What’s best for Ben

Senator Ben Nelson has made it clear to his Democrat leaders in the Senate that he will not work at all to fix Medicare or Social Security.


Because it would hurt his chances for re-election by scaring senior citizens.

Medicare is going broke, collapsing the system and, along with Social Security, bankrupting America. But Nelson won’t touch it because he can’t garner votes from seniors without demagoguing the Medicare issue against Republicans.

This is all confirmed by a liberal Washington Post writer, who tells how Nelson is utterly panicked about losing the senior vote in his re-election bid.

Well, at least we have confirmed who Ben Nelson is putting first.


And in case you were wondering whether Nebraska liberals were still standing with their standard bearer Ben Nelson, they are. The kids at Nebraska’s #2 liberal blog (the NNN) confirm that they “owe” Nelson for supporting the liberal agenda over the past number of years.

You know, for things like, being the deciding vote on ObamaCare, giving liberal Sonia Sotomayor a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and even voting for Chris Dodd – Barney Frank Wall Street bill which placed burdensome and even job-killing regulations on businesses and job creators.

And as we have said, yes, Nelson has come through on the Obama agenda time after time. If Obama is your man, so is Ben Nelson.

(Oh and “Ronaldo” at the NNN. Just so you know, the leader of Nebraska’s #1 liberal blog thinks you are a “coward” for not giving out your last — or real — name. Just so you know.)


And then there was yesterday’s “independent” report released by Friends of the Earth, written by a UNL professor on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The report gave several what they call “worst case scenarios” if the pipeline leaks.

The report mainly focuses on the idea of a pipeline break at a river crossing — such as on the Platte — that could send bad oil stuff to Omaha. (Hint, hint from FotE, YOU should get involved in this Omahans!!!)

But here is the gigantic fallacy in this whole argument about bad pipes and stuff flowing down river:

There ALREADY IS an oil pipeline that goes across the Platte River. Heck, it’s even named the Keystone.

And that pipeline is older than any new one would be. And won’t have the newer technology of the new pipe. Or the increased precautions.

So why don’t they call for THAT ONE to be shut down?

Well, because that one does no’t carry the so-called “dirty-oil” from Canada that the enviros hate. See, they are not really concerned about an oil spill, or any possible danger from a busted pipe. They have an agenda against the tar-sands oil and the pipeline is just their convenient way of trying to stop it.


And while we are on it, the argument that the tar sands oil is “more corrosive” so the pipe is just going to burst like a toilet-paper straw is also idiotic.

Yes, idiotic.

Why? Well, let’s put aside the numerous studies that have determined that the tar-sands oil is NOT corrosive to steel. And let’s put aside the completely false assertion from the report that the new pipeline would be more corrosive because it is underground. And let’s put aside the fact that TransCanada IS complying with all federal regulations for the quality and strength of the metal in the pipe.

Instead, let us pretend that there are NO regulations and TransCanada is allowed to use whatever type of pipe they want.

Would they EVER use something they thought would break???

Guess what folks? They aren’t building a sewer pipe. They are transporting black gold. And they want to keep the gold. Any gold that spills out means less gold for them. So they are going to take every precaution possible to keep the gold in the pipe.

Which only makes all the sense in the world, right? Right.

But the liberal enviros who are “against the pipeline” are really just against the Canadaian oil. Heck, Rush (the Canadian band, not the radio guy) could ferry the oil in their tour bus from Alberta to Houston, (probably while playing “Fly by Night”) with the windows duct taped shut, and the Bold Nebraskans would still hate it.

Which we all understand, right? Right.


Oh, and thanks to everyone who has made their Amazon purchases via Leavenworth Street’s Amazon links!


  1. RWP says:

    Actually, Sweeper, the original Keystone does carry tar sands oil.

    Which makes the ‘river crossing’ study all the sillier, of course.

  2. Anonymous says:

    SS, in the real world things aren’t so black and white. There’s such a thing as a cost-benefit ratio. TransCanada is not going to spend a fortune to build an unbreakable pipeline. Instead they’ll keep the costs down as much as possible and maybe be a bit optimistic on their estimates of failure (cost benchmarks must be met, you know). Don’t you think BP believed their Gulf operation would never fail?

