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November 05, 2014

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No surprises here Jon and I expected the margins to be even bigger. Appears even some Republicans did not vote.

A footnote, My neighbor and two of my old cop associates just prior to the election added AK47's to their guns safes, just in case,

"for that day".

Now this election will make it easier to get ammo.

I do like Emils take on the election on his last two posts on National Suicide.

America has become one sick f country.
http://www.aol.com/article/2014/11/05/90-year-old-florida-man-facing-jail-time-after-feeding-homeless/20989057/?icid=maing-grid7%7Caol20-s%7Cdl20%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D558113

"How bad it is"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/05/1342013/-Here-s-how-bad-it-is-Check-out-this-little-race-in-Arizona?detail=email

Arizona has matured into adulthood as an ultra-Red State. Talk of fluctuations between Republican and Democratic control of Arizona is the wishful thinking of a distant past. Hope that real estate development will once again pull Arizona out of its economic doldrums is more wishful thinking of the state's youthful past. Born under a bad sign of automobile sprawl, an unstable upbringing of relentless population growth, lack of parental guidance in the form of competent local government, Arizona will remain a stunted right white entity.

The most amusing fact about the Arizona elections is that Republican constituents voted a resounding NO to a raise in legislator pay!

Quality is not the issue.

I took a light-rail trip the other day to a Portland suburb anchored by a huge shopping mall, Clackamas Town Center. I felt I was in Arizona but with gray skies, green hills, and constant drizzle. There's no real sense of place here, so Republicans do very well preaching low taxes and "personal responsibility" (translation: we don't care if you live or die, just don't bother us). After a half hour of this nightmare, I returned to central Portland and took a shower.

Oregon legalized pot, re-elected a rather damaged Democratic governor, and returned one of the US Senate's most consistent liberals by a wide margin. Want to know the difference between Arizona and Oregon? Portland. Cities connect people in ways that help them understand complex relationships. Suburbs disconnect people and turn them into consumers. Portland is a real city and Phoenix is a metastasized suburb. One state is blue, the other red, and it's not hard to understand why.

Arizona's built environment is its political straitjacket. If you want a blue state, you'll need to pay higher taxes and support more regulations. You'll need density, transit, civic institutions, and economic diversity. You'll need, in short, to be more like Portland and less like Phoenix. Good luck.

There is no greater fortune than relationships made manifest before your eyes. Someone else came before you and created the structure for it. You're merely a caretaker for someone else's creation. Portland looks loved because of those efforts. Greater Phoenix looks unloved and votes that way.

Republicans have your number. They know you don't want to pay to make life better for people who will come after you. They know it's all about you. They know you'd rather die than sit next to a black person on a bus. They know you hate complexity and love easy answers.

Republicans win for a reason in a place like Arizona where ideology creates its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Obviously it's not worth supporting with taxes let alone your personal efforts. From there it was an easy slide to a comfortable bottom. Welcome home.


I think I want to move to Copenhagen.

Prop 122 passed. Basically, it says AZ can ignore anything from the Federal Government it wants too. Although I hear there are still thousands of votes still to be counted. Maybe it will eventually fail.

In my district, Schweikert, my congressman, didn't do any campaigning neither did his opponent. I didn't even know he had a Democratic opponent until I got my ballot. Even though, the dem got half as many votes as Schweikert.

For the last couple day all I can think about is what country can I move to?

Two words: Diane Douglas.

Good analysis, Jon. Michelle Reagan as the Gov-in-waiting? This is perhaps the most dismal result of all.

Interesting interview with Portland’s mayor here

http://www.urbanophile.com/2014/11/02/the-urbanophile-interview-portland-mayor-charlie-hales/

Gratifying to see his efforts to save or increase blue collar employment. Too many governments throwing this demographic under the bus.

Ken Silverstein had a good piece in Harpers a few years ago about how Arizona represented the future for the U.S. Our state appears to be irretrievably screwed, but the rest of the country is no more than a decade behind.

Not sure you can say Arizona is redder than ever. Arizona has always had a hard right, high efficacy 25-30 percent. Only 34 percent of Arizonans voted. It's just math, the same math that put Mecham in office. As for people not voting for the brilliant Fred Duval? Please. The Dems, from the top of the statewide ticket on down, ran terrible, uninspired campaigns. They allowed the GOP to establish the narrative, failed to effectively counter-punch, and failed to inspire or incite anyone to vote. It was a campaign where to a person, they seemed to not want to get their hands dirty. In addition, the outreach and get-out-the-vote machine was non-existent. I'm an independent and did not get a single knock on my door by a Democrat.

John D'Anna, you could have done the knocking but you're an "independent" so you've excused yourself from actual participation. This points out why Arizona is a red state. Most people just want to be left alone. It shows in the state's drive-everywhere, no-sense-of-place urban form. It means an uphill battle for those people who want Arizona to be more than sprawl, cars, and gated communities. It's a feedback loop that starts with anomie and ends with dingbat Republicans controlling all the levers of power.

Want to know why Democrats won't get their hands dirty? Look in the mirror. Everyone thinks it's the other guy's job.

friend of mine went to Democratic headquarters early on for yard signs and bumper stickers. None available. Staff sent her one place they sent friend back to starting point. Staff didnt know where to get signs but took her phone number and said someone would call her. they never did call. I am still suprised by the low turn out of Republicans.

Side-note: Three new comments here:

http://www.roguecolumnist.com/rogue_columnist/2014/10/national-suicidereally.html

(One detailing a theory of why Democrats lost so many seats in the midterm elections; two follow-up comments regarding ISIS and its vulnerability to decapitation.)

cal lash wrote:

"A footnote, My neighbor and two of my old cop associates just prior to the election added AK47's to their guns safes, just in case,

"for that day"."

Der tag? Wow. Shades of the American Liberty League.

See also John Roy Carlson's "Under Cover: My Four Years in the Nazi Underworld of America" (E.P.Dutton & Co., 1943). Great book, and astonishing proof that it CAN happen here, if we're not careful.


Side-note: Are the black market oil sales of ISIS and the Kurds driving down the world oil price? New comment here:

http://www.roguecolumnist.com/rogue_columnist/2014/10/national-suicidereally.html

I, for one, am already siuck and tired of the whine and cry of those Democratic friends of mine. For 6 years all I ever heard was "Hey...we are in Office...if you don't like it, change it at the voting booth" Even President "I hate America" Obama said that a while back... If you don't like the way things are, vote for something different..
President "I hate America" Obama said, very recently..."I am not up for reelection, but my Policies, my ideas are. If you don't like it, votes are the way to change that" (or very similar words to that effect.
Well, the voters have spoken, and it was MAJOR CHANGE, obviously... Even in his home State of Illinois...a DEMOCRATIC State...they elected a GOP over their Democratic incumbent Governor! THAT should tell you something!! Listen up!!! Learn...this means "Work together".... That obstructionist, Sen Reid will no longer be able to shelve Bills from the House...I heard there are 40 work Bills sent fromt he House by "Bipartisan efforts" in the House that Reid will not even bring to committee, let alone for debate on the floor. Remember when Pelosi said "We don't need to talk to you, we have the majority vote"... Well...we had better start working in DC the way they were elected to do... or there will be a huge GOP presence in two more years!
I am a registered IND!!!I voted for Duval, Rotellini, Goddard... but...the GOP won almost every seat.... LIVE WITH IT and start working together!!
Obama has us on the wrong road in many areas...not all, but many.... this is NOT a Dictatorship, although President Obama thinks it should be... WORK TOGETHER... Mr. President, your Party had TOTAL CONTROL for many years, and you NEVER passed an Immigration Bill.. Quit your threats of "Executive Order" and work with the GOP and Dems to get something done...and it's NOT AMNESTY.. I would vote for NOTHING until you can secure the Border...
So...quit whining and get to work...

