Musings – 15 November 2013

Canadia – Rob Ford is a disgrace.  He apparently represents some sort of class struggle in Toronto.  This carnival of disgrace is eliminating the image of Canadia as "the shire." The temptation to revel in the discomfort of frequently priggish Canadians is strong, but to yield to such temptation would be base.  Surely there is some way to get rid of this bum.  There is no recall provision in Toronton, Ontarian or Canadian law? That is incredible.  I suppose that lacuna in the law reflects a misplaced confidence in the decorum of Canadian public life.  How about this thought?  Can the Governor General remove him in the Queen's name?   This would have the added benefit of providing some useful function for the GG.

The American Presidency – Running a large enterprise or perhaps almost any enterprise is an acquired and carefully cultivated skill.  Obama never ran anything but his senate office staff before he took over the job of running the Executive Branch of the federal government.  His detachment and self imposed isolation reflect that.  The same things can be said of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.  By all accounts neither of them have been secretaries of state who actually ran or run the Department of State.  They have preferred to roam the world as the negotiator-in-chief.  HC is clearly the front runner in the prospective succession follwing a failing Obama second term.  She doesn't have any real experience of running organizations either.  I suggest a former governor as the next president.  Christie?  I have doubts as to whether he will have appeal outside Sopranoland.

The ACA – I asked my doctor today if he understands the law.  He does not and says that his colleagues do not either.  A few points – How is the government going to know if you have health insurance or not?  We do not seem to be required to inform the government. Will the IRS demand this information?  If you have health insurance that suffices under the ACA and do not want to seek a subsidy foir health insurance, there is no reason for anyone to visit any health insurance exchange. So, how will they know what your status is?  And then there is the matter of Medicaid expansion.  In the states that accept expansion, a great many people are signing up for Medicaid after learning on the exchange websites that they are now Medicaid elegible by virtue of destitution of some kind.  Medicaid (unlike Medicare) is altogether a cost center.  There is no revenue in it at all from outside the federal and state governments.  Was it not predictable that people who learn they can have Medicaid for free, will not buy subsidized private insurance which will, of course, still cost them something?  Was the end game in the ACA a backdoor route to a single payer system for the people Obama dearly loves? A piedmont Virginian who does garden work for me expressed his view clearly.  "The Democrats are just buying votes."

WTF?  Over…  Can single payer come far behind the collapse of this "system?"  pl

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116 Responses to Musings – 15 November 2013

  1. JohnH says:

    How does the government know if you’re insured? Interesting question. I assume there will be people who eligible for tax credits who will apply for the credits but not the insurance. Under the current system, my family’s biggest deductible expense for several years was medical, since we were laying out 30% of our income for it (25% for insurance alone.) I thought that such enormous deductions would surely trigger an IRS audit, but it never did. I assume that was because it fell within IRS expectations and that our expenses were not atypical.
    Those getting the Obamacare tax credit without bothering to get insurance would presumably be overlooked because they fell within IRS expectations. Of course, the NSA could just check the bank statements and tell the IRS…

  2. turcopolier says:

    Aside from the issue of NSA type snooping, I remain puzzled as to how they will manage to know so much. Break. Will the exchange generated subsidies always be delivered as tax credits? In the case of people who do not pay income tax I suppose that they will be on Medicaid. pl

  3. Matthew says:

    Col: The demand for healthcare greatly exceeds the public’s ability or desire to pay for it.
    Simply put, our expectations are unrealistic.

  4. toto says:

    “Will the IRS demand this information?”
    Under Romneycare, the Government of Massachusetts does.

  5. GulfCoastPirate says:

    I thought we were going to be asked a question on our tax forms as to whether or not we had insurance. At that point I assume a number of returns will be checked for accuracy just as they are now.
    Aren’t the subsidies generated through the exchanges going to show up as lower premiums? For instance if you have a policy that costs $500 a month and are eligible for an 80% subsidy then you would pay $100 a month as your premium.
    I find all this angst about the ACA bemusing. People seem to forget that in 2008 the health care system was breaking down and Obama received a lot of corporate donations specifically because they expected something to be done with healthcare. Those corporations who provide insurance (and particularly those who operate worldwide) were fed up with the yearly increases associated with the cost shifting and were threatening to cancel their employees policies if something wasn’t done. I think sometime people fail to notice the business community (big and medium size specifically) did not fight this health care overhaul. It’s actually produced a marked slowdown in the size of the yearly increases they were experiencing. I’m fairly certain many of the multinational corporations that have dealt with single payer overseas would welcome a similar system here (as would I but for different reasons) as it would allow them to plan for yearly expenses more accurately than they can do today (not knowing what type of price increases they would experience for healthcare).
    The biggest problem we had is not all employers provided healthcare so those costs got shifted onto those employers who do through premium increases. We also had the problem that Reagan passed the laws that forced providers to provide services in emergency situations without regard to ability to pay. Those costs also were shifted through premium increases. Last, by 2008, it was clear that ‘real’ wages were in no way keeping up with the yearly inflation costs in healthcare so we were rapidly reaching a point at which the vast majority of Americans would soon be priced out of the health care market.
    It would have been nice if the Republicans had chosen to cooperate in trying to solve these problems as opposed to trying to gain a political advantage. We probably would have ended up with a more workable system but I doubt it would have looked much different than the ACA as long as they insisted on keep private insurance companies involved. Hopefully, at some point, we can move to single payer (we already have the infrastructure through Medicare)and simply charge people a percentage of their income for their health insurance as we do now for SS/Medicare. I personally don’t see what services the private insurers provide. All they do is drive up the costs (witness the US paying almost twice the percentage of GDP for healthcare as the next country on the list).
    One thing you don’t see in the current debate is the Republicans providing any type of alternative to the ACA. Why will they not tell us what they would replace the ACA with if they had the chance? My guess is they don’t say because they know as well as the Democrats that healthcare is eventually going to have to be a government service for the vast, vast majority of people just as it is in other western societies. Wages simply aren’t keeping up for most people and each year more and more people will be priced out of the market absent some type of government subsidy.
    Unless they just plan on letting people die in the streets …

  6. JohnH says:

    I wondered, too. It appears that the tax credits will be issued as refunds if you don’t pay taxes. The Earned Income Credit works that way, too. This is contrary to most tax credits, which zero out at the point when you no longer pay taxes.
    This whole fiasco is worse than I thought. It turns out that CoverOregon site lets you browse plans. Questions include zip code, income, county of residence and age. Then there is an unidentified yes/no question. If you answer yes, your premiums are 50% higher. Unbeknownst to the browser, the site is asking about smoking, yes or no!
    This site has been up for months, and there’s still a major bug on a key page! I mean, how hard could this be to fix? Imagine what the rest looks like!

  7. Medicine Man says:

    Speaking as a sometimes priggish Canadian, I don’t feel an iota of discomfort about Rob Ford. I grew up learning jokes about the self-centeredness of Toronto (and Ontario) politics. He is their front-man, not the representative for the entire country (though Harper is a whole different subject…).
    You’re right about the whole episode being a disgrace though. That Ford can live out his grand denial while drawing pay from the public with no recourse is silly.

