Krugman discusses the evil and ugly!

FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014

Matthews ridicules accents: In this morning’s column, Paul Krugman discusses the decision by several dozen states to reject the expansion of Medicaid.

When he quotes Jonathan Gruber, a strong word is used, then affirmed:
KRUGMAN (4/11/14): What’s amazing about this wave of rejection is that it appears to be motivated by pure spite. The federal government is prepared to pay for Medicaid expansion, so it would cost the states nothing, and would, in fact, provide an inflow of dollars. The health economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the principal architects of health reform—and normally a very mild-mannered guy—recently summed it up: The Medicaid-rejection states “are willing to sacrifice billions of dollars of injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. It really is just almost awesome in its evilness.” Indeed.
The failure to expand Medicaid is almost awesome in its evilness. Almost, but not quite!

We wouldn’t rush to say that ourselves, though people have always marched to war under such stirring banners. Soon thereafter, another strong word was used:
KRUGMAN (continuing directly): And while supposed Obamacare horror stories keep on turning out to be false, it’s already quite easy to find examples of people who died because their states refused to expand Medicaid. According to one recent study, the death toll from Medicaid rejection is likely to run between 7,000 and 17,000 Americans each year.

But nobody expects to see a lot of prominent Republicans declaring that rejecting Medicaid expansion is wrong, that caring for Americans in need is more important than scoring political points against the Obama administration. As I said, there’s an extraordinary ugliness of spirit abroad in today’s America, which health reform has brought out into the open.
We wouldn’t rush to say that either. Once you've decided that your fellow citizens are in the grip of extraordinary ugliness, where do you go from there?

We wouldn’t rush to voice that judgment. But Krugman did say it earlier:

“There’s a startling ugliness of spirit abroad in modern America—and health reform has brought that ugliness out into the open.”

Such statements have always felt good. When we see liberals and progressives making such statements, we’re struck by the laziness of our attempts at outreach to the wider world where all this ugliness dwells.

It’s easy to talk about ugly and evil—it’s easy, and it feels good. It also tends to make it hard to build broader coalitions.

Last night, we watched MSNBC, The One True Liberal Channel. As we watched, we saw Chris Matthews openly mocking southern accents, then saying dumb shit like this:
MATTHEWS (4/10/14): You know, some of this reminds me of an old Snuffy Smith comic, you know, a bunch of people out in the mountains somewhere in Tennessee, worried about the revenuers coming. Anybody who works for the government’s a bad guy, especially if he’s black.

I’m sorry, Louie Gohmert talks a certain way about this president. I’m not accusing Cruz of this, but Gohmert and Farenthold, this idea the president’s not really legitimate, that’s their first smear.
In Chris’ first smear, he mocks the way millions of people speak. He then says stuff about people up in the mountains.

To watch the whole segment, click here.

Does anyone really have to explain how amazingly dumb this is? On last night’s program, Joan Walsh, Chris’ trusted companion, discussed some rather ridiculous things Jim DeMint recently said.

For herself, she said some fairly silly things about the way Eric Holder was recently treated.

How did Chris react? In response to conduct and statements by a few officials he doesn’t respect, he openly mocked the regional speech of tens of millions of people—fellow citizens, voters.

Politics really isn’t about DeMint, Gohmert and Farenthold. Politics is about 150 million potential voters in fifty different states.

The fact that you don’t care for Gohmert isn’t a reason to mock those voters by the tens of millions, unless you’re a little bit ugly yourself.

Of course, that's what Rachel did, back when, when she had Ana Marie come on, night after night, to tell all those dick jokes about all those people who were too dumb to go to Stanford. Because we liberals are good and kind, it made us love her more.

Krugman’s column might make people think that we are the very smart, very good people. Smart people know better than that.

Manifestly, we aren’t very smart. This becomes clear when you see that Matthews is still on the air after all the harm he has done.

Nor are we especially good, not when you see the stupid shit we let people do in our names.

