Monday Morning Open Thread: Dogs & Cats, Living Together…

Courtesy of commentor Demz Taters. The tender-hearted need not worry, the endings are happy…

And the Grey Lady leaks the news that “Amid the Uproar Over the Health Law, Voices of Quiet Optimism and Relief“:

… The rollout of the health care law has been plagued with problems so deep that even some of its strongest supporters have soured on its potential…

But for all those problems, people are enrolling. More than 243,000 have signed up for private coverage through the exchanges, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and more than 567,000 have been determined eligible for Medicaid since the exchanges opened on Oct. 1. For many, particularly people with existing medical conditions like Mr. Acosta, the coverage is proving less expensive than what they had. Many others are getting health insurance for the first time in years, giving them alternatives to seeking care through free clinics or emergency rooms — or putting it off indefinitely…

91 replies
  1. 1
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Another piece of good news for Obamacare.

  2. 2

    I posted that video Saturday morning and could not stop giggling.

    Speaking of healthcare roll-out, Ross Douthat concedes that the website is getting better and by the time there are enough Republicans to repeal it, it will have metastasized into a political liability for those who want to take it all back. The only hope he has left is convincing young healthy people to hate it. After all, he hates it, and that should count for something.

  3. 3
    Schlemizel says:

    Well thats the librule NY Times, of course it will support everything that socialist does!

    Its so easy being a Republican today.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    In other words, people want healthcare to be available. Hmph, who’da thunk it?

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Yeah, because Douchehat is who America’s youth turn to when they need advice.

    The ACA is here to stay. The people I’ve met who are shopping for insurance are beside themselves with joy at the cost and, for many, having health insurance, often for the very first time. Even my crazy staff assistant is a fan because her 27 year old son got a policy. We still don’t have the Medicaid expansion here due to One Term Corbett, but I have faith that those falling through that particular crack will eventually be covered. The GOP will rue the day they started calling it Obamacare. Instead of being derogatory, it’s what will make Obama immortal. LOL, idiots.

  6. 6
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    I think even Senator Crud admitted that when he spoke to that group about how them simple must prevent Obama from repairing the flaws in ACA.

    When we had 2 cats the older one often played that game with the younger one. Now that it is jst the younger one she still is skittish at times. PTSD I guess.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Don’t worry guys, money talks, always has, always will, and sh!t walks.

  8. 8
    Hal says:

    Still trying to figure out how a fucked up website equals deep, deep problems. I know it’s more than that, but Republicans really tied all their hopes and dreams on the website simply never working? Not exactly brilliant long term planning.

  9. 9
    hildebrand says:

    @Hal: These are the same people who thought that the polls were skewed and that Romney would win. They are not exactly known, especially in these last few years, for any kind of thinking outside of their bubble. Not sure when they are going to learn that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh may not be their best avenue for news.

  10. 10
    gene108 says:


    In political campaigns, if you go negative early and often enough the damage is usually irreparable and you win, no matter how crappy your policies are.

    Of course this doesn’t work in the long term, when you are going negative on people demanding basic necessities like food, water, shelter and yes, access healthcare is a basic necessity.

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:


    I was going to say pretty much the same thing. It is particularly true for the goopers, once you have set the opinion in stone it is forever. Also, like a good terrorist group you have to clam credit for everything – the horrible weather we have been having? Obamacares fault! It would be funny if it were not so damned effective.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    And because this is going to work out mid to long , it encompasses the doom of the GOP.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Gray Lady is the generally used form of the nickname, not Grey Lady, as gray is mostly an Americanism.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    basic necessities like food, water, shelter and yes, access healthcare is a basic necessity.

    If all those things are basic necessities, how do you explain the homeless?

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    The cats in the video prove that compassionate conservatism still exists. Rand Paul would be so proud. The dogs just need to toughen up.

  16. 16
    WereBear says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And because this is going to work out mid to long , it encompasses the doom of the GOP.

    I cannot wait for the GOP to collapse. It must.

    By all the laws of biology it is a closed system that is allowing toxins to build up. It is shedding voters like a sled dog in summer. It is formed of anti-Communism, false Christianity, and naked hate, so just thinking about it for a normal person induces exhaustion and nausea.

    For the love of humanity, make it stop.

  17. 17
    Nunca el Jefe says:

    @geg6:Two points need to be made:

    1)I agree with you that it will end up as beloved as Social Security.

