December 24, 2009

The Senate finally passes the health care bill — and the question is, for people who wanted the bill to pass: How good or bad are they supposed to feel?

Liberals mull nuancefully:

"There is so much that is wrong with it -- and the way it was made -- and, at the same time, so much that is right that you just have to shake your head in despair and in wonder." — David Broder.

"At the moment of ... historical triumph, liberals are retreating from politics into languor, rage, and other incarnations of anti-politics. One day they may look back upon this time with longing." — Jonathan Chait.

"It's been a long time since the legislative system did anything this big, and people have forgotten how awful the victories are. But these are the victories, and if they feel bad to many, they will do good for more. As that comes clearer and clearer, this bill will come to feel more and more like the historic advance it actually is." — Ezra Klein.

112 comments:

Skyler said...

Historic advance? Only in a marxist sense. I guess we'll all eventually be living in an anarchic utopia according to that point of view.

vbspurs said...

I'm not sure how others feel, but it's clear very few Althouse commenters got up early to watch the vote and rushed back to the blog to make comments -- given that it's been an hour, and mine is the first commentary.

Nuancefully? What does it take for Liberals to be happy, satisfied, and fulfilled politically? More than this President can offer, I shouldn't wonder they're finding out.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Ahh, maybe it's not been an hour (it's just CST). I see Skyler posting up top.

Palladian said...

While the liberals are busy "making history" the rest of us are just trying to enjoy the last shreds of our freedom and prosperity.

Yeah, you just made history. Now it's time for us to make you history.

rdkraus said...

They should feel good. One more incremental nail in the coffin of a once great country.

bearbee said...

Will Sovereign Debt Defaults Bring the End of Socialism?

One can only hope.

“Socialism is workable only in heaven where it isn’t needed, and in hell where they’ve got it”.

Palladian said...

Isn't it nice to know that the Democrats just gave themselves an their parasitic constituencies a big Christmas present using all of our credit cards to pay for it. And like the spoiled, entitled, petulant, pants-shitting children they are, they're already not happy with it. "But daddy, it's not the biggest, most expensive model!! Wahhh! My friends in Europe got real socialist medicine!"

verification word: mosess ... Where is our Mosess to lead us from this desert?

AprilApple said...

From NRO's Robert Costa:

"I spoke with Congressman Bart Stupak yesterday, the tough pro-life Democrat from Michigan, and I was struck by his tone. Without naming names, he acknowledged that the congressional agenda is now being driven by legislative favors and winks. People are getting pressure to get on board, get some kitty, or get the heck out. Stupak seems uncomfortable with the whole mess. As are, he says, a lot of other members, from both parties. Even with his concerns, fat chance he stops this train. He's trying to put up a good fight on abortion language, but there's only so much he can do. While he protests, others, to be sure, are getting whispers/threats from Pelosi and Obama. Those two think they can lose Stupak, keep the Nelson language, and buy off the rest of the on-the-fence crew, with nice grants for the local college back home or that green-jobs firm next to the district office.

....[]Certain liberal bloggers also get infuriated about time, when what this debate really needed was more of it. The founders didn't want a country that lurched Left or Right, but one that moved ahead, and led, incrementally. The false deadlines, the impatience, and maudlin Senate-floor theatrics have all been dismal examples of the debate's decay.

It's Christmas Eve and we already know we got coal. The overzealous Left has wailed and won a major victory. They've passed a bloated bill that perfectly captures their statist state of mind. Americans stew, but our brake pedal (Congress) simply isn't working. We want more time, more thought, more debate, and all we got is this lousy bill rushed to us like some Tickle Me Elmo we never wanted but everyone thinks we're crazy about. Let's hope the gift is returnable. This is one receipt we're sure to keep."

Ann Althouse said...

"got up early to watch the vote and rushed back to the blog to make comments"

I don't live like that.

This blog is not about me constantly monitoring the news and setting up a comments section when things happen. You can comment over at news sites, you know.

Ann Althouse said...

"the rest of us are just trying to enjoy the last shreds of our freedom and prosperity"

Or the last embraces and pillow talk before coffee and oatmeal seem more exciting.

Life goes on, whatever the damn govt does.

Live it, before you're 63 or 80.

Big Mike said...

But between Broder, Chait, and Klein, which of them will actually be happily living with the consequences of this bill? Or do they have enough money so that they can buy whatever healthcare they need on the future black market?

Night2night said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Dad said...

The quotes demonstrate clearly the stupidity (or utter cynicism) of the chatterng class. As the One would say, let's be clear about something.

There is damn little to respond intelligently to. No one, certainly no Senator or pundit, can tell us with any authority what's even in the goddamn bill. They haven't read it.

Second, what, if anything, becomes law is yet to be negotiated.

What can be duly noted, though, is that the Senate is stuffed with whores. Not new news, but true nonetheless.

Oh, and Merry Christmas to the thieving jackasses.

vbspurs said...

This blog is not about me constantly monitoring the news and setting up a comments section when things happen. You can comment over at news sites, you know.

You got the wrong end of the rhythm stick, Ann. It's like you think I wrote that you didn't blog about it for an hour, making your commenters go into a lather waiting for your post on the topic. My point is exactly the opposite -- that I believed you had posted over an hour ago, but that Althouse commenters hadn't woken up early to monitor the "historic" vote and then to post on your blog. My point is that we were not eager about the vote, not hanging impatiently on your blogpost.

But then, I think you understood what I wrote, so I'm not sure why you mistook my words like you did.

Henry said...

Reader, suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.
Mark Twain (1835-1910), American writer, on Congress

AprilApple said...

