Open Thread – 25 October 2016



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183 Responses to Open Thread – 25 October 2016

  1. turcopolier says:

    When people start writing OT comments I know that we need an open thread. ISW today is suggesting that the next rebel effort to lift the siege of East Aleppo is receiving surreptitious Turkish government support, presumably through the Hatay-Idlib routes. If that is so, then the Turkish government is not serious about its new relationship with Russia because this will be discovered by Russian intelligence. pl

  2. The Beaver says:

    Would love to see that happening but I guess all the princes and rich kids will be protected.

  3. apenultimate says:

    As a follow up to the brief social security discussion a week or two ago, here’s an article on where Clinton is likely to go with retirement savings:
    Brief summary:
    –401Ks replaced by mandatory retirement payroll deductions to be invested into funds that can invest in high-risk investments, where transaction fees are much higher
    –just to reiterate–mandatory, not voluntary like 401Ks
    –would give investment houses access to an additional $300 billion to invest per year
    –would generate an additional $1 billion in transaction fees per year for those investment houses

  4. BraveNewWorld says:

    I can’t help thinking that Erdogan is not long for this world. He is hosing the Americans, Russia, EU, Syria, Iran, Iraq ….
    This guy is gonna get got.

  5. Jack says:

    Liberal icon Michael Moore on people he knows in Michigan.
    I too know people who are tired of Clinton Inc and the MSM campaign to manufacture the election result. They are voting Trump to give a giant finger to the Borg. A very good reason IMO.
    And then there is Scott Adams.
    As I’ve noted before no matter who wins the presidency half the people are not going to consider the president legitimate. The divide among the American people is a chasm that can’t be bridged until the Borg is sent packing.

  6. Tigermoth says:

    I just watched another Houthi route of a Saudi block house on top of a hill with a BMP etc. On a clear sunny day, the Houthis walked up the main paved road with hardly a care in the world and took the place out. The Saudis are useless, that’s why they have to pay other people to fight their war.
    So the question is what do they do with the $billions of arms they buy? My guess is that they are the CIA’s laundromat since they can’t seem to use the stuff. The Houthis strip the small arms then destroy all the armor and vehicles.
    They then do their normal victory chant of which I can understand 2 words: ” America, and Israel”. I don’t think the Houthi word that comes before them means “VIVA”.

  7. BabelFish says:

    Why no is the right answer on no fly zones. Whenever I see an article in War on the Rock with Mike Pietrucha as the author, I read it with focus. Some of the facts are daunting. The number and cost of HARM missiles and towed decoys used in Kosovo is astounding. The number they quote regarding the USAF have up to 450 few fighters than back during early no fly actions is sobering.

  8. fjdixon says:

    Since this is indeed an open thread, wanted to recommend an older article by Tariq Ali on Kashmir. Interested on others take on his narrative.
    Found an exceptional (but long) article on Kashmir in LRB

  9. SAC Brat says:

    Just finished reading George MacDonald Fraser’s “The Complete McAuslan” and recommend it to anyone who liked “Quartered Safe Out Here”. Fraser again does a good job with the accents and the decisions he had to make as a platoon leader. A great view of what he saw and experienced and thought at the time in the post WWII Middle East.
    I haven’t quite warmed up to the Flashman series yet like I did with these two books and find myself preferring non-fiction at the moment.

  10. ambrit says:

    Just as in the days of the real Sublime Porte, could not todays’ ‘Sultan’ be but one in a constellation of would be “Fearless Leaders?” I’ve read comments suggesting that American foreign policy may not be monolithic now, with Pentagon versus Administration, versus who knows whom. Surely Turkey can become prey to factionalism that reaches the level of competing active foreign policy actors as well.
    As for Turkey not being serious about it’s “new relationship” with Russia, well, doesn’t that sort of relationship between state level entities ultimately depend on who fears whom, and to what extent? The Russians need but show a little love towards the Kurds to send the Porte a message.

  11. aleksandar says:

    The future Aleppo battle
    I couln’t be more acute.
    A buffer zone. Maybe the lesson of august nearly debacle have been learned.
    Jihadist VBIED caused so much damage to SAA.
    A sort of « mobile defense »  will reduce VBIED destruction possibilities.
    My guess is that SAA will set a double defense line.
    One from complex 1070 to Tal Bazou, Tal Ahed ( Tal Mutah ? ) and Air Defense Base. Occupying these tells give SAA a tactical advantage, more views, more capacites to use artillery and helicos
    Is it possible to create a « funnel » to concentrate jihadis force in a corridor between complex 1070 and Musrifah to destroy them  ? Don’t know.
    Second line of defense
    East of complex 1070 to Artillery Faculty.
    It seems that this line of defense in already set up, and heavily fortified.
    Maybe russian military advisors have planned some kinf of « Debaltsevo » COA ?

  12. Sam Peralta says:

    Looks like Obamacare premiums are exploding as expected as Obama leaves the mess to the next president.
    Who will Philadelphia vote for as many can’t afford health insurance at these rates? My bet the same Democrat politicians who have run the city for decades.

  13. The Beaver says:

    Like one of my uni African friends would say :
    Eating a banana at both ends
    “We have already begun laying the groundwork with our partners to commence the isolation of Raqqa,” Carter stated. “There will be overlap [with Mosul operation]. That is part of our plan and we are prepared for that.”
    In other news:
    Was this mission wrt Libya or something else?
    “reconnaissance missions in the Mediterranean”.

  14. Poul says:

    Mali turns bitter for France. State building is an expensive project of doubtful success rate.

  15. Sam Peralta says:

    The growth rate in the cost of medical care in the US is destroying our finances from governments to businesses to individuals. There’s no reason why we need to spend twice per capita for medical care compared to Germany or Canada. There’s got to be a scam and I am sure government is part of it.

  16. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Consider the following:
    1-Russia bombed tayyip’s tanker fleets, and terminated almost all trade and all tourism. The combined effect caused serious repercussions in Turkish economy.
    2-In the first election (since repeated) MHP, playing the Turkish nationalist card, gained significant votes away from AKP- tayyip had no choice but to permit TSK and our security forces to neutralize the PKK.
    3-After the false-flag gulenist putsch (this was first publicized as the work of secular Kemalists), tayyip is no longer sure of his standing with the Borg. He is now trying to eliminate both gulenists and secular nationalists, and is making the country ungovernable.
    4-tayyip realizes that if the kurds form a Mediterranean corridor and declare independence, he would be in serious trouble w/ his base.
    In summary, the klepto-islamist regime leaders are desperately trying to play both sides against the middle-their very lives depend on finessing this hand.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  17. jonst says:

    OUR relationship with Russia is deteriorating rapidly. I think, especially the ME, everyone at the White House has ‘checked out’ of the building. ‘Ring us back 21 January, 2017’.
    For anyone interested in a good discussion (my take, anyway) about US-Russia relations, this is a decent talk. one hour.
    Cohen is worth, again, my take, the price of admission alone.
    Since it is an open thread, if anyone desires, and has one, I’d like to hear about any Affordable Health Care Coverage personal experiences you might have. Trying to get a sense what is going on out as the sign up date, Nov 1st, approaches.

  18. turcopolier says:

    wrong. Once again we see here the delusion that the CIA is the government and runs everything. It does not. Except for materiel transfers connected to an intelligence liaison relationship or in a covert action, CIA plays no role in materiel sales. The big transfers are the result of country to country agreements and are handled by an office in OSD working in accordance with national policy. The Saudis buy all that stuff because the royal family makes a great deal of money in “commissions.” What they are doing in that trade is lining their own pockets at the expense of the kingdom’s treasury. They have some primitive idea that they need more and bigger toys but really have little idea what to do with them. When they begin to conceive the idea that they can play with the big boys they consistently screw up. pl

  19. Dr Puck says:

    Or, alternately vote for Mr. Trump who has promised his healthcare reform, after eliminating the ACA will:
    (1) lower co-pays
    (2) lower premiums
    (3) take care of those with pre-existing conditions
    (4) offer more choice
    (5) regain the direct patient-doctor relationship
    (6) and, all of this will cost much less than the ACA
    (7) Unleash competition and the entrepreneurial genius of the healthcare industry
    What’s not to like?

  20. rakesh wahi says:

    it is a big potential problem for India because in the past they have passed advanced weaponry to pakistan

  21. turcopolier says:

    rakesh wahi
    Once you sell something to a foreign country, you no longer control it. Any restrictions you try put on further transfers are just foolish. pl

  22. r whitman says:

    I have already voted. It has cancelled out Tyler’s vote.

  23. Mr Toad says:

    Turcopolier, I’d be wary of uncorroborated rumours from ISW. Kim Kagan’s husband is Robert Kagan’s brother. Just saying.

  24. turcopolier says:

    Mr Toad
    Thanks. Since I just fell off the turnip truck as it rolled into town I need the advice. ISW’s opinion was stated as just that. pl

  25. Allen Thomson says:

    > Except for materiel transfers connected to an intelligence liaison relationship or in a covert action, CIA plays no role in materiel sales.
    Which, this being an open thread and all, does bring me back to asking why the Camp Stanley Storage Activity in Texas, probably a cover for the CIA’s Midwest Depot, has been undergoing steady expansion from its already considerable size since 2001. Materiel transfer seems to be CSSA’s raison d’être, so the enterprise, sales or just gifting, looks like it’s in healthy shape.

  26. turcopolier says:

    Allen Thompson
    CIA has been known to use military cover. The scope of their transfers and their own equipment holdings is such as to require storage facilities but their transfers are not the big transfers. pl

  27. Sam Peralta says:

    You missed the biggest point which should be:
    (8) Enforce existing laws. (No exemption for big pharma from price arbitrage as an example).
    Snark aside, voting Trump to blow up the Borgist system would be the best bet. Better than voting for the same guys over and over again and getting the same punk results. That’s true insanity!!
    But…half the country prefers doing the same thing over and over again with the same results. Its always the lesser evil!

  28. Eric Newhill says:

    Re; ACA
    I work for one of the Big 5 insurance carriers and, since this past May, exclusively on ACA. I’m not in sales, though. In actuarial. However, I know the products pretty well, of course. Please let me know if there’s anything I can answer for you from that perspective.
    I have long had the impression that you are VN vet. Not to be too personal, but aren’t you at the Medicare age yet? If so, why do you seek ACA?

  29. jerseycityjoan says:

    Well it all sounds wonderful.
    But how can we expect more for less, when we’ve been getting less for more for decades from the healthcare financing system in this country?
    Who among the various providers who have been overcharging us much more than any other country in the whole world is going to accept getting paid 15%-25%-35%+ less?
    I do not see how the “free market” can help us on the worst problems, since companies have just felt “free” to charge us, the employers, the insurance companies and the government whatever they felt like.

