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13 February 2020


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Eisenhower and Nixon were centrists, I agree, the center then was several miles left of where it is now.

I was less than clear with making my point.


"This can be inferred by the rise in 2nd and 3rd jobs among the workforce." Citation in government statistics? Or is this theological?

Hans Ohndorf

US healthcare: In 2010 I found myself in a NYC emergency room with a kidney stone. This stone was subsequently removed. I had health insurance. Subsequently I received an invoice from the hospital: $1800 was my "10% co-pay".
In 2019 I found myself in an emergency room in Germany with a kidney stone. This stone was subsequently removed, also in Germany. The total bill was $1740.
In other words, the cost for the same hospital care was about 10% of what it would have been in the US.
The US health care system is itself a malignancy. As long as price controls are not introduced, it doesn't really matter just how it is organized, publicly or privately.



The center was indeed further left than now, but both of these men were anti-communist and NOT socialist.


Hans Ohndorf

"Subsequently I received an invoice from the hospital: $1800 was my "10% co-pay". In 2019 I found myself in an emergency room in Germany with a kidney stone. This stone was subsequently removed, also in Germany. The total bill was $1740. In other words, the cost for the same hospital care was about 10%" The actual difference in payment by you was $60?


Austalian model of a combination of private health cover and medicare is workable.Better care for more money is the way to go but a base of public car for less fortunate is essential. Medical insurance should be compulsory for all.Combination of medical insurance and zero interest pay back loans for emergencies.
The burden of care must be borne by society.If you do not care for your fellow man you will become him.



What does "medicare" mean in Australia?

blue peacock


The biggest problem with our current healthcare system and which M4A as proposed will not solve is cost. As noted in previous discussions here at SST we spend double compared to any other western country on both a per capita basis and as ratio to GDP and those other countries provide healthcare to all their citizens. The bigger whammy however is that the past 30 year CAGR on cost growth is 9%, which means our healthcare costs have been doubling every 8 years.

Until and unless we get a grip on those costs and their growth rate, healthcare will continue to be a huge political issue.

Eric Newhill

50% of Australian health care is paid for by private insurance and the govt system rations heavily (which is why people that can buy private insurance do buy it and use it). I'm pretty sure that is not what the democrats are promising. They are promising free everything for everyone.


Socialized medicine countries have made peace with the following topics: rationing; futility of treatment; practicing malpractice defensive medicine; and end of life equivalent of death panels.

US refuses to even discuss these topics, let alone incorporate them into a viable health care system that is the equivalent of other socialized medicine countries.

Currently there is no way America can afford the "health care" America demands, since they cannot even define "health care"; let alone understand there are outside limits to what can be done and at what cost.

Other countries that deliver less expensive and better outcomes health care do not have the punishing medical malpractice burden we see in the US. And have more sanguine perceptions of life and death.

Less prone to demanding miracles and you better do everything for mom, or we will sue you for everything you ar worth -which is often the family drama acted out bedside during the last six months of life.

Personally, I hate my "Medicare". I am nothing more than a data point within a large bureaucratic system and my "health" has been reduced to managing unsubstantiated metrics, which are used as unproven and very expensive surrogates for health.

I feel pressured into over-treatment to meet administrative goals, which have nothing to do with my own personal health sensibilities.

The last thing we need is Medicare for All, because it is little more than an unresponsive and grasping cash cow for the medical industrial complex. Which is why it costs more here and offers less than other countries who have made peace with "health care". An have different relationships with "medical malpractice".

Health care is a commodity; not a right. Nor can you ever demand the services of others to deliver it - we abolished slavery decades ago. With fewer going into "medicine" as it is practiced today, you will not get a better system if the curent ridiculous delivery model is expanded any further.

I doubt if there is any consistent definition of what constitutes "health care" even among the few of us here, let alone the other 300 million who demand to get whatever they call "health care" at low cost and high outcomes. "Procedures" performed is not "health care". Numbers covered by "insurance" is not health care.

Outcome efficacies have not even come close to being validated as "health care". Who even dares to mine the accumulated data we now have to definitely assess what works and what does not.