  8. Medicine Man says:

    I’ve heard Mark Warner’s name bandied about as a possible presidential candidate. Any thoughts on him, Col?

  9. Townie 76 says:

    Pat, I believe that part of the problem with the ACA is the shear immensity of the legislation. It is my understanding it was almost 2000 pages in length, and rather than being written by members of the legislative branch the process devolved to members of their Staff and members of the Committees involved staff. These earnest young men and women, educated in the finest of America’s schools in the arcane application of policy, but without real life experience, put together a law that was overly complex and woefully lacking in common sense. We the good citizen must now live with their handiwork. There was a time when legislation was written by the Members of Congress, and that legislation was generally short, sweet, and simple. Unfortunately that is no longer the case.

  10. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Without any regard for partisanship and/or “politics,” ACA has been too much of a mess: too complicated and too underplanned, with a good measure of dishonesty on top. For all the political inconvenience, a working Single Payer Plan (say, expand Medicare to provide catastrophic coverage for all, with options for buying extra coverage from private insurers) would have been a good idea and relatively easily implementable–while the politics of it would have been an altogether different matter, I actually doubt getting that through would have been necessarily much harder than it actually was with respect to ACA.
    The mess that ACA finds itself in, I think, makes this an increasingly more attractive option.

  11. turcopolier says:

    townie 76
    That’s part of the problem, but IMO the true cause is the underlying desire of the left to provide free health care for their constituencies among the poor and the willingness of the left to screw lower middle class people who may or may not qualify for substantial subsidies. Why would they do that? Just listen to them prattle on about how much better off the masses will be even though there will be pain along the way. It all sounds remarkably Bolshie. pl

  12. turcopolier says:

    Warner? Mebbe so. I would have to think about it. I would never even contemplate Kaine. pl

  13. Fred says:

    “Aren’t the subsidies generated through the exchanges going to show up as lower premiums?” That was the sales pitch. It won’t be the reality.
    “… healthcare is eventually going to have to be a government service for the vast, vast majority of people just as it is in other western societies.” Why? The USSR provided health care for its citizens, Cuba still does. I don’t see us adopting either model.
    “Wages simply aren’t keeping up ….” Yes, and we have record highs on WallStreet and still zero jailed after the financial collapse.

  14. Fred says:

    Excellent question about the Governor General of Canada. I would think there would be a dozen laws they could indict him under, from protecting the drug trafficker he bought the stuff from to keeping it on government property. Seems like a complete lack of ingenuity up North.

  15. Farmer Don says:

    Since this is a varied forum let me include a link to this HOUR long interview of:
    Paul Craig Roberts; Police Have Been Militarized Sees Public as Enemy, Dollar Implosion
    This interview is a couple of years old, but rings the more true because of it.
    Craig Roberts (I think), has the same judgment of Lincoln, FDR, the Neocons, Canada, and as well the Afghan War as Col. Lang.
    PS I’m glad I’m thousands of Miles away from the Toronto Gong Show.

  16. Richard says:

    If they can’t get the portals working to get this started, do they have the software up and running to support their program?

  17. Tyler says:

    You can have a welfare state or you can have open borders, but you can’t have both.

  18. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Within the single player system as evidenced in Alberta, there is both an overt and a covert limitation on the services provided [e.g. total no of heart transplants is limited by #, time delay on non emergency surgery -perhaps the patient will die ere surgery] beauty treatments, chiropractors etc. are unfunded, there is means testing for glasses,and dentures, further drug copayment’s will be means tested from January 1st – for those of us over 65, where we now pay 30% to a max of $25 per prescription — be it noted that Government limit is prescription to cover 3 months I pay $25 for three moth’s supply of Advair [6 inhalers] wherein the retail price of each is $105, at present.] Next year I will pay retail until an unknown by me maximum.

  19. Paul Escobar says:

    Mr. Lang,
    Re: Toronto Canada
    I live right on the border of the city & the burbs, and have a slightly closer view of the situation.
    We are not living this as broad & clear-cut as you think.
    It is not “class struggle” that sustains Rob Ford’s (declining) popularity. It is the abstention of his most credible rivals.
    The competetive former mayor – David Miller – retired, out of sheer exhaustion from dealing with a protracted garbage strike. His telegenic & popular “heir” – Adam Giambrone – was then hounded by our Liberal media for having consentual relations with an “undergrad” (of legal age)…and he chose to retire as well.
    This left Ford with no credible challengers, and he glided into office.
    In the first few years of his term, he commanded the obedience of many elected councillors. But as Ford’s desires clashed more & more with common sense & popular senitment, these councilors simply stopped listening.
    In the last few years of Ford’s term, he commanded very little. The mayor has limited oversight & appointment powers. Power has always rested in the collective action of our elected city council. Budgets were passed, programs were administered, and reports were filed…all while Rob Ford blustered & complained.
    In the immediate aftermath of this scandal, the last of Ford’s loyalist councilors were freed from his influence. He now sits completely impotent, merely attending events & delivering ignored sermons from the mount.
    As of now, no charges have been filed against Rob Ford. But the province (our version of an American state) of Ontario has offered to intervene & concoct some legal maneuver to remove him – once Toronto council approves.
    There are some in council who would like to wait until the police officially conclude their investigation & press charges against Ford. But I don’t think this represents the majority sentiment.
    IMO, the majority of council don’t merely want to see Ford crash – they want to see him burn. Ford was a boor & a bully throughout his long career in Toronto. He attacked, scarred, ruined many good people. To simply remove him constitutes kindness – and few are willing to offer such a thing.
    Our next mayoral elections are scheduled for 2014. Ford will not be mayor again. Polls have long indicated that the social-democratic widow – Olivia Chow – will be our next mayor. She is an experienced & widely respected institution here. IMO, this will all seem a bad dream in a years time.
    In the meantime – Enjoy the show eh!,
    Paul Escobar

  20. twv says:

    Romney was a really bad guy, as I recall many a poster here saying.
    Now, we have the alternative.
    People get the government they deserve.
    As far as Obamacare is concerned:
    Of course it was “designed” to fail, thereby forcing the country to rationed mediocre care – except for the political class.
    Can anyone see Nancy Pelosi waiting in line?

  21. Charles I says:

    Ford is an exceptional circumstance reflecting a downtown/suburbs split that became active after amalgamation of a bunch of suburban cities with the downtown core, exacerbated by recent provincial tinkering extending terms from 3 to four years and, one must allow, resolute ignorance and surprising moral indifference from his supporters.
    Today most all his powers and duties were un-delegated to him, one of 44 equal councilors; Monday they’ll have his office budget and staff delegated to the deputy Mayor sidelining him to bottom.
    There’s no need for recall, and avoiding it saves much political bacon, leaves his dwindling but rabid tea partyish supporters to education by spectacle while all are united in just wishing he’d get help. The lacuna in law as you pose it in general is attributed to a deference to electoral will, and the City, a compleat statutory creature of the Province, has effectively dealt with any gap whilst avoiding a partisan clusterf**k certain to render his dwindling resolute base psychotic.
    Mr. Ford’s personal trajectory is beyond recall as well, and having refused to brace for bottoming, one can but await with hopeful compassion that he survives it, and sorta ignore him.

