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From the Daily Beast:

During an Iowa town-hall forum, Biden was confronted by a voter who identified two problems he has with the ex-veep: He’s too old and his son Hunter was “messing around” in Ukraine.

“You’re a damn liar, man, that’s not true,” Biden fired back before challenging the man to feats of strength: “And you want to check my shape, let’s do pushups together here man! Let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s take an IQ test.”

Biden went on to say:

“Well, I knew you weren’t voting for me, man,” Biden said. “You think I thought you’d stand up and vote for me? You’re too old to vote for me.”

Biden then mentioned that he had an onion on his belt, which was the style at the time.

Journalists talk about how in the Democratic race there are ideological “lanes” such as Progressive and Moderate, but it actually looks more like there are class/personality lanes, with Warren and Buttigieg in the Stuff White People Like lane and Biden and Bernie in the Regular Folks’ Grandpas lane.

 
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  1. Poor Joe. As Gore Vidal once said, “Having no talent is no longer enough.”


    • LOL: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Hadn’t realized how much he looks like Jerry Brown. Any record of Pat Brown being in the Scranton area in the mid-40s?
  2. “ Let’s take an IQ test.”

    “Mr. Biden, I REFUSE to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man.”

  3. Maybe Hunter Biden getting those gigs with Ukraine and China were Festivus Miracles. The walls are really closing in fast. He isn’t going to make it to June. If he does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    I hope he holds it together so that I can see debates between him and Trump. That would be amazing.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Ron Mexico wrote:

    If [Biden] does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.
     
    A lot of people on the center-left think Biden's goofiness shows he is a regular guy (my later brother, for example, who had a high IQ, though, I admit, not much judgment).

    Biden could win.

    Would he be better or worse as President than Liz or Bernie? Hard to tell. Biden might get some moderately bad stuff through Congress and Liz or Bernie might not be able to get anything through.

    So, Biden might be worse.
  4. It’s GO TIME! – Joe “Mandelbaum” Biden

    • LOL: fish
  5. I think Obama’s greatest accomplishment was keeping Joe Biden in line for eight years. Seriously, the guy is a walking SNL skit.

    • Replies: @res
    Did Obama keep Biden in line, or are we just now seeing what happens when Obama's "media pass" no longer covers Biden?
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/obamas-biden-dig-veep
    , @Justvisiting
    Obama did a nationwide search for a dumb white guy--and he found one!
    , @Twodees Partain
    You got that right. If Biden doesn't drop out of the race soon, he's going to end up wearing a collar and a leash with some big handler making him heel.
  6. And you want to check my shape, let’s do pushups together here man!

    • Replies: @Bugg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcFSOnumgZA
  7. >And you want to check my shape, let’s do pushups together here man! Let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s compare leg hair.” <

  8. This dude is getting weirder by the day. Talking about his leg hair, sucking his wife’s fingers, losing his cool today. Imagine if some people besides Boomer Bob in Iowa start asking him every day about his whoremonger son and Ukraine to goad him…

    • Replies: @SFG
    Dementia is not funny.
  9. challenging the man to feats of strength

    The things that he listed are not Biden family strengths (definitely not Hunter’s).

    The feats should have been as follows:

    1. How may fifths of vodka can you down? How many lines of coke can you do?

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?

    3. How many times can you go thru rehab?

    4. How many “consulting” contracts can you sign up for with foreigners? How many shady characters can you partner with?

    The New Yorker (about as Democrat sympathetic a publication as can be imagined) did a profile of Hunter back in July and they treated him with an unwarranted lack of skepticism – for example they did not question his story that he tested positive for coke because some stranger had given him a funny cigarette – I wouldn’t buy this excuse from a teenager let alone a grown ass man. Nevertheless, what they printed was incredibly damning – the man’s whole life is a train wreck. And Joe’s whole attitude seems to be “do whatever you want as long as I don’t know about it.”

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign

    The Democrats give Trump’s kids a hard time but Hunter Biden is 1,000 times worse than any Trump offspring.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @BenKenobi

    How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?
     
    I slept with my ex-wife’s cousin (take that), does that count?
    , @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Hunter Biden put the moves on his dead brother's widow, sure, but what does that say about his brother's widow? Okay, maybe they were grieving together and fell into each other's arms, but all the while he's buying crack at homeless encampments and avoiding phone calls from his pregnant stripper sidepiece.

    There is no way every reporter in Washington did not know what a degenerate this guy was for many years. The Trump/Ukraine stuff is a convenient backdoor way to get around to talking about Hunter. The Dems have no problem kneecapping inconvenient candidates, as we learned when "Russia hacked our election" by revealing authentic DNC documents describing how they did it to Bernie in '16.

    , @AnotherDad

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?
     
    To be fair, a man taking in and/or marrying his brother's widow is an ancient and honorable practice.

    What it does is put protection/support for your brother's kids, in the hands of someone from the family--you, their uncle--rather than some stranger with no blood tie.

    But what you do not do is …

    -- trash your own marriage because you've got the hots for your brother's younger\hotter wife; (whether that was the case is unclear)

    -- not marry, but just shack up with your brother's widow for a few years ... but blow that up because you were doing drugs and knocked up a stripper; what that does is convert your brother's widow now into *another* ex, and permanently damage your ability to be a replacement father figure to your brother's kids.

    Can you imagine tensions involved now in a Biden family Christmas?

    ~~~

    What i will say ... Hunter is at least on the job when it comes to white fertility. Three from the starter wife. One from the Arkansas State BB player and DC dancer. (Of course, he--or someone else--needs to do more work there.) And a new cute young Jewish wife he'll be pumping a few more into--if she doesn't wise up quickly and dump him.

    Clearly Hunter believes in white girls having babies. Now the quality of those babies ...
  10. I think that’s what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment…

    • Replies: @Clyde

    I think that’s what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment…
     
    Impeachment will also be used as propaganda to deny Trump his next Supreme Court appointment, if RBG is forced to leave for health reasons. The Democrat line will be that an impeached Putin stooge cannot allowed to appoint.
    The Dems are ultra fearful of a conservative Supreme Court, this will blunt their lawfare strategies.
    , @Brian Reilly
    nymom, Glad to see you have awakened and might just smell the coffee! The Dems are terrified that they can't field a nominee that they can steal enough votes for. With Hillary they decided to not steal enough votes, and have been sorry ever since. Now they might not have a choice. They did not want to destroy what is left of the body politic here in the US quite yet, but faced with the prospect of another 4 years with the Golden Golem, they don't see any other way.

    This is going to be fun to watch!
    , @Cloudbuster
    I don't recall anywhere in the Constitution where it says someone who has been impeached and convicted is ineligible to run for President. The only qualifications are "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

    Having Trump convicted and then re-elected in spite of it would be epic.

  11. Next time Uncle Joe is just going to wrap 6-feet of rusty chain around that uppity plebe’s head!

    Obligatory:

  12. According to FOX, Biden also added this great line after the man said he wasn’t voting for him:

    “Well, I knew you weren’t voting for me, man,” Biden said. “You think I thought you’d stand up and vote for me? You’re too old to vote for me.”

    This has to be the last time the Democrats let Iowa and New Hampshire go first in the nominating process. It is getting harder and harder for their candidates to conceal the outright hatred they have for highly engaged white voters even from their own party. If they are still spending 18 months campaigning in Iowa in 2024 someone is bound to call a voter a cracker.

    • Replies: @Realist

    It is getting harder and harder for their candidates to conceal the outright hatred they have for highly engaged white voters even from their own party.
     
    Especially in 'fly over country'. But many Republicans are the same way
  13. The impeachment is now about Putin’s Russia and Russia’s Putin.

    Back on track!

    To some people this makes sense

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    This is about Russia. Who benefited by our withholding that military assistance? Russia. It's about Russia. Russia is invading eastern Ukraine ... All roads lead to Putin.
     
    https://www.dictionary.com/e/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Tin_foil_hat_2.jpg
    , @Harry Baldwin
    How are the Democrats hoping to make this line of logic work for them?

    Obama was president when Russia invaded Ukraine and took Crimea. Obama withheld lethal military aid from Ukraine. From an article on March 11, 2015:

    House Speaker John A. Boehner blasted President Obama Wednesday for providing non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine instead of arms, saying the aid will prove “completely ineffective.”
    “The Ukrainians are begging for help, and the Congress is begging the administration to provide the defensive, lethal assistance we authorized in December,” said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican. “Our allies deserve better.”
    Sidestepping a bipartisan call from Congress to send arms to Ukraine, the Obama administration said Wednesday it instead will provide an additional $75 million in non-lethal military equipment to Kiev in its fight against Russian-backed rebels.
     
    Cue Corvinus: "According to whom?"
  14. Biden snidely suggests that fat guy who watches TV bits about Biden’s kid clam raking loot in Ukraine is fat because he’s sedentary. Biden does the cornpop type subtle walk away and then dramatically returns to call fat guy a liar.

    Biden is fascinated with push-up competitions and he continuously comes back to saying that “no one has said my son has done anything wrong” and he calls fat guy “Jack” in unpleasant tones and then fat guy says Biden doesn’t have any “backbone.”

    Fat guy tells fella butting into his conversation to “stick it up your ass, fella” and then he says like that actor from Vermont, M Emmet Walsh, “come here, you wanna throw me out?” and then the fat guy tells the rude guy that “this is a free country, I can say what I want.”

    And then the last bit of the Twitter portrait of Iowa presidential campaign scenes is the hot young lady with the cheekbones and the sultry look seemingly attracted to the cameras of the campaign because this hot broad should be seen and covering two geezers arguing with each other at an Iowa presidential primary campaign stop is just as good a place to be seen as any other place.

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.
     
    Some high-school intern type bros laughing at the two geezers who are getting ready to fight also adds to the absurdity of the scene. I wish Hunter S. Thompson were still around to cover this campaign.
    , @Prof. Woland
    At least he had the presence of mind not to call a black woman fat.
  15. Good that this got a thread because I thought of a game when I brought it up in another thread and didn’t want to get more off-topic:
    Biden in a shouting match, offering to do a push-up contest? But of course. This is a lad whose plan to win black voters is a story about beating up a black swimmer named after a breakfast cereal. This man has an anecdote about absent-mindedly picking up and tossing around a Faberge egg until another senator explained to him how expensive it was. The reason we known about Burisma is because Biden was proudly telling reporters about it.
    The game is, what is the craziest false thing you can attribute to Joe Biden which people will still buy because it’s Biden?
    Did Joe Biden shout warnings to leave earth alone at space aliens through a large telescope?
    Did Joe Biden attempt a reconciliation with Vietnamese voters by protesting his love of pho soup, and then observing that both Americans and Vietnamese are cow people?
    Did Joe Biden suggest that the way to end violence inside California prisons was to restrict inmate sugar intake?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Maybe the time Biden started reminiscing about how he used to tie a turnip to his belt?
    , @Ron Mexico
    "This is a lad whose plan to win black voters is a story about beating up a black swimmer named after a breakfast cereal"... and he also bragged about letting black kids rub his hairy legs and sit on his lap..."I love kids jumping on my lap" what?
  16. • Replies: @Thea
    Please let this happen. 2016 was such fun.
  17. OT:

    Only one presidential candidate has the courage to take on the white war against black hair.

    Every day, black people face discrimination just for wearing their natural hairstyles. For expressing their cultural…

    Posted by Senator Cory Booker on Thursday, December 5, 2019

  18. @J.Ross
    Good that this got a thread because I thought of a game when I brought it up in another thread and didn't want to get more off-topic:
    Biden in a shouting match, offering to do a push-up contest? But of course. This is a lad whose plan to win black voters is a story about beating up a black swimmer named after a breakfast cereal. This man has an anecdote about absent-mindedly picking up and tossing around a Faberge egg until another senator explained to him how expensive it was. The reason we known about Burisma is because Biden was proudly telling reporters about it.
    The game is, what is the craziest false thing you can attribute to Joe Biden which people will still buy because it's Biden?
    Did Joe Biden shout warnings to leave earth alone at space aliens through a large telescope?
    Did Joe Biden attempt a reconciliation with Vietnamese voters by protesting his love of pho soup, and then observing that both Americans and Vietnamese are cow people?
    Did Joe Biden suggest that the way to end violence inside California prisons was to restrict inmate sugar intake?

    Maybe the time Biden started reminiscing about how he used to tie a turnip to his belt?

    • Replies: @mmack
    Steve,

    It was an onion, which was the style at the time:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-o-7MmhqNfA
    , @Kratoklastes
    In his defence, it was the style at the time.
    , @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/TheBabylonBee/status/1201559478811783169
  19. Maybe Hunter Biden getting those gigs with Ukraine and China were Festivus Miracles.

    His Chinese connection:
    Today I learned that Hunter Biden has not gotten any money or much money from the organization he with that is some kind of China investment fund worth 1.5 billion. But what Hunter does have (was given) is an equity stake in this fund. How much is it worth? Unknown but it must be in the healthy millions. I am guessing somewhere between 5-20 million. Nice and easy money for being the wayward, druggie, booted from the Navy, son of Obama’s VP!

    Today’s Joe Biden news from Daily Mail:
    ‘You’re a damn liar, man!’ Biden, 77, explodes at elderly Iowa, 83, voter who accuses him of getting Hunter a job in Ukraine – then calls him fat and challenges to PUSH-UPS and an IQ contest

  20. anon[710] • Disclaimer says:

    Regarding Trump’s impeachment drama, it’s funny how it aligns with Nixon insofar as McGovern was prone to self-destruction to the point that the Watergate caper wasn’t even needed. Biden’s political head being stuck in the ’70’s will be his undoing. He functions well enough, if the year was 1972.

    He’ll self-destruct effectively without a Ukraine investigation, just being who he is.

    Sometimes the best strategy is to do nothing, and let circumstances play out.

    I don’t think that strategy is in Trump’s toolbox. If he tried it, it would save him a lot of time and distraction.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    The Biden thing was diplomacy. Trump was (and is) far more worried about Harris or some wildcard than Biden. He knew the Ukrainians were pissed at all the meddling the U.S. had been doing in their internal affairs and was ingratiating himself by talking about the two main culprits - Yovanovich and Biden.
  21. @nymom
    I think that's what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment...

    I think that’s what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment…

    Impeachment will also be used as propaganda to deny Trump his next Supreme Court appointment, if RBG is forced to leave for health reasons. The Democrat line will be that an impeached Putin stooge cannot allowed to appoint.
    The Dems are ultra fearful of a conservative Supreme Court, this will blunt their lawfare strategies.

    • Agree: Prof. Woland
    • Replies: @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?
  22. Biden sure did put a dark spin on “the town meeting.”

    • Replies: @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    In this Norman Rockwell painting titled "Freedom of Speech", why is the citizen looking upward?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Speech_(painting)
    says that Rockwell "felt the upward view from the bench level was more dramatic."
    But what motivates the town officials to be sitting on a considerably elevated platform? Is it similar to the motivation for which witnesses must look upward at Senators and Representatives holding a congressional hearing?
  23. @Anon
    Poor Joe. As Gore Vidal once said, “Having no talent is no longer enough.”

    https://www.thepubliceditor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Zombies_Looking_For_Brains_Billboard.jpg
    http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120215032405/conservative/images/c/c8/Biden_brain.png

     

    Hadn’t realized how much he looks like Jerry Brown. Any record of Pat Brown being in the Scranton area in the mid-40s?

  24. Wonder if Joe would prefer questions about the new grandkid? Kinda sounds like the little one is going to be expensive. Still Grandpa has to be proud of his son’s studly accomplishment. Hunter sure is busy between an Arkansas stripper-baby mama, new wife right after dumping the sister in law, and his Ukrainian energy expertise. The Biden’s just might be the best soap opera currently airing. Also doubt anyone who is actually breathing will be voting for Joe.

    • LOL: Buck Ransom
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Old and grumpy:

    Nah, not good soap opera material as the Biden Family Saga is too preposterously tawdry!
    , @Anon
    I really hope that Hunter Biden's kid will be well taken care of, but as it appears to be quite likely that he or she will grow up without a dad present, I just have the following advice to offer:

    Play the radio. Make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night. The phone—make sure the kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school—er, a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.

    Davis: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
  25. More evidence that reality is slowly catching up to iSteve satire.

    Is there a way that one of Biden’s rival candidates could contrive to ask in a debate about his academic achievements (or rather lack thereof) in college? I bet that would produce some interesting results.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  26. This is the real Biden, and I think people like the real Biden. He may not have the highest IQ in Washington, but he is relatively quick witted and sharp tounged. For as much as the I Steve crowd bashes on joe, nobody ever gives him credit where credit is due. He destroyed Paul ryan in the 2012 Vice Presidents debate. https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000001840881/full-vice-presidential-debate.html
    Nobody wants to debate him. Thus his democrat opponents will simply bash him over the head with diversity inclusivity and equity.

    • Troll: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I've been saying that all along as well.
    , @Cloudbuster
    He may not have the highest IQ in Washington

    Seriously? He doesn't have the highest IQ in your average special ed. first grade class.

    , @Twodees Partain
    Kyle, please seek help before you snap and kill us all.
    , @Bartleby the Scrivner
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that Uncle Joe was voted the dumbest man in the Senate by.....his Senate colleagues.
    I could be wrong. But think of how despised one has to be to achieve that level of distain.
  27. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Even better, Biden also said “Look, fat” to the guy while responding to him. It sounded like he was about to say, “Look fatass” but managed to stop himself in time. I think he got irritated that the old guy who was fatter than him was casting aspersions about his physical fitness, so he reflexively was about to call him “fatass” to his face. His campaign said that he actually said “Look, fact” as in “Look, here is the fact” or something along those lines, but that doesn’t really make sense. It seemed like he got pissed and barely managed to call a potential voter a fatass to his face.

  28. @Jack D

    challenging the man to feats of strength
     
    The things that he listed are not Biden family strengths (definitely not Hunter's).

    The feats should have been as follows:

    1. How may fifths of vodka can you down? How many lines of coke can you do?

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?

    3. How many times can you go thru rehab?

    4. How many "consulting" contracts can you sign up for with foreigners? How many shady characters can you partner with?

    The New Yorker (about as Democrat sympathetic a publication as can be imagined) did a profile of Hunter back in July and they treated him with an unwarranted lack of skepticism - for example they did not question his story that he tested positive for coke because some stranger had given him a funny cigarette - I wouldn't buy this excuse from a teenager let alone a grown ass man. Nevertheless, what they printed was incredibly damning - the man's whole life is a train wreck. And Joe's whole attitude seems to be "do whatever you want as long as I don't know about it."


    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign

    The Democrats give Trump's kids a hard time but Hunter Biden is 1,000 times worse than any Trump offspring.

    How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?