There is some very uninspiring leadership on the other side. Then again, there is some horrible leadership to whom we pander and fawn. We’re so dumb that we can’t see the way they’re ripping us off!

Snuffy Smith had it all over Chris when it came to basic smarts. Joan Walsh, his repurposed trusted companion, was there to support and affirm him.

The way Chris spoke back then: Chris doesn’t like the way Gohmert speaks about Obama.

Matthews used to call the first lady “Evita.” Here’s what he said about Gore on the Imus program, shortly after 9/11:

“He doesn’t look like one of us. He doesn’t seem very American, even.” No, we’re not making this up.

During Campaign 2000, he referred to Gore as “the bathtub ring” on at least forty occasions. When it looked like Gore was going to win, he apologized for the he way he had been saying that Gore “would lick the bathroom floor to become president.”

Today, Chris is upset with naughty speech. Translation: New paymaster!

Joan was there to cheer him on in every word he said. He even got mad at Joan last night.

That almost never happens.

77 comments:

  1. Nah, denying health coverage to the poor for no financial reason, just for spite and for pernicious pandering, is ugly and evil.

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    1. OK, pretend that there's no "reason" involved -- then you can easily leap to name-calling: ugly, evil.

      But Krugman at least is aware that there *is* a "reason" -- even though he today pretends he doesn't know it. it would be wiser to admit that and disagree with the reason, than to pretend it doesn't exist and go ahead with name-calling.

      You can pretend that your ignoring the "reason" is savvy and the path to smart organizing -- but that's all it will amount to: pretend organizing.

      The state's rejection of federal aid has not been taken without "reason."

      The reason is, in my opinion, specious but it would be smarter not to ignore it. A lot of people still believe in it. It is, after all, of a piece with our nation's official ideology -- our official religion -- the free market is smarter than government and its meddling pols.

      You want to be a savvy, un-sanctimonious organizer, Geoff? Address that problem.

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    2. So as long as a "reason" rises to the level of "specious," it can't be "evil" as well.

      How lame! Do you really understand the meaning of the word "specious"? Or is it your vocabulary-building word of the day?

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    3. By the way, Geoff doesn't say there is "no reason" no matter how "specious."

      He says there is "no financial reason."

      He also lists two pretty "specious" reasons -- "spite" and "pernicious pandering."

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    4. No financial reason, so therefore goopers are "ugly and evil."

      That's the road for you lazy shit liberals. You continue to pretend, continue to name call.

      That's a fuck of a lot easier for you nobodies than, say, actually addressing the reasons -- the "financial" reasons, if you, continuing to pretend, insist that was the crux -- outlined by typical GOP/libertarian true believer David in CA below.

      Good luck then with your genius-level "organizing."

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    5. "lazy shit liberals."

      Pot, meet Kettle.

      Not surprising that a person who thinks he preaches a good sermon, while practicing the opposite would be such a Somerby fan.

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    6. Yes, Somerby=bad, trolls=good. Maddow=beyond reproach. No need to think. Just memorize this set of rules.

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    7. Wel since Maddow's name hasn't been mentioned, it sounds like the conditioning is working on somebody.

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  2. "Once you've decided that your fellow citizens are in the grip of extraordinary ugliness, where do you go from there?"

    Good question. Have been pondering it for decades. Open to suggestions. Maybe some that don't simply turn the name-calling in another direction.

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    1. Somerby's point is that once you have called someone ugly and evil, it is hard to get them to change their behavior.

      Somerby is not saying "turn the name-calling in another direction." As I read him, he is saying turn off the name-calling entirely because it is counter-productive.

      Primum non nocere -- first do no harm. If you don't know what to do to improve the situation, at least don't do anything that makes the situation worse. That seems like common sense to me.

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    2. Denying poor people health coverage --- which results in their misery and death --- is ugly and evil. Words matter.

      I no longer will try to convince ugly and evil people --- rather, I will try to outnumber, out-organize, and out-vote them.

