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New RAND survey finds net gain of 9.3 million new insured since September; biggest gains in ESI. http://t.co/...
@jrovner
Big news out of RAND survey is 8.2 million increase in employer coverage from September. Could be the economy, individual mandate, or noise.
@larry_levitt
Some data from The Incidental Economist on Medicaid access (this for reference):
The two analyses I’ve reviewed this week demonstrate the nuances in the study of “access.” When you audit offices, Medicaid appears to offer potentially problematic access. But when you examine the experience of enrollees themselves—particularly ones with continuous coverage, as is more likely to be the case as the uninsurance rate drops—few access issues are apparent. This difference in “access” across methodology has been observed before in other studies. But it’s not one many commentators and pundits seem to be aware of.

You can make Medicaid look dreadful by cherry picking how you define “access.” Or you can take a broader, more nuanced view of “access,” considering also patients’ experience. When you do, you find that Medicaid works pretty well.

But see Ezra Klein on data changing minds:
[Yale law professor Dan] Kahan is quick to note that, most of the time, people are perfectly capable of being convinced by the best evidence. There’s a lot of disagreement about climate change and gun control, for instance, but almost none over whether antibiotics work, or whether the H1N1 flu is a problem, or whether heavy drinking impairs people’s ability to drive. Rather, our reasoning becomes rationalizing when we’re dealing with questions where the answers could threaten our tribe — or at least our social standing in our tribe. And in those cases, Kahan says, we’re being perfectly sensible when we fool ourselves.
More politics and policy below the fold.

You could lose your entire day with CMAG's awesome visualization of every political ad of the last decade http://t.co/...
@ShaneGoldmacher
More on that RAND survey (it's their American Life Panel, which also called the 2012 election fairly well) from Jason Millman:
While the political world has spent the past several months watching enrollment numbers in Obamacare health insurance marketplaces, maybe we should have been focusing on employer-sponsored insurance.

A new survey from Rand Corp. estimates 9.3 million people were newly insured between September 2013 and March 2014, a trend that was mostly driven by an enrollment increase in employer-sponsored plans.

The growing market for employer-sponsored insurance is still the nation's most common source of coverage. The survey, which comes with some caveats, finds that of the previously uninsured who gained new coverage, 7.2 million were covered by employer plans, 3.6 million were covered by Medicaid and 1.4 million signed up through the Obamacare exchanges. In all, employer coverage increased by 8.2 million since September, Rand said.

Jonathan Bernstein:
Can we please retire the “will he or won’t he?” (or, more often this time around, “will she or won’t she?”) question about presidential candidates?

To cite Josh Putnam again, the media needs to understand the difference between running for 2016 and running in 2016.

What the press should be doing is reporting on whether candidates are currently running for 2016, and how those campaigns are going.

The reason is that candidates don’t actually know whether they will be running in 2016. I’m sure that in April 2010 Tim Pawlenty thought he would be running in 2012. It didn’t work out that way. Or, consider the less-obvious case of Haley Barbour, who did campaign-like things for a while and then dropped out in April 2011. Perhaps, unlike Pawlenty, Barbour never fully committed to a 2012 run. It seems more likely, however, that he was interested at some level and that, based on the response to his early campaign, he decided the chances of winning weren’t high enough.

“Will she or won’t she” is inadequate because it doesn’t capture what actually happens in the invisible primary. Here’s the long version of the argument.

Greg Sargent:
You’ll be startled to hear, via Bloomberg News, that House Republicans have once again put on hold their plans to release their alternative to Obamacare. Bloomberg quotes Republicans claiming they are in the midst of making process-y decisions about how to offer their alternative in legislative terms.

But it may also be that Republicans are running into the same old problem: There just isn’t any real policy space for an alternative that would meaningfully accomplish what the law accomplishes. Indeed, along these lines, one GOP aide was remarkably candid in an interview with Sahil Kapur:

One congressional GOP health aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly, said his party is as determined as ever to fight Obamacare, and will remain so as long as it exhibits failure. He said devising an alternative is fraught with the difficulty of crafting a new benefits structure that doesn’t look like the Affordable Care Act.
“If you want to say the further and further this gets down the road, the harder and harder it gets to repeal, that’s absolutely true,” the aide said. “As far as repeal and replace goes, the problem with replace is that if you really want people to have these new benefits, it looks a hell of a lot like the Affordable Care Act…To make something like that work, you have to move in the direction of the ACA. You have to have a participating mechanism, you have to have a mechanism to fund it, you have to have a mechanism to fix parts of the market.”
You don’t say!
Seth Mnookin on NPR talking about vaccination:
MARTIN: And Seth, you spoke to a lot of parents who are not vaccinating children for your book. So talk about this - you actually tried to trace this down and figure out why it is that these stories, rumors, opinions about vaccinations have kind of spread. Tell us what you found out, as briefly as you can.

MNOOKIN: Well, I think there are a couple of reasons - one is there have been these fraudulent reports that have been published. But I think the larger reason is that we're very uncomfortable just as people with introducing something into our body to protect us against a disease that we haven't had yet.

And so you combine that with the fact that because of the way our health care system is set up, there's not a lot of time for parents to discuss these issues with their doctors. And so they do end up either learning about it on social media and getting misinformation or, you know, talking about it at the playground or with other parents.

And I think one thing we really need to do is think about how we can bring this conversation, initiate this conversation, in a medical setting so the first exposure parents have to it is one where they're getting accurate information.