Skip nice rant
but
I do have one question
How do you secure a border?
Is that like "winning the War on Drugs"
Even the Berlin wall didnt work
so take a hit and relax.
The elder will be by to help U work through
how you voted for sure losers.

Good take from Lawyers, Guns & Money blog:

Democrats need to just stop trying to appeal to old white people. White men voted for the GOP 64-34. It is a loser strategy. This demographic overwhelmingly votes GOP.

Alison Grimes, who ran an utterly pathetic and embarrassing campaign, refusing to say whether she voted for President Obama is the prototype of how not to do it. No one is going to believe you. Heard a bunch about the North Carolina race last night and all the discussion about how Ebola, ISIS, and immigration dominated voters’ agenda. When I hear those three things in this context, I hear three words: racism, racism, and racism. And the Supreme Court supporting racist policies to restrict blacks from voting by eviscerating the Voting Rights Act allowed racists to indeed restrict black voting in meaningful ways that may well have swung North Carolina to the execrable Thom Tillis. Developing entire political campaigns to swing a few of these voters to the Democrats isn’t going to work–as we saw quite clearly last night.

Instead, Democrats need to give Latinos, African-Americans, and the young a reason to vote.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2014/11/postmortem

Dems will do better in '16.

First they won’t have the Obama millstone to carry. He has been a good news-bad news story for the party. Recall the '08 election where enthusiasm (hope and change) swept the dems to power. Turns out he's just another political hack (the Illinois variety). Hopefully he won’t wreck the party any worse in the next two years than he has in the last six. You all know I’m a tea party guy. Even to me, this guy has been a real disappointment. I’ve never liked his politics and it has gotten to the point where I don’t like him either.

Secondly, the party leadership – assuming there is some sans Obama – will have time to get their shit together. HRC appears to be the front runner for POTUS nomination. She carries a little baggage of her own – but I don’t think anything toxic. But Bill on the road is a real plus. The guy really fires up the base.

Finally, the GOP congress will have two years to piss off the electorate.


wkg, Obama's personality is cool to a fault. He's not Bill Clinton who could charm a large room of strangers and make each one believe he was their best friend during during the course of an evening. That, I suspect, explains your disdain of Obama's politics. Otherwise, what is there? Signing the Republican health care proposal into law? A modest economic stimulus that proved insufficient for a robust recovery but enough to prevent a second depression? Your only trenchant if misleading talking point concerns deficits that Obama inherited from Bush, which have decreased dramatically. It's worth noting that you were not a Tea Party person when Reagan and Bush the Lesser respectively tripled and doubled the National Debt.

The Republican Party excels at neutering Democratic leaders like Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Janet Napolitano, Joe Biden, et al. Even a star like Elizabeth Warren, an ebullient and unapologetic liberal, struggled in Massachusetts against a blow-dried ex-model when Republicans accused her of fabricating Native American bloodlines (Fauxcahantas!). If she ever runs for president, look for that to be a "major issue".

Obama does have shortcomings but he's not a radical, or even much of a liberal. His main fault is that he's a Democrat. Your party can find the flaw in any human being, magnify it, and then tribalize around your contempt for the person in question. While I'm awed by your tribe's ability to substitute personality chatter for policy debate, it's not something I particularly respect.

regardless of what one thought of Obama he was the only choice both times. As a 74 year old Republican I have had no realistic choice since Ike. My dream is a agnostic cross between Teddy Roosevelt and Elizabeth Warren. To date all Republicans eyeing the White House are nut jobs with Jihadist agendas.

Tea party folks haven't realized they are also considered "Uncessary Eaters"

Skip, there is no "working" or "compromise" with the Republicans. That day came and went with Newt's gob'mint shutdown attempt. They are nothing more than nihilistic obstructionists on their knees before their rich benefactors and eager to please them.

Yes, the New Confederate Republicans are fascists. They kiss the asses of those above them and tread on those below them.

Yes, the Old Union Democrats are fascists. They kiss the asses of those above them and tread on those below them.


@Soleri: personality is the worst way to vote. I certainly think character matters to some degree. While I think Bill Clinton on the road is a plus for the party – I find him right up there with Bush II as someone I just can’t bear to listen to. I can handle several minutes of Obama before I just have to turn the TV off. What does all this mean? Nothing at all. Two of the most effective presidents (at least in my lifetime) in terms of getting stuff done (for better or worse) were Nixon and LBJ – and it’s hard to think of two less likable guys. JFK enjoyed enormous popularity – even I liked listening to the guy; any reasonable assessment of his administration would conclude he was marginal at best.

I’ve never had a man crush on Reagan. Talked a good game – but the reality of things speaks for itself. Verbiage and action = different.

A president who doesn’t get the respect he deserves is Ike. Perfectly content to administer the office, play golf, play bridge and leave society transforming itself to somebody else. Extracted us from Korean War. First to warn of military-industry complex. His only real “accomplishment” was the interstate highway system – a big mistake in hindsight.

Hard to believe that as recently as the Clinton administration we had balanced budgets. This has been an issue for quite a while. I couldn’t be a tea party person during Reagan and Bush II because there wasn’t one.
Re: “Signing the Republican health care proposal into law?”

My recollection is that the ACA was passed pretty much along party lines; with the slenderest of margins. Doesn’t really matter what law was passed as the administration has been making seat-of-the-pants changes all along the way.

Re: “Obama does have shortcomings but he's not a radical, or even much of a liberal.” Yep. He’s a product of Chicago/Illinois governance. That is reward our supporters and punish our opponents.

Re: “Your party can find the flaw in any human being, magnify it, and then tribalize around your contempt for the person in question.” Dems are pretty good at this to. Carl Rove and Dick Chaney have been off stage for six years now – and yet the invective still comes.

@Cal: Re "Tea party folks haven't realized they are also considered "Uncessary Eaters". Does this mean that geezers like you and I should just slither under a rock and die?

WKG no but i suggest u don't accept a dinner invitation from the Cokes.

wkg, Obamacare (aka Romneycare) was devised by the conservative Heritage Foundation in 1994 as a Republican alternative to Hillarycare. The key feature is the individual mandate, which makes buying private insurance mandatory. It's telling how radicalized the Republican Party has become that even their own policy, the one implemented in Massachusetts by their own 2012 candidate for president, was deemed - ooga booga! - SOCIALISM!!!. It's also telling that Republicans have yet come up with any alternative to their own plan. I suspect they can't because there is none. This is the key. Once Republicans decided, in their nihilistic fashion, to oppose Obama not on legitimate policy differences, but as the devil incarnate, they stopped behaving like a governing party and more like a biker gang. Yes, because the American public is rather stupid, they got away with it, hence the negative polling for what has widely been considered a great policy success. Coverage is up, premiums are down, and it appears that health-care inflation itself has been tamed. This is huge. Of course, the system of rewards inside the Republican Party cannot admit that since demonization of Democrats is their own real core principle now. That and making the rich richer.

I couldn't stand listening to Bush II, but I can acknowledge that good things in his presidency, such as support for African nations in battling AIDS. He also bailed out the banks in 2008, which helped avert an even worse global economic crash. That said, the decision to lie this country into a completely unnecessary war, one that has now destabilized the Middle East more or less permanently (see: ISIS), and will cost us over a trillion dollars when it's all the costs are tabulated, remains the greatest foreign policy fiasco in American history.

Dick Cheney may be the most contemptible man ever to hold high office in this country. I'll admit he drives me nuts so I won't try to justify my opinion. I hated LBJ as intensely if not more for Vietnam, and yet he did accomplish great things. I can't think of any good things Cheney accomplished, however. Nixon, of course, had great successes despite his horrifying moral and ethical lapses. I'll admit to some nostalgia for both him and LBJ, but I much prefer the human and humble Obama to those very flawed titans.