    I slept with my ex-wife’s cousin (take that), does that count?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I'm telling you man that Hunter has got you beat.
  29. @Old and grumpy
    Wonder if Joe would prefer questions about the new grandkid? Kinda sounds like the little one is going to be expensive. Still Grandpa has to be proud of his son's studly accomplishment. Hunter sure is busy between an Arkansas stripper-baby mama, new wife right after dumping the sister in law, and his Ukrainian energy expertise. The Biden's just might be the best soap opera currently airing. Also doubt anyone who is actually breathing will be voting for Joe.

    Old and grumpy:

    Nah, not good soap opera material as the Biden Family Saga is too preposterously tawdry!

  30. Biden campaign slogan:
    Not as senile as you thought he was.

    While I’m at it:

    Buttigieg campaign slogan:
    Not as puerile as you though she was.

    HRC Campaign slogan:
    I’m not running, I’m not running, I’m not running.
    Oh, okay. Give me the damned job.
    Now!

    Trump campaign slogan:
    I’m going to buy Moscow.

  31. @anon
    And you want to check my shape, let’s do pushups together here man!


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88M9-rBXubA

  32. How do Biden’s hair plugs figure into World War Hair? I say he’s guilty of follicular appropriation.

  33. @JohnnyD
    I think Obama's greatest accomplishment was keeping Joe Biden in line for eight years. Seriously, the guy is a walking SNL skit.

    Did Obama keep Biden in line, or are we just now seeing what happens when Obama’s “media pass” no longer covers Biden?
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/obamas-biden-dig-veep

    • Replies: @JohnnyD
    I think it was a combination of favorable media coverage and Obama staffers making sure Biden didn't make a complete ass out of himself.
    , @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Did Obama keep Biden in line, or are we just now seeing what happens when Obama’s “media pass” no longer covers Biden
     
    A little from column A, a little from column B.

    And I think that there's definitely some steep cognitive decline here after the end of the Obama second term. He's always been gaffe prone, but now his malapropisms, lost trains of thought in the midst of speaking, and strange tangents are rather striking. Perhaps he thought a two year layoff would have him recharged and ready, but it seems more like the lack of a policy portfolio has allowed his mind to atrophy fast.
  34. @Steve Sailer
    Maybe the time Biden started reminiscing about how he used to tie a turnip to his belt?

    Steve,

    It was an onion, which was the style at the time:

    • LOL: Old Prude
  35. @El Dato
    The impeachment is now about Putin's Russia and Russia's Putin.

    Back on track!

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1202619669150097409

    To some people this makes sense

    https://twitter.com/lingosteve/status/1202647872706990081

    This is about Russia. Who benefited by our withholding that military assistance? Russia. It’s about Russia. Russia is invading eastern Ukraine … All roads lead to Putin.

  36. Those of you who have seen the two Joe Bidens on SNL:

    The Joe Biden in this clip is the Jason Sudeikis version; not the Woody Harrelson version.

  37. @Charles Pewitt
    Biden snidely suggests that fat guy who watches TV bits about Biden's kid clam raking loot in Ukraine is fat because he's sedentary. Biden does the cornpop type subtle walk away and then dramatically returns to call fat guy a liar.

    Biden is fascinated with push-up competitions and he continuously comes back to saying that "no one has said my son has done anything wrong" and he calls fat guy "Jack" in unpleasant tones and then fat guy says Biden doesn't have any "backbone."

    Fat guy tells fella butting into his conversation to "stick it up your ass, fella" and then he says like that actor from Vermont, M Emmet Walsh, "come here, you wanna throw me out?" and then the fat guy tells the rude guy that "this is a free country, I can say what I want."

    And then the last bit of the Twitter portrait of Iowa presidential campaign scenes is the hot young lady with the cheekbones and the sultry look seemingly attracted to the cameras of the campaign because this hot broad should be seen and covering two geezers arguing with each other at an Iowa presidential primary campaign stop is just as good a place to be seen as any other place.

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    https://twitter.com/MollyNagle3/status/1202648690302869505

    https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1202664302454415361

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Some high-school intern type bros laughing at the two geezers who are getting ready to fight also adds to the absurdity of the scene. I wish Hunter S. Thompson were still around to cover this campaign.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    I consider myself to be the Hunter Thompson of White Nationalism.

    Here's my all-time favorite Onion article:

    https://www.theonion.com/national-gonzo-press-club-vows-to-carry-on-thompsons-wo-1819567768
    , @Harry Baldwin
    If Hunter Thompson were alive today he'd spend all his time raving about how much he hates Donald Trump, like Robert DeNiro. Thompson would probably be a Bernie supporter.

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.

  38. Biden comes from a time when politics could get a bit rough.

    The Delaware Teamsters Local, led by Frank “Irish” Sheenan, provided muscle for Biden’s early elections. Probably put him over the top the first time.

  39. anon[279] • Disclaimer says:

    Anyone who wants to take the “Hunter Biden…” question up a notch could have some fun in a town meeting with this. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.

    Never mind saying “Fredo” to a politician at the wrong time, “Dildo” is the word of the month.

    https://pagesix.com/2019/11/27/strippers-used-sex-toy-on-hunter-biden-at-nycs-hustler-club-sources/?_ga=2.261391117.1622205734.1574740198-376050992.1574740198

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    You may hate your job but you can always tell yourself: At least my job isn't being Hunter Biden's staffer.
    , @Jack D
    There's no need to answer this question (in fact please DON'T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo "on Hunter"? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don't get it.
    , @mmack
    As I said in a comment thread on Instapundit for the same story, the dancers were only doing to Hunter what his father did to taxpayers, perhaps a little more vigorously.
    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    Oh, give poor Hunter a break:

    Despite the lurid allegations, Hunter was described as an almost-ideal customer.

    “He was a pretty nice guy,” one source said.

    “He was pretty friendly and a pretty good tipper.”
     
    , @Buck Ransom
    Do we know for sure it was a dildo? Maybe it was a pineapple-sized buttplug. Can somebody please ask Joe about this on the next stop of the No Malarkey Tour?
  40. Biden does have an obsession with wanting people to perceive him as physically tough. Here is a clip from three year ago where he suggests that he would have taken Trump behind the gym to presumably beat him up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOKwgtEiLpo&t=0m53s

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    He won the 2012 election by giving Ryan a swirlie on national TV. You could see the moderator’s visceral disgust with Ryan’s unctuous solicitude building throughout.

    Krauthammer was utterly nonplussed. Big red pill moment.
    , @fish
    If only Joe could go back to then.....when he looked far less waxy and filled with embalming fluid.
  41. @anon
    Regarding Trump's impeachment drama, it's funny how it aligns with Nixon insofar as McGovern was prone to self-destruction to the point that the Watergate caper wasn't even needed. Biden's political head being stuck in the '70's will be his undoing. He functions well enough, if the year was 1972.

    He'll self-destruct effectively without a Ukraine investigation, just being who he is.

    Sometimes the best strategy is to do nothing, and let circumstances play out.

    I don't think that strategy is in Trump's toolbox. If he tried it, it would save him a lot of time and distraction.

    The Biden thing was diplomacy. Trump was (and is) far more worried about Harris or some wildcard than Biden. He knew the Ukrainians were pissed at all the meddling the U.S. had been doing in their internal affairs and was ingratiating himself by talking about the two main culprits – Yovanovich and Biden.

    • Replies: @Realist

    The Biden thing was diplomacy. Trump was (and is) far more worried about Harris or some wildcard than Biden.
     
    Harris dropped out...you living under a rock?
  42. @Kyle
    This is the real Biden, and I think people like the real Biden. He may not have the highest IQ in Washington, but he is relatively quick witted and sharp tounged. For as much as the I Steve crowd bashes on joe, nobody ever gives him credit where credit is due. He destroyed Paul ryan in the 2012 Vice Presidents debate. https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000001840881/full-vice-presidential-debate.html
    Nobody wants to debate him. Thus his democrat opponents will simply bash him over the head with diversity inclusivity and equity.

    I’ve been saying that all along as well.

  43. @istevefan
    Biden does have an obsession with wanting people to perceive him as physically tough. Here is a clip from three year ago where he suggests that he would have taken Trump behind the gym to presumably beat him up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOKwgtEiLpo&t=0m53s

    He won the 2012 election by giving Ryan a swirlie on national TV. You could see the moderator’s visceral disgust with Ryan’s unctuous solicitude building throughout.

    Krauthammer was utterly nonplussed. Big red pill moment.

  44. @Charles Pewitt
    Biden snidely suggests that fat guy who watches TV bits about Biden's kid clam raking loot in Ukraine is fat because he's sedentary. Biden does the cornpop type subtle walk away and then dramatically returns to call fat guy a liar.

    Biden is fascinated with push-up competitions and he continuously comes back to saying that "no one has said my son has done anything wrong" and he calls fat guy "Jack" in unpleasant tones and then fat guy says Biden doesn't have any "backbone."

    Fat guy tells fella butting into his conversation to "stick it up your ass, fella" and then he says like that actor from Vermont, M Emmet Walsh, "come here, you wanna throw me out?" and then the fat guy tells the rude guy that "this is a free country, I can say what I want."

    And then the last bit of the Twitter portrait of Iowa presidential campaign scenes is the hot young lady with the cheekbones and the sultry look seemingly attracted to the cameras of the campaign because this hot broad should be seen and covering two geezers arguing with each other at an Iowa presidential primary campaign stop is just as good a place to be seen as any other place.

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    https://twitter.com/MollyNagle3/status/1202648690302869505

    https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1202664302454415361

    At least he had the presence of mind not to call a black woman fat.

  45. @anon
    Anyone who wants to take the "Hunter Biden..." question up a notch could have some fun in a town meeting with this. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
     
    Never mind saying "Fredo" to a politician at the wrong time, "Dildo" is the word of the month.

    https://pagesix.com/2019/11/27/strippers-used-sex-toy-on-hunter-biden-at-nycs-hustler-club-sources/?_ga=2.261391117.1622205734.1574740198-376050992.1574740198

    You may hate your job but you can always tell yourself: At least my job isn’t being Hunter Biden’s staffer.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer, bomag
  46. I would have asked him what he was going to get his Arkansas grandbaby for Christmas.

  47. @JohnnyD
    I think Obama's greatest accomplishment was keeping Joe Biden in line for eight years. Seriously, the guy is a walking SNL skit.

    Obama did a nationwide search for a dumb white guy–and he found one!

    • Replies: @JohnnyD
    Exactly! Biden was the dumb white guy whose job was to make Obama look cool and smart.
  48. @BenKenobi

    How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?
     
    I slept with my ex-wife’s cousin (take that), does that count?

    I’m telling you man that Hunter has got you beat.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Hunter Biden vs. BenKanobi slutoff? Maybe make it a fundraiser for iSteve?
    , @Lot
    Oswald Mosley slept with both his wife’s sister and her stepmother.

    https://www.nationalvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/mw66777.jpg
  49. @Jack D
    I'm telling you man that Hunter has got you beat.

    Hunter Biden vs. BenKanobi slutoff? Maybe make it a fundraiser for iSteve?

    • Agree: BenKenobi
  50. @anon
    Anyone who wants to take the "Hunter Biden..." question up a notch could have some fun in a town meeting with this. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
     
    Never mind saying "Fredo" to a politician at the wrong time, "Dildo" is the word of the month.

    https://pagesix.com/2019/11/27/strippers-used-sex-toy-on-hunter-biden-at-nycs-hustler-club-sources/?_ga=2.261391117.1622205734.1574740198-376050992.1574740198

    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don’t get it.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @anon
    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj3VphK9AMk
    , @J.Ross
    However they use it (and there's really just one way), if they're using it on him, they're not strippers any more, they're prostitutes. Isn't prostitution illegal in Manhattan?
    , @Che Blutarsky
    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don’t get it.

    The only question is if Hunter asked the strippers to use a low, manly voice whilst they performed that particular act.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”?
     
    https://i.cbc.ca/1.4724702.1530118979!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_780/dildo-beer-growlers.jpg
    , @Lot
    “ how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? ”

    Jack D, I had you pegged for someone more worldly than that.
  51. “Look man, I’ve been around time….”

    He is so old he wishes he was a Boomer.

  52. @Jack D
    There's no need to answer this question (in fact please DON'T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo "on Hunter"? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don't get it.

    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but

  53. @nymom
    I think that's what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment...

    nymom, Glad to see you have awakened and might just smell the coffee! The Dems are terrified that they can’t field a nominee that they can steal enough votes for. With Hillary they decided to not steal enough votes, and have been sorry ever since. Now they might not have a choice. They did not want to destroy what is left of the body politic here in the US quite yet, but faced with the prospect of another 4 years with the Golden Golem, they don’t see any other way.

    This is going to be fun to watch!

  54. Corruption is everywhere, it is all jobs for the boys!

    The Ukraine is the last place on earth that Hunter Biden should have accepted a well-paid board sinecure, since his father was point man for Ukraine policy for the Obama administration. Even if it was all above board, the optics were terrible even if he didn’t have a letter of reference from dear old dad.

    But that is how our royal families behave, and the younger Biden’s feckless opposite number Prince Andrew was similarly known as all purpose freeloader.

    The Ukraine is known for corruption, but what about the United States? The US must be the most corrupt nation on earth, with the Supreme Court and almost every federal legislator for sale to the highest corporate bidder.

    Look at how Purdue Pharma, majority owned by the Sackler family was able to subvert the entire medical and pharmacy professions into pushing their deadly poison in vast quantities. And yet no member of that family has yet gone to prison and they have remained immensely wealthy.

    Look at how the medical insurance companies are able to buy off any alternative systems of financing health care at a vast cost to the entire population of the US. Look at how the drug companies are able to extort vast sums from the insurance companies, who in turn extort vast sums from the general public under the pretense that high prices are necessary for eternity in the US to pay for the vast cost of developing new drugs, even when many drugs are developed in the public sector.

    Look at how the average cell phone bill in the US is double that of France or Germany due to the stranglehold of the relative monopolies.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/13/america-was-once-the-land-of-free-markets-now-theyre-becoming-a-myth

    https://blog.petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/2018/09/11/26404/

    Trump thought he was going to drain the swamp, but he fell in face first while looking for the plughole, and drowned on Day Two of his presidency.

    • Troll: Ozymandias
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.
  55. @anon
    Anyone who wants to take the "Hunter Biden..." question up a notch could have some fun in a town meeting with this. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
     
    Never mind saying "Fredo" to a politician at the wrong time, "Dildo" is the word of the month.

    https://pagesix.com/2019/11/27/strippers-used-sex-toy-on-hunter-biden-at-nycs-hustler-club-sources/?_ga=2.261391117.1622205734.1574740198-376050992.1574740198

    As I said in a comment thread on Instapundit for the same story, the dancers were only doing to Hunter what his father did to taxpayers, perhaps a little more vigorously.

    • Replies: @Matthew Kelly
    Democracy is the theory that Hunter Biden knows what he wants, and deserves to get it good and hard.
  56. @Pickle Rick
    This dude is getting weirder by the day. Talking about his leg hair, sucking his wife’s fingers, losing his cool today. Imagine if some people besides Boomer Bob in Iowa start asking him every day about his whoremonger son and Ukraine to goad him...

    Dementia is not funny.

    • Replies: @Realist

    Dementia is not funny.
     
    It is in this case.
  57. @anon
    Anyone who wants to take the "Hunter Biden..." question up a notch could have some fun in a town meeting with this. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
     
    Never mind saying "Fredo" to a politician at the wrong time, "Dildo" is the word of the month.

    https://pagesix.com/2019/11/27/strippers-used-sex-toy-on-hunter-biden-at-nycs-hustler-club-sources/?_ga=2.261391117.1622205734.1574740198-376050992.1574740198

    Oh, give poor Hunter a break:

    Despite the lurid allegations, Hunter was described as an almost-ideal customer.

    “He was a pretty nice guy,” one source said.

    “He was pretty friendly and a pretty good tipper.”

    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    Just the tip!
  58. I know, let’s have a spelling contest!

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Val Kilmer's greatest role.
  59. Another Trump supporter disrupting a townhall

    Just pathetic

    • Replies: @fish
    Ohs Tinys.......!
  60. @Ron Mexico
    Maybe Hunter Biden getting those gigs with Ukraine and China were Festivus Miracles. The walls are really closing in fast. He isn't going to make it to June. If he does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.

    I hope he holds it together so that I can see debates between him and Trump. That would be amazing.

    • Replies: @Jack Henson
    Trump is going to talk him into setting himself on fire in the most magnificent way and we will talk about to our grand children like it was the moon landing or 9/11.

    "Say it Joe. Say the N word if you're so black." That's all it'll take.

  61. @nymom
    I think that's what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment...

    I don’t recall anywhere in the Constitution where it says someone who has been impeached and convicted is ineligible to run for President. The only qualifications are “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

    Having Trump convicted and then re-elected in spite of it would be epic.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    The Senate may or may not also add the penalty that the person impeached is ineligible for future federal office.

    Meaning, that could theoretically happen if the Senate doesn’t add the extra penalty.

    My take is, if enough GOP Senators flip to convict Trump, it means Trump’s approval ratings are down around Ebola, AIDS and school busing.
    , @Jack D
    Read your Constitution, man!

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

     

    So the Senate can not only remove your from the Presidency but they can fix it so you can never even be a [Federal] dogcatcher again.
  62. @Steve Sailer
    Maybe the time Biden started reminiscing about how he used to tie a turnip to his belt?

    In his defence, it was the style at the time.

  63. @Kyle
    This is the real Biden, and I think people like the real Biden. He may not have the highest IQ in Washington, but he is relatively quick witted and sharp tounged. For as much as the I Steve crowd bashes on joe, nobody ever gives him credit where credit is due. He destroyed Paul ryan in the 2012 Vice Presidents debate. https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000001840881/full-vice-presidential-debate.html
    Nobody wants to debate him. Thus his democrat opponents will simply bash him over the head with diversity inclusivity and equity.

    He may not have the highest IQ in Washington

    Seriously? He doesn’t have the highest IQ in your average special ed. first grade class.

  64. @Jack D
    There's no need to answer this question (in fact please DON'T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo "on Hunter"? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don't get it.

    However they use it (and there’s really just one way), if they’re using it on him, they’re not strippers any more, they’re prostitutes. Isn’t prostitution illegal in Manhattan?

    • Replies: @Thea
    I’d hate to disillusion you about the honor of ladies that strip but I don’t think many people are surprised to read about the exchange of money for certain acts in strip club VIP booths.
    , @Buck Ransom
    You've got it all wrong, man. It's Hunter and Joe who are the whores, not those hard-working young ladies.
  65. @Jack D

    challenging the man to feats of strength
     
    The things that he listed are not Biden family strengths (definitely not Hunter's).

    The feats should have been as follows:

    1. How may fifths of vodka can you down? How many lines of coke can you do?

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?

    3. How many times can you go thru rehab?

    4. How many "consulting" contracts can you sign up for with foreigners? How many shady characters can you partner with?

    The New Yorker (about as Democrat sympathetic a publication as can be imagined) did a profile of Hunter back in July and they treated him with an unwarranted lack of skepticism - for example they did not question his story that he tested positive for coke because some stranger had given him a funny cigarette - I wouldn't buy this excuse from a teenager let alone a grown ass man. Nevertheless, what they printed was incredibly damning - the man's whole life is a train wreck. And Joe's whole attitude seems to be "do whatever you want as long as I don't know about it."