Ezra is saying: "Learn to love higher taxes, higher premiums, and government regulatory bliss. It's for your own good, you're just to stupid to understand it yet."

Jason said...

If this bill passes, the death panels are likely to make sure you don't make it to 80.

Ron said...

Merry Christmas sweet Vic!

dbp said...

Life goes on, whatever the damn govt does. Till it doesn't.

vbspurs said...

Or do they have enough money so that they can buy whatever healthcare they need on the future black market?

Because of our large Hispanic population in South Florida, there are slews of "clandestine medical doctors" here, including dentists. I think you hit the nail on the head, Big Mike.

Those medical services will be an alternative for those unwilling to pay exorbitant insurance premiums, forced as they are to go up to cover those with previous medical conditions.

vbspurs said...

Merry Christmas, darling Ron!!

All I want for Christmas, is a happy and healthy Ron, and all who provide me with insight and laughter throughout the year. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

Shanna said...

Knew this was coming, we'll just see how awful it turns out to be.

Merry Christmas!

Can I say one thing...is there a reason that the democrats and Obama felt they needed to make people do this shit at times when congress doesn't usually work, like midnight and christmas eve? It seem rude, selfish and unnecessary of Obama or Pelosi or whoever to set deadlines around holidays. Especially since the idiots haven't even bothered to pass the normal budget yet.

Palladian said...

I had no time for pillow talk this morning. I'm currently on a train, speeding through the land of bitter, gun-clinging religion-clinging tea-baggers, past an antiquated half-burned out nuclear power station, past the oxidized remains of a once-productive society, hoping for a happy but lean holiday and trying to forget that my life is being changed not that far away by the worst people in the United States.

garage mahal said...

This is tyranny, and we must re-route all funds back to Iraq, so they can continue to enjoy health services on our dime. As Palladian says, Americans are parasites.

shoutingthomas said...

Human life is sloppy and haphazard.

I don't really think any of this has been about healthcare.

We're all trying to make sense out of what is essentially senseless... sickness and death.

No amount of legislation of intellectual grinding will fix the reality of sickness and death.

We haven't fixed anything. The healthcare system will continue to struggle with the inevitability of sickness and death, and it won't be pretty, and there isn't enough money or legislation in the world to change this reality.

HKatz said...

When reading about the bill, one thing that was remotely funny:

"Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has worked relentlessly to pass landmark health-care reform legislation, drew laughter during the final vote on the bill in the Senate Thursday morning when he started to vote against the bill instead of for it. When his name was called, Reid said "No. I mean, aye. Yes!"

(Betraying his true thoughts about this "health care reform" farce?)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/24/AR2009122400662.html?hpid=topnews

AllenS said...

Good point, garage. It's worse than the holocaust.

Ya, you betcha.

WV: boxopcus

AprilApple said...

Iraq. There's always a lefty to remind us about Iraq. Funny - the debt incurred during all our years in Iraq is nothing compared to what Obama and the democrats have done to our debt in less than one year.

Stimulating.

chuck b. said...

"I think you understood what I wrote, so I'm not sure why you mistook my words like you did."

Indeed. The reply you got was conspicuous for its sharpness. Touched a nerve, one guesses.


Ezra Klein said the creepy thing, rubbing his eeevil hands together at the end:

"Bad a system as it might be, it's the only one we've got, at least for now."

Mwahahahaha!, echoing darkly into the abyss.


WV: deddilis. Deddilis flu to close to the son.

Jon said...

Wouldn't it be fantastic if the Republican won the special election for Ted Kennedy's seat next month- thereby leaving the Dems with only 59 votes, and killing Obamacare? What a wonderful historical irony that would be. Unfortunately, it won't happen.

Night2night said...

Well, I'm not a liberal, but I do work in the medical device QA business and I suspect this is going to dramatically change how our business works. Right now, a medical device company worries about passing a certain bar for safety and efficacy with the regulatory authorities (FDA) and then addresses payment issues with doctors usually making the argument for utilization and the insurance companies agreeing to pay depending upon outcome and alternative treatment modalities. Medicare reimbursement is big, but not "make or break".

New "eventual model": some type of "star chamber" (IMAB) will have close to absolute power over use of new medical devices and reimbursement for them. If the world never changed, or changed slowly, this might be fine (we could spend our time arguing about health care priorities). Instead this will slow the development of new treatment modalities and will hurt the quality of medical care in the US. All in the service of philosophical empathy (the core of the Democratic religion).

Jason (the commenter) said...

Ezra Klein: ...people have forgotten how awful the victories are.

Especially the Pyrrhic ones.

OhioAnne said...

"We haven't fixed anything." Shouting Thomas

Four words that say it all.

For all the trillions they admit it will cost (and the "whatever comes after trillions" they don't admit to it costing), they actually haven't "fixed" the system.

And that is what really ticks me off.

The system needed (and still needs) repair. If a final bill never gets passed and we are left with the status quo (which looks like the "best case" scenario at this point), no one will tackle "fixing" anything in the system for another 50 years - if it doesn't collapse first.

I looked back at John Mackey's essay from the WSJ this morning. In two pages he exhibited a better grasp of reality than our entire Senate has done with their vote today. (And, yes, I blame the Republicans as well. Had they addressed some of the individual points over the last 8 years, thing may have different today.)

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

It doean't matter if the bill is good or bad. What matter is that it passes so that Obama can claim victory. That's what is really important.

cold pizza said...

2010. Brooms or pitchforks. -cp

wv: exanspan; The gulf between former An(n) commenters.

class-factotum said...

they actually haven't "fixed" the system.