Given a choice of joining the Tea Party or The Hells Angeles is an easy decesion. I'll go with the guys that understand the real world not the delusions of whacko Jihadist pols like Ted Cruz and other slime balls of same ilk.

WKG describes Obama,

"Yep. He’s a product of Chicago/Illinois governance. That is reward our supporters and punish our opponents."

Both LBJ and Nixon were notorious for rewarding their supporters and punishing their opponents. It was the way politics was conducted until the present Tea Party method of running the country into the ground rather than negotiating legislation.

"Chicago Politician" is a vapid meme of the right wing echo chamber. WKG hasn't provided any facts to support Obama's corrupt acts because they don't exist.

How local government is conducted in Texas and the South is a fine example of corrupt institutions as opposed to corrupt acts by individuals. Segregation, Jim Crow laws and present day voter suppression would not be be defined as corrupt by WKG because they were or are legal. The effect is of course far more horrendous than some local pol taking bribes.

The Chicago Way any day over Tea Party nihilistic form of government. .....

Pre-A.C.A.

85% had health insurance
15% did not have health insurance.

Post-A.C.A.
The 15% who didn't have coverage now have coverage

An unknown % of the 85% no longer have coverage due to high cost. They now gamble and go uninsured.

Nice trade. Bullshit. You do-gooders have no problem screwing one group to help your latest "pet cause".

"Coverage up, premiums down" What dream world are you living in???

Premiums are way up. Deductibles are way up. Coverage is way down.Fees to the IRS per policy holder are way up. This year companies pay $1,000 per employee to the IRS to cover subsidized premiums. It goes up even more next year. What the hell are you smoking up there??????

@Ruben...

I just renewed my health insurance for next year (I work for one of the larger local employers). Premium and deductible did not change (the deductible is high but always has been because I have a cheap policy, haven't been to a doctor in years). The people I work with complain endlessly about all things Obama, and I hear little to no talk about insurance premiums at the water cooler.
That's one mans experience for what its worth.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/opinion/paul-krugman-obamacare-fails-to-fail.html?_r=0

I know Paul Krugman is probably not going to persuade those of you on the right. Still if there was a good counter-argument, supported by data rather than right-wing hysteria, I have yet to hear it.

There is a kind of cruelty masking itself as wisdom when a subject like this comes up for debate with right-wingers. Every first-world nation on the planet has provided universal health care. Those nations deliver health care at a much lower cost (per capita GDP) than ours, with less health-care inflation. If we wanted to save money in this nation, we would have a single-payer system like Canada's. If we wanted to save a lot more money, we would have a nationalized system like Britain's. Instead, we have had a patchwork system, mostly deregulated, with huge disparities in coverage and grotesquely expensive. Why? Mostly right-wing propaganda stating that to do what every other advanced nation on Earth does would mean SOCIALISM!!!. This is a bugbear we must bow to since we are a nation of idiots.

Even if you're largely devoid of compassion as right-wing ideologues tend to be, it would still be in your self-interest to want universal coverage. It would be cheaper to regulate this monster than simply feed it every greater and greater amounts of our treasure. But since giving the "undeserving" health care somehow violates some moral stricture among sociopaths, we have hamstrung ourselves in the name of "freedom". There is no free-market "fix" for a free-market disaster like the American health care prior to Obamacare. There's regulation, there's public resources, and there's basic fairness. If those violate your harebrained ideology, it's probably because you've been living in Arizona too long.

@100 octane: the biggest cost of the plan is that insurance used to be a tax free benifit - now it's not. So your primiums went up by your incremental tax rate - probably something like 30-40%.

I retired in the middle of all this so I don't know much more about rates currenty being paid. I do know there were warnings about a "cadillac plan" penalty.

Of course you can blow all of this off since I'm nothing but a sociopath anyway.

As an aside: the equivolence no insurange = no health care is not entirely true.

@Drifter Re: "Chicago Politician" is a vapid meme of the right wing echo chamber. WKG hasn't provided any facts to support Obama's corrupt acts because they don't exist.” I wasn’t thinking of corruption at all. What I was thinking of was a State/City whose government is totally dysfunctional. The state is on the verge of insolvency. The city has sold an expressway and its parking meters to shore up operating budget. Selling Midway Airport was being floated for a while. I freely admit that I cannot point to any action by Obama that could be even remotely be called corruption.

@wkg...

Last year, after deductions, my federal rate was 11%. Or so says my tax person.

@Octane: was this your average tax rate or your incremntal tax rate. Average being taxes paid/income and incremental being tax on the next dollar of income. I didn't say so but I include state and local income tax in approximate rate.

wkg, you are wrong. Health care benefits are NOT taxable under Obamacare except for those relatively few Cadillac plans at the high end. This points out one of the problems with relying on the right-wing echo chamber for your information.

I know I fling the word "sociopath" rather freely but I want to make a point beyond simply insulting low-information right-wingers. What is the basic reason we have a nation? Since the Mayflower (Google: compact, foundation of society, etc.), we have created communities, states and a nation where there's communal support for basic civilization. You don't have to buy bottled water, or fear for your life walking down the street, or be uneducated, or watch your house burn down for want of a fire department, and at long last, die on the street for want of health care. We are social creatures who look out after one another. Now, if you're still living in a delusion that we are all Rugged Individualists (a shopworn myth very prevalent in places like Arizona, by the way), you might be angry to think that your tax dollars are going to support low-lifes and unattractive people. You read Ayn Rand. You think of yourself as a "producer" and other people as "takers". You want to opt out of this basic framework for something entirely different. Call it the Republican Plan. Reduce government to the size where you can drown it in a bathtub. The author of that pithy remark, Grover Norquist, is very prominent in your party, by the way.

So, you have people, many of whom as relying on Social Security, Medicare, and sundry other governmental programs failing to connect brightly colored dots. They think if it benefits someone else it must be socialism. If it benefits themselves, however, it's all well and good. Welcome to the world of right-wing America.

I use the word "sociopath" to describe people whose sense of reality is warped by greed and cruelty. I am sure that you are a perfectly nice person in your private life. But if you're supporting policies that make life difficult for other people, you're not being nice in a way that still matters. What we do in our private life is one thing but our public life is still very important. We are social creatures and political animals. We matter to one another. Sociopaths tend to deny these crucial connections.

Lastly, the care that people get in emergency rooms is very expensive (beside being occasionally too late). Hospitals don't simply eat that cost. They pass it on to society as a whole. You might wonder (probably not) why the U.S. pays 18% of GDP for health care? That's one reason. It's insane to deny basic preventive care to people just for the sake of some ideological fetish. It's also rather stupid. It is also decidedly cruel in a way that most civilized people around the world soundly reject.

"Per capita health care costs have been rising at just under 3 percent a year over the last four years, but that’s less than half the average annual growth in the preceding eight years."
http://www.factcheck.org/2014/02/aca-impact-on-per-capita-cost-of-health-care/

And, from 1990-2003
(Percent increase in prices)
Inflation generally 41%
Medical care services 88%
http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/medicalexpenditures/

One demographic that is hurting is the retired, but still not old enough for SS.

Unable to pay $1,400 per month for insurance , they went uninsured. Last month they had an incident requiring the emergency room. They now have a $10,000 balance to pay the hospital.

I'll print out the Krugman article and your comments so that they will feel better about their new 10K debt.

@Soleri: You point out my style of being a sociopath. I just do the stuff I’m more or less obligated to do: pay my taxes, obey the laws of the land (mostly), don’t throw trash around, show up for jury duty, vote, etc. Plus all those neighborly things like not playing to stereo too loud a keeping a functional muffler on the car. As you point out (I think) these are the kinds of things we should all do if we’re going to live in a place worth living in.

Would you recognize another form of this behavior: A person who simply won’t pull their weight? Whose life is in total dysfunction? Not for any disability, not for any mental condition, just plane slothfulness or amorality.