    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign

    The Democrats give Trump's kids a hard time but Hunter Biden is 1,000 times worse than any Trump offspring.

    Hunter Biden put the moves on his dead brother’s widow, sure, but what does that say about his brother’s widow? Okay, maybe they were grieving together and fell into each other’s arms, but all the while he’s buying crack at homeless encampments and avoiding phone calls from his pregnant stripper sidepiece.

    There is no way every reporter in Washington did not know what a degenerate this guy was for many years. The Trump/Ukraine stuff is a convenient backdoor way to get around to talking about Hunter. The Dems have no problem kneecapping inconvenient candidates, as we learned when “Russia hacked our election” by revealing authentic DNC documents describing how they did it to Bernie in ’16.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    There is no way every reporter in Washington did not know what a degenerate this guy was for many years.
     
    The only reason this was not reported is that Joe Biden belongs to some kind of invisible political party whose name does not begin with R.
  66. @Jack D
    There's no need to answer this question (in fact please DON'T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo "on Hunter"? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don't get it.

    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don’t get it.

    The only question is if Hunter asked the strippers to use a low, manly voice whilst they performed that particular act.

  67. @BB753
    Despair not! Hillary is back!

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/hillary-is-still-thinking-about-running-in-2020/

    Please let this happen. 2016 was such fun.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Hillary on stage with a wheelchair like Dr Strangelove spouting nonsense? And Kamala high as a kite as usual as VP candidate?
  68. @JohnnyD
    I think Obama's greatest accomplishment was keeping Joe Biden in line for eight years. Seriously, the guy is a walking SNL skit.

    You got that right. If Biden doesn’t drop out of the race soon, he’s going to end up wearing a collar and a leash with some big handler making him heel.

  69. @Kyle
    This is the real Biden, and I think people like the real Biden. He may not have the highest IQ in Washington, but he is relatively quick witted and sharp tounged. For as much as the I Steve crowd bashes on joe, nobody ever gives him credit where credit is due. He destroyed Paul ryan in the 2012 Vice Presidents debate. https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000001840881/full-vice-presidential-debate.html
    Nobody wants to debate him. Thus his democrat opponents will simply bash him over the head with diversity inclusivity and equity.

    Kyle, please seek help before you snap and kill us all.

    • LOL: sayless
  70. @J.Ross
    However they use it (and there's really just one way), if they're using it on him, they're not strippers any more, they're prostitutes. Isn't prostitution illegal in Manhattan?

    I’d hate to disillusion you about the honor of ladies that strip but I don’t think many people are surprised to read about the exchange of money for certain acts in strip club VIP booths.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I'm not interested in speculating on the purity of rampallions, my point is, exactly how many major crimes is Hunter Biden guilty of? Eventually somebody's going to ask, has he killed someone?
    , @Autochthon
    https://youtu.be/j9yBPcn8IqU
  71. @Clyde

    I think that’s what this whole impeachment business is about. The Democrats are starting to realize their candidates might not be able to win the next Presidential election so they are trying to eliminate Trump as a candidate through impeachment…
     
    Impeachment will also be used as propaganda to deny Trump his next Supreme Court appointment, if RBG is forced to leave for health reasons. The Democrat line will be that an impeached Putin stooge cannot allowed to appoint.
    The Dems are ultra fearful of a conservative Supreme Court, this will blunt their lawfare strategies.

    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    • LOL: Ron Mexico
    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
    They are going to embalm her like Lenin.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?
     
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aSRTx3jg4RA
    , @Jack Henson
    Gonna blow your minds but "is RBG alive?" doesn't autopopulate on google but does on bing.
    , @animalogic
    Wonder whether Hunter (& dad) we're ever friends with Epstein & Ghislaine ?
    That would be ... just perfect....
    , @Buck Ransom
    The last confirmed RBG sighting I know about was in Chicago, sometime around 1980:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDc2VIIrUok
    , @MarkinLA
    Just imagine how much fun it will be if she croaks next October or November and McConnell rams a replacement through.
  72. @Cloudbuster
    I don't recall anywhere in the Constitution where it says someone who has been impeached and convicted is ineligible to run for President. The only qualifications are "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

    Having Trump convicted and then re-elected in spite of it would be epic.

    The Senate may or may not also add the penalty that the person impeached is ineligible for future federal office.

    Meaning, that could theoretically happen if the Senate doesn’t add the extra penalty.

    My take is, if enough GOP Senators flip to convict Trump, it means Trump’s approval ratings are down around Ebola, AIDS and school busing.

    • Agree: ben tillman
    • Replies: @Jack Henson
    Is this a dispatch from an alternate world where Trump doesn't have internal party ratings north of 90%?
    , @Jack D
    IF, if - if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolley car. Under what scenario do that many GOP Senators flip between now and the impeachment trial, based upon currently known facts? Maybe there is some smoking gun that hasn't been found yet, a deus ex machina that will flip the script, but based on current evidence (and god knows the Democrats and the FBI and the press (but I repeat myself) have been beating the bushes looking for same and haven't found squat) the Republican base is sticking with Trump and any Republican Senator that flips will find himself out of a job next election.

    You are right that IF something like that was found and public opinion changed, there are plenty of Republican Senators who would throw Trump under the bus in a NY minute, but first it has to be found and it hasn't and most likely won't because it doesn't exist. The basic facts are known - that Trump tried to press Ukraine into investigating Biden and the Republican base has shrugged its shoulders and said, "Eh, so what?" and for the time being that is not likely to change.
  73. @anon
    Biden sure did put a dark spin on "the town meeting."

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/13/95/5a/13955a3d8f4cbff057600bab2162e823.jpg

    In this Norman Rockwell painting titled “Freedom of Speech”, why is the citizen looking upward?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Speech_(painting)
    says that Rockwell “felt the upward view from the bench level was more dramatic.”
    But what motivates the town officials to be sitting on a considerably elevated platform? Is it similar to the motivation for which witnesses must look upward at Senators and Representatives holding a congressional hearing?

  74. The Biden campaign:

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    Everybody here seems to be of the opinion that Joe Biden is self-destructing, but he just keeps on winning. None of this stuff has hurt him yet and it isn't going to start hurting him now.
    , @Justvisiting
    Forward, comrades!
  75. @Thea
    I’d hate to disillusion you about the honor of ladies that strip but I don’t think many people are surprised to read about the exchange of money for certain acts in strip club VIP booths.

    I’m not interested in speculating on the purity of rampallions, my point is, exactly how many major crimes is Hunter Biden guilty of? Eventually somebody’s going to ask, has he killed someone?

  76. @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    They are going to embalm her like Lenin.

  77. @Justvisiting
    Obama did a nationwide search for a dumb white guy--and he found one!

    Exactly! Biden was the dumb white guy whose job was to make Obama look cool and smart.

    • Replies: @Realist

    Biden was the dumb white guy whose job was to make Obama look cool and smart.
     
    And that ain't easy.
  78. @res
    Did Obama keep Biden in line, or are we just now seeing what happens when Obama's "media pass" no longer covers Biden?
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/obamas-biden-dig-veep

    I think it was a combination of favorable media coverage and Obama staffers making sure Biden didn’t make a complete ass out of himself.

    • Replies: @Realist

    I think it was a combination of favorable media coverage and Obama staffers making sure Biden didn’t make a complete ass out of himself.
     
    The staff has failed miserably hundreds of times.
  79. @mmack
    As I said in a comment thread on Instapundit for the same story, the dancers were only doing to Hunter what his father did to taxpayers, perhaps a little more vigorously.

    Democracy is the theory that Hunter Biden knows what he wants, and deserves to get it good and hard.

    • LOL: black sea, mmack
  80. @Reg Cæsar
    The Biden campaign:


    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a1/a3/d4/a1a3d4c8215f4f3d237a7a205312ae50.gif

    Everybody here seems to be of the opinion that Joe Biden is self-destructing, but he just keeps on winning. None of this stuff has hurt him yet and it isn’t going to start hurting him now.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
    That is a symptom of identity politics. It does not matter if he is a bastard just as long as he is our bastard. Biden's problem is that this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Trump, the ultimate troll, has sucked the Democrats into a pissing contest the likes of which the world has never seen. If this old guy could trigger Corn Pop Joe's amygdala, just think what it will look like when a pro does it.
    , @Jack D
    The same could have been said about Hillary - all of the stuff that she did, the fake black accent when speaking in black churches, keeling over like a termite eaten tree when the temperature rose above 70, etc. - none of it appeared to hurt her with her base. Just has Trump has (rightly) said of his voters that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and it would not change their votes, the same is true on the other side.

    But Presidential elections are won at the margins and Biden's senile tough guy act is going to hurt him at the margins, especially once the general election campaign gets going. The MSM will be able to hide a lot of this stuff but they aren't going to be able to hide it when Trump goes after Sleepy Joe's soft spots in a masterful way.
  81. @El Dato
    The impeachment is now about Putin's Russia and Russia's Putin.

    Back on track!

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1202619669150097409

    To some people this makes sense

    https://twitter.com/lingosteve/status/1202647872706990081

    How are the Democrats hoping to make this line of logic work for them?

    Obama was president when Russia invaded Ukraine and took Crimea. Obama withheld lethal military aid from Ukraine. From an article on March 11, 2015:

    House Speaker John A. Boehner blasted President Obama Wednesday for providing non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine instead of arms, saying the aid will prove “completely ineffective.”
    “The Ukrainians are begging for help, and the Congress is begging the administration to provide the defensive, lethal assistance we authorized in December,” said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican. “Our allies deserve better.”
    Sidestepping a bipartisan call from Congress to send arms to Ukraine, the Obama administration said Wednesday it instead will provide an additional $75 million in non-lethal military equipment to Kiev in its fight against Russian-backed rebels.

    Cue Corvinus: “According to whom?”

  82. @Jack D
    There's no need to answer this question (in fact please DON'T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo "on Hunter"? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don't get it.

    There’s no need to answer this question (in fact please DON’T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”?

  83. For a politician to make fun of fat people in America today is going to cost him a significant percentage of the vote.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    For a politician to make fun of fat people in America today is going to cost him a significant percentage of the vote.
     
    Especially if the votes are weighted.
    , @nebulafox
    "Will he have some appeal to working-class Dems in Levittown or Bristol? Sure. For every one, he’ll lose one and a half, two Republican women. Trump’s comments like, 'You can’t be a 10 if you’re flat-chested', that’ll come back to haunt him. There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally."

    Probably? Have you traveled abroad to places where women still make an effort to look pretty, man?

    Ah, God bless Ed Rendell and his ability to get the finger-waggers in a tizzy.

  84. @anon
    Anyone who wants to take the "Hunter Biden..." question up a notch could have some fun in a town meeting with this. The jokes pretty much write themselves.

    Hunter Biden spent several thousand dollars at a Manhattan strip club during a pair of visits — including one that sent a staffer scrambling to buy a sex toy so strippers could use it on him, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
     
    Never mind saying "Fredo" to a politician at the wrong time, "Dildo" is the word of the month.

    https://pagesix.com/2019/11/27/strippers-used-sex-toy-on-hunter-biden-at-nycs-hustler-club-sources/?_ga=2.261391117.1622205734.1574740198-376050992.1574740198

    Do we know for sure it was a dildo? Maybe it was a pineapple-sized buttplug. Can somebody please ask Joe about this on the next stop of the No Malarkey Tour?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Why ask Joe?

    Why not go straight to the acknowledged expert and ask Mayor Pete?
  85. @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

  86. @Harry Baldwin
    For a politician to make fun of fat people in America today is going to cost him a significant percentage of the vote.

    For a politician to make fun of fat people in America today is going to cost him a significant percentage of the vote.

    Especially if the votes are weighted.

  87. @J.Ross
    Good that this got a thread because I thought of a game when I brought it up in another thread and didn't want to get more off-topic:
    Biden in a shouting match, offering to do a push-up contest? But of course. This is a lad whose plan to win black voters is a story about beating up a black swimmer named after a breakfast cereal. This man has an anecdote about absent-mindedly picking up and tossing around a Faberge egg until another senator explained to him how expensive it was. The reason we known about Burisma is because Biden was proudly telling reporters about it.
    The game is, what is the craziest false thing you can attribute to Joe Biden which people will still buy because it's Biden?
    Did Joe Biden shout warnings to leave earth alone at space aliens through a large telescope?
    Did Joe Biden attempt a reconciliation with Vietnamese voters by protesting his love of pho soup, and then observing that both Americans and Vietnamese are cow people?
    Did Joe Biden suggest that the way to end violence inside California prisons was to restrict inmate sugar intake?

    “This is a lad whose plan to win black voters is a story about beating up a black swimmer named after a breakfast cereal”… and he also bragged about letting black kids rub his hairy legs and sit on his lap…”I love kids jumping on my lap” what?

  88. @Jack D
    I'm telling you man that Hunter has got you beat.

    Oswald Mosley slept with both his wife’s sister and her stepmother.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    BASED: BenKenobi
    , @J.Ross
    ALPHA
  89. @Jack D
    There's no need to answer this question (in fact please DON'T answer this question) but how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo "on Hunter"? Maybe I lack understanding of anatomy or sufficient imagination but I don't get it.

    “ how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? ”

    Jack D, I had you pegged for someone more worldly than that.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X_ViIPA-Gc
    , @Hunsdon
    Dang, Lot, that was savage.
  90. @Lot
    “ how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? ”

    Jack D, I had you pegged for someone more worldly than that.

  91. @Cloudbuster
    I hope he holds it together so that I can see debates between him and Trump. That would be amazing.

    Trump is going to talk him into setting himself on fire in the most magnificent way and we will talk about to our grand children like it was the moon landing or 9/11.

    “Say it Joe. Say the N word if you’re so black.” That’s all it’ll take.

  92. @Paleo Liberal
    The Senate may or may not also add the penalty that the person impeached is ineligible for future federal office.

    Meaning, that could theoretically happen if the Senate doesn’t add the extra penalty.

    My take is, if enough GOP Senators flip to convict Trump, it means Trump’s approval ratings are down around Ebola, AIDS and school busing.

    Is this a dispatch from an alternate world where Trump doesn’t have internal party ratings north of 90%?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Uh, yeah, that’s exactly my point.

    Senators are not known for courage and integrity. If Trump is popular, even Senators who despise him will support him. If the public turns on him the way they turned on Nixon, his closest allies will race to see who can throw him under the bus the fastest.
  93. @Cloudbuster
    I don't recall anywhere in the Constitution where it says someone who has been impeached and convicted is ineligible to run for President. The only qualifications are "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

    Having Trump convicted and then re-elected in spite of it would be epic.

    Read your Constitution, man!

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

    So the Senate can not only remove your from the Presidency but they can fix it so you can never even be a [Federal] dogcatcher again.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    They can, but would they?
  94. @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    Gonna blow your minds but “is RBG alive?” doesn’t autopopulate on google but does on bing.

  95. @Intelligent Dasein
    Everybody here seems to be of the opinion that Joe Biden is self-destructing, but he just keeps on winning. None of this stuff has hurt him yet and it isn't going to start hurting him now.

    That is a symptom of identity politics. It does not matter if he is a bastard just as long as he is our bastard. Biden’s problem is that this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Trump, the ultimate troll, has sucked the Democrats into a pissing contest the likes of which the world has never seen. If this old guy could trigger Corn Pop Joe’s amygdala, just think what it will look like when a pro does it.

  96. @Ron Mexico
    Maybe Hunter Biden getting those gigs with Ukraine and China were Festivus Miracles. The walls are really closing in fast. He isn't going to make it to June. If he does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.

    Ron Mexico wrote:

    If [Biden] does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.

    A lot of people on the center-left think Biden’s goofiness shows he is a regular guy (my later brother, for example, who had a high IQ, though, I admit, not much judgment).

    Biden could win.

    Would he be better or worse as President than Liz or Bernie? Hard to tell. Biden might get some moderately bad stuff through Congress and Liz or Bernie might not be able to get anything through.

    So, Biden might be worse.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that FDR had a second-class intellect but a first-class temperament. Joe Biden has a third-class intellect AND a second-class temperament so it's a LOSE-LOSE proposition to put him in the Oval Office.

    In any other state except tiny Delaware, Biden would have peaked out somewhere around the state senator level or maybe he could have made it to the House of Representatives in some safe blue district helped by his Teamster friends like Frank (the "Irishman") Sheeran (who was really 1/2 Swedish and looked more like a big dumb Swede than an Irishman. The Swedes BTW have really come up in the world - now they are known for socialism and their violent Muslim population while back in the day they ranked with Polacks as the butt of dumb jokes). But in some sort of real life "Being There" scenario he has failed upward and has a shot at the White House.
    , @nebulafox
    The two are not necessarily correlated. I've met people with doctorates from elite schools who I wouldn't trust with responsibility over a butter knife, let alone a government (or a child!), and I've met barely literate construction workers who have pretty good judgement, all things considered.

    IQ signifies how fast you can learn new material and-potentially-connect it with old material. Assimilate, you might call it. It does not signify good character or common sense. In terms of coming up with novel, creative results, I'd say it is necessary, but not sufficient: when Einstein created general relativity, he had the mental quickness to absorb the mathematics he needed, but it wasn't his IQ alone-or far more importantly, but also necessary-but-not-sufficient, persistence-that let him craft it. The difficulties were on a more profound, synthetic level.

  97. Anon[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @Old and grumpy
    Wonder if Joe would prefer questions about the new grandkid? Kinda sounds like the little one is going to be expensive. Still Grandpa has to be proud of his son's studly accomplishment. Hunter sure is busy between an Arkansas stripper-baby mama, new wife right after dumping the sister in law, and his Ukrainian energy expertise. The Biden's just might be the best soap opera currently airing. Also doubt anyone who is actually breathing will be voting for Joe.

    I really hope that Hunter Biden’s kid will be well taken care of, but as it appears to be quite likely that he or she will grow up without a dad present, I just have the following advice to offer:

    Play the radio. Make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night. The phone—make sure the kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school—er, a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.

    Davis: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

  98. @Lot
    Oswald Mosley slept with both his wife’s sister and her stepmother.

    https://www.nationalvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/mw66777.jpg

    BASED: BenKenobi

  99. @Hypnotoad666

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.
     
    Some high-school intern type bros laughing at the two geezers who are getting ready to fight also adds to the absurdity of the scene. I wish Hunter S. Thompson were still around to cover this campaign.

    I consider myself to be the Hunter Thompson of White Nationalism.

    Here’s my all-time favorite Onion article:

    https://www.theonion.com/national-gonzo-press-club-vows-to-carry-on-thompsons-wo-1819567768

  100. I find it absolutely disgusting that an unprincipled wretch like Biden is considered a leading presidential candidate.