Yep. People will still die.

vbspurs said...

wv: exanspan; The gulf between former An(n) commenters.

LOL!

Given the segue, I'd like to make a Christmas wish -- to have Ruth Anne, Simon, and Trooper York come back to Ann's blog. They are SORELY missed. But I understand...

former law student said...

How good or bad are they supposed to feel?

It's like opening a box of Florsheims when you had asked Santa for Air Jordans. Nice, protects the feet and all, but not really what you wanted.

I have new things to worry about this morning. In this season of the Prince of Peace, in the twelfth paragraph of an oped that starts by saying that President Obama should rejoice that Iran rejected his nuclear deal, one Alan J. Kuperman urges that we bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent proliferation. Kuperman has learned nothing from our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan except how darned easy they were.

bagoh20 said...

If, as we all, on both sides claim, hate this deal making bribery and armed robbery taking from one American and giving to another to "make history", then we can simply vote out everyone involved. That would end it instantly. We have the ability now to research candidates and find out what they have done in the past without depending on paid political ads to inform us. The ball is in our court.

Of course, you have to be willing act to on what you learn and not what you feel. Are we up to it, or will we continue to choose poorly and blame others for our choices. We must be willing to vote out those we agree with but who act badly. The congress may have bad members and even an evil culture but, if a organization sucks, it's the fault and the job of the ones doing the hiring and setting the standards. That's us, not them.

vbspurs said...

ShoutingThomas wrote:

The healthcare system will continue to struggle with the inevitability of sickness and death, and it won't be pretty, and there isn't enough money or legislation in the world to change this reality.

You know, it's funny.

Americans (and here I presume you are one!) talk about sickness and death regarding health care, but for Europeans who have had socialised health care going on 50 years now -- it's all about living. It's about the quality of life one gets, not trying to impede the slow decay of death.

In some countries, nationalised health care pays for a month's stay at a health spa, such as in the Netherlands. Similarly, there was a proposed government programme in Denmark to provide paraplegics with State prostitutes, so they wouldn't go without sex. Most countries in Europe provide parents with extremely generous maternity leave, including dads.

This is why Europeans do not understand, literally it is incomprehensible to them, why Americans INSIST on not having the State "better" their lives. As they see it, if the State doesn't exist to benefit its citizenry, what is it there for?

I've had this conversation with them for all my life. Bottom line is, Americans have come to expect the best, the most immediate attention; they don't like government telling them what to do; they also realise there's no such thing as a free lunch -- someone is going to pay for it.

Given their national characteristics, is it a small wonder Americans dislike government-run health care?

Cheers,
Victoria

andrew said...

How are they supposed to feel?

They better feel damn good about double digit employment being permanent if this passes.

When it gets cheaper to pay out overtime routinely vs. hiring and paying for that employees entitlements, businesses will just work their people harder.

We will see the American work week increase alongside unemployment.

vbspurs said...

Chuck B wrote:

Indeed. The reply you got was conspicuous for its sharpness. Touched a nerve, one guesses.

Guilty conscience about not posting enough these days? Which is ridiculous, since we all understand and in fact, are in the same lack of time boat.

Big Mike said...

@Victoria (the one with the spurs), I'd like to see more of Hoosier, too.

vbspurs said...

Oh, man! Hoosier is gone? :(

garage mahal said...

It's not government run healthcare, dimwit.

Big Mike said...

@class-factotum, yes but now it will be their duty to die.

traditionalguy said...

Stay healthy all you Marxists because the damage now done to Health Care you have been recieving by this destroying of the incentives to do good good to anyone contained in the replaced semi-free market system. Thanks be to the always Smiling lover of death and his gang of thieves. He has a goal: the death of unborn extra people and the death of extra elderly people so he can steal more.

Big Mike said...

@Victoria, I hardly ever see comments posted by him anymore. I recollect seeing one some days ago -- last week, I think.

MayBee said...

people have forgotten how awful the victories are.

Too bad none of these guys had this pull up your pants and see the forest through through the trees kind of determination through the wars.

Who will be the first Dems to campaign against this bill they voted for, ala No Child Left Behind and the Iraq War Resolution?

Sofa King said...

I'm past the point of anger or outrage. I'm just sad. The course we are on is so obviously unsustainable, it can't hold; yet our politicians just push the pedal to the floor, seemingly blind to the danger. For all their talk about environmental sustainability, it staggers me that liberals cannot see this, or perhaps they don't care. Don't they understand that we are broke and getting broker? Don't they perceive that the days of huge economic growth that made this trajectory possible have have been eradicated by rules and regulation?

This can be fixed, of course, but not without a lot of cuts that cause a lot of pain to a lot of people, meaning it won't be fixed, not withing the current system. This situation will only end when it cannot possibly continue any longer. I have no idea what form this end will take, but I am resigned that it will be accompanies by a lot of suffering, and I am likely to see it in my lifetime.

Yet where else can I go? I am trapped on this planet. The only way off this ride is too terrible to contemplate, for now. I pray it remains so.

edutcher said...

The Lefties quoted in Ann's post wanted something done in the name of their concept of principle to advance the World Socialist Revolution. What happened was done for power (and may prove both Pyrrhic, as Jason noted, and a lot more transitory than they think) and no other reason. Most of the "uninsured" will remain so, thus putting the lie to the idea that this was a manifestation of Lefty compassion.

garage mahal said...

This is tyranny, and we must re-route all funds back to Iraq, so they can continue to enjoy health services on our dime. As Palladian says, Americans are parasites.

???? Whatever.

AprilApple said...