And some good old Jeb Bush reality talk:
The notion that Jeb Bush is going to be the Republican presidential nominee is a fantasy nourished by the people who used to run the Republican Party. Bush has been out of a game that changed radically during the 12 years(!) since he last ran for office. He missed the transformation of his brother from Republican savior to squish; the rise of the tea party; the molding of his peer Mitt Romney into a movement conservative; and the ascendancy of a new generation of politicians — Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, among them — who have been fully shaped by and trained in that new dynamic. Those men occasionally, carefully, respectfully break with the movement. Scorning today’s Republican Party is, by contrast, the core of Jeb’s political identity.
Wait, we’re supposed to take seriously Jeb 2016 because he’s said things that would destroy any chance he’d get nomination?
@DanaHoule
Wendell Potter:
Executives at health insurance giant WellPoint are predicting they will have to implement “double-digit plus” rate increases next year, demonstrating once again just how politically tone deaf and profit-obsessed they apparently are.

When I read WellPoint CEO Joe Swedish comments in Modern Healthcare that, there will “undoubtedly be remarkable price increases” for health insurance sold through the Obamacare-created exchanges, I remembered the outrage his firm provoked four years ago when it told its Anthem Blue Cross of California policyholders that it planned to hike their premiums by as much as 39 percent. When many of those policyholders complained to the media and members of Congress, it all but assured the passage a few weeks later of the Affordable Care Act, which contained numerous consumer protections and regulations the insurance industry hated...

Earlier that day, by the way, WellPoint raised its 2014 profit forecast after saying it expected to add more than a million new customers — with half of them coming from the Obamacare exchanges — by the end of this year.

Once again, HHS Secretary Sebelius was ready with a response. Discounting WellPoint’s prediction, she said that overall, premium increases next year would be “far less significant than they were before the passage of the Affordable Care Act.”

As Bloomberg News pointed out in a story about WellPoint’s investor day comments, people who bought their own insurance in 2009 for coverage in 2010 paid 13 percent more than the year before.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Most of our news agencies are only (19+ / 0-)

    concerned with the theater, drama, and circus of elections.  I wouldn't waste any more breath trying to convince them to change their coverage on 2016.  Do your part by changing the channel.

    http://lazyactivismrules.wordpress.com/

    by LazyActivism on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:42:30 AM PDT

  •  Bernstein is right - heck yeah they know (11+ / 0-)

    if they're running or not.  We know Hillary will.  And in case you're wondering, Jeb will, no doubt -- if he can "do it joyfully"

    I'm deferring the decision to the right time, which is later this year. And the decision will be based on 'can I do it joyfully' because I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits.
    Which is perhaps the most bizarre condition for running that I've ever heard, but then it's the Bush family.  Speaking of which, another indicator is Babs who walked back her statement from 2013:
    "there are other people out there that are very qualified, and we've had enough Bushes."
    to this:

    "Maybe it's OK if Jeb Runs"
     

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:49:18 AM PDT

    •   "Do it joyfully" will be easier... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, rl en france, salmo, Larsstephens

      ...with lots of cash at your disposal.

      Forget "Mr. Bus": Jeb Bush will be traipsing around in one of a handful of "Mr. Helicopters"

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:21:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jeb Bush, the calculation runs deep in that one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, JaxDem

        He means as well that he doesn't want to ride in the clown car.  Somebody else has to muzzle the Tea Party, rounding them up and leading them is not his job.  The "act of love" comment, for example, is best seen as a demand bid to the funders of all that craziness to get their pet under control if they want him to come to the next iteration of their soiree.  While it is quite likely an honest expression, the idea that Jeb Bush couldn't resist the urge to honestly express himself is absurd.  Instead, he is making a calculation that if it works, he has a shot at the Presidency, and if it doesn't, he enhances his reputation.

  •  GOP wants to repeal now and replace at some (16+ / 0-)

    future time to be determined.......They got nuthin.

  •  but, but, but.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rl en france
    Obamacare's Exchanges Enrolled Only 1.4 Million Previously Uninsured Individuals
    Avik Roy, Rmoney’s healthcare adviser...

    http://www.forbes.com/...

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:58:36 AM PDT

  •  It would be so cool if environmentalists (5+ / 0-)

    understood what Kahan is saying.

    I've long pushed the idea that the fight against global warming is a Pascal's wager, with belief in God replaced by acceptance of anthropogenic  global warming and the danger it poses. That's very much akin to Kahan's finding and  in line with a recent publication by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Agents of the fossil fuel industries aside, most "skeptics"  -- ie, those resisting the science -- see themselves and/or families at great risk from the efforts to combat global warming.  In societies where those people vote, real progress will require allaying their fears by action.  Think of it this way: Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the White House.  Ronald Reagan had them taken down.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:04:34 AM PDT

  •  One depressing thing: At this point, more people (0+ / 0-)

    are uninsured than at any point in the Bush administration.

    Part of that is population growth and part of that is the economy (though ACA should shelter people from that), but it's a very depressing thought when you consider the time, money, and pain spent on ACA.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:06:33 AM PDT

    •  Uninsured rate at lowest level since 2008, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, OregonWetDog

      according to Gallop. I would imagine it will keep dropping as more and more people who are eligible for subsidies and expanded Medicaid sign up over the years.

      •  Yes -- that is what I said. (0+ / 0-)

        It is higher than it was at any time in the Bush administration.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:19:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correction -- Not quite what I said. (0+ / 0-)

          I said total number, not rate.

          Not sure, but I think the Gallop poll referred to total numbers too, not rate.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:20:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If anything, it's the same as the last year of the (0+ / 0-)

          Bush administration.

          •  Might have been the same as the last day of the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            katesmom

            Bush administration, which was actually in 2009, but not in the last year of 2008.

            The initial crash of the current economic depression did take place in the last month of 2008, so it's possible that enough people lost their jobs at the very end to make that true, but I don't believe that to be the case.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:23:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ACA doesn't fully handle that for two years. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rl en france, Fabienne, askew

              it's only the first 3 months.