  22. scott s. says:

    From looking at the IRS regs, I don’t see that they will ask you to self-report on your tax return, so I assume they will extract the data on who does or doesn’t have “minimum essential coverage” from HHS databases. So they will know that eg you are on Tricare. Note that the requirement for maintaining minimum essential coverage is on a household basis, and a taxpayer is liable for all dependents. If a taxpayer is liable to make/file a return of income for his tax year, I guess IRS will determine any month or months in which minimum essential coverage was not maintained for any household member and assess the “shared responsibility payment” penalty. Though now with the waiver of minimum essential coverage for at least some individuals (who held such plans in 2013) I’m not sure how that will all work out.
    As far as employer coverage, in my state it has been the law since 1973 that employers must provide insurance coverage to any employee working more than 20 hours a week. I don’t see any evidence that this has reduced costs in any way. We are dominated by two insurers who provide for the individual, employer group, and medicare advantage markets.
    The core problem though is insurance is based on the idea of forming a risk pool, and can only really operate efficiently if the risk of all parties is approximately equal. When it isn’t, then you have the problem of low risk parties subsidizing high risk parties, and a lack of incentive to reduce risk. This is where the punitive power of government comes in, when there is no economic incentive to reduce risk the government will attempt to coerce you. We already see that in that government approved policies charge more for smokers.

  23. AEL says:

    In Canadian law, municipal governments are constructs of the provincial government. If the Ontario government really wants to get rid of Ford, they can craft a law to do it.
    Of course, that would cause a ruckus because that is interfering city politics and would make every other mayor nervous because they no longer know where the line is.
    The economics are clear that some form of single payer health care is the only reasonable way to structure a first world health care system. Other approaches simply squander several points of GDP in useless paperwork and confidence games.

  24. turcopolier says:

    “The economics are clear that some form of single payer health care is the only reasonable way to structure a first world health care system.” I am coming around to this point of view. pl

  25. Will Reks says:

    If its not their staff its the lobbyists who end up writing these bills.
    Length of the bill is a joke. If they had simply passed Medicare for All it would have been a 1 page bill. Still an immense piece of legislation but because they decided to keep the private system we have this 2000 page talking point.

  26. turcopolier says:

    the Canadians have no interest in my GG point. why do they keep the office alive? pl

  27. Will Reks says:

    I think that’s a fair point. A point of comparison would be when the GOP passed Medicare part D. They were, in effect, buying the votes of seniors. That law made no effort, unlike ACA, to pay for itself other than through borrowing.

  28. Mark Logan says:

    “Was the end game in the ACA a backdoor route to a single payer system for the people Obama dearly loves?”
    My own opinion is there was a muddle of end games, not atypical of committee designed plans, I guess.
    The insurers were concerned about the existing system melting down and wished to have their place preserved, but their plans were tempered by many other business interests who saw the “exchanges” as a sneaky way to get employer based HC off their desks, which dove-tailed nicely with the desires of those who also hoped for eventual single payer.
    At this point, I am a bit amazed the insurers are not doing everything they can to make this work well. The letters to people they are cancelling were not fully honest, and sometimes downright misleading. “Scorpion and the Frog” perhaps.

  29. AEL says:

    The Governor General is a constitutional safety valve.
    The prime minister does not command the armed forces.

  30. Paul Escobar says:

    Mr. Lang,
    Forgive me for ignoring the point. I was too fixated on the preamble.
    The population does not consider the Governor General to be a political actor. We expect the GG to carry out ceremonial duties & address the public on the reigning governments behalf.
    Each time there has been any hint of GG intervening in political matters…the reaction has been confused & negative.
    The GG’s propsects in this Rob Ford case are even more hopeless, because Ford is a close friend of the PM & still receives the endorsements of the party. They view him as a symbol & have reduced his troubles to a mere “personal matter”. As the GG was a man chosen by Conservatives, I doubt he is even inclined to act against his own.
    Why have we kept the office alive? Someone is sure to give you some long-winded tribute to our monarchist inclinations & heritage. But the truth is that there has long-been a bi-partisan consensus (socialists to conservatives) that the imagery of the English monarchy is useful in deterring the *unwanted* features of American influence.
    Paul Escobar

  31. optimax says:

    The best hope for Rob Ford is that he goes through rehab and ends up “living in a van down by the river.” He as an SNL skit. LBJ could be crude but the press never reported and he was smart enough to not act so in front of a camera.
    I thought the IRS was going to handle the insurance conformation. Will we will still be able to write-off medical expenditures on our taxes? A single-payer system makes sense but it’s too much to ask expect gomint to buck their corporate masters.

  32. Tyler says:

    I would add that you need first world demographics as well, or else you have the issues that the NHS and the Nordic socialist countries are facing.

  33. Bobo says:

    In the ACA it was my belief that those insured were to receive a quasi 1099 annually from their insurance company and input the policy number into a new block to be put on the 1040 form. Thus without the the number the IRS can assess the penalty. I could be wrong as I did not read it all. We are a long way from a single payer though extending Medicare to all should be done hopefully in our lifetimes.
    Fully agree Obama would have a hard time managing the toilet paper supply for DC never mind this program and suspect HRC will have second thoughts running while the Repugs will hold their noses as they vote for Christie who could win and do a fair job though we will listen to a lot of his hot air.
    Somehow Rob Ford reminds me of that jailbird from Illinois (Blago…) who lasted way too long.

  34. twv says:

    “Medicare for all.”
    The current rallying cry.
    Paid for how?
    Medicare is massively underfunded and spending explodes yearly.
    BTW, national debt now equals GDP.
    As for the infamous Canadian system.
    If one doesn’t need any more than routine care, then the rationing and wait times are merely annoying.
    Urgent care – if you have the money – often means a trip “down south.”
    These two observations from several (independent) Canadian acquaintances.
    A country CAN control costs – at the expense of a “first world” health system.
    Cheap or Good – pick one.

  35. SAC Brat says:

    My understanding is that several countries offer basic healthcare coverage and if you want more you can purchase private insurance. Why the free market believers are not pushing this remains a mystery. Ever purchase medicine overseas? Why are monopolistic practices allowed in the US? Didn’t we fight this fight a hundred years ago?

  36. FB Ali says:

    My guess is: To avoid having an elected President. That would open the door to all sorts of problems. The GG is a figurehead to whom all the boring ceremonial/protocol functions can be safely entrusted.
    He reigns while the prime minister rules.

  37. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Now, that’s not really quite fair: the old system was already operating on the basis of rationing mediocre care and/or charging exorbitant prices for it except for the political class. Some sort of meaningful change was necessary, although whether the replacement is any better is the question: what I find exasperating is that, when the question was being raised, very few people engaged in serious debate but resorted only to name calling–from both sides. From such a creation process, is it any wonder that ACA turned out to be the mess that it is?