Iraq. There's always a lefty to remind us about Iraq. Funny - the debt incurred during all our years in Iraq is nothing compared to what Obama and the democrats have done to our debt in less than one year.

Excellent point. somebody did a chart noting that, if you add up all the debt incurred by eight years of Dubya, it's still exceeded by 11 months of that racked up by The Zero.

Ann Althouse said...

"the rest of us are just trying to enjoy the last shreds of our freedom and prosperity"

Or the last embraces and pillow talk before coffee and oatmeal seem more exciting.


Excellent point, Madame.

PS Anyone wondering about the many 20-hour pauses between posts the last few days: Meade booby-trapped the Meadehouse house and grounds with multiple ambush sites of mistletoe and he and the Missus have been in serial lip-locks a result.

WV "beria" (no kidding) Proof positive that secular "religion" has killed more people than the "opiate of the masses".

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: Life goes on, whatever the damn govt does.

If that were true, Dr. Althouse, the United States of America wouldn't fucking exist. Get a grip on something resembling a clue, please. You're better than this. You know it, and I know it.

AprilApple said...

It's a Festivus miracle. Another historical achievement!
"Congress raises debt ceiling to 12.4 Trillion"

Mere monopoly money.

And our wonderful new tax-payer funded health care system hasn't even kicked-in yet. Glory be.

MnMark said...

Assuming that the reconciled bill gets signed into law, I think it's safe to say that from now on any complaints people have about health care in this country will be blamed on the Democrats. They are forcing the bill on the rest of us without a single non-Democrat vote. They felt no need to compromise enough to get Republican votes; their arrogance is such that they feel fine with using their majority to force what they want on us as though this is their country alone and they don't share it with the other 50% of the population that don't want socialism. So from now on, they own anything that's bad about the health care system, whether their new 2,000 page monstrosity directly caused it or not.

What I find especially galling is that they did nothing to actually address the reasons health care has become so expensive. I never heard a Democrat discuss that. All I heard them talk about was ways to give more free health care away.

former law student said...

Don't they understand that we are broke and getting broker?

Doesn't the Right understand this means we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman?

Let's do something for Americans for a change. The biggest recipient of US foreign aid has had universal health care for decades -- why not us?

Big Mike said...

Meade booby-trapped the Meadehouse house and grounds with multiple ambush sites of mistletoe and he and the Missus have been in serial lip-locks a result.

Judging by the expression on her face when she shows up in pictures or video clips posted on this site, the Professor is in no need of mistletoe.

Lady, you glow.

PatCA said...

"The motivation is simple and can be reduced to one word: power."

Why does Chait dispute this? The easiest, simplest way to reform health care would be to remove government mandates and restrictions and give the free market a try for a couple of years. What's missing is the power over on-sixth of our economy.

garage mahal said...

Let's do something for Americans for a change. The biggest recipient of US foreign aid has had universal health care for decades -- why not us?

You know why. Because they despise a vast proportion of the people in this country. They don't give a shit about the costs, [please disregard CBO scores here] just who it's going to.

former law student said...

they did nothing to actually address the reasons health care has become so expensive.

Advances in diagnosis and treatment, overlaid on a health care system that has been largely unchanged since the 1950s.

We need a Deming for health care.

Darcy said...

A very heartfelt Merry Christmas to the Althousians I've enjoyed so much over the past year.

May God bless you all.

Sofa King said...

Doesn't the Right understand this means we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman?

I think it's starting to sink in, you know? I mean, maybe - just going out on a limb here - MAYBE that's why Bush's approval dropped so low? Maybe that's why the Tea Party polls higher than the GOP? Yet as much as Democrats prattle on about it, have overseas expenditures gone down since Democrats took over Congress? Since they took over the Presidency?

You don't get any credit for spotting a problem, when all you do is make it WORSE.

Pogo said...

I'll side with Sofa King here. It's all too sad to think about, and no comment of mine can convey how awful this is.

It's like hearing that the most malignant narcissist at work, who makes every day a living hell, has just been appointed your boss, and that every day from now on will be worse for it.

"Life goes on, whatever the damn govt does."
That's only partially true. The gummint can make life very very hard for people. Life goes on, but the limits and roadblocks and fresh bureaucratic hells will taint every day, like a perpetually grey and unyielding sky.

I feel like a man without a country, and must now look for a new home.

OhioAnne said...

former law student said...
Don't they understand that we are broke and getting broker?

Doesn't the Right understand this means we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman?


You raise an issue that relates back to one of my pet peeves - the debate that never happened.

The only problem is that it isn't a "right-left" issue.

We should have asked if going into Iraq and Afghanistan was in our long-term best interests. I would respect the response that the US should NOT be the world's policeman.

However, some of those who vilified Iraq and Afghanistan were responsible for the Balkans. Some of those also called for greater involvement in Darfur and other hotspots around the world. They were OK in being the world's policeman when they thought it appropriate.

Instead of debating what our overall policy should be, the discussion became about which problem areas were "good" and which were "bad" and that breakdown appeared to be along party lines.

Both parties are guilty on that one.

Skyler said...

Doesn't the Right understand this means we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman?

Sure. We should get out of Japan, Germany, Egypt, Korea and all those other places that are leeching off our defense budget and concentrate on killing al Qaeda.

Sofa King said...

It's like hearing that the most malignant narcissist at work, who makes every day a living hell, has just been appointed your boss, and that every day from now on will be worse for it.

I feel like it is finding out that a loved one has an incurable cancer. You know the end is coming, but as to how it will come, and when, and how much suffering will happen in the mean time, you can only hope to dull the pain.

