Morning Reads for Wednesday-July 26th, 2017

Ed currently owes me at least 3 postcards for filling in for him. I’m not saying that I’m counting, but I am definitely counting.

So, Happy Hump Day from Cataula, Georgia; Home of the Dead Mulberry.

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xdog
xdog

Home of the Dead Mulberry.
*
Or Big Rock, which is quite a range of possibilities.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I have this app on my phone called marinetraffic. When in savannah it is really cool (to me) because you can tell where the ships are coming from, where they’re going, and all sorts of other details. Kinda nerdy I guess. They have a website too:
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-12.0/centery:25.0/zoom:4

Looks like there is a container ship passing Tybee right now heading for Tarragona Spain. I wonder what we are sending to Spain? Claxton fruit cakes?

chefdavid
chefdavid

Well apparently the biggest problem with recruiting industry in Walker County is a blog and Facebook page called the LaFayette Underground. This is according to Northwest GA Economic Developer Jeff Mullis, who also is your Senate Rules Committee Chairman. https://www.dadeplanet.com/single-post/2017/07/21/Sen-Mullis-says-LaFayette-Underground-the-Enemy-of-Economic-Development . Really a blog that most of the time reports news that the local rags fail to investigate or ask the hard questions?

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

On Trumpcare: “The law, in its majestic equality,forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” Anatole France
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GOP application of that idea to healthcare is that people deserve the freedom to not have healthcare or healthcare insurance should they choose not to afford it.
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An Obama’s legacy is that a majority of Americans now think affordable health care is a right.

rickday
rickday

I don’t know about a ‘right’ but I do know it should be a reality, given how much we have progressed as a species. Even accounting for scale of population, if every other country can do it, why can’t we?

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Trump announced a ban on transgender individuals in the US military. This comes 1 month after Gen. Mattis announced DoD needed more time to study the issue. It’s estimated that around 4,000 transgender Americans already serve in the US military. Will Donald Trump be kicking them out? My opinion is that any American who wants to serve this country as part of our Armed Forces and is physically capable of doing so should be allowed to do so regardless of their race, religion, or gender. I’m also of the opinion that a man who dodged the draft with a “sore… Read more »

rickday
rickday
Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Healthcare:obesity: The U.S. is number one in worldwide rankings.

Eating habits are most difficult to change by education or mandating so what is the public role in bad lifestyles?

Controlling choices in school lunches, snap cards and attending nutrition education meets heavy opposition. Just toss your money in and move on keeps us #1.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I remember reading some research that when doctors actually provide “prescriptions” for nutrition regimens, that works fairly well. Probably some supportive nutritionist services in there as well.

augusta52
augusta52

“An Obama’s legacy is that a majority of Americans now think affordable health care is a right.” Well, Dave, the problem—an inconvenient truth (as Al Gore might say)—is that the Constitution mentions no right to health care (any more than it mentions to a BMW, right to a Harvard education, or a right to a mansion at Sea Island or in Buckhead). So if a majority of Americans feel that way, well, then they need to get a constitutional amendment adopted proclaiming that a right. Of course, that would not be an easy route—2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the… Read more »

David C
David C

Auggie, you know as well as I that what Dave’s referring to is expectation, not a “right” as proscribed in the Constitution. It’s the equivalent of saying FDR and social security convinced Americans they have a “right” to old age insurance. Expectations and democratic norms among voters made it a right to which the felt entitled and thus the “Third Rail of Politics,” woe to anyone who tries to mess with it, despite not literally rewriting the Constitution. ~~~~~ As to the defining of rights through the Amendment process, it’s one reason we have a Common Law constitution and a… Read more »

rickday
rickday

I could see it as just one of many unenumerated rights. Remember, the Constitution does not define rights, it defines and clarifies the most basic of rights. There is no ‘right’ in the Constitution to a myriad of things. Come on, you are smarter than this.

Life. That is one. The right to life for the living and breathing citizens of the US. How does that work when many are denied the treatments available only to those with something more abstract than life, called ‘wealth’?

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Comparing basic healthcare to those luxuries makes the point on the use of the quote. (But not so fast on that Sea Island mansion. Maybe the state should subsidize so that citizens can get one when they need one—like what is occurring with toll lanes.)
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“Would it include unlimited coverage for everything under the sun?” Of course not. We’ve reached the point where bio-technology capabilities exceed the resources needed to universally provide them without protocol. It will only become harder to define such protocols as time goes on, so it’s in our interest to start now.