    As to the “independence” of that professor’s report, I would trust it much more than any report TransCanada issues. They have a huge financial incentive to get the project approved. From what I’ve read so far, the professor wasn’t even paid for his report.

  3. Kortezzi says:

    So, old Ben & the Democrats to think they “have an advantage” on Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security.

    They acknowledge these entitlements are running out of money and driving our national debt skyward…but they’re OK with it! Since it provides that political advantage (namely, the ability to win votes from gullible math-deficient Americans who are prone to demagoguing scare rhetoric).

    To these shameless Democrats, bankrupting the US treasury is a small price to pay for the power and glory of getting elected to Congress or the Presidency!

  4. RWP says:

    Friends of the Earth released the report, according to both the Vancouver Sun and Omaha World Herald. The Lincoln Journal Star omitted that small detail. How the report was funded remains to be seen. Research isn’t free.

    What both major Nebraska newspapers also failed to mention was that on Friday, the independent Canadian Energy Research Institute released a major report on the impact of Keystone, Keystone XL,, and other major pipeline projects on the Canadian and US economy. Canada would of course make most of the gains, but if Keystone XL is not built, the report estimates the US economy would lose $148 billion, and 1.6 million person years of employment, amounting to 70-80,000 jobs over the period 2017 – 2035.

    Sweeper abhors linkage, but you can find the report easily at ceri.ca.

  5. Oh Mander says:

    Lee Terry breaks an oath to co-sponser a bill that reduces Social Security benefits and Ben Nelson gets the hit piece?

  6. Oh Mander says:

    And Kortezzi – Your post contains the same “scare rhetoric” that you apparently deplore. The idea that Social Security is “bankrupting our treasury” shows just how easily fooled you are. Fact is, only minor changes are necessary to keep Social Security solvent for the next several decades. Here is a quick fix – raise the taxable income cap from the current level of $104,000 to a level that is in line with historic levels as they relate to the value of the dollar. The current cap is relatively low, outdated, and a big reason why the program is starting to hemorage cash. Before you start freaking out about the “tax increases” and “socialist entitlements” and the like, keep in mind that this is not an entitlement program, it is something that people have been paying into for decades, and therefore something that they have earned, not something that the government just gives away. Keep paying into the system and it will be there when it’s time for you to benefit from it. Slashing benefits now is unfair to those that have been paying into it all these years.

  7. Dennis says:

    I’ve been authorized by Ronaldo to make the following offer to Street Sweeper. If S.S. will fully identify himself/herself, Ronaldo will do the same. Deal?

  8. RWP says:

    So if we raise the cap, can we raise the maximum benefit? After all, if we’re going to pay more in, we deserve to take more out, since it’s not an entitlement program, right?

  9. Oh Mander says:

    Obviously it is not simply a “you get exactly what you put in” system. Few things are. Unfortunately for high earners, some of what they pay into the system will go to those less fortunate. Luckily their high-paying jobs will help bridge that gap. Some may say it’s not fair, but hey, it’s necessary to keep millions of seniors out of poverty, and that’s fine with me. Look deep into your heart and just cut the effing check!

  10. Oh Mander says:

    You call it socialism; I call it helping people that need it most. Nobody is going broke paying social security taxes, and nobody is going from rags to riches off of the program’s benefits. On some small level, sure, it’s a necessary form of socialism, but I prefer my definition. What exactly are you proposing as an alternative?

  11. Nebraska Liberal says:

    Please don’t assume that Kyle Michaelis aka Ronaldo speaks for any of us true Nebraska liberals. The same goes for Mrs. Kleeb. I personally doubt that either one of them have more than a couple of dozen followers, which is hardly a mandate for them to speak on the behalf of anyone.

  12. Dennis says:

    The GOP plan to “fix” Medicare is the deeply flawed Ryan/House GOP Medicare/tax cut plan. If the Ryan plan is so great, why doesn’t the GOP propose that it apply to all seniors right now instead of those under the age of 55. If the Ryan plan is so wonderful, why haven’t Stenberg & Fischer endorsed it? Inquiring minds want to know.

  13. Macdaddy says:

    Oh Mander: Obama submitted some proposals to fix Social Security? I was not aware of that. I thought he and Harry reid said all the entitlement programs should be untouched. He certainly has not made any attempt to avert the coming meltdown. You may have some valid fixes. Your side is not interested in them.