And you hold out hope that a medical advance might come along just in time.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

Doesn't the Right understand this means we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman?

That's a big part of what this is all about, isn't it? The Lefties threw a hissy fit during 'Nam and hated Reagan because the World Socialist revolution was being derailed. They've always hated the fact that money has gone to defense that could go to making this another Leftist banana republic.

Without the Last, Best Hope of Humanity, the Red Chinese may be able to take up where the Russians left off. That is, of course, if they don't collapse financially.

Well, considering Bambi has put off doing anything about health care until Valentine's Day to see if his poll numbers go up (and people cool down), it may not be a done deal yet. The Honorables are going to have to vote on this turkey and possibly cap-and-trade just in time for campaign season and maybe some will start voting for their own self-preservation, seeing as how The Zero and Tippytoes have left them to twist in the wind.

Big Mike said...

Meade booby-trapped the Meadehouse house and grounds with multiple ambush sites of mistletoe and he and the Missus have been in serial lip-locks a result.

Judging by the expression on her face when she shows up in pictures or video clips posted on this site, the Professor is in no need of mistletoe.

Lady, you glow.


Agreed, but a little extra holiday cheer doesn't hurt.

Big Mike said...

I think the world needs a policeman, and I don't know which other country I'd trust with the job.

Night2night said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Night2night said...

@ former law student,

Advances in diagnosis and treatment, overlaid on a health care system that has been largely unchanged since the 1950s.

We need a Deming for health care.

One, yes, but what drove those advances? Companies driving for profits by treating real patients, or attempting to get a place at the government trough by getting one of our elected poobahs to agree they're indispensable to public health (i.e. see minimum insurance requirements for drug addiction treatment, mental health, etc.). Guess what happens to corporate medical R&D when it’s forced to chase a limited number of dollars for American patient treatment (hint: companies like Johnson and Johnson develop very little in house; they buy promising new technology developed by others if they think there is a market for it; eventually, in our brave new world, that market will be defined by government fiat).

Two, yes, but what are the metrics which define your capability studies? When I worked for a major medical device corporation some years ago they instituted a six sigma program whose major output appeared to be the training of six sigma black belts. Eventually they revamped the program to require a charter for all six sigma projects which quantified the dollar saving amount (which was the point for them). What do you suggest for "healthcare"?

c3 said...

It is a noble goal to want all Americans to have health care.

It is a despicable trick to leave the huge bill to our children and grandchildren.

SMGalbraith said...

Yes, by all means let's stop being the "World's Policeman" and cut out military spending in half.

That's $350 billion or so.

Let's see, $12.5 trillion in debt minus $350 billion. That leaves us with $12.15 trillion to pay off.

Yep, we're in much better shape now.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Liberals should feel the same mixture of relief over a decision made, and excited anticipation of what is to come, that Thelma and Louise felt as they drove off the cliff.

ricpic said...

The best day yet for Zippy because the most wounding to Amerika.

Chip Ahoy said...

This is going to be great.

Now, the next time through the mail I get a report that looks like this:

Service date: 06/142832/2002

Service for:
1.) xkjioksjio lskokel sdŰskxl☂xkjklksi …..343843oi2
2.) xielkd¿skkcil … skeioiij3434.dsl.3k.s
3.) 343583.3j593ldjdkrk°ilkkoielklsji … 29093.22klkd
4.) lab: ‱34343889slkkdk334.s

billed by doctor: 399483099s.sufi3eisj
covered: 323jek3j4.xx
approved: 3jkjslkk.2383439.23
we paid: 343j.32
they paid: ekjijiie3ee.s;;
you may be billed: 3isllkifd939.22

Then I can go, Ha Ha Ha Ha, La la la, * rip, rip rip * You can all just piss off.

But srsly, now that I'm aware of Ben Nelson, seen what he's done, watched him squirm like a ... something squirmy, I must admit to an inappropriate fascination with his hair.

buster said...

Merry Christmas to Ann Althouse and all her commenters. Good people and a great blog.

wv: unmenesq -- the practice of using "Esq." to mean "Squiress" when addressing women lawyers

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As Palladian says, Americans are parasites.

I've been thinking about this parasite analogy.

It is the politicians and all of their corrupt hangers on that are the parasites on the community of hard working Americans who are just trying to get by, make a living and enjoy life.


There are a few rules of parasitism: number one being..."Don't kill the host". The other is to be unobtrusive so the host doesn't realize that they are being sucked dry by the parasite.

The Democrats have just broken both of those rules. We are painfully aware of the parasites now that they have been so emboldened as to bring out into bright daylight their contempt of the public, disregard for our wishes and the blatant graft, corruption and purchasing of votes.

We are now more aware than ever that we are carrying these parasites and that they are threatening our continued existence.

Time for some pest removal measures.

SMGalbraith said...

As Palladian says, Americans are parasites.

No, human beings can be parasites.

As Tocqueville pointed out, citizens in democracies believe that the government is doing it for them, on their behalf. And so they're willing to give up duties and responsibilities that they would never surrender to a dictatorial government.

Pogo said...

My father, God love him, has forever kept to an obstinate refusal to perform simple car maintenance, especially oil changes.

This arises from a mixture of magical thinking, a pigheaded denial about the way the world actually works (as opposed to how he thinks it should), and a conspiracy theory involving greedy automakers and oil companies colluding against him.

So he will not, will not, will not change the oil.

On Christmas Eve some 20 years ago, he unexpectedly knocked on my door, at our little house in southern Minnesota, 4 hours from his home.

His arms full of presents, I bade him in from the falling snow. I noticed there was no car outside, though.