Ellynn
Ellynn

To carry over from yesterdays discussion… If cost of care services is so important and too high, and something every one can agree on why is that not addressed in any of the current bills? If you lower costs for every one now, would that not reduce the cost of insurance across the board? Is that a phase II or a phase III issue? What good is having the cost lowered in a phase that might take YEARS to pass if you take away my chances of having access to insurance now? Talking to my reps have lead NO WHERE.… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Hey Ellynn. I wanted to get this to you sooner, but I’m a little slammed at the office today and fielding calls about the Senate debate. … “Lowering costs” when it comes to prescription drugs, medical services, medical devices, etc. isn’t something that can be done overnight or over a short period of time. We’re talking about reigning in inflation on something like 1/5th of the American economy. The only way you’d accomplish a “quick” reduction in private-sector medical/pharmaceutical prices is through some type of government price controls (which would undoubtedly be deemed unconstitutional). There are ways you can make… Read more »

Mr. Bear
Mr. Bear

Norfolk Southern’s crackdown on graffiti “artists” who are trespassing on railroad property should not come as any surprise in light of recent legal events involving another railroad, CSX. In one case, actions of a movie crew that was trespassing on railroad property that led to a death ultimately resulted in a Savannah jury awarding the “victims” a massive award. The railroad was hit for about $4 Million, even though the railroad had repeatedly told the film crew that they were not authorized to film on the bridge. Likewise, in a recent case filed, a local teenager’s family is suing CSX… Read more »

rickday
rickday

Why did you put the word victims in quotation marks?

A jury, after looking at evidence you could have no way of viewing, found there was a victim, not a “victims”.

You cheapen Sarah’s death with your “quotation marks”, unless you have a grammatical reason for using said punctuation.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

An adolescent losing his legs is tragic, but wearing ear buds while walking on railroad tracks is negligent.

Ellynn
Ellynn

While America is being anti trade, China is investing in rail through places not in China…
https://www.axios.com/china-is-making-iran-a-hub-in-its-global-infrastructure-project-2465396847.html

rickday
rickday

I see you reddit too.

chefdavid
chefdavid

Once they repeal it then they can move to germany or another socialist country if they want it so bad. If they do pass another universal healthcare law then I think I should be given a raise to make up for my loss of benifits since health insurance is part of my compensation. If you give it to everyone that’s a pay cut to me.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Once repealed, employers don’t need to legally cover folks like me. I think I should be given a raise to make up for my loss of benefits since health insurance is part of my compensation. That’s a pay cut and a additional $10,000 +/- cost to me. Unless I enter the state high risk pool and then you help pay my health insurance with new taxes to you to keep it funded and then we both can lose even more pay together.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Or you could move to the most free market country in the world- Hong Kong. Oh wait, they have government managed health care too.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Healthcare are a right ? No, but charity in a free nation was never intended to be all inclusive. “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” Ben Franklin “Our constitution was made only for moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams And the words of George Washington in his farewell address fit in here too. What we are doing today is subverting our charity and laws to those that would bankrupt the nation with unchecked and unenforced public largess, overseen by a self serving bureaucracy. A wealthy nation can throw… Read more »

augusta52
augusta52

“Come on, you are smarter than this.” Huh, Rick? Is the Constitution a restraint on government, or not? Does it have a fixed meaning, or is it a “living, breathing document” that “evolves” with the times? If it “evolves” with the times, well then of course, there is no need to ever amend it—whatever is the whim of an activist judge can say something like, “oh, the founding fathers were dimwitted, did not know better”—of course today, because it is true in most other nations, there must be a right to health care.” Pretty much how we got Roe versus… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

If we’re talking abortion-related irony. Medicaid covers something like half the pregnancies and childbirths in this country. Cutting Medicaid will undoubtedly to an increase in abortions.

David C
David C

“Is the Constitution a restraint on government, or not? ” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is both those things. In some things it restrains government; in others it was designed to create a more powerful, unified, and effective one than the Articles of Confederation–and most of the amendments since the Bill of Rights have served to empower the federal government even more, at the expense of state and local governments. ~~~ And, as a common law document, it lives perpetually through judicial interpretation, because they were wise enough to create broad ideals rather than detailed proscriptions. One of my favorite college classes was… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

It’s how the Supreme Court is able to determine whether using a hidden tracking device planted on a suspect’s car violates the 4th Amendment. It’s how the Supreme Court is able to determine if an Internet site selling subscriptions to online feeds of over the air broadcast networks via quarter-sized satellite receptors constitutes a violation of the Copyright Clause. Alexander Hamilton couldn’t contemplate tracking devices, let alone automobiles. James Madison didn’t know about CBS, satellites, or the Internet. Even steadfast originalists like Justice Scalia or Justice Thomas recognize that you’ve got to breathe some life into the Constitution in order… Read more »

David C
David C

I will say that Scalia is fascinating to read on 4th Amendment stuff precisely because it shows the limits of the “The Constitution as it was in 1789” doctrine. He’d write stuff banning hidden tracking devices because he thought the Founders wouldn’t have approved of a colonial era police dude hanging on the bottom of a wagon as it drove all the way on all over town without a warrant. (It would, occasionally, make him side with the liberals on 5-4 Criminal Procedure cases, with Breyer sometimes going the other way.)