    Dennis: The reason there needs to be a lag time is simple: give people time to prepare for the changes to the program. The problem with any entitlement program is that people modify their behavior accordingly and once it is firmly in place, changing it back takes time and effort. Hence Obama’s rush to get Obamacare in place before judges can rule it unconstitutional and Congress can change it back. Just look at the difficulty in reversing the lightbulb ban. (So much for Democrats being the champions of the poor, especially when they now have to cough up $5 a bulb.) If you are going to make fundamental changes to a system, you need to give people time.

    RWP: Since we know that even accepting a free pen from Big Oil disqualifies any and all of one’s pronouncements against global whatever or green whatever, you are correct to note that leaving out the fact that Friends of the Earth bought and paid for the results of this study. That invalidates it every bit as much as a report released by TransCanadian.

  14. Anonymous says:

    MacDaddy, I don’t know if you are just ignorant or purposely lying. Obama has proposed changing the COLA adjustment to reduce increases in SS payments due to inflation. And no where have I read that “Friends of the Earth bought and paid for the results of this study”. You just made that up. Releasing a report does not mean they paid for it.

  15. RWP says:

    It is very unusual then that Stansbury released the study through FotE. Academics do studies all the time, and we know how to release them and get them published (though I doubt Stansbury could have published this particular study in a peer-reviewed journal.). Releasing an independent study through an advocacy group that has been virulently fighting the Keystone XL proposal strikes me as unnecessarily risking the taint of illegitimacy.

    Why not reserve a room at the Union and hold a press-conference? It’s free, and you can prime the press with an advance copy of the study and your CV. When we released the CEO study on preferential admissions at UNL Law School, that’s exactly what we did.

  16. Charles says:

    Dennis, one of the reasons the delay on senior citizens is because of the expected/known scare tactics that will be employed otherwise. See ben nelson today, “checks might not be written”. Which by law is false.

  17. Kortezzi says:

    To Oh Mander and Dennis (and other assorted bedwetting commie pinko liberals):

    It’s a scare tactic for Obama to say he “can’t guarantee” that SS checks, military payroll checks, etc. won’t get sent out on August 3rd without a debt-ceiling increase. All he has to do is prioritize those over cutting paychecks to government bureaucrats. He & Ben Nelson would rather demonize Republicans than do that.

    It’s not a scare tactic when I point out that SS, Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupting the Treasury – – it’s the simple truth, and we should be scared. Go read the Simpson-Bowles report that Pres. Barky Obummer asked for, and then totally ignored. Go read the chief actuary reports on Social Security’s “trust fund” that contains nothing but IOUs from the Treasury. Go read the GAO reports that show most Federal departments can’t even produce accurate financial statements. Imagine your worst case scenario – – then multiply it by 6.

    Our national debt has risen from under $10 tril. to over %14.3 tril. on Obama’s watch, the fastest rate of increase in US history. AND WE HAVE MORE LIKE $90 TRILLION OF TOTAL DEBT if you include the negative actuarial value of SS, Medicare, Medicaid, the student loan programs and other off-budget Federal guarantees.

    Absent adoption of the Ryan plan or other serious entitlement program reforms, the US will go the way of Greece – – and remember, there’s nobody big enough to bail the US out.

  18. Anonymostly says:

    Apparently, Ronaldo is incapable of logging on and making a few key strokes to issue his challenge to Sweeper himself, so he must send his errand boy, Dennis, to do it for him. That’s pretty weak.

  19. Dennis says:

    Macdaddy, You take the position that the Ryan plan doesn’t apply to those over the age of 55 because “it gives people time to prepare for the changes to the program.” The “changes” you mention is that the Ryan will require seniors will pay thousands of dollars more in additional medical expenses every year and the Ryan plan brings back pre-existing condition clauses. That’s why the Ryan plan doesn’t apply to those over the age of 55. Moreover, the GOP desperately depends upon the votes of seniors to win elections these days. There is no point in angering one of your most reliable voting blocs by imposing thousands of dollars of additional medical expenses on them. Does anybody know when (if ever) Stenberg & Fischer will take a position on the Ryan plan?