The car, it turns out, had suddenly stopped running out on the Interstate just south of town. And then it burst into flames. He was able to rescue the gifts, but the car burned down to nothing.

He is a Democrat, naturally, and long held a similar fervor for socialized medicine.

I fully expect US healthcare to meet a similar incandescent end.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

You know, especially on Christmas Eve, it might be helpful to look at this in a more generous light. Perhaps America will be better off because of these systemic health care changes. Perhaps the more vulnerable among us will be able to obtain health care that they just can't get at all now.

I am reminded of my own attitude towards certain Republican ventures. I had a negative knee-jerk reaction to W's invasion of Iraq, for instance, but I am now convinced that it had positive consequences that aren't appreciated and maybe aren't even known.

And besides... if you are dissatisfied with this, isn't it better to direct your anger toward productive outlets, rather than destructive ones?

I hope God, if he or she exists, will bless this health care venture and help it along. After all, it might need divine grace for it to work.

ricpic said...

I, who know nothing about the mechanics of a car, know to change the oil every 3 to 3 1/2 thousand miles. And it's cheap! On top of which it gives me a good feeling about myself everytime I drive away from the Jiffy Lube. There. I've done it again. Staved off catastrophe. Your Dad was denying himself a great and easy to come by joy in life, Pogo.

rollingdivision said...

"Eventually you run out of other peoples' money", we have. This is a large part of obama's redistribution and reparations policies.

Donald Douglas said...

American Power tracked-back with, 'ObamaCare Now Goes to Conference: Public Option Remains Stumbling Block to Compromise'.

The Crack Emcee said...

So I'm living in France and a friend has a panic attack at a party. I tell them it's a panic attack, relax, turn the music down, and talk in calm, lowered voices, everything will be fine.

"Oh, you Americans, you think you know everything! Call the doctor!"

45 minutes later, an ambulance arrives from a hospital we can see from the house, and The Three Stooges enter the scene - and Larry and Curley are headed straight to the bar. Moe assumes an air of authority and tells the panic attack victim (a female) to remove her clothes, which she does with no argument, in front of everyone. He then proceeds to take some blood - from her ribcage.

Eventually it's decided she needs to go to the hospital, and we're told to follow in about 45 minutes, after she's been processed.

We get to the hospital and it's one of the spookiest things I'd seen in Europe: No one's in the lobby, or anywhere - the place is deserted. We're wandering floors, looking for someone - a nurse, a doctor, an orderly, anybody - but there's no one to be found. As we do so, I'm looking in the rooms we're passing because I can hear the moans of the patients, right? And there's nothing in them but some poor neglected soul with a cross over thier bed. No IV drips, no "machines that go *ping*" - nothing!

We finally discover a clearly over-worked nurse who, to my surprise, knows exactly where our friend is. And when we get to her room, it's the same scene: there's nothing in there but a bed with a cross over it (They're a country that sells itself as rejecting organized religion, remember?). All I could think is "This is insane."

The next day, my mother-in-law sees me looking distressed, and I tell her I'm bothered by what I'd seen - I'm worried about her, in that village, with that lousy level of care. She takes my hand, walks me to a window that faces the hospital, points to a red light on top of it and asks me what I see. I say a red light. She says "We've got a helecopter", meaning she could be flown away if anything serious happened. She walked away in triumph, apparently over not just me, but America itself. See, they've thought these things through.

Of course, instead, she died in excruciating pain at the hands of a homeopath who gave her water, always telling her it was powerful medicine and her deterioration was merely her and the "medicine" fighting off the "toxins" before she'd get better. And after she died, the french quack had sex with my french wife and then, after my divorce, the two of them went on to kill two more people in France before the medical authorities contacted me (I had been attempting to clue them in for over a year) and finally moved in to strip the quack of his medical credentials.

So, that's my tale of the system - including provisions for "alternative medicine" - the Democrats are shooting for here. Congratulations, kids:

We've made it!

Pogo said...

"Perhaps America will be better off because of these systemic health care changes."

Dad, is that you?

Shit Dad, change the goddamn oil and stay off the internet; you know you always end up at a Kennedy assassination site for six hours.

Big Mike said...

@Crack, you were an American in France, and, worse yet, an African-American in France. No wonder no one would listen to you. For all the allegations about how nasty and racist the United States is (and especially the Republicans among us), my impression of Europeans in general and the French in particular is that they treat black people with a level of condescending contempt.

Perhaps your experiences, which were first-hand while mine were second- and third-hand, were different? But it doesn't sound that way from your anecdote.

Sofa King said...

And besides... if you are dissatisfied with this, isn't it better to direct your anger toward productive outlets, rather than destructive ones?

But I'm not angry anymore. The present course is not sustainable with or without this health care bill. Passing this bill is like...like giving cigarettes to a terminally ill patient. It only hastens their ultimate fate, but it soothes for a little while.

Passing HCR does nothing to help ourselves. Not passing does little to help ourselves either. Pass it, don't pass it. It won't matter for all that long.

Big Mike said...

@Julius Ray, I rather doubt that things will turn out well. In fact, I think that if anything those of us opposed to this wildly misnamed "reform" have understated how bad we think it will become.

bearbee said...

It is a noble goal to want all Americans to have health care.

It is a despicable trick to leave the huge bill to our children and grandchildren.


And along those jolly lines, this just in:

Treasury removes cap for Fannie and Freddie aid
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receive unlimited future funds from taxpayers to stay afloat


Happy serfdom to all.

bagoh20 said...

