish. Getting the surgery was really a full time job for her.

Joan said...

MadisonMan, I'm sorry to hear about your sister's ordeal. Don't worry about thyroglobulin readings if her surgery was just 2 months ago. It's much too soon to be looking at it, as the radioactive iodine (RAI) will work to kill off any remaining thyroid/thyroid cancer cells over the next 6-9 months. I'd be happy to send along any information I can to help (see my blogger profile for my email). Thyca has support group meetings in many cities and an active Yahoo! Group where questions can be asked and answered. The archives on the Yahoo! Group are a fantastic resource.

Sorry again for the threadjack. I'm always surprised to see thyroid cancer pop up in different forums like this one, but as a support group facilitator it's one of my jobs to try to get out as much information as I can.

Michael said...

former law student: Yes, the same insidious planning that allows McDonald's to ordering and start frying more burgers, or ensures that new housing tracts include room for an elementary school. Or helps Starbucks decide where to open a new outlet.

Thought experiment:
Nationalize Starbucks. Reduce the price (not cost, mind you; that will still have to be covered via an increase in taxes) to zero.

Immediately, two things will happen.
1) Almost all of Starbucks' competitors will go out of business. Competing with "free" (well, not free, just 100% subsidized via taxes) is just too much of a burden.

2) Lines will form out the doors of Starbucks as people who would never have considered paying $4 for a cup of coffee suddenly decide they're going to wrap their lips around that big government teat and suck that free high-end coffee for all their worth.

An increase in demand would be an understatement

So, more stores will need to be built. Bureaucrats will get involved, so will politicians, and those new "free" Starbucks stores will be built in locations most convenient to their most generous donors. Land purchases, shipping contracts, supplier contracts, and building contracts will all be steered to "contributors" without regard to price nor quality.

No effort will be put into being competitive on service, products, nor price as there won't be any competitors. What innovation there once was in the coffee business will cease to be necessary.

Derek Kite said...

Michael:

It gets worse. The demand is high, obviously because there are too many people who know how to make latte's. The solution is to cut the training so they stop stimulating demand.

And when the shortage of latte makers becomes acute (18 month wait for a family doctor in a major Canadian city, including pregnancy consultations) the latte makers are forced by law to work 24 hours shifts. When the latte makers complain, newspaper letter to the editor pages are filled with irate comments on how dare you complain, we paid for your schooling. The majority of latte makers get educated and move to a neighboring country where latte makers are paid what they are worth.

Oh, and if you have a real need for a latte, you have to wait 6 months before someone decides you need one or not. If you die of caffeine withdrawals, well, you died for your country.

Oh, and a provincial supreme court has ruled that it is a denial of fundamental rights to security of person to essentially deny latte's by excessive delay. The solution of course is to guarantee grande latte's by a certain time, but if you want or need something else, the wait gets longer. Or start counting once the latte maker sees the water boiling.

Derek

Michael said...

And let's not forget, those baristas are now unionized government workers. Should they prove incompetent, crooked, or go on strike (but I repeat myself), you won't be able to fire them. And even if you do somehow manage to fire them, you'll be demonized by the left for decades.