The Bonfire of the Democrats

Plato1

If the economy stays as good as it is, it should be tough to beat Trump in spite of his ridiculous posturing.  A lot of  people know that he favors policies intended to please them; immigration, taxes, employment, trade, guns, limited overseas engagements, etc., and the people who mass for  his rallies don't give a damn about what the elites and the I-95 corridor crowd think about anything.  So, his chances are good in the electoral college where it counts, even if the Congress is up for grabs.

But, pilgrims, the Democrats seem determined to sweeten his chances even more than they already are. 

Policies favored by Democrats in Congress or running for office:

  • "Medicare for All."  The title is a deception.  This proposal has nothing to do with present "Medicare" which is a limited program for old people, a program that pays part of medical expenses and for which participants pay premiums.  Medicare Part B pays about 80% of medical expenses.  The recipient either pays the remainder or has a supplemental secondary payer insurance.  "Medicare for All" is a single payer, government pays all, concept that wipes everything else off the board and which would cost a vast amount of non-existent magic money.   Warren calculates the cost of such a system to be 52 trillion dollars over ten years.  Say what?  What?  180 million Americans would lose their employer funded health insurance in this scheme and Warren admits that around 2 million jobs would be lost in the health insurance business, and other health connected services.  Her response to people rejecting such an outcome is to say that these people can go find work elsewhere, somewhere.
  • Immigration.  It is obvious that the Dems do not want to see immigration controlled.  They see unlimited Latino immigration as a source of unlimited new votes that they think will go their way, especially in states where illegal voting can be made easy by state policies involving easy registration.  California is a prime example.  There is a reason why California refused to participate in a national audit of voting after 2016.  Democrat hostility to border and immigration security police is recognized by the Deplorables as intended to create Open Borders.  The Deplorables do not want to become a cultural minority in the country their ancestors built.  This has nothing to do with race, whatever that is.
  • Guns.  Gemocrats want to take the Deplorables guns away from them.  The Deplorables do not like that.  They understand that the Founders did not want them to be a herd of sheeple completely at the mercy of central government.  You don't think the Founders  wanted that?   Read Federalist Paper #46.
  • Permissiveness in state and local government.  The Democrats are letting our great cities become sink holes of filth.  Sinkholes filled with inert masses of often mentally ill homeless people inhabiting city centers and trespassing on both public and private property.  Drug apparatus and human dung litter the streets in places like; LA, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, New York City.  This list is long and with few exception these cities have state and city Democrat governments.  The Deplorables have TeeVee. They watch Foxnews where the existence of such conditions is made evident.  They blame the Democrats. 
  • Anti-business attitudes.  AOC ran Amazon out of her district thereby depriving many of good jobs and is proud of that.  Seattle tried to install confiscatory city taxation against major employers.  Only corporate threats to cancel projects stopped that.  Deplorables see that the Democrats are hostile to employers.
  • Prisoner releases.  A general release of prisoners awaiting trial is planned in places like NY State and City where Cuomo and De Blasio are going to release 900 prisoners on their own recognizance asking them to return for trial some day.  Main Street shakes its head over such foolishness.

People in the Democrat Party.

  • Biden appears to be both personally corrupt and senile.  He has several times made errors with crowds (small crowds) by not knowing what state he was in.  He is an aggressive, mean old man.  (I know that from personal encounters).  His behavior toward reporters who press him is nasty.  When Peter Doucy questioned him about his son, he poked Doucy in the ribs and said that Doucy was not asking the right questions.  And then there is Hunter who seems to be the ne'er do well family bagman.  Do the Democrats really believe that most people are going to think that his appointments to well paid board positions were connected to anything but his father's positions?  And then there was the 1.5 billion dollar credit for Hunter's "business" from the Bank of China.  Come 0n! Americans are not stupid.
  • Sanders.  Someone said recently that "Bernie went to the USSR on his honeymoon and never came back."  Anti-capitalist, hypocritical millionaire member of the rentier  class.  He expresses fully the ambitions of the marxist left in America.  People understand that their well indoctrinated marxist children love Bernie because their marxist professors, spawn of the 60's and 70's, told their children to love Bernie.  Unlike most Americans he detests Israel as an example of the "Western Imperialism" that his ally Ilhan Omar says they are going to fight when they are in office as a team along with Rashida Tlaib and AOC.  BTW AOC has now stated that the 900 prisoner release is a good idea because we should not have prisons.
  • Warren.  IMO she is a poor man's version of Sanders, one who cannot do arithmetic.  She has conjured up a vision of a world in which money has no real  value.  For her, money is just something the government prints.  The inflationary effect of that kind of process seems to escape her altogether.  She imagines that her various programmatic plans can be funded by beggaring the rich and large corporations.  She does not seem to understand that doing that will kill the present economy and force the creation of a highly planned Soviet style planning and programming setup.  That worked well for the Nomenklatura and nobody else, but presumably that group would have a lot of Ivy League faculty in it.
  • Mayor Pete.  America is not going to elect an open homosexual and his husband as president and First Partner.  Maybe they will someday, but not yet.
  • And then there is Hillary lurking and sniping at honorable people like Gabbard.  IMO she is hoping that these crazies (not Gabbard) will cancel each other out and then …

If the Democrats beat Trump and the GOP with this set of disadvantages, they will deserve the victory.  pl

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97 Responses to The Bonfire of the Democrats

  1. Avatar walrus says:

    What about Hilary?

  2. Avatar plantman says:

    I don’t think the Dems are losing because of their policies, but because they show no interest in governing. The last 3 years has been one lousy investigation after the other producing nothing of any value for the people who for them.
    Name one Democrat who has tried to promote ‘Medicare for all’ legislation in the House or Senate in the last 3 years?
    No one. So why should I believe they’ll support it when they get elected?
    They won’t because its just a prop to get them into office. It’s all a big ego trip. Just look at Joe Biden, the man thinks he walks on water, fer chrissakes.
    These people are going to do what they say. It’s all a joke. At least Trump is honest about it.

  3. Avatar Jack says:

    Sir
    IMO. our runaway healthcare costs will bankrupt the federal government in the not too distant future. There’s no political will or consensus to reform our healthcare system to reduce costs and bring per capita expenditures to a level comparable to other western countries, which would mean expenditures of half what we spend today.
    The Democrats Medicare for All does nothing to reduce systemic costs but just changes the payments to the current runaway cost structure to the federal government. As it is within couple decades half of federal government expenditures will be for healthcare and add in interest payments on the rapidly growing federal debt and we’ll see a significant squeeze in all other areas of government.
    In 1960 we spent 5% of GDP on healthcare, today we spend nearly 18%. How long is this growth rate tenable before our healthcare system financing collapses?
    I have read many studies that show that not only do we spend twice per capita compared to other Western countries but our health outcomes are worse.

    “…U.S. has substantially higher spending, worse population health outcomes, and worse access to care than other wealthy countries. For example, in 2016, the U.S. spent 17.8 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, while other countries ranged from 9.6 percent (Australia) to 12.4 percent (Switzerland). Life expectancy in the U.S. was the lowest of all 11 countries in the study, at 78.8 years; the range for other countries was 80.7 to 83.9 years. The proportion of the U.S. population with health insurance was 90 percent, lower than all the other countries, which ranged from 99 to 100 percent coverage.”

    https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/03/u-s-pays-more-for-health-care-with-worse-population-health-outcomes/

  4. Avatar Norbert M Salamon says:

    Sir :
    I do not know how to fix the US healthcare system. The present system is not working for the costs involved :
    U.S. health care spending grew 3.9 percent in 2017, reaching $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.9 percent.
    Source:
    https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsHistorical.html
    Life expectancy falling, medical costs are the prime reason for personal bankruptcies, compared to OECD countries the US system can be considered a relative disaster.