"Doesn't the Right understand this means we can no longer afford to be the World's Policeman? "

Yes, I prefer the American government policing the world rather than the alternative, and no I do not prefer that same government deciding my health care over the alternative. This is really hard to understand in the the unexamined sound bite mind.

Defense as a component of the budget is 1/3 what is was in the 1950s and one half what is was in the 60's. Defense is not the spending that's out of control.

More importantly, the idea that we can disengage from the world militarily and everything will be just fine is lazy and wishful thinking. We would more likely save some for a short time and then be pushed to those extreme spending and killing levels of the past out of necessity born of neglect. That's how we got there the last time.

Render unto Cesar that which he must do and let free people do the rest.

bearbee said...

Further O/T

B. Frank: Fannie/Freddie are not in a crisis

SMGalbraith said...

Does anyone actually believe that if America "came home" - i.e., we drastically cut defense spending and our overseas committments - that most of our debt and other economic problems would disappear?

Really? Have you examined the budgetary numbers? The unfunded obligations?

That doesn't even include the question: If the US isn't the dominant power who will replace us?

The Crack Emcee said...

Big Mike,

Naw. I was once attacked by Nazis in France, and chased away from an ATM by a group of people who were sure - positive! - I wasn't there to get money but to get their money. In Strasburg, a kindly-looking salesman thought he was being clever by viciously offering me some "niggerheads" in front of my white wife ("What? That's what they're called!")

Because their diet's so restrictive, I occassionally found myself at the local kabob place. That was interpreted as me and the Arabs "doing something", though no one could tell me what I - an American during wartime - would be doing with a bunch of Arabs but getting something to eat. (Going to an internet cafe was always kinda scary because they were all filled, exclusively, with angry-looking Arabs.) The french don't even like printing the word "black" in the paper.

And you're right, there is a palaple (sp?) difference between racisn here and there: in Europe, racists have such an intense hatred - white hot, like they're going nuclear - I could easily pick them out from across a room, or feel their "hate stare" coming at me from behind.

It always surprises me that Americans, when discussing France, never mention racism, or how backwards they are in many, many other areas (Call me when they discover standardized plumbing,...). It feels like a betrayal, of me and my country, because my experience ain't nothin' like the travelougues I see on PBS:

We're better than they are - by a long shot - or, at least, we were.

Big Mike said...

@Crack, the French have enjoyed a reputation for open-mindedness based (I guess!) on how they treated Josephine Baker and Jack Johnson. From my few trips to Europe, and talking to others who had gone over on business, I came to believe that their reputation was wildly undeserved when contrasted with the reality.

Heck, I only had black curly hair and I was repeatedly told, back in the day, that I had "hair like a nay-ger."

(That was back when I still had most of my hair, of course.)

jayne_cobb said...

According to Reid we're supposed to be joyous:

“Yes, we’ll hear an earful,” Reid added, “but it will be an earful of wonderment and happiness.”

OhioAnne said...

A thought just occurred to me:

If I understand this correctly, if this bill is finalized, they will start collecting money this year, but services will not be provided until 2014. That's part of the "bait and switch" to make this thing look deficit neutral.

What are the chances that Congress will not spend the money collected for something else in the meantime?

This plan could be out of money before the first day it is implemented.

David said...

One of the greatest dangers facing us is that sooner or later the world will tire of buying and holding our debt and financing our deficits. Then we will either have to pay hugely high rates, default or make radical cuts in spending. This is the inevitable fate of our current path. This bill is one of many steps closer to that terrible day.

Ann Althouse said...

"The reply you got was conspicuous for its sharpness. Touched a nerve, one guesses."

Sorry for the misreading of the misreading. I've heard a few too many promptings to put up posts about the latest news event. The idea of getting up early to monitor the vote and so forth is completely not where I am here at Christmastime.

bagoh20 said...

"The idea of getting up early to monitor the vote and so forth is completely not where I am here at Christmastime."

Nor should it be.

Another aspect of the treachery of this congress is that this is how they choose to pass this scam. Slipping it past, buried among the crumpled wrapping paper and discarded fur and pine boughs of a worried people attempting to enjoy a holiday of peace, family and intimacy. Hiding government theft behind their backs as they wish us Merry Christmas. We should be very proud of our representatives.

Opus One Media said...

So sad to see the lightswith conservatives out in full force here. This will take years to work itself into place and you have to work it through and not expect miracles the first few years...but they again you are the instant gratification ensemble...you want want want but you won't sacrafice anything. Your place is always first in line and it can't cost you anything real or imagined.

This country needed this first step. obama is quite right that what we have now can't be sustained and your side offered nothing except "no" and cut taxes like either of them has anything to do with health care.

merry chirstmas.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Don't be silly, Crack. The French hate American blacks because they're violent Americans. And American right-wingers hate blacks because they're poor, i.e. dregs on the capitalist system.

So, you know, everyone's got their excuses.

BTW, quacks aren't exclusive to France. And many of them practice nothing related to homeopathy. Just traditional "medicine". You know, the kind that isn't evidence-based. Or as I used to hear proud physicians refer to it, "cookbook medicine".

edutcher said...

jayne_cobb said...

According to Reid we're supposed to be joyous:

“Yes, we’ll hear an earful,” Reid added, “but it will be an earful of wonderment and happiness.”


Obviously, rumors about Dingy Harry being a teetotaller are clearly unfounded. Either that, or I want a lot of what he's smoking.

OhioAnne said...

A thought just occurred to me:

...

This plan could be out of money before the first day it is implemented.


And this surprises you in what way?

Alex said...

Why is that all the new troll have 3 names? Very weird coincidence if you ask me.

Alcuria said...