  30. mike allen says:

    Great reads both! Agree with you about his Flashman series. And I never liked his screenwriting for various Hollywood farces. But the man did have a sense of humor.

  31. Tyler says:

    Huh! Looks like Colin Powell endorsed Hillary Clinton.
    Now let’s see the triple bankshot “lawgic” by her defenders on here that this in no way shows that she’s going to triple down on the Borg Policies that are part and parcel of who she is.

  32. Tyler says:

    r whitman,
    Or is it my vote that will cancel out yours?

  33. Daniel Nicolas says:

    They’re going to have to accept getting paid closer to 70% less. They’ve felt free to charge us whatever they feel like because the government has not been wiling to enforce the law.
    ” 15 USC Chapter 1. … bans, under felony criminal penalty and ruinous fines, any act that restraints trade, forms monopolies, price-fixes and similar. Trusts in restraint of import trade (e.g. prescription drugs) are also illegal, albeit at a misdemeanor level (15 USC Ch 1, §8)”
    Guess what happens when you and I are not prevented from buying MRI machines in bulk and importing them into the USA and set up shop? All those hospitals charging $11k for an MRI and associated costs are screwed because I can charge $200-300 and make a killing while stealing all the business and providing routine health care services.
    If only we had a government willing to enforce the law against the insurance company fraud, rather than one that was willing to bend over backwards to force Americans to give those private companies money…

  34. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    I think the Flashman books are wonderful. IMO the history in them is very sound and the ironic humor is just to my taste. You fellahs are very solemn about things. pl

  35. Martin Oline says:

    I have been considering casting an early ballot just to avoid the possibility of computer tampering/fraud in the counting. I live in Florida. Does anyone know whether it makes any difference in the total tabulation if an early vote is cast (Presumably paper ballot, I’ve never done it) compared to waiting for election day and casting a vote via a Diebold or other electronic machine?

  36. The Beaver says:

    @ Tyler
    Looking at this email circa September 2008, I wonder what the transition team are working on to ensure that the Borg policies are followed to the letter.
    Pretty sure the list is already out for vetting and the blessing of HRC.

  37. mike allen says:

    For sure they will try to duplicate Debaltseve or Ilovaisk. But Russian cauldron doctrine was developed long before that. At least since WW2 and probably before.

  38. mike allen says:

    The early ones were good, I agree. But he ran it into the ground. I did say that Fraser had a sense of humor.

  39. BabelFish says:

    We voted yesterday, in Jacksonville. Paper ballot, which is registered to your name via electronics, and then is fed into a reader for actual vote tabulation. I am not familiar with other Florida counties regarding equipment used but this method is the same as during voting without early balloting, at least in Duval county.

  40. Allen Thomson says:

    > but their transfers are not the big transfers.
    That’s true, but the CIA seems to be set up to do and perhaps is doing transfers in the range of tens of thousands of rifles per year, RPGs, recoilless rifles, etc. Plus ammunition.
    It’s not huge, but it probably isn’t insignificant on the scale of Syria.
    BTW, the Camp Stanley Storage Activity is just to the west of Ft. Bullis. I recommend looking around it in Google Earth and use the historical view to see how it’s acquired new floor space over the past 15 years.

  41. turcopolier says:

    Allen Thomson
    I realize that you used to work for Christians In Action and probably don’t like them much, but someone has to do covert action. Tell you what, let’s transfer the function to DoD. pl

  42. turcopolier says:

    Mike Allen
    Didya ever see the letter I have from him to some fellow out in The Valley. It ended up in a library sale at the public library in Woodstock, VA and was gifted to me. BTW I felt cheated when he never wrote the WBS book about Flashy. pl

  43. Kooshy says:

    I don’t think his endorsement will move many votes around, I think he messed his much gained credibility of the Iraq war one, in the UNSC presentation for Iraq war two. He Is in the history’ black hole basket.

  44. Will says:


  45. trinlae says:

    Also, one can ask “why”: How about the Kingdom is not likely to attract a regiment of Gurkhas any time soon, even if there are otherwise thousands of Nepali in the Gulf States as laborers.

  46. turcopolier says:

    I watched as a former British Gurkha officer (a baronet) employed by my “owners” tried to recruit a guard force of former Gurkha soldiers for one of our plants. The owners were Lebanese Sunni. They were utterly incapable of appreciating the sterling quality of these villagers in arms. I defended the troops (along with the Englishman)but they were fired and replaced with Kerala coolies. One of the finest days of my life was the moment in which their boss, a retired havildar came into my office with his mates and laid a Kukri on my desk. pl

  47. FkDahl says:

    The SAA has high ground with excellent LOS making good use of ATM.
    The usual jihadi mechanized shock (which seems to consist of Chechen mech infantry/shock troops, supported by VBIEDs, mortars and Grads) tactic does not reach its target. Probably still probing attacks though.

  48. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    I’m sure his agent told him he would lose half his American readers if he lampooned either side. But I wonder if he would he have characterized Flashman as a Fremantle?

  49. FkDahl says:

    …turnip truck.. will be added to my growing list of American idioms…thank you! Call me sentimental but I like that part of America more than box stores…

  50. trinlae says:

    This clip of July 27 HH Dalai Lama meeting local Sunni and Shia leaders J&K’s NE area of Leh Ladakh:

  51. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    He makes it clear in his other masterpieces that Flashy served first on the confederate side and them having been captured at Gettysburg becomes a yankee and ends up as a brevet BG of volunteers and a buddy of Grant. I can “see” that. Somehow I cannot see you among the dancers in the 128som reel danced out in the Libyan desert. pl

  52. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    re “There’s no reason why we need to spend twice per capita for medical care compared to Germany or Canada.”
    Yes there is a reason. It’s to set up toll booths to collect rents for the overhead administrators of the pharma and the for-profit medical and hospital industries, as well as Wall Street and most of all the health insurance companies. It’s working just fine.

  53. Henshaw says:

    There doesn’t need to be a scam- there only needs to be a medical industry prepared to be aggressive in pursuit of its own interests, and a government that doesn’t think it can survive the PR fallout of saying ‘no’.
    The US medical industry looks to me like a number of other ‘big’ industries (big pharma, big agriculture, big finance etc) that use massive lobbying to apply pressure to government to protect and enhance their own position at the expense of the rest of the community.
    These lobbying efforts are precisely targeted and coordinated to achieve their objective- think of the amounts they spend on lobbying Congress. By contrast, the targets of these campaigns are usually a disparate, loose collection of impecunious interests, ie pretty much sitting ducks.

  54. Jack says:

    “Hillary’s plan for Syria would lead to World War III”, says Trump. He also adds “What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria.”
    I agree.

  55. Jack says:

    Henshaw and EX-PFC Chuck
    The Borg has the system rigged to use the power of big government to benefit the few who run big business. Drain the swamp!

  56. robt willmann says:

    pl, Allen Thomson,
    I also think that the U.S. Military/Defense Department should do any violence by the U.S. government outside of the borders, because they are trained to do it and have a specific structure. All of the CIA monkey business to try to destabilize countries, overthrow governments, promote violence, and commit violence is just that — political monkey business — which creates an enormous temptation for politicians and those outside of government who want such things and might benefit from them.
    A number of years ago, a man who had been in the military and was a long-time employee of the NSA, mostly as a civilian from its inception, asked me out of the blue one day at a Mexican restaurant if I wanted to work at the CIA. I politely declined, and told him why. As time has gone by, and more is disclosed about such activities as Benghazi, Libya and Syria — as directed by the president, of course — I think my thoughts were correct.
    Acquiring good information about foreign lands for policy use is not easy to come by, nor is it easy to analyze and distill. If analysis at the CIA is now chopped up into support groups for separate “operations” sections, then that is not “intelligence” collection and analysis, but is just support for existing policy.

  57. Eric Newhill says:

    You’re both a few clicks off zero. Medicine in the US is very high tech and high tech costs big $; especially new high tech. American doctors and patients alike demand the latest and greatest tech in all aspects of their health care. Insurance finances it (simply pays for it for the most part) at the point of purchase. When insurance comes to recup a year or so later via increased premiums, everyone squeals and points the finger at them.
    The socialized systems don’t permit the latest and greatest tech. They stick with what works pretty well already.
    That there outcomes are at least as good proves what we in the insurance industry have been saying (like a voice in the wilderness). A lot of the high tech is a) over priced and b) doesn’t provide that much more benefit. Certainly not enough marginal benefit to justify the greatly increased cost.
    Then there is high tech that is pretty damn good at fixing things that could never have been fixed in the past. So consumption of the goods and services increases. The socialized systems, considering what they will cover, draw a line at what is absolutely necessary and should be performed versus what is nice, but not critical. Insurance companies try to do this in the US, but then we get Michael Moore splattering us (big insurance) over mass media. So, we give in to demand and then raise the premiums to cover it. Knowing this, the producers of tech and the doctors who want to use it keep driving forward and round and round it goes.
    That is all there is to this. No organized conspiracy.

  58. Larry Kart says:

    Speaking of sense of humor, I highly recommend the serio-comic political thrillers of the late Ross Thomas.

  59. Fred says:

    You guys both live in the same state?

  60. steve says:

    Zerohedge? They have predicted huge premium increases ever since Obamacare was passed. Didn’t happen. Trump’s plan? A chicken in every pot. It is easy to promise paradise, but he has no specific plans on how to to do that. Can free markets lower health care costs? They don’t have a history of doing that. When Singapore tried to do market based reform costs went up and they had to abandon a lot of market based ideas. It may be possible of markets to lower prices in health care, but no one knows how to do it.

  61. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    128som reel? You lost me. Plus SWMBO always said I was duckfooted.
    BTW – I’m just finishing up on the last chapters of Russel Miller’s biography of Field Marshall Slim that Fraser served under in Burma. Good read, I recommend it. Fraser, who served as a private and lance corporal in the Fourteenth Army said Slim had: “the head of a general but the heart of a private soldier”. Another author, John Masters who led a Gurkha unit, also served under Slim and highly praised him.

  62. Allen Thomson says:

    > I realize that you used to work for Christians In Action and probably don’t like them much, but someone has to do covert action. Tell you what, let’s transfer the function to DoD. p
    That would be fine with me. There was the tension between covert action and intelligence collection/analysis from the very beginning in 1947 or a few milliseconds thereafter. IMO, covert action was the part the White House always esteemed, as it provided a way to get around otherwise annoying legal restrictions. CA and the somewhat mythical HUMINT James Bondish rep has always been a strong underpinning of CIA’s overall influence. Well, that and the satellite collectors.
    Whether a CIA today could survive as an intelligence-only organization (who cares about intelligence in the Halls of Power?) and whether the DoD would do better in covert ops, I dinna ken.