              "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

              by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:27:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Could have been a cascading effect (0+ / 0-)

              Families with 2 incomes, if one is lost, may have dropped insurance coverage in order to live on a single salary.  Companies may have cut salaries (had that happen before) or dropped the bennies to keep staff.  

              And the increasing amount of premiums and co-pays loaded on employees from 2000 to 2008 may have had an effect in how many people chose to keep employer insurance.  Beginning in 2000 my employer coverage rose from first dollar coverage and minimal co-pays for less than $100 per month to between $200 to $600 per month with higher co-pays and a $4,000 deductible on everything.  Not to mention that your kids got kicked off at 18 (22 if they were in college) Which for me meant 2 people who dropped off my insurance during that period.

          •  I'm sorry Dinotrac. You are right. (0+ / 0-)

            It is dropping, though, and hopefully, it will continue to do so.

    •  You're ignoring a big part of that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, OregonWetDog

      States that didn't expand Medicaid have actually cut enrollments by cutting the income levels to qualify for the program.
      In those red states, on average, a family of three has to make less than $10,000 a year to qualify for Medicaid.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:07:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Joe Scarborough (11+ / 0-)

    selling of Jeb Bush has reached a new level of desperation. Jeb is apparently carrying the "weight of the entire Republican party on his shoulders" - he's a tragic figure destined to save a party that's lost it's way. He's Ashley Wilkes, longing for days gone by. Lots of luck if this is the strategy - the right will eat his supposed kinder, gentler ways for lunch.

  •  Potter seems to be a crank. (0+ / 0-)

    Insurance companies are allowed to be politically tone deaf. They are in the number-crunching and investing business, not in the election business.

    ACA is a gift to insurance companies, but it doesn't protect them from the need to turn a profit.  Will Swedish be right? We'll see soon enough, but numbers on sign-ups by young health people are not encouraging.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:10:48 AM PDT

    •  Potter's a gadfly with insurance experience (7+ / 0-)

      exVP of CIGNA. His crankery is based on insider experience.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:29:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is fine, but it's just silly to criticize (0+ / 0-)

        a company for being politically anything in setting its rates.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:14:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Health ins. co's not in election business, really? (0+ / 0-)

          Of course health insurance companies are in the election business - that's what all that lobbying money is about, that's what their exemption allowing coordination between supposed competitors is sustained with, that's the business model.  We're hoping that regulation will trump corruption, and Swedish is telling us good luck with that.  

          I'm not even sure what calling Potter a crank means in this context.  He is either pointing to a pattern or problem that is real, or he is not.  His experience with the health insurance industry, and his obvious distaste for what he remembers, informs those statements and our understanding of their meaning.  Leaving aside the ad hominem bits, I find his participation in the public debate about what to expect to generally be helpful.  The same cannot be said for defenders of health insurance companies.

          •  When you set rates, you are making a business (0+ / 0-)

            decision.

            That 39% increase potter describes as tone-deaf was actually implemented, not threatened and not surmised.

            The more recent statement about next year's rates?

            You are welcome to see it as you please, but ACA is the law of the land and the election is still more than 6 months away.  Not exactly optimal timing for a political statement -- and an interesting one in light of the fact that ACA places a cap on rates v payouts.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:19:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Meet the new insurance industry, same as the old (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OregonWetDog

              I am reminded of an oral surgeon for whom my ex-wife worked.  He routinely set rates above the usual and customary rate, fully expecting to be unpaid by the the insurance companies he was billing, and to be unpaid for the remainder by many his patients, but participating in a collective rate raising effort among his cohorts because those raw billing numbers formed the basis of the next year's usual and customary rate calculation.  By the way, everybody knew what the game was, including the insurance companies themselves.  Their rates were set at least in part off those usual and customary charges.  

              That was a business decision, as you point out, but it was formed in the context of a cooperative among supposed competitors, for their mutual advantage and to increase revenue from the patient public.  Supposedly, that sort of thing was controlled by the health insurance industry, but of course, it also profited by the scam.  In turn, the idea way back in 1946 was that the insurance industry could be given an exemption from anti-trust rules because the insurance commissioners for each state would regulate how they do business.  We all know how that worked out.  Swedish has told us the industry business model has not fundamentally changed.

              •  All doctors do this (0+ / 0-)

                Bill the visit at $350.  If you're uninsured, you pay the $350 upfront, or no doctor visit.  If you have insurance, they will pay $128.  You may or may not be required to pay the rest, depending.  

              •  Yup...and expect it to get worse than ever. (0+ / 0-)

                With the new rules regarding payout to premium ratios, the insurance companies must pay out more money in order to increase their profits.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:30:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  the signups by young people are good enough (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rl en france, askew, Curt Matlock

      who says so? Insurance companies when they speak to their stockholders. Which expectations matter? Their own, not yours or the media.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:30:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well...You tell me, then. (0+ / 0-)

        I had heard that we needed something on the order of 35-40% of exchange (though I presume off-exchange counts as well) sign-ups by young people to make things work properly.

        Is that not the case?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:16:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not the case (0+ / 0-)

          it was a guesstamite of who would sign up, but the risk corridors/reinsurance thing makes the program viable for 3 years rregardless. The whole concept of a death spiral was wrong to begin with.

          what's needed for long term viability beyond that 3 years is healthy people at any age (better that they are old, there's more of them!). But the risk pool is not just exchanges, it's state pools (50 or so) including all comers, so it's distorted to say the expectation was 35-40% eventually on the exchanges and/but if you didn't hit that in the first 3 months, doom.  In fact many younger people are signing up off exchange and are still part of the state risk pool.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:09:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  October surprise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, salmo

      In the back of my mind, I fret about the insurance companies giving a nasty october surprise by jacking up rates right before election.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:16:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That will require a lot of planning thanks to the (0+ / 0-)

        80-20 rule.