  5. Avatar Seamus Padraig says:

    Warren admits that around 2 million jobs would be lost in the health insurance business, and other health connected services. Her response to people rejecting such an outcome is to say that these people can go find work elsewhere, somewhere.

    Not to defend Elizabeth Warren generally, but single-payer system would still be much cheaper and more cost-effective than the bloated private-insurance system we’ve got. Have you noticed that there’s no country on earth that pays more per capita for health care than the US? And despite that fact, a great many 1st world countries–and even a few 3rd world countries like Cuba!–still have longer lifespans and lower infant mortality.
    As far as the 2 million people who would lose their jobs–well, the principle purpose a healthcare system is to take care of people’s not health, not to employ them. Most of those who would lose their jobs are just insurance company administrators and paper-pushers anyway; they can always transfer those skills to some other sector–or hell, even to the government! As long as the total number of patients doesn’t decrease, we won’t be seeing many laid-off doctors or nurses.

  6. Avatar turcopolier says:

    walrus
    Waiting in the wings, my Hildar tell me that she has contributed much to the disruption in the Dem Party.

  7. Avatar catherine says:

    ”Not to defend Elizabeth Warren generally, but single-payer system would still be much cheaper and more cost-effective than the bloated private-insurance system we’ve got. Have you noticed that there’s no country on earth that pays more per capita for health care than the US? And despite that fact, a great many 1st world countries–and even a few 3rd world countries like Cuba!–still have longer lifespans and lower infant mortality.”
    The overhead cost of administering the Medicare system is 2%…the overhead cost for private insurers is more than 20%.
    Case closed.
    Let the displaced for profit insurance workers get jobs with the expanded Medicare system.

  8. Avatar turcopolier says:

    All
    My post is about the handicaps the Democrats face in trying to get one of them elected president, not about the US health system. I do not know how to fix that. “Medicare for all” is not “expanded Medicare.” It is a totally new system in which there would not be premiums paid, just enormous government expenditures. Canadian and other single payer government systems operate on the basis of rationed health care for optional procedures like hip replacements. Funds are allocated or things like that and if they run out of money before they get to you, you wait for a further allocation.

  9. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Jack,
    Repeating shallow sound bites isn’t helpful.
    We’re spending more, as % of GDP, on healthcare now because new technology has been introduced that a) costs more b) allows each person to be treated – and treated more intensely – for more conditions c) allow more people to be treated for more conditions d) the aging of the baby boomers.
    The socialized systems do not utilize the new tech as much and they ration care. BTW, in places like Australia, 50% of healthcare is paid for by private insurance. So a fair number of Australians don’t believe their socialized system is so glorious. They don’t like the rationing and they want the level of care that most Americans enjoy. They buy supplemental private insurance if they can afford it.
    On a condition + demographic to condition + demographic comparison, the socialized systems do not perform better than the US. In fact, they perform worse. The life expectancy metric is not a good proxy for quality of care delivery. First, it is significantly skewed in favor of the socialized systems by differences in how infant mortality is defined. In the US if a baby dies after a day, it is considered a dead human citizen that lived one day. In the socialized systems, it is not considered a dead human that lived one day. Then there are all the drug abuse deaths and homicides in the US. There are also pockets of severe poverty in the US, mentally ill living on the streets; that sort of thing that helps drive down average life expectancy in the US. The US is not Europe.
    Medicare for All, as expressed by Warren, would be a disaster for rural Americans. There is no way that care providers in lower patient volume zip codes can make it on only Medicare reimbursement rates. They will close their doors and move to higher patient volume areas. The best specialists everywhere will move to boutique practices where they accept only patients who can pay a higher fee out of pocket. This is not speculation. It is a proven fact that is seen each time insurance tries to lower reimbursement in these kinds of areas. BTW, by wiping out private insurance, there’s also around $600 Billion in equity in insurance companies that would be evaporated over night in addition to the 2 million jobs.
    Why does no one ever talk about how much healthcare insurance in the US is delivered by not-for-profit companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield? How do those ubiquitous companies fit into the socialist sound bite model of greedy “bloated” companies raping the poor citizen?
    The cost growth of Medicare for All gets worse because all of the D candidates have stated they want to make it available to all of the increasing illegal immigrants that come across the open borders they promote.
    Then there’s the Green New Deal and other so called climate change initiatives that would cost untold $trillions.
    They’re either lying to socialist minded dummies or they’re really crazy; Either way I don’t see how anyone votes for them.

  10. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Catherine,
    No. Medicare does not administer for less. It is a dishonest statistic.
    It works like this:
    8/100 = .08 (or 8%) and 8/400 = .02 (or 2%). Medicare enrollees cost 4 times more than the < 65 population. If percent admin costs are calculated as admin costs divided by total healthcare expenditures then, holding admin costs constant, raising health care expenditures 4 times lowers your admin costs by a factor of 4. That's how they get to say that Medicare delivers healthcare more efficiently. It's an artifact of the way they calculate the statistic. Medicare is not more efficient/cheaper and Medicare knows this. They openly admit it themselves. It's why they passed Medicare administration and risk off to private insurance. See Medicare Advantage and the history of it. Also, a lot of private insurance overhead is committed to dealing with the massive and onerous regulations imposed by the federal and state govts.

  11. Avatar Ytkealoha says:

    Most of the military here have had socialized medicine their whole lives. Great for them but not for us workin stiffs

  12. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Sir, I contributed to the tangent. I won’t anymore.
    The democrats are trying to appeal to a very narrow slice of the population with their policies. As the economy improves, that slice becomes smaller. No one wants to give up their excellent employer based private healthcare coverage or pay the massive taxes associated with MfA or the GND. All they have left is “orange man bad!”. When the impeachment falls apart, either in the house or the senate, what will they do next to keep the meme going?
    I too think that Hillary is behind a lot of this and is just waiting to be invited – nay begged – to return to the stage.

  13. Avatar Fred says:

    plantman,
    “they show no interest in governing”
    California, Illinois, NY are all governed by Democrats; as are San Francisco, Seattle, LA, Detroit, NYC and many others. It is the Democratic party’s policies as implemented by those democratic elected and appointed officials that are turning all of them into 3rd world standard states and cities.

  14. Avatar Fred says:

    Norbert,
    Life expectancy is not fall because of cost. Cost “per person” is misleading on purpose. What percentage of those costs are on people 70+ years old and just what is it that costs so much?

  15. Avatar Fred says:

    Ytkealoha,
    If only there was some other company out there to work for besides the one you imply gives you no health care. Perhaps you should enlist to get that health care as a part of your compensation.

  16. Avatar Fred says:

    The Michigan Democrats are planning on legislation to expunge felony convictions. Nothing like coddling criminals. When asked by multiple constituants how many people who made plea deals to avoid more serious charges are going to have sentances voided my state senator did the ‘mass incarceration’ song and dance. When asked when he will introduce legislation to hold prosecutors responsible for misconduct we got more shuck and jive.
    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2019-2020/billintroduced/Senate/pdf/2019-SIB-0416.pdf
    Other legislation out there that is criminal friendly are those passed in California chaning the felony level for theft to $900. That’s driven a wave of crime across multiple cities in the state.
    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/05/14/shoplifting-california-prop-47-reduced-penalties/
    I don’t see this selling anywhere outside a lefty stronghold, but they are still pushing hard.

  17. Avatar David Solomon says:

    No Hilary, No Bill…. I Detest Trump, but I would not vote for Hilary, Bill, Biden, Obama or any of the other corporate patsies. We got Trump because of the trash that came before him.

  18. Avatar casey says:

    Tulsi? An unknown quantity, to be sure, but has she any chance?