      I'll leave the sanctimony to people who have healthcare and don't fear becoming destitute.

      Delete
  3. The expression used by DC politicians for decades has been to never question "motives" - just deal with the differences people have with the issue itself. . . My view is the modern Right prefers ad hominem attacks and name calling - to actual issue discussions. . . I agree that with you that Liberal media seems to be following that scenario - particularly on MSNBC. . . I am forced to suggest - if what Krugman wrote today - using words like "evilness" and "ugliness" is exactly what Democratic politicians should be saying in statements and speeches! . . . After all - the lack of expanded medicaid in "Red" states IS going to result in people among the working poor dying younger than they would have. . . If this is not a fact sufficient to make Democrats speak frankly to our citizens - what hope is there to gain support among the American masses? . . . Should we Liberals simply wait out demographics - control the Presidency and "our" states - and let the "white people's party" have the other states? . . . Is this expanded medicaid issue not potentially the game changer - even morphing into universal medicare for all - which could blow up the modern GOP alliance of Billionaire - chamber of commerce - rural and old confederacy white working people?

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    1. I'm not sure that calling someone evil adds much, after you have pointed out how many people will die as a result of such policies.

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    2. Calling those good ol' Nazis evil was probably counter-productive. If we had said nicer things, we might have won them over.

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    3. Does your analogy make even a wee bit of sense, legend?

      No, it doesn't.

      Unless you're now suggesting we stop appeasing GOP supporters and start bombing them!

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    4. "Unless you're now suggesting we stop appeasing GOP supporters and start bombing them!"

      Even if we don't bomb them, they'll still play the victim.

      Berto

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    5. Playing the V-card eh, Berto? Or is it the V-bomb.

      Delete
  4. "It’s easy to talk about ugly and evil—it’s easy, and it feels good. It also tends to make it hard to build broader coalitions."

    Great analysis, Bob.

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    1. Pot, meet kettle.

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    2. Nobody knows better how good it feels than Somerby.

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    3. Maybe, as these troll comments illustrate, it is impossible to build coalitions with some people. At that point, the adjectives may be a reflection of frustration.

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    4. "Maybe, as these troll ... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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    5. Just as a matter of curiousity Anonymous 1:59, what wakes you back up? No need to reply until you have some coffee after catching your nap.

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    6. 335: the absence of troll whiners.

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    7. If you sleep late you're gonna miss a few mini-dramas.

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  5. "We wouldn’t rush to say that either. Once you've decided that your fellow citizens are in the grip of extraordinary ugliness, where do you go from there?"

    That coming from you is laughable. Just so you know. Seriously, on a daily basis you impugn the intellect of the entire country just because Chris Matthews is a multi-millionaire and still has a job.

    Where do we (as one "liberal" to another), go from here, Bob? You always say the professors of the world should stop talking gibberish about the latest quantum mechanical theories, what you would rather Krugman say? I have always thought your gentle corrections of bad education reporting was/is your best work.

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    1. Right, attack Somerby instead of responding to his ideas. If Somerby is a hypocrite, there is no need to think about whether Krugman's article would have been more convincing had he not referred to conservatives as evil.

      I could do that experiment. Present one group with the article without the namecalling. Give the same article intact to another group. Ask both to rate how convincing the arguments are. What would be the result? It is an empirical question that does not depend on whether you think Somerby is a hypocrite or not.

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    2. Or maybe it is not "name-calling" when you are expressing your honest, deepest feelings about the moral significance of a particular action. It was the sober, moderate health economist Jonathan Gruber who said that first, and I think you would be hard-pressed to find examples of Gruber as a name-calling kind of guy. Then again, if Bob thinks Gruber is a "liberal," who knows what dirt he can dig out of Nexis?

      If you think something is morally repugnant but you refrain from saying so for political advantage -- so you won't offend the people who support what is being done -- then who is being the amoral cynic?