        Rate increases, for those who are already at the payout-expense limite, require increases in the cost of services.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:23:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  At 66 I was in the first wave of polio vaccine (12+ / 0-)

    recipients. My parents were working class, my dad a WW2 combat vet, mom a housewife. They had absolutely zero concern that the vaccine would harm me and were terrified of polio having seem what it did to a cousin. What we need for today's parents who are exposed to the lunatics claiming that this and that vaccine will kill their kids are graphic examples of what things like whooping cough and flu and so forth can do to kids. They need to look into the eyes of the sun....cause momma that's were the pain is.

    •  indeed that is the very problem (8+ / 0-)

      The lunatics are so insulated from the effects of these diseases (precisely because vaccines have largely eliminated them) that they think that is what reality is like without vaccines.  it is not. The disease germs don't care about freedomz or big pharma conspiracies or any of the other things the anti-vaxxers babble about. Without vaccines, all of those disease germs will be partying again inside our bodies--with the same results as before.

      Anti-vax nuttiness KILLS people. And if they had their way, they'd kill lots more.

      It really is that simple.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:46:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and then you have the guy who faked research (7+ / 0-)

        about autism and vaccines which has taken over a decade to get confronted and has left a trail of lingering doubt in the society.

        •  alas, fake "studies" and bullshit "evidence" is (9+ / 0-)

          a standard tactic for ALL anti-science crackpots, whether it's Kent Hovind the creationist, or Don Huber the anti-GMOer. It goes all the way back to cigarette companies and their "studies" showing that smoking doesn't cause cancer. (Incidentally, it is always amusing to see the pseudo-science kooks citing the tobacco companies as an example of the corporate conspiracy against them--since they use the very same methods that the tobacco companies did.)

          When you look at all the various anti-science kooks, you find that they all use the same basic tactics and arguments.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:02:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They endanger us all by forming a breeding pool (4+ / 0-)

        within the general population for all those little nasties to lurk. They are like the idiots I see on I-66 and the Beltway on black ice/snow emergency days tooling by in their 4WD SUVs at reckless speeds. Got no deep personal problem seeing them flipped and burning down the road (Darwin in action). I do when they endanger everyone else on the road.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:06:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Take people a generation or two away from hard (8+ / 0-)

      experiences and they become "idiots" unless some effort has been made to pass those experiences on at a gut level. I see precisely the same effect with the generation that became enamored with that third rate actor's performance in the White House.

      Grandparents and even parents shielded the precious little souls from memories of the depths of the Great Depression and "Good War" so that we got a generation without a clue as to why there were regulations on things such as food and drugs. On why banks were limited in speculative ventures. I had the good fortune to have parents and grandparents that gently exposed me and I tried with my kids. Their fellows were often wrapped in fluffy little illusions by intent.

      I've quoted it before, but it is worth another read:

      One needs not erase history. One needs only fail to teach one generation of children. Fail with two, and the destruction widens.
      C. J. Cherryh in Hammerfall
      Then Klein could have summed it up with Hacker's Law:
      The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.
      Self interested idiots will always ignore the facts, ignore reasonable warnings (Town fathers in Jaws and local zoning people in Washington State recently shown as self interested idiots!) and as they grin at 60 on an icy road with their 4WD SUV as they swerve past you later be found flipped and maybe smashed down the way.

      Personally I'm rather tired of it and the human race. I feel for the species and worry for my grandkids, but largely another fictional author sums it up.

      I've listened to all the excellent arguments for doing nothing, and reaped the consequent frightful harvest. I've watched people hop up and down and call it progress. I've seen good men go to the wall and the idiots get promoted with frightful regularity. All I'm left with is me and thirty odd years of cold war with no options.
      George Smiley
      In Smiley's People
      (John LeCarre)
      We pay a price for not passing as much experience as we can. I felt that on 9/11. I was "surprised" by the "success" but certainly not airplanes being used as poor man's cruise missiles—that was foretold in the 1960s and early 1970s! Half our national mental aberration after that, the experience of seemingly reasonable people thrown completely off track or their previous considered thinking (I knew one religious agnostic but "devout" pacifist turned into a religious, war drumming nut job), was largely I think the reaction of naifs that actually believed we were somehow immune to the world's woes.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:55:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  an aside on this point . . (5+ / 0-)
        I felt that on 9/11. I was "surprised" by the "success" but certainly not airplanes being used as poor man's cruise missiles—that was foretold in the 1960s and early 1970s!
        By 2001 there had already been TWO specific previous attempts (one of them just seven years prior) to crash an airplane into the White House. Excerpts from an upcoming diary I have on the history of Presidential assassination attempts:
        In 1972, a mentally-ill unemployed Philadelphia tire salesman named Samuel Byck had been turned down for a Small Business Association loan, and blamed Nixon for it. Byck sent a series of tape-recorded rants to several US Congressmen in which he threatened Nixon, but when the Secret Service investigated him, they concluded Byck was just a harmless crank. In 1974, however, Byck began forming a plan to assassinate Nixon by hijacking an airliner and crashing it into the White House. On February 22, 1974, Byck drove to the Baltimore/Washington Airport, shot and killed an airport security guard, and forced his way into the cockpit of a DC-9 that was waiting to taxi, carrying a homemade bomb with  him. When the two pilots told him the plane could not take off because the wheel chocks were still in place, Byck shot them both (killing one of them), and, bizarrely, ordered a nearby passenger to try to fly the plane. After a standoff, the plane was entered by an off-duty police officer who had picked up the revolver belonging to the security guard that had been killed. The policeman fired four shots through the window of the cockpit door, wounding Byck. As other police stormed into the plane, Byck killed himself with his revolver.
        At 2am on September 12, 1994, President Clinton himself became the target of an assassination attempt, when an unemployed truck driver who had recently been arrested for theft and drug trafficking, named Frank Eugene Corder, stole a Cessna 150   airplane from an airport in Maryland and flew it to DC, intending to crash it into the White House. Corder, who was reportedly drunk when he took the plane, missed the building and crashed into a tree on the south lawn. He was killed instantly.
        Yet even AFTER 9-11, virtually nobody remembers either one of these.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:09:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Way back. Of course the "non commercial" (5+ / 0-)