    2)It will end up like Social Security.

    If the last thirty years have not given ample evidence that these gains will require constant vigilance and protection…I don’t know what to say. Progressive positions which get institutionalized have been under constant attack for a long time now. I don’t see that dynamic changing in any meaningful way over the next decade, at least.

  18. 18
    IowaOldLady says:

    Those cats were mean.

    I hear you all on how a narrative gets set, but I still can’t believe that by November, 2014, the ACA will work in the R’s favor with anyone but people who would have voted for them anyway. Reality is sitting right in front of everyone else.

    I know. I’m an optimist.

  19. 19
    Keith G says:

    Have just finished reading one of the best observations of the current American condition that I have ever come across. It is authored by David Simon (The Wire), thus it is superbly written – and more than form, it has substance.

    Via The Raw Story, this is a key passage from Simon’s column for The Observer. The title is, Creator of ‘The Wire’ says ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show.’

    The idea that the market will solve such things as environmental concerns, as our racial divides, as our class distinctions, our problems with educating and incorporating one generation of workers into the economy after the other when that economy is changing; the idea that the market is going to heed all of the human concerns and still maximise profit is juvenile. It’s a juvenile notion and it’s still being argued in my country passionately and we’re going down the tubes. And it terrifies me because I’m astonished at how comfortable we are in absolving ourselves of what is basically a moral choice. Are we all in this together or are we all not?

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Nunca el Jefe: Yep. Social Security will collapse under the weight of all those baby boomers if we don’t *fix* it, doncha know….

    *fixing it defined as making as much of a profit off of it as possible.

  21. 21
    mai naem says:

    Wait, wait, I thought the website stuff was Obama’s Katrina. Remember Ari Fleischer said people died when Obama lied. MHP has Susan Perichio(sp?) on this weekend. The GOP’s new attack(first time I heard it anyway) is that there will be a larger number of people losing their current insurance plans than the number of people signing up for new insurance on the website so therefore O-care is bad. Then I heard the same thing on FNS. BTW, I haven’t listened to FNS in a long time and Chris Wallace was in fine form yesterday. Softballs to Rand Paul while poor Zeke Emmanuel got ripped a new one. One of this q”s to Paul was basically “How are you going to convince blacks to vote for you when they like being on the dole?” Apparently there are no white people on the dole, right?

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    For the geeks, a Markov chain mixup of King James and programming texts:

    Via jwz.

  23. 23
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @IowaOldLady: It still might go that way just because 2014 is a midterm. The same problem exists as in every midterm election: they are played on the Republicans’ home turf, with an older, whiter slice of the electorate. At this point it’s all about turnout, not about switching someone’s vote from D to R or back again.

  24. 24
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @mai naem:

    The GOP’s new attack(first time I heard it anyway) is that there will be a larger number of people losing their current insurance plans than the number of people signing up for new insurance on the website so therefore O-care is bad.

    One of the Newsmax headlines over on the right claimed that 100 million people could lose their insurance. It’s easy to make the claim when they can just pull numbers out of their butts.

  25. 25
    MattF says:

    @Matt McIrvin: This claim has been debunked. They are counting any change in cost or terms of medical insurance as a loss of insurance.

  26. 26
    mai naem says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I know what the statistics say but I have to tell you I have know quite a few people(generally on the lower scale economically) who were either close to 65 or over 65 but still working, and died with no minor or spouse survivors. I even know quite a few who die young when they’ve barely started receiving SS so they don’t use up what they put in. I never hear people talking about this.

  27. 27
    Napoleon says:


    Including beneficial changes. So if you get a call from your insurance company and they tell you that they are sending you on an all expensed paid trip to Hawaii as part of your coverage next year Newsmax will consider you as having “lost” your coverage.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mai naem: Yep. Not likely I will ever receive much SS. All the more reason for marrying my wife (survivors benefits). Truth is, all that is needed to “fix” SS is a tweek or 3, not that anyone would know that if all they listened to was the GOP.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    @Keith G:

    You beat me to putting that David Simon piece up. Here’s the link from the Guardian.

    Woke up to the first moments of Lolita (Sundance Channel). Cracking up at all the double entendres. Shelley Winters is so perfect as Charlotte Haze.

    Don’t usually like commercials, but plenty of time to refill coffee.