  19. Avatar Jay P. Tee says:

    I’m going to take a wild guess that you never served in the military. Active duty members have Tricare, which they pay a premium for. I’ve been retired for quite a while so I don’t know what those premiums are. If they leave active duty before they have the option to retire, they are no longer covered. If they do retire from the military, they have the option for several levels of Tricare insurance, which again, they pay a premium for. Once/If they reach the age of 65, they are entitled to Medicare, which they’ve paid into their entire working lives. The annual premium they get to pay for the privilege to enroll is dependent on which level of coverage they want. Oh, and they get to keep their Tricare as a secondary insurance, as long as they continue to pay their premiums.
    “The opinion of 10,00 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject” Marcus Aurelius

  20. Avatar Jack says:

    Eric,
    I understand you have an axe to grind to promote private for-profit health insurance. As Upton Sinclair noted: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
    You’re missing my point. I’m not arguing for or against private insurance or socialized medicine. Neither am I focused on sound bites. I’m purely focused on cost structure of healthcare delivery.
    The indisputable facts are that the US spends double every other western country on a per capita basis. That removes the argument about population size. Second, US healthcare expenditures have grown from 5% of GDP in 1960 to 18% now. So, two things about that – healthcare costs growing faster than GDP growth and second growing at a rate where costs are doubling every 8 years. How sustainable is this growth rate of costs? What percentage of GDP should healthcare expenditures be?
    You say this very expensive cost structure is due to technology and more intensive treatment. OK, what are the benefits – the ROI on this increased expenditure compared to other western countries? The Kaiser Foundation did a study on treatment of coronary and cardiac disease comparing treatment costs and outcomes across the OECD countries a few years ago. The US cost was 3x to 7x more than France, Germany & Canada for example but the outcomes were no better. Where’s the ROI? Take another example, many pharmaceutical drugs are 10x the cost in the US for the exact same drug compared to Europe. Why isn’t there a free market for pharmaceuticals in the US? Why is there a government imposed market cartel? Isn’t that socialism?
    Germany and Norway and France and Canada and Australia are able to provide as good quality of health services as the US on metrics that matter like prevention and treatment of most common ailments in western societies like infectious diseases, cardiac diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, cancers at HALF the cost. People are not dying prematurely there nor are they suffering needlessly due to lack of adequate medical services.
    The problem with the discussion on healthcare care in the US is that it always veers off into socialism vs capitalism; private vs government insurance; death panels and other forms of distractions and never into the nuts and bolts of cost structure and ROI on expenditures. There is no quantitative evidence that I have seen that show that the US healthcare care cost structure delivers DOUBLE the benefit compared to Germany or Australia.

  21. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,
    Your note is exactly why Nancy Pelosi and the Resistance are intent on impeaching Trump. Rep. Al Green said it best, to paraphrase – We need to impeach him or else he’ll get re-elected. The Dems don’t want the American people to decide the Ukraine “quid pro quo” or Russian Collusion or any of the matters that they’ve been harping on since he was elected much to their surprise.
    Unfortunately for us Trump is not a very good POTUS either. He clearly does not have firm grip on his administration and is not showing any kind of management ability of a large bureaucracy. Of course in his defense neither have other recent Presidents shown that ability. Another issue is that what he tweets and possibly what he intends policy to be and its actual implementation are two different things. A case in point is his recent “order” to withdraw our military from Syria. It seems we are still embroiled there militarily.
    As we have been discussing here at SST on other threads, our politics have devolved in so many tangential ways. From increasing identity politics to blatant corruption wherein political & top governmental office have now become primarily a path to personal wealth & celebrity. The coastal and urban elites are on a different plane than the flyover Deplorables and there is no intersection. We see how this type of divide and outright corruption of the political & financial elite is creating populist unrest across the world from Lebanon to Iraq and Ecuador to Chile.
    I wonder how the social forces will evolve over the next decade?

  22. Avatar JamesT says:

    Tulsi’s only chance is if someone picks her as VP. She would make a *terrific* choice for Bernie and I think this is what she is aiming for. She has positioned herself as centrist as in “she appeals to those who vote republican” rather than “she is a corporate sellout”.
    I hope Bernie is smart enough to pick her as his running mate. I don’t think Warren would, and Biden is bleeding from the aorta.

  23. Avatar JamesT says:

    As we all learned in high school math class, “mean income” is average of all incomes while “median income” is the income of the “average American”. In other words if you lined up all Americans from the lowest earner to the highest earner, the one in the middle of the pack would have the “median income”.
    This is a chart of median incomes over time for eight OECD countries:
    https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2015/03/Median-HH-Income-Growth-Since-1980.png
    The USA is ranked dead last. Just because the economy is growing doesn’t mean the average American is sharing in that growth.

  24. Avatar Norbert M Salamon says:

    Fred you observation is correct [but also apples to all other countries], however, the figure of $10000.00+ per capita is just a marker for comparing USA to various nations.
    The next most expensive country is Switzerland with $7900.00 while your neighbor [Canada] is at $4500.0 all these have longer life expectancies than USA .
    It is true that I as a retired person only pay approx. 20% of prescription drugs, have to pay for denture, and glasses [as our family’s income is over the threshold], but all other costs are covered by the state [including double hip-replacement in the near future for my wife].

  25. Avatar Dave Schuler says:

    Bernie Sanders is irrelevant. He will not be the Democrats’ nominee. From the DNC’s point of view his becoming the nominee would actually be worse than Trump being re-elected. He’s not a member of their club. His being nominated would mean that being a Democrat means nothing.

  26. Avatar gaikokumaniakku says:

    Sir,
    this may be off-topic, but Project Veritas has accused ABC News of covering up the misdeeds of the Democratic Party.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lfwkTsJGYA
    I suspect the Democratic Party has been corrupt to the point of self-destructiveness for decades and it has only survived because it has been shielded by accomplices, including news corporations.

  27. Colonel – AOC’s statements on fiscal policy are alarming. Any policy that’s based on an imperfect understanding of money creation is alarming.
    They seem to be based on an extreme interpretation of MMT. That has been discussed often in your pages. A brief summary is given here –
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-03-21/modern-monetary-theory-beginner-s-guide
    and a rather more boring account of money creation is given here –
    https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy
    The second account is dead on. The BOE account clears away many misconceptions about money creation. It’s not universally accepted yet but it will be.
    I guess it’s possible to reconcile MMT with that BOE account. MMT is essentially just a different way of looking at money creation. At least, I think it is – most descriptions of MMT lose me fairly early on but then, I’m not an economist.
    Nor is AOC, nor those who talk like her. Which could lead to trouble. The idea that money can just be printed at will, no problem, is an idea that most economists, MMTers or not, would shudder at. But it’s a nice idea. With one bound we can escape all artificial constraints and arrive in a brave new world of plenty for all. It’s only a banker’s conspiracy preventing that; sweep that conspiracy aside and we can get the economy motoring. So it’s wildly attractive to all who despair of the current state of the economy most of whom, like me and AOC, also get lost fairly early on when looking at the theory but who know in their bones that bankers are up to no good.
    They get that last bit right, anyway, looking at Christine Lagarde’s desperate contortions as she fights to save the EZ. But revulsion at bankers’ antics isn’t enough. Any theory of money creation, if it’s money creation that isn’t at least approximately in sync with the underlying flow of goods and services, is fool’s gold. And that’s what AOC would sell us.

  28. Avatar Offtrail says:

    I haven’t studied Senator Warren’s MCA plan, so I can’t comment on the details.
    However,
    * As a people, Americans are far less happy with their health care than citizens of peer countries that have universal coverage.
    * We are not as healthy as those in countries with universal coverage. Notably, life expectancy is much lower (37th world wide).
    * We pay far more per capita for health care than anyone else.
    * We don’t pay people excellent wages to dig holes and fill them in again, which is essentially what health insurance company employees do. “Free enterprise” health insurance imposes huge administrative costs on health care. I know how incredibly complex and expensive that overhead is. I used to work as a programmer in that field.
    Our system is a relative failure, and dissatisfaction is real. We can do much better. Change will no doubt be painful.