"Total dysfunction" is not a mental condition?
"Pull your weight" is that like pulling up your bootstraps?
"I freely admit that I cannot point to any action by Obama that could be even remotely be called corruption."
WKG, as Bush and Cheney should be prosecuted for Murder so should Obama and Holder be held accountable for giving a pass to the financial fraud by wall street and banker crooks. ( a typical Chicago political pass by the historically corrupt Cook County, Tammany Hall and Daily empires)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022600720.html and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_history_of_Chicago
and the 9 billon dollar witness as to why Holder and company are corrupt.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106

My problem with Obama, He has not a clue about the forest or the bears. Only because of pressure has he done a few environmental things when he could have tried to out do Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.
I always felt sorry for George Bush Jr as he family should have kept him in the closet or out riding his mountain bike. And I feel sorry for Obama as he had very little experience with the real world. We could have elected Sonny Barger and he would have done more or we could have invited Fidel Castro to run things for a while. After all both have defied the most powerful nation on the planet for over 50 years.

Soleri does the word sociopath come to you in the early morn or the afternoon indulgence?
Since you are not yet quite 70 I think you should give thought to maybe 8 more years to to Portland and then consider Salto, Uruguay or maybe a dying gasp in Amsterdam. But then Oregon does have assisted suicide. I was informed by two folks today they are leaving Phoenix for Oregon so they can die peacefully without interference from the Arizona "whacko" legislature. At 74 and on the edge of death I understand their intent.

Pollution is bad in Phoenix but I am giving second thought to going to Salt Lake where I hear it is even worse and so bad that the Mormon 12 apostles are having trouble finding god in the cloud. but I have been invited to Ken Sanders bookstore next to the Temple for a Charles Bowden Memorial. You all think I should go considering the "Mormon Murders"?

For SKIP, The eventual unification of The Americas and "Border Security (now thats a joke)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helmut-kohl/helmut-kohl-frauenkirche-speech_b_6124262.html?utm_hp_ref=world&utm_hp_ref=world

The Jon Talton fan club coffee is manana at 2 PM at Urban Bean

WKG: whats the difference between Democrat and Republican politicians. My take, nada they are all whores?
http://www.vice.com/read/auctioning-off-porn-stars-to-the-highest-bidder-is-not-prostitution-right-312

Speaking it of making it personal, I see the super intellectual elitist, Terry Dudas is calling folks Cretin's over on the blog Phoenix Seventies. Hey Dudas how about some agave juice in Nogo. We can get down and dirty.
No I am better than you chit.
I will invite Chapo, I hear Nieto is giving him passes as long as he doesn't talk about payoffs.
If thats not OK, I will meet you under the bridge at Swan and the river bed.

@Rogue: Perhaps you could do a post on Mormon and Phoenix. As I real outsider I’m having difficulty understanding the hostility the whole thing seems to generate.

@Everyone Else: please don’t get into this now. It’s a separate issue. I don’t want to precipitate a tread-jack.


The march of Progress continues in Tempe:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/lifestyle/historic-restaurant-to-close-it-s-doors/article/413458

^Sociopath in Birmingham seems to be drunk typing.
The whole Chicago politics thing is just hilarious: the assumption seems to be that places with the most investigations and prosecutions of public officials are the most corrupt, which is counter-intuitive, as anyone who has lived on earth and observed the machinations of local politics knows. The places where politicians suffer more federal oversight, and have more investigations and prosecutions of corrupt politicians are only different from Bismarck or Birmingham in that they get caught, which is actually a good thing. Phoenix is the world capital of bizaare political scandals and unprosecuted chicanery, and Midwesterners flock to it and congratulate themselves for having escaped the corruption back home.
It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Soleri does the word sociopath come to you in the early morn or the afternoon indulgence? Cal Lash

If I used another word with less bite, the message would be lost. As it is, the right's vexation here is understandable and telling. Don't call us something that means we don't care about other people! Because we don't! And that's a good thing!

Health care is good for people. END OF STORY. Every other advanced nation on Earth (hint: not Somalia, not Uganda, not Fredonia, not Randia, not Reagania) provides health care as a basic social good. Why? They're civilized. America, which is resembling more and more the dystopia we see in movies like Blade Runner and Mad Max, has resisted this lurch into 1st-world status with all the furor of a skinflint being told he has to pay a dollar more a month on his water bill.

If you think other people should die because AM radio and Fox News tells you that black people are not real Americans (or Latinos, gays, or some other non-majoritarian type), you're a sociopath. END OF STORY. Yes, I'm calling Republicans sociopaths. Wear it like a badge of honor. Of course, I'm spelling it out for you with a word that sounds like an insult to your virginal ears. But why are you insulted by it? Not caring whether another person lives or dies is the cornerstone of ideology.

Politics does not stop because your tribe thinks only well-to-do, white people deserve social goods. Those of us on the left think everyone deserves these goods even if they can't pay for them. These people include the mentally ill, the feckless, the physically unattractive, non-English speakers, sexual deviants, drug users, prostitutes, tax collectors, et al. You know: the kind of people Jesus hung out with.

I do understand your pushback, however. I'm a pointy-headed left-winger calling the decent town folk of Rubesville a bad name. Why he called us SOCIOPATHS!!!. To which I reply, why the fuck is that a problem? You sputter in disgust: just because we don't care if other people live or die is simply an opinion! There's no need for namecalling! You're being rude!

To which I say, yes I am. Now explain to me why my rudeness is worse than your inhumanity.

Ruben,

Your comment 'Unable to pay for insurance, they went uninsured. Last month they had an incident requiring the emergency room. They now have a $10,000 balance to pay the hospital.' - has very little, if nothing to do with Obamacare. Except that it may not go far enough to cover disadvantaged people.

Is it President Obama's fault that we do not have universal coverage? NO!
Can we still get there? Maybe.


"^Sociopath in Birmingham seems to be drunk typing."

Too many mint juleps?

@Pat: Let me start over. I’m sorry for the association of “Chicago Style Politics” = corruption to you. I certainly didn’t mean it. I said before and I’ll say it again: there is no hint of Obama being personally involved in any way with corrupt behavior. One could raise the issue of dealing with certain issues that have occurred under his administration – but I’m not. It would be an interesting tread to discuss the proper handling of civil servants behaving badly – but let’s not go there.

To my mind “Chicago Style” politics is based on considerations that are not based on liberal ideology. Again, this is a Phoenix oriented site – so let’s not get into dissecting this issue.

What I did mean is that Obama is a product of this environment and his performance reflects this orientation. Even Soleri says that he is neither liberal nor conservative. My way of summing up his outlook is based on the equation: “where does my support come from?” Maybe that’s the way of the world these days. I would rather that a chief executive (President, Governor, Mayor) act like he was everybody’s chief executive.

Btw: Birmingham/Jefferson County may have set the standard for corruption. The worst of this has been cleaned up – although there are a couple of organizations that may need a little more house cleaning.

An interesting thread would be: are large cities prone to corruption? I think the answer might be yes. Not because they are inherently corrupt but as the famous thief would say: “that’s where the money is”.

Oops. Meant to change my name back to wkg_in_bham. This sociopath stuff is getting old.

Soleri, no offence taken here. I have been offended by professionals. I was just jokingly inviting you to respond by suggesting Weird Portland juices might influence your writing.

"Corruption cleaned up" Ha, In 1950 Phoenix said gambling and prostitutes make for a bad appearance, and we want to make money developing properties, hence Charter government.
New Crime, Zoning.
The Phoenix Police Department for a few years had an Organized Crime Bureau. For less years it housed a federal White Collar Crime squad (of which I was a member). It's success of arresting politicians and creating havoc for wealthy sports entrepreneurs caused its demise. Political pressure on city management continued and so they found a police chief that would reorganize. OCB no longer exists.
And as Pat says crime in Arizona continues slightly below the radar. If good investigative reporters were allowed in Arizona the state would be back up in the news for corruption. So, for now Arizona is just in the news for being the Kookacracy leading the Nation. Mommy, Mommy I hear the bells tinkling, here comes the Ice Cream (Film Flam) man.