          predecessors were quite effective in a last desperate stand. So, nobody thinking on the matter discounted equally desperate and dedicated to their cause people from picking up on a commercial option of the same.

          Thus, at a time I was flying commercial and "security" was not even considered in this country at airports some were quite worried. A bunch of airplanes on the Jordanian desert were of real concern. That is why in this and later incidents there was a "no way" to demands for fuel and Sixth Fleet went on alert. That is why, as we were spending vast sums developing cruise missiles some were noting there was a much cheaper "guidance system" for those with fanatical purpose and little means.

          Then, while we were still mildly focused on "unscheduled Cuba flights" I was going thorough security overseas. I was seeing very polite and intense search of my carry-on and interest in my after shave and other personal items, in one country "checking" my carry on once it was searched and picking it up at the ramps (then roll out steps) and returning here to see absolute joke security. I felt "safer" from an unscheduled diversion flying out of Rome or Rio or Tokyo than JFK or SFO.

          So, on the morning of 9/11 as someone suggested I turn on the TV and I saw the second hit I was a bit surprised at the scope, not surprised "well, it's come" and pissed as hell at the details of how, the unpreparedness, the blindness. Then I became even more pissed at the flock of people going completely bonkers as a result.

          Funny memory, barber shop before Bush's Iraq fiasco, only two of us "against" that thing that has been described as somewhat like FDR declaring war on Brazil after Pearl Harbor, and finding out my fellow "against" (even older than I) piloted a B-17 over Germany for the full round of missions. As we left I remember him snarling out "There'd better be weapons of mass destruction!" There weren't and we've still got idiots thinking that fiasco was "patriotic" and a "good thing"! Thus, with plenty of added experience, my LeCarre Smiley's People quote above and general lack of patience today.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:48:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And that's essentially the problem (6+ / 0-)

      Generational memory has faded.

      The diseases that the vaccines are for are now rare, largely because of the vaccines, therefore people are susceptible to panic about vaccines, because they see the current state as normal and not as something vaccines are responsible for. They've never seen it any other way.

      In much the same way, people saw the US middle class existence as normal and not something that unions, progressive taxation and regulation was responsible for, so had no problems gutting it.

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:11:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm mad at my own generation. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, singe, Lenny Flank

        The late Boom, born after Sputnik. We missed biological memory of the poverty and and Jim Crow before the Great Society, but instead came came of age with avuncular apocrypha of 'verse 'scrimination and welfare queens. Having Viet Nam going over our heads since we were dumb kids playing war with plastic rifles and crooked sticks and then coming of age to with wimpy Uncle Sam being bullied by those mean ol' Arabs.

        "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

        by Stude Dude on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:46:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The real fault lies with the parents and older (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lenny Flank, Stude Dude, sillia

          people in your lives. After all, kids just left on their own (and latchkey did become a term somewhere around your time) tend to just become Lord of the Flies types. Kids have to learn, both from example and that casual type that comes from hearing and overhearing the experiences of elders.

          Maybe it was TV. Maybe it was breakdown of the family, particularly extended families, but the post boomer generation and later boomers missed out I think. There was an excellent piece, shown about government and industry in those fairly new (late 70s!) inspirational, touchy-feely things, that was called You Are What You Were When. While "generation" is problematic as a specific, there are trends and flavors that when I was forced to watch, finding it worth while then, explained some things. One, that I witnessed myself, was the "Greatest Generation" tried to shield their children from what they'd experienced. Enough did, and I remember specific examples (and a failure or two that led to tears) to avoid any discussion of the war with "the kids" in particular. Same with the Depression.

          Thus the C. J. Cherryh Hammerfall quote above. Me? Like Yogi Berra:

          It's like déjà vu all over again.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:04:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Historically the same thing was true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude, pelagicray

            of immigrants and refugees to this country, who didn't teach or explain, either to their children or the public, what they'd been through. I guess they wanted to look forward with optimism, to give their kids a chance to be real Americans without the load of pain on their backs...just my speculation.

            It's like teaching about slavery, in America and internationally--here at least it's over and the issue is settled but it still matters and should still be studied, discussed, worked through. By everyone, not just African Americans. The Civil Rights movement needs to be taught in schools and discussed--there were some diaries about this recently, and only a few states are actually doing this in their curriculum. Curriculi?

            I think Americans have always thought that we were free of history on this continent. It leads to a very shallow existence. I imagine Alexis de Toqueville warned about this though I still haven't read his works.

            Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

            by sillia on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:55:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Alexis de Toqueville. Somewhere that I've "lost" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stude Dude, sillia

              in his commentary was something to the effect that our democracy would sort of work until the masses realized they could use it to have whatever they wanted. Irresponsible power.