  38. Bill H says:

    The “tax credit” is a misnomer; it a subsidy which goes directly to the insurance company as partial payment for insurance.

  39. Stephanie says:

    Without defending the Rube Goldberg aspects of the ACA, it is often the case that major legislation has to be tweaked after passage. Under ordinary political circumstances this is rarely a problem. However, the GOP has staked everything on the failure of the ACA and will do nothing that might conceivably improve it. (The Upton bill is not a tweak; it would gut the law.)

  40. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang
    Medicare /Medicaid for everyone mandatory no different then car insurance – lump the healthy youth in with middle aged folk like me and my wife . We recently have had huge out of pocket expenses due to my one true love’s back spine /hip problems . We are forced by the health care premium ponzi scheme to pay out huge deductibles , this has wrecked great havoc on our budget. Do not want anyone thinking I am wearing a Che Guevera “gimmme cap” , but we should have universal coverage that is means tested .
    ( PS I recently had to sign back in on type pad – did not mean to put AJE Transportation on my name identifier – just my name & I cannot seem to remove that which is not just my name, can you help me take it off ? )

  41. turcopolier says:

    Sorry, but I do not know how to fix that. pl

  42. Norbert M Salamon says:

    By convention only! The Constitution Act of 1867 clearly defines that HRH Queen/King is the Head of State, with the Governor General being the agent.
    There is no mention therein of Prime Minister, in fact the only official beside the GG is the Minister of State – whose main duties/powers are enumerated there in.

  43. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    Canada seems to exist for the specific purpose of avoiding being American. The existence of the office of Governor General is an example of that. pl

  44. Norbert M Salamon says:

    however emergency care is immediate and of high quality without any private expense. A heart attack on Friday 6 pm ended Sunday with a Stent, and discharge on Monday, due to progress of the patient. The Province paid for Ambulance of some 80 miles to Calgary University Hospital, and patient had to get home on his own powers [friends].The Driver licence was suspended for 30 days for medical reasons. The patient was me at the age of 68. prescription was given for 1 year regarding those medicines which treat the after effect of Stent. for these medicines and others for emphysema I paid Approx. $160.00 every three months with the retail price of 1600.00 {Alberta funded Blue Cross for seniors to be changed somewhat see previous posting.

  45. Norbert M Salamon says:

    You, Sir, will note that HRH Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State of Canada had to sign the Constitution Act of 1982, to cause it to have effect [with PM Pierre Trudeau in glorious attendance thereto].

  46. GulfCoastPirate says:

    “The economics are clear that some form of single payer health care is the only reasonable way to structure a first world health care system.” I am coming around to this point of view. pl”
    Single payer expands the risk pool to the maximum number possible. That’s why it’s the most efficient way of delivering healthcare.

  47. ISL says:

    twv: I do not believe I get the government I deserve. The system puts up two (*&*(& and says choose the lesser evil, who in office will be powerless to do anything significant (how many of the Masters of the Universe who blew up the world economy and “robbed” the US citizens of 16 trillion dollars were perp walked? 16 trillion would have paid for free health care for five years alone. IMO we could have many things or the Masters could be bailed out, but not both.
    That said, I know many fine individuals in gov’t for whom I am proud that they also represent my gov’t. Such a group of intelligence analysts was recently highlighted on SST.

  48. twv says:

    Treatment in the US would be the same.
    Insurance or Medicaid would pick up most of the bill.
    For the uninsured (roughly 15%, but this seems to be as accurate as the count of illegal aliens), the hospital eats it and tries to collect.
    And, BTW, contrary to the lie (one of many) spread by the “single payer” crowd, unreimbursed ER visits are NOT significant.
    Obamacare is about power.
    When the state has power over your health, it has absolute power as in:
    “You want to keep your health access (no matter how bad it is), you’d better vote Democrat.”
    People will parallel this with “rationing” by insurance companies.
    Not true.
    You can change and/or sue an insurance company.
    Try changing and/or suing the government.

  49. Paul Escobar says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “urgent care”.
    When I was a kid in the late 90’s, I was brutally assaulted by a confused deaf teenager. Blood was pouring out of my head at a steady rate. The ambulance got me, I was put in my own room, and a surgeon came in & worked on my wound. My hospital stay lasted around 1 week. After I was released, I had many follow-ups to deal with the stiches & possible brain/psyschological damage (don’t worry! I ended up prettier & wiser!).
    This occured in the aftermath of voodoo economic experimentation. Our Liberal federal government wooed ratings agencies by raiding our pension & insurance surpluses…while offloading healthcare spending onto the provinces. Even our current neo-conservative government recounts this with digust. In some provinces, this had a significant effect on the quality of service delivery.
    Earlier this year, my mother had to have a cyst removed surgically. It was all done in a successful, professional, & efficient manner. She recuperated at home & also had sufficient follow-ups at the hospital.
    Up to now, the system has been slowly rebounding. The next federal election will decide the pace of that recovery, or perhaps initiate a backslide.
    Paul Escobar

  50. FB Ali says:

    Col Lang,
    That may well be be so. Whatever the underlying reason, it works quite well (especially for its citizens). Practically free health care alone is worth the price of admission. There is also a fairly decent safety net for the less fortunate.
    While ordinary Canadians are about the same as ordinary Americans there are some notable differences that affect how the country functions. Canadians are not unwilling to pay taxes, on the basis that they are used for the collective good (though Americanized politicians like Stephen Harper have been trying hard these past few years to change that attitude). They also don’t have any special sense of “mission” as Americans do (though the recent wars have caused ordinary Americans to tire of this folly).
    All in all, one of the best countries to live in (Stephen Harper and his vultures notwithstanding).

  51. gaw says:

    I live near, and work in, Toronto.
    You have to understand, Ford was elected on a right-wing platform, in a generally leftist city. As the previous David Miller was a leftist cretin, and voters were fed up with big-spending, ever expanding big-Government initiatives.
    There is a huge divide between left wing downtown “progressives” who hated Ford from Day One, and suburban more center and right wing people who massively voted for him.
    The media here generally are leftist, and waged, along with “progressives”, a war to get rid of Ford from the day he won the election. Reporters followed him everywhere, sifting his garbage, peering in his windows at home, spying on his house from nearby parks, etc etc. Three bogus lawsuits were filed by leftists, with “progressive” big-name lawyers working for free, to unseat him any way they could possibly try, all of which failed.
    That is the background. Paul Escobar above clearly sounds like one of the leftist loserdom we are infested with around here, with his statements “Olivia Chow – will be our next mayor. She is an experienced & widely respected institution here.” She is actually a career NDP (small c communist) politician who has 0 experience in the private sector, but a lifetime spend devising new ways to waste billions of taxpayer dollars. If she wins, Toronto will continue it’s trajectory following Detroit, Scranton, Chicago into socialist union-blessing economic oblivion, where public sectors will continue to bloat up, until they consume the entire economy, like in France. Ford has only been in office 3 years, check your facts, Paul, “In the last few years of Ford’s term, he commanded very little”. ??????? Do you actually live in Canada?
    All that being said, Ford’s personal conduct is more than enough that he should resign, and I would have voted for him before, if I lived in Toronto. You just have to understand the scene here, the media storm is being driven by left wing media who wanted Ford out from Day 1. He has created his own problems, by playing into their hands, with incredibly bad behavior and judgement, and then denial in lying about it all. But his personal foibles should be viewed with the political background in mind. There is a large segment here (I estimate about 60%) who are NDP (Canada’s socialist/union/soft communist Party) or Liberal (Canada’s center-leftish version of the Democrats), and they support nanny-state programs of all sorts and hate and oppose everything Ford and right-wingers would support, like smaller Government, less regulation, lower taxes, a thriving private sector, etc etc.
    On the Governor-General, the short answer is that changing the present system is too politically difficult (largely due to opposition from Quebec), so we retain the traditional system in place since 1867. So a “leave it alone” policy applies, it would just be a huge political battle with little point in the real world, to change things. Most Canadians are quite unconcerned about it, it’s not an issue either way for the vast majority.

  52. Fred says:

    Other than to prove they are not American’s I do not know. We see their leadership in action in Toronto:
    Get drunk, get high, get laid, get rich. (Perhaps not the latter two, yet). A great moral example for the people of the Dominion. Now their politicians argue about not having completed an investigation of the Mayor with no power, or that they themselves have no power, before they can remove him from office? It seems we are seeing the illusion of moral superiority being shattered by the harsh reality of human weakness. Where is the actual leadership by any elected or Crown official in this mess?
    (As an aside I think Detroit should feel a little better about itself; at least Kwame Kilpatrick was just an old fashioned crook from a family of crooks. (And a stupid crook at that).)

  53. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang
    Looks like it fixed itself ,,

  54. Alba Etie says:

    We can start by not paying the CEO of United ,Blue Cross et al all millions of dollars in salary & bonuses each year. It is not either or – we can have both cheap & reasonably good. Universal coverage would reap huge dividends in savings at the Emergency Room – trade those dollars for regular checkups & prevention . Change the oil , instead of rebuilding the engine – as a rough analogy .

  55. turcopolier says:

    You could just as easily have simply declared Canadian independence but you like it this way. I have news! The British Army isn’t going to invade to suppress rebellion. pl

  56. Jose says:

    I’m so proud I vote for Romney after this mess. but dedicate this clip to all the BSHO supporters especially in the U.S. Senate:

  57. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Excellent analysis, esp. re Neocon Harper and his idiotic Foreign Minister

  58. Norbert M Salamon says:

    it appeared that neither the majority of the Provincial Governments nor the majority of the Citizens desired the abolishment of Crown. This notwithstanding the propaganda promoted by Diane Francis and her cohorts wanting a unity with USA. I do not think that this notion of North American issue ahs any great followers among ordinary citizens.

  59. Norbert M Salamon says:

    The difference is that I do not have insurance expense regarding medical treatment. In Alberta there is no Health Care insurance fees by Provincial fiat [other Provinces have their own rules]. Blue Cross for seniors is at the Provincial Government’s expense. We Pay Federal Income Tax, and a Provincial flat tax of 10%, after some exemptions.

  60. F.B. Ali,
    As to the Governor General, both with Australia and Canada it has long seemed to me that the passage of time must make the office anachronistic.
    On the other hand, recent experience has made me ever more thankful that Britain does not have an elected head of state.
    Maintaining some kind of tolerable civility in a society is often quite difficult — a matter of finding a way in which people with incompatible views can live together. If we had an elected President in this country, they would not only have to be either a Tory or a Labour politician — it would be difficult for them not to be identified with one side or the other in disputes which go to the core of people’s identity.
    Questions to do with gay marriage and ‘multiculturalism’ are examples.
    A royal family headed by a Queen who studiously avoids identifying with one side or another in such conflicts seems a rather valuable asset in this situation.
    Also important is the way in which the family is strongly identified with the Services, but not in a way which gives offence to those who aren’t. Last but hardly least, as we struggle with the problems involved in ‘multiculturalism’, it does actually help to have a Queen who is strongly emotionally committed to the Commonwealth.
    In Presidential elections, Americans have to choose not only between rival candidates to exercise executive authority, but also between rival candidates to exercise the symbolic functions implicit in the notion of a ‘head of state’. In the last election, the choice, in relation to both offices, was between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
    It was bad enough, in our last election, to have the candidates to exercise executive authority being David Cameron and Gordon Brown. The notion that either figure could have been a candidate to symbolise this country seems to me little short of horrific.

  61. different clue says:

    Then too, if it is taxpayer funded and government administered it would hopefully divert less of its revenue intake to costs of running it than what the private profit insurance companies divert to their managers and workers, shareholders, bondholders etc.
    What percent of the tax money paid into Canadian Single Payer goes back out as payments to medical/health care providers?

  62. Charles I says:

    and then you can debate providers. After much reluctance based on thin end of the privatization wedge fears, more Canadians are open to universally available services to be done in specialized private clinics of all manner Same single payer. Some are nervous about private for profit sucking talent out of public hospitals, or for current standards to be reduced with private “optional” extra coverage but there are things than can be done there by regulation.
    Prejudice has prevented you from going straight to it, or that and lobbyists, who certainly got their minions to shaft the taxpayers on the drug benefit plan. Perhaps this fiasco will politically doom it for a few more generations. To have been very poorly introduced and rolled out my be the nail in the coffin

  63. Charles I says:

    There’s still an a ongoing police investigation and speculation that the extortion case against the Ford’s friend/driver/dealer may yet reach the Mayoral hem.

  64. Charles I says:

    Its not as black and white as portrayed, like everything else. Depends on all the circumstances who what where when why how. Big waits for knees say, but not for hips. There can be long specialist referral delays best obviated by a good relationship with your gp. I had specialized day surgery last winter all sorted out and done within two weeks. Just came back from the cottage this second, the neighbour is getting a new hip end of the month. I don’t regard surgery as routine care. I had tremendous intensive medical, psychiatric and rehab services first as an emergency and then over many years and while it wasn’t a day in the park or the Mayo Clinic or the Betty ford, it was better than good.
    You got armed forces for all, big federal dope and intelligence wars, tremendous insurance profits, a lotta health care could bought outta that.
    Nobody goes bankrupt here just from the hospital. Long term care’s a whole other ball of wax

  65. Charles I says:

    Huh, in Canada we voted in a gang of true believers and true incompetents but they’d have to pry our health care from our cold dead hands.

  66. Charles I says:

    In Canada the CEO of the Salvation Army gets $13,000 a year and a bit of manse. Us CEO $600,000+
    Geriatrics forcing shift to preventative medicine, community clinics, in home services to reduce expensive hospital bed blockage by those w/ no where to go or any one care for them immediately post treatment/crisis. Just nerving selves up for long term care needs and funding debate.