This will take years to work itself into place and you have to work it through and not expect miracles the first few years...but they again you are the instant gratification ensemble...you want want want but you won't sacrafice anything. Your place is always first in line and it can't cost you anything real or imagined.

Actually, you are correct. Americans expect quality health care, so much so, that going to the doctor for every sniffle, twinge or pain has become commonplace for many. But "it is what it is".

All these measures that are batted around - adding/subtracting this much to the budget deficit, bending the cost curve up/down - those will not be the measures that folks will use to gauge if health care reform is successful.

No, the measures will be if people believe their health care is better or worse then before. Measures such as if their spouse or lover, son or daughter, grandmother or grandfather gets care under health care reform that is as good in quality as before, does not result in no longer waits for appointments than before, and allows people to see the same doctor as before.

If people are satisfied with those measures, they will be throwing palms in the path of Democrats. If they are not satisfied, then they will be an outrage that will cut across all demographic categories and socio-economic groups.

Talking about abstracts such as bending the cost curve means nothing to most people in their day to day lives - health care quality and delivery are concepts that people can grasp onto - and loved ones that are sick sharpen those concepts like few other issues.

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Alex said...

What a great day for America, and a black day for RethugliKKKans. Yippie-kay-yah motherfuckers!

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Mr. Forward said...

"Life goes on, whatever the damn govt does."

Or until the death panel signs off.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

These so-called "Christian" politicians (and one "observant" Jew) have done everything humanly possible to see to it that the lives of the American people will be held hostage by the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies forever - or until a revolution comes along. Not much is going to change in the meantime - and it will be a very mean time, I assure you. We will continue to die two years younger than they do in Europe. We will continue to have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world. Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

We celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace while waging two senseless wars at such a safe distance from our shores, most of us don't even bother to pay attention to them. We will continue to throw away our national treasure on the military industrial complex while the well being of our children is gambled away in the plutocracy's crap game. We are a nation addicted to weapons of war. Let's face it, that's never going to change. If tomorrow our armaments industry ceased to be, the entire American economy would implode before sundown. So much hypocrisy. So little space. Santa Claus is coming to town.

"Blessed are the peacemakers.
for they shall be called sons of God."

Jesus of Nazareth

Oh, and did I mention that I hate Santa Claus? I really do, you know. I say this without any fear of coal in my stocking. You see, I haven't received a thing from the hideous old freak since 1966. That was the year I spiked his hot cocoa with a generous portion of Old Granddad. Santa, although a rather large person, doesn't hold his alcohol too well. I found this out the hard way. After leaving our presents under the tree, he took off from the roof or our home and crashed into the Finkle house across the street. Two reindeer were killed. Horrible carnage.

To boil it down to the unpleasant essentials, although I love the story of the nativity and the true meaning of Christmas, I'm beginning to despise the Christmas holiday - but that's just me. This year I am afflicted with Grinch Syndrome. Or might you call it, "Scrooge Disorder"? The problem is that I am - and always have been - at heart, an angry person. I try to cover up that rage with a facade of silliness, but that's basically who I am. As Frank Sinatra once sang in the very last recording he made for Columbia Records in 1952, "Don't try to change me now."

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan

OhioAnne said...

Alex might have had more credibilty if he talked about online shoe sales. LOL

edutcher:

I already knew this plan was going to cost a lot more than the claims being made by the Democratic leadership. What just occurred to me is that they (the Congress) are stupid enough to sink us even sooner by using the money for something else.


Opus One:
This country needed this first step. obama is quite right that what we have now can't be sustained and your side offered nothing except "no" and cut taxes like either of them has anything to do with health care.

Which, of course, is not accurate in the slightest. A number of options were put forth - despite President Obama and others calling for anyone who disgreed with him to just "shut up". If you watched some of his speeches, you would have seen the Republicans holding up some of the plans they had put forth, but were simply ignored.

Makes one wonder why the Democrats were so fearful of reviewing and debating those plans if there was - as they claim - "nothing" there. One would think it would be to their benefit to SHOW the American people the alternatives and explain why they wouldn't work. Misinforming people by saying plans were not even offered simply increases the resentment at their bill being rammed down out throats.

This will take years to work itself into place and you have to work it through and not expect miracles the first few years...but they again you are the instant gratification ensemble...you want want want but you won't sacrafice anything. Your place is always first in line and it can't cost you anything real or imagined.

Coming next from Government Motors:

You will be required to buy one of their cars or be fined. (And, if you don't pay the fine, you will go to jail.) The cost of the car will depend on how much you make - not on the quality or amenities of the car. (The amenities you get, of course, will be dictated to you by others.) It's OK because you should get some money back from the government to pay for the car that you are forced to buy - but what you get and what you are charged may be different than what someone making the same amount of money with the same amount of dependents in another state gets and pays. What you get back may - or may not - cover the costs of the car.

Oh, and you have to pay - and pay a lot - for the car now, but you won't see it (or any repayment) for three years. No one has decided yet how or who is going to make the car yet.

Who would welcome that deal if it was actually about a car?

Who wants to bet their lives on this particular Congress "getting it right"?

gk1 said...

It almost seems as if the democrats don't think they will pay any price for this monstrosity when it passes. Nancy Pelosi has openly opined she might lose a few seats but it would be worth it. I guess we'll see if she's right.

kentuckyliz said...

Life will go on no matter what the gumming does.

Spoken like a person who does not have a history of three primary cancersand a persistent untreatable cell count in her bloodstream.

I don't fear the short run, but I do fear the long run as Obama's dreams come true and it does become gumming health care.

I expect NICE won't be very nice to me.

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