We are demanding a pig in a poke when we talk about "universal health care". Break it down first between lower cost trauma care - good. And this creation of a class of worried-well, along with the extreme lengths we currently go to during the last six months perched on our mortal coil.

Talk among yourselves. (Yes, my background is in health care, law and bioethics - this is a topic of great interest to me. I know it well ..... from the inside.)



In addition to too large a US ground force (I hope you are including the Marine Corps in that too) we need to take a long hard look at the Navy. They've finally owned up to the LCS being incapable, or as Jackie Fisher once put it, "Can't run and can't fight". The USS Ford has cataputs that don't work, making it a floating target; the rail gun boondoggle; and then there is the leadership, or lack thereof, that lead to seven dead and a deststroyer (USS Fitzgerald) out of action for months with what appears to me to be a whole lot of cover up of incompetence in the fleet - a fleet with almost as many admirals as we have ships.


Marine Corpse yes! IMO we should have a foreign policy based on non-intervention that would require about eight division equivalents in both services. Seven in Regular Army and one in USMC. National Guard is additional state militia.


I hope you don't mind if SWMBO and I hang on as long as we can.

Mark K Logan

Re: 1

Are the Republicans deceiving themselves about deficits?

scott s.

With respect to point 10, I don't see that Tulsi Gabbard has any future in Hawaii politics. The Dem establishment has lined up its preferred progressive candidate (Kai Kahele) for CD2. Her Father holds the state Senate seat so she would have to run for Gov or state Rep.

Norbert M Salamon

Colonel I respect your right to hold your stated opinion:

with respect to your comment to plantsman, it should be noted that there is rationing in the USA under present system based on affordability.

On judgement based on experience in Alberta I disagree with your thesis.

It is true that there are a few procedures which are somewhat limited [in Alberta], such as knee, hip etc. replacement - you will get it done if bad enough but you might have to wait a while; also caused by a shortage of doctors who are specialize in those procedures .

Certain procedures are not covered, eg. elective plastic surgery some medicines are not offered under the present Health Care Plan of the Government of Alberta.

On the other hand all emergency requirement are fully dealt with no cost to the recipient.

I do not know about other jurisdictions, but here in Alberta hospitals are constantly being built, equipped with modern equipment of all kinds, MRI CT, mobile x ray etc.

I admit that there is a problem with THE COST OF AGING POPULATION, especially as the % of retirees is rising in relation to general population.

It is true that our taxation is higher that the average USA, but we receive some economic goods for no cost or very little cost compared to USA prevalent rates.

I believe that overall we as a family with 3 [now adult] children we were ahead in comparison to similar families in the USA when counting health care, education child care social assistance [where required].


The UK system uses the QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Years) in which perfect health scores 10 & 0 means you are dead. The NHS looks at any treatment it may provide in terms of how much it costs to raise the patient 1 QALY for one year and sets a cut of point. If the treatment you need costs more than that limit then it will not be available to you under the NHS. The funds for the NHS are collected along with income tax and are not optional.

Just another old guy

I'll bite I guess as these kinds of 'questions' I always find fun/interesting.

1. EVERYONE is delusional about the economy. It is a disaster for large numbers, manageable for some and exceptional for a few. Fragile, unbalanced, unstable and unpredictable.

2. Health care in the US is a disaster of epic proportions and getting worse fast. It is solely operated for the purpose of rent extraction. If I was young I would be in favor of full nationalization. I sort of am anyway, but in reality it does not matter much to me at my age and with the resources I have (it is sort of the 'I've got mine' attitude of those who like the economy I suppose).

3. To a large degree yes, but that was the same policy the R's had towards Obama so to me it is what I would expect. But neither party has been given their marching orders from their masters to do anything else as the rent extraction is proceeding fine from their master's perspectives.

4. Nope. Sorry but that train has finally left the station. They are outraged, of course, at the continuing things they see, but they are also fully immersed at this point in trying to prevent Sanders from winning and that will take pretty much all of their energy and limited intellect.