      For that matter, is it really to your advantage when telling the truth might isolate the evil-doers and help moderate people of good faith see that they should be favoring the right side? Or is there no such thing as the "right side" -- you know, moral relativism run rampant?

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    3. I recall the famous worlds of Harry Truman when a supporter shouted out, "Give 'em hell, Harry!"

      "I don't give them hell. I tell the truth and they think it's hell."

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  6. So I clicked on the link. I saw two things.

    1. Matthew's alleged slur against the entire South lasted for as long as it took Matthews to mock Gohmert for the way he pronounced "guv'ment." That particular pronunciation of that particular single word is not limited to those with Southern accents.

    2. Bob completely disappears Nia-Malika Henderson as he trains his guns upon favored targets Walsh and Matthews. She had some very worthwhile things to say.


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    1. Presumably he had no quarrel with what she said.

      Gore and the Clintons used to be mocked because they were from the South. The mockery came from the same establishment media Somerby is criticizing today. Note the comment about Hillary's Arkansas interior decorator in the post earlier this week. There is anti-Southern bigotry that is conflated with anti-conservative rhetoric, but there are liberals and progressive Democrats in red states, and some of those red states have recently turned blue (e.g., CO). If you ridicule people for superficialities that is less likely to happen. I think it is a worthwhile point.

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    2. Then presumably, he can't admit that the third person in the discussion had some very worthwhile things to say because it interferes with the narrative he's trying to sell that this particular discussion was all about Matthews and Walsh once again going off half-cocked.

      I do find it interesting, however, that the mocking of the pronunciation of one word is enough for Somerby to whip out the "anti-South bigot" card, while at the same time, he can't quite seem to bring himself to admit that ANY allegation of racism might have some merit.

      Instead, he always reaches for well-worn, dog-eared script that reads, "There goes the pseudo-libs throwing around the R-word again."

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    3. ...which, tho' it has fuck-all to do with anything Somerby wrote today, is only slightly less well-worn than the script liberals read from saying: let's call them racists.

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  7. The federal government is prepared to pay for Medicaid expansion, so it would cost the states nothing...

    Other sources say that the expansion of Medicaid would be only partially funded, so it would indeed cost the states something.

    Starting in 2014, the federal government would pick up 100 percent of the benefit costs for the newly eligible population for three years. Thereafter, this enhanced federal funding would gradually decline to 90 percent in 2020.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/why-the-obamacare-medicaid-expansion-is-bad-for-taxpayers-and-patients

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    1. Yes, in just six short years, states would be required to pay 10 cents for every dollar they spend to expand Medicaid to working poor families.

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  8. Plenty of people on the left are saying that the right is callous and evil for denying Medicaid, particularly the higher-ups, like Obama, right?

    mikedbot has it right, Bob. You're going over the edge.

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  9. Denying poor people health coverage --- which results in their misery and death --- is ugly and evil. Words matter.

    I no longer will try to convince ugly and evil people --- rather, I will try to outnumber, out-organize, and out-vote them.

    I'll leave the sanctimony to people who have healthcare and don't fear becoming destitute.

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    1. If money came from Heaven, I'd agree with you, Geoff. However, here on earth, the federal government and most state and local governments can't even afford their current level of services.

      So, what areas do you propose to cut, in order to pay for this Medicaid expansion: Education? Environment? Welfare? And, don't forget that you won't get the choice. When these government spending cuts become necessary, the cuts may hit programs that you believe are important.

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    2. What David is saying here is, of course, bullshit.

      The problem is, it's bullshit that resonates with MANY Americans.

      And it very much counts as a reason -- or even, Geoff, a "financial reason" -- for opposing ACA or Medicaid expansion in the states.

      So when, instead of taking the long, hard road of debunking the WIDELY ACCEPTED bullshit, you simply call those who do accept it "evil" you fuck up bigtime.

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    3. I wonder how often Dave in Cal whips out the "we can't afford it" card.

      Did he say it when Bush was preparing to invade Iraq? Did he say it when we built the B-2 bomber or God only knows the latest piece of military hardware? Does he wonder why we spend more on our military than the next many countries combined, if not the entire world combined?