  29. Avatar Upstate NY'er says:

    Ah, the famous Canadian “health” system.
    Why does Canada send cancer patients to US hospitals for chemo?
    Visit any large hospital near the Canadian border, look in the parking garage, count the Canadian license plates.
    The Canadian system provides routine care.
    The USA is the “critical care” component of Canada’s socialized medicine.
    My first 2 points are personal observation.
    My final point is derived from Canadian acquaintances.

  30. Avatar Upstate NY'er says:

    I think Larry Elder:
    “The division in America is that half of the people think that they deserve a free lunch and blame the other half for not letting them have it.”

  31. Avatar Jim Ticehurst says:

    I Have a lot of thoughts going through My Mind over All The Issues Colonel Lang Raises here..The Phoney Democrats..today…The DNC Operators..all Fake ..and Running a Front Group that Hijacked the Old Democrat Party..I Knew…My Mother..was a Grange Hall..Farm Family Democrat ..Mostly Moderate..to Slightly Liberal..She was Active in local Politics in the 1950s..and Loved Politics…When I went to a Local Club meeting with her in 1965..and The Marxist were Taking Control of Berkley Students and California Politics..Moms democrat club was suddenly taken over by Loud Mouth Elizabeth Warren.and..OTC Types..In the 1960s…jumping Up..Ranting Marxist Points and My Mom Leaned over..at that Time…and Said…”the Communists are taking over Our Party” and they kept it up forever after that..The TAKE OVER of the Democrat Party..Making it their Front Group… Then the Revolution Bagan..As Obama said.He was empowering….”The Fundamental Transformation” of America .By 2016..The DNC felt so Confident..They put Out Bernie Sanders on The Ticket..Clench Fisted Calls for National Revolution..Appealing to all those Doped up and Dummied down since the 60s. those in the welfare State Created by Democrats…all Those Americans..victimized and Corrupted by democrat Social Decay…and Infiltration of of the United States Educational System. .They thought they had Won The Revolution..Had Achieved..a Political Coup..in doing so …They EXPOSED themselves at all Levels of Government and Society…..To Me..This Started in California..at Berkley..and..The Infiltrators and.The.Media..and.Money Backers…helped them gain Power and Influence…Its Now..ending with The Marxists Players from California..while Its Burnsin Ashes.. The Decays..and and Stench..of Failed Marxist Socialism..Who are the Altered State Leaders…?? Nancy Pelosi.and Adam Schiff…The second generation Son..of Jewish Immigrants…from Lithuania..To Hell with Their talking Points…Their Phney Politics….Their Party…AND Their COUP…They Cannot…and they WILL NO Win..

  32. Avatar annamissed says:

    What about HR 1384 Medicare for all sponsored by 118 Democrats?

  33. Avatar annamissed says:

    Seeing that many attribute a million reasons Tulsi is running, I think she is simply in it to win, and not angling for some cabinet position.Short of winning, I’d love to see her head up the VA.

  34. Avatar JBV says:

    Tulsi 2020!
    I was surprised you did not post something re Hillary’s shameful comments toward Tulsi Gabbard inferring Russian influence on her. Her comments exposed the utter corruption of neoliberalism as it is presently conducted within the Democratic party. To smear Gabbard like she did, for shame Hillary, for shame…
    But perhaps Ms. Clinton should be on this list of Democratic presidential hopefuls?!

  35. Avatar turcopolier says:

    JBV
    She might be a VP pick. I give her money every month. I will add something about HC.

  36. Avatar Rick Merlotti says:

    Sec of State in 2020, in the second Trump admin.

  37. Avatar annamissed says:

    So do I (give her money). Never been so behind a candidate in my life.

  38. Avatar turcopolier says:

    All
    Someone mentioned that I have in the past expressed approval of the idea of socialized medicine. That is true but not socialized medicine with warren’s price tag.

  39. Avatar Factotum says:

    We cannot even define “health care” so we should not be giving it away for free.
    I dare you, define “health care”. We talk about it all the time as if it was a finite, assessable, fixed entity – in a box, on a shelf. And all we have to do is buy it and hand it out to everyone.
    But what is it? You cannot talk about “healthcare” without confronting rationing, evidence based medicine, futility of treatment and yes, death panels.
    Democrats won in 2018 because they claimed Trump was going to take away your “health care”. Pelosi bragged they won 2018 because they made it about “health care”. Yet what exactly, in definable parameters, is health care.

  40. Avatar PRC90 says:

    After her fainting episode(s) in 2016, I suggest that Hillary is probably down to only a few hours per day of medicated lucidity. Perhaps she and Joe Biden could take shifts when able.
    The Dems problem is that they fail to understand the difference between Trump the man, and Trumpism as the percieved solution to America’s problems. Apart from Tulsi Gabbard (and then probably as a third force within her own party, perhaps in 2024), none of the candidates in the Dem zoo are remotely capable of carrying forward an election-winning Trumpist solution. Instead, they flail away fighting Trump the man while burning time and energy as 2020 gets closer.

  41. Avatar PRC90 says:

    Two success elements for a notional POTUS Gabbard after 2024 would be a crowd-funded campaign as actually pioneered seperatley by Beto O’Rourke and AOC, and heading her own party.
    She would need to be free of the DNC to have the opportunity of electoral success and being able to implement policy that works.

  42. Avatar ex PFC Chuck says:

    You got the “What” right, as expressed in the title of this post, but not the “Why.” The fundamental reason the Democratic Party of the early 21st century is such a clusterf**k is that in 1992 and 93 Bill Clinton closed the sale of the party to the wealthy, with the controlling share to the US financial sector – Wall Street. Negotiations had been underway since the formation of the Democratic Leadership Council in the wake of the disastrous (for Democrats) election of 1984. Slick Willie, who in 1985 was not prominent enough to be among the founding members of the DLC but soon joined up, was the closer. Clinton’s presidency set the Democratic Party off on a quarter century of fraudulent campaigning as the champion of the working class, which the party had been since FDR days, all the while selling their interests out to Wall Street. In 2008 Obama doubled down on the scam with his hopey-changey thing, but showed his true colors when he told his Wall Street buds he was the only thing between them and the pitchforks and proceeded to shut down even the investigations of, let alone prosecutions, of the millions of individual acts of perjury, forgery and fraud that permeated the entire food chain of the home mortgage business. Over that quarter century the entire Democratic Party establishment was captured by the advocates fundamentalist neoliberalism*, and these advocates now own control both major “political parties.”
    In reality these two “political parties” are coalitions of stenographers that fight each other every two years for the dominant role in copying down the desires of their owners into the law of the land. And because there is a consensus of agreement between them on the fundamentalist neoliberal* principles of our oligarchs they cannot fight it out on these issues except in narrow circumstances. (e.g. The financial sector of the Borg excuses Trump’s position on immigrants, even though it violates one of their tenets, because he’s doing almost everything else they want on the domestic front.) Each coalition party has attempted to adapt to this situation in their own way. The Republicans, whose establishment has long been in Wall Street’s pocket since its founding, have climbed into bed with the social conservatives of the Christian right. The Democrats, as their former working and lower middle class base has walked away in disgust as they’ve come to realize they have been scammed, have tried to replace them by focusing on various “demographics,” such as racial minorities, LGBQ people and those who see themselves as part of what John Kenneth Galbraith dubbed “the technostructure” in his book The New Industrial State. The Democrats dominated mid-20th century American politics because during that era they worked the base layers of the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. But now they’ve become so attached to the Wall Street teats they can’t risk having it pulled away from their lips. Not only might they lose their cushy Congressional seats with their perks, gold-plated health care, and lavish retirement benefits but, worse, they might become pariahs to the recruiters on K Street.
    The Democrats’ modus operendi in the early 21st century is another “D” word: Distraction. They can’t take issue with what Trump is doing as he guts one regulatory regime after another because they know their betters heartily approve of him doing so. Thus they come up with Russiagate, and managed to kick that ball down the road for almost three years. But that’s now been replaced by Impeachgate, which will probably last well in to Trump‘s second term.
    By the way Colonel, your remarks on the health care issue make it clear that although you’ve no doubt had a much wider variety of life experiences than many of us here, extended, direct exposure to the tender mercies of what’s become of the USA civilian healthcare system over the past half century is probably one of the blank spots in your resume. When combined with the collateral damage of fundamentalist neoliberalism it’s toxic. Many of the millions of people who the healthcare industry claim are happy as pigs in s**t with their coverage aren’t so happy when their employers change providers every year or two in vain attempts to keep a lid on costs, and the affected employees suddenly find their caregivers are now “out of network.” Then there’s the rise in “gig workers,” another collateral outcome of radical neoliberalism, for whom the expense of decent coverage is out of the question. Then there’s my own experience.
    From 1988 on I worked for a small consulting company that didn’t provide healthcare insurance. Fortunately SWMBO’s much larger employer did. In the late ‘90s the CEO, who was the son-in-law of one of the founders hired an outside COO to be groomed as a successor. Soon after he took over a few years later he decided to make a major change in the business model, but it didn’t work. But the pump-and-dump he did subsequently worked to perfection! At least for him. But for the employees, not so much. The P&D goosed sales but to customers of, shall we say, less than ideal credit-worthiness. Less than a year down the road, when the buyer (a nationally prominent company) realized how badly it had been scammed, they shut down the entire company almost overnight. 4,000 people out of work just like that, including SWMBO who had been managing a group of about 35 talented artists and writers. Needless to say a female at about 60 didn’t find anything nearly as lucrative to replace that income. But just as financially threatening was the loss of health insurance. After the obligatory adjustment period policy went away because of her history we couldn’t get anything affordable and had to settle for a very high-deductble policy. To cut to the chase the incipient hernia we knew she had due to an abdominal wall weakened by five previous surgeries popped two weeks before she qualified for Medicare.
    * Among the core tenets of the fundamentalist neoliberal belief system are: homo economicus; the removal of the rules of the economy from the purviews of national and local governments; free migration of people, capital and control and disposition of property across national borders; and elimination of all regulation of business and capital by national and local governments.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Leadership_Council
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_economicus