    Humbert and Lolita are on their road trip. First hotel has the State Police Convention. He’s not yet told her her mother is dead. Clare Quilty just did his “normal normal normal” monologue the night before.

  30. 30
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    The GOP will rue the day they started calling it Obamacare. Instead of being derogatory, it’s what will make Obama immortal. LOL, idiots.

    I was thinking, at lest the GOP in the 1930s had the sense not to call Social Security “Roosevelt Security”

  31. 31
  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @Napoleon: We got a call from the company who does our Part D, telling my husband, on disability and Medicare, that he qualifies for “additional coverage” under the ACA. We burned up an evening confirming our hunch that this is not true.

    So WTF? I decided they would dangle this in front of him until he wanted it, then send him a bill?

    I don’t know.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    I read somewhere that they did call it that, but then stopped when it was clear that it was popular.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:


    If all those things are basic necessities, how do you explain the homeless?

    I don’t know.

    I honestly have had very little interaction with homeless people, so I really do not know why we have such a large problem with homelessness.


    A bit of a rant on the state of the GOP and how we got here.

    The theory that “government is the problem” and people do not want to spend on the less fortunate, as well as homeless people not being a politically active group, so their concerns are not given the same weight as a billionaire with an axe to grind.

    I also think part of the issue we have faced for the last 30 years is that sometime in the 1970’s there was a confluence of issues that awakened in conservative minds that the Republican Party under Reagan grabbed onto and has not let go of. This is part of the problem the Republicans face, because the forces that created Reaganism do not exist today.

    You had (have) white fears over blacks making social gains, economic problems such as stagflation, social problems like rising divorce rates, rising crime, rising drug use, etc., and the political shock of Watergate / Vietnam that the Federal government was not pristine as new fallen snow all converging to have voters, at some theoretical level, reject the notion that government should provide for the least amongst us.

    I say theoretical level, at least in the 1980’s, because when faced with a real fiscal problem with Social Security and Medicare, Congress and Reagan raised taxes to shore up those programs for generations.

    In 2000, Bush, Jr. had to run on “compassionate conservatism” and in 1988, his father had to run on a “1000 points of light”, because voters did not want to have a government that did nothing for common folks. Papa Bush passed the Clean Air Act to combat acid rain and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    That seems to have changed.

    Republicans by not letting go of Reaganism, which came up in response to issues of the 1960’s and 1970’s, have lost all semblance of keeping up with the times. The economic problem is not rampant inflation, thus their economic policies don’t have that fig leaf to be seen as anything but a transfer of wealth to the rich. Bobby Jindal went from being a relatively popular governor to a relatively unpopular governor, when he tried to eliminate income taxes in Louisiana because people realized this would make the rich richer at their expense..

    Crime rates and drug use and teen pregnancies and divorce rates that seemed to be destroying American society have either gone down or become the new normal.

    I hope as social consciousness has changed that Obamacare will be the lever that moves people to realizing we need to demand more from government to help with our lives.

  35. 35
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @mai naem:

    That may be the case, but if they were on the lower SES scale for any or most of their lives, they probably got plenty of help in the form of public education, welfare, etc..

  36. 36
    LAC says:

    @Hal: oh, it is just the NY Times having to flog that narrative it started. Because it is about saving face, doncha know…

  37. 37
    Geoduck says:

    Re: “Obamacare”. As Baud says above, no way in hell it’s still being called that even a year from now, much less forever.

  38. 38
    Napoleon says:


    I disagree with that. If it becomes popular the Dems will flog that name endlessly while the Reps quit calling it that. I actually long for the day that the Dems try to jam a bill through Congress formally renaming it to Obamacare which, of course, will cause the vapors on the right (you know, the same poeple who came up with the name).

  39. 39
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Napoleon: Obama already flogged the “Obamacare” name through the 2012 campaign. It was a gutsy move because if you polled the public on whether they were in favor of “Obamacare” at any time during 2012 you’d probably have gotten less than 50% support. But it probably won him more in turnout than it lost him in switched votes; it’s not as if he could actually run away from something that already had his name popularly associated with it: that was what Romney tried.

  40. 40
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    Republicans maybe. I was conversing with a patient and his family about calling the exchanges (he is uninsured, and had been denied private insurance due to preexisting conditions) and I was using ACA terminology. His daughter called ACA Obamacare, looking a little sheepish. I told her it was fine to call it that, and another family member said “EVERYBODY calls it that.”