  63. jonst says:

    Yes, on all counts Eric, I’m 66. Went into the Corps at age 17. I was an asshole, so to speak, but, I think, I hope, a well meaning one. Anyway…I just want to ‘understand’. In a world of corrupted sources, the people on this Committee, and more precisely, their opinions, mean something to me. Just to learn.

  64. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    A series of ominous blog posts came to my attention over the weekend when the first of the group was reposted last Saturday at Automatic Earth, and again yesterday at Naked Capitalism. They originally appeared last July as guest posts by Louis Arnoux at Cassandra’s Legacy, a blog about the planet’s diminishing resources. The posts are based on a study by The Hills Group, an engineering and management consulting firm focused on the energy industry. Their report of which is behind a pay wall, although at $30.00 it’s not as high as I feared it might be. I know nothing about guest author Louis Arnoux, however Cassandra’s Legacy is hosted by Ugo Bardi, a professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Florence.
    The tl/dr is that, because (taking into account the inevitable losses imposed by the laws of Thermodynamics) the world-wide average per barrel Energy Recovery On Energy Investment (EROEI) ratio of newly discovered oil has recently crossed 1.0 in the downward direction, it has become impossible for the aggregate of the world’s oil companies to profitably explore for and produce from new oil-bearing formations. As the EROEI continues to drop, ever more exploration and drilling companies will withdraw from the business and those who don’t will find it ever more difficult to get financing. According to the study as described by Arnoux, the implications are both counter-intuitive and catastrophic. The formers because the price the refiners will be willing to pay for a barrel of oil from the new production can never again rise high enough to earn a justifiable return on the producers’ investments, and therefore the oil industry will wither away as the production from already established fields gradually plays out. The results will be catastrophic because it means the end of the globally industrialized world (GIW) as we know it, since the GIW is built on transport and 96% of the energy used by transportation industries is from liquid fuels derived from crude oil. By 2030. The third and last post in the series, which I’m still wading my way through, presents an aggressive plan for mitigating the decline, but . . . can you spell “politically impossible?” If these folks are anywhere close to the mark everything we’re doing now is arranging deck chairs.
    Below are the links to the three parts at Cassandra’s Legacy. I’m also including the Part I link at Naked Capitalism because I found the comment threads at both places helpful to understanding the reasoning. Also below is a link to The Hills Group where you can buy a copy of their report.

  65. TV says:

    Well you know one side that will do NOTHING – America and it’s boy-king.

  66. TV says:

    On the one hand, we have a narcissistic immature jerk and on the other hand…the Clinton crime family and the media.
    I loathe Trump less than I loathe Clinton and the media – the dishonest, scum bag media.
    And the Republicans who have endorsed Clinton?
    Seems to be about half those who want jobs or beltway bandit contracts and half who are just inside-the-beltway parasites worried about their rice bowl and that Trump isn’t one of “them.”
    The same bunch that brought us Iraq, TARP, < 2% growth, double the national debt and the icing on the cake, a massive mess in the Middle East.

  67. TV says:

    People had the chance to at least try to end Obamacare in 2012.
    They didn’t.
    Romney has a car elevator, hence he was not qualified to be President.
    Now, the piper wants to be paid.
    Life’s tough;it’s tougher when you’re stupid.

  68. Eric Newhill says:

    JCJ, et al. I will be voting Trump, but his position on health care insurance is pure nonsensical idiocy. I have no idea what he is talking about and, whatever it is, it isn’t going to save anyone any money. He will the ACA and a lot of people that were enjoying healthcare due to a wealth transfer, will go back to not having health care. OTOH, if Trump can bring jobs back to the US, these same people might become employed and gain insurance coverage that way. But don’t kid yourselves. Trump is clueless on this one.

  69. wxrlly says:

    Healthcare in the US is no more “high tech” than in any other developed country. Exactly the same drugs will cost up to 10 times more in the US than in other countries, I can personally attest to that. Exactly the same imaging exams done by the same high tech machines, will cost 10 times in the US. I´ll give you an example. A state of the art (latest model high tech machine yada yada) abdominal MRI in the fanciest Bogotá hospital, paying without any coverage (full up front cost) costs 200 dollars. Can get the exam done for less at a more modest place (with the same machine). That has nothing to do with high tech, and everthing to do with corruption in washington (call it lobying, whatever) . The only reason that prescription drugs, treatments and exams are so expensive in the US is because they can get away with it. I work in the pharma sector in Colombia, even at 10% the price of a certain drug vs the US price, the profit margin is usually over 300% for most drugs. Profit margins for drug sales in the US is obscene, but it is imposible to get into that market, its pretty much a well gaurded oligopoly .
    Another, example: The other day I had cut in my cornea (eye) from run-in with a twig. Went to a ofphtalmology clinic’s emergency room service, was treated within 30 min, very good, profesional attention. Got the treatment (again without any coverage) and eye drugs for less than 100 dollars.
    In contrast, some years ago, I got an eye infection in New York City. I didn´t have any coverage. A doctors apointment set me back 250 dollars, plus the medication (normal antibiotics) cost an astounding 150 dollars. I couldn´t belive it, but didn´t have a choice. When I got back to Colombia, found the exact same antibiotic drops, same brand name and everything for 15 dolars (there was also a non-brand generic with the same compound for 5 dollars) .
    I´m sure many can atttest that top of the line medical service in a third world country is much better than average US service, for less money than your deductable.

  70. steve says:

    I agree it means nothing to the public, and was thinking he wanted to get back in Hillary’s good graces after the email kerfuffle over Hillary’s “even Colin Powell used private email” excuse.

  71. Tyler says:

    Tell me how much illegal immigration those countries have.

  72. Tyler says:

    So “read Flashman” is what you guys are telling me?
    Going up into the mountains tomorrow to try and take a muley. Wish me luck.

  73. Eric Newhill,
    I agree that there is no organized conspiracy, but I do think pervasive greed has a lot to do with the high cost of US healthcare. It’s probably no worse than in any other aspect of our society. The health industry enjoys a lock on their customers. We can either pay the price or live maimed, in pain or just die. I can’t think of another industry that shares that kind of advantage.
    Do you have any insight into the liability insurance paid by doctors, hospitals and others for malpractice protection? I’m sure that adds to the cost of healthcare, but I don’t know to what extent.
    I’d also be interested in your ideas to fix the health care/health insurance cost problem. Like Colonel Lang, I’d like to see universal health care. I’d like to something along the lines of Medicare and the VA to provide baseline health care for all. That would mean not being able to get every freaking procedure or pill or being kept alive long after you’re supposed to die naturally.

  74. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Numbers wise, it is difficult to see an assemblage of voters that would make a Trump election too likely.
    The minority voters will make up perhaps 15-20% of the electorate (more likely 15 than 20, if only for the likely downturn in turnout), but they will be overwhelmingly in favor of Clinton.
    The working class (i.e. non-college educated) whites will make up perhaps 35-40% of the electorate (I’m thinking that it might be closer to 40%). While a large majority will be in favor of Trump, the ratio will not be as lopsided as with the minority voters. So, between these two groups, Clinton and Trump would be roughly even, with some advantage for Trump because of geographic concentration of working class whites in key Midwestern states.
    The big question for me is how the remainder, the college educated whites, would behave. Overall, Republicans had fairly decent, even if smallish compared to other demographics, advantage among this demographic for decades. Furthermore, these are the voters who tend to stick to their parties more consistently than others. On the other hand, though, polls have been showing that, usually, HRC has been leading among this demographic, even if the magnitude of the lead has been highly variable, and I can supplement the data with personal anecdotes that there really is significant hostility to Trump (even if not necessarily love for HRC) among this group, especially among the populations that had been comfortably Republican.
    What got pollsters to discount Trump’s chances of getting the Republican nomination too seriously was that they were ignoring the data showing large support (and enthusiasm) for Trump especially among less-likely-to-vote segments of the electorate because they had theories (that I normally insist are not as reliable as they’d like) that suggest a strange outsider cannot beat the party machinery easily on strength of unlikely voters. Now, I seem to be reluctant to abandon social science theories (that say that more educated, more affluent voters stick to their party more consistently) in face of contrary data (that suggest a lot of normally reliable Republican voters of educated/affluent strata are willing to abandon Trump).
    In terms of the post-election politics, the crisis of legitimacy that will follow the likely Trump loss is not quite going to be so crushing: A significant proportion of the working class white supporters of Trump will feel that the election result will be illegitimate, but not necessarily even an overwhelming majority. Still, having even 10-15% of the national population openly rejecting the election results will be dangerous for a HRC presidency, were that to pass.
    This might be one place where “democracy” as normally practiced might be a bad idea: it does not matter who “won” the election, if the divides are too deep. After the first post-apartheid elections, the South Africans supposedly suppressed the real results (which would have shown ANC winning by a ridiculous margin) so that de Klerk could be Mandela’s vice president and a de facto natinoal unity government could be formed. One almost hopes that our leaders are far-sighted enough to consider something like that, although the “outsiders” that need to be invited into the nat’l unity government are not the “Republicans” like Paul Ryan and other clowns in mainstream politics (and they’ll probably have the House majority anyways, so they would already be “in,” if they like), but actual representatives of the Main Street (which I don’t think Trump is, even if he has a better read on them than almost every “politician.”). Who exactly could possibly be invited, even if we do decide on a “national unity” government?

  75. Doug Colwell says:

    For the record Tyler, were in a position to vote, this paleo leftist would vote Trump. As David Habukkuk suggested, I would do so after a few stiff drinks.

  76. Doug Colwell says:

    I’m with you on the Flashman books (and much else) sir. I discovered them in the late seventies and couldn’t get enough. My father was a historian and I would ask him about details now and again. Macdonald did good research as far as I could tell.

  77. Jay says:

    We just love to play dangerous games. Think the Russians are playing chicken? Here is my two cents. Zero will happen prior to Nov 8th. But all locks are off after the 8th. Is the Borg this stupid? Well $500M up in smoke training 100 moderate forces, moderate forces jumping ship, etc. Do I have to say anymore? Now it’s about saving the children…… Yes they are this stupid.

  78. Swampy says:

    His endorsement wasn’t a signal for “us” but rather for “them”. He just ensured his seasonal invitation to the only Washington parties that matter.

  79. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Odd typos in the last post. Corrections follow, although the substance doesn’t change, although these numbers would actually make sense while the previous ones did not.
    The likely share of minorities in the voting age population will be about 30%. The actual turnout will be lower for various reasons, which will bring down their share of the electorate to about 25% or less. Those who do vote will still be overwhelmingly in favor of the Democrats, though.
    The non college whites will make up about 35-40%. The point about these two groups being heavily, but not quite overwhelmingly pro-Republican still holds, with their concentration giving Trump an advantage in several key Midwestern states (and making possible scenarios where Trump can lose popular votes and still win electoral votes.)
    The point remains that, taken together, these voting demographics roughly cancel themselves out, with slight advantage to the Republicans because of geographic distribution. This still leaves the college whites, making up around 40% of the electorate, as the decisive demographic. Normally, Republicans hold a small edge with these folks, but Trump seems to have lost it according to the polls, although, historically, these are the groups that consistently vote party.