      Were costs a consideration when Bush proposed his massive across the board income tax cuts heavily skewed toward the wealthy while most of us got a $600 check -- about $12 a week?

      Is he concerned if we can afford massive subsidies to the oil companies as they are making record profits? Or massive subsidies to Big Agra and Big Pharma?

      So we learn that the richest nation in human history can't afford to guarantee its citizens access to health care while nations with less wealth than we have seem to be able to do it.

      It isn't a question of not being able to afford it. It's a question of priorities, political will, and even "promote the general welfare" -- there's that nasty word, must come from some sort of Commie Manifesto. Couldn't be in the preamble to any of our founding documents.

      Now one could surmise that David is only worried about himself, and how this effects him. That makes those of weak minds who don't give a shit about anyone else more concerned with what it will cost HIM, not how it benefits society in the long run in terms of a healthier citizenry -- and one that doesn't suffer needlessly when help is available.

      But calling him self-centered would be close to calling him EVIL, and Lord knows, the Marquis de Somerby rules forbid calling names.

      Unless, of course, you send those nasty names in the general direction of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Joan Walsh and Maureen Dowd.

      Those are people with whom Somerby disagrees. That means the gloves are off and we can call them "vile" "clowns" and ask how society even tolerates such people with such opinions that have not received the Somerby Seal of Approval.

      So I won't call David EVIL.

      But I will call what he says Bullshit, while recognizing that a person that stupid and that self-centered will never be reasoned with, no matter how polite 7:31 and Somerby lecture us to be.

      There will always be self-centered idiots among us.




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    4. By the way, 7:31, a "reason" ceases to be a "reason" when it is bullshit. Then it becomes an excuse, masking David's true selfish motives.

      But you go ahead and pretend bullshit is a reason that must be treated with utmost respect, lest we "fuck up bigtime" and call it by the name it deserves.

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    5. If you call someone self-centered, never mind evil, they stop listening and you lose any chance of changing their mind.

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    6. I guess Somerby has thus given up on the notion of ever changing Rachel Maddow's mind.

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    7. He probably doesn't have enough money to change her mind.

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  10. What strikes me is what an ungodly mess this post is.

    We start with Krugman, which leads us to Matthews, which brings about Walsh. Then we throw in a dash of Rachel and Ana Marie and dick jokes for ulterior motives known only to Somerby, before we return Krugman, which brings us back to Matthews and the Great Somerby Time Machine which once again returns us to Somerby's glory days as Ernie Pyle on the War on Gore.

    Our humble blogger could certainly use help in focusing his attention, and not merely rambling about whatever brilliant thought happens to cross his mind at the moment.

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    1. Bob has told us how influential Chris Matthews was in Real Time.

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  11. Dave Neiwert, circa 2006:

    What's especially amusing is the way these political reporters have internalized right-wing talking points -- which are part of a specific political propaganda strategy based on projection -- about the alleged nastiness of liberal bloggers, a la the latest Malkin-O'Reilly teamup.

    That is, all that "joking" talk about killing off liberals and rounding up ragheads is just "normal politics," but if liberal bloggers use some swear words or hardball political tactics, then gosh almighty, they've just come unhinged!

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    1. There may be a double standard, but there do have to be reasons for belonging to one party over another. One is that liberals don't behave like conservatives. When they do, I won't want to be a liberal any more.

      The other question is what does mocking Southern accents have to do with any issue liberals might care about? Why would Matthews gratuitously do that?

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  12. I quit reading Krugman back when Somerby pointed out he would not name names and made incomplete corrections of egregious errors.
    I am frankly astounded that Somerby keeps referring to his work.