    Something has gone wrong — something has gone terribly wrong with the political and cultural evolution of the nation to produce not only someone like Biden (and others), but also the foul result below — the degenerate, immoral conviction that the founding principles of the nation, as embodied in the Constitution, not only guarantee a woman the “right” to abort her developing child, but also, as implied, the “right” to have someone else pay for it, presumably via coercive taxation enforced by government.

    ?

  101. ICYMI: Biden had brain surgery way back in 1988.
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/biden-brain-surgeon-says-hes-not-too-old-for-president-2019-8?r=US&IR=T

    I reckon he’s got a big lump of soggy oatmeal between his ears these days.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    And yet Biden still beat 42-year-old Paul Ryan in the 2012 VP debate, which says a lot about Establishment Republicanism.
  102. @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    Wonder whether Hunter (& dad) we’re ever friends with Epstein & Ghislaine ?
    That would be … just perfect….

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I actually don't think that hanging out with Epstein was Joe Biden's scene. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've got a hunch about this.

    I actually feel kind of sorry for Joe about Hunter, the Bad Child. Joe has had two children die before him, his daughter in a 1972 car crash that killed his first wife and his son Beau of a brain tumor a few years ago.

    , @Adam Smith
    I have no way to know if this is true... But...

    https://twitter.com/MidNiteMJ/status/1169601971105517570

  103. @animalogic
    Wonder whether Hunter (& dad) we're ever friends with Epstein & Ghislaine ?
    That would be ... just perfect....

    I actually don’t think that hanging out with Epstein was Joe Biden’s scene. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve got a hunch about this.

    I actually feel kind of sorry for Joe about Hunter, the Bad Child. Joe has had two children die before him, his daughter in a 1972 car crash that killed his first wife and his son Beau of a brain tumor a few years ago.

    • Replies: @animalogic
    Fair enough, Steve. I just found the idea of the Bidens & Epstein etc had a certain ... aesthetic appeal.
    , @eah
    I actually feel kind of sorry for Joe about Hunter, the Bad Child.

    In what sense? -- of course reasonable people don't blame Biden, or worse hold him responsible, for Hunter Biden's behavior, especially his personal life, including drug use and the recent stories about a child out of wedlock (he initially denied paternity; it took a DNA test to prove it).

    But you cannot seriously believe that Biden was uninvolved in, and unaware of, his son's highly profitable, err, business dealings in Ukraine ... ? -- do you sympathize with "Joe" about that as well? -- or with him just because that tawdry, corrupt affair happened to come to light?

    The Biden Affair in the Ukraine
  104. @Nodwink
    ICYMI: Biden had brain surgery way back in 1988.
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/biden-brain-surgeon-says-hes-not-too-old-for-president-2019-8?r=US&IR=T

    I reckon he's got a big lump of soggy oatmeal between his ears these days.

    And yet Biden still beat 42-year-old Paul Ryan in the 2012 VP debate, which says a lot about Establishment Republicanism.

    • Agree: Nodwink, Old Prude
  105. @Steve Sailer
    I actually don't think that hanging out with Epstein was Joe Biden's scene. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've got a hunch about this.

    I actually feel kind of sorry for Joe about Hunter, the Bad Child. Joe has had two children die before him, his daughter in a 1972 car crash that killed his first wife and his son Beau of a brain tumor a few years ago.

    Fair enough, Steve. I just found the idea of the Bidens & Epstein etc had a certain … aesthetic appeal.

  106. • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A new Who album? How old are these guys?

    Actually, it sounds pretty good:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-mH0NYVzaI&list=OLAK5uy_kABIg1FciE-wz-9Lz_rQ1TZeiZdBfme-M&index=2&t=0s

    , @Dtbb
    I want my money back from their farewell tour in 1982.
  107. @Jonathan Mason
    Corruption is everywhere, it is all jobs for the boys!

    The Ukraine is the last place on earth that Hunter Biden should have accepted a well-paid board sinecure, since his father was point man for Ukraine policy for the Obama administration. Even if it was all above board, the optics were terrible even if he didn't have a letter of reference from dear old dad.

    But that is how our royal families behave, and the younger Biden's feckless opposite number Prince Andrew was similarly known as all purpose freeloader.

    The Ukraine is known for corruption, but what about the United States? The US must be the most corrupt nation on earth, with the Supreme Court and almost every federal legislator for sale to the highest corporate bidder.

    Look at how Purdue Pharma, majority owned by the Sackler family was able to subvert the entire medical and pharmacy professions into pushing their deadly poison in vast quantities. And yet no member of that family has yet gone to prison and they have remained immensely wealthy.

    Look at how the medical insurance companies are able to buy off any alternative systems of financing health care at a vast cost to the entire population of the US. Look at how the drug companies are able to extort vast sums from the insurance companies, who in turn extort vast sums from the general public under the pretense that high prices are necessary for eternity in the US to pay for the vast cost of developing new drugs, even when many drugs are developed in the public sector.

    Look at how the average cell phone bill in the US is double that of France or Germany due to the stranglehold of the relative monopolies.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/13/america-was-once-the-land-of-free-markets-now-theyre-becoming-a-myth

    https://blog.petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/2018/09/11/26404/

    Trump thought he was going to drain the swamp, but he fell in face first while looking for the plughole, and drowned on Day Two of his presidency.

    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.
     
    But in the current set up, the largest payments working Americans have every month are 1. House payment, rent, mortgage, 2. Health insurance premiums, 3 Car payments.

    With the house payment and the car payment, at least they get something, like a place to live and a means of transportation. With the health insurance, for the most part they get nothing back except 1. A form of bankruptcy insurance that may not even prevent bankruptcy, 2. Entry into a copay and deductible system that might eventually even pay part of their medical bills if they still have something really serious wrong with them after already paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.

    I think the majority of Americans are sick of their health insurance, hate the health insurance companies, and would willingly pay for a health care plan that actually paid for them to get some health care, not just for bankruptcy insurance.

    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor's office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    A health care system that covered everyone, so that Workman's Comp became irrelevant. A health care system that covered everyone, so that automobile insurance premiums could be vastly reduced. A health care system that covered everyone, so that most of the legal cases for liability for accidental injuries would be irrelevant.
  108. @MEH 0910
    OT: New Who album playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kABIg1FciE-wz-9Lz_rQ1TZeiZdBfme-M

    A new Who album? How old are these guys?

    Actually, it sounds pretty good:

    • Agree: MEH 0910
  109. @Steve Sailer
    I actually don't think that hanging out with Epstein was Joe Biden's scene. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've got a hunch about this.

    I actually feel kind of sorry for Joe about Hunter, the Bad Child. Joe has had two children die before him, his daughter in a 1972 car crash that killed his first wife and his son Beau of a brain tumor a few years ago.

    I actually feel kind of sorry for Joe about Hunter, the Bad Child.

    In what sense? — of course reasonable people don’t blame Biden, or worse hold him responsible, for Hunter Biden’s behavior, especially his personal life, including drug use and the recent stories about a child out of wedlock (he initially denied paternity; it took a DNA test to prove it).

    But you cannot seriously believe that Biden was uninvolved in, and unaware of, his son’s highly profitable, err, business dealings in Ukraine … ? — do you sympathize with “Joe” about that as well? — or with him just because that tawdry, corrupt affair happened to come to light?

    The Biden Affair in the Ukraine

  110. @Hypnotoad666

    Funny to watch the camera pan over to sultry young lady after the awkward geezer confrontation but that is the presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire.
     
    Some high-school intern type bros laughing at the two geezers who are getting ready to fight also adds to the absurdity of the scene. I wish Hunter S. Thompson were still around to cover this campaign.

    If Hunter Thompson were alive today he’d spend all his time raving about how much he hates Donald Trump, like Robert DeNiro. Thompson would probably be a Bernie supporter.

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.
     
    Hunter is a common first name in the US, because many people believe that the ideal archetypal man is a hunter who provides his family with meat.

    No one calls their son Farmer, Soldier, or Lawyer.

    In the Bible Esau is a hairy hunter and Jacob is a smooth skinned homeboy. One day Esau, who is starving, sells his inheritance to Jacob in exchange for a vegetarian dish. Jacob then deceives their elderly blind father Isaac by dressing up in a sheepskin coat so that pops thinks he is the hairy Esau and serving up a venison stew, presumably using meat caught by his brother.

    Jacob was the first lawyer in history and eventually became very rich.

  111. @Redneck farmer
    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.

    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.

    But in the current set up, the largest payments working Americans have every month are 1. House payment, rent, mortgage, 2. Health insurance premiums, 3 Car payments.

    With the house payment and the car payment, at least they get something, like a place to live and a means of transportation. With the health insurance, for the most part they get nothing back except 1. A form of bankruptcy insurance that may not even prevent bankruptcy, 2. Entry into a copay and deductible system that might eventually even pay part of their medical bills if they still have something really serious wrong with them after already paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.

    I think the majority of Americans are sick of their health insurance, hate the health insurance companies, and would willingly pay for a health care plan that actually paid for them to get some health care, not just for bankruptcy insurance.

    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor’s office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    A health care system that covered everyone, so that Workman’s Comp became irrelevant. A health care system that covered everyone, so that automobile insurance premiums could be vastly reduced. A health care system that covered everyone, so that most of the legal cases for liability for accidental injuries would be irrelevant.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    My father once got into a discussion with someone about health insurance. They thought the cost was too high and brought up how it was in Europe.

    “Well, you could always move there”, was his response.

    I thought he was a doofus, but now I understand his logic, such as it was.
    , @Cloudbuster
    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor’s office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    I absolutely wouldn't want all those "free" add-ons. TANSTAAFL. I'd rather pay for all my day-to-day expenses out of pocket and reserve health insurance for, you know, unforeseen major expenses -- what insurance is supposed to be for.

  112. @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    The last confirmed RBG sighting I know about was in Chicago, sometime around 1980:

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    "Just you and I, Mrs. Fablo, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh."
     
    Mrs. Falbo's Tiny Town - Visiting a Prison, & The Letter 'P'
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWzjE2MfC-I
  113. @Harry Baldwin
    If Hunter Thompson were alive today he'd spend all his time raving about how much he hates Donald Trump, like Robert DeNiro. Thompson would probably be a Bernie supporter.

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.

    Hunter is a common first name in the US, because many people believe that the ideal archetypal man is a hunter who provides his family with meat.

    No one calls their son Farmer, Soldier, or Lawyer.

    In the Bible Esau is a hairy hunter and Jacob is a smooth skinned homeboy. One day Esau, who is starving, sells his inheritance to Jacob in exchange for a vegetarian dish. Jacob then deceives their elderly blind father Isaac by dressing up in a sheepskin coat so that pops thinks he is the hairy Esau and serving up a venison stew, presumably using meat caught by his brother.

    Jacob was the first lawyer in history and eventually became very rich.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    presumably using meat caught by his brother.
     
    No, you moron. There is nothing presumed about it. Jacob's mother Rebekah overheard Isaac making his request to Esau and then conspired with him to kill a pair of goats from the flock. That's where Jacob got the meat.

    You are, as Whitesplosive said, a very shallow idiot.
    , @SteveRogers42
    How could you forget Lawyer Milloy?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawyer_Milloy
  114. Let’s take an IQ test.

    Now that’s funny…this dumb-son-of-a-bitch thinks he’s smart.

  115. @SFG
    Dementia is not funny.

    Dementia is not funny.

    It is in this case.

    • Agree: Kevin O'Keeffe
  116. Anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.
     
    But in the current set up, the largest payments working Americans have every month are 1. House payment, rent, mortgage, 2. Health insurance premiums, 3 Car payments.

    With the house payment and the car payment, at least they get something, like a place to live and a means of transportation. With the health insurance, for the most part they get nothing back except 1. A form of bankruptcy insurance that may not even prevent bankruptcy, 2. Entry into a copay and deductible system that might eventually even pay part of their medical bills if they still have something really serious wrong with them after already paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.

    I think the majority of Americans are sick of their health insurance, hate the health insurance companies, and would willingly pay for a health care plan that actually paid for them to get some health care, not just for bankruptcy insurance.

    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor's office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    A health care system that covered everyone, so that Workman's Comp became irrelevant. A health care system that covered everyone, so that automobile insurance premiums could be vastly reduced. A health care system that covered everyone, so that most of the legal cases for liability for accidental injuries would be irrelevant.

    My father once got into a discussion with someone about health insurance. They thought the cost was too high and brought up how it was in Europe.

    “Well, you could always move there”, was his response.

    I thought he was a doofus, but now I understand his logic, such as it was.

  117. @Barnard
    According to FOX, Biden also added this great line after the man said he wasn't voting for him:

    “Well, I knew you weren’t voting for me, man,” Biden said. “You think I thought you’d stand up and vote for me? You’re too old to vote for me.”
     
    This has to be the last time the Democrats let Iowa and New Hampshire go first in the nominating process. It is getting harder and harder for their candidates to conceal the outright hatred they have for highly engaged white voters even from their own party. If they are still spending 18 months campaigning in Iowa in 2024 someone is bound to call a voter a cracker.

    It is getting harder and harder for their candidates to conceal the outright hatred they have for highly engaged white voters even from their own party.

    Especially in ‘fly over country’. But many Republicans are the same way

  118. If the Democrats proceed with this farcical impeachment, the Republicans should stage manage the trial in the Senate to be a review of Democratic Party corruption. Call on Hunter Biden to testify, and ask him 1.) What he knows about the natural gas business?, 2.) does he speak Ukrainian?, 3.) when was the last time he snorted coke and how much?, 4.) How long was he in the Navy and what were the circumstances of his enlistment and discharge. While they’re at it they should grill Gropin’ Joe about his CFR admission that he withheld foreign aid as leverage to take the heat off his son.

    Then they could summon Barack Obama to testify exactly what he meant when he told Medvedev to tell Putin that he (Obama) would “have more flexibility after the election”.

    And bring in the Clintons to ask them about Uranium 1 and the corrupt political machine philanthropic organization known as the Clinton Foundation.

    Of course, the GOP, being corrupt themselves (and idiots to boot) won’t do that.

  119. @Jack D
    Read your Constitution, man!

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

     

    So the Senate can not only remove your from the Presidency but they can fix it so you can never even be a [Federal] dogcatcher again.

    They can, but would they?

  120. @Jonathan Mason

    Because alternatives to the current system would involve middle class Americans actually paying for their health care/insurance, and they refuse to vote for THAT.
     
    But in the current set up, the largest payments working Americans have every month are 1. House payment, rent, mortgage, 2. Health insurance premiums, 3 Car payments.

    With the house payment and the car payment, at least they get something, like a place to live and a means of transportation. With the health insurance, for the most part they get nothing back except 1. A form of bankruptcy insurance that may not even prevent bankruptcy, 2. Entry into a copay and deductible system that might eventually even pay part of their medical bills if they still have something really serious wrong with them after already paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.

    I think the majority of Americans are sick of their health insurance, hate the health insurance companies, and would willingly pay for a health care plan that actually paid for them to get some health care, not just for bankruptcy insurance.

    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor's office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    A health care system that covered everyone, so that Workman's Comp became irrelevant. A health care system that covered everyone, so that automobile insurance premiums could be vastly reduced. A health care system that covered everyone, so that most of the legal cases for liability for accidental injuries would be irrelevant.

    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor’s office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    I absolutely wouldn’t want all those “free” add-ons. TANSTAAFL. I’d rather pay for all my day-to-day expenses out of pocket and reserve health insurance for, you know, unforeseen major expenses — what insurance is supposed to be for.

    • Agree: Jack D
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Ideally, this is how it should work. Having your "insurance" company pay for routine medical care is like having your car insurer pay for your car's oil changes. It can be done, but it's really very inefficient.

    First of all, not having to pay directly for your own oil changes means that you are no longer concerned about the price, since it is not coming directly out of your pocket, so you no longer shop around for the best price.

    2nd, instead of just having to pay your mechanic's expenses, there is now a 3rd party involved. And not a third party that has dirty fingernails and operates out of an ex-gas station. This third party has really nice offices and a whole hierarchy of executives and underlings and claims processing software and paperwork, etc. - all that stuff doesn't come cheap. Now in order to pay your mechanic $20 for an oil change, you have to send $40 to the insurance company to pay for all that stuff so that they can send him the $20. Not only is the system inefficient buy YOU are the one paying for all that inefficiency.

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, "Hey, why aren't I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn't they at least pay for my oil changes?" The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.

  121. @Jonathan Mason

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.
     
    Hunter is a common first name in the US, because many people believe that the ideal archetypal man is a hunter who provides his family with meat.

    No one calls their son Farmer, Soldier, or Lawyer.

    In the Bible Esau is a hairy hunter and Jacob is a smooth skinned homeboy. One day Esau, who is starving, sells his inheritance to Jacob in exchange for a vegetarian dish. Jacob then deceives their elderly blind father Isaac by dressing up in a sheepskin coat so that pops thinks he is the hairy Esau and serving up a venison stew, presumably using meat caught by his brother.

    Jacob was the first lawyer in history and eventually became very rich.

    presumably using meat caught by his brother.

    No, you moron. There is nothing presumed about it. Jacob’s mother Rebekah overheard Isaac making his request to Esau and then conspired with him to kill a pair of goats from the flock. That’s where Jacob got the meat.

    You are, as Whitesplosive said, a very shallow idiot.

  122. @Jack Henson
    Is this a dispatch from an alternate world where Trump doesn't have internal party ratings north of 90%?

    Uh, yeah, that’s exactly my point.

    Senators are not known for courage and integrity. If Trump is popular, even Senators who despise him will support him. If the public turns on him the way they turned on Nixon, his closest allies will race to see who can throw him under the bus the fastest.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Agreed, but the conditions to create these betrayals are higher than the BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd wants to think about.

    The thing about Nixon's rapid downturn in public support was that it happened to coincide with the massive economic crunch caused by the oil embargo. Unless Trump presides over something similar next year or does something spectacularly dumb like invading Iran, the Democrats are going to have a hard time duplicating that. They've been trying for three years to re-enact Watergate: it just isn't going to hit that extent. They try to make 2020 about Russia rather than, say, Trump's neo-Bush style economics, they'll find a yawning public who has an increasingly dim opinion of a visibly partisan MSM as much as of Trump's corruption.

    (That, and had it not been for the existence of the White House taping system, Nixon likely would have survived his second term, albeit as a lame duck before his time. The Democrats have repeatedly claimed they've got equivalently solid evidence that will doom Trump since early 2017, and almost weekly, we've heard most of the MSM claim Trump is doomed. So, where are the goods, if that is so?

    It's often forgotten that in September of 1973, prominent Democrats-including Ervin-were reaching out to the White House to see if there was some way they couldn't settle this before it out of anybody's control. They wanted to see Nixon castrated, not removed: apart from the uncertain succession question prior to Agnew's removal, impeachment was a novel thing to the America of 1973, we hadn't seen it in a century. But by then, the situation was genuinely out of Capitol Hill's control, particularly with the media. It's an interestingly reversed situation this time around.)