  41. 41
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @MattF: It’s the kind of number that is so obviously bogus that I didn’t even consider it worth clicking through to see what the basis of their claim actually was. It was like claiming that I can run 80 miles an hour, or that the temperature outside is 350 degrees.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    The fundamental and inescapable political problem that the GOP has is that it’s literally impossible to achieve the goal of universal access to quality health insurance and care in a manner that is more conservative than the ACA. So the GOP is forced to campaign either on taking away people’s access to health care or lie and fling poo without offering anything constructive.

    They have chosen Option B.

  43. 43
    GregB says:

    How soon before we start hearing that the ACA was based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank?

    The boiler rooms are getting the rubes riled up and I know this because one of my reliable wing nut barometers on Face Book is now posting pictures of Hitler with gibberish rantings about how Hitler started out on the slippery path to 60 million dead by improving healthcare.

    Pastor Niemoller’s poem needs to be re-written:

    First they allowed for children to be covered up until age 26….

  44. 44
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Baud: The alternatives conservatives usually bring up as talking points are to (a) allow companies to sell insurance across state lines, and (b) limit malpractice suits somehow. Which don’t even sound like things that could come close to fixing the problem.

    The really tough thing is that when they sit down and actually come up with conservative alternatives, the things they’ve proposed have usually depended heavily on health care exchanges very much like the ACA’s, only many more people have to use them, and many more people (including folks who, under the ACA, would either get employer-based insurance or be on Medicare) get their existing insurance yanked and have to go on these exchanges!

    So in order to come up with an alternative that doesn’t replicate all the least-favorite aspects of the ACA, they’re going to have to draw up some radically different plan from the ones that Republicans have generally touted in the past.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul Tells Millions He’s Doing Them a Favor By Cutting Off Unemployment Benefits
    By: Sarah Jones more from Sarah Jones
    Sunday, December, 8th, 2013, 10:58 am

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was on Fox News Sunday to continue his minority outreach to African Americans, by saying we shouldn’t extend unemployment benefits set to expire momentarily because he knows one black businessman who wants tax cuts.

    Paul said, “I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for, but if you extend it past that you do a disservice to these workers.” His reasoning is that when you “allow people” to be on unemployment for longer, you are causing them to be “perpetually unemployed”. Don’t forget about his one black businessman.

    See, it’s not that there are no jobs, it’s that employers don’t like to hire people who have been out of work for very long. Thus, by taking away the “incentive” to stay unemployed, Paul thinks he can solve the unemployment problem. It’s the “firmer hand” theory, also used as an argument for slavery.

    There can be no other explanation for Paul’s reasoning other than people want to stay unemployed, otherwise he wouldn’t think that taking away unemployment benefits creates job opportunities. This veers dangerously close to the “lazy urban” narrative that Republicans favor. It is not accurate to suggest that starving will create jobs. So this is not a good plan for jobs or for the unemployed.

    Paul said that African American unemployment hasn’t budged under this President, implying that he thinks he can get the African American vote by criticizing this president and blaming him for higher unemployment among African Americans, as if this is a new phenomenon best addressed by letting a white Southern man make decisions for African Americans and this president. Some things just shouldn’t be said by certain people, especially not people who employed a white supremacist. It’s bad optics.

  46. 46
    jonas says:

    @mai naem:

    Apparently there are no white people on the dole, right?

    Sure, but they *deserve* their benefits. They earned them by, you know, being patriotic or something. Didn’t you notice all the flags sticking out of people’s Medicare-paid Hover-Rounds at those Tea Party rallies? Not like those Strapping Young Bucks™ who must by scamming the system.

  47. 47
    Matt McIrvin says:


    How soon before we start hearing that the ACA was based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank?

    Incidentally, it actually wasn’t: pretty much the only aspect of the ACA that is based on the Heritage plan is the mandate. The Heritage plan generally deregulated health insurance, whereas the ACA increases regulation.

    Paul Ryan, I think, did have an alternative proposal that relied heavily on ACA-like exchanges, as I mentioned above. And I think both Ryan’s plan and Heritage’s (and what McCain was supporting in ’08) would have removed the tax break for employer-provided health insurance, which would have had the effect of throwing most Americans who currently have employer plans onto the individual market. If you think the complaints about people losing their existing plans are bad now…

    (Edit: Paul Ryan, not Rand Paul. I get all those guys with Bioshock names mixed up.)