              Want no taxes and thus no public infrastructure? Be a modern Republican.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:43:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Also Benjamin Franklin (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pelagicray

                was very skeptical that the Constitution would hold up, for the very reason that we're seeing now--corporate power. I'm not sure what his prescription would have been to prevent this. I don't think he was solely a Cassandra, he must have had some ideas. Really, I should get some of those books down off the shelf and look into this!

                Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

                by sillia on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 01:02:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  yes pensions are gone as a concept. 401k's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Turn Left, Josiah Bartlett

        would replace them and we would all become millionaire entrepreneurs....so much hard work and sacrifice to get pensions established and so little effort in demagoguery and faith healing to make them go away. what the fuck do people think they are going to live on as they get old?

        •  Bingo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          singe

          The wealthy create or buy businesses they actively manage, and take advantage of tax subsidies for capital management; they don't place 100% of their investments into passively managed vehicles that cost a significant management fee.

          I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

          by CFAmick on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's kind of like how (0+ / 0-)

      we refer to every little cough as "the flu." No, that's a real disease...

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:14:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Klein illustrates a point that becomes apparent (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, freerad, skohayes, askew

    whenever one spends some time with the anti-sciencers (whether it's creationists or anti-vaxxers or climate deniers or whatever): people hold anti-science opinions almost entirely  for ideological or emotional reasons. Because they were not won TO these positions by evidence or rational argument, they will not be won AWAY from those positions by evidence or rational argument either. That is why arguing "science" or "data" with them is a waste of time--their argument is not actually scientific; it is ideological, and ideological arguments are impervious to logic or data. It is best to write off the anti-sciencers entirely, and focus instead on the large mass of people who simply know nothing about the topic and need to be given a basic education about it.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:33:38 AM PDT

    •  ps--it is also helpful to demonstrate at every (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray

      opportunity that the anti-sciencers, of all stripes, whether anti-vaxxers or moon-landing-hoaxers or climate-deniers or creatiionists or whatever--are ALL deceptive evasive dishonest deliberate liars, as well. They ALL, no matter what area of anti-science nuttiness they fall into, use the same basic tactics of unsupported "data", dishonest "studies", deceptive quote-mining, appeals to authority and ideology, "everything is a conspiracy against them", and "if you are against them you're part of the conspiracy". You can take any of their tactics and  "arguments", change just a few words, and apply it to any of the others. They're all the same. Pseudoscience never changes.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:55:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was having a Twitter discussion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank, askew

      last week with people that were touting raw milk as a wonderful addition to a healthy diet.
      Everyone was citing the "good bacteria" killed by the pasteurization process, but no one could name what they were.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:14:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you ever have that discussion again, maybe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        send them a list of the dangerous bacteria pasteurization kills: brucellosis, tuberculosis, salmonella, e. coli, staph aureus, diphtheria, the list goes on.

        •  Trust me, I know (0+ / 0-)

          That's why the article Greg linked to from Ezra Klein was so interesting- even smart people can do stupid things when the evidence is right in front of them.

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:07:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My brother got IBS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and struggled for years to get his health back. He was a big believer in raw milk and I feel there's a good chance that's where he got this problem. I don't know if he still drinks the stuff, can't bring myself to ask. It's like playing Russian Roulette.

        Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

        by sillia on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:59:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They also need to, as I remember in the past, to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Josiah Bartlett

      be marginalized in the general society. Believe it or not I remember a day in the South when people with this sort of anti-science views in small and medium sized towns were just not acceptable in society. Yeah, they lurked all about. They normally did not gain office. They normally did not influence public policy—except racial policies.

      There is a line of thought, one I dealing with something I watched happen, that a former know-nothing "class" gained a kind of civil right to have their know nothing views treated equally with those that knew. It is apparently somewhat connected with the rise of fundamentalist megachurch and financial power and political activity.

      Over the last three decades I've increasingly seen illiterates in a subject loudly claim "I gotta right!" to be equally considered with a recognized expert that spent a lifetime becoming that expert. I've seen people that could not put one literate sentence on paper or into vocalization demand equal time with widely respected and published experts—and instead of being shouted down they got their say and, worse, began getting their way. When $$$$$ are involved it gets worse.

      Just look at the photos here and the "before" imagery. "Nah, those pointy head geologists don't know nothing!"

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:21:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we can see this here too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, salmo, askew
        There is a line of thought, one I dealing with something I watched happen, that a former know-nothing "class" gained a kind of civil right to have their know nothing views treated equally with those that knew.
        In every diary that mentions vaccines or GMOs or nukes, you'll find someone or another blithering all this same stuff -- "I have a right for my opinion to be respected!!!!!!" Um, no you don't. (shrug)

        One thing that characterizes the left is our idea that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever. And some on the left want to apply this same "equality" to science--they get VERY upset with the idea that we can call anyone "wrong", and they want instead to argue that ALL ideas should be treated as equally valid and worthy of consideration, and it's a form of "oppression" and "elitism" to tell anyone that their ideas are . . . well . .  wrong.

        It's silly horse shit.  Science is not a democracy. In science, there are only two classes of ideas--those that conform to reality, and those that are wrong. ALL of the anti-science ideologies, ranging from creationism to anti-vaxxers, are wrong. Period.  End of discussion. They do not deserve a place at the table any more than flat-earthers do.

        Reality is a harsh mistress. She is arrogant and intolerant,  brooks no opposition, and doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone's ideology. Sorry if that hurts some fee-fee's.  (shrug)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:34:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My personal suggestion, made in real life, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lenny Flank

          is that these clowns climb atop high places and dispute gravity with "right to my opinion" on the way down to bug splat. I have also suggested, with real malice, to someone decrying "federal regulations" on "harmless" copper compounds (We have copper wire and pipes in our homes!), to go buy some copper-sulfate wood preservative (if still around) and drink it.