  80. trinlae says:

    Ok, sir, i will send you a new one as a momento, just small size for opening envelopes. They also have glass kukuris filled with rum (like glass liquer-filled AKs).
    I’ll also suggest to Gen. Rana (retired) to enjoy yur SST.

  81. trinlae says:

    Good Gurkha documentary here:

  82. johnf says:

    The BBC is featuring this stgory prominently too:
    The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Spaniards are going to refuel the Russian aircraft carrier on its voyage to Syria:

  83. Old Microbiologist says:

    Perhaps you have over-simplified the problem. There is a lot more to it than that. Profit motive is the largest problem and expectations by physicians and pharmaceutical companies as well as for-profit institutions and insurance providers to get rich. In the US and Canada physician salaries are insane. Couple that with the bizarre acceptance of foreign trained “doctors” who only hold baccalaureate degrees has been disastrous.
    I live in Hungary which has a national health care system which works more or less fine. It is relatively no frills service but reliable and dependable. Not state of the art but modernized enough. We have MRI’s and CT scans and up to date diagnostic equipment. Sometimes it is centralized and you may have to travel for a particular instrument and there might be a wait of a week or so. Not the months we have in the US. The physicians are all medical doctors and specialists all have bonafide PhD’s from real universities. (I say that tongue in cheek as I have friends who “own” medical universities on Grenada and Niue, NZ. Few of procedures are actually performed by technicians and most are done by doctors, often by the one you are seeing. The benefit is they order what diagnostic tools are necessary and interpret the results immediately.
    For example my 91 y/o mother who lives with us has had recurrent UTI infections, something not uncommon in elderly women. I made her an appointment with the urologist at our neighboring medical center and she was seen 2 days after making the appointment. We saw the doctor (not privately but as exactly as anyone else here) who ran the urinalysis right there in the clinic, and was obtained by supra-public aspiration to ensure it was clean. That alone would be considered a surgical procedure in the US with attached exorbitant costs. The culture was done immediately right there while we were watching as well. She (the doctor) immediately did a diagnostic ultrasound of my mother again right on the spot. Mind you, we have no functional insurance here (only military Tricare overseas which is less than useless) and are strictly on a cash for service basis. The total cost for everything including antibiotics and a blend of herbal teas was under $40. Add in a $20 tip and it came to $60. As another example, my 75 y/o next door neighbor just had cataract surgery done, again on a cash basis using a private doctor here of high reputation. The costs including lenses, surgery, examinations and follow up visit was $265 (75,000 HUF) per eye.
    If we were citizens our cost for insurance would be roughly $25 a month but doesn’t include pharmaceuticals or dental. However, dentistry here is a similar story and about 10% the costs as in the US. The biggest difference I see here is that physicians here are mostly government employees and receive a fixed salary of roughly $1500 a month. There is also a lot less poured into having fancy modern buildings. On the other hand they are insane about cleanliness and it helps a great deal to cut down on nosocomial infections. Anyway, $1,500 a month is a relatively high salary in Hungary. They are supplemented with “tips” which generally run between 10,000 to 20,000 HUF ($35 to $70) for insurance customers and zero for cash only patients like ourselves. I tip when I feel the have gone out of their way to help us but it isn’t obligatory for anyone. They supplement their income in evenings seeing cash patients. I do sometimes give a good bottle of whiskey which is always appreciated.
    Like you indicate though things we assume will be done in the US just aren’t done here and it is a societal difference. When you get old here (over 75) they know you are going to die fairly soon and if you have a fatal illness they will only provide palliative care through the national medical insurance. As sad as that sounds it makes financial sense. They don’t pour tons of money on elderly care. In a sense you have a responsibility to die here when it is your time. The same is true for expensive medications. There is a robust pharmaceutical industry in Hungary and Croatia so generics are super cheap. If a generic works then they will not even look for something else. Additionally, in every country in the EU pharmaceutical prices are fixed by the government and negotiated for all of the EU simultaneously. This makes them as affordable as possible and yet the pharmaceutical companies are still making profits. Everyone in the EU pays the exact same price for medications. In fact there is only one country in the world which doesn’t do this, the USA. It is somewhat shocking to buy pharmaceuticals here and see the insanely cheap prices compared to the US. Often it is less than 1% what you pay in the US and yet they still make a profit.
    I think the big problem, just like University education, they are now being run on a for-profit business model. IMHO some things cannot be done that way which is why socialism is acceptable.Should we ever decide to create a new Constitution perhaps they will include education, pensions, vacations, work hours, and health care as basic unalienable rights.

  84. Nuff Sed says:

    To all: FYI, I responded to Miletus’s reply to one of my posts in the “The Turks want Mosul and Aleppo “back.” ” thread, in case Miletus or any anyone else is interested.

  85. Procopius says:

    “… funds that can invest in high-risk investments, where transaction fees are much higher.” …and returns are somewhat lower than low-load index funds. There, fixed that for ya.

  86. bks says:

    Zerohedge seems like a bizarre source for political wisdom. Their focus is U.S. markets and they’ve been dead wrong about that arena for years on end. Each time I am led there by your correspondents, I am reminded of my brother-in-law. He came to my house each Thanksgiving and regaled us with the need to accumulate silver and gold, to divest from the stocks, and to disdain fiat currency. The collapse of the markets was always imminent. He passed away in 1999.

  87. Nancy K says:

    Trump as president that is what is not to like.

  88. Fred says:

    Good luck. I want to see some mule steak photos in the near future.

  89. Fred says:

    NATO has sprung into action:
    I can’t imagine the Russians were not aware that fueling a ship at sea would be a requirement but maybe they are just playing rope-a-dope with the press as a giant distraction from what they are actually doing.

  90. tim s says:

    You can’t just say “minority votors” and then conclude that they will overwhelmingly go for HC. I’d not think that the great majority of Hispanics can necessarily go for HC. Hispanics tend to more traditional families and similar values. It seems to me that the Dems are shooting themselves in the foot regarding Hispanics by pandering to the LGBT base (and the BLM base too, for that matter), who I’d imagine would hold those types in low regard overall. I’d also think that a great number of Hispanics are not in favor of illegal immigration. Those who’ve established themselves here have the most to lose from uncontrolled immigration.
    Asians are a minority that probably are fairly conservative. Whether they go for a Republican clown show is unknown, but they are likely as repulsed by the current Dems as are the rest of the many sensible people these days.
    Blacks – OK, overwhelmingly for HC is pretty likely, but as an overall percentage of the “minorities” population they’re surely not a majority.

  91. turcopolier says:

    mike allen
    128som reel. Read “The General Danced at Dawn.” I have read a great deal of military history, all kinds of history actually, and a fair amount of biography. I read the big thick early biography of Slim. He was an admirable man and a great soldier. You seem to agree with RE Lee in his statement that he did not read fiction because it weakened the mind. I obviously do not agree with that. I chose to write my WBS trilogy as literature rather than history because I believed then and now that much more can be well and truly said in fiction than can be said in a discipline in which human nature is often “ironed out” of the work. pl

  92. eakens says:

    The irony of the Democrats putting in Obamacare, and then setting up open enrollment (and when premiums would be readjusted) to begin in November right around the election time is rather delectable. Did they really believe that Obamacare was something they could use to gain votes every other November, or did they just overlook the fact that open enrollment would coincide with the presidential election?

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is true; all I needed to learn about WBS, I learnt from Margaret Mitchell.

  94. Eric Newhill says:

    It’s the amount of high tech and the frequency of its use that drives the cost.
    What a provider charges a non-insured patient is not what they are typically paid b/c most patients have insurance. One of the huge value adds that insurance companies provide is contract negotiation that sets reimbursement rates. If you had insurance, the insurance company probably would have paid $120 for you Dr visit and the antibiotics might have been around $60.
    That savings is then passed along to the patient in via lower premiums.

  95. Norbert M Salamon says:

    I am happy that you brought it up for the readers herein [I was aware of the notes]. The cited analysis is but a new take on the long time hypothesis by the peak oil community. They talked about EROEI, the nominal cost of hydrocarbon recovery under different conditions from Saudi to oil sands, through shallow or deep sea operation.
    The dream of technology improvement is marginal in most instances, for it only covers the drilling/fracking/etc., is not applicable to refining, transportation, ecological damage [e.g. methane leaks in fracked areas].
    The thermodynamic analysis underlines the long time position of the peak oil community, that there is a demarcation between recoverable hydrocarbons and total hydrocarbons in earth’s crust. This germane point is often dismissed by economist and talking heads of MSM

  96. jld says:

    Doesn’t work because of the ‘.’ stuck at the end.
    To everybody, please take care to end every URL you post with a space, otherwise it confuses the Typepad script about where the address actually end.

  97. Fred says:

    How did this happen?
    On a bright note DOJ is going to gin up the outrage machine:
    “In 2014, a local grand jury refused to indict the NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo most involved Garner’s death.”If you don’t get the indictment you want, just change the venue.

  98. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Numberswise, about 90% of blacks, about 75-80% of Hispanics, and about 70% of Asians will choose the generic Democrat, if the pattern from 2012 will continue (and there is no evidence that it will be otherwise). So, all told 80-85% Democratic votes out of all minorities is not unreasonable, and that’s pretty overwhelming out of an electorate that will make up almost 30% by population and will still make up around a quarter of the votes (see below for corrections to earlier numbers). It IS true that there will be variations among the subgroups–for example, Cubans are still relatively more Republican. Puerto Ricans care little about immigration (even though they are heavily Democratic). (Older) Koreans are more Republican than other East Asians, etc. In the actual calculations, these were taken into considerations, but these variations are too small to really make much difference.
    The bottom line is that, when the numbers are added up, Trump and HRC are roughly even (with a few percentage differences one way or the other) depending on turnout assumptions, when minority voters and non-college white voters are accounted for. The election is left to turn on college educated white voters, especially those who voted Republican in the past. That places HRC’s campaign strategy, of trying to turn these voters (esp. women) in context. We’ll see how that has worked out in less than a couple of weeks.