WKG, you dont think the Obama administrations actions regarding wall street crime is not corruption?
I had a disagreement with a respected friend over Charles Keating. My friend said Keating played fast and loose with the rules, but thats not a crime.
Tell that to the millions of average Americans that lost millions
because of fast and loose.
Sounds like "Fast and Furious"
And about that when questioned Holders answer was "kiss my ass".

enough, off to a fan club meet.

@Cal Re: “WKG, you dont think the Obama administrations actions regarding wall street crime is not corruption?” As I said above, the topic of “civil servants behaving badly” would make an excellent thread. But it’s off topic, so I’d like to take a pass here.

Back on topic, I think the performance of the executive branch played a big part in the election results – at least in Federal races.

Couple of things:

There are significant differences in Obamacare, Romneycare, and other Republican suggestions; to suggest they are identical (or even similar) is quite lazy.

Main differences include:

1. Romney vetoed significant parts of the Mass. bill; those vetoes were overridden.

2. Neither proposed government backstops for insurance companies (the so called risk corridor issue). I'm sure all you Obamacare supporters will be pleased as punch when the Federal Government starts making direct payments to health insurance companies.

3. The primary difference is that Obamacare expanded regulation of insurance companies and basically tells them what policies they could and could not sell. Many Republican ideas included direct subsidies (at the point of purchase)for private premiums-but not the unneeded, additional, and meddling expansion of regulation into the policies insurance companies could sell. Why couldn't the government just provide the subsidies (a good idea) and let buyers and sellers decide what policy is best? More nanny state nonsense.

4. It expanded Medicaid rather that driving more consumers to private insurance.

Other problems with Obamacare include:

1. The sickening way it was passed.

2. The mind boggling ineptitude of the roll out. How could anyone not have realized it wasn't going to work on time?

3. The arbitrary post passage modifications. Gee. I thought we had a democracy in this country. Imagine George Bush arbitrarily changing effective dates in a tax increase bill. There would not have been enough bandwith in the Internet to contain Soleri's howling. But with Obama, it's just another day.

4. The original CBO projections had the bill as a net deficit reducer. In other words, the projected taxes would offset the costs. What will we do when that doesn't happen and why didn't the bill as passed include provisions for that?

Krugman's article is just typical shallow cheerleading. Of course there are more insured (duh)-basic economics work.

But until the costs have been determined (the total subsidies, the risk corridor payments, the renewals, the tax payments, others)you cannot say the act as a whole, has been a success or a failure.

BTW, net, I was OK with the bill. I didn't like what is outlined above and I think there are going to be problems going forward when the costs explode, but I was 100% comfortable with:

a. Driving consumers to private insurance while providing subsidies (at checkout) for those subsidies by increasing taxes.

But I find it a little silly to sit back and just cheerlead for Obamacare

Recent events at the VA have done nothing but support my belief that the more people we get into the private sector and away from government provided healthcare, the better we'll be. But we need to provide financial assistance for those who cannot afford it.


I can't believe the Douglas/ Garcia thing is even a race. Garcia has a tremendous resume and I think he just got caught up in the Republican wave that swept Arizona and the nation. And it's a shame.

Good to see unions get plastered across the country. Maybe there will be some more real educational reform.

WKG Off Topic, If Holder can take a pass so can you.
I can't recall a blog where I stayed on topic.

INPHX, As a Republican and a former Union President I would like to see more balance. Doing away with Unions is not a good Idea in my opinion.

INPHX, thanks for another right-wing journey into alternative reality.

Since I really have no idea what you're talking about, and since your argument is pretty much dependent on trusting you, which I don't, I'll have to let your assertions rest in the nebulous territory they stake out.

Still, let's explore the actual state of health care in this country, one where we spent 18% of GDP on health care, the highest amount in the world, had 35 million citizens with no coverage at all, had 45,000 citizens die yearly for want of health insurance, an unsustainable rate of health-care inflation thanks to a deregulated market, and largely mediocre outcomes to show for all that (#37 in the world!). What did Republicans propose to do about this disaster?

I'll help you out: NOTHING.

There was one Republican health care proposal, hatched in the 1990s, dusted off and enacted in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney in 2004, and which has been largely successful. Massachusetts has the lowest rate of non-coverage in the nation along with a lower rate of inflation . Now, for right-wing sociopaths, this is probably more to be scorned than celebrated, but for actual human beings, this was a significant step forward. Segue to 2009. Obama spoke in broad outlines about what he hoped health-care reform would achieve. He turned the crafting of the bill over to Congress, and let the sausage-making proceed. This is the Constitutional system we have in place, and one you regard, without irony, as sickening.

Everyone who knew anything knew what to expect. The insurance companies weren't going to let their lucrative skimming operation be junked so Obama cut a deal with Big Pharma that allowed their price gouging to continue if they didn't oppose reform. This was the necessary deal-making to make any reform possible in a nation where the wealthy and powerful own the government. I know you're outraged that Democrats have to work in an arena Republicans regard as God's Plan, but that's how it all goes down in 21st century America.

Now, since Republicans had no interest in advocating a real alternative to this plan, they simply opposed totally everything Obama was struggling to midwife even though the ultimate outcome was the Heritage Foundation plan of 1994. Now, ask yourself why. Any clues? After all, if this outcome was horrifying, why didn't Republicans suggest a better plan?

I'll help you out: THERE WAS NONE.

Republicans decided, in their nihilistic manner, to oppose any health care reform period. So,let's take a brief stroll down Memory Lane. Which Republican president did propose health care reform?

George W Bush? NO.

George HW Bush? NO.

Ronald Reagan? NO.

Gerald Ford? NO.

Richard Nixon? BINGO!

He was actually working with Ted Kennedy behind the scenes to pass real health-care reform. Watergate ended that effort, but it would have been far-reaching and probably have saved this country a lot of heartache if it had been achieved. In other words, you have to go back 40 years to find a Republican president pragmatic enough to actually engage the real world in an effort to help people. What has happened to the Republican Party since then? It's gone batshit crazy.

This is my friendly reminder to you when you come on reality-based blog and spew right-wing bullshit. We're not all as stupid as the average Republican voter. Some of us actually have memories. I know you regard this as hostile and it is. Your tribe of Neo-Confederates sees modernity as a threat to its racial and economic privileges. You have no interest in governance. NONE. There are no popular Republican proposals out there aside from bombing brown people and worshipping fetuses.

If you want to improve Obamacare in ways you like, you'll need a Republican Party that's actually engaged in the real world. That party no longer exists. It hasn't for over 20 years. It's a reactionary Back to Mayberry movement whose only policies revolve around enriching the rich and giving the Pentagon more than it wants. That you're captive to its hysterical pleading suggests you're incapable of understanding real policy in a world where the few adults remaining in the GOP have been silenced or primaried to extinction.

During the Bush administration Cheney brought in all the energy execs and they forged the country's energy policy in secret.

Dumbocrats screamed bloody murder.

During the Obama administration Biden brought in all the health industry execs and they forged the country's health insurance bill in secret.

Rethuglicans screamed bloody murder.

Independents thought to themselves, "really, is it a good idea to invite the fox to help plan the henhouse defenses??"

And a voice said from the heavens, " yes, the Republican followers and the Democratic followers really are the dumbest creatures I ever placed on the surface of the earth. Sorry, my bad."

No Health Care, can't vote, can't go to school?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/05/1342104/-Where-in-the-World-Can-I-Go?detail=email

WKG, I very much appreciate your comments so don't take this wrong.

Do you live in the city of Birmingham or one of the fast-growing suburban counties?

