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09 November 2012


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Here's the interesting thing I've heard in this dimension. In Japan, medical services and medications are much cheaper compared to US precisely because of business reasons--the competition is so stiff that there is a huge downward pressure on prices. The trouble in US medicine (and also education) always struck me as a problem of a subsidized, government protected oligopoly that actively curtails competition. It's about the worst of all possible worlds.


No wonder the CIA is so screwed up. Many marriages may end in divorce but most Americans aren't in a position where emotional manipulation may influence them to make decisions detrimental to the security of the country. How many adulterers promoted sycophants rather than competent people because the former new how to manipulate the boss? How many such promotions does it take to damage an organization?

FB Ali

In Canada the health care premium one pays depends on one's income. In Ontario, if taxable income is below $20,000 you pay NOTHING. The maximum anyone pays is $900 per annum for a taxable incomwe of $200,600 or more.

Irrespective of how much you pay (or don't) everyone is entitled to the same level of care, and gets it!


I believe that, in addition to a potential general court-martial, that GEN Petraeus could also face administrative action, includng non-judicial punishment. He could also be reduced in grade to LTGEN for retirement purposes, if the Sec Army so determines.


Isn't it illegal to expose an undercovers agent?


"They need to grasp the idea that the sons and daughters of today's Latino immigrants can be made into conservative Americans if a sincere effort is made to do so."

Being a latin american myself I would say that if this is the only alternative for the survival of conservatism in America, then white americans with any sense of the worth of their people would better secede. You have the wisdom and the courage, you still have vast lands, you have a set of political principles that is way above in ingenuity and timelessness than anything ever produced by latin americans and it works for you, but only for you.

Bill Wade

Ron Paul made the difference in this election.




She's a major in the army reserve? oof. I wonder what the repercussions of that might be. pl


and Senator Finstein said that Pres.Obama should not have acccepted his resignation right away... and she is on the intelligence committee....???


It's called representation.

Alba Etie

Jeb Bush /Chuck Hagel 2016
or maybe Chuck Hagel / Jeb Bush 2016
Many of us in Texas always said we should have run Jeb first - taht he was the Smart Bush Scion ..


Bill is on to something, the GOP didn't just turn off Latinos. Remember how they responded to all those new, first-time, young voters brought in by Ron Paul? With ill disguised contempt, condescension and sometimes outright thuggery.

The GOP basically ran on a platform of appealing to older voters, the very rich and their supporters, and war-hawks.

Not surprisingly, the neocons ignore this aspect as the lecture the GOP about changing demographics, but why don't more non-neocons talk about this? It was pretty apparent, Ron Paul folks, many first-time GOP voters, said they were not going to vote if the GOP opted for a continuation of the Bush legacy. Many of them indicated that they would support Obama as a lesser of 2 evils.

How many young non-Latino voters, who don't want WW3 with Iran, and want to reign in Pentagon spending, will be turned off by Marc Rubio?


One of my neighbors growing up was a fellow named Lang Washburn. I never got to know him in any serious sense but, like many in the community, I was the beneficiary of his boundless personal generosity. He was an excellent fellow, a WW2 Vet, a philanthropist and also Ike's campaign manager. When it came time to vote I thought, what would Lang do? His party was the party of HW Bush and he was uncomfortable with the radicalism that overtook Washington in the 90s. I can't imagine Lang filling in the bubble next to Mitt Romney. That made me feel better about my choice.


There is the stereotype that Europeans are risk averse while Americans are risk-taking. There is probably some truth to that. Republicans often refer to the values self-sufficiency and individual responsibility. They also say a lot that America has the best healthcare in the world. That is perhaps even true. If one can afford it.

Their utterances become obscene if directed at people who, as a result of illness can't work, have their treatment costs eat up their savings and, say, find themselves forced into foreclosure.

Appeals to self-sufficiency don't fix cancer or pre-existing conditions, not does individual responsibility ensure that one can cover treatment costs for major diseases, or long term care for ailing of family members.

http://tinyurl.com/87guocd [pdf]

But hey, that is all socialism we're speaking about. The magic of the free market and more individual responsibility will fix all of this. And if not, well, there is predestination for some, and for the rest, there probably still is the grace of faith healing ...


I'm writing this from a cheap Ramada in Hays, KS. I travel and work all over the rural central, mostly northern midwest (Dakotas to Oklahoma to Ohio), interacting with farmers, small-town people, other worker bees. The stereotype of closet racist, religionist flyovers is a gross miscalculation. The young people here are basically as socially liberal as anywhere in the nearby big city. If (among the young) there is a lingering racism, it is based on unfamiliarity with the actual culture (rather than TV) and (don't minimize this) the "my girlfriend left me and is living in Des Moines with some black guy" syndrome. They are poor, and don't know how to "work the system", so taxes are a complete cost with no benefit. Same with health care. There are no hospitals out here, or dentists, so there is no health care. That is why they resist "health care reform", none to be had anyway. If they could get an education, they wouldn't be living out in the sticks, so they are stuck in crap jobs and resent it. This does not include the construction crews or other transient workers who make good wages, often union, building the infrastructure and spend their money in the hotels (run by Indians and Pakistanis often, for some reason), bars and restaurants where the locals work. They may not always be educated, but they aren't blind, and especially in Ohio and Michigan, they realize they have been getting the shaft. The closed auto and steel plants (and there are tons of parts plants and job shops spread out in these rural towns) are just too much reminder of a way of life with a steady job that is now not available to them.

That is the young people.

The older people (boomer and up) are more traditional in their views, but there are also varying degrees of "live and let live". They have dealt with Romneys their entire life, they are the slick smoothies who ripped them off on that $500K tractor lease, or repossessed their brother's farm in 1982. They despise them, and the feeling is mutual. They look at Mitt Romney and see a "man" who has never done a single honest day's work in his life. Meanwhile, Romney looks down his nose at them. He succeeded, they didn't, case closed. If they voted for him, they did so because of his being against gay marriage.

So who is the GOP constituent now? The business-2-business sales man. The guy who is pissed off in the hotel breakfast room if the TV is on any other station except FOX. They listen to Rush on their way to one PP demo to another, and slap each other on the back over how much better they are than the field hands. They looooovveeee Mitt Romney, Mitt is the slickest of the sharpies and that is what they worship and respect. They think they are typical of the people because they SELL to people, but it's an echo chamber. Most folks, even in the heart of rural midwest, can't stand these arrogant SOBs.

And that is a damn small power base.

FB Ali

Thank you for this illuminating description of a reality one doesn't get from the media, or even learned books!


I remember (from somewhere during this election season) a comment to the effect that, "The biggest problem with having Mitt as the Republican candidate, is that he reminds people of the guy who laid them off."


Japan has universal healthcare, negotiations with the health ministry and physicians determine the price of health services and medicines. Maybe the pharmacudeicals compete to undercut each other below a predetermined hgih set by the gomint.


Thanks for posting.



What a great description! Thanks for sharing it. It is so, so true.


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