    , @Jack Henson
    As nebulafox pointed out, that's very unlikely to happen in the latter case. Afaik even Bush immediately after 9/11 didn't have numbers this high.
  123. @J.Ross
    However they use it (and there's really just one way), if they're using it on him, they're not strippers any more, they're prostitutes. Isn't prostitution illegal in Manhattan?

    You’ve got it all wrong, man. It’s Hunter and Joe who are the whores, not those hard-working young ladies.

  124. @MEH 0910
    OT: New Who album playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kABIg1FciE-wz-9Lz_rQ1TZeiZdBfme-M

    I want my money back from their farewell tour in 1982.

  125. @Kyle
    This is the real Biden, and I think people like the real Biden. He may not have the highest IQ in Washington, but he is relatively quick witted and sharp tounged. For as much as the I Steve crowd bashes on joe, nobody ever gives him credit where credit is due. He destroyed Paul ryan in the 2012 Vice Presidents debate. https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000001840881/full-vice-presidential-debate.html
    Nobody wants to debate him. Thus his democrat opponents will simply bash him over the head with diversity inclusivity and equity.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that Uncle Joe was voted the dumbest man in the Senate by…..his Senate colleagues.
    I could be wrong. But think of how despised one has to be to achieve that level of distain.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    I'd read somewhere (Washingtonian Magazine I believe) that it was Barbara Boxer.
  126. @Thea
    Please let this happen. 2016 was such fun.

    Hillary on stage with a wheelchair like Dr Strangelove spouting nonsense? And Kamala high as a kite as usual as VP candidate?

  127. I don’t know anything about “Festivus” or putting an onion on his belt, but the walking away, then “slowly I turned, step by step” bit was straight out of The Three Stooges:

  128. @animalogic
    Wonder whether Hunter (& dad) we're ever friends with Epstein & Ghislaine ?
    That would be ... just perfect....

    I have no way to know if this is true… But…

    • Replies: @Jack D
    As phony as a 3 dollar bill. High profiles cases always bring out the head cases looking for attention. Is she also Princess Anastasia, rightful heir to the crown of Russia? Who else was she trafficked to - the Pope? The Beatles?
  129. @Desiderius
    The Biden thing was diplomacy. Trump was (and is) far more worried about Harris or some wildcard than Biden. He knew the Ukrainians were pissed at all the meddling the U.S. had been doing in their internal affairs and was ingratiating himself by talking about the two main culprits - Yovanovich and Biden.

    The Biden thing was diplomacy. Trump was (and is) far more worried about Harris or some wildcard than Biden.

    Harris dropped out…you living under a rock?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    No. Are you?

    I'll stand by my statement regarding both the time of the call and presently. All she has to do is be Biden's running mate and step in for health reasons.
  130. @JohnnyD
    Exactly! Biden was the dumb white guy whose job was to make Obama look cool and smart.

    Biden was the dumb white guy whose job was to make Obama look cool and smart.

    And that ain’t easy.

  131. @JohnnyD
    I think it was a combination of favorable media coverage and Obama staffers making sure Biden didn't make a complete ass out of himself.

    I think it was a combination of favorable media coverage and Obama staffers making sure Biden didn’t make a complete ass out of himself.

    The staff has failed miserably hundreds of times.

  132. @Intelligent Dasein
    Everybody here seems to be of the opinion that Joe Biden is self-destructing, but he just keeps on winning. None of this stuff has hurt him yet and it isn't going to start hurting him now.

    The same could have been said about Hillary – all of the stuff that she did, the fake black accent when speaking in black churches, keeling over like a termite eaten tree when the temperature rose above 70, etc. – none of it appeared to hurt her with her base. Just has Trump has (rightly) said of his voters that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and it would not change their votes, the same is true on the other side.

    But Presidential elections are won at the margins and Biden’s senile tough guy act is going to hurt him at the margins, especially once the general election campaign gets going. The MSM will be able to hide a lot of this stuff but they aren’t going to be able to hide it when Trump goes after Sleepy Joe’s soft spots in a masterful way.

    • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Despite our differences you strike me as a man of considerable intelligence and experience, so it's possible you've come across a similar observation to one I've had over the years, which is that generally speaking you can quite often (but not always) accurately assess another person's intelligence by looking at their eyes for about 30 seconds.

    By this standard, Joe Biden is dumb as a rock. He has a kind of crafty survival intelligence, like a raccoon or a stray cat, but intellectually and morally, he's a ninny. He isn't even what one would call a genuine adult, an actual grown man. Thirty-odd years in the Senate has taught him nothing, humanly speaking. He may have learned something about careerist survival, but he has not actually faithfully served his country for a single minute of his adult life. He's one of those sad critters whom Dante dumps out before the gates of Hell, a creature so despised he isn't even granted the dignity of Divine wrath and punishment.
    , @Hunsdon
    If Joe gets it, I will be sitting at home with bourbon and popcorn to watch the Trump Biden debates.
  133. @Paleo Liberal
    The Senate may or may not also add the penalty that the person impeached is ineligible for future federal office.

    Meaning, that could theoretically happen if the Senate doesn’t add the extra penalty.

    My take is, if enough GOP Senators flip to convict Trump, it means Trump’s approval ratings are down around Ebola, AIDS and school busing.

    IF, if – if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a trolley car. Under what scenario do that many GOP Senators flip between now and the impeachment trial, based upon currently known facts? Maybe there is some smoking gun that hasn’t been found yet, a deus ex machina that will flip the script, but based on current evidence (and god knows the Democrats and the FBI and the press (but I repeat myself) have been beating the bushes looking for same and haven’t found squat) the Republican base is sticking with Trump and any Republican Senator that flips will find himself out of a job next election.

    You are right that IF something like that was found and public opinion changed, there are plenty of Republican Senators who would throw Trump under the bus in a NY minute, but first it has to be found and it hasn’t and most likely won’t because it doesn’t exist. The basic facts are known – that Trump tried to press Ukraine into investigating Biden and the Republican base has shrugged its shoulders and said, “Eh, so what?” and for the time being that is not likely to change.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Jack, you are one of the more intelligent posters here, so I will try to answer you as best as I can.

    I will assume what you say is correct. All evidence points that way, so a fair assumption.
    I will also assume Pelosi is smarter than many of her detractors believe. Otherwise she would be out of power now.

    Based on the way things are now, I would guess — not predict, since things can change rapidly, but guess — that Trump will be impeached but not convicted.

    For Nancy Pelosi to rationally push impeachment under that situation means one of four things:
    1. True moral outrage. Uh, this is a politician we are talking about. Unlikely, but possible.
    2. Pelosi honestly believes there is something out there that will convict Trump. Unless she knows something we are not privy to, that is unlikely.
    3. Pelosi calculates that she damage Trump enough to swing the election in 2020 to the Democrats, the way the endless and pointless Bengazhi hearings were designed to make Hillary Clinton look bad. Highly probable.
    4. Pelosi believes the only way she can keep the House Democrats from tossing her out is to go ahead with impeachment. Highly probable.

    I think the correct answer is a combination of all 4, mostly 3 and 4, with some of 2 being wishful thinking.
  134. @Reg Cæsar
    The Biden campaign:


    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a1/a3/d4/a1a3d4c8215f4f3d237a7a205312ae50.gif

    Forward, comrades!

  135. While on the subject of corruption on the part of US citizens, US Citizens Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have been arrested on charges of funneling foreign money illegally to the campaigning funds of certain politicians who they hoped could help them make money from LNG export deals, but does anyone know where this money is supposed to have come from and who are the politicians who received the money and are they facing charges?

  136. @Paleo Liberal
    Uh, yeah, that’s exactly my point.

    Senators are not known for courage and integrity. If Trump is popular, even Senators who despise him will support him. If the public turns on him the way they turned on Nixon, his closest allies will race to see who can throw him under the bus the fastest.

    Agreed, but the conditions to create these betrayals are higher than the BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd wants to think about.

    The thing about Nixon’s rapid downturn in public support was that it happened to coincide with the massive economic crunch caused by the oil embargo. Unless Trump presides over something similar next year or does something spectacularly dumb like invading Iran, the Democrats are going to have a hard time duplicating that. They’ve been trying for three years to re-enact Watergate: it just isn’t going to hit that extent. They try to make 2020 about Russia rather than, say, Trump’s neo-Bush style economics, they’ll find a yawning public who has an increasingly dim opinion of a visibly partisan MSM as much as of Trump’s corruption.

    (That, and had it not been for the existence of the White House taping system, Nixon likely would have survived his second term, albeit as a lame duck before his time. The Democrats have repeatedly claimed they’ve got equivalently solid evidence that will doom Trump since early 2017, and almost weekly, we’ve heard most of the MSM claim Trump is doomed. So, where are the goods, if that is so?

    It’s often forgotten that in September of 1973, prominent Democrats-including Ervin-were reaching out to the White House to see if there was some way they couldn’t settle this before it out of anybody’s control. They wanted to see Nixon castrated, not removed: apart from the uncertain succession question prior to Agnew’s removal, impeachment was a novel thing to the America of 1973, we hadn’t seen it in a century. But by then, the situation was genuinely out of Capitol Hill’s control, particularly with the media. It’s an interestingly reversed situation this time around.)

    • Replies: @anon
    BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd

    LOL! Perfect.
    , @Justvisiting
    Nixon made a fatal tactical error by not protecting Agnew (regardless of whatever Agnew did or did not do).

    There is no way the Democrats would have impeached Nixon with the threat of an Agnew presidency hanging over their heads.
    , @Paleo Liberal
    Things are different now, you are correct. And yes, a tanking economy had a lot to do with it.

    Realize I am not making predictions. I am merely stating what needs to be done to get rid of a sitting president. It ain’t easy, which is why it has only happened once.

    Andrew Johnson essentially bribed his way out of conviction. He needed one more vote to acquit. He made an offer a certain Senator from Kansas couldn’t refuse.

    What was different in 1974 — the country was polarized some in the 1960s, but the regional polarization was less than usual. Recall that Nixon carried 49 states; most of which went Democratic in state and local elections. The goal of the Republicans was to become the dominant party in Congress and in the state legislatures. Nixon was standing in their way. 1974 was shaping up to be a bloodbath, from which the GOP could not recover for a very long time. The calculation was to throw Nixon and Agnew under the bus, which would allow the GOP to minimize the damage and maximize the recovery. By 1980, the GOP was the dominant party in Washington and well on its way to contesting local elections all over the country.

    I don’t have a clue how this will play out. It appears there will be an impeachment and an acquittal, which could be a terrible strategy by Nancy Pelosi. She seemed so smart in taking it slow so far.

    If Pelosi is really a crafty lady, she will use the impeachment process to build her case better. Until the past few days I thought she was handling things well. She needs to get courts to force Trump to hand over certain documents. She needs courts to force Bolton to testify. And then see is there is enough of a groundswell to put the Republicans in a Nixonian bind.

    At this point Pelosi seems to think she can make her case during the Senate trial. Well, we shall soon find out. This could play out a lot of ways, and my crystal ball isn’t working well enough.
  137. @Harry Baldwin
    For a politician to make fun of fat people in America today is going to cost him a significant percentage of the vote.

    “Will he have some appeal to working-class Dems in Levittown or Bristol? Sure. For every one, he’ll lose one and a half, two Republican women. Trump’s comments like, ‘You can’t be a 10 if you’re flat-chested’, that’ll come back to haunt him. There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally.”

    Probably? Have you traveled abroad to places where women still make an effort to look pretty, man?

    Ah, God bless Ed Rendell and his ability to get the finger-waggers in a tizzy.

  138. @PhysicistDave
    Ron Mexico wrote:

    If [Biden] does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.
     
    A lot of people on the center-left think Biden's goofiness shows he is a regular guy (my later brother, for example, who had a high IQ, though, I admit, not much judgment).

    Biden could win.

    Would he be better or worse as President than Liz or Bernie? Hard to tell. Biden might get some moderately bad stuff through Congress and Liz or Bernie might not be able to get anything through.

    So, Biden might be worse.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that FDR had a second-class intellect but a first-class temperament. Joe Biden has a third-class intellect AND a second-class temperament so it’s a LOSE-LOSE proposition to put him in the Oval Office.

    In any other state except tiny Delaware, Biden would have peaked out somewhere around the state senator level or maybe he could have made it to the House of Representatives in some safe blue district helped by his Teamster friends like Frank (the “Irishman”) Sheeran (who was really 1/2 Swedish and looked more like a big dumb Swede than an Irishman. The Swedes BTW have really come up in the world – now they are known for socialism and their violent Muslim population while back in the day they ranked with Polacks as the butt of dumb jokes). But in some sort of real life “Being There” scenario he has failed upward and has a shot at the White House.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
  139. No Malarkey!

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1200882191875465216
  140. @nebulafox
    Agreed, but the conditions to create these betrayals are higher than the BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd wants to think about.

    The thing about Nixon's rapid downturn in public support was that it happened to coincide with the massive economic crunch caused by the oil embargo. Unless Trump presides over something similar next year or does something spectacularly dumb like invading Iran, the Democrats are going to have a hard time duplicating that. They've been trying for three years to re-enact Watergate: it just isn't going to hit that extent. They try to make 2020 about Russia rather than, say, Trump's neo-Bush style economics, they'll find a yawning public who has an increasingly dim opinion of a visibly partisan MSM as much as of Trump's corruption.

    (That, and had it not been for the existence of the White House taping system, Nixon likely would have survived his second term, albeit as a lame duck before his time. The Democrats have repeatedly claimed they've got equivalently solid evidence that will doom Trump since early 2017, and almost weekly, we've heard most of the MSM claim Trump is doomed. So, where are the goods, if that is so?

    It's often forgotten that in September of 1973, prominent Democrats-including Ervin-were reaching out to the White House to see if there was some way they couldn't settle this before it out of anybody's control. They wanted to see Nixon castrated, not removed: apart from the uncertain succession question prior to Agnew's removal, impeachment was a novel thing to the America of 1973, we hadn't seen it in a century. But by then, the situation was genuinely out of Capitol Hill's control, particularly with the media. It's an interestingly reversed situation this time around.)

    BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd

    LOL! Perfect.

  141. @PhysicistDave
    Ron Mexico wrote:

    If [Biden] does get the nomination, imagine how Trump will be able to set him off.
     
    A lot of people on the center-left think Biden's goofiness shows he is a regular guy (my later brother, for example, who had a high IQ, though, I admit, not much judgment).

    Biden could win.

    Would he be better or worse as President than Liz or Bernie? Hard to tell. Biden might get some moderately bad stuff through Congress and Liz or Bernie might not be able to get anything through.

    So, Biden might be worse.

    The two are not necessarily correlated. I’ve met people with doctorates from elite schools who I wouldn’t trust with responsibility over a butter knife, let alone a government (or a child!), and I’ve met barely literate construction workers who have pretty good judgement, all things considered.

    IQ signifies how fast you can learn new material and-potentially-connect it with old material. Assimilate, you might call it. It does not signify good character or common sense. In terms of coming up with novel, creative results, I’d say it is necessary, but not sufficient: when Einstein created general relativity, he had the mental quickness to absorb the mathematics he needed, but it wasn’t his IQ alone-or far more importantly, but also necessary-but-not-sufficient, persistence-that let him craft it. The difficulties were on a more profound, synthetic level.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    nebulafox wrote:

    IQ signifies how fast you can learn new material and-potentially-connect it with old material. Assimilate, you might call it. It does not signify good character or common sense. In terms of coming up with novel, creative results, I’d say it is necessary, but not sufficient...
     
    Yeah, well that is my late brother all right: Stanford BA, later an MBA, fantastic memory, good at learning mid-level college math, etc. But not very good judgment.

    And, as you say, the flip side is my cousin who works on a GM assembly line and really struggled through to get the high-school diploma. Yet, you can have a good discussion with my cousin about topics ranging from national issues to how management functions at the plant he works in (i.e., he is not reflexively anti-management but can talk intelligently about both their strong points and weak points).

    Needless to say, my cousin was for Trump.

    So Biden will get the over-educated SJWs like my brother and will not get my cousin. But how many of my cousin's co-workers will Biden be able to suck in with Biden's "good ol' boy" act?

  142. @Paleo Liberal
    Uh, yeah, that’s exactly my point.

    Senators are not known for courage and integrity. If Trump is popular, even Senators who despise him will support him. If the public turns on him the way they turned on Nixon, his closest allies will race to see who can throw him under the bus the fastest.

    As nebulafox pointed out, that’s very unlikely to happen in the latter case. Afaik even Bush immediately after 9/11 didn’t have numbers this high.

  143. anon[347] • Disclaimer says:

    If some number of people bought decorative chains, and wrapped them around their head, and showed up at a Joe Biden town hall or other meeting…would they get turned away at the door, or could they get in? What if they also had popcorn with them? Just asking for a friend.

  144. @nebulafox
    Agreed, but the conditions to create these betrayals are higher than the BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd wants to think about.

    The thing about Nixon's rapid downturn in public support was that it happened to coincide with the massive economic crunch caused by the oil embargo. Unless Trump presides over something similar next year or does something spectacularly dumb like invading Iran, the Democrats are going to have a hard time duplicating that. They've been trying for three years to re-enact Watergate: it just isn't going to hit that extent. They try to make 2020 about Russia rather than, say, Trump's neo-Bush style economics, they'll find a yawning public who has an increasingly dim opinion of a visibly partisan MSM as much as of Trump's corruption.

    (That, and had it not been for the existence of the White House taping system, Nixon likely would have survived his second term, albeit as a lame duck before his time. The Democrats have repeatedly claimed they've got equivalently solid evidence that will doom Trump since early 2017, and almost weekly, we've heard most of the MSM claim Trump is doomed. So, where are the goods, if that is so?

    It's often forgotten that in September of 1973, prominent Democrats-including Ervin-were reaching out to the White House to see if there was some way they couldn't settle this before it out of anybody's control. They wanted to see Nixon castrated, not removed: apart from the uncertain succession question prior to Agnew's removal, impeachment was a novel thing to the America of 1973, we hadn't seen it in a century. But by then, the situation was genuinely out of Capitol Hill's control, particularly with the media. It's an interestingly reversed situation this time around.)

    Nixon made a fatal tactical error by not protecting Agnew (regardless of whatever Agnew did or did not do).

    There is no way the Democrats would have impeached Nixon with the threat of an Agnew presidency hanging over their heads.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I don't think he could have protected Agnew: the crimes that led to Agnew's downfall were committed before he even took office, IIRC.
  145. @nebulafox
    Agreed, but the conditions to create these betrayals are higher than the BlueCheck Watergate-nostalgia crowd wants to think about.

    The thing about Nixon's rapid downturn in public support was that it happened to coincide with the massive economic crunch caused by the oil embargo. Unless Trump presides over something similar next year or does something spectacularly dumb like invading Iran, the Democrats are going to have a hard time duplicating that. They've been trying for three years to re-enact Watergate: it just isn't going to hit that extent. They try to make 2020 about Russia rather than, say, Trump's neo-Bush style economics, they'll find a yawning public who has an increasingly dim opinion of a visibly partisan MSM as much as of Trump's corruption.