I ask because the ratio of whites to blacks in Birmingham has virtually inverted since the success of the civil rights movement.

The same thing happened in Jackson, Miss., and Columbia, S.C. I am very familiar with the latter. After the end of de jure segregation, whites fled in huge numbers to turn rural Lexington Country into a prosperous exurb and Columbia heavily black. This even though Columbia has great bones and Lexington is dull and cartoon landscape.

The Southern city that avoided this is Charlotte, which annexed aggressively and kept nice neighborhoods close to a revived downtown.

This is hardly a Southern phenomenon. E.g. Cincinnati.

But as this blog deals heavily with urban issues, maybe you could offer some insights from Birmingham’s experience.

Soleri:


The distinctions I outlined challenge your assertions that Obamacare, Romneycare, and other GOP proposals are similar.

Seems to me you can either:

a. Challenge what I outlined.

b. Acknowledge the differences (that's called learning) and rethink the issue.

c. Retain your preconceived ideas and bleat on about the horrors of the GOP.

I wonder.......

Oh, wait. You already answered that question.

BTW, McCain's plan was perfect except it was unclear if the subsidies could be used at point of purchase:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/10/the-mccain-health-care-plan-more-power-to-families

Funny how you missed that one.......

During the Obama administration Biden brought in all the health industry execs and they forged the country's health insurance bill in secret.

Well, one of this blog's right-wing trolls apparently believes Freerepublic.com, a far-right, hyper-paranoid "news" service. And what did they say about this secret meeting? That one might have existed but they need someone to come forward with the evidence of their conspiracy theory.

The conspiracy theory is, in fact, the virtual essence of right-wing epistemology. It's how Obama was supposedly born in Kenya, how Benghazi!!! was enabled by a "stand-down order", how climate science is unreliable because of.....er......sun spots!, how the IRS deliberately targeted Tea Party groups looking to launder their political action fundraising as a merely educational endeavor, and how Fast and Furious is an epic scandal that somehow started during the Bush years but for which Obama is really to blame for.

If you have no standards of evidence beyond the heavy breathing of talk radio and chain e-mails, you should probably stop embarrassing yourself in a blog like this. Two cheers for democracy! But I'll withhold the third until people stop damaging this nation with their earnest idiocy.

INPHX, well, you know John McCain also believed in climate change in 2008 and wanted to institute a cap-and-trade proposal. You remember that, I'm sure. It's what Obama, in fact, proposed to Congress, and which Republicans, in their inimitably nihilistic fashion, went bonkers over because "the science isn't settled", etc. BTW, do you think the propaganda of Big Oil is a more reliable gauge of reality than science? Just curious. Because if you are really that stupid - and I suspect you are - you really shouldn't post any personal blatherings about health care reform as somehow self-evidently true. Because it's obvious you have no grasp of the subject, nor its political history. You're all hot air.

@Rouge Re: “WKG, I very much appreciate your comments so don't take this wrong.”

I live in an inner ring suburb known as Vestavia Hills. It is in the metro core county, Jefferson County. Counties in Alabama are much smaller than Arizona. There are almost 60 counties in a smallish (by Western standards) state. The county population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years, although there has been a lot of movement within the county. The high population growth areas have been in surrounding counties (e.g. Shelby and St. Clair).

I have lived in B’ham since 1990. I worked downtown until I retired recently.

There is an oddity to Alabama annexation law that the annexed area must be contiguous to the annexing entity. Years ago Birmingham annexed a one foot wide strip into the hither lands then to build a reservoir. The siting of the reservoir turned out to quite fortuitous: the strip was right through the “favored quarter”. The city was able to annex little blots of valuable commercial property along the route. This is important since there are local sales taxes here.

The white population in the city in the in-town neighborhoods has been fairly stable until recent times. Some outer neighborhoods have flipped from mostly white to entirely black since 1990. I’m not aware of any Hispanic or Asian neighborhoods within the city.

Black working-class neighborhoods have been in a state of serious decline for at least 20 years. Abandoned houses abound. I credit this to the awfulness of the city school system. Another facet of Alabama is the presence of city school systems. Within Jefferson County the cities of Birmingham, Hoover, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Bessemer and Fairfield have school systems. There is also a Jefferson County system for unincorporated areas and small cities without their own systems. School system quality ranges from “as good as it gets” to “god awful bad”. This has had some interesting results. In Vestavia almost apartment complexes are almost entirely black – families moving from the city to attend Vestavia schools. I say that I live in Vestavia but actually the land is just outside of city limits in an unincorporated area. No city annexes apartments since the cost-revenue equation just doesn’t work. I live in a complex of 314 units and we have maybe 10 children living here – they have to attend county schools somewhere – I don’t know where. But the school bus comes by at 6:05 in the morning.

Back to the city: Center city retail has declined from 1990 (and it didn’t amount to much then) to almost non-existent – just a few elemental shops that cater to office workers. Oddly enough the elite shopping area is within city limits – it exists in one of the globules annexed remote from the city itself.

Downtown employment was fairly strong until the melt-down: then lost two regional banks headquarters due to mergers or bankruptcy. Federal Reserve Bank also moved to suburbia.

A TIF was established for a very broadly defined “downtown”. Within the TIF, infrastructure is being maintained pretty well. Outside the TIF, the city is falling apart. My view is that this is not entirely due to the TIF establishment. I think the city is using the “Chicago Model”: we’ll invest in downtown and our better neighborhoods and the rest of you can just move somewhere else.

Birmingham did not see explosive growth in the post-war period. As a result, most of the neat pre-war buildings still exist. With the draining of office and retail business many of these buildings were vacated. Within the last five years or so, loft conversion in a 10 or 15 block area of downtown has exploded. Downtown is cool now. I don’t know how many people have moved into the area; I’m just going to guess 5,000. The area rocks after 7:00 p.m.


Much obliged, WKG.

Soleri:

Speaking of hot air and reality inversions, it was moderate Senate Democrats who had much to do with killing cap and trade in the Senate:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30984.html

So, you're wrong.

Now, go ahead. Bleat on about racism, toss in more sociopaths, sprinkle with some profanity (always the product of a true intellect),and let's hear some more about nihilism.

I thought we were on Obamacare??

You do now see the differences between Obamacare and the other plans, don't you?

Do you think the additional regulation of the private health insurance companies was needed? A good idea?

On climate change, any dolt would have to factor in the oil companies' motives in their stance on climate issues. It's no different than reading Paul Krugman and expecting to read about the downsides of government deficits. Or reading a Wall Street Journal editorial and expecting a nuanced discussion of tax increases or expanded regulation. Or expecting a union to encourage anything that does not directly help their members.

I'm smart (and cynical) enough to filter.

You???


Since I am not smart nor cynical In trying to understand the discussion here I need some help.
"Filter" is that like my grandmothers flour sieve or the oil filter on my Fit?
Please explain what filter is here.

Cal:

Filter (at least how I use it) it to think about everything you read or view. Think about who wrote something and why. Think if they have preconceived ideas or agendas or what their motives are. Think about whether or not they presented alternative views (NPR actually generally does a pretty good job on the alternative views). Why are you presented a story on "x" but not "y"??

I guess you could also call it critical reading. VERY critical reading.

You think Peggy Noonan is going to give you the straight story on Obama? Think the New York Times is going to tell you how great access to guns is? Think Fox News is going to remind you of the 8 years of peace and prosperity under Bill Clinton?

So, you take the information provided and you filter it. And I am very cynical about all the information I process. Everyone has an agenda.

Soleri:

There is no doubt that John McCain did a 180 on climate change as he came closer to garnishing the Republican nomination for President. And he did it in order to help procure that nomination.

Now. Maybe you can tell me why Obama was ready to take executive action on immigration but then decided to wait until after the mid terms, where he got blasted anyway.