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    Poll: GOPers The Only Group To Prefer Automatic Spending Cuts Over Tax Increases
    Tom Kludt – December 9, 2013, 8:35 AM EST

    A poll released Sunday showed a majority of Americans are in favor of partially replacing the scheduled automated spending cuts with an increase of taxes and fees, while most Republicans take the opposite view.

    According to the latest McClatchy-Marist Poll, Americans by a 52-41 percent margin support replacing some of the across-the-board cuts scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 15 with an increase of fees and taxes. Sixty-four percent of Democrats and 52 percent of indepedents share that position, placing GOP voters well outside the mainstream on the issue.

    The poll found 55 percent of GOP voters preferring the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, while just 38 percent said they would rather raise taxes and fees.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    Ed Gillespie Mulls Challenge To Sen. Warner, Cuccinelli Rules It Out
    Catherine Thompson – December 9, 2013, 7:41 AM EST

    Former Mitt Romney advisor and Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is floating a challenge to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2014.

    “It’s safe to say that there’s people talking about it here, and I’m listening to them,” Gillespie told Politico in a Saturday interview. “I’ve been flattered to have it raised. There’s plenty of time to give it some thought.”

    The former RNC chairman, who has never run for public office, said he was confident a GOP candidate would have a real opportunity to win the Virginia Senate race. But he cautioned that three months remain until the Feb. 1 filing deadline to enter the race.

    Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) briefly seemed to consider a run against Warner last month after losing the governor’s race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. He said the idea of challenging Warner was “tempting” because of the senator’s support for Obamacare, an issue he credited with closing the gap between him and McAuliffe on election day.

    But Cuccinelli specifically ruled out a run against Warner in a speech Saturday.

  50. 50
    Chris T. says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: That would have been “Roosegelt”.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    A ‘pathetic’ spin on the war on women
    12/09/13 09:15 AM
    By Steve Benen

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Congressional Republicans on Saturday said that ObamaCare is part of a “war on women” administration. The attack came as part of the GOP’s weekly address and was voiced by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), a nurse who serves as the chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. […]

    “If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office called the rhetoric “pathetic,” which is charitable under the circumstances.

    First, Ellmers’ characterization of the cancelations is so wildly misleading, it’s hard to believe the chair of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee would repeat this rhetoric out loud. The Affordable Care Act is canceling anyone’s insurance; some private insurers are dropping individual plans, which consumers can replace under the law – usually with a cheaper, better plan.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    Koch Brothers Illegally Funnel Millions Into Campaign to Eliminate Pensions and Sick Pay
    By: Rmuse more from Rmuse
    Saturday, December, 7th, 2013, 12:00 pm

    Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond what one needs for basic survival; for the wealthy it is in excess of any reasonable definition of luxurious comfort. Typically it is applied to those with a dangerous desire for, and pursuit of, status and unrestricted power that includes enriching oneself at the expense of others. There is a movement in America that transcends the normal definition of greed and selfishness, and not only do they desire to possess all the wealth, they are driven to impoverish the population with no apparent gain for themselves. It is not enough that they are rich beyond imagination, they subscribe to a philosophy that no-one in America except a certain class should have anything, and they are launching a nationwide campaign to eliminate public sector workers’ wages, pensions, sick pay, workers’ compensation because if they cannot have it no-one can.

    It is no surprise that the funding mechanism behind the 50-state crusade to create a nation of peasants is headed by the Koch brothers, tobacco giant Phillip Morris, and Kraft Foods with model legislation provided by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The groups’ $83 million seed money is being funneled through various 501(C) tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations intent on illegally using dark money to lobby legislators and convince voters that no-one in America deserves anything other than a poverty existence. The purely libertarian-driven group, State Policy Network (SPN), describes itself as “free-market think tanks” and will initially targets six different states to eliminate public sector pensions, cut government wages to the federal minimum, privatize public education, and eliminate Medicaid. As an extra affront to the people’s rights to clean air, the seek to end regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

    The 501(C) social welfare groups are staying out of election campaigns, and despite restrictions on their lobbying efforts, they will launch media campaigns to change state laws, advance ALEC model legislation, and “brief Republican candidates” in strategies necessary to achieve SPN’s goals; it is the definition of lobbying. One of SPN’S affiliates denied they engaged in lobbying and said, “There is never any lobbying, lobbying consists of convincing legislators and other policymakers to get a particular result on a particular issue, and we never do that.” The groups’ lobbying efforts are to achieve their stated goals that go beyond “a commitment to free enterprise” and include: “reforming” public employee pensions, eliminate taxation, promote private and home schooling through a voucher system, end worker and union rights, and eliminate Medicaid in Republican-controlled states.