  43. Avatar turcopolier says:

    All
    BTW, I have decided that the two greatest menaces facing the US are the aforementioned invasion by inundation underway from Latin America and the New Model Democrat Party. “Just sayin'” to quote some of the worst asses posting comments.

  44. Avatar turcopolier says:

    ex PFC Chuck
    “You got the “What” right, as expressed in the title of this post, but not the “Why.” Tell you what – I will write about what I want to write about and you can write about what you think best. Fair? don’t tell me what I “missed.”

  45. What fascinates me about the whole Dimocrats health care discussion is that nobody ever seems to mention Obamacare. Wasn’t that supposed to have solved the issue For all time? Now it’s as if it never happened. Pelosi was correct, I guess: you have to pass it to see that it’s no good.

  46. Avatar J says:

    Colonel,
    Take a look at this one, seems that U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tx) may need to resign from the House and register himself as an agent for a foreign government. Guess that Crenshaw doesn’t believe in the oaths he took regarding protecting our U.S. Constitution. His oath as a Navy SEAL, or his oath as a member of the Congress.
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/dan-crenshaw-suggests-criticism-of-israel-is-not-protected-under-the-first-amendment.html

  47. Avatar Grumpy Expat says:

    I agree and it explains her irrational and sudden cancellation of her re-election campaign for her Congressional seat. However, hidden by the MSM is that Clinton after being effectively counter-attacked by Gabbard has thrown a ton of money towards her opponent. So, that is perhaps another explanation. BUt, IMHO a person wouldn’t do that unless they have a better Plan B as I believe she is unelectable as a Democrat Presidential candidate being anti-war and the Democrats are the War Party which is her Plan A. Personally, I think she is the only candidate making any kind of sense at all which is why both parties hate her. Both parties since Clinton’s shift away from labor support moving the Democratic Party relatively far right only now support the top 0.1%.
    On a side note, I would not be shocked to see the DNC, even after all the Primaries are finished, move to put HRC in as the candidate maybe at the convention of perhaps even without a convention. They openly admitted there is no democratic process in place within the party and that was the reason Gabbard resigned from the leadership position she had inside the DNC when they screwed over Sanders (as evidenced by the DNC emails). Sanders lost my support when he threw in his support for Clinton after she cheated him. He is actually an Independent so could have easily run that way instead and maybe he would have won. BUt, he decided to go with the flow and I personally think this shows how weak he is as a person. He is also now too old to serve (as are Trump and Warren for that matter) and in poor health so electing Sanders is really electing Gabbard through the back door.

  48. Avatar DefendUSA says:

    Whether you believe it or not…the structure of the socialized system does have rationing of care. The countries you mention have “success” because ALL people are taxed. They all have a stake in what they pay for. In the US, we use the heartstring method to say “EVERYONE should have it” and thus we have medicaid, but those people are not earning or paying for it. That is the difference. There is where your Capitalists are paying for the socialists “entitlement” bred mentality. The memes that people are dying while “waiting” for care? I’m going to wager that they avoided care and then it was too late.
    I believe population matters. The US system is supposed to serve 317 million people over a land mass that isn’t even close to Canada, France, Norway, Germany and the infrastructure they have in comparison. Collectively, those countries are maybe 200 million people. Alone? Pretty easy for Canada to tax all their 37 million people and everyone gets what they pay for, no? And I am sure the bureaucracy is scant compared to the US. Just look at what service disable veterans must go through to “prove” their injuries which are usually visible. Look what a person goes through for a disability as a civilian…2 to 3 years before they get help.
    Cost comparisons? When so many people get care for free (no stake in the game)on the backs of others and fraud is never accounted for? Just follow the money. Fraud in Medicare, medicaid and even the US Income tax system is rampant and never addressed.

  49. Avatar James Doleman says:

    How did the election in Virginia go?

  50. Avatar turcopolier says:

    James Doleman
    This is now the New Dominion.

  51. Avatar Seamus Padraig says:

    It’s safe for them to that now while it has no chance of passing. The Democrats’ real test came in 2009-2011, when they controlled both houses and the White House. That’s when we saw their true colors.

  52. Avatar rjj says:

    for people socialized in this post-truth era the oath has no force. It has been otiossified – emptied of meaning.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/otiose

  53. Avatar Fred says:

    Norbert,
    You deflection to Switzerland is just sophistry. As a retired person you had a lifetime to earn money and save for retirement. You also face biological facts not being faced by those 18 and under, who make up 22% of the population but don’t account for anything near $10,000 each in medical spending.

  54. Avatar Seamus Padraig says:

    I knew from the start it was a scam. Obamacare was really just Romneycare writ large.

  55. Avatar Fred says:

    PFC,
    “The Democrats’… can’t take issue with what Trump is doing as he guts one regulatory regime after another …”
    The regulatory regime in California at the state level is still in place and not impacted by Trump’s changes to federal regulations. The inability of California to build housing or civil infrastructure is not due to federal regulations but state and local ones. Michigan is trying real hard to follow thier trendsetting ways.
    ” aren’t so happy when their employers change providers every year or two in vain attempts to keep a lid on costs, and the affected employees suddenly find their caregivers are now “out of network.” ”
    Obamacare fixed that! Oh, it didn’t? Those doctors and nurses and others are still there, you just get to pay more for thier services.

  56. Avatar JamesT says:

    The DNC leadership is the “War Party”, but the Americans who vote DEM are anti-war – and there is an insurgency trying to take control of the leadership of the party. Bernie could not have won as an independent. Independents never win the presidency.
    I am afraid that Bernie is not “in it to win it”. He knows he will be attacked as relentlessly as Trump has been. But if he chooses Tulsi as his running mate, she will be able to throw enough punches for both of them … and the media can only accuse so many people of Russian collusion before it becomes widely viewed as a joke.
    I very much hope that Sanders is elected in a way that Gabbard is effectively made president.