INPHX, let's clear this up now. Are you a right-wing apostate on climate change? Do you think it's real? No hedging, please. If science is right, and virtually every Republican in Congress is wrong, how can you trust them empirically on any other subject, including something as complicated as health care economics? A party of fundamentalist loons and free-market zealots is actually interested in policy wonkery?

I seriously doubt you've crossed over to reality, but if want to blow some mind-altering smoke on the internet, it's a nice gambit.

Aside from that, you're a fatuous blowhard carrying the One True Cross for corporate America. Why do we need unregulated private health insurance? You don't say. Just an article of faith you mindlessly propound. Plus, unions are bad, along with the middle class and blue-collar workers.

Of course, private health insurance is a fabulous oligopoly. It makes money for Republican criminals like Rick Scott of Florida who use it as means of defrauding Medicare. Ultimately That's what it's all about - making some rich white guy richer. Likewise, gutting public education so some Charter School CEO can make a killing. Or privatizing prisons because it's so unfair that public employees still have pensions. Now, we're supposed to privatize Medicaid for the mystical purpose of unleashing the "free market" (translation: making the rich richer).

Your politics are scarcely distinguishable from the beliefs of a End Times cult. Your tribe of birdbrains and sociopaths clap their hands in anticipation of the next Randian ecstasy. Arizona is the Holy Land for such dumb fairy tales. Tell us how well that's going when you come up for air.

Comment on Election results of city of Phoenix 487 proposition? (Note 487 is police code for theft and 451 is code for Homicide)
Unions and Pensions:
Keep in mind I have agenda here. As I am a retired cop drawing money from the Arizona Public Safety retirement system. Had 487 gone YES instead of NO , my attorney friends said if I lived a really long life it was possible that the fund would become depleted with the move to 401K.
And one of my attorney friends said the K in 401 K stands for KEG

Soleri:

Thanks for more sociopaths, Randian, anti reality. Spewing the usual nonsense.

But I'll ask you some questions anyway, already in anticipation of an answer that will include the usual sociopaths (every post??), cults, tribalism, and no significant meaningful response.

1. No response on the moderate Democrats killing cap and trade. Why?

2. I have NEVER proposed unregulated private health insurance. What I offered is that perhaps Obamacare did not need to EXPAND the regulation of the market and it could have just assisted in the financing. So, you're wrong. (I am getting a little tired of typing that, btw)

3. Not a peep on Obama holding off on executive orders on immigration until after the mid terms. I guess when there's no answer, there's no answer.

4. If a private charter company CEO makes a gazillion dollars but Johnny does better in school, what does it matter how much the CEO makes?

Now, let me see if I can help you out a little. I'll just type out your response and you can just cut and paste it.

INPHX

On this reality based blog, you're a tribal based cultish sociopath. Don't give us bulls*** about your fu***** Randian views.

White guys get rich and richer and you are all racists in any case. Arizona is a playground for sociopaths and sociopaths and more sociopaths.

close enough?

@INPHX: Don’t get sucked into an argument you can’t win. Stick to your original issue – and only the issue. It’s way too easy to end up out in the weeds. With regard to Soleri: think “water off a duck’s back”. Going ballistic is just part of his nature. He only has two speeds: idle and pedal to the metal. He actually does have a lot of good ideas. You just have to ignore all the bullshit that comes with it.

Cal:

I have been following Illinois public worker pension reform closer than here in Arizona and let me say this about that:

1. No reform should include people currently receiving retirement benefits. That's just not fair.

2. No reform should include people x number of years from retirement. I'm not sure exactly what x should be, but 10 years seems about right.

So if a public worker today is 10 years (or so) from retirement or currently retired, they should be insulated from reform.

For people more than 10 years (or so) from retirement, I think there needs to be some reform, stepped down based on the number of years they've been in the system. A new 21 year old teacher would be under a completely new system, a 30 year old a hybrid favoring a new system, a 40 year old a hybrid favoring the old system, etc.

Why the public sector should be immune from the clear changes in the private sector related to retirement and health care in retirement is beyond my ability to understand, but bear in mind that I'm a Randian cult sociopath tribal something or other, or something like that.

INPHX, there were apparently six Senate Democrats from very conservative states who opposed cap-and-trade. Say Mary Landrieu, who is poised to lose her run-off election in Louisiana, and Mark Pryor who just lost his race in Arkansas. Compare and contrast to just about the entire GOP caucus with the exception of McCain and his sidekick Lindsey Graham. While you're apparently a purist about these things, it's still worth noting that the vast majority of Democrats favored it and the vast majority of Republicans were against it.

And did you know (I'm guessing not) that cap-and-trade is actually a Republican idea? Much like the health-care reform bill your side mockingly calls Obamacare.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-l-revesz-and-michael-a-livermore/cap-and-trade-was-republi_b_489863.html

Since your party is pretty much unified now against science as an unproven theory, it's interesting that you need to change the subject from Republican Know-Nothingism to a few oil-state senators who favor their states' economic interests over the future of the planet itself.

And you still haven't answered my question why Republicans should be trusted on any matter of empirical reality if they distrust climate science. Third time I'm asking, and I imagine you'll change the subject to some other issue where a few Democrats who bucked their party. But the reality is still the same: Republicans are resolutely anti-science and Democrats are almost unanimously in favor. How do you trust Republicans on any policy issue given that?

wkg, feel free to jump in here with your excuses for your Know Nothing party at any time.

As far as immigration reform, it was a simple matter of electoral politics. The issue is a definite loser in a midterm election. Before you pull out the fainting salts, understand that every president and both parties play this game. It's a minor embarrassment as opposed to an actual scandal.

I'm pleased to note that you don't like being called a sociopath. I'd be more pleased if you didn't vote like one. It's worth noting this, as I love to do, since governance is more than just whipping up hysteria in order to play on the Pavlovian trigger points of Birdbrain America. You actually need to get things done that matter. Climate change, for instance. Now, what matters if you're a Republican? Making sure fetuses carry hard-guns? Making the rich richer? Make life much harder for the poor? Does empirical reality matter at all to you people? From my vantage point, I don't see anything. I see red states, mostly in the South, making life harder for their poor to get health care under Medicaid, for example. That's not empiricism. That's hate based largely on racism.

So, pretend to be upset about my argumentation. I'll take it as a given that you have no answer for what ought to be extremely embarrassing for any adult who proudly claims to a Republican. Your party is a very bad joke.

This is better than beer and football, any day!

Soleri:

You are kidding, aren't you??

I mean- that you can't trust Republicans (at all??) just because they don't see climate change as the pressing issue of our time?? And they see it much like those Democrats who defected?

Let's assume they're as wrong as wrong can be. So, does that mean you can't trust them on anything else? If a batter strikes out, do you bench him forever? If someone gets a speeding ticket, are they never allowed to drive? If Obama knows you can't keep your health insurance policy or doctor but tells the American people they can when he's selling the legislation, does that mean we can't ever believe him on anything else ever again? When Bill Clinton wags his finger and tells us he did not have sex....... oh, never mind. I think you should get the point

I'd call your stance on that tortured logic, except for the logic part.

And we've already been down your lazy "Republicans proposed stuff just like Obamacare highway" meme and I pointed out the significant differences. I guess when someone is as entrenched in their views as you are, it's just hard to acknowledge that the truth is something else.

I read the article on the cap and trade compromise. That part of the bill was limited to acid rain issues. Let me repeat that. The cap and trade parts of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Bill were limited to acid rain issues. It was also 24 years ago and included TONS of other stuff. 90 yes votes in the Senate.

Boy. Remember bi-partisanship???

See, you clearly don't pay attention to detail and nuance. In your haste (or laziness) to try to impugn Republicans, you accuse them of supporting legislation (health care and clean air) and then not supporting it. But, at least in the examples provided, the "before" legislation is really not similar to the "after" legislation.