  20. Dennis says:

    Anonymostly, Ronaldo’s offer still stands. Apparently, S.S. has rejected the offer. If S.S. should change his/her mind, Ronaldo is willing to disclose his identity. How can you justify S.S.’s continuing anonymity while criticizing Ronaldo for keeping his identity a secret (for now?)

  21. RWP says:


    You know as well as I do that there is no way Medicare can continue in its present form. An entirely open-ended medical insurance program with no co-pays serving an intrinsically unhealthy population will inevitably mean ever-increasing expenses. You can spend infinite dollars on your own health care. Steve Jobs almost has. And if you’re not paying anything out of pocket, why not demand the best?

    There are three possible alternatives. One is to have some bureaucrat control access to health care, and restrict expensive treatments, or treatments for very sick people. The second is to reduce reimbursement rates so more doctors won’t accept Medicare. This is what we’re doing at the moment, to an extent. The third is to make patients responsible for some fraction of their care, so they have an incentive to limit their demands to what is really necessary. I’ve seen the first in operation in the UK, and it’s ugly. The third seems most consistent with a free society.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sure, RWP, sounds great. What if a retiree is barely getting by on SS? The choice is whether to eat or see a doctor. You then run into a situation that many uninsured find themselves in. A small problem may turn into a big one if a diagnosis is delayed. I’m sure that you could find an example of someone overusing Medicare benefits, but that does not mean that this is the norm. We need to hold and restrain the rising costs of health care. Obama’s health care plan has a cost-control panel that was to determine the best, most cost-effective treatments, but your side twisted that into a “death panel” for political gain. That was helpful.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Kortezzi’s posts identify him/her as a fool. Do you really think your posts help the discussion? Sure won’t sway anyone to your side. By the way, you are right that the SS trust fund is a bunch of IOUs. So is every other Treasury bill and bond issued by the Federal Government. Considering the low rate they are paying, I’d say that the world consider them safe investments.

  24. Dennis says:

    RWP, You call for patients to “be responsible for some fraction of their care.” Seniors already have significant out of pocket costs – that’s why they pay for supplement insurance policies out of their own pockets. The Ryan plan would significantly increase those out of pocket costs and bring back pre-existing condition clauses. That would impose a new and harsh system of rationing for seniors based upon the ability (or inability) to pay for care. I would also note that the Ryan plan raises the age of eligibility for Medicare to 67. Has Ryan or Bruning (or anybody) told us how seniors will be able to purchase decent health insurance at a reasonable cost in light of their myriad pre-existing conditions?

  25. RWP says:

    Obama’s health care plan has a cost-control panel that was to determine the best, most cost-effective treatments, but your side twisted that into a “death panel” for political gain. That was helpful.

    My grandmother in the UK was denied treatment for pneumonia by the NHS, on cost-containment grounds. She died. Does this give me license to call it a ‘death panel’?

    NICE, the ever-so-Orwellianly-named British body that judges ‘cost effectiveness’ of treatment, denies a substantial number of drugs in routine use in the US for cancer treatment, because they’re expensive. Not coincidentally, our five year cancer survival rates are vastly above theirs.

    And let’s recall the man Obama appointed to head Medicare/Medicaid, who, as it happens, is a specialist in ‘cost-containment’, said “I am a romantic about the NHS. I love it.”

    He should try reading the English newspapers.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The US is not the UK, so it’s not fair to compare a proposed cost-control plan to an existing one. Obama’s panel would be charged with finding the most effective treatments, not denying all treatment to a class of people.

  27. RWP says:

    As a scientist, RWP should know better than to use anecdotal evidence to support an argument.

    BWAHAHAHAHA! You’re kidding, right? Because I have direct personal knowledge of something, I can’t use it! Instead I should quote you something I read!

  28. RWP says:

    The US is not the UK, so it’s not fair to compare a proposed cost-control plan to an existing one.

    Sure. We shouldn’t consider control panels as they actually exist. We should consider them as we wish them to be. Pure hopenchange.

    Obama’s panel would be charged with finding the most effective treatments, not denying all treatment to a class of people.

    So if there’s a 90% effective drug at $10 a dose, and a 91% effective drug at $10,000 a dose, they’ll choose the 91% effective drug.