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    1. Somerby keeps ignoring the fact, pointed out by many commenters over time, that Krugman is restrained by NYT policy from naming names, esp. of fellow NYT columnists. If Krugman names them, he loses his column. Nonetheless, he is pretty good at broadly hinting at the names he would name. You do have to read the NYT regularly, and other news sources, to realize how obvious those hints are. More people here might try that rather than come to Bob for an excuse not to read good (if flawed -- surprise surprise! I had no idea!) sources of information and analysis.

      As for Chris Matthews (according to a HuffPo piece, the most unpopular person on cable or network news -- so yes, let's by all means focus on him and his guests as representative of current "liberal" thinking and approaches), yeah, he thinks he's being down-to-earth when he does his regional "sociological" "analysis." An inclination by Northerners (conservative as well as liberal) to scorn Southerners of a certain accent -- not cool. A point Somerby could have made as a friendly gesture to his "fellow" liberals without the vitriol. After all, vitriol gets in the way of persuasion, right? Isn't that the point of his criticisms here of Krugman et al.?

      (I find Matthews as offensive in his silly regional sociology about people from Philadelphia, NJ, NY, and Boston, but I don't expect Bob to care about us -- even though Bob is originally from Boston. We don't fit into Bob's narrative.)

      The generous reading of Somerby is that he is engaged in some sort of performance art. There are less generous readings (though the less generous may be more accurate -- like, he's very confused but has convinced himself that he represents some kind and generous and thoughtful "center").

      Meanwhile, black, white, brown, yellow children go without proper medical care so that white people in states that just happen to have been part of the Confederacy, or were settled largely by people from same (hey, there is such a thing as history), can play their political power games or justify their lives to themselves, but Somerby is just about the only "liberal" who cares about black children's education. Okay. That makes him good and all "other" liberals bad. I get it and am chastened. (I, a product of both northern and southern backgrounds -- oh, sorry, I forgot. Only Bob is allowed to have some insights into complexity -- insights he doesn't share. He just lambastes "liberals" who observe any shortcomings in their opponents' arguments for the manner in which they offer their observations. And that's okay, his supporters say, because he's only criticizing the journalism.... The shifting grounds of discourse here are so sloppy.)

      Me, I think it's evil to let innocent people die so you can hold on to a little bit of power, a certain conception of yourself. But that's just me.

      I keep coming here as to a train wreck. What makes this man tick? Whom does he imagine his audience to be? Increasingly, I think his audience is himself, some massive self-justification project. But who are the people who find confirmation of themselves in his project?

      mch

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    2. As a red headed step child I come here looking to talk to my daddy. Or so deadrat sez.

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    3. "But who are the people who find confirmation of themselves in his project?"

      That is a very interesting question. I once asked a somewhat similar question when I pondered the proliferation of so many humongous, non-denominational, fundamentalist "Christian" churches in the burbs who seem to the target audience of the Bush/Rove boys.

      Who are these people who pack these auditoriums by the thousands (I can't quite call them sanctuaries) every Sunday? What are they possibly gaining?

      A priest friend then explained that the appeal to many, though not necessarily, of them is in confirming that the world's problems are the fault of all those "other" sinners, and they can rest assured not only that they are saved, but the world would be saved as well if everybody believed exactly as they did.

      He further explained that he meant no condescension or condemnation. In fact, it is the age old practice of identifying the scapegoat -- the one single, simple cause in a very uncertain, complex world, while absolving ourselves.

      I think something very similar is at play here. As long as you can identify a handful of scapegoats -- Maddow, Matthews, MSNBC, Dowd, Collins, NYT, Walsh and Salon -- and blame them for the world going to hell in a handbasket, then you are absolved of all responsibility.

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    4. Thanks, @5:07. Very helpful, thought-provoking. mch

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    5. Interestingly, once upon a time, Somerby used to refer to this phenomenon as "tribalism" -- blaming all the sins of the world on the "other".

      Now he has become that which he once claimed to loathe.

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    6. If you would like to psychoanalyze Somerby, reading some Freud might help.

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    7. No, I do not care to psychoanalyze Somerby. That's his game to preach against, then practice.

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  13. Are you saying the reason can't be specious and evil at the same time?