  67. Charles I says:

    Plus our head of state is way the hell over there, not plotting in here parliament every night.

  68. FB Ali says:

    I quite agree that having the Queen (or a King) as head of state has been a boon for the UK. The same considerations that you have outlined apply, though to a lesser extent, to the GG in Canada (and, I presume, Australia). Having a non-political figure who derives his/her authority from a source other than a partisan electorate is a definite plus. Of course, in our case that authority cannot be greatly increased by earning the love and affection of the general populace, as your monarchs can.

  69. Charles I says:

    We don’t hate it ALL, but we’ll be dipped in dogshit before we roll over for the endless bullshit, sanctimony, indignation, hypocrisy and outright racism and more spewed out by these rabidly conservative phony populist paragons of economic and moral virtue. For example we hate being told we oppose a thriving public sector by agang that runs the largest serial deficits ever – after reducing their income by $13 billion/yr -while scolding us that we are irresponsible. What Tory voted for that $145 Billion plus that Mr. Brainiac economist Harper owes us?
    We are a country, citizens, not a business, stakeholders. I’m not a pinko, whatever Mr. Ford’s Guest valedictorian Don Cherry thinks, and its fucking offensive to be told so by a cartoon or commentator.

  70. Walrus says:

    David, I assure you the Australian GG is not an anachronism, very far from it. In my opinion, they are the guardian of the Westminster system and can and do work to protect it from the kind attentions of Parliamentarians who would have perverted it long ago were it not for the GG’s or in Britain the Monarch.
    Cases in point:
    the dismissal of the Australian prime minister (gough whitlam) after he and his party attempted to continue governing without being able to get supply (ie: pass a budget) and the calling of a fresh Federal election. (Circa 1972)
    Current – The Speaker in Federal Parliament accused of sexual improprieties and fraud, resulting almost in a hung Parliament last year.
    current – the Victorian State Government technically now a minority after a member who has had criminal charges laid against him defected.
    There are numerous other matters involving the behaviour and proclivities of Parliamentarians that require the threat of GG intervention to maintain the Westminster system on an even keel. While it may only be used once every Twenty years or so, the threat of GG action is used far more frequently than one would suspect – you should know in addition that the Queen/the Palace has had to speak strongly to the Australian GG (Quentin Bryce – mother in law of the Labor party leader Bill Shorten, but that is mother story) over a confidential matter suggested to be Laisse Majeste or some such.
    To put it another way, without the Monarch as umpire, we would be no better than the USA 😉

  71. Mark Logan says:

    SAC Brat,
    I’ve a hunch that the reason nearly all of the Western(ized?) nations (with the notable and telling exceptions of the Swiss and the US) have the systems they do is because they were formed during the early post-WW2 era.
    They were all messed up and/or broke, and approached the issue from the perspective of having “modern” medicine at all.

  72. kao_hsien_chih says:

    And tremendous “non-profit” profits in the US, for hospitals and universities. Costs of medical services and education are going up, but most of it is not going into either healing or teaching, but the administration takes a decent sized cut nevertheless. No one seems to be trying to fix either, other than shift costs and/or calling names though.

  73. Alba Etie says:

    Hi Tyler
    Good to see your post here . Please explain what is ‘ first world demographics ‘ ?

  74. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Does anyone understand or can explain why there could not be 50 single-payer systems in US, one for each state?
    Would not that make more sense under the Federal structure of the United States?
    Why could not the healthcare law be an unfunded mandate to be delivered by each state to the best of its ability?

  75. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In regards to the site:
    Evidently it has cost more than $ 300 million to build it.
    I am an expert in IT and in my view only a voracious and unaccountable bureaucracy could account for this level of expenditure.
    This was not software/system/IT development – they should have hired me.

  76. Harper says:

    A short footnote: Friends who worked in the Senate for many years have commented that Obama did not even successfully run his Senate office. It was known as the most chaotic office with no chain of command, no clear assignments, and utter confusion.

  77. steve says:

    I have visited every Canadian province, and I can say that the only time I encountered any gratuitous anti-American attitudes was in the Toronto area. By this, I don’t mean particular critiques of certain foreign and/or domestic policies of the US, but personal animosity along the lines of “oh, you’re an American, you Americans are all so . . . . . . .”, etc., and not spoken in a friendly way.

  78. robt willmann says:

    At this moment, 9:05 a.m. on 17 November 2013, Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and who allegedly said after Obamacare passed that they then need to read it to find out what is in it, is appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press program to try to defend the Un-Affordable Care Act. Her performance is so pathetic that the stability my breakfast may be in danger. I may have to wait until it replays on MSNBC this afternoon to be able to sit through the whole thing.

  79. Charles I says:

    We are way too fat lazy and contented for rebellion.

  80. zanzibar says:

    Yes indeed! This point is not emphasized much at all, but is crucial since at the end of the day the total expenditure for health care has increased.

  81. zanzibar says:

    On this discussion on the ACA and in others I have read, I have noticed that an important point is never brought into focus – why is the cost of health care in the US so high comparatively. On both a per capita and a percent of GDP basis, US health care expenditures are significantly higher than other western industrialized countries – double the average!
    And it’s not necessarily single payer, since Medicare costs are equivalently higher. Additionally, health care costs in the US have grown in nominal terms over the past 30 years at a CAGR of around 9%. This is just not sustainable for much longer than a couple decades or less when the funding mechanism will breakdown. But with such powerful lobbies our politicians will kick the can over the cliff!

  82. Medicine Man says:

    I’d like to echo Paul Escobar on urgent care in Canada.
    My own experience with a treasonous gall bladder handily contradicts your anonymous Canadian acquaintances. About a weeks wait for the first surgery for a problem that was potentially, but not yet, life threatening and a second surgery about five weeks later as I recall.

  83. Richard Armstrong says:

    I’ll see your anecdotal “evidence” and raise you a peer reviewed study.
    As for the infamous Canadian system you are quite incorrect. Actually you’re just promulgating myths that have no basis in fact, are not supported by any empirical evidence and are merely based on anecdotal evidence usually found on Fox news or in “chain emails” forwarded from one uninformed person to an entire mailing list of uninformed persons.
    According to the peer reviewed journal Health Affairs, their study “Phantoms In The Snow: Canadians’ Use Of Health Care Services In The United States” found the following to be true based on empirical evidence:
    1. According to discharge data from medical facilities Canadian border (Michigan, New York State, and Washington State) between 1994 and 1998 only 4,527 Canadians were admitted to those hospitals. That breaks down to 2.3 admissions per every 1,000 at those facilities. Not a very staggering number.
    2. In a survey of 18,000 Canadians who were hospitalized in 1996 only 0.5 percent reported receiving any kind of health care in the United States and only 0.11 percent (20 out of 18.000) reported traveling to the U.S. for the express purpose of obtaining healthcare.
    As for the anecdotal “evidence” you provide from “several…Canadian acquaintances, the study states; “All of the evidence we have, however, indicates that the anecdotal reports of Medicare refugees from Canada are not the tip of a southbound iceberg but a small number of scattered cubes. The cross-border flow of care-seeking patients appears to be very small.”
    Now, I really don’t believe that the empirical evidence presented in Health Affairs will convince you that you’re wrong. In their paper; “When Corrections Fail”, Nyhan andReifler found that “[I]ndividuals who receive unwelcome information may not simply resist challenges to their views. Instead, they may come to support their original opinion even
    more strongly – what we call a “backfire effect.” In my experience people who rely on anecdotal evidence alone fall into that category.