    Dream on.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Do you even know what anecdotal evidence is? From Wikipedia: “Evidence, which may itself be true and verifiable, used to deduce a conclusion which does not follow from it, usually by generalizing from an insufficient amount of evidence. For example “my grandfather smoked like a chimney and died healthy in a car crash at the age of 99” does not disprove the proposition that “smoking markedly increases the probability of cancer and heart disease at a relatively early age”. In this case, the evidence may itself be true, but does not warrant the conclusion.”

  30. Anonymous says:

    RWP, you’re making assumptions based on your ideological or personal leanings, not on any facts. You already know the details of Obama’s cost-control panel when it doesn’t even exist yet? No denial of treatment has been proposed.

  31. Anonymostly says:

    Dennis, you completely missed the point, which is no surprise. The point was that there’s nothing stopping this “Ronaldo” feller from signing on over here himself. He can do similar to what I just did and type “Ronaldo” in the blank where it asks for “name.” Then he can type out his challenge to Sweeps. And then he just figures out what the three red letters are and, voila, he can issue the challenge himself.

    Instead, he sends you over here to issue the challenge for him. Weird.

  32. Anonymostly says:

    “We need to hold and restrain the rising costs of health care. Obama’s health care plan has a cost-control panel that was to determine the best, most cost-effective treatments, but your side twisted that into a ‘death panel’ for political gain. That was helpful.”Oh, what a bunch of fatuous nonsense.

    1. As if your side is above creatively naming things they object to for purposes of political gain.
    2. The way your Pres described it, the death panel was supposed to “bend the cost curve downward” by deciding who was worthy of what treatment. Sounds like a pretty apt description.
    3. What way, besides denying care, was the Obama plan supposed to bend this cost curve downward? (Hint: this is a trick question. The answer is “none.”)

  33. RWP says:

    That my grandmother was denied treatment by the NHS and died as a result is not intended to be statistical evidence of anything. It is hard, irrefutable evidence that cost control by government run health care systems kills real people.

    The London Times ran a wonderful series recently on problems with the NHS, which they’re busily trying to decentralize, free from political pressure, and put in the hands of health care providers. Read it.

    Refusing to learn from their mistakes, we’re moving in the opposite direction.

  34. RWP says:

    The universal leftist response, when a pet scheme has failed for the 99th time, is to claim that the next time they’ll get it right. Marxism isn’t a consistently failed system, you see, it’s just never been implemented correctly. And so we should ignore all past experience of cost control panels and just believe that with a little magic hopenchange, they will get it right this time.

    “Ihr seid alle Idioten zu glauben, aus Eurer Erfahrung etwas lernen zu können, ich ziehe es vor, aus den Fehlern anderer zu lernen, um eigene Fehler zu vermeiden.”

    You are all idiots to believe that you can learn something from your experience. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others, to avoid my own mistakes,

    Otto von Bismarck — now he was a conservative!

  35. Lee "millhouse" Terry says:

    I support not taking a vote on anything until the election is over.. Tough choices are NOT good in election years

  36. Macdaddy says:

    RWP, Paul Krugman said that those stories about the horrors at NHS were false.

    Why do you Lefties hate old people so much? Medicare itself has said that it is going bankrupt and will not exist as we know it in 2024. That means that everyone younger than about 80 is going to get screwed. Obama has no plan for it. Even his vaunted Obamacare didn’t change the time line, and that’s even with an increase in Medicare taxes of 4 points on people making over $250,000.

    Here’s the problem with The One: he talks a good game but has no follow through. He really could care less. “I passed Porkulus. The economy is fixed. Why is everyone complaining? I passed Obamacare. Health care is fixed. Why is everyone complaining? Why can’t I just golf in peace? Why are you people bugging me about the debt ceiling? I told you what to do. Leave me alone!”

  37. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 4:55: A senior would have to choose between food and healthcare? Not hardly. It’s more likely he’d have to choose between food and light bulbs.

  38. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 1:00: I must have missed the press release that Obama submitted a bill proposing COLA adjustments to SS. Or that he was working with a Congressman to submit a bill. Or he told a Congressman to submit a bill. Talk, talk, talk. That’s all Obama does. Smartest President in History, folks!

  39. RWP says:

    RWP, Paul Krugman said that those stories about the horrors at NHS were false.