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    1. This was meant to be posted as a relevant reply to a nincompoop way up thread, but through the magic of blogspot, got thrown down here.

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  14. "In this morning’s column, Paul Krugman discusses the decision by several dozen states to reject the expansion of Medicaid."

    Several dozen, Bob? I suppose so if 19 is "several dozen."

    Meanwhile, 26 states plus the District of Columbia are implementing expansion this year. Another 5 states are at least debating it.

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    1. As of this afternoon, you can take Maine out of the "debating it" column and add it to the "reject" column.

      The Maine Senate by two votes failed to override Republican/Tea Party Gov. Paul Lepage's veto. Lepage's reason? Maine won't be able to afford their 10 percent share in three years of the cost of expanding Medicaid to provide coverage to an additional 70,000 people.

      Besides, says the gov, those people are poor enough to qualify for federal subsidies and buy cheap insurance themselves.

      The very definition of "specious" and "evil," in light of the fact that the bill was written to appease Lepage with a sunset in three years, in order to re-examine the issue and gauge then the state's ability to continue.

      Classic "kick the can down the road" of course, but for three years, tens of thousands of Maine residents would have had health insurance.

      Please note that Lepage was elected in the Tea Party uprising of 2010, and Democrats regained control of both houses of the Maine legislature in 2012. He is now running in a virtual dead head with Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in a race in which Lepage's veto will be a central, if not defining, issue.

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    2. 5 + 19 = 24 (otherwise known as two dozen)

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    3. two = "several"in Bob's World, I see. And "still debating" = "reject."

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    4. If they haven't accepted, you cannot count them among the 26. It at least explains how he got to several dozen states, whether you agree with his classification or not.

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    5. Stop usiing Somerby as a source of information. There is no "if" about it. The 26 states plus D.C. have accepted federally funded Medicaid expansion and are implementing it this year.

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    6. Somerby didn't say "rejected or yet to approve." He said "rejected."

      I found the list of states who have accepted or rejected Medicaid expansion in a matter of seconds. Somerby could have done that as well and reported an accurate number instead of "several dozen.:

      Very lazy and sloppy work.

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    7. Now that you've settled that issue, what do you think about the substance of the article?

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    8. That we shouldn't call ugliness by its proper name? That we should pretend that ugliness is pretty, lest we offend forever the purveyors of ugliness and lose all hope of bringing them over to "our side"?

      I think that is unrealistic, over-simplistic, childish and doomed to failure.


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  15. This post was a real Hootin Holler.

    Which, BTW, is in North Carolina, not Tennessee. In those parts you pronounce the former Nauth Cuhlinah, the latter TinAhsee.

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    1. I'm from Missourah! Show me.

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  16. Translation: New paymaster!

    Nails it.

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  17. Bob says it is counter productive to name call those on the other side of issues we care about, but provides no evidence to bolster his assertion. It is not self-evident. Some might say calling people out helps them to see how wrong headed they have been and helps motivate them to positive change. Trying to sway the other side by factual argument alone tends to devolve into an unresolvable argument over facts. Voters, particularly Republican voters, respond to emotional appeals more than anything else.

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    1. Try this in real life and see how it works out for you.

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    2. Of course, Bob also never seemed reluctant to "name-call" those on the other side of issues he cares about.

      His preaching would be far more effective if he practiced it at least once in a while.


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  18. Black kids are hurt and may die because their families are denied health coverage. Surely Bob, who is unique in his concern for black kids, would agree that hurting them and their families for political reasons is ugly and evil.

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  19. No, there is no logical reason to oppose health care reform. The only untenable position if you are really concerned about costs, is to keep the current system in place with no change. As Bob has pointed out time and time again, why does health care cost so much more than any other industrialized country and yet they manage to cover everyone. And the critics offer no alternative. If you don't like the Affordable Care Act, then I assume that you are for single payer, which would mean that we save about $4400 dollars a person on health care. But no, we can't do that!

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