5. Well first it is a mistake to put Warren in any category with Sanders as they are not at all alike in terms of what they believe in and want to do. Sanders is an actual socialist and Warren is anything but. Sanders is very similar to a moderate Social Democrat from Western Europe and not at all interested in a full command economy - health care, unions, taking care of working class people? Yup he is guilty as charged there.

6. It seems that way all right. But 'why' he seems to be that way I don't understand. He clearly leans anti-Semitic and is a racist so one just wonders. It could be that the Israeli's have the Epstein tapes I suppose.

7. Yes.

8. Hmm...well our entire foreign policy and global strategy are indescribably stupid (well depending on what you are trying to accomplish I suppose), so perhaps shrinking the military is starting from the wrong end of the problem? That being said we are not getting our monies worth and certainly do not need to be spending anywhere near what we are on it.

9. Yes Hillary and her machine are still in charge of the Party and mucking about. I do not agree there is any significant probability that she ends of with the nomination - who does end up with it is a wild guess at this point. They will take Trump before they will take Bernie so killing off Bernie is their goal - after that they are not too concerned about anything but remaining in charge of their half of the ruling party.

10. Hmmm...Trump would not do that unless he thought that in some way she would be under his control. I don't get the impression that she would accede such control and if he hired her thinking she was his it would not take long before she disabused him. It just would not work out.

HK Leo Strauss

#2 Whatever taxes the kids working at Starbucks will pay, it will be a lot less than $26k and $12k claims above. So they have nothing to lose in that voting booth.

#6 I dont see how Trumps policies are exactly congruent with Netyahoo in Syria, Iraq and Iran. If Hillary were President, we’d have a couple of divisions in Syria and yahoo would be undermining her like he did Obama. Trump just needs their Evangelical for another 9 months, and then he can quid-pro-quo a dozen Trump towers in the ME transactionally and let Afghanistan return to the mean.

Otherwise agree.

It will take a populist to defeat a populist, and the only one the left has is Sanders.


re 10. Trump will wisely offer Tulsi Gabbard a job in his next administration. pl"

She'd be an idiot to accept that offer unless clear that in such a position she is always about a second away from being tweeted away and insulted at will - if only for severe crimes like saying 'climate change', wearing a yellow scarf or understanding and laughing about an actual joke lost on Trump.

Utterly unrelated, likely advised by Cummings, Johnson just reshuffled his cabinet. His new iirc justice ministerette is said to intend to limit the power of courts to rule on rule of law things in government actions and laws. Congratulation. That's like an arsonist heading the fire brigade.

I am certain that that sort of view and ambitions is just what Johnson wants in that position - a justice minister hostile to courts. Almost as cunning as having a Scott Pruitt (I want to abolish EPA) 'lording' at the EPA, a "person position combination" certainly liked by Trump



1.  The economy is “deceiving us”, having been pumped up by cheap credit. Nothing is for free, and this too will need to be repaid, which will burst the bubble. The question is whether the crash will happen before or after Nov.
It doesn’t make sense that by saving money, one looses money; to inflation and quantitative easing: = fake growth
2."Medicare for all" already exists already in other industrialized countries without any detrimental effect. Some are even more productive than US (Flanders GDP/person is almost double of US’s). Obviously one can compete to the bottom but this is not what Adam Smith stood for. Under Trump we will get more crony capitalism. Competition is for us mortals while the Banksters het bailed out.
3.  Democratic Party is trying, but miserably failing, to counter Trump. DNC in acquiescing with all Trumps important policies, including his military budget, nominations of federal and supreme court judges, continuation of NDAA/patriot act. They pay lip service to civil rights. I prefer Trump, considering his overt disrespect of the values of this country as opposed to the weasel corporate-DNC (minus progressives), who is basically Alt-Right-in-disguise
4.  The Democrats will again waste their time, looking for trivial non-issues, to impeach Trump again. They should focus on $, his leaking of information to private individuals (regardless of his prerogative to do so) as this allows them to frontrun the market.
5.  Warren is a fake and shouldn’t be compared to Sanders. “central planning” is a chimera and fear of it even more illusory. What Sanders is proposing is FDR/Johnson-lite. But then again maybe some people think FDR was a closet-communist[sic].
6.  Trump wants to win NY. He doesn’t give a damn about “knowledge” of ME foreign policy. As long as he gets the $$$ & votes from Adelson, Singer, Madoff-likes & the rest of the Banksters, he will do anything, whether in the interest of “US national interest”. Currently, large portion of US population has many divergent foreign bonds. Sadly “NATIONAL interest” doesn’t exists anymore, regardless of the Oath of Allegiance. The latter either counts for all or it will be for none.
7.  Taliban will take over most of Afghanistan, excluding North & North-West; if/when US leaves. It won’t be a peaceful nor immediate transition. The usual tribal warfare with switching alliances and varying degrees of military success will lead to more shedding of Afghan blood, for another 2 decades. Afghan “national” unity will remain a non-existent concept.
8.  US ground forces are too small to cover all the ambiguous goals of the Imperial Court. Either a more realistic “America First” (for real instead of slogan) goal needs to be adopted or the army needs to expand. Why not emulate Rome and have all citizens become soldiers, in the summer, to conquer the world. 
9. Hillary’s sole ambition is be be the “First Female POTUS” and if everything else, including DNC or for that matter US, needs to be destroyed to achieve her goal, then so be it. She doesn’t hate Trump, she loves the “precious”, ring.
10.  Trump is an unwise tempestuous self-absorbed, agreement incapable, and will not be able to collaborate or build a long term relationship with Tulsi. Hopefully, Gabbard doesn’t fall in the same trap as Tillerson, Matis ...