    Thanks, Macdaddy. I guess Grannie was asphyxiated by vicious Fauxnews propaganda. .

  40. Dennis says:

    The British NHS – like all health care systems – isn’t perfect. Nevertheless, it enjoys strong support in Britain. Recently, Tory P.M. David Cameron went out of his way to assure the people of the U.K. that he wasn’t going to implement what they call an “American style” semi-privatized system in Britain. Similarly, Margaret Thatcher assured the British people that the NHS would be safe in a Tory Administration. If “socialized medicine” is so awful, why don’t the people of Britain, France, Germany et al. rise up and vote in politicians who will dismantle these universal health care systems?

  41. Anonymostly says:

    They said if I voted for John McCain that the U.S. image in the Arab world would decline. And they were right!

    Use the google and look for the recent Zogby poll. Now, Dennis will probaby claim that Zogby is a real right-wing polster. (cough cough.) Be that as it may, the Zogby poll find U.S. image in the Arab world is now WORSE than it was under that cowboy Bush.

  42. Dennis says:

    Anonymostly, I figured that conservatives would be pleased that the U.S. is now less popular in the Arab world. During the Bush Administration, conservatives took it as a bit of a compliment that the U.S. was unpopular overseas after the invasion of Iraq. Then in 2008/09, conservatives told us it was a bad thing that Obama was popular in countries outside of the U.S. Now I guess it’s a bad thing for the U.S. to be unpopular abroad. What is it? What do conservatives want?

  43. RWP says:

    You’re being unfair to us, Dennis. Obama has a higher approval rating among registered Republicans in the US than he has with ordinary citizens in the mideast. We’re his friends, relatively speaking.

    Grovelling to King Abdullah, pulling the rug out under Mubarak, and then running a half-serious ‘kinetic’ campaign against Qaddafi doesn’t seem to have won him the love we in the GOP have for him.

  44. Anonymous says:

    RWP (7:44), because one health care plan has a negative feature ALL following ones must have the same negative feature? That’s rigid thinking at its finest. You conservatives like to complain that universities are overflowing with liberals, but your type of thinking is mutually exclusive with the ideals of a university. Here’s a possible explantion: “Brain activity linked to political beliefs, neuroscientists say. …found that those holding conservative views tend to have larger amygdale, the almond-shaped organ in the center of the brain that’s linked to fear, anxiety and emotion; and a smaller-than-average anterior cingulate, a region of the brain linked to sorting through conflicting information and maintaining a more optimistic outlook. The opposite was true for subjects identified as liberal.”

  45. curb says:

    Q. Does Dennis have socialized medicine? Come on, Dennis, what puts a band aid on your ouchy? Blue Cross? Medicare? The local VA? The Open Door Mission? Or do you pray for healing and apply tree moss?

    Frankly, socialized medicine seems to me less of a problem than that socialized medicine is run by federal goverment, which so far hasn’t impressed me with its goofy management ineptitude. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of goverment healthcare will tell you the caregivers are fine but it is the bean counters, bureaucrats and self serving pols in goverment who make you routinely wait six months to get a goverment healthcare appointment.


  46. Dennis says:

    Curb, Why does so-called “socialized medicine” remain popular in other 1st world industrialized countries? If “socialized medicine” is so bad in places like the U.K., why don’t they throw the rascals out and implement a U.S. style semi-privatized system?

  47. Anonymous says:

    curb, do you think the bean counters and bureaucrats in the private insurance industry are better than those in the government? If so, you aren’t paying attention. Private insurance has a strong incentive to deny claims thereby increasing company profits. Don’t you read the stories concerning people whose policies are canceled for spurious reasons when they make a claim?

  48. Macdaddy says:

    Dennis, this conservative would like Obama to remove his gargantuan cranium from the distal terminus of his alimentary canal.

    How’s that, Sweeper? 🙂

  49. Macdaddy says:

    Obamacare was never designed to save money or improve care. It was only designed to gain control over health care. Once that happens, when the “Independent” Payment Advisory Board speaks, you will no longer speak. When some dolt from Harvard says that obese kids should be placed in foster care for their own good, IPAB takes notice of such expert opinion and acts accordingly. Of course, the hypocrisy of the side that screams “Keep government out of my uterus!” when they are screaming “Get the government into your prostate exam!” would be hilarious if it weren’t about to come true. Thanks to Ben Nelson.