  99. Eric Newhill says:

    I agree that there is a lot of greed driving costs. Actually, there is no doubt it.
    However, I’m going to be a broken record here, but I’ll try to reframe in a way that makes the point a little better and incorporates your excellent point about providers having “a lock” on their customers.
    There are two ways that cost go up; 1. increased utilization 2. increased unit cost. What we have is both 1 and 2 occurring. Why? because advancing technology means that more people can be treated for a greater variety of conditions. And the new tech comes, usually, at a higher unit cost. Very little – so little as to be irrelevant – of the tech advancement is unit cost reducing.
    Some day, perhaps we’re almost there, *anything* that is wrong with you can be medically addressed with at least some level of success (even if it is an expensive new drug that increases that avg length of survival of a diagnosed cancer patient (say pancreatic) from 6 months to a year. What is that extra 6 months worth? If you’re the patient, you may say $millions. We can now perform cataract surgery with minimum difficulty and routinely excellent results. There are all kinds of precision high tech tools employed. So lots of people are getting the surgery. Total cost per eye is around $5k when all is said and done. What is the ability to see again worth? And on and on and on with conditions where we used to tell patients that there is nothing that can be done or reserve treatment for only the most serious situations.
    But it’s not just that. Look at a hospital room these days. Hoses, tubes, monitors, gizmos with LED lights, machines that go “beep” all over the place. In every room. These things need to be replaced every so often and they “need” to be replaced with the latest and greatest. So simply entering a hospital room – forget the procedure that will be done – will be very expensive. Avg cost of room and board alone is around $3500/day.
    So, let’s say you eliminated the provider greed factor and things were made to cost what they are worth (already we see that is a difficult price point to set). You might see a reduction in cost. However, it would be a one time reduction only because cost would resume increasing as more people are treated for more conditions (in aggregate and as individuals). This is the usually overlooked patient greed factor. I want all the healthcare I can have and screw the cost.
    The only way to stop the trend is to make tough rationing choices.
    This is why I think that the government does not want to own healthcare. No politician wants to have to run on a platform of being the one who will ration your healthcare. No politician wants to have to deal with an angry AMA. It is also recognized that some other politicians would run on a platform of expanding coverage and that would run costs further out of control. Healthcare would be a political weapon to a much greater extent than it already is.
    That is why the feds turned over much Medicare and Medicaid admin to the private companies a few years ago.
    Drug costs are NOT a major driver in the overall picture.
    Physician malpractice insurance can be a driver in certain specialties, but is not a significant contributer overall.
    The typical medium sized town family practice physician is netting around $200k – $250k/year. They’ll tell you they deserve it (went to med school, work hard, etc). Big city surgeons are making much more. Surgical centers and nursing homes are big business; very profitable. Hospitals not so profitable, but everyone who works in them are well paid.
    My idea to fix the system is that medicare would be expanded to include anyone of any age who has certain serious conditions. Medicaid would be expanded to cover people of higher income level than currently (with a sliding scale for patient responsibility as income level increases – the feds would have to chip in to the states on this). Make the economy strong again with good paying jobs and healthcare benefits through private companies (what we have, but just with higher employment levels).
    I am all for a socialized single payer system, conceptually as long as there is rationing and common sense involved. My reservations about that are already outlined above. US politics are different than European and the greed factor on both the provider and patient part seems to be greater in the US. Or, as you say, “That would mean not being able to get every freaking procedure or pill or being kept alive long after you’re supposed to die naturally”

  100. Jov says:

    U.S. Army’s chief of staff General Mark A. Milley recently said the following:
    ”And we know from history that unipolar and bipolar international systems tend to be very stable, but we also know that multipolar systems are inherently prone to competition, confrontation, instability and state on state wars.”
    starting from 46:19
    Although it very much depends on the point of view, many people felt it in the 90’s that unipolar systems are not natural, perhaps making an analogy with nature and Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. That is also my firm belief.
    But I cannot make a clear difference between bipolar and mulitpolar systems, in terms of history. Any thoughts?

  101. kao_hsien_chih says:

    The first thing that I wonder about the health care industry, about which I don’t know too much about, is how it compares to the higher education, about which I do know a decent bit, and I’m glad that you drew the comparison.
    Increasingly larger share of costs in higher education go into various infrastructure of questionable (education) value–nice dorms and facilities for students, a lot of technology to generate data (but not necessarily for improving instruction), more administrators and staff to oversee these things, etc. In a paradoxical way, at least a decent chunk of it is driven by a demand for “accountability,” since “accountability” is taken to mean generating ever more data to justify this or that, which in turn, demands ever more infrastructure at more cost. Of course, since universities are non-profit, at least in principle, it needs to spend all its “profits” so the surpluses thus generated get recycled back as additional expenses, completing the self-licking ice cream cone logic. Curious if something comparable is at work in the health care industry: the calls for data-ization of the health care industry has been ongoing for some time, and while there is no doubt much improvement in efficiency that can be achieved by making patient records electronic and so forth, I always wondered if that is/was an especially big cost center or a potential boondoggle, for example.

  102. Eric Newhill says:

    OMB, please see my response to TTG. As you are a medically oriented man, I want to add, from a clinical standpoint, that obesity is a huge driver of cost in the US. It leads to a myriad of conditions which, per my answer to TTG, are all treatable at high cost; everything from knee and hip replacements, to cardiac/vascular problems, diabetes, kidney failure.
    A few years ago I did a cost/benefit analysis based on healthy lifestyles programs potential (if they worked). I was amazed to find out how much obesity is related to medical costs. Conservatively 25% and, stretching to include more peripheral symptoms 35%. That’s a lot of money. Maybe 4.5% of GDP going to address the consequences of obesity. The population in my study = millions of covered individual. So I am pretty confident in my results.

  103. Cee says:

    Some endorsement. I guess he’s planning to make a fortune from from his military related stock at our expense.
    Colin Powell complained to a Democratic mega-donor that Hillary Clinton “screws up everything she touches with hubris,” and expressed concern over Hillary’s health back in 2015.

  104. shepherd says:

    Eric Newhill,
    As an actuary, you’d be in a good position to know how healthcare might work financially. I’d be curious as to what you thought a solution might be, if you could take politics (or name your obstruction) out of the way. I’d guess there are probably multiple answers to that question, all of which are far better than what we have today.

  105. charly says:

    Wages are much lower in Columbia. Building cost are also much lower so if you are using a product with a significant local work and housing costs than it is not surprising that the product is much cheaper.

  106. Eric Newhill says:

    You can purchase ACA insurance (aka Obamacare) on line on the government “exchange” (aka “marketplace” – it’s their official website) or you can purchase through an insurance broker or directly through an insurance company. Govt, subsidies (the feds pay part – or all – of your premium) are only available through the exchange. No subsidy is available if you purchase through the other channels.
    Subsidy amount is based on your income level. I cannot remember up to what income level a subsidy is available, but it isn’t all that high. The govt website has a calculator that tells you if you qualify for a subsidy or not and, if “yes”, how much. Do not to cheat b/c you have to enter your SSN and that links to the IRS who, supposedly, verifies your income level against your tax returns.
    There are different levels of coverage available (“metals”); bronze, silver, gold and platinum. In that order, the premium increases in cost, but the benefit coverage also increases (lower copay/deductible and more goods and service that will be covered).
    I kind of assume you don’t qualify for subsidy (I think I recall you saying you are a lawyer). Therefore you will pay the full premium and it is not cheap. In fact, premium-wise, it might be more expensive than a non-ACA policy. Depends on where you live, who you purchase from, etc.
    The big advantage to a non-subsidy qualified individual is that pre-existing conditions do not exclude you and treatment will be covered, if you have that issue.
    There is opportunity to take advantage of the corruption. If you have a pre-existing condition, especially and acute and expensive one, you can sign-up for the platinum plan, pay your initial premium amount, get the treatment and then drop the coverage when you are all better. Repeat as necessary (that is one way we are losing $ on this thing).
    Otherwise, I think you’d do fine with Medicare. Best to see what Medicare costs and compare to what the ACA would cost. I can’t imagine the ACA being the better deal unless you need to take advantage of its design as I outlined above.
    Hope that

  107. mike allen says:

    Colonel –
    I have read “The General Danced at Dawn” but had a memory lapse on that part. Getting old is better than the alternative, but it sometimes plays tricks on my brain. Read most of Fraser’s fiction, “the whole cheese, the hail clanjamfry” as McAuslan would say – but just with the exception of eight or so of his Flashman series which IMHO he overdid.
    I do read and appreciate good fiction. I try to alternate between fiction and non. Favorites are Traven, Conrad, Cooper, Abbey, O’Brian, Urrea, Beach, Cornwell(B), O’Flaherty, and the spy novels of LeCarre, Furst and a few others. Plus the crime fiction of Connely, MacDonald, and the many Seattle or Swedish crime writers.
    I realize that many so-called non-fiction Histories and Biographies are sometimes puff pieces or hit jobs and perhaps contain more fictional fantasy than Edgar Rice Burroughs.

  108. rjj says:

    apenultimate linked to an IBT article at the top of this thread.
    people have hissyfits over pussy but ignore the cat’s paw
    is the James-Ghilarducci plan getting much attention? there are 16,600 results from google and 1 from google news,

    Clinton’s pension adviser, Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School, is teaming up with Tony James to revamp our current 401(k) system.
    Their proposal, called the Retirement Savings Plan, would require workers and their employers to contribute at least 3 percent of the employee’s salary each year into a “Guaranteed Retirement Account” that “could be invested in opportunities typically reserved for institutional investors—less liquid, higher return asset classes. These include high-yielding and risk-reducing alternative asset classes like real estate, hedge funds, managed futures and commodities.”

  109. mike allen says:

    Good luck Ty! I’ll take you up on that election bet – some of your AZ venison against my WA smoked steelhead. I will collect after Christmas when I am wandering around Yuma or Quartzite with the rest of us WA and BC rain & snowbirds.

  110. Dr Puck says:

    I agree 100%. As Eric Newhill put it, “his position on healthcare is pre nonsensical idiocy.” My post duplicated Trump’s pitch to his supporters, some of whom, amazingly, actually believe Trump will insure everybody, cut premiums and co-pays, and, offer ‘more for less.’
    Trump has spelled out a GOP boilerplate wish list on his web site:
    **Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
    ^Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability.
    Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage.
    **Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market.
    **Maximize flexibility for states via block grants so that local leaders can design innovative Medicaid programs that will better serve their low-income citizens.
    **will tend to reduce quality of coverage and increase bureaucratic management
    ^obviously offers a fantasy about Congress and how the two parties work together for the greater good
    Obviously, if Trump became President, if he just blew up the healthcare system on day one, flesh and blood people would die, and, eventually people would take their Stage IV cancer to the emergency room and we’d end up paying for it all, anyway.

  111. mike allen says:

    thanks for the recommendation. Can’t find him at our small town library, but will check the local and online bookstores.

  112. Bill Herschel says:

    This is the moment to mention Greenmantle by John Buchan. It’s about Islamists being agitated to take over the world, so it’s timely. And like every Buchan book it’s a pleasure to read.