Am I alone in believing that the only reason we're in Afghanistan is to be a fly in the ointment to Chinese
belt-and-road plans?


1. I have given my position regarding the economy. Look at federal budget deficits since 2008, not to mention the subsidies to the financial sector through fed repos and artificially low fed interest rates.

That's the "Awesome Obama/Trump Economy(tm)" in a nutshell, right there. (Note my words carefully here.) If the economy were so healthy, none of these supports would be necessary.

What a Sanders or maybe a Warren *might* be able to do is redirect *some* of those spending flows. Sad to say, I doubt that there will be any guillotines in Central Park earmarked for Chris Matthews.

2. In the ME, it is not quite true that Trump not ignorant of anything other than the Israeli right wing's wishes and desires. He *also* kowtows to the Saudi tyrants.

Admittedly, if push came to shove, I suspect that Trump would favor Israel over the Saudi barbarians.

3. In any peace deal with the Taliban, the present Afghani government will collapse before the wheels are up on the last US plane out of Bagram.

Unfortunately, the Islamicists and Saudis of the world will spin this as a win, and it will not require much imagination to take their claims seriously.

Team D and neocons will wail piteously about the fate of women under the new Taliban government They also become internet experts on Hazaras, Tajiks and others.

Again, unfortunately, many of these horror stories will have a solid basis in fact. Let's not kid ourselves. However, the alternative (eternal war to prop up a corrupt, brutal and incompetent puppet government that enjoys an ever-dwindling support and controls an ever-shrinking patch of territory) is even worse.

4. I strongly suspect that you are correct as regards HRC. Lady Macbeth gone Lady Macbeth. She can't just retire to a nice castle by a loch somewhere and spend her remaining days puttering around the garden and spoiling her grandbairns.

HRC has to plot and scheme, sure as we have to breathe oxygen.

5. Trump is not going to offer Tulsi anything. The non-interventionist Trump that you voted for in 2016 is never going to show up. Obama loyalists spent eight years making excuse after excuse for the man, even as he betrayed them over and over. The hopey changey guy they voted for in 2008 never did put in an appearance, even if he offered an occasional glimmer of hope. Trump is more of the same.

Even if by some miracle Tulsi were appointed, she'd be marginalized or out very quickly. I've seen trout stream mayfly hatches with a longer life expectancy than Trump administration appointees.



Whenever someone says "Israel made the dessert bloom," they are bassiclly trumpeting their ignorance of Palestine before Zionism. Even noted Arabist Ariel Sharon (snarc) said the Palestinians were great farmers.

The "dessert bloom canard is second only to the lie of "a land without a people." The people were already there.

Terence Gore

as regard to #9 Why be president when you could be Vice President in Chief?

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