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Eiger is probably out there burning the midnight oil, so I’m gonna sneak in here and remind you that “skinny repeal” is probably the worst thing Republicans can do for ACA marketplaces. With no individual mandate or employer mandate there will be a death spiral. This isn’t just some spin coming from me, insurers like BXBS are straight up telling Republican Senators how horrible this idea is. We’re talking about an average premium increase of nearly $1,200 here in Georgia. So if y’all see Eiger complaining about the cost of premiums under Obamacare or the lack of choice in marketplaces,… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Skinny repeal = 20% premium spike next year. The stupidity of GOP Senators and healthcare staffers would be funny if they weren’t so evil.

The Eiger
The Eiger

The exchanges are already in a death spiral. Just wait until the rate increase for the exchanges go public this Fall. There has been a terrible trend for the past three years. It didn’t start on January 2oth of 2017. Also, a skinny exchanges gets us to a conference committee to continue working on the bill.
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“This has been your nightly reminder that the GOP’s approach to healthcare is about longstanding animosity towards Barack Obama and not, you know, actual healthcare.” Go screw yourself on that one.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Trying to figure out if you’re intentionally misleading people or if you’ve listened to Paul Ryan’s falsehoods regarding ACA marketplaces for so long that you’re plain uninformed about the fact the exchanges are not in a “death spiral.” . Here’s a handy link to help you out: https://apnews.com/f3f0d49f879e45cb8daacc6a8cda4b0b/ap-fact-check-despite-woes-obamacare-not-death-spiral . As for present instability in the marketplaces, the driving factor at this time is uncertainty about the government’s commitment to appropriately funding subsidies and cost-sharing payments needed to keep the marketplaces going. Insurers have said this publicly on multiple occasions. . If the GOP cares about market stability, why are they… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

Listen, I know you were an intern or staff assistant on the Hill when this thing passed so you feel like you have some skin in the ACA game. But you fail to either 1) comprehend that the exchanges are failing because the ACA was terrible or 2) your complete lack of honesty on the issue. . I have been working on this issue since 2009. I was working on healthcare reform before Obama was elected. I take issue with your belief that I am only doing this because of the color of Obama’s skin or the fact he had… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I’d trot out the CV, but I think folks can go back through the month’s worth of commentary here and discern the party that has the deeper understanding of healthcare policy. Here’s a hint, it’s not the person repeating easily discredited Paul Ryan talking points about “death spirals.”
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Have a good day. Seriously. Earnestly. It’s going to be a long one. I don’t envy you.

augusta52
augusta52

“With no individual mandate or employer mandate…” Yes, Andrew hit it on the head, the crux of RobertsCare—fines, mandates, must cover this and that even if you don’t want it. If the insurance coverage is so great for the young, they ought to be signing up in droves, without the prying eyes of the IRS asking me whether or not I have insurance—one thing Trump should dump. “To any unbiased reader, the U.S. Constitution has a clear meaning. It specifies and limits the powers of the federal government. Yet we are supposed to believe that is has ‘evolved’ into a… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

But is Congress not entitled to levy taxes for the general welfare? That’s all Obamacare really is, a tax that you can get out of paying by purchasing health insurance.

Ellynn
Ellynn

I am required to buy federally mandated insurance. I just mailed the check Tuesday to a provider in Montana. I have to pay almost $700 a year to a private insurance company that is federally underwritten. Once cashed, the insurance company sends a letter to the Department of Homeland Security confirming I bought the mandated policy. If they don’t get the letter, I get a letter from FEMA with a list of all the bad things that can happen to me if I don’t get a policy. When I bought my condo, I was not in a flood plan, but… Read more »

augusta52
augusta52

Yes, Andrew, Congress is authorized to levy taxes for the general welfare—but Obama at least initially denied the mandate was a tax. “Anger was amplified when, during the congressional debate, the administration denied that the penalties imposed on mandate noncompliers constituted a tax; yet in subsequent legal briefs they prepared to defend the constitutionality of the new law. They argued that the individual mandate was a permissible use of the federal government’s tax powers.” (From Larry Sabato’s “Who Got in the Booth? A Look Back at the 2010 Elections, page 58). Of course, I think of taxes as something imposed… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Poor Obama will probably lose his next election with all that baggage.