  84. Richard Armstrong says:

    The answer is simple. No matter how incompetent our federal legislative bodies are they will never hold a candle to the ignorance, corruption and incompetence of the state legislators across this nation.
    The second reason is that many states (predominantly southern states who accept more in federal aid than they pay in taxes) have very limited tax bases and would be unable to afford any such program. Not that I think those states would want to as they’ve almost all refused to expand Medicaid like the more progressive states have.

  85. Richard Armstrong says:

    The $300 million price tag is an example of how the private sector (IT consulting firms) suck at the teat of the federal government. If the number of contractors to government employees who worked on the project wasn’t 98% contractors to 2% government employees I would be stunned.
    I say this as a former contractor who worked on many DoD and NOAA projects in the ’80s and ’90s.
    The only way the government can ever win when working with contractors is to award contracts that base compensation directly to specific deliverables with a very healthy bonus if those deliverables are met at a time significantly ahead of the planned roll-out. If the deliverables aren’t met they don’t get paid. If the roll-out missed they get paid the full contract amount. If the roll-out with all the deliverables is ahead of schedule they get a healthy reward.
    There are inherent problems with any project that has a fixed number of features and a fixed time-frame for release. According to the project management triangle of features/time/resources, the only variable that can be changed in an attempt to meet the deadline is to increase resources, or the number of people working on the project.
    This approach is almost doomed to fail because of the mythical “man-year”. Throwing too many people at a project will eventually come to resemble the old story that an IBM man-year is 2,000 people working for one hour. It might be a man-year, but nothing will be accomplished.
    They should have hired both of us.

  86. different clue says:

    Our governators were afraid that said prejudice against Single Payer is no longer strong enough to guarantee its prevention. That is why Senator Baucus had members of Physicians For Single Payer arrested and thrown out of his early hearings. To prevent “single payer” from being discussed on CSPAN where viewers could see it and where the media would have a hard time suppressing it.
    Part of ACA’s purpose is to poison the well so thorougly against any further discussion of any aspect of health care and insurance for decades to come that Single Payer can be prevented from consideration. The only way to change that would be for ACA to collapse or be collapsed in the next two years or less to create a vacuum into which various new approaches might be sucked.
    Would this new piece of hoped-for legislation being advanced by Senator Rubio be useful for advancing ACA’s collapse if it could be forced into law? It has to do with a deeply hidden ACA provision that the insurance companies recieve a TARP-style bailout if they don’t make the promised profits under ACA. Rubio wants to repeal that provision.

  87. Medicine Man says:

    Trying to stretch the ballad of Rob Ford into an indictment of all of Canada is a bit silly. While I agree that we deserve some ridicule (the priggishness Col. Lang comments on is real), Ford’s rise and fall are the product of local politics and I suspect that Toronto will put him in the rear-view mirror with less fallout than what Detroit has suffered.

  88. Medicine Man says:

    I believe you regarding the partisan angle to the saga of Ford. Looking on from afar though, it is hard not to see Ford’s enemies at least partially vindicated in their opinions of his character. As disgusting as you may find the antics of the Toronto media you have to admit that they didn’t *do* this to Ford.

  89. Medicine Man says:

    On the other hand, it looks like the Saga of Ford is going to get even more lurid, God help us:
    Well, grab your popcorn I guess.

  90. turcopolier says:

    I meant no offense with my remark aboot “priggishness.” Ford certainly is not that. I am not either. Given my background one might expect it but not so. One of our neighborhood scolds once told me that a retired colonel should not be seen looking like a bum. I thanked her. pl

  91. Will Reks says:

    The costs are higher in comparison because those countries set a budget, in effect, for their healthcare spending.

  92. Jose says:

    Very simple, no bid contract given to a company who’s Vice-President went to Princeton with Michelle Obama.

  93. Tyler says:

    Hi AE,
    What it comes down to is a responsible homogeneous demographic putting more in than being taken out. Japan would probably be the best example off the top of my head.
    The Nordic socialist countries are beginning to find this out first hand. They invited the world’s poor to come and have twelve babies on the government’s dime, and now they’re learning that what may work for a bunch of Swedes or Norwegians ain’t going to work for a bunch of khat chewing Somalis who want to sit around all day and bitch about how the government isn’t giving them enough money in between riots.
    The problem in the US is that between the judiciary making law from the bench (viz Prop 187) and Reagan declaring that emergency rooms are general clinics, we’ve painted ourselves into a damn corner in many ways. Ofelia the Illegal shows up in the E Room, has her baby, and its on the government’s dime. Then, contrary to what the amnesty traitors will claim, she’s able to petition for benefits based off the US Citizen status of her child (WIC, EBT, SNAP, etc).
    This is the kind of thing that gets the hackles of taxpayers up and they wonder why 40%+ of their paycheck is going to help illegal aliens, and they get one of two stock responses:
    1) Are you some sort of racist?!
    2) That’s just anecdotal!
    This is the current climate in America right now, where we can’t have an honest discussion of how to fix things without someone trying to shut down the discussion by calling someone else a racist (which is the modern day equivalent of calling someone a witch in colonial Salem).
    It all ties back in to the immigration issue, really. People rightfully balk when they’re told not only do they have to compete with illegal labor for jobs, but they’re also going to pay for their lifestyle choices too!

  94. Tyler says:

    (predominantly southern states who accept more in federal aid than they pay in taxes)
    With predominantly more minorities. I guess its a lot easier to bash the South than look at the data objectively.

  95. Tyler says:

    I too fall back on reports that are over a decade old and handwave anecdotal data when I want to prove a point.

  96. Jim says:

    Just a comment – I’m from Toronto as well – I think you’ve captured the bulk of it. For those who don’t follow the minutia of Canadian municipal law (ha!), it’s worth noting that Toronto was an amalgamation of a number of cities that had all grown into each other – since there could only be one mayor and that naturally meant more losers than winners, the province constructed Toronto so most of the power lies in councils. The mayor is essentially just a councilor with a fancy title and some extra powers granted by the council as a whole.
    The council has now stripped most of those powers from the mayor, though he still has a title. I would say that I’m not in favour of “tossing the bum out”. He was democratically elected and while a disgusting pig and an embarrassment, he has not been criminally charged with anything. The Crown’s office is not hesitant to lay charges in a case like this, unless it is just hard to convict (which is probably the case – drug use, versus trafficking, is generally tolerated in liberal Toronto). So unless something else comes out, he’s simply embarrassing.
    That is not a high enough bar to toss out an elected official. He should resign, but I think the province is correct to tread lightly on this – overturning an election because someone is an embarrassment is a greater harm to our democracy than simply having a neutered Mayor sulking in a drunken stupor in his office. The city continues to run fine without him. No need to overturn the election.