  113. robt willmann says:

    Now, Britain is sending 800 troops, drones, and tanks to Estonia near Russia’s border as part of a “NATO” something or the other, according to the British Mirror tabloid newspaper–
    Arrogance can lead to trouble.

  114. Jack says:

    In my layman’s opinion, a Republican can only win the presidency in a change election. They have an inherent disadvantage in the electoral college. Take a look at the 2012 results by county. It is a sea of red with the blue concentrated in urban areas. But the blue areas have large population. If the election were decided by winning counties instead of states the GOP would have an inherent advantage. There is as much of an urban vs rural divide as there are are racial and education divide. This chasm between the urban and rural population is as wide as I’ve ever known. So, the swing that shifts the tide in favor of the GOP in the electoral college comes pretty much from a small shift in urban voters.
    Even in a reliable blue state like California if you look at the 2012 results by county you can see how the Democrat advantage is narrowly concentrated in and around the big urban areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles which have the large population. The big problem is how each side feels about the other. The urban folks have a very condescending attitude towards the rurals while the rurals feel under siege as their culture and livelihoods comes under increasing attack.
    I am convinced that if we survive the colossal miscalculations by the Borg Queen in her military escalations, her condescension towards Les Deplorables and her deep corruption will continue to exacerbate this divide.

  115. BraveNewWorld says:

    When did waging war on Syria become a NATO mission? My understanding was it was just the colonial powers that were illegally waging war in Syria. If this is in fact a NATO mission then first of all NATO should be disbanded. After that every damn member of NATO should have to contribute.
    If this isn’t a NATO mission then NATO guy should shut his hole and stop interfering in the affairs of a member state then be fired. NATO is subservient to it’s members not the other way around.

  116. Jack says:

    There’s got to be a reason why the same brand name pharmaceutical drug and the same high-tech procedure costs 10x to 1000x more here in the US compared to Germany or Switzerland.
    In any other industry, the price arbitrage at least for physical goods like pharmaceuticals would have been leveled. It hasn’t because of regulatory interference. This is purely a function of their lobbying power and ability to fund Congessional campaigns. And of course staff the revolving door.
    I don’t think the Swiss and Germans have any less high-tech medicine than we have. We may consume way more because price-value has been removed from consumption decision making.

  117. ISL says:

    I suggest valuing free financial advice at what you paid for it.
    However, they are a good assimilator of news Re: the Borg and always link to originals, which saves me time.

  118. My kidneys failed in China…… cost for sucessful treatment using top of line macines USD $20
    I suffered a stroke in Greece…… cost for ambulance to hospital, drugs, CAT and MRI scans, lab work, hospitalization, and MDs…… $250
    My crew suffered a severe concussion in Spain….. cost for 1 week in hospital, MDs, drugs, labs, CAT and MRI scans $1000
    My wife is a board certified MD in the US… She says that in Russia…. where she trained initially…… treatments are simpler….. and work! The patients get better and walk home….. In the US treatments are complex and quite often fail…….. the patients go home in coffins……
    Were every US MD put on an average salary of $350,000 /yr would cost each citizen of USA $70/month.
    It’s not the wage costs of MDs that makes med care in the US so expensive.. it’s the implied and real overhead of regulations…… and payment structures

  119. Martin Oline says:

    Amazing stuff about Trump from a Politico site. I know you Pat doesn’t like us to mention other sites but I was so happy to read this part about Jim Webb. This makes me feel so much better about my home made Jim Webb for President sign:
    “Donald Trump is a stunning outlier. His linguistic style is startlingly feminine, so much so that the chasm between Trump and the next most feminine speaker, Ben Carson, is about as great as the difference between Carson and the least feminine candidate, Jim Webb. And Trump earns his ranking not just because he talks a lot about himself or avoids big words (both of which are true); according to Jones, he also shows feminine patterns on the more subtle measures, such as his use of prepositions and articles. The key then is not what Trump talks about—making Mexico pay for the wall or bombing the hell out of ISIL—but rather how he says it.”

  120. FThreeft says:

    Do you think the anti-Russia fervor, and even the apparent desire to go to war against Russia, is merely a projection of the current anti-white male sentiment in America? I’m constantly reading and hearing college students and millennials opening speaking about how America’s evil, and all the world’s evil, is a product of the white male. And it’s not challenged by the white males in those setting (though in fairness, they tend to be self-loathing liberal cucks). Here’s a piece by a UCLA political science professor (btw, could you imagine similar talk about any other group?):
    UCLA political science professor Michael Suk-Young Chwe:
    In a blog post for the Princeton University Press, Chwe argues that white men are dangerous to the country, as evidenced by their support of Trump. Democracy in America, Chwe claims, will only be safe when whites and men — and especially white men — willingly surrender their power to “multiracial and multi-gender coalitions.”

  121. turcopolier says:

    martine oline
    what I don’t like is to have SST used as a bulleting board for other sites. If you post a link here discuss it. pl

  122. kao_hsien_chih says:

    With regards the latter point, about condescension from the city folk, and, really, the depth of alienation between the urban and the rural, I’m in 100% agreement. A lot of it is driven by fundamental inability to reconcile differences in worldviews, except by insisting that the other side is simply wrong and unworthy of understanding beyond being caricatured. These are truly dangerous times.
    I don’t know if you know of Chris Arnade, a former Wall St. finance professional who left it behind to photograph and write about the flyover country, both inner cities and rural places. His articles currently show up on the Guardian, and his insightful tweets are something to pay close attention to. Other than that I went into social science academia and he went into finance after our PhD’s, we have very similar backgrounds (exc., well, my immigration background, but he is also from rural South) and worldviews, and I wish I academia paid like Wall St. so that I could just quit what I do now and do what he is doing, but alas, that is not something that would happen.

  123. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The costs cannot be separated from the tax structure in those countries; what are the income tax rates as well as corporate and small business rates?
    Do you know?

  124. Allen Thomson says:

    WRT to the Politico article that says Trump’s speech is way more like feminine patterns than any of the other candidates’, I tend to be skeptical of this kind of thing until seeing the actual methodologies. I’ve written to the author of the article to see if any papers describing how it was done are available.
    That said, it’s undeniable that Trump doesn’t talk and act like your usual candidate. Earlier articles have noted that he has a reduced vocabulary, simple syntax and seems to rely on various verbal and nonverbal cues. I’d be very interested to see a study on who else has been like Trump in those regards.

  125. different clue says:

    I don’t believe so myself. I believe the anti-Russianism is an effort to revive a Cold War type of outlook and society so as to be able to impose Social Discipline and Clampdown on the way to Lockdown in order for the Clintonites to pass their “Forced IRA” plan discussed above, to prepare Social Security for abolition and forced privatization of all the money, etc.
    The Borg and Clintonites hope that creating a successful Cold War Social Obedience society for a while will give them time to prepare and refine all-the-way their Full Spectrum Surveillance and Lockdown State for when the Revolution of Falling Expectations really hits and people expect nothing but economic shrinkage for many decades to come.
    One could also compare the Clintonites’ demonization of “Russia” and “Putin” to the foreign-foe demonization campaigns waged in the Classic Fascist societies like Mussolini-Italy and Hitler-Germany.
    And of course a lot of genuinely heartfelt antirussianitic racist antirussianism was introduced into the Ruling Elites’ collective brainspace by that notorious antirussianitic racist antirussianite Zbigniew Brzezinski who is at least as white as Putin.

  126. jsn says:

    “Health care” is just “branding” for the joint AMA Pharma looting scheme

  127. Eric Newhill says:

    shepherd, please see my responses to TTG and to Old Microbiologist.
    The short answer is tough choices have to be made (i.e. rationing). And people have to take better care of themselves.
    I will add this, healthcare insurance will have to begin to look more insurance. That is, it should protect you against catastrophic loss and not day to day maintenance or more or less minor repairs.
    Think about owning a car. You must have insurance, but it does not pay for new windshield wipers or tires. That’s on you.
    So high deductible plans with an HRA or HSA component. Maybe insurance kicks in and starts paying at $10,000.
    Think about it – if you are relatively healthy you don’t go to the doctor often, right? But you have insurance that costs you, say, $800/month. Sure, your employer pays some of that, but that just means that your pay check is smaller for it. What if the high deductible plan costs $200/month. You go 5 years without anything more than a doctors visit here and there. You’ve spent $500 out of pocket over the 5 years. However, you’ve saved $35,500 (the dif of $600/month on premium less the $500 oop).
    Now if you’re smart, you saved that $35,500, or at least some of it. Then you have a costly health incident. Say a difficult labor and delivery. You’re going to have to spend $10,000 oop and insurance picks up the rest. You’re still $25,000 ahead of the game as long as the health incident was relatively acute (not chronic) and you can go a few years afterward without another major health episode.
    What I described is 97% the experience of 97% of insured people.
    See what I said to TTG re; the remaining 3% (expand federal and state programs).
    Now before you think that insurance companies are therefore raking it in, keep in mind that any given year some % of the total covered lives is having their once every many years expensive encounter and that 3% is really killing us. Any given year it is around 5% of the covered lives that are exceeding in cost what they pay in with premiums; something like 80% of total medical loss (total spend on healthcare goods and services).
    The ACA is an aberration, though. The population is far sicker. The healthy didn’t sign up. They enroll when they’re sick and disenroll when they’re better. They use insurance companies like an ATM.

  128. Eric Newhill says:

    Jack, The argument that I always hear is that the tech and drugs are, for the most part, invented in the US. The companies need to recuperate their capital investments. Since the Euros refuse to pay more, the recup happens here. If we refuse to pay too, then the invention will cease – so I am told.

  129. Fred says:

    Al-Nursa is a colonial power? “NATO is subservient to it’s members not the other way around.” I believe this proves they are subservient to the Borg.

  130. Tyler says:

    You and the rest of the SST crew I have on the facebooks will be regaled with photos of any glorious victory.
    I’ve got my poncho liner from my Army days still making the trip out with me.

  131. Tyler says:

    Do you ever make it out to Organ Pipe? If so let me know and I’ll keep an eye out for you. That’s part of where I play.

  132. Tyler says:

    I love how a spurious interpretation of the 14th Amendment trumps the double jeopardy standard.
    After we get done repealing the 19th can we repeal the 14th?

  133. Tyler says:

    I’d say its a lot of projection of animosity from (((academia))), (((politics))), and (((media))) for several reasons including the fact that Putin is Alpha as F and a white man as well. The fact that Russia kicked out the (((communists))) is one part of the equation, as well as that Russia is nationalist and Christian (oy vey!) and stands against the religion of the West, secular hedonism. There’s a not so small faction that wants to risk a shooting war with Russia for reasons that boil down to tranny rights and Pussy Riot.
    The above parties are also pissed still that the Tsar kicked them out in the late 1800s. (((Masha Gessen))), for instance.