    (That, and had it not been for the existence of the White House taping system, Nixon likely would have survived his second term, albeit as a lame duck before his time. The Democrats have repeatedly claimed they've got equivalently solid evidence that will doom Trump since early 2017, and almost weekly, we've heard most of the MSM claim Trump is doomed. So, where are the goods, if that is so?

    It's often forgotten that in September of 1973, prominent Democrats-including Ervin-were reaching out to the White House to see if there was some way they couldn't settle this before it out of anybody's control. They wanted to see Nixon castrated, not removed: apart from the uncertain succession question prior to Agnew's removal, impeachment was a novel thing to the America of 1973, we hadn't seen it in a century. But by then, the situation was genuinely out of Capitol Hill's control, particularly with the media. It's an interestingly reversed situation this time around.)

    Things are different now, you are correct. And yes, a tanking economy had a lot to do with it.

    Realize I am not making predictions. I am merely stating what needs to be done to get rid of a sitting president. It ain’t easy, which is why it has only happened once.

    Andrew Johnson essentially bribed his way out of conviction. He needed one more vote to acquit. He made an offer a certain Senator from Kansas couldn’t refuse.

    What was different in 1974 — the country was polarized some in the 1960s, but the regional polarization was less than usual. Recall that Nixon carried 49 states; most of which went Democratic in state and local elections. The goal of the Republicans was to become the dominant party in Congress and in the state legislatures. Nixon was standing in their way. 1974 was shaping up to be a bloodbath, from which the GOP could not recover for a very long time. The calculation was to throw Nixon and Agnew under the bus, which would allow the GOP to minimize the damage and maximize the recovery. By 1980, the GOP was the dominant party in Washington and well on its way to contesting local elections all over the country.

    I don’t have a clue how this will play out. It appears there will be an impeachment and an acquittal, which could be a terrible strategy by Nancy Pelosi. She seemed so smart in taking it slow so far.

    If Pelosi is really a crafty lady, she will use the impeachment process to build her case better. Until the past few days I thought she was handling things well. She needs to get courts to force Trump to hand over certain documents. She needs courts to force Bolton to testify. And then see is there is enough of a groundswell to put the Republicans in a Nixonian bind.

    At this point Pelosi seems to think she can make her case during the Senate trial. Well, we shall soon find out. This could play out a lot of ways, and my crystal ball isn’t working well enough.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    True. I can't predict the future, no one can. All I can say it is looks like we are fated to live in interesting times. In 46 minutes, I'm becoming apolitical for the next several years, so it won't be my concern anymore.

    My impression was that Nixon and the GOP apparatus cared little for each other and held each other in contempt, ideologically and personally. As a result, the 1972 landslide was shakier than it looked, because there was a complete lack of coattails, unlike 1964. Nixon occasionally even floated the idea of breaking off and starting a third, Gaullist-style party with John Connally or some other conservative Democrat as its first candidate in 1976. That was probably a flight of fancy, but the tension between their world-views was pretty real.

    (Plenty of blame to go around, IMO: Nixon hogged all the resources in part because of egomania and a desire to beat Johnson's landslide. But one also can't deny that Nixon didn't have some sharp, insightful, and less than flattering points about the GOP's essential nature-points that are still very relevant today-and why it wasn't managing to appeal to anybody despite the New Deal Coalition's fracturing, judging from the tapes and papers.)

    With Donald Trump, the dynamic is a little different, because I genuinely don't believe Trump has much of a vision beyond whatever his whims are for the day. (This is why I can't take claims about him being some crypto-white nationalist seriously.) Trump had a deep desire to be liked by a class of elites that has largely held him as a joke before 2015, and then rejected him afterwards. Simultaneously, he's a deeply lazy dude: he desires to take the easiest route out of any potential problem that poses itself. That's part of why his policies have turned out the way they have. Whenever he's come too close to going overboard-say, leaving the Middle East-he immediately diverted elsewhere upon encountering resistance. The GOP brass knows this. All that said, though, they also aren't blind to Trump's long-term image impact that the Republican Party is going to have to deal with. If they could theoretically replace him with Mike Pence without driving the base absolutely bonkers, they would have, well before now.

    So, if the GOP is going to abandon him, my guess is this: the Democrats are going to have to get close enough to what they want politically to make the jump palatable. That's going to be a big problem given what their own base seems to want for 2020.

    IMO, the big problem with the GOP is they don't seem to understand that things aren't going to go back to the Dubya/Romney days, no matter what they try. Zombie Reaganism is a dying ideology with no future, but the people in charge haven't gotten the memo: the situation is reminiscent to that of New Dealism around the Mondale debacle. Given the geriatric, nostalgia-laden trends all over US politics (this isn't just a problem with the parties, the Supreme Court and an unelected judiciary are even more noxious here), this is, perhaps, to be expected.

    I suppose it'll last until it can't. I know it can't last forever, along with so much else that our ruling elites are doing. Hang on to your seatbelts...

  146. @istevefan
    Biden does have an obsession with wanting people to perceive him as physically tough. Here is a clip from three year ago where he suggests that he would have taken Trump behind the gym to presumably beat him up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOKwgtEiLpo&t=0m53s

    If only Joe could go back to then…..when he looked far less waxy and filled with embalming fluid.

  147. @Tiny Duck
    Another Trump supporter disrupting a townhall

    Just pathetic

    Ohs Tinys…….!

  148. We are about to enter a new year–an election year.

    An impeachment trial during an election year is just….strange….

    But–we live in strange times.

  149. @Jack D
    IF, if - if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolley car. Under what scenario do that many GOP Senators flip between now and the impeachment trial, based upon currently known facts? Maybe there is some smoking gun that hasn't been found yet, a deus ex machina that will flip the script, but based on current evidence (and god knows the Democrats and the FBI and the press (but I repeat myself) have been beating the bushes looking for same and haven't found squat) the Republican base is sticking with Trump and any Republican Senator that flips will find himself out of a job next election.

    You are right that IF something like that was found and public opinion changed, there are plenty of Republican Senators who would throw Trump under the bus in a NY minute, but first it has to be found and it hasn't and most likely won't because it doesn't exist. The basic facts are known - that Trump tried to press Ukraine into investigating Biden and the Republican base has shrugged its shoulders and said, "Eh, so what?" and for the time being that is not likely to change.

    Jack, you are one of the more intelligent posters here, so I will try to answer you as best as I can.

    I will assume what you say is correct. All evidence points that way, so a fair assumption.
    I will also assume Pelosi is smarter than many of her detractors believe. Otherwise she would be out of power now.

    Based on the way things are now, I would guess — not predict, since things can change rapidly, but guess — that Trump will be impeached but not convicted.

    For Nancy Pelosi to rationally push impeachment under that situation means one of four things:
    1. True moral outrage. Uh, this is a politician we are talking about. Unlikely, but possible.
    2. Pelosi honestly believes there is something out there that will convict Trump. Unless she knows something we are not privy to, that is unlikely.
    3. Pelosi calculates that she damage Trump enough to swing the election in 2020 to the Democrats, the way the endless and pointless Bengazhi hearings were designed to make Hillary Clinton look bad. Highly probable.
    4. Pelosi believes the only way she can keep the House Democrats from tossing her out is to go ahead with impeachment. Highly probable.

    I think the correct answer is a combination of all 4, mostly 3 and 4, with some of 2 being wishful thinking.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  150. @Cloudbuster
    A health care system where families just paid a nominal copay to have a baby, received a couple of doctor’s office visits a year included in the price of the plan, free emergency room and ambulance coverage, and so on.

    I absolutely wouldn't want all those "free" add-ons. TANSTAAFL. I'd rather pay for all my day-to-day expenses out of pocket and reserve health insurance for, you know, unforeseen major expenses -- what insurance is supposed to be for.

    Ideally, this is how it should work. Having your “insurance” company pay for routine medical care is like having your car insurer pay for your car’s oil changes. It can be done, but it’s really very inefficient.

    First of all, not having to pay directly for your own oil changes means that you are no longer concerned about the price, since it is not coming directly out of your pocket, so you no longer shop around for the best price.

    2nd, instead of just having to pay your mechanic’s expenses, there is now a 3rd party involved. And not a third party that has dirty fingernails and operates out of an ex-gas station. This third party has really nice offices and a whole hierarchy of executives and underlings and claims processing software and paperwork, etc. – all that stuff doesn’t come cheap. Now in order to pay your mechanic $20 for an oil change, you have to send $40 to the insurance company to pay for all that stuff so that they can send him the $20. Not only is the system inefficient buy YOU are the one paying for all that inefficiency.

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, “Hey, why aren’t I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn’t they at least pay for my oil changes?” The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, “Hey, why aren’t I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn’t they at least pay for my oil changes?” The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.
     
    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.

    Health insurance should be seen as a way to finance health care, not as a disaster insurance program.

    It would be OK if health care in the US was cheap and cheerful and everyone could pay for cash, but it is not.

    In my family we pay about 1/12 of our gross income on health insurance premiums (not counting the injury portion of automobile insurance) but effectively get nothing for our money. This is not because we have chosen to insure ourselves against medical disaster, but because we are legally bound to do so. So we are already paying more than we pay in income tax for health care disaster insurance.

    What if everyone paid 1/12 (8.35%) of their earnings in a health care tax? Would that be enough to pay for comprehensive health care. 15%? 25%?

    Canada spent about 11.1 per cent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident on health care in 2016. Not just for disaster health insurance, for all health care costs! The average American and their employer is paying almost that much just for disaster insurance, PLUS paying a significant portion of their earnings on actual health care as well.

    The US is spending approximately 18% of GDP on healthcare. The extra 7% over Canada is just money that US citizens are being ripped off for by health insurance companies, and there is no evidence that US citizens have significantly better health care or outcomes. Canada has longer average life expectancy, and a low rate of perinatal mortality.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    The problem with the oil change analogy is that some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.). And I doubt health insurance company salaries are a big part of health care costs in America. They are a convenient bogey man for hospitals and physicians that often charge exorbitant fees.

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians. I'd consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.
  151. @Adam Smith
    I have no way to know if this is true... But...

    https://twitter.com/MidNiteMJ/status/1169601971105517570

    As phony as a 3 dollar bill. High profiles cases always bring out the head cases looking for attention. Is she also Princess Anastasia, rightful heir to the crown of Russia? Who else was she trafficked to – the Pope? The Beatles?

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/jd4AAOSw6D5d5ZOC/s-l1600.jpg

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/YvcAAOSw9-ld5ZOC/s-l1600.jpg

    http://www.numiscatalog.com/catalog/uploads/bahamas/images/large/bankgen-p-19.jpg

    https://www.kbcoins.in/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/s-l1600-2814.jpg
  152. @Jack D
    The same could have been said about Hillary - all of the stuff that she did, the fake black accent when speaking in black churches, keeling over like a termite eaten tree when the temperature rose above 70, etc. - none of it appeared to hurt her with her base. Just has Trump has (rightly) said of his voters that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and it would not change their votes, the same is true on the other side.

    But Presidential elections are won at the margins and Biden's senile tough guy act is going to hurt him at the margins, especially once the general election campaign gets going. The MSM will be able to hide a lot of this stuff but they aren't going to be able to hide it when Trump goes after Sleepy Joe's soft spots in a masterful way.

    Despite our differences you strike me as a man of considerable intelligence and experience, so it’s possible you’ve come across a similar observation to one I’ve had over the years, which is that generally speaking you can quite often (but not always) accurately assess another person’s intelligence by looking at their eyes for about 30 seconds.

    By this standard, Joe Biden is dumb as a rock. He has a kind of crafty survival intelligence, like a raccoon or a stray cat, but intellectually and morally, he’s a ninny. He isn’t even what one would call a genuine adult, an actual grown man. Thirty-odd years in the Senate has taught him nothing, humanly speaking. He may have learned something about careerist survival, but he has not actually faithfully served his country for a single minute of his adult life. He’s one of those sad critters whom Dante dumps out before the gates of Hell, a creature so despised he isn’t even granted the dignity of Divine wrath and punishment.

  153. @Bartleby the Scrivner
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that Uncle Joe was voted the dumbest man in the Senate by.....his Senate colleagues.
    I could be wrong. But think of how despised one has to be to achieve that level of distain.

    I’d read somewhere (Washingtonian Magazine I believe) that it was Barbara Boxer.

  154. @res
    Did Obama keep Biden in line, or are we just now seeing what happens when Obama's "media pass" no longer covers Biden?
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/obamas-biden-dig-veep

    Did Obama keep Biden in line, or are we just now seeing what happens when Obama’s “media pass” no longer covers Biden

    A little from column A, a little from column B.

    And I think that there’s definitely some steep cognitive decline here after the end of the Obama second term. He’s always been gaffe prone, but now his malapropisms, lost trains of thought in the midst of speaking, and strange tangents are rather striking. Perhaps he thought a two year layoff would have him recharged and ready, but it seems more like the lack of a policy portfolio has allowed his mind to atrophy fast.

  155. @Buck Ransom
    The last confirmed RBG sighting I know about was in Chicago, sometime around 1980:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDc2VIIrUok

    “Just you and I, Mrs. Fablo, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.”

    Mrs. Falbo’s Tiny Town – Visiting a Prison, & The Letter ‘P’

  156. @Canadian Observer
    No Malarkey!

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    "Barnstorm", too! Are Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson on the bus, as well?
  157. @Jack D
    Ideally, this is how it should work. Having your "insurance" company pay for routine medical care is like having your car insurer pay for your car's oil changes. It can be done, but it's really very inefficient.

    First of all, not having to pay directly for your own oil changes means that you are no longer concerned about the price, since it is not coming directly out of your pocket, so you no longer shop around for the best price.

    2nd, instead of just having to pay your mechanic's expenses, there is now a 3rd party involved. And not a third party that has dirty fingernails and operates out of an ex-gas station. This third party has really nice offices and a whole hierarchy of executives and underlings and claims processing software and paperwork, etc. - all that stuff doesn't come cheap. Now in order to pay your mechanic $20 for an oil change, you have to send $40 to the insurance company to pay for all that stuff so that they can send him the $20. Not only is the system inefficient buy YOU are the one paying for all that inefficiency.

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, "Hey, why aren't I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn't they at least pay for my oil changes?" The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, “Hey, why aren’t I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn’t they at least pay for my oil changes?” The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.

    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.

    Health insurance should be seen as a way to finance health care, not as a disaster insurance program.

    It would be OK if health care in the US was cheap and cheerful and everyone could pay for cash, but it is not.

    In my family we pay about 1/12 of our gross income on health insurance premiums (not counting the injury portion of automobile insurance) but effectively get nothing for our money. This is not because we have chosen to insure ourselves against medical disaster, but because we are legally bound to do so. So we are already paying more than we pay in income tax for health care disaster insurance.

    What if everyone paid 1/12 (8.35%) of their earnings in a health care tax? Would that be enough to pay for comprehensive health care. 15%? 25%?

    Canada spent about 11.1 per cent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident on health care in 2016. Not just for disaster health insurance, for all health care costs! The average American and their employer is paying almost that much just for disaster insurance, PLUS paying a significant portion of their earnings on actual health care as well.

    The US is spending approximately 18% of GDP on healthcare. The extra 7% over Canada is just money that US citizens are being ripped off for by health insurance companies, and there is no evidence that US citizens have significantly better health care or outcomes. Canada has longer average life expectancy, and a low rate of perinatal mortality.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Jonathan Mason wrote:

    The US is spending approximately 18% of GDP on healthcare. The extra 7% over Canada is just money that US citizens are being ripped off for by health insurance companies...
     
    Nope. I have a close family member who was a hospital-based physician for almost thirty years, a neighbor who is a nurse working for one of the insurance companies, a good friend retired from BigPharma.

    No, the problem is not some group getting incredibly rich by ripping us off. The problem is that the system is created by and largely funded by government and it therefore works about as efficiently as the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex. I myself worked for the military-industrial complex back in the '80s and '90s. The similarities are striking and for a good reason: government control and government money has the same effect wherever it occurs.

    I.e., there is huge, unbelievable waste throughout health care.

    Get to know a hospital accounting person: they have no idea of cost control. Thye cannot control or cut costs because they have no idea of costs in the sense that normal, private industry does.

    Or talk to private physicians who do their own billing: the whole game is to understand the federal ICD-10 coding system and which "code" you can get away with using for billing without going to jail.

    The whole system is indeed insane, just like anything run by the state -- the Pentagon, DMV, TSA, you name it. It will not get fixed until we decide that the traditional free-market approach to medical care was actually pretty good.
    , @AnonAnon

    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.
     
    Other countries get rationed health care. I’ve been in on-line discussion groups populated by Canadians for over a decade and these are some of the health stories I’ve read -

    - 18 month wait for a vasectomy
    - two year wait for knee surgery
    - 10 month wait for gallbladder removal

    No thank you.

  158. @Steve Sailer
    Maybe the time Biden started reminiscing about how he used to tie a turnip to his belt?

  159. @Corn
    When was the last time RBG was sighted alive?

    Just imagine how much fun it will be if she croaks next October or November and McConnell rams a replacement through.

  160. @Jack D
    Ideally, this is how it should work. Having your "insurance" company pay for routine medical care is like having your car insurer pay for your car's oil changes. It can be done, but it's really very inefficient.

    First of all, not having to pay directly for your own oil changes means that you are no longer concerned about the price, since it is not coming directly out of your pocket, so you no longer shop around for the best price.

    2nd, instead of just having to pay your mechanic's expenses, there is now a 3rd party involved. And not a third party that has dirty fingernails and operates out of an ex-gas station. This third party has really nice offices and a whole hierarchy of executives and underlings and claims processing software and paperwork, etc. - all that stuff doesn't come cheap. Now in order to pay your mechanic $20 for an oil change, you have to send $40 to the insurance company to pay for all that stuff so that they can send him the $20. Not only is the system inefficient buy YOU are the one paying for all that inefficiency.

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, "Hey, why aren't I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn't they at least pay for my oil changes?" The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.

    The problem with the oil change analogy is that some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.). And I doubt health insurance company salaries are a big part of health care costs in America. They are a convenient bogey man for hospitals and physicians that often charge exorbitant fees.

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians. I’d consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.

    • Replies: @Jack D

    some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.).
     
    Well it really sucks to be them, but it's not insurance anymore if I have to pay for their known future claims. I can't buy fire insurance after my building is already on fire. What you are talking about is not insurance but some sort of forced subsidy where I have to pay for other people's health care costs, often people who have brought on their own illness thru poor lifestyle choices. Either we have nationalized health care where everyone gets socialist quality healthcare and it is paid for via taxes as a welfare expense or we have a system of true insurance where I don't get forced into the same risk pool as drunks and arsonists, but what we have now is a mess - neither fish nor fowl.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote:

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians.
     
    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.