  57. Avatar scott s. says:

    We spend more on health care because we choose to. I see no reason why the amount per capita in the US should be the same as Germany or Australia. You say there is “no quantitative evidence” that the benefit is DOUBLE. What “quantitative evidence” do you need? This sounds like the quintessential central planner. Focus on specific outcomes like life expectancy to eliminate choice. That’s why Warren says you will get the health care you NEED when you NEED it. Left unsaid is who determines the need.

  58. Avatar prawnik says:

    To the extent that the economy appears well, that is the result of increased government deficit spending and increased trade deficits. Anyone, Team D, Team R or none of the above, can look like a financial genius, as long as he is able to continue to borrow and to refinance existing debt.
    Moreover, since 2008, most of the economic gains have been going to the top 1%. For the rest of us, the financial crisis never really ended.

  59. Avatar blue peacock says:

    What you are pointing out is how medical care is paid for.
    Jack makes a very important but a different point on what it costs and what the health outcomes are. How much does a quadruple bypass or a knee replacement or a stent placement or a tooth extraction or a CAT scan or a tetanus shot or anti-viral medication cost in the different western countries? There have been several media stories that I have read that show the cost of a procedure in the US is multiples of the cost of the same procedure in other western countries, yet patients in the US don’t have any better outcome.
    To make an automotive analogy here – the question that needs to be answered is what is the cost of parts & labor for replacing an alternator in your car in the US vs Canada? Not if you pay for it with a credit card or if Mom paid for it with a check. If the US cost is 3 times the Canadian cost, does the car repaired in the US provide 3 times the miles with the same alternator compared to Canada or provide better performance? What are the benefits of the increased cost?
    Following up on the automotive analogy, anytime you take your car to the mechanic for a repair, by law they are required to provide you a diagnosis and an estimate and you can now shop around based on both price & quality. In the case of medical care the only way one knows how much it cost is after the fact when the bill is issued. Why doesn’t the same law apply for consumption of medical services?
    It seems that anytime health care is brought up, the discussion is always about how it is paid and not about what does it cost, which is the core of the issue.

  60. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Are you saying Canadian hospitals do not offer chemo therapy? How do the Canadians pay for it when they visit the US hospital – out of pocket?

  61. Avatar James Doleman says:

    🙂

  62. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Both our political parties and our whole political structure & government and business leadership have become utterly corrupt. Look at the personal wealth that the Clintons & Obamas and the Bidens have made on the basis of various quid pro quos. And look at the focus of managements & boards of publicly traded companies where more money has been spent on stock buybacks than on product development & capex. What is the focus of the many flag officers in our military? How many of them are spending significant effort in cozying up to Raytheon & Lockheed executives in the hopes they get a plum position when they rotate out of the military? The revolving door which is rampant across all our agencies and commissions and other top government positions.
    It is rich the Democrats hysterical about Trump’s quid pro quo. DC is all about quid pro quo. That is exactly why K St exists.

  63. Avatar turcopolier says:

    James Doleman
    Ah, a lefty Scot! Yes, now Virginia can seriously begin to decline into 3rd World status like all the other states under Democratic Party control.

  64. Avatar PRC90 says:

    ex PFC Chuck, I thought I should add a fourth link to round out your description of fundamentalist neoliberalism in your last paragraph:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution

  65. Avatar Jack says:

    Do you routinely seek the most expensive store when you shop for an item? Of course you can choose to do that and pay 3x for it.
    My experience is that most Americans prefer to shop for a deal. You clearly are an exception.

  66. Avatar Fred says:

    It certainly didn’t help that a third of the delegate positions and 25 percent of the senatorial ones had no Republican running at all.

  67. Avatar doug says:

    Seamus,
    And there was 2017-2018 when the Republicans controlled both houses and the Presidency. The result of which is exploding deficits from the tax cut (which didn’t cut everyone’s taxes – mine went up 5k/y) and only talk about illegal immigration. Too many republicans, aside from Trump, didn’t really want to do anything about it. At least they got some decent judicial appointments.

  68. Avatar Quartered Safe Out Here says:

    Be careful what you wish for. Her views on a variety of subjects were collected by Politico (also all the other candidates) and here’s what they were: https://www.politico.com/2020-election/candidates-views-on-the-issues/tulsi-gabbard/
    We find Medicare For All (w/ other options), Minimum wage ($15), Shut down nuclear power, Free college, Student debt relief,slash Defense,”study” reparations, eliminate the electoral college, universal background checks, DACA approval,etc. All left of center democrat. Couple of exceptions: bring the troops home, wind down overseas deployments and endless wars and pay for infrastructure with money saved (no other candidate shared this view)
    As one who is old enough to have voted for Goldwater, I believe she may be the best of a bad lot. Fred Thompson said that politics is show business for ugly people. This surfer girl is an exception.

  69. Avatar Factotum says:

    We can start by breaking “health care” down into three main segments when we start allocating funding, access and personnel:
    1. Preventive health care
    2. Trauma care
    3. Chronic disease care
    Currently the last 6 months of life and treating the “worried well” is where the bulk of our “health care” dollars are spent. There can be no blank check written in the US for “health care” until there is medical malpractice tort reform built into the same system.
    Too much money goes down the drain right now practicing “defensive medicine”. Other countries “health care” costs are lower because they are not looking at a lawsuit if they “don’t do enough”.
    Doctors end up treating the surviving lawsui- happy relatives, instead of the afflicted patient, who may well need far less “health care” than is currently inflicted in the US.

  70. Avatar turcopolier says:

    doug
    You paid more tax because you lost a lot of deductions. So did I. That means that you are not anything like poor.

  71. Avatar turcopolier says:

    James Doleman
    One benefit of the Democratic takeover is that Virginia will be the final ratifying vote for the ERA. Good! That means that men will be able to sue for equal rights.

  72. Avatar turcopolier says:

    fred
    That is because so many parts of the state have been so thoroughly “colonized” that it is no longer worthwhile to put up Republican candidates.

  73. Avatar Patrick D says:

    Patrick,
    Obamacare was a product of American “kludgeocracy”.
    https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/kludgeocracy-in-america

  74. Avatar Fred says:

    Florida is showing the same trend across the I4 corridor.

  75. Avatar doug says:

    One thing that weighs in Tulsi’s favor is that foreign policy and especially military decisions are the principal responsibility of the President. The grab back of left wing gimme’s falls mostly to Congress. I applaud the Colonel’s support and actions.

  76. Avatar Jack says:

    Ray Dalio penned a recent note that is worth a read as it discusses the issues that lead to the arguments of people like AOC.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/world-has-gone-mad-system-broken-ray-dalio

    ”…those who have the obligations to deliver the money to pay these pensions are unlikely to have enough money to meet their obligations. Those who are recipients of these benefits and expecting these commitments to be adhered to are typically teachers and other government employees who are also being squeezed by budget cuts. They are unlikely to quietly accept having their benefits cut. While pension obligations at least have some funding, most healthcare obligations are funded on a pay-as-you-go basis, and because of the shifting demographics in which fewer earners are having to support a larger population of baby boomers needing healthcare, there isn’t enough money to fund these obligations either. Since there isn’t enough money to fund these pension and healthcare obligations, there will likely be an ugly battle to determine how much of the gap will be bridged by 1) cutting benefits, 2) raising taxes, and 3) printing money (which would have to be done at the federal level and pass to those at the state level who need it). This will exacerbate the wealth gap battle. While none of these three paths are good, printing money is the easiest path because it is the most hidden way of creating a wealth transfer and it tends to make asset prices rise. After all, debt and other financial obligations that are denominated in the amount of money owed only require the debtors to deliver money; because there are no limitations made on the amounts of money that can be printed or the value of that money, it is the easiest path. The big risk of this path is that it threatens the viability of the three major world reserve currencies as viable storeholds of wealth. At the same time, if policy makers can’t monetize these obligations, then the rich/poor battle over how much expenses should be cut and how much taxes should be raised will be much worse. As a result rich capitalists will increasingly move to places in which the wealth gaps and conflicts are less severe and government officials in those losing these big tax payers will increasingly try to find ways to trap them.”