  134. mike allen says:

    I put “Greenmantle” on my to-read list. thanks!

  135. Miletus says:

    I’m not certain he is. What has he actually done to offend the West, so far?
    Has he not more or less stuck to the migrant agreement with the EU?
    Are US forces still based at Incirlik? Is Turkey still a member of NATO?
    I think there is a danger of us subsuming certain theories or conjectures that actually remain unresolved.
    As far as I can tell, Erdogan has done nothing in Syria or Iraq that is opposed to the interests of his Western partners.
    Let us take one conjecture: that the Western powers DO want to balkanize the region.
    Erdogan has set-up shop in Northern Iraq in an area that can potentially be reinforced. If the Iraqi’s want him out then they will have to pay a price. The US has been unhappy with the Iraqi government’s failure to share/devolve power within Iraq (often cited as a cause of the rise of ISIS and its forebears). Erdogan is intent on securing Sunni authority over Mosul. We could have a situation similar to Ukraine. If Iraq wants Erdogan to leave and for the US to support it in asking Erdogan to leave, Iraq may have to grant autonomy. The alternative is Erdogan getting his landgrab.
    Likewise Syria. Erdogan may pull out if the Syrian government guarantees autonomy for Sunni areas (and no autonomy for Kurdish areas). Erdogan doesn’t want or need all of Syria in order to achieve his objectives. (I still can’t understand why R+6 would ever agree to allow him his incursion, if there is any truth to that theory. He now has a hostage and I can’t see any hostages of similar value held by R+6 at this moment in time.)
    Again, I don’t see how he has acted against the West at all. He’s called people some names but there have been no sticks or stones. He implicated the US in the coup; began a massive purge; and, yet, how many American’s have been expelled from Turkey?
    He may look like he’s left the reservation but I’m not at all certain he has. He might have, or this may just be a very large scale psyop…

  136. mike allen says:

    Years ago. But I’ll go back in a heartbeat to collect. Is it a bet?

  137. Origin says:

    The basic problem with the spin from Trump and the Republicans, and perhaps from many Dems is that this statement is simply false: “7) Unleash competition and the entrepreneurial genius of the healthcare industry” There is no benefit and probably serious harm in any unleashing.
    There is no real competition in the healthcare industry because of its extreme concentration.
    To the extent there is any entrepreneurial “genius”, it is all directed toward more concentration, increasing premiums, reducing payments to doctors, providing less services, and killing off the really sick.
    When one really considers the situation, about ten interlocking boards of directors, perhaps a hundred or so individuals of great wealth and power, really accountable to nobody except their own friends, who really control all of our individual health outcomes.
    Consider each to be their own self-sufficient principality (like the princes of the Middle Ages) who run their own fiefdoms.
    It is simply laughable when any talks about unleashing competition in the healthcare industry.
    If you considered a Congressional takeover of the whole industry, it would greatly increase the citizenry’s control. At least every two years, we could have some vote on the Congressional members. As it is, the citizenry have absolutely no control or significant influence concerning the Healthcare Principalities.
    Consider the recent EpiPen price explosion fiasco. What the unleashers really want is a free reign to extract the most monopoly profits from the citizenry without regard to the People’s health.
    Defective as it is, the AFA at least establishes some parameters for required care. The Republican plan simply unleashes the demons again on the People.

  138. VietnamVet says:

    The majority of the little people have been tossed aside. It probably doesn’t matter. Propaganda, privatized justice, drugs, gambling, surveillance and death at an early age will keep them in check. Finance, housing, higher education and medicine were all expanding by increasing private debt. Wall Street bought out Washington DC. The debt is so great that the interest, let alone the principal, will never be paid off by a lifetime of servitude. If given a chance, the people will vote to end it. The ruling elite can’t have that.
    Wars of choice can only be fought with volunteers, mercenaries and proxy forces (neo-Nazis and Islamists). A hybrid war with Russia is underway to keep Europe and seize Eurasia’s resources. If it lasts long enough and the shooting starts, it will have to be fought with conscripts. The draft of their offspring may wake up the top 10% who serve the multi-nationalists that their privileged lives are about to blow up. Maybe then there will be a third American revolt to re-seize sovereignty. The more likely outcome of the escalating wars in Syria and Ukraine is a nuclear extinction event. If history shows anything, it is that Russians will defend their homeland against western invaders.

  139. Fred says:

    On that “surrender” note the left has finally found the college fraternity member rapist they have been looking for. Guess what color she he is.
    From the linked article we learn of “the man’s arrest earlier this month “….. only made national news now, just in time for the election. Will wonders never cease.

  140. Nancy K says:

    You are totally insane if you think the 19th will be repealed. There are more of us than of you. Live with it.

  141. Nancy K says:

    Trumps vocabulary is pathetic. The women I know are much more articulate.

  142. Nancy K says:

    You are very inarticulate. Does that mean you are more feminine

  143. Nancy K says:

    (((Tyler))) do you love parentheses or are you making a point?

  144. Fred says:

    I’m still hoping for a nice write up here along with a helping of photoshopped scytheclaws chowing down on Bullwinkle while you prep the grill. I can imagine the way you would write that up.

  145. BuddhistMind says:

    Tim S, actually, according to multiple Gallup like
    Pew surveys & exit polls, Bernie Sanders by far is the most popular politician among Asians (+29% favorable net vs. unfavorable)
    & about
    80% of Asians voted Democrat/Obama for the past 2 decades according to multiple exit surveys.
    Census data shows that of all racial groups, Asians as a group have the highest education & income levels (even higher than whites) yet Asians have the highest percentage identifying themselves as ‘liberal’ & lowest rate of ‘conservatives’
    Gallup survey of self-identity politlcal views in US:
    ‘Conservative’: 19% of Asians, 41% of Whites, 30% of Hispanics, 26% of blacks
    ‘Moderate’: 41% of Asians, 34% of Whites, 36 of Hispanics, 42% of Blacks
    ‘Liberal’: 35% of Asians, 22% of whites, 26% of Hispanics, 26% of Blacks
    Note that political self-identification is of the entire US survey nationwide (not actual voters or likely voters)
    actual voters & voting patterns/exit polls of actual voters show 90% of blacks voted for Obama/Dems, 80% of Asians voted for Obama/Dems, & 75% of Hispanics voted for Obama/Dems

  146. kao_hsien_chih says:

    This is madness. The poorer the workers are, the more they need actual “savings,” not lottery tickets. What’s next? Everyone must be required to buy 100 lottery tickets weekly, and that’d be called “retirement savings”?

  147. steve says:

    Not sure what your experience has been with physicians with only a BA degree, but medical education varies widely.
    In the British system, clinical physicans receive an undergraduate Bachelors of Medicine, not an MD degree, and are fully qualified to practice medicine. There is no separate BA required prior to entering med school and you enter after high school, though the MB takes 4 to 6 years. In the UK the MD is primarily sought by medical researchers and/or medical school faculty.
    For professional degrees, few nations have the US-Canadian requirement that one have a BA initially then go on to get a graduate degree. The professional bachelors degree is generally the first and only degree. For example, law students in most nations enter law school directly after their high school graduation.

  148. optimax says:

    Don’t women score higher than men on the verbal portion of the SAT? Men are better at video games–the important cultural expressions.

  149. steve says:

    With Parts A, B, and D, together with a medicare supplement my monthly premium is c. $250, with most copays and deductibles covered.
    If you are eligible for medicare you are not eligible for the ACA. I’m not sure there are any insurers who write individual policies for those 65 and up, though many are still covered by their employer’s group plan if they are still working.
    If you could find an insurer who would write such a policy for an individual, I am sure the premiums would be astronomical.

  150. kao_hsien_chih says:

    If the Republicans lose, it won’t be because Republicans lost the minority votes, but because Trump alienated the women, especially the college educated white women who voted for Romney by a fairly comfortable margin. The story about “binders full of women” were much ado about nothing–it did not affect women’s votes much if any at all. The kind of issues that Trump has with women and that he keeps making them worse is ensuring that large chunks of women’s votes will be lost to the Republicans. Like I was getting at before, I think the data is trumping the theory–earlier, the data said Trump has a serious shot at winning, contradicting the theory, and the data won. Now, the data is saying that a lot of Republican women really hate Trump, and I think the data will beat out the theory again when the dust clears.

  151. Ulenspiegel says:

    “I´ll give you an example. A state of the art (latest model high tech machine yada yada) abdominal MRI in the fanciest Bogotá hospital, paying without any coverage (full up front cost) costs 200 dollars.”
    By assuming that the price you paid covers all expenses is naive IMHO. The 200 USD you paid very likely not even covered the depreciation of the MRI machine for one day, no helium, no operator, no service of the spectrometer. 🙂
    However, your arguments in respect to drugs are IMHO correct.

  152. Martin Oline says:

    Babel Fish:
    Thank you for the information. I will probably vote today and avoid the rush.

  153. tim s says:

    Taking the Gallup survey of self-identity politlcal views at face value, the moderates are the wild cards. I’d think that many of those self-identifiers base this on the past, consciously or not. I think this election changes things. I’d expect the course of the Dems over the past 8 years (and especially the last year with HC’s & the DNC’s dirty laundry being exposed for all to potentially see) will push most of these moderates to the more conservative side. I’d expect many to see, as I have, the foolishness of our past thinking and will change course in the present or near future.
    I think that this likely Dem victory for the WH will go down as one that will be very costly to them and their apparatus in the long run. I think that the Dem’s emphasis on LGBT and BLM issues and support thereof at the expense of the others will push more away than it will bring in as far as minorities go.
    It also goes without saying these days that polls to an extent and the MSM articles overall are biased toward the Dems so that getting a full picture of what people are really thinking is not straight-forward.

  154. gowithit says:

    TTG, the last figures I saw on on the overall cost in medicine due to liability coverage was 10-15%. That was 5+ yrs or so ago. Specialties like OB/Gyn were significanly HIGH!

  155. Annem says:

    Erdogan is furious with Russia over the latter’s proposal for a federal status for the Syrian Kurds [Rojava]. He thought the Russians understood his red lines. Actually, Assad rejected the plan after the Kurds expressed interest. Was this political theatre or Russia playing two or three steps ahead in the game.

  156. Edward Amame says:

    Sam Peralta
    Upper middle-class families don’t get O-care subsidies. Those who do qualify for subsidies will see subsidies increasing more than premiums in every state, so most O-care users will find the net amount they pay for health insurance next year won’t be much more than it was this year. For many it’ll be the same. Shop around and it could be less.