    There is a fascinating book, Mother of Invention: How the Government Created “Free‐Market” Health Care by Robert I. Field, that lays out in detail how the feds have wrecked every aspect of the health-care industry by controls, subsidies, barriers to entry, etc. going back to WW II. It's quite enlightening. Field by the way thinks this is more or less okay despite the fact that he documents the incredible mess that resulted! The point of the scare quotes around "free market" in his title is that it is not a free market in the slightest but rather a massive boondoggle created by government.

    Dave Pinsen also wrote:

    I’d consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.
     
    Then all health care would work like the VA.

    If we provided food the way we provide health care -- you choose a "food insurance plan" once a year and can only change it towards the end of the year, your "food insurance plan" negotiates prices with the local grocery store and you do not pay out of pocket for most of the cost of the food, your "food insurance plan" is normally through your employer who determines what plans you can choose from, etc. -- our food would cost more than our medical care and getting groceries would be as frustrating as going to the hospital.

    When I was a young kid, medical care was much closer to being a true free market. People were not driven crazy (or into bankruptcy) dealing with it.

    Markets work. But whatever government touches turns to crap.
  161. @Dave Pinsen
    The problem with the oil change analogy is that some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.). And I doubt health insurance company salaries are a big part of health care costs in America. They are a convenient bogey man for hospitals and physicians that often charge exorbitant fees.

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians. I'd consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.

    some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.).

    Well it really sucks to be them, but it’s not insurance anymore if I have to pay for their known future claims. I can’t buy fire insurance after my building is already on fire. What you are talking about is not insurance but some sort of forced subsidy where I have to pay for other people’s health care costs, often people who have brought on their own illness thru poor lifestyle choices. Either we have nationalized health care where everyone gets socialist quality healthcare and it is paid for via taxes as a welfare expense or we have a system of true insurance where I don’t get forced into the same risk pool as drunks and arsonists, but what we have now is a mess – neither fish nor fowl.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, it's not pure insurance. This is common knowledge.

    But I think our current system versus nationalized health care is a false dichotomy. There are countries with better systems than ours that aren't nationalized.

    In any case, we aren't going to let the sick suffer in the street like Calcutta, so we're going to have some sort of subsidy for the poor/chronically ill, and you'll pay for it one way or another, whether via taxes, insurance premiums, or both.
  162. @nebulafox
    The two are not necessarily correlated. I've met people with doctorates from elite schools who I wouldn't trust with responsibility over a butter knife, let alone a government (or a child!), and I've met barely literate construction workers who have pretty good judgement, all things considered.

    IQ signifies how fast you can learn new material and-potentially-connect it with old material. Assimilate, you might call it. It does not signify good character or common sense. In terms of coming up with novel, creative results, I'd say it is necessary, but not sufficient: when Einstein created general relativity, he had the mental quickness to absorb the mathematics he needed, but it wasn't his IQ alone-or far more importantly, but also necessary-but-not-sufficient, persistence-that let him craft it. The difficulties were on a more profound, synthetic level.

    nebulafox wrote:

    IQ signifies how fast you can learn new material and-potentially-connect it with old material. Assimilate, you might call it. It does not signify good character or common sense. In terms of coming up with novel, creative results, I’d say it is necessary, but not sufficient…

    Yeah, well that is my late brother all right: Stanford BA, later an MBA, fantastic memory, good at learning mid-level college math, etc. But not very good judgment.

    And, as you say, the flip side is my cousin who works on a GM assembly line and really struggled through to get the high-school diploma. Yet, you can have a good discussion with my cousin about topics ranging from national issues to how management functions at the plant he works in (i.e., he is not reflexively anti-management but can talk intelligently about both their strong points and weak points).

    Needless to say, my cousin was for Trump.

    So Biden will get the over-educated SJWs like my brother and will not get my cousin. But how many of my cousin’s co-workers will Biden be able to suck in with Biden’s “good ol’ boy” act?

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Construction worker I had in mind was a middle-aged Indonesian dude I had lunch with: I'd be very shocked if he was in school beyond his teenage years, and he was probably the first in his family to be literate. Yet he talked very lucidly about this and that industralization program, what was working, what wasn't, the pros and cons about accepting Chinese vs. Japanese funding, etc. I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.

    As far the USA goes, I'd be careful about dismissing the American people as a bunch of idiots, for all the well-justified concerns about the malleability of the electorate. I've noticed that blue-collar citizens often (though not always) tend to be far more connected with the reality that something has broken down with American society in the 21st Century than their UMC counterparts. They are unable to articulate exactly why these problems are the way they are sometimes, but they know that something just isn't right here, in stark contrast to the never-never land you'll see among those for whom the new order of things have worked out pretty well, i.e, cognitive elites who also happen to have the right personality traits (conscientiousness, social compliance, and more) to climb the greasy pole.

    (Problem is, they also often lack the ability to convey their skepticism or incredulity about elite flights of fancy-we have 16 genders now!-in ways that don't leave them open to superficial but socially effective mockery by their cognitive superiors. Which they know on some level: meaning they'll either mouth what they need to and try not to think about it too much, or keep quite and vent at a safer place.)

  163. @MikeatMikedotMike
    I know, let's have a spelling contest!

    https://youtu.be/t2PXlUjWz5M

    Val Kilmer’s greatest role.

  164. Well it really sucks to be them, but it’s not insurance anymore if I have to pay for their known future claims…. Either we have nationalized health care where everyone gets socialist quality healthcare and it is paid for via taxes as a welfare expense or we have a system of true insurance where I don’t get forced into the same risk pool as drunks and arsonists, but what we have now is a mess – neither fish nor fowl.

    You have put your finger on it!

    And this is exactly why we need health care financing reform, not just tweaking the insurance system. Insurance works fine for automobile accidents or house fires–although in my state we have to pay a supplement for uninsured drivers–but it does not work effectively for health care, because health care costs involve normal health, such as vaccinations and childbirth, mental illness, dementia, developmental disorders, hereditary disorders, contagious disorders, as well as short term sicknesses and injuries.

    If you have cheap health insurance pools for healthy people who never do anything unhealthy, and whose parents both lived to be 100, and live in areas where there is little crime, and stay off the interstates, and have a calorie controlled diet, and are teetotal, and exercise for 30 minutes per day this does not solve the problem of a relatively wealthy nation making sure that all its citizens have reasonable access to affordable health care, like in every other developed nation and some not so developed nations.

  165. @Dave Pinsen
    The problem with the oil change analogy is that some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.). And I doubt health insurance company salaries are a big part of health care costs in America. They are a convenient bogey man for hospitals and physicians that often charge exorbitant fees.

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians. I'd consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.

    Dave Pinsen wrote:

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians.

    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.

    There is a fascinating book, Mother of Invention: How the Government Created “Free‐Market” Health Care by Robert I. Field, that lays out in detail how the feds have wrecked every aspect of the health-care industry by controls, subsidies, barriers to entry, etc. going back to WW II. It’s quite enlightening. Field by the way thinks this is more or less okay despite the fact that he documents the incredible mess that resulted! The point of the scare quotes around “free market” in his title is that it is not a free market in the slightest but rather a massive boondoggle created by government.

    Dave Pinsen also wrote:

    I’d consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.

    Then all health care would work like the VA.

    If we provided food the way we provide health care — you choose a “food insurance plan” once a year and can only change it towards the end of the year, your “food insurance plan” negotiates prices with the local grocery store and you do not pay out of pocket for most of the cost of the food, your “food insurance plan” is normally through your employer who determines what plans you can choose from, etc. — our food would cost more than our medical care and getting groceries would be as frustrating as going to the hospital.

    When I was a young kid, medical care was much closer to being a true free market. People were not driven crazy (or into bankruptcy) dealing with it.

    Markets work. But whatever government touches turns to crap.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    You can't have a free market when the consumers can't just walk away if the price is too high.

    That is just one of the problems with health care. Another is an unlimited demand and a limited supply. I know of people who go to the doctor all the time (they are on Medicare and the doctor doesn't charge a copay). He is running up unnecessary bills to Medicare. Even if they were valid, those people would still go and use up the scarce resources for themselves. Now add in all the Medicaid patients. How does one police whether people are truely in need of services?
    , @Dave Pinsen

    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.
     
    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?

    Then all health care would work like the VA.
     
    This wouldn't apply to all health care, just the hospitals built and staffed by the government. But being government-run wouldn't require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.
  166. @Jack D

    some people have chronic illnesses where they need frequent, expensive treatments (insulin, dialysis, etc.).
     
    Well it really sucks to be them, but it's not insurance anymore if I have to pay for their known future claims. I can't buy fire insurance after my building is already on fire. What you are talking about is not insurance but some sort of forced subsidy where I have to pay for other people's health care costs, often people who have brought on their own illness thru poor lifestyle choices. Either we have nationalized health care where everyone gets socialist quality healthcare and it is paid for via taxes as a welfare expense or we have a system of true insurance where I don't get forced into the same risk pool as drunks and arsonists, but what we have now is a mess - neither fish nor fowl.

    Yeah, it’s not pure insurance. This is common knowledge.

    But I think our current system versus nationalized health care is a false dichotomy. There are countries with better systems than ours that aren’t nationalized.

    In any case, we aren’t going to let the sick suffer in the street like Calcutta, so we’re going to have some sort of subsidy for the poor/chronically ill, and you’ll pay for it one way or another, whether via taxes, insurance premiums, or both.

  167. @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote:

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians.
     
    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.

    There is a fascinating book, Mother of Invention: How the Government Created “Free‐Market” Health Care by Robert I. Field, that lays out in detail how the feds have wrecked every aspect of the health-care industry by controls, subsidies, barriers to entry, etc. going back to WW II. It's quite enlightening. Field by the way thinks this is more or less okay despite the fact that he documents the incredible mess that resulted! The point of the scare quotes around "free market" in his title is that it is not a free market in the slightest but rather a massive boondoggle created by government.

    Dave Pinsen also wrote:

    I’d consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.
     
    Then all health care would work like the VA.

    If we provided food the way we provide health care -- you choose a "food insurance plan" once a year and can only change it towards the end of the year, your "food insurance plan" negotiates prices with the local grocery store and you do not pay out of pocket for most of the cost of the food, your "food insurance plan" is normally through your employer who determines what plans you can choose from, etc. -- our food would cost more than our medical care and getting groceries would be as frustrating as going to the hospital.

    When I was a young kid, medical care was much closer to being a true free market. People were not driven crazy (or into bankruptcy) dealing with it.

    Markets work. But whatever government touches turns to crap.

    You can’t have a free market when the consumers can’t just walk away if the price is too high.

    That is just one of the problems with health care. Another is an unlimited demand and a limited supply. I know of people who go to the doctor all the time (they are on Medicare and the doctor doesn’t charge a copay). He is running up unnecessary bills to Medicare. Even if they were valid, those people would still go and use up the scarce resources for themselves. Now add in all the Medicaid patients. How does one police whether people are truely in need of services?

  168. @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote:

    Given that the U.S. can apparently borrow enormous amounts of money at historically low rates, it would seem logical to spend some of that on building more hospitals and training more physicians.
     
    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.

    There is a fascinating book, Mother of Invention: How the Government Created “Free‐Market” Health Care by Robert I. Field, that lays out in detail how the feds have wrecked every aspect of the health-care industry by controls, subsidies, barriers to entry, etc. going back to WW II. It's quite enlightening. Field by the way thinks this is more or less okay despite the fact that he documents the incredible mess that resulted! The point of the scare quotes around "free market" in his title is that it is not a free market in the slightest but rather a massive boondoggle created by government.

    Dave Pinsen also wrote:

    I’d consider going a step further and making most of those physicians federal employees on salary versus charging per visit or procedure.
     
    Then all health care would work like the VA.

    If we provided food the way we provide health care -- you choose a "food insurance plan" once a year and can only change it towards the end of the year, your "food insurance plan" negotiates prices with the local grocery store and you do not pay out of pocket for most of the cost of the food, your "food insurance plan" is normally through your employer who determines what plans you can choose from, etc. -- our food would cost more than our medical care and getting groceries would be as frustrating as going to the hospital.

    When I was a young kid, medical care was much closer to being a true free market. People were not driven crazy (or into bankruptcy) dealing with it.

    Markets work. But whatever government touches turns to crap.

    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.

    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?

    Then all health care would work like the VA.

    This wouldn’t apply to all health care, just the hospitals built and staffed by the government. But being government-run wouldn’t require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?
     
    My daughter recently had a procedure that took the doctor about two minutes; the discussion and diagnosis ahead of time took about an hour. All in the doctor's office (in the hospital), no nurse present, no special equipment.

    The hospital billed around $10,000.

    We paid around $50. Insurance paid, I think, a few hundred.

    It's all blue smoke and mirrors.

    And my central point is the feds created this mess.

    We do not have anything even approximating a free market in health care.

    In a free market, costs are automatically controlled by market forces. Yes, in a free market for health care, Bill Gates would get the latest, very expensive high-tech treatment and you and I would not.

    But you and I are not getting the very latest, highly expensive high-tech treatment now anyway, because the insurance companies and the taxpayers cannot pay for it. There are just rather secretive ways of hiding this fact: only the well-connected (or lucky) folks get into the latest clinical trials; the insurance companies' formularies restrict what drugs you can get; the doctors informally choose who gets what treatment.

    It's like college admissions, except much, much worse: make it so complex and confusing that the average Joe does not even understand how he is being harmed.

    And because all this is not subject to market forces, the prices do not soon come down the way they do in most high-tech areas, such as computers or cell phones.

    It's quite bizarre, you know: we all assume that "high-tech" means, initially, really costly but soon a mass-market product.

    Except in health care and also, of course, in military spending (and perhaps I should add education).

    I.e., the areas where the state dominates.

    This is what "progressives" have brought us. And yet even here a lot of folks think a bit more government will solve the problem!

    Whatever government touches turns to crap -- education, health care, foreign policy, etc.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    But being government-run wouldn’t require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.
     
    Yeah, and if you're the mayor, you can get your parking ticker "fixed."

    There are two ways to allocate goods and service in any complex society: the impersonal forces of the market or the very personal forces of graft and corruption.

    Yeah, the Prez gets solid-gold treatment at Walter Reed. You think that some poor guy who got his legs blown off in Afghanistan gets the same treatment?

    We're already in a situation where those who understand the government-medical complex get better care than most Americans for the same price: fortunately, I have a close family member who is a physician, so we do better than most.

    Bring in more government control and the role of connections, graft, and corruption will simply increase.

    Like in college admissions. After all, Lori Loughlin's and Felicity Huffman's real crime was that they were nouveau riche who did not understand the unspoken rules of the game: if they had been old-wealth with longstanding personal and family connections to the trustees and top administrators, it all would have been taken care of quietly without a fuss.

    And Loughlin and Huffman provide a special bonus for the ruling elite: the proles can have their "two-minutes hate"aimed at Loughlin and Huffman and never suspect who is really in the ruling elite oppressing the mass of Americans.

  169. @Jonathan Mason

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, “Hey, why aren’t I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn’t they at least pay for my oil changes?” The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.
     
    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.

    Health insurance should be seen as a way to finance health care, not as a disaster insurance program.

    It would be OK if health care in the US was cheap and cheerful and everyone could pay for cash, but it is not.

    In my family we pay about 1/12 of our gross income on health insurance premiums (not counting the injury portion of automobile insurance) but effectively get nothing for our money. This is not because we have chosen to insure ourselves against medical disaster, but because we are legally bound to do so. So we are already paying more than we pay in income tax for health care disaster insurance.

    What if everyone paid 1/12 (8.35%) of their earnings in a health care tax? Would that be enough to pay for comprehensive health care. 15%? 25%?

    Canada spent about 11.1 per cent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident on health care in 2016. Not just for disaster health insurance, for all health care costs! The average American and their employer is paying almost that much just for disaster insurance, PLUS paying a significant portion of their earnings on actual health care as well.

    The US is spending approximately 18% of GDP on healthcare. The extra 7% over Canada is just money that US citizens are being ripped off for by health insurance companies, and there is no evidence that US citizens have significantly better health care or outcomes. Canada has longer average life expectancy, and a low rate of perinatal mortality.

    Jonathan Mason wrote:

    The US is spending approximately 18% of GDP on healthcare. The extra 7% over Canada is just money that US citizens are being ripped off for by health insurance companies…

    Nope. I have a close family member who was a hospital-based physician for almost thirty years, a neighbor who is a nurse working for one of the insurance companies, a good friend retired from BigPharma.

    No, the problem is not some group getting incredibly rich by ripping us off. The problem is that the system is created by and largely funded by government and it therefore works about as efficiently as the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex. I myself worked for the military-industrial complex back in the ’80s and ’90s. The similarities are striking and for a good reason: government control and government money has the same effect wherever it occurs.

    I.e., there is huge, unbelievable waste throughout health care.

    Get to know a hospital accounting person: they have no idea of cost control. Thye cannot control or cut costs because they have no idea of costs in the sense that normal, private industry does.

    Or talk to private physicians who do their own billing: the whole game is to understand the federal ICD-10 coding system and which “code” you can get away with using for billing without going to jail.

    The whole system is indeed insane, just like anything run by the state — the Pentagon, DMV, TSA, you name it. It will not get fixed until we decide that the traditional free-market approach to medical care was actually pretty good.

  170. @Buck Ransom
    Do we know for sure it was a dildo? Maybe it was a pineapple-sized buttplug. Can somebody please ask Joe about this on the next stop of the No Malarkey Tour?

    Why ask Joe?

    Why not go straight to the acknowledged expert and ask Mayor Pete?

  171. @Dave Pinsen

    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.
     
    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?

    Then all health care would work like the VA.
     
    This wouldn't apply to all health care, just the hospitals built and staffed by the government. But being government-run wouldn't require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.

    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?

    My daughter recently had a procedure that took the doctor about two minutes; the discussion and diagnosis ahead of time took about an hour. All in the doctor’s office (in the hospital), no nurse present, no special equipment.

    The hospital billed around $10,000.

    We paid around $50. Insurance paid, I think, a few hundred.

    It’s all blue smoke and mirrors.

    And my central point is the feds created this mess.

    We do not have anything even approximating a free market in health care.

    In a free market, costs are automatically controlled by market forces. Yes, in a free market for health care, Bill Gates would get the latest, very expensive high-tech treatment and you and I would not.

    But you and I are not getting the very latest, highly expensive high-tech treatment now anyway, because the insurance companies and the taxpayers cannot pay for it. There are just rather secretive ways of hiding this fact: only the well-connected (or lucky) folks get into the latest clinical trials; the insurance companies’ formularies restrict what drugs you can get; the doctors informally choose who gets what treatment.

    It’s like college admissions, except much, much worse: make it so complex and confusing that the average Joe does not even understand how he is being harmed.

    And because all this is not subject to market forces, the prices do not soon come down the way they do in most high-tech areas, such as computers or cell phones.

    It’s quite bizarre, you know: we all assume that “high-tech” means, initially, really costly but soon a mass-market product.

