Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the co-authors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill.
“We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.
“What we did is we muddled through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added.
But he believes the nation might have been better off if Democrats didn’t bow to political pressure and settle for a policy solution he views as inferior to government-provided health insurance.
He believes Congress should have enacted “single-payer right from the get-go or at least put a public option would have simplified a lot.”
AAARGH!!!!!! Single payer the the public option are NOT THE SAME. Single payer is just that: Single. Payer. Not one of multiple options. One more option of many won't simplify squat. What's wrong with these people? Read below the fold...
Another British industrial film about steam engines!
For fans of British steam locomotives (like me), fans of industrial films, and fans of what, in the 1930s, was pretty high tech: Think of assembling a plane at Boeing.
A new study (pdf) from the Center for Global Development says the richest 2% of Americans are responsible for producing four times as much greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per person—53.5 metric tons of CO2 a year—as the bottom 20% of the population, which generates about 12.5 metric tons per person.
Kevin Ummel, who produced the report, says the top 10% of Americans generate a quarter of the United States’ GHG footprint. In contrast, the “least-polluting 40% of the population accounts for only 20% of the total,” Ummel wrote.
Hmm. Not as brutal as the income distribution/Gini Coefficient curve, but still. Read below the fold...
2. In particular, there was an incident where several of our Amnesty observers were at MoKaBe’s coffee shop, a designated safe house for activists, which was tear gassed by the police. Amnesty staff were inside MoKaBe’s coffeehouse along with several dozen other protesters and community members. The coffee shop was distributing free coffee and hot chocolate to those who needed a quiet and welcoming place to gather or refresh themselves. It was staffed by community volunteers and clergy. There was a small protest taking place in the street outside, but it was peaceful. At approximately 1:00am, a large militarized police vehicle sped around the corner and fired tear gas and undetermined projectiles at the people running from the protests, hitting one in the back. The police then turned to MoKaBe’s and fired on the building. Amnesty International staff inside MoKaBe directly observed the entire interaction.
The police again fired tear gas several minutes later, despite the presence of two Amnesty monitors clearly marked with bright yellow “human rights observer” T-shirts. The patrons, including people who came outside to recover from the initial tear gas and some children, were overcome with gas. There was no evident provocation for this action and no prior warning to disperse. One Amnesty observer was struck with three or four projectiles of unknown composition. Meanwhile, a column of police in riot gear lined up in a column outside, preventing anyone from leaving or entering the coffee shop for approximately 20 minutes.
Well now, that's interesting, isn't it? Read below the fold...
Chief Steve Anderson, who made news in October when his department refused to cooperate with Secret Service agents who asked Nashville police to falsify a warrant so that they could search the home of an Obama critic, is making headlines again for his unique approach to dealing with protesters angry about a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, MO Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown. Rather than confronting protesters with militarized hardware, tear gas, and rubber bullets, Nashville police treated the protest more like a parade or community event, essentially providing security while protesters made their statement.
Incidentally, the protests, though they were emotionally-charged and attended by 450 people, did not descend into the type of violence, rioting, and looting that has been seen in other cities. Said Chief Anderson, “We had people that took to the streets, took to the forums to express their thoughts, their ideas, and they were extremely well-behaved. We had no incidents of any vandalism of any violence of any type. What I noted [is] that people were even picking up the trash that they had left behind at the scene.” Read below the fold...
Last year I complained about the pebbles and clods of tar the plows threw up on my front garden. This year they threw up a whole chunk of road! (I just don't see how tar, being petroleum-based, can be good for the soil, but maybe tar is less vicious than other sorts of the stuff we should leave in the ground; it's been out in the weather, so perhaps its taboo, evil nature has been attenuated). Read below the fold...