  157. Eric Newhill says:

    ah poor Edward, so eager to believe what you read in Mother Jones. I’m looking at my tables right now. 44% of ACA indiv members have no subsidy and none of the small group members have it (those are the small business members that the hag you worship says she cares so much about). They are going to get killed by the premium increases. They will drop out for the most part.

  158. Farmer Don says:

    This came out of nowhere!
    They are getting produced like crazy.
    To me they are sending a powerful message.

  159. Poul says:

    The rebels have cast the dice in Aleppo.

  160. rjj says:
    does the publication of a completed ballot in a state where doing so is a misdemeanor, invalidate the vote? this shit seems designed to confound things.

  161. The Beaver says:

    Ça brasse in western Aleppo
    Jihadists and rebels launched a large-scale offensive west Aleppo with 4VBIEDs ( thus far) and ground force.
    Read that “For the 1st time since the start of the conflict, Opposition has captured the symbolic & strategic Dahiyet al-Assad west of Aleppo”

  162. Dante Alighieri says:

    To judge from my last visit to Hungary, this seems to me an extremely rosy-glassed picture of the really desolate Hungarian healthcare system. If you plan to visit in-patient relatives in a hospital, they will ask you to leave flowers at home and instead please, please bring a few rolls of toilet paper, a half-decent meal and a bottle of disinfectant, all of which is sorely lacking in most places. Talking to doctors, their only wish seems to be to get out of this mess and obtain a job somewhere in Western Europe. Nurses show up for work dressed in black instead of white, in protest against unbearable conditions, even though this makes them vulnerable to getting sacked.

  163. Barish says:

    That’s how Hassan Ridha worded it – picking up on a PR-release by Faylaq ash-Sham, featuring a drone-photo of the district:
    Doesn’t look too densely packed, however it is a stepping stone to the al-Assad academy, seen in the background (the square area with greenery). Yet, given it’s fairly open approaches from NW, W and S it doesn’t come as a surprise that it was conceded in the face of a massed attack feat. inghimasiyeen, SVBIED etc. It’s an avenue of approach that appears to have been anticipated, too:
    First photo there shows Major General Zaid Saleh of the Republican Guard, prominent during the liberation of both Layramoun industrial and Bani Zaid district this summer, also involved with the ops to regain Ramousah. Map on the wall in the background was visualized somewhat more clearly by the user here.
    We’ll have to wait and see whether this means that the 2nd line of defense is firmly in place and Jaish al-Fatah, Fatah Halab etc. were allowed to lengthen the rope to hang themselves with here.

  164. Ulenspiegel says:

    “Tell me how much illegal immigration those countries have.”
    Much lower than the USA. However, to explain the huge per cost difference with immigrants would require that 40% of the US population is illigal. 🙂

  165. optimax says:

    Farmer Don
    More mock adds here.
    Also the Malheur Refuge occupiers found not guilty in Portland. Surprising the Feds lost this case.

  166. rjj says:

    the powerful message is becoming completely muddled. people don’t cope well with that.

  167. turcopolier says:

    Did the judge tell the jury they should convict? If he did, this is called “jury nullification.” I love it and have led a couple pf jury revolts. pl

  168. Martin Oline says:

    Thank you for recommending Waugh. I read the his novel Decline and Fall and enjoyed it very much. Many authors start their career with an irreverent romp but soon change course to be taken seriously. The Everyman’s Library edition I read had a 30 page introduction to his work and life. I look forward to reading more.
    Many are familiar with the film “Little Big Man” which is based on a novel by Thomas Berger from 1964. I have read many of Berger’s novels and I can honestly say that I wish I had that time back. Little Big Man is excellent, however, and any fan of the Flashman series or the American West would love it, but his other books mostly feature protagonists who have trouble dealing with inanimate objects. I thought that perhaps Little Big Man was derivative of Fraser’s work but it turns out the first Flashman book was published five years later in 1969 so Berger gets sole credit.
    Readers of detective fiction would appreciate Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer series set in the Californis of the 1950’s. Two movies were based on his work; Harper and The Drowning Pool, both starring Paul Newman. The screenwriter, William Goldman, called his work “the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American.”
    His biographer Tom Nolan said: “By any standard he was remarkable. His first books, patterned on Hammett and Chandler, were at once vivid chronicles of a postwar California and elaborate retellings of Greek and other classic myths. Gradually he swapped the hard-boiled trappings for more subjective themes: personal identity, the family secret, the family scapegoat, the childhood trauma; how men and women need and battle each other, how the buried past rises like a skeleton to confront the present. He brought the tragic drama of Freud and the psychology of Sophocles to detective stories, and his prose flashed with poetic imagery.”
    I am looking forward to senility, when I can re-read his novels and each will be fresh and new.

  169. LeaNder says:

    I never heard of a Russian proposal concerning Rojava. Can you help me out. A link to somewhere you stumbled across this relevation?
    To the extend I understand, the Kurds are not at all a politically “united mass”. How could they be considering the larger context?

  170. The Beaver says:

    If this is true and HRC does win :
    Bibi, Likud, AIPAC and the Neocons like Kagan will be happy.
    Wait for the partition of Syria !!!
    Guess Neera Tandem on the transition team must be taking orders and suggestions from those within DC and the thinktanks.

  171. Tyler says:

    Don’t assume 11 million illegal aliens.
    There’s also the not so small fact that anyone in the US who shows up to an emergency room HAS to be seen.

  172. Tyler says:

    Drink up!

  173. Tyler says:

    We are going to repeal the 19th so hard all your past votes will be invalidated.

  174. Tyler says:

    You should probably figure out what something means before you go and start using it.

  175. optimax says:

    What I understand is the judge allowed the defense to argue that the Feds could not prove the occupiers had “intent” to conspire to impede federal employees from performing their duties. All the other charges hinged on this point. But some on the radio are calling the verdict jury nullification. I’m proud that the citified Portland jury did not buy the Feds weak argument against them thar rural folks. It will be interesting to hear from the jurors.

  176. optimax says:

    Here’s more on the Malheur Wildlife occupation verdict.
    First, the racialists have predictably called the not guilty verdict an outcome of white privilege of white defendants by white jurors. The SJWs care and know nothing about the law and care not how their desired verdicts are achieved.
    Second, one of the jurors explains how the prosecutors failed to prove intent and how, at least on his part, sympathy for the defendants played no part in his decision.

  177. LeaNder says:

    As sad as that sounds it makes financial sense. They don’t pour tons of money on elderly care. In a sense you have a responsibility to die here when it is your time. The same is true for expensive medications.
    Interesting. I can see your point. Almost never seriously needed a doctor. But never, seriously bothered that others that needed it got their treatment at my expense in our system.
    Although, I just passed the mid sixties, I still don’t. But I know some people who do, some younger then me, some older…
    During the last years I was confronted with the issue, e.g. my parents needed treatment, and a friend made me aware of the hurdles elsewhere in Europe, e.g. in GB, and the doctor itself made my mother aware that more and more economical considerations gain ground. Gladly he ignores them. Will later generations of doctors do. They are both approaching their 90ties.
    “UTI infections”
    If had troubles in this context, I would simply start to drink a lot. Ideally get a herbal medicine from the local pharmacy. No doctors or whatever you describe in this context needed, really.

  178. Tyler says:

    The terrain of Elysium was more rolling plains here than forest, with bands of trees indicating a water source interspersed between the high pink grass that tickled Sand’s nose.
    Paris was next to him, nearly laying down to hide himself as they waited for the other scytheclaws and the girls to do their part of the plan. Paris’ rai’lith was planted into the loamy soil next to him, the broad head gleaming in the afternoon light.
    “You hear that?” Sand asked, the faintest of noises coming to his ear. He strained to listen, and it sounded like many bellows going at once, and behind it was the sound of footfalls.
    Paris nodded, and whispered “I feel it too,” he said, coming out of the modified prone and taking a sprinter’s crouch. As he said that, Sand could now see what they were hearing, with no need to strain either sense. The pack of scytheclaws were driving a herd of large deer towards them, with Salem and Jane functioning as safeties to keep the herd from suddenly splitting off on either side. The boys could hear the warbling of the utahraptors as they called out, with the girls adding their voices when one deer looked like it would make a break for safety.
    Sand’s hands curled into fists, and he concentrated, causing a red miasma to dance on his skin as he Manifested. Nearby, he could feel Paris do the same, and he would have known the other FOSsils chasing had done so as well, even without the gold and green that sparked off of them.
    The herd drew closer, and the two shared a glance before facing forward, and then leaping out of the high grass into the deer. Paris’ bulk crashed into two, sending them flying into others and disrupting the herd’s well maintained equilibrium. Sand had leapt and hooked his arm around a large buck’s neck, and using his momentum flung it behind it him into the other deer.
    What followed next was as much science as butchery, as barehanded the FOSsils used their knowledge of anatomy to strike fatal blows, while the scytheclaws with them had the advantage of talons and teeth. It was over in a moment, with the wreckage of the herd laying around them.
    Salem looked over at four that had managed to escape, breaking towards one of the groves that Sand had noticed earlier. “I thought we could have gotten them all,” she said, turning a wet trail of blood into a smear across her cheek,
    “No matter!” exclaimed Sai’mah, throwing her head back to swallow a bit of gore she had ripped off one deer. “Someone will eat them eventually.”
    It was Izza’mal who ruffled his feathers, and said “Eventually is now,” right before the tyrannosaurus burst out of the woodline, startling the rest of the group. The four deer froze as the twenty ton carnivore bore down on them, roaring loudly before using his head as a club to send them flying end over end. Bones were shattered and two died outright, with the others calling out ineffectually as the Old Blood stepped on one, and with a sharp jerking motion ripped it in half. He flung the gibbets into his mouth, and quickly finished off the rest while the group watched.
    “That’s not Ripper,” Jane noted as the tyrannosaurus walked over to them, the ground under their feet trembling. He was younger, without the patina of scarring and thick scales from where Ripper’s war harness had rested on them. The scytheclaws spread out as the stranger approached, with the FOSsils resisting every instinct to go for their dreamblades.
    The bladejaw stood off at a distance, and inhaled deeply, before she said “Ripper told me you would be out here hunting. I didn’t think I’d see you in the flesh.”
    The tension dropped quickly, with the group approaching the new Old Blood carefully. “How do you…” Paris began.
    “You have two mega predators hunting in the same ecosystem, to say nothing of the scytheclaws down there. Its courtesy to tell another Old Blood when you’re going to be hunting as well, and to keep an eye out,” she said. “You can call me Sourtooth, and I’d hope you’re going to share some of that deer you killed.”

  179. Tyler says:

    There’s the not so small fact that something like 15 (!) of the people there were fed informants. Whether or not they were actual federal agents of some variety was an issue that the FedGov would not allow broached.

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