    Except in health care and also, of course, in military spending (and perhaps I should add education).

    I.e., the areas where the state dominates.

    This is what “progressives” have brought us. And yet even here a lot of folks think a bit more government will solve the problem!

    Whatever government touches turns to crap — education, health care, foreign policy, etc.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    The hospital billed around $10,000.
    We paid around $50. Insurance paid, I think, a few hundred.
    It’s all blue smoke and mirrors.
    And my central point is the feds created this mess.


    How did they create this by creating a billing system? What created this is the ability to sue you for the 10,000 dollars if you don't pay them what they want. It is a system where you are not in any position to negotiate prices except in rare cases like elective surgeries.
  172. @Jack D

    challenging the man to feats of strength
     
    The things that he listed are not Biden family strengths (definitely not Hunter's).

    The feats should have been as follows:

    1. How may fifths of vodka can you down? How many lines of coke can you do?

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?

    3. How many times can you go thru rehab?

    4. How many "consulting" contracts can you sign up for with foreigners? How many shady characters can you partner with?

    The New Yorker (about as Democrat sympathetic a publication as can be imagined) did a profile of Hunter back in July and they treated him with an unwarranted lack of skepticism - for example they did not question his story that he tested positive for coke because some stranger had given him a funny cigarette - I wouldn't buy this excuse from a teenager let alone a grown ass man. Nevertheless, what they printed was incredibly damning - the man's whole life is a train wreck. And Joe's whole attitude seems to be "do whatever you want as long as I don't know about it."


    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign

    The Democrats give Trump's kids a hard time but Hunter Biden is 1,000 times worse than any Trump offspring.

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?

    To be fair, a man taking in and/or marrying his brother’s widow is an ancient and honorable practice.

    What it does is put protection/support for your brother’s kids, in the hands of someone from the family–you, their uncle–rather than some stranger with no blood tie.

    But what you do not do is …

    — trash your own marriage because you’ve got the hots for your brother’s younger\hotter wife; (whether that was the case is unclear)

    — not marry, but just shack up with your brother’s widow for a few years … but blow that up because you were doing drugs and knocked up a stripper; what that does is convert your brother’s widow now into *another* ex, and permanently damage your ability to be a replacement father figure to your brother’s kids.

    Can you imagine tensions involved now in a Biden family Christmas?

    ~~~

    What i will say … Hunter is at least on the job when it comes to white fertility. Three from the starter wife. One from the Arkansas State BB player and DC dancer. (Of course, he–or someone else–needs to do more work there.) And a new cute young Jewish wife he’ll be pumping a few more into–if she doesn’t wise up quickly and dump him.

    Clearly Hunter believes in white girls having babies. Now the quality of those babies …

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This is called "levirate marriage", as I recall, and in the Bible, "the generator guy" (Onan, as we called him when I was a kid) was struck dead for "spilling his seed on the ground".
  173. @Dave Pinsen

    The problem is that increasing the supply will not lower costs because we have nothing like a free market in health care.
     
    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?

    Then all health care would work like the VA.
     
    This wouldn't apply to all health care, just the hospitals built and staffed by the government. But being government-run wouldn't require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.

    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    But being government-run wouldn’t require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.

    Yeah, and if you’re the mayor, you can get your parking ticker “fixed.”

    There are two ways to allocate goods and service in any complex society: the impersonal forces of the market or the very personal forces of graft and corruption.

    Yeah, the Prez gets solid-gold treatment at Walter Reed. You think that some poor guy who got his legs blown off in Afghanistan gets the same treatment?

    We’re already in a situation where those who understand the government-medical complex get better care than most Americans for the same price: fortunately, I have a close family member who is a physician, so we do better than most.

    Bring in more government control and the role of connections, graft, and corruption will simply increase.

    Like in college admissions. After all, Lori Loughlin’s and Felicity Huffman’s real crime was that they were nouveau riche who did not understand the unspoken rules of the game: if they had been old-wealth with longstanding personal and family connections to the trustees and top administrators, it all would have been taken care of quietly without a fuss.

    And Loughlin and Huffman provide a special bonus for the ruling elite: the proles can have their “two-minutes hate”aimed at Loughlin and Huffman and never suspect who is really in the ruling elite oppressing the mass of Americans.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I think the soldier wounded in Afghanistan gets excellent care at Walter Reed too. Military hospitals tend to be very good. I don’t know what’s going on with the VA. It was held up as a model of government run health care years ago but has had a bad reputation more recently.
  174. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Hunter Biden put the moves on his dead brother's widow, sure, but what does that say about his brother's widow? Okay, maybe they were grieving together and fell into each other's arms, but all the while he's buying crack at homeless encampments and avoiding phone calls from his pregnant stripper sidepiece.

    There is no way every reporter in Washington did not know what a degenerate this guy was for many years. The Trump/Ukraine stuff is a convenient backdoor way to get around to talking about Hunter. The Dems have no problem kneecapping inconvenient candidates, as we learned when "Russia hacked our election" by revealing authentic DNC documents describing how they did it to Bernie in '16.

    There is no way every reporter in Washington did not know what a degenerate this guy was for many years.

    The only reason this was not reported is that Joe Biden belongs to some kind of invisible political party whose name does not begin with R.

  175. @Lot
    “ how were the strippers supposed to use a dildo “on Hunter”? ”

    Jack D, I had you pegged for someone more worldly than that.

    Dang, Lot, that was savage.

  176. @Jack D
    The same could have been said about Hillary - all of the stuff that she did, the fake black accent when speaking in black churches, keeling over like a termite eaten tree when the temperature rose above 70, etc. - none of it appeared to hurt her with her base. Just has Trump has (rightly) said of his voters that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and it would not change their votes, the same is true on the other side.

    But Presidential elections are won at the margins and Biden's senile tough guy act is going to hurt him at the margins, especially once the general election campaign gets going. The MSM will be able to hide a lot of this stuff but they aren't going to be able to hide it when Trump goes after Sleepy Joe's soft spots in a masterful way.

    If Joe gets it, I will be sitting at home with bourbon and popcorn to watch the Trump Biden debates.

  177. @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    If you replace physicians charging six figures for assisting on an operation with salaried physicians, how could that not lower costs?
     
    My daughter recently had a procedure that took the doctor about two minutes; the discussion and diagnosis ahead of time took about an hour. All in the doctor's office (in the hospital), no nurse present, no special equipment.

    The hospital billed around $10,000.

    We paid around $50. Insurance paid, I think, a few hundred.

    It's all blue smoke and mirrors.

    And my central point is the feds created this mess.

    We do not have anything even approximating a free market in health care.

    In a free market, costs are automatically controlled by market forces. Yes, in a free market for health care, Bill Gates would get the latest, very expensive high-tech treatment and you and I would not.

    But you and I are not getting the very latest, highly expensive high-tech treatment now anyway, because the insurance companies and the taxpayers cannot pay for it. There are just rather secretive ways of hiding this fact: only the well-connected (or lucky) folks get into the latest clinical trials; the insurance companies' formularies restrict what drugs you can get; the doctors informally choose who gets what treatment.

    It's like college admissions, except much, much worse: make it so complex and confusing that the average Joe does not even understand how he is being harmed.

    And because all this is not subject to market forces, the prices do not soon come down the way they do in most high-tech areas, such as computers or cell phones.

    It's quite bizarre, you know: we all assume that "high-tech" means, initially, really costly but soon a mass-market product.

    Except in health care and also, of course, in military spending (and perhaps I should add education).

    I.e., the areas where the state dominates.

    This is what "progressives" have brought us. And yet even here a lot of folks think a bit more government will solve the problem!

    Whatever government touches turns to crap -- education, health care, foreign policy, etc.

    The hospital billed around $10,000.
    We paid around $50. Insurance paid, I think, a few hundred.
    It’s all blue smoke and mirrors.
    And my central point is the feds created this mess.

    How did they create this by creating a billing system? What created this is the ability to sue you for the 10,000 dollars if you don’t pay them what they want. It is a system where you are not in any position to negotiate prices except in rare cases like elective surgeries.

  178. MarkinLA wrote:

    How did they create this by creating a billing system? What created this is the ability to sue you for the 10,000 dollars if you don’t pay them what they want. It is a system where you are not in any position to negotiate prices except in rare cases like elective surgeries.

    Well, I suppose we could have shopped around. Bu we knew this hospital was covered by insurance and that we would pay a negligible amount.

    Of course, if buying an auto worked the same way, people would behave the same way buying cars. E.g., if you knew the local Rolls-Royce dealer accepted “auto-buying insurance” and that you would only owe a thousand bucks, why bother to shop around to see if a Ford or Chevy is cheaper?

    (Come to think of it, I’ve always kinda wanted a Lamborghini… Or do they still make those DeLoreans like in Back to the Future?)

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay. You also have the uncertainty factor in relationship to the ability of the providers to cure the ailment - especially for something like surgery. Will doctors need to provide surgery statistics in their office for me to make an informed decision as to who to hire?

    Supposedly Trump is going to require hospitals to make their prices available to the public. I am skeptical that this will work and it will be full of holes. For example, if an operation that normally takes 1 hour takes two, will the hospital give you the "book" value or will you have to pay for the operating room time on a time basis? I hope I am wrong about it working but we will see.
  179. @The Wild Geese Howard
    Oh, give poor Hunter a break:

    Despite the lurid allegations, Hunter was described as an almost-ideal customer.

    “He was a pretty nice guy,” one source said.

    “He was pretty friendly and a pretty good tipper.”
     

    Just the tip!

  180. @Jonathan Mason

    BTW, did Biden name his son after the gonzo journalist? Maybe that put the curse on him. Hunter Biden is like Hunter Thompson without the writing gig.
     
    Hunter is a common first name in the US, because many people believe that the ideal archetypal man is a hunter who provides his family with meat.

    No one calls their son Farmer, Soldier, or Lawyer.

    In the Bible Esau is a hairy hunter and Jacob is a smooth skinned homeboy. One day Esau, who is starving, sells his inheritance to Jacob in exchange for a vegetarian dish. Jacob then deceives their elderly blind father Isaac by dressing up in a sheepskin coat so that pops thinks he is the hairy Esau and serving up a venison stew, presumably using meat caught by his brother.

    Jacob was the first lawyer in history and eventually became very rich.

    How could you forget Lawyer Milloy?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawyer_Milloy

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    One of the characters in "Midway" is Husband Kimmel, the admiral who took the fall for Pearl Harbor.
  181. @SteveRogers42
    How could you forget Lawyer Milloy?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawyer_Milloy

    One of the characters in “Midway” is Husband Kimmel, the admiral who took the fall for Pearl Harbor.

  182. @PhysicistDave
    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    But being government-run wouldn’t require it to be bad. Walter Reed is good enough for the President.
     
    Yeah, and if you're the mayor, you can get your parking ticker "fixed."

    There are two ways to allocate goods and service in any complex society: the impersonal forces of the market or the very personal forces of graft and corruption.

    Yeah, the Prez gets solid-gold treatment at Walter Reed. You think that some poor guy who got his legs blown off in Afghanistan gets the same treatment?

    We're already in a situation where those who understand the government-medical complex get better care than most Americans for the same price: fortunately, I have a close family member who is a physician, so we do better than most.

    Bring in more government control and the role of connections, graft, and corruption will simply increase.

    Like in college admissions. After all, Lori Loughlin's and Felicity Huffman's real crime was that they were nouveau riche who did not understand the unspoken rules of the game: if they had been old-wealth with longstanding personal and family connections to the trustees and top administrators, it all would have been taken care of quietly without a fuss.

    And Loughlin and Huffman provide a special bonus for the ruling elite: the proles can have their "two-minutes hate"aimed at Loughlin and Huffman and never suspect who is really in the ruling elite oppressing the mass of Americans.

    I think the soldier wounded in Afghanistan gets excellent care at Walter Reed too. Military hospitals tend to be very good. I don’t know what’s going on with the VA. It was held up as a model of government run health care years ago but has had a bad reputation more recently.

  183. @AnotherDad

    2. How many strippers can you knock up? How many sister-in-laws can you sleep with?
     
    To be fair, a man taking in and/or marrying his brother's widow is an ancient and honorable practice.

    What it does is put protection/support for your brother's kids, in the hands of someone from the family--you, their uncle--rather than some stranger with no blood tie.

    But what you do not do is …

    -- trash your own marriage because you've got the hots for your brother's younger\hotter wife; (whether that was the case is unclear)

    -- not marry, but just shack up with your brother's widow for a few years ... but blow that up because you were doing drugs and knocked up a stripper; what that does is convert your brother's widow now into *another* ex, and permanently damage your ability to be a replacement father figure to your brother's kids.

    Can you imagine tensions involved now in a Biden family Christmas?

    ~~~

    What i will say ... Hunter is at least on the job when it comes to white fertility. Three from the starter wife. One from the Arkansas State BB player and DC dancer. (Of course, he--or someone else--needs to do more work there.) And a new cute young Jewish wife he'll be pumping a few more into--if she doesn't wise up quickly and dump him.

    Clearly Hunter believes in white girls having babies. Now the quality of those babies ...

    This is called “levirate marriage”, as I recall, and in the Bible, “the generator guy” (Onan, as we called him when I was a kid) was struck dead for “spilling his seed on the ground”.

  184. @Jonathan Mason

    All that being said, if your car insurance company was charging you $1,000/month, you might figure, “Hey, why aren’t I getting anything out of this unless I have a big crash? I send them $1,000/month and get back nothing. After all it is called CAR insurance and an oil change is car related. Given that I am sending them $1,000/month, couldn’t they at least pay for my oil changes?” The logic is faulty but you can understand where it is coming from.
     
    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.

    Health insurance should be seen as a way to finance health care, not as a disaster insurance program.

    It would be OK if health care in the US was cheap and cheerful and everyone could pay for cash, but it is not.

    In my family we pay about 1/12 of our gross income on health insurance premiums (not counting the injury portion of automobile insurance) but effectively get nothing for our money. This is not because we have chosen to insure ourselves against medical disaster, but because we are legally bound to do so. So we are already paying more than we pay in income tax for health care disaster insurance.

    What if everyone paid 1/12 (8.35%) of their earnings in a health care tax? Would that be enough to pay for comprehensive health care. 15%? 25%?

    Canada spent about 11.1 per cent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident on health care in 2016. Not just for disaster health insurance, for all health care costs! The average American and their employer is paying almost that much just for disaster insurance, PLUS paying a significant portion of their earnings on actual health care as well.

    The US is spending approximately 18% of GDP on healthcare. The extra 7% over Canada is just money that US citizens are being ripped off for by health insurance companies, and there is no evidence that US citizens have significantly better health care or outcomes. Canada has longer average life expectancy, and a low rate of perinatal mortality.

    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.

    Other countries get rationed health care. I’ve been in on-line discussion groups populated by Canadians for over a decade and these are some of the health stories I’ve read –

    – 18 month wait for a vasectomy
    – two year wait for knee surgery
    – 10 month wait for gallbladder removal

    No thank you.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Rich people go to nicer restaurants, they live in nicer houses, etc. But we don't let poor people starve or live in the street.

    We should have some basic tier of health care as a safety net but then a higher tier for those who are able and willing to pay more. You don't have any money or don't want to pay for the 1st class upgrade? Get in line for your knee surgery in 2 years. Want it tomorrow? Sign up for the deluxe plan or pay ala carte. We get all messed up with leftist ideology of "health care is a right" being taken to mean that everyone should get the exact same level and quantity of health care and that quantity is "all you can eat".
  185. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1200882191875465216

    “Barnstorm”, too! Are Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson on the bus, as well?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Paige and Gibson, no.

    Corn Pop, perhaps.
  186. I think Kaiser Permanente managed care is probably a good approximation for how “Medicare for All” would work. It’s great for when you’re healthy but if you’re not, look out. A friend’s 78 year old highly active slender mom started noticing her abdomen getting larger. Her primary care doctor brushed her off, telling her that older women gain weight in that region. Her abdomen kept getting larger and larger over a period of three or so months while Kaiser screwed around giving her an appointment for a specialist because the internal guy was arguing with the OB as to who should look at it. At Kaiser, all their doctors are locked up in the hospital and you call a central number requesting an appointment and they’ll call you back. My friend’s mom could not get anyone to give her an appointment so my friend was driven to take her mother to Kaiser’s emergency room one Friday evening and threaten to leave her there until they got her an appointment. She finally saw someone and had surgery within a couple of weeks where they ended up removing a 20 pound ovarian tumor from her. This was a barely 100 lb woman. Kaiser then had the nerve to send a dietician to her during recovery to talk to her about her “relationship with food” because her weight dropped so much after the removal. No one in America with decent health insurance and actively trying to get help should be having 20 lb tumors removed from them. Luckily, it turned out to be benign but I fully believe Kaiser gave her less attention because of her age and probably wouldn’t have been too sad if she died because of their neglect.

  187. @Justvisiting
    Nixon made a fatal tactical error by not protecting Agnew (regardless of whatever Agnew did or did not do).

    There is no way the Democrats would have impeached Nixon with the threat of an Agnew presidency hanging over their heads.

    I don’t think he could have protected Agnew: the crimes that led to Agnew’s downfall were committed before he even took office, IIRC.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    True.

    Agnew was convicted of bribes he took as governor of Maryland.

    To be more precise, he wasn’t convicted. He pleaded no contest as part of a plea bargain deal which included resignation.

  188. @PhysicistDave
    MarkinLA wrote:

    How did they create this by creating a billing system? What created this is the ability to sue you for the 10,000 dollars if you don’t pay them what they want. It is a system where you are not in any position to negotiate prices except in rare cases like elective surgeries.
     
    Well, I suppose we could have shopped around. Bu we knew this hospital was covered by insurance and that we would pay a negligible amount.

    Of course, if buying an auto worked the same way, people would behave the same way buying cars. E.g., if you knew the local Rolls-Royce dealer accepted "auto-buying insurance" and that you would only owe a thousand bucks, why bother to shop around to see if a Ford or Chevy is cheaper?

    (Come to think of it, I've always kinda wanted a Lamborghini... Or do they still make those DeLoreans like in Back to the Future?)

    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay. You also have the uncertainty factor in relationship to the ability of the providers to cure the ailment – especially for something like surgery. Will doctors need to provide surgery statistics in their office for me to make an informed decision as to who to hire?

    Supposedly Trump is going to require hospitals to make their prices available to the public. I am skeptical that this will work and it will be full of holes. For example, if an operation that normally takes 1 hour takes two, will the hospital give you the “book” value or will you have to pay for the operating room time on a time basis? I hope I am wrong about it working but we will see.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    MarkinLA wrote to me:

    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay.
     
    Actually, last night (Friday) Tucker had HHS Secretary Alex Azar on discussing just this point!

    Azar explained that 70 percent of hospital procedures are procedures for which the patient actually could shop around.

    Seventy percent is more than enough discerning shoppers to put pressure on hospitals to compete. What if you are an unconscious accident victim rushed to a hospital who cannot consent? Well, if