  77. Avatar Factotum says:

    Welcome to California.

  78. Avatar Factotum says:

    Virginia is now nothing more than a majority Wash DC bedroom community, filled with Beltway insiders. Going blue is no surprise – it is what government workers do these days.

  79. Avatar turcopolier says:

    factotum
    Too simple. There is also the I-95 corridor to the south along which masses of New Virginians are distributed in great numbers plus the native minority population.

  80. Avatar blue peacock says:

    English Outsider
    MMT is the sophistry required to provide cover for the monetization of government debt. And also the debt of the favored classes. The ECB is already monetizing the debt of politically well connected zombie companies.
    As Ray Dalio points out in the link that Jack provided below, the pressure to greatly increase the scale of monetization will only grow. AOC and her ilk are arguing why just money printing to benefit the 0.01%. Naturally the other politically well connected classes like the public sector unions that back her will want a piece of the action too. And as seen in other epochs this will continue until psychology (confidence) breaks.
    Your fellow countryman Sir John Bagot Glubb’s Spenglerian essay “The Fate of Empires” and philosopher Auguste Comte’s work on the development of advanced civilizations provide some guide posts for thought.

  81. Avatar Factotum says:

    Treatment, aggressive treatment on demand in the last six months of life can often be deemed futile and is often administered to comfort the relative who demand doctors “do everything”.
    Futility of treatment is a hot topic in bioethics today. Futility of care during the last six months of life is never in question and is always available. This is handled by rationing and death panels in other “socialized medicine” countries. Both topic must be clarified in today’s US discussion of “health care”. Turning these topics into unfounded blame and shame agendas is why we should not be signing up at this time for an ill-defined new “health care” delivery system.
    Pays to know the difference between these two states of “health care” (futility of treatment vs futility of care) and not conflate the two- the line is obviously not bright, but that is also why you don’t write a mindless blank check for “free health care” until you adequately define what it is, what can be and what it can never be outcomes of “health care”..

  82. Avatar blue peacock says:

    It would be interesting if there are studies on the distribution of medical service consumption. What is consumed – by frequency, by quantity, by dollars, by whom?
    To understand all this better we need answers to questions on – what is the unit cost on medical services that are consumed the most; how does it compare with other countries; what are the treatment/outcome profiles of the top 20% of services that consume the most spend; etc.
    The healthcare industry would likely have no interest in folks digging into all this as they would not like to give up their growing share of spend and would prefer the debate to be around abstract issues on keep your doctor and so on.
    From my friends in the medical profession I hear issues around – the AMA suppressing the quantity of doctors through placing medical education constraints; concentration of market power in a few hospital systems in each major urban area leading to monopoly style behavior; the lack of any pricing transparency; systemic incentives to increase consumption with fee-for-service, the restriction on competition, etc. Then add in the factors that you have brought up.
    It seems that this is a product of our times, similar to defense procurement with all kinds of costs embedded that the value of defense expenditures is substantially diluted. There’s no bang for the buck as the bloat has to be fed.

  83. Avatar catherine says:

    ”Why does no one ever talk about how much healthcare insurance in the US is delivered by not-for-profit companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield? How do those ubiquitous companies fit into the socialist sound bite model of greedy “bloated” companies raping the poor citizen?”
    Let me ask you…with no insult intended….what exactly are your qualifications, professional or personal experience with health care and insurers to speak on the subject?
    I ask because you are behind the times in your comment on BC/BS…..they are all now ‘licensees’ most of which began to convert to ‘for profit’ decades ago. Its ‘conversion’ path to for profit is a beautiful story of greed and politics.
    Have you had any experience with ‘socialized’ health care?
    I have. My cousin and her husband, who was a Rhodes scholarship fellow, were living in London when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He got the best of treatment—both my aunt and uncle and his parents went to London and had oncologists at Mayo in the US looking at the treatments Jim was getting and talking to his doctors….Mayo told them they could do no better than was being done, that it was exactly what they would do and they concurred with the London doctors.
    Everything you ‘hear’ about health care abroad is not necessarily true.

  84. Avatar catherine says:

    ”We spend more on health care because we choose to.”
    LOL…..Big Pharma sends you their thanks.
    When I was in London 4 years ago I need a inhaler for my ‘rainy weather’ bronchitis. Got a script and bought a 120 uses Advair inhaler for the ‘retail’ price of $67. Go buy one tomorrow at your friendly US pharmacy at the ‘retail’ price of $320.
    The cost of the most widely used critical drugs have gone up 300% in the US since 1999.
    Americans are such suckers.

  85. Avatar different clue says:

    What would be wrong with electing Gabbard through the back door? Electing her through the front door would be nicer, but if the back door is the only door there is, wouldn’t the back door be better than no door at all?
    She has already shown that she is ready, willing, able and eager to carry the battle to the heart of the Clinton.

  86. Very interesting essay. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Chrystalises a suspicion that we in the West are simply too gummed up to get anything done. In 2 years Russia built the longest bridge in Europe and in ten China built a stunning amount of high speed railway lines. How long would it take our systems to get that local bridge repaired?

  87. Avatar jd hawkins says:

    Seems the Neo-Jacobins are on our tails.

  88. Avatar annamissed says:

    Yes, and they also re-instated the Bush tax cuts.

  89. Avatar Norbert M Salamon says:

    Fred:
    The $10700.00 has nothing to do with any individual in USA it is a RATIO: total cost of health care in the country [approx. 3.5 Trillion] DIVIDED BY population of the Country [ some 320 million +]
    The Swiss, the Canadian and all other 200+ per capita costs for various countries are similar RATIO numbers expressed in PPP based US $ terms.

  90. Avatar Factotum says:

    Medical malpractice liability plays a very large part in US health care costs – doctors practicing “defensive medicine” and admitting you get sued for what you don’t do; not what you do.
    So they practice over-kill defensive medicine as well as eagely padding numbers of procedures to improve bottom line, with no independent corroboration as to necessity or efficacy. When comparing health care systems and outcomes, it is necessary to also compare legal liabilities and internal practices and procedures for similar situations.
    How many other countries routinely demand CAT scans when an elderly patient comes in to the ER with flu systems from a senior care institution?
    Most cynically in the US, the medical industrial complex will find a disease and diagnosis that matches your insurance policy limits. And government employees get the best insurance policies of all – which in turn become the drivers for costs and standards of care.
    ER flu patient’s CAT scan was covered by retired government employee insurance. Basically a blank check written to the health industry. Entire ER out patient flu observation totaled $10.000. He was sent home for bed rest. he could have had a 2 month cruise for the same cost.

  91. Avatar James Doleman says:

    Guilty as charged.
    But, I hope, always respectfully

  92. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Here’s an example of relative costs of some specific drugs & procedures in a recent Deutsche Bank research report packaged up by Zero Hedge.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/us-healthcare-costs-are-exploding-heres-why
    The above post shows a comparison chart of hospital & physician cost for an appendectomy in 2015. The US at $16,000; UK at $8,000; Australia at $4,000.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/appendecctomy.jpg?itok=dH9IgZNL
    Price comparison for the pharmaceutical drug Xarelto in 2015. US at $290; UK at $125; Switzerland at $100.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/price%20of%20xarelto.jpg?itok=zy6hoIyd
    The big question: Does the US patient of an appendectomy have a substantially better outcome compared to the Aussie, where it costs a quarter of what it costs in the USA?