  50. Anonymous says:

    MacDaddy, your rants are just supporting my post at 10:07. Irrational fear is destroying your ability to think rationally.

  51. MacDaddy says:

    Yawn. Whatever. Were you tired of calling conservatives racist, misogynist, homophobic, puppy-hating, planet destroyers so now you’re trying the pseudo-science angle? Get a real argument, will ya?

  52. RWP says:

    AnonCow at 10:07: Health care cost control can restrict one of two things; the cost of medicine per treatment, or the number of treatments. In other words, it can either restrict the kinds of treatments you get, or the number you get. Math is one of those darn rigid things that libs hate, because you can’t waffle your way out of 2 + 2 = 4.

    As for your little display of pop neuroanatomy, if you’re going to cut and paste from a newspaper, find one that can spell ‘amygdala’ correctly. The plural is ‘amygdalae’. Yep, more of that rigid thinking. In fact, the journalist you cribbed from is ignorant in several respects. The amygdala is responsible for both positive and negative conditioning, and also the consolidation of experience into long-term memory. If I believed the crap you posted, which I don’t, the conclusion I’d draw is that the results show that conservatives, with their larger amygdala, are better than liberals at learning from experience.

    (Gosh, isn’t that what I was saying earlier?)

    By the way, individuals with larger amygdalae also have larger and more complex social networks, make more accurate social judgements, and have higher emotional intelligence.

  53. Anonymous says:

    RWP, you missed one. Health care cost control can also prevent payment for treatments deemed ineffective. That’s where money can be saved. Posting 2 + 2 = 4 does not bolster your argument.

  54. RWP says:

    RWP, you missed one. Health care cost control can also prevent payment for treatments deemed ineffective.

    That would be a decrease in the number of treatments, no?

    If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that what treatments are effective is a often a matter of scientific controversy. Here, cost does not yet factor into these considerations. In the UK (and in other socialized health care systems), however, they use something called a ‘quality-adjusted life year’, and since, for example, Avastin used to treat metastatic carcinomas is too expensive per QALY, you can’t get it from the NHS.

    A QALY is a year in perfect health. So if you’re maybe old and have some chronic conditions, a year of your life will not be worth a full QALY. This inevitably means that some people’s lives are ranked higher than others. The NHS will not approve a treatment if it costs more than $30,000 – $45,000 per QALY. Better be careful not to get a hip replacement or a colostomy, because if you can’t run skip and jump, your QALY score will go down, and you won’t be worth the best treatment.

    Donald Berwick, now in charge of Medicare/Medicaid, is a recess appointment by Obama, because there’s not a chance in hell he’d be approved by the Senate, and the confirmation hearing would be a PR disaster for PPACA. He’s an advocate for the use of QALYs.

    So, we don’t know that the US will implement cost control the way the UK does. But we do know the man who Obama put in charge of it is an advocate for the system they use in the UK. Connecting the dots is not that difficult.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Not just trying to have the last word, but couldn’t it also mean substituting a cheaper, more effective treatment rather than no treatment at all? That’s not a decrease, but it is a cost savings.

  56. Anonymostly says:

    “Not just trying to have the last word, but couldn’t it also mean substituting a cheaper, more effective treatment rather than no treatment at all? That’s not a decrease, but it is a cost savings.”

    Seriously? You think that if there are cheaper, more effective treatments out there, that private insurance carriers and private medical practitioners won’t have figured them out but that the government can swoop in and, with its infinite medical wisdom, magically discover these cheaper yet more effective treatments? Yeah, riiiiiiiight.

    That statement suggests a naive faith in the omnipotence of government that goes far beyond where logic and reason could get you. Pure fantasy, that. Or blind faith. It doesn’t work very well in the real world, but it does explain a lot of Democrat policy-making.

    P.S. How are things at Hogwarts School these days?

  57. Shoe Salesman says:

    I thought the concept of death panels was debunked already? maybe some of you could let go of Sarah palin’s apron strings and get real at some point?

    If we’re going to talk hypotheticals why don’t we discuss the WMD in Iraq?

    Oh, and for those clearly smoking from the business end of the pipeline – have you seen what’s happening in Montana?

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