  53. 53
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @rikyrah: One of the most consistent bits of outrage over the ACA that I hear from the right is over the mandate for maternity coverage. I don’t know how that gets spun as part of a war on women but I’m sure whatever they come up with will be highly entertaining.

  54. 54
    Cacti says:

    “Amid the Uproar Over the Health Law,” (from Republicans and the corporate media).

    “Voices of Quiet Optimism and Relief“: (from the people the law was actually meant to help).

  55. 55
    geg6 says:


    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ed Gillespie? Seriously?


  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:


    Sure. If the former Chairman of the DNC can be elected governor of Virginia, why can’t the former Chairman of the RNC be elected US Senator from the Commonwealth?

  57. 57
    I, Floridian says:

    @Baud: Last time I looked, Ron DeSantis, Tea Partier extraordinaire, and unfortunately my House rep, had his entire web site devoted to abolishing Obamacare (his phrasing). Maybe he hasn’t gotten the memo yet.

  58. 58
    handsmile says:


    Glad to see that you and Keith G. (#19) linked to the David Simon interview. A powerful indictment from a writer whose work has long addressed class and racial injustice in the US. (I read it yesterday but was away from Cole’s bar-n-grille for the weekend.)

    Here is a 2011 interview between Simon and Bill Moyers that I’ve bookmarked that I expect you will find no less compelling:

    And following your lead from Simon to film: a TCM alert:

    Gobbing my smack, at 10:00pm EST tonight, TCM will be presenting what is essentially an experimental film, Russian Ark, by the brilliant contemporary Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov.

    This astonishing film consists of a single 90+ minute tracking shot through St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace/Hermitage Museum. The camera follows an unseen, unnamed narrator as he encounters various individuals/scenes of the building’s history, ranging from historical figures, e.g., Catherine the Great, Pushkin, Nicholas II and family, to present-day museum officials. There is also an extended ballroom scene featuring conductor Valeri Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra that is both gorgeous and technically breathtaking.

    Like any avant-garde film, it’s demanding of the viewer, but its beauty and uniqueness is well worth the effort. With that caveat, highly recommended. (I should mention that I’ve seen this film a number of times, twice in fact in recent months at NYC repertory houses. What’s more, later today, I’m seeing Sokurov’s most recent film, Faust.)

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    If all those things are basic necessities, how do you explain the homeless?


  60. 60
    Tom says:

    @rikyrah: Isn’t Ellmers the one who left an AR-15 lying out in her garage, from which it was stolen? In my time (yes, I know, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth) the embarrassment of that would have disqualified her from ever opening her mouth about anything again.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:


    Would not have thought of watching that film, and now I will. Thanks.

    And thanks for the Civil War book suggestions a few days back.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:


    Ellmers is the nurse (married to a doctor) who is railing against Obamacare. Such concern for her constituents, patients, and North Carolina’s un- and underinsured.

    Hoping she gets returned to the private sector with 2014 midterms.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:


    13 Ghosts at 6:15 p sounds kinda fun too.

  64. 64
    catclub says:

    @GregB: “How soon before we start hearing that the ACA was based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank?”

    Check out LGM posts on this. Yes, there was a figleaf Heritage Foundation proposal that had a mandate. a)Nothing else was like the ACA. See LGM. b)It was intended to distract, not to pass. c)I think it was offered by Chafee of Rhode Island when he was already the most liberal GOP senator.

  65. 65
    catclub says:

    @Cacti: And this is the difference between a real scandal and a non-scandal. The horrors are maximum at the beginning, and then the reasonable truth comes out in the case of the non-scandal. The news will get better and better.

  66. 66
    handsmile says:


    I hope you have the “special glasses” needed to view it if you get scared! (One of director William Castle’s notorious gimmicks to market his low-budget movies).

    And to plan out your evening further, To Be and To Have (at 8:00pm) is a charming, subtly critical documentary on French primary school education (one mixed-age class in rural France over a single school year).