  93. Avatar different clue says:

    Several years ago we had a Canadian-citizen co-worker where I work. That subject came up and she complained that she had to come to the US for certain treatment which she needed but could not get in Canada. I asked her who paid and she said that of course her Canadian-taxpayer-funded CanadaCare paid for it.
    If she properly understood my question and I properly understood her reply, the CanadaCare system knew it couldn’t give her the treatment she needed when she needed it, and in line with their coverage of Canadian CanadaCare taxpayers, they covered her just the same. If that is true for all those Canadian citizens getting must-have treatment here in America, and if CanadaCare is paying for that must-have treatment for those Canadians getting it here in America, then the CanadaCare authorities understand the problem and are solving it. And so if these Canadians are covered regardless, then CanadaCare is working for them, it seems to me.

  94. Avatar Jim Ticehurst says:

    Colonel..As you also Point out in your List..The “People in the Democrat Party..”and Corruption..The Corrupt Quids who get there Money..The PROS..who will Milk any Cow..any Where..Any Sex..Through Money Laundering…(Foundations) of Influence Peddeling..Like Old..Sleazy..Slidin Joe Beiden.. The PRO…who took his QUID..Hunter Beiden..to the Ukraine and China…to look for QUO…Ah That’s DOUGH n English.Looks like Oldy Joe is Happier to Keep the Discussion on The Ukraine Deal…So The Media can Bring it up and He Immeditely Can SCHIFFT that Ball Back onto Donald Trump..Yup..No Joe Quid Pro Quo..Just Business as Usual…
    Well…I have been Looking at the China Deal..All done with and Through Communist Chinese Front Corporations…All Military…and The BANK OF CHINA..
    So these Clever Wise Guy American and Chinese Partners fixed up a way to set up an Cross Border Private Equity Fund…through Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz..called BOHAI HARVEST RSTPartners..and signed the Deal on November 2013…Then the Bank of China in the Meantime..gathered up One to Two Billion dollars…so that Hunter and BOHAI Harvest could start buying what ever their Chinese Partner…Avation Industry Corp of China..and Subsidiary of Chinese Aerospace and Defense Conglomerate….directed them to Purchase….And what did the Chinese Want to Purchase…A High Tech American Company called…Henniges Automotive..that Specislizes in Anti Vibration Technology and other technology that has all Type of Military ..A..Ship and Submarine and Aerospace,,,Applications..Not only that But Henniges Automotive…has its own Factorys..and Research Centers all over the United States…Mexico..South America…Africa..Europe..and Now Big Operations in China..23 Locations the Chinese can legally Use..and Hunters Company BOHAI Harvest..Ah..Those clever Minds…There is a BOHAI Harbor in China..Since its Deals with The Bidens..2013 to Now..The Chinese built a New Shipyard at BONAI Harbor that can Produce six Steath Submarines at a Time..You Can see the Sattelite views..must have new Anti Vibration Technology…Maybe in their Space and Aero Space..and Missle Areas Too…Oh and the Russians…They are rapidly building..Fast..Manuverable.. New Smaller..more Manuverable Stealths Submarines with Advance Propulsions Systems. …Its Name…??BOREI…you can see the SATS on that one too..LBSHIC..
    I think someone…somewhere could Sound The Bugle..Dust off an Old Battle Flag..Find Their Boots…Anyone..?

  95. Avatar Fred says:

    Jim,
    Henniges is an automotive supplier. Senator Grassley’s letter from August is four years to late, assuming there is an actual military equipment concern. Consolidation of ownership of the automotive industry supply base or it’s disruption by China is a bigger threat. Grassley should have raised those concerns when Clinton was letting communist China into the WTO.

  96. Avatar Jim Ticehurst says:

    Fred…Henniges Automotive is a very High Tech Company that has world class expertise in many areas that can be Applied to Military Use..They are Leaders in the Process of Window/Glass Encapluation and Window Sealing..for example.As in Cockpits”and any other Military use..like the J20..or any other Purpose The Chinese Military can use..They now have access to ALL Henniges Technology..Contractors Technology..R and D..and The Chinese Spys and Military can go to any Factory world Wide..As Far as Senator Grassleys Finding..Investigation through the Finance Committee..and Treasury..about this Matter..It shows there was a Betrayal of United States national Security by President Obama and Vice President Biden…through another Loop Hole called CIFUS.”.The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States..”….which President Obamas Administration controlled….All Political. This is not a Minor Matter..It gave Communist China and its Military Access to American Technology they should never had gotten…What was the Obama/Biden Quid PRO QUO exchange for that Deal…? ts

  97. Thanks. I looked up the essay you referred to.
    My guess is that the Toynbeean style essay Glubb produces is only ostensibly concerned with the life cycles of civilisations. That’s merely a peg upon which he hangs a sermon of his times. It’s a sermon of prophetic insight –
    “Men are interminably different, and
    intellectual arguments rarely lead to
    agreement. Thus public affairs drift from bad
    to worse, amid an unceasing cacophony of
    argument. But this constant dedication to
    discussion seems to destroy the power of
    action. Amid a Babel of talk, the ship drifts
    on to the rocks.”

    He finds Parliament hard to take as well –
    “Britain has been governed by an elected
    parliament for many centuries. In former
    years, however, the rival parties observed
    many unwritten laws. Neither party wished
    to eliminate the other. All the members
    referred to one another as honourable
    gentlemen. But such courtesies have now
    lapsed. Booing, shouting and loud noises
    have undermined the dignity of the House,
    and angry exchanges are more frequent. “

    Almost as if Glubb had been looking over one’s shoulder at some of the recent Parliamentary antics on TV.  Then I look at the date of publication.  1977.
    For some, especially in Glubb’s milieu, that was a time of crisis. It was around the time retired Brigadiers were talking in corners of the need for a coup.  There were rumours of paratroopers being paraded in Aldershot and told they might be required to shoot civilians.  More rumours of the Queen Mother being asked to head the coup.  Not long before a British prime Minister had been suspected of being a Russian fellow traveller and fear of a Socialist takeover was still around.
    All that was loose gossip that most of us only picked up far later, rumours few of which found their way into print. Soon afterwards in any case Mrs Thatcher came in. She beat up the miners to a degree that would have pleased the most savage of the Greek Colonels so such talk died away.  Why worry about the Red Peril when Mrs Thatcher was hell bent on suppressing Peasant Revolts wherever she could find them?
    But there was that atmosphere of threat around in the late seventies and it was, I suspect, influenced by that atmosphere that Glubb wrote his essay.  And also, figuratively speaking, he was returning from arduous duty in Jordan to the childish decadence of the London scene of the ’70’s. It must have been like travelling from open countryside straight into a juvenile Sodom and Gomorrah.
    He goes deeper. He is conscious of, always swerving back to it as he shapes his thesis, of a decline in integrity. Anyone who today watches a House Committee Hearing or a Bundestag debate, or our own Parliamentary debates, knows that little truth lies in the bottom of those wells and no point searching for it there. That catastrophic decline in our public life Glubb sensed back then and he would have watched its later progress with no surprise –
    “Alternatively, there are ‘political’ schools of
    history, slanted to discredit the actions of
    our past leaders, in order to support modern
    political movements. In all these cases,
    history is not an attempt to ascertain the
    truth, but a system of propaganda, devoted
    to the furtherance of modern projects, or the
    gratification of national vanity.”

    It’s a fine essay.  I don’t at all agree with his categorisations – I don’t believe one can class the British Empire with the great civilisational empires of the past.  We all have our different Englands and in this essay Glubb’s England is the England of lost Empire.  I see Empire as a superficial and transient phase in our history so for me that is a false England, though one can still feel the power of the myth.
    For me that disables the argument of the essay. The peg’s not stout enough. It’s a fine essay for all that because Glubb was a fine and perceptive man.  And he saw truly the process of decay that was starting even then – a decay that not only left Glubb’s England buried in the wreckage of history, but now bids fair to leave all our Englands buried too.

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