          I sometimes wonder if we've insulated too many from the Darwin effect!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:26:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank

      I remember an Honors Bio-Chem class in college when the prof began to talk about evolution a student stood and in tears told him he was saying the devil's lies, and walked out of class.  The rest of us were shocked; you had to pass an entrance exam to get into this class, only about 2% were accepted, so she was obviously smart, but her religious training overrode her brain.

  •  agh, you've used the word "vaccine" again . . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    When that brings our resident lunatic fringe of anti-vaxxers running in again to babble their bullshit, I'm leaving it to others this time to swat their silliness.  I've been banging my head enough against our resident anti-sciencers for the past couple weeks. It's somebody else's turn.

    ;)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:39:20 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the excellent roundup, Greg! (6+ / 0-)

    2016, ACA, and vaccines, all in one roundup. Great reading today!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 05:50:13 AM PDT

  •  Dana Milbank despairs (3+ / 0-)

    over Republicans ever getting it right when they talk about women.

    Consider Paul Ryan’s budget, which the House is debating this week. Among those functions of government the Republican congressman from Wisconsin would cut, many disproportionately benefit women, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

    For example, Medicaid (about 70 percent of adult recipients are women), food stamps (63 percent of adult recipients are women) and Pell grants (62 percent) would be cut. Then there are programs in categories that would face cuts Ryan hasn’t specified: Supplemental Security Income (two-thirds of the poor and elderly recipients are women), welfare (85 percent of adult recipients are women), housing vouchers (82 percent of recipient households headed by women), child-care assistance (75 percent female-headed households) and the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.

    By contrast, government payments that go disproportionately to men — active-duty military and veterans — are relatively untouched. The highest earners, who are disproportionately male, benefit most under Ryan’s tax proposal, while those receiving low-income tax credits, often families headed by women, would fare poorly.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    The "Equal Pay Day" highlighted yesterday by Democrats had two Republican women politicians out front saying the most stupid things:
    Terri Lynn Land, of Michigan:

    Well we all like to be paid more and that's great, but the reality is that women have a different lifestyle. They have kids, they have to take them to get, you know, dentist appointments, doctors appointments, all those kinds of things and they're more interested in flexibility in a job than pay
    As the diary that highlighted this paragraph said yesterday, obviously, no DADS have kids that need to go to dentist appointments, no DADS are interested in job flexibility, and pardon me, but I am more interested in getting paid and treated equally than I am in job flexibility.

    Lynn Jenkins, of Kansas:

    Many ladies I know feel like they are being used as pawns, and find it condescending [that] Democrats are trying to use this issue as a political distraction from the failures of their economic policy,
    I don't find it condescending at all, having worked in a field that consistently pays women less than men (agriculture).

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:43:15 AM PDT

    •  ps--as an aside . . . . (6+ / 0-)
      the failures of their economic policy
      Apparently we brain-dead pig-ignorant Americans have already completely forgotten the disaster of 2008. Otherwise, we'd laugh any Republican off the stage who even SAID the words "failed economic policy".

      Alas, we are a nation of dolts with the collective memory span of a fruit fly.  (shrug)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 06:49:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And why, except in family and close friends (few), (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        I feel I'm in an unsupervised kindergarten much of the time. It is why in public I sometimes have to try really, really hard not to turn and just snarl at some dolts.

        I live in a county with one of the highest educational levels in the census figures. So, does that help a whole lot? Or does it just make me despair of what conversations elsewhere might be like! One of many examples, overheard in the adjoining booth at a restaurant.

        "Now you can drive straight from Belfast to Dublin in your rental."

        "What's special about that?"

        "Well, you couldn't rent for trips between the cities before. Now you don't even have to stop long for a search at the border."

        "What border? Why the search?"

        "The border between Northern Ireland and Erie because of 'The Troubles' and bombs and such."

        "What troubles? I thought it was all one country."

        Earlier conversation had indicated high level management in a large company, one a bit older than the "youngsters" that appeared in their 40s.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:17:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live in rural Kansas (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pelagicray, Lenny Flank

          you can imagine the discussions I get to hear...

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:09:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't have to imagine at all. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, Josiah Bartlett

            I stay away now, no more contacts, from the places where those with just a bit of real knowledge and world awareness huddle in little enclaves. Still, even here in a cluster of census regions with high education and income figures, one does run into the wasteland and does not have to go far to wonder if we are not past it as a society.

            I have strange memories of other places, even a back street in Lisbon with a high, very black Angola and Mozambique worker population where, among the "skin mags," were international papers and journals such as Le Monde and Der Speigel as well as Portuguese equivalents—and they were being browsed and bought.

            I've often wondered where our idea of an educated, aware citizenry as "democratic" got off track to it meaning "my ignorance is as good as your knowledge" in many minds. It seems to me that among a large segment of the population, once an "underclass" has, rather than actually trying to pull itself up, taken an aggressive attitude that its ignorance, prejudice and grievances are to be preserved and thrust in the faces of the rest. The Jerry Springer Show crap has gone mainstream.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:39:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I remember reading in 2012 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pelagicray

              that we had just elected the least educated legislature in Kansas history. I think we've got less than 30% with college degrees. And it shows.
              Kansas, for all it's faults, used to have a pretty good public education system, but our current lege is doing everything they can to destroy it. It's very sad.

              Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

              by skohayes on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 02:35:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have watched the transformation in society with (0+ / 0-)

                some interest. Nationally we have had episodes like this throughout history. This time I have a feeling the roots are deeper and perhaps more lasting to the detriment of the nation.