    Whatever (scholarly/interpretive) problems I’ve had with the multi-part TCM series, “The Story of Film,” it has resulted in many marvelous underappreciated, foreign or independent films being presented to TCM’s wide audience.

    (also I’m glad to know that you saw the Civil War book recommendations)

  67. 67
    Citizen_X says:

    @handsmile: So are they showing it without commercial breaks? Because, you know, a single 90 minute tracking shot: you have to see it to believe it.

    And it’s a gorgeous and engaging film, above and beyond its technical achievements.

  68. 68
    kindness says:

    My dogs and cats like each other. The cats certainly like the dogs better than they like each other.

  69. 69
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So, looking over Charlie Pierce’s recap of the Sunday shows, MoDo joined Mary Matalin in defending poor Dick Cheney from those so gauche as to bring up his votes on Apartheid really so long ago who even remembers? The lesson of Mandela’s life, you see, was forgiveness, therefore…

    DOWD: Look, the greatest thing about (INAUDIBLE), I think Nelson Mandela was here, he said let’s forgive, let’s forgive Dick Cheney. Let’s forgive people.
    DOWD: Let’s move on.But I think one of the fascinating things about Nelson Mandela, he wasn’t a saint. He made a lot of mistakes. He we was — he readily admitted it. When he was asked about that, he said I’m not a saint, unless you think a saint is a sinner who gets up and tries again every time. That’s what he would say.

    I couldn’t even bring myself to read the quotes of David Gregory’s tribute

  70. 70

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Yes, Mandela was in favor of forgiveness … after the offenders had made a full, complete, and sincerely contrite accounting of their crimes.

    So if Dick Cheney is sincerely repentant and is willing to give a full accounting of all of his crimes, I’m willing to forgive him. But the full confession has to come first.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I knew there was a reason I could not bring myself to watch the Sunday morning politiporn shows yet again, even though they were ostensibly about the late great Mr. Mandela.

  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:


    Icy weather outside. Great cinema inside, and commercial free yet. Monday night is set.

    ETA: TCM could do a better job with descriptions for its world cinema movies. You have made tonight’s fare sound far more appetizing than they do. (I never click on “full synopsis”, which might be more informative, because want to see the movie without spoilers…)

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    pictures of Hitler with gibberish rantings about how Hitler started out on the slippery path to 60 million dead by improving healthcare.

    Well, they’re wrong there. It was that commie bastard Bismarck who got them started on that.

  74. 74
    aimai says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Mandela would have forgiven is positively the Chutzpah cry of all time. “Your Honor, I did kill my parents but pity me, I’m an orphan” transformed into “I assure your honor that my mother wouldn’t want me to suffer for having killed her and cannibalized her body.”

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    For that, Dowd needs to hang from the same lamppost as The Dark Lord and his apprentice.

  76. 76
    Origuy says:

    I saw parts of Russian Ark a few years ago; it was on while I was visiting Russian friends for New Years. There’s a documentary up on YouTube about making it.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    So if Dick Cheney is sincerely repentant and is willing to give a full accounting of all of his crimes, I’m willing to forgive him. But the full confession has to come first.

    Right. Every bit as likely as Tom Riddle showing remorse for his actions over the decades.

    It’s why we call him the Dark Lord, after all.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:


    If it’s possible to have even less charisma than Terry McAuliffe, that would be Ed Gillespie. At least McAuliffe had an attractive policy agenda to pull in single women and minorities. What’s Gillespie got? He’s not even a crazed fundie!

  79. 79
    geg6 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think, in all fairness, that was Matthew Dowd, not Maureen.

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    Al Sharpton Slaps Revisionists on Mandela. We chose The Wrong Side (VIDEO)

    December 8, 2013 by Egberto Willies

    Great tributes and exaltations were given to Nelson Mandela on ‘Meet The Press’ today. However, there was an attempt to give the implication that America as whole was supportive of this man.

    President Obama’s remarks glossed over how vehemently the government of the United States, specifically Conservatives, for a long time was against Nelson Mandela and the ANC. Was the African National Congress (ANC) any different than our founding fathers, who picked up arms for freedom?

    Al Sharpton silenced the Meet The Press round table for a few seconds as he placed into context America’s role in South Africa’s liberation. America was not a supporter of Nelson Mandela. Many are attempting to rewrite history. Al Sharpton ensured that all the people around that table got the truth. He ensured that all of those listening were well aware that Conservative stalwarts like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher did not embrace freedom. They uttered the words but it was just for a select few.