  97. Charles I says:

    What do scolds know about comfort?!

  98. Alba Etie says:

    Thanks Tyler . Food for thought . And as a side bar the mass shooting in was it Norway two years ago – those were immigrant children slaughtered – and the shooter was a Norwegian nationalist that was opposed to Nordic Socialist immigration policy ? Yes illegal immigration can be quite a divisive and emotional topic.

  99. Alba Etie says:

    Which company ? And why was it no bid ?

  100. Medicine Man says:

    That is kind of you to say. Thank you, Col.

  101. Tyler says:

    It was actually a youth camp for extreme leftists, but I won’t quibble because your point is a good one. The globalist utopians really don’t care how many bodies are left in their wake, because once “event X” occurs, everything will be better.
    The honest reality is that America’s future is going to be the Balkan breakup once the gimmedats run out. We seriously dodged a bullet with the amnesty treason getting ratholed, but they only have to be lucky once and then that’s pretty much the end as opposed to the slow rot we’re in now.

  102. Charles I says:

    He’s just invoked Bush I, claiming to be the victim Kuwait whilst threatening war as enforcer over the outrage of it all. Prepare to be shocked and awed.

  103. Alba Etie says:

    Food for thought . However I do not know if I am prepared to paint with such broad brushes whole communities. I know several Somali Taxi drivers here in Central Texas that are hard working and responsible family men .

  104. Jim says:

    The GG does count for Provincial and Federal politics and a couple of years ago made a decision to keep the current government in power federally to avoid having to call another snap election (as an example of where they do step in). In any case, they are usually loath to do anything without parliament’s consent – removing someone would be up to parliament to enforce its own rules, not to make an appeal to the crown.
    Note that there isn’t just one GG – the provinces have their own version as well (called a Lieutenant Governor) – as municipalities are created by the Provinces by an ordinary act, then you would be pointing to them. However, since they are creatures of the provincial parliament (i.e. those powers are enumerated under the municipalities act or the Toronto act, not in the constitution), it is up to the provincial Premier, not the GG to manage the situation. The GG or LG really has no power in that situation – they can only exercise some kind of control over the provincial and federal parliaments as described in the constitution, and can’t wade into the exercise of power in the municipalities – this is a constitutional monarchy after all.

  105. Jim says:

    close – the constitution specifically enumerates the powers of the GG and LG – they are related to appointing governments (as per the results of elections) and dealing with situations where the whole government in parliament has lost power (i.e. loss in a majority rules confidence vote) to call an election or let others form a new government. The GG or LG’s simply don’t get involved with the executive exercise of power – which tossing out a mayor would potentially be, though in this case, the province would need to pass a new law to allow that to happen – so two steps.
    We can have impeachment, but its the whole government that falls, not just one individual – and only at the federal or provincial levels.
    I’m actually hopeful that this is a good thing: we Canadians should better understand that electing a fool into power is a bad idea even if he promises to do what we want him to do. Clearly we didn’t do our due diligence even though the facts have been available before he became mayor. Character should matter more in my opinion – not perfection, but character.

  106. Tyler says:

    The godparents of my child are Mexican. My best friend during infantry was a black guy from Baltimore.
    Contra to what many on here may think, I have many personal relationships with a wide variety of individuals. On the other hand, I don’t let bad think shut down my thought processes and awareness of certain uncomfortable facts.
    Unfortunately the other side is painting with the big brush as well, and they’re using the big megaphone so that ALL Somalis are “hard working responsible family men” and to shut up and vilify anyone who points out otherwise.
    America is a land of opportunity, but it is not a land of unlimited opportunity. My loyalties will be to America and what is good for Americans, not what is good for the “global community”. We’re talking about at least 11% unemployment and we’ve got Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and the rest of the business elite complaining they can’t find workers (who will work for peanuts). Obviously there’s a disconnect here, but as I said the discussion gets shut down by screaming racist.
    I’m happy that they’re being responsible men, but I’m also curious if those jobs could have been taken by Americans? We import Somalis en masse to work in meat processing plants in the Mid West – why aren’t Americans able to do those jobs? (Hint – because the meat packers can pay a bogus wage)

  107. Alba Etie says:

    Food for thought. And at least three of the Somalis taxi driver have earned their citizenship. As for the meat packers – we do our best to buy humanely sourced local protein . The entire ‘supply chain ‘ for the ‘conventional ” meat producers is compromised – from overcrowded inhumane feed lots to too many antibodies in the carcass, to exploited illegal workers at the processing, packing plant. I would recommend Food Inc as an excellent film source on food facts.

  108. Richard says:

    Found the answer to my own question. 30-40% of functions have not been built.
    Here is the site

  109. Tyler says:

    Good for them. I think we take in too many legal immigrants as it is, but all the same, good for them.
    Oh, I know all about the meat supply chain. Its why I’m fattening up a beef steer right now in my back yard and trying to set up the necessaries to butcher Freedom Ranger chickens. The Cornish Cross hybrids are way too freaky for me (6 weeks to butcher!).

  110. Alba Etie says:

    Hmmm wonder if the hybrid Cornish are GMO bred ?

  111. Tyler says:

    No, they’ve just been crossed repeatedly (the ‘cross’ part of the name) with chicken breeds who have a certain obesity gene. Ye olde genetic modification, if you will.
    They’ll literally eat so much that they can become immobile or their hearts will explode from the stress of growing. Its why I’d rather deal with the various “Ranger” breeds (Red, Freedom, Rainbow) who grow faster than heritage breeds, but I don’t have to worry about exploding hearts and such.
    Of course, I’m also tempted to get some of the Delawares because they’re considered a rare breed among organic/natural farmers and they command a bit of a premium, much like my Dexters cattle.

  112. Jonathan says:

    The assumption in a number of posts has been that Obamacare will continue to be and/or be seen as a disaster. I think things may come out differently, so I propose a thought experiment:
    Assume that in 6 months time it is both true and quite clear that Obamacare has “worked” wonderfully in the sense that:
    . a) more than 2 million people who previously did not have insurance do have insurance and
    . b) the price for equivalent plans has gone DOWN compared to the previous year (or, even that the price has not increased as much as has been the case on average over the last few years).
    What difference would that make for the elections?
    Could there be other effects of Obamacare that are terrible (i.e. still asuming a & b occur) which would make Obamacare and/or Obama and/or the Democrats look bad?
    Would (a) and/or (b) lead to rethinking anything important?

  113. turcopolier says:

    Yes, let us assume that history unfolds as you hope it will. pl

  114. Tyler says:

    So not only do the two million who’ve lost their insurance so far get insurance but the estimated 100 million who will lose their insurance when the employe rmandate also keep their insurance in the biggest boondoggle in living memory.
    It ain’t called “hopium” for nothing.

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