                In my young days "men of substance," particularly in small town Southern America did not leave the house without a jacket, hat and tie. I did not realize for a long time that this was quite similar to a military officer donning an officer's uniform. "Authority" came with it. "Sir" was used for address. Even police officers, ones that might be quite rough with someone in bib overalls, were deferential. It was Atticus Finch as opposed to the "po white trash" that was a pretty accurate portrayal of my youthful world in To Kill a Mockingbird. Yep, the overall crowd could be dangerous, sometimes rode down our street of "good homes" with burning crosses, and were courted with race baiting by local and state politicians at election time. The rest of the time they "kept their place" and went to their "holy roller, screaming 'n shoutin" churches while, within some limits, the Finch types ran things.

                Then came the sixties, Civil Rights Movement for blacks and a strange parallel for the white underclass. There was the Southern Strategy of the GOP. There was the courting of the Religious Right. Religious colleges, not the mainstream Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist types, but Bible thumping, anti modern things began to proliferate and produce graduates ignorant of science and many things outside their religious stream. Megachurches sprang up as those rural, small time evangelical fundamentalist sought work in cities—sometimes leaving their small towns near ghost towns.

                The barrel had been churned. I can remember men in those coats and ties, getting as elderly as I now, decrying the "rise" of not only the blacks but that "po white trash" and how their music, speech and ways were "corrupting" society. I remember viewing them as old feudal barons decrying a peasant's revolt.

                Was it a good thing?  Nobody should be "kept down" and with that respect I think it was. Maybe it will settle out some day with real education winning.

                There is a very bad aspect though. I remember when men and women of the bib overall class, black and white, did "know their place" in a good way. I remember complete illiterates that freely admitted they knew little (yet they often knew a lot of other sorts of knowledge) yet had great respect for knowledge and sacrificed to make sure at least some of their kids got the real thing. I knew people then who wore their ignorance in "book learning" neither as a badge of shame nor honor—just a reality they were determined their kids would not have. By the 1980s I was running into much more of a better dressed, better employed, better credentialed bunch that carried ignorance as a battle flag.

                Somewhere in that upheaval we got a bunch, still I think a minority and often fueled by religion, who have determined to be the angry know nothings, the jumping, shouting, in your face jokes of the Springer show, in the face of knowledge and society. They seem to be a hard core of the 20-25% we see in poll after poll outside the mainstream on anything vaguely resembling progressive or even sanity. They are, just as the night riding bib overall crowd in the old South, fueled by politicians and certain reactionary economic interests to retain power even against what is now a majority—whenever it decides to get off its collective ass and actually vote in elections.

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:13:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I'm in Flori-duhhhhh (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, Josiah Bartlett

            I don't have to imagine.

            ;)

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 11:25:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Four years ago (0+ / 0-)

        When every third house on busy streets had a car for sale in the front yard. That was the Great Recession, and for most Americans, it's over.

        I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

        by CFAmick on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:21:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ps--a request to the regulars here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sillia

    I've been at DKos for 7 years now, but for virtually that entire time I've not tipped or recc'd anyone. (The flip side is that I've only given out a handful of HRs too and nearly all of those went to rock-crusher spammers).

    My lack of reccing is not an intended slight to anyone--it's simply a result of my many previous years posting to BBS's, email lists and Usenet forums where such things as "tips" and "recs" were not found (DK being the first forum I've regularly hung around where such things existed), and as a result I just don't think about them while I'm posting. I tend to just focus on the conversation.

    I've recently been reminded that the whole tip/rec system is an important part of how the site functions, so I am now making a conscious effort to participate in it. So if you happen to see me commenting in a diary and not reccing anyone, please smack me upside the head so I remember to do it.

    Thanks.

    :)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:13:32 AM PDT

  •  The more the ACA becomes accepted, the more the (0+ / 0-)

    ONLY "replacement" will be single payer.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:21:21 AM PDT

  •  Re: Jeb Bush (0+ / 0-)

    while he might have missed the "movement conservative" boat, don't worry: his heir George P has hopped right on board.  

  •  The ACA's greatest vulnerability (0+ / 0-)

    Of course Wellpoint is talking about raising the rates it charges for exchange plans next year.  What's to stop it raising those prices?

    Please don't try to tell me that Wellpoint should not have to raise prices at all, or at least not as much as it would without the ACA, because the ACA has helped Wellpoint with its adverse selection problem by broadening the base of people paying premiums to include more people who don't generate claims because they're not sick.  That dynamic would work if Wellpoint had already been constrained in setting its prices by market forces, if it had to lower prices if its costs fell, because it had to compete with other insurers for customers.  

    The problem is that there is no free market in health care or health care insurance.  An effective cartel controls both.

    Wellpoint has more beneficiaries than the Canadian health system -- it has for years.  The Canadian health system uses its control of medication purchasing for its 35 million beneficiaries to dun low prices for meds from Big Pharma.  Wellpoint doesn't.  Some combination of two explanations are the only serious contenders here:
        1) Wellpoint and Big Pharma are owned by the same people
        2) Wellpoint doesn't have to worry that some other insurer will steal its beneficiaries by undercutting its prices by dunning lower drug prices from Big Pharma.

    That's a cartel, folks.  You don't have to know where the bodies are burried, whose sleeping with whom, or obtain the transcripts of some high-level price-fixing meeting.  All you have to know is that there would be massivley different results -- Wellpoint dunning Canadian prices from Big Pharma is only one such -- across the board if we did not have effective cartel pricing.

    The ACA does nothing to control monopoly and cartel pricing.  It does nothing to control the massive restraint of trade that is the reason we pay 3 times more and get less value for medical care in the US than in other developed countries.  The ACA wasn't designed to do any of this because we didn't face the music and admit that monopoly pricing, and not adverse selection, is why health care financing is in trouble in this country.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 03:13:08 PM PDT

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