    “I think it is a betrayal of history to act as though as Nelson Mandela evolved the world embraced it. There was a real battle in this country,” Al Sharpton said. “So when Randall Robinson and Maxine Waters and Reverend Jackson led that fight … there was major contention. They were attacked for supporting communists. Let’s remember the ANC that he refers to, they were pursuing freedom. Many of the communist nations embraced them. This country did not. So it is not like they were born Marxist. They were born people seeking to be free. Some of the Marxist nations, either genuinely or in a self-interest way, tried to embrace that. This country did not, and fought that, and denounced them, and denigrated them. And I think that for us now to sugarcoat that is a betrayal of history. We chose sides. We chose the wrong side”

    Later when the Conservative panelist tried to sugarcoat Ronald Reagan’s role in the eventual liberation of South Africa, Al Sharpton would have none of it.

    “Let’s be clear. Reagan vetoed, supported vetoing bills. Reagan denounced Mandela, called him names. He evolved after a protest movement here turned the tone and public opinion,” said Al Sharpton. “But let’s not act like Reagan was a major supporter of Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement. It’s just not true.”

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Right on, Reverend Al.

    This fucking Orwellian shit that the “conservatives” are trying to sell stinks to high heaven.

    Good lord, Newt Gingrich looks incredibly good compared to the utter scum of the Village.

    The only reconciliation possible with the Village is to salt the earth where it stood.

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @geg6: Oh, lord. I thought that discourse was a little simper-snark lite for Herself. In fairness to me, my head is stuffed up.

  83. 83
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: also, too, it suggest the “unidentified male” affirming MATTHEW Dowd’s excuse-making was either Carville or Stephanopolous

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Carville is the consort of the Bellatrix Lestrange of the GOP, the Matlin woman.

  85. 85
    JVader says:

    Cats are some bitches.

  86. 86
    Another Holocene Human says:

    And these numbers don’t count those who bought directly from insurance co’s this year. It’s going to take months to find out how effective this law was in covering the portion of the uninsured it was intended to cover.

  87. 87
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Okay, random comment here: there is some cost sharing in Medicaid. To be “rational” or whatever. However, I have heard too many stories about sick kids not getting their prescriptions because the “rational” parent chooses not to pay $4 or $8 or whatever.

    A “rational” adult can weigh the cost/benefit for themselves, but it is utterly sick to do this with children. Whether the parent is literally broke for the month at that point or is crazy/has an addiction/is a terrible parent, how dare they even create that “choice”. How painful it must be for a child who is abused or neglected to finally see a doctor and be given a scrip for antibiotics but never get it and suffer in pain for weeks because of four dollars.

    Outlaw cost-sharing for children covered by Medicaid!!

  88. 88
    Another Holocene Human says:

    In fact, because we’re all cynical here, let me propose this: NO cost sharing for children 15 and younger, but a full or gradated cost sharing for children 16-18 (reproductive health of course should be fully covered) because they are starting to be prescribed adult’s medications. This will discourage any drug seeking. A child 16 and up faces less work restrictions and would be able to obtain the small amounts of money necessary to cover their own prescriptions in most circumstances. (They’re also old enough to report parents for abuse, although to be fair, many of the are still afraid to.)

    It’s still kind of cruel–a homeless teenager with mental health issues would be hard pressed to come up with that money–but it would deflect concerns that a parent could use a child as a drug dispensary. The kind of drugs they’d be looking for would not be prescribed to a 15 or younger child except under very extraordinary circumstances. Even Dr Feelgoods don’t fancy losing their license and thus the prescription pad.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    That’s kinda the point. There were people in South Africa who refused to apply for amnesty, because they didn’t want to have to give a full accounting of their crimes.

    People act like there was some kind of blanket amnesty with no cost to the perpetrators in South Africa, but the whole point was the public confession and admission of guilt. That was the price you had to pay in order to receive amnesty. And for some people, the price of facing their own crimes was too high.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Cheney is proud of the evil he committed. There’s no way he’s going to show the slightest iota of remorse.

  91. 91
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: Rev Al ended his show with a reminder of the former Republican position on Mandela versus the one that most put on today. Very well done. It’s always good to not let people off the hook when it comes to being on the wrong side of history. In a few years, we’ll be saying the same thing about the Republican stance on gay rights.

Comments are closed.