But that doesn't influence you. Cause Republicans are just sociopath tribalist racists anyway. Who needs nuance or detail?

Rather than start with a conclusion, see if you can build one from data. I think there's a name for that.

And BTW, without those six democrats, cap and trade was buried in the Senate. Are those six sociopaths, too?

We may actually agree on something related to Obama's delay to initiate what are probably going to be unconstitutional executive orders on immigration.

It was a move based on politics and both parties do it. Yep.

Now, why he made the original commitment (in June) just months before the mid terms shows a stunning lack of awareness, but that's most likely another set of discussions.

One other thing:

One thing I've found troubling about the Obama/ Reid/ Pelosi/ McConnell/Boehner mess we've found ourselves is the inability to "horse trade"

For example- you on the left- you really want cap and trade? Fine. Give the right the Pipeline and some corporate tax reform. Or some other trading of issues.

It really does lead one to think that no one is really interested in accomplishing anything

“Obamacare did not need to EXPAND the regulation of the market and it could have just assisted in the financing.”

No, INPHX, you are wrong! Expanding regulation to include women’s preventive care benefits were DEFINITELY needed.

If you don’t have the ability to comprehend that fact, then you deserve every self-centered sociopathic description that anyone could throw at you.

wow 2 to 1 but it takes 4 games to win the series.
Batter Up!

Oops i can't count. With WKG in as a pitch hitter it's 2 to 2.

INPHX, are Clinton's sex lies your substance? Is that what gives your argument gravitas?
You should recall that Republicans' appropriated tens of millions of tax dollars investigating Bill Clinton, ALL for a sex lie.
But hey - that makes perfect logic, somehow; it must be in the nuance.

INPHX, yes, I am stating explicitly that Republicans are playing cynical politics with cap-and-trade and health-care reform. You state that there were differences between their proposals and those of the Democrats. This is utter nonsense. The differences, which you didn't enumerate, explain, or detail at all, could have been easily dealt with if there was an actual intent to govern instead of obstruct. As long as you have the broad principle in place, there was no really impediment to compromise. But as Mitch McConnell famously stated, the Republicans' overarching ambition was to limit Obama to one term, compromise be damned. Also, recall your Tea Party vowed to oppose any compromises with the devil Obama. Polls have consistently shown that rank-and-file Democrats regard compromise as a virtue, while only a minority of Republicans do.

The Keystone pipeline cannot be horse-traded for cap-and-trade for obvious reasons. For one thing, Republicans have no intent to give Obama any victories, period. At the same time, both sides understand they can't leverage one to get something else. Obama might well approve Keystone anyway, despite the environmental harm it will do. Most liberals already have a sinking feeling about this. Cap-and-trade, by contrast, is dead. Now, there is no real ideological reason why Republicans must oppose it except, once again, to deny Obama any victories. The Party of No has made its priorites clear. As always, party before country.

When cap-and-trade was passed under George HW Bush, you seem to impute the bipartisanship to a magical fairy. It would be easier to understand it for what it actually was - Democrats not trying to nihilistically obstruct the agenda of a president from the other party. You're asking this reality-based blog to believe that this fairy's evil twin somehow arose independently of Republicans' stated position to deny Obama any cooperation period.

Your arguments need more than assertion given the evidence before our unblinking eyes. Suggesting there were salient or important differences between Obama's Romneycare's legislation, and that of Republicans' is merely temporizing in pursuit of obfuscation.

Makes me wonder if Obama was considered a "white" man how the game would have played out.
Makes me wonder how it will go for a woman at the all white country club.

Good stuff u all.

cal from the Great Sonoran Desert
whats left of it. But soon to make a comeback.
Just ask ED.

Should have been the All White Male country club. U know the one where the Kochs let Lindsey Graham play for free.

Heres what the elections brought.
Jihadists opposed to science and bent on killing the planet as rapidly as possible.
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/e2-wire/223398-senate-gop-steeling-for-battle-against-the-epa
Mitch's buddies will stay in the black (read big profits) while the workers breathe the black air. Wonder what kind of health insurance the miners will have as the unions have been fed kryptonite.

Suzanne:

On the mandatory women's (and other)coverage, we'll just have to agree to disagree. There were plenty of plans that included whatever it is you're describing. And employers always had the ability to select those (or not). And they could negotiate those provisions with health insurance providers.

Choice is good. Let consumers and providers work that out.

On Clinton, you've missed my point. Soleri suggested that Republicans can't be trusted on anything because he thinks they have climate change wrong. My point was I think we could still trust Clinton (some) even after his, well, shall we call it, adventure. Of course we can. And it's just as silly to impugn everything Republicans do just because they don't think climate change is the issue of the day.

Unless, of course, you're Soleri and you don't let logic effect your view on Republicans. They're just racist nihilistic tribal mean sociopaths. And don't forget the sociopaths.

BTW, did you ever go back and review the 700 or so votes that Harry Reid didn't allow on DEMOCRATIC Senators amendments? You know, the one you commented on and then admitted you didn't read the article?

Soleri:

Did you get out of the 4th grade?

I clearly outlined the significant differences between Romneycare, Obamacare, and Republican proposals on healthcare. The highlights were the expansion of regulating health insurance policies, Romney's vetoes of several of the provisions of Romneycare, the risk corridors and a few others. GO BACK AND LOOK AT THE LINK FOR THE MCCAIN/HERITGAGE FOUNDATION PROPOSAL. THE ONE THAT I POSTED.

As far as the Republicans against cap and trade, what about the half dozen or so Democrats? Maybe they're only tribal nihilists but not sociopaths?


What if climate change is the issue of the day, year and our lifetimes?

Climate Change: GOD WILL PROVIDE!

@Cal Re "better than beer and football": Can't really say. From an AZ perspective, Cardinals and ASU looking pretty good. LSU-Bama and Auburn-A&M definitely a lot better. But of this I am sure beer and live music are totally a lot better. Saw this guy Sturgill Simpson tonight. He’s on music’s baseball equivalent of Class AAA ball. If he swings through the area be sure to check him out.

Tempted to weigh in on some of the issues, but this thread has really gotten off track. INPHX is doing fine – but the effort is futile. There are certain issues that people are locked into and cannot be questioned.

INPHX, I had to reread this thread to come up with your throwaway line that Obamacare's mistake was regulating health insurance. I didn't miss that. I just regarded it a kind of brain fart since it's so hopelessly at odds with the entire issue of the legislation itself. You think Romneycare doesn't "regulate" health insurance? Really? No mandate that private carriers accept people with pre-existing conditions? No inclusion of adult children under 26 in their parents' policies? No minimal coverage standards?

Really?

Earth to right-wing airhead: this is what the entire point of Romneycare, Obamacare, Whateveryoucare was all about Subsidies without those crucial stipulations would have been pointless. Would you buy a policy that wouldn't cover your pre-existing condition even with a subsidy?

Dude, come back to the real world. Please.

As far as Romney's overridden vetoes in Massachusetts, what exactly were those? Hmmm? Care to explain why they were deal-breakers if you can't even remember the details of them? Or why if they were that terrible did Romney sign the bill itself? Your self-vouching authority on this subject might as well be the screeching microphone you're spitting into. Your straw man argument is centered around ephemera so vaporous that it scarcely qualifies as a room deodorizer.

I'm sorry I wasted most of today thinking you were making a halfway serious effort. No. You were typing. Beyond that, you were simply hoping nobody noticed how utterly vacuous your entire argument was. You failed to understand why the legislation was so momentous in the first place. Insurance companies actually had to conform to minimal standards of behavior! And you were against that! Why? Because...........drumroll, please...........you're little more than an instinctive stooge for corporate America. Even the health insurance companies would have laughed out loud at you.

Honest to God, I can't believe I wasted all this time on you.

My were are all up late. WKG back to you later.
To get my sanity back from reading all this I watched High Plains Drifter, again.

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