And that brings us to GOP Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who along with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, have come up with a wonderful plan to fix health care reform.
If the states can come up with better plans, let them. Ezra Klein explains:
This morning, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced the "Empowering States to Innovate Act." The legislation would allow states to develop their own health-care reform proposals that would preempt the federal government's effort. If a state can think of a plan that covers as many people, with as comprehensive insurance, at as low a cost, without adding to the deficit, the state can get the money the federal government would've given it for health-care reform but be freed from the individual mandate, the exchanges, the insurance requirements, the subsidy scheme and pretty much everything else in the bill.
Wyden, with the help of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was able to build a version of this exemption into the original health-care reform bill, but for various reasons, was forced to accept a starting date of 2017 -- three years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into effect. The Wyden/Brown legislation would allow states to propose their alternatives now and start implementing them in 2014, rather than wasting time and money setting up a federal structure that they don't plan to use.
In general, giving the states a freer hand is an approach associated with conservatives. On Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sent a letter to the Republican Governors Association advocating exactly that. "The most effective path to sustainable health care reform runs through the states, not Washington," he wrote. If it's really the case that the states can do health reform better, Wyden and Brown are giving them a chance to prove it.
Do this. This is brilliant, and something that I'd expect all 41 GOP Senators (and Mark Kirk when Illinois gets off their asses) to vote for. If your state can come up with a better plan than Obamacare, then prove it. We'll give you the money to do it.
And it gets even better.
Because the state most eager to prove that it does, indeed, have a better idea is not as you might imagine Texas, but Vermont. That's right: Howard Dean's own liberal, single-payer-loving Vermont.
the Wild and Wonderful State!
A fate no prisoner deserves. "Haiti's cholera outbreak has spread to the country's largest jail, the national prison in Port-au-Prince. The head of Haiti's prison service told the BBC that 30 inmates have been infected and 13 have died in recent days. There are fears that the death toll could rise substantially in the overcrowded facility, which houses around 2,000 prisoners. Almost 1,200 people have died in the outbreak, which began last month. On Friday another 76 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 1,186, the health ministry said."
This isn't self-defense any more; it's just attacking. "Israeli air strikes hit three sites in the Gaza Strip, in response to a rocket and mortars fired into Israel from Gaza earlier, the Israeli military said. It did not confirm the targets, but AFP news agency said the towns of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis were hit. At least six people were injured, witnesses and medical officials said. The Israeli army said Palestinian militants had fired 10 mortars and a rocket into Israel over the past two days which had caused no casualties."
[...] Sure, Hiatt acknowledged with a yawn, we're "a nation of laws" and we can't simply "forget" when our most powerful political officials commit the most serious war crimes, etc. etc. etc.. But criminal investigations are so terribly messy, uncivil, uncouth, distracting and disruptive. Prosecutions are for those dirty rabble on the street selling drugs to other adults whom I sometimes see from the window of my car, not for our upstanding, Serious political leaders. When they commit grievous crimes, we should have an impotent Commission of other upstanding, Serious political leaders politely look at what happened, issue a pretty Report, and then call it a day. That is why George W. Bush feels so free to run around beating his chest and boasting of his war crimes: because Fred Hiatt and his media comrades, masquerading as watchdogs over the politically powerful, have deliberately created the climate where such crimes can not only be committed, but publicly confessed and heralded, with total impunity.###
If you aren't drinking already, you might want to start:
Afghans in two crucial southern provinces are almost completely unaware of the September 11 attacks on the United States and don't know they precipitated the foreign intervention now in its 10th year, a new report showed on Friday…
Few Afghans in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, Taliban strongholds where fighting remains fiercest, know why foreign troops are in Afghanistan, says the "Afghanistan Transition: Missing Variables" report to be released later on Friday.
The report by The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) policy think-tank showed 92 percent of 1,000 Afghan men surveyed in Helmand and Kandahar know nothing of the hijacked airliner attacks on U.S. targets in 2001.
I'm reasonably sure this is nothing that can't be fixed by heavy armor (seriously, has no one at the Pentagon watched the Beast?), some more drone strikes, and some friendly meet and greets with the local government.
PULL. OUT. NOW.
New Study Shows That Tanks Dumped into the Sea Are Five Times More Useful Than Those Now Being Shipped
Jill: American Idiot Watch for Friday, November 19
Congressmean Mica, a man who thinks that government intrusion is bad (unless he wants the government to intrude, that is), wants all pilots to carry an FAA-issued photo ID in addition to the other forms of government issued photo ID that pilots carry.
Yes, all pilots are required to carry government-issued photo ID already, per FAR 61.3. But that makes no nevermind to Rep. Mica. One therefore has to wonder what company is ready to make the IDs and whether they gave him a hefty
bribe campaign contribution.
You can read the rule here. You can comment on the inanity of the rule here.
About those death panels....
…they are in Arizona, and ordered by the GOP legislature and governor.
The only political effort to implement death panels since Obama got his health reform bill passed has been in the state of Arizona. There the Republican-controlled legislature with the approval of GOP Governor Jan "there are headless bodies turning up all over our desert" Brewer has told 98 people waiting for transplants that they must die.
Those 98, who are either poor or uninsurable by private insurance due to pre-existing conditions, need bone marrow, lung, heart, and other forms of transplants. They were told by the state's Medicaid program—Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS—that they qualified for coverage. But, this October 1, AHCCCS said it could not in fact pay for their transplants. Facing a billion-dollar-plus budget deficit, the Arizona legislature cut out all state funding for transplantation retroactively!
This means that people who were told they had a chance at life had the rug pulled out from under them without any warning. The Republican legislature not only acted as a death panel; it chose to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest and most desperate of Arizonians by welshing on a promise.
Just to be clear, the legislature and governor did not say there would be no more transplant funding going forward. They said they are telling those to whom coverage has already been promised to drop dead.
UPDATE: Olbermann has a piece on it. (MSNBC)
Love tends to find a way "Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, announced Thursday that he had witnessed a gay couple get married on a redeye flight from San Francisco to New York as it briefly crossed into Canadian airpace. ... "There was a wedding on my @VirginAmerica flight to New York! The captain flew briefly over Canadian airspace so two gentleman could marry," Mullenweg tweeted."
Fancy Flying John Boehner not subject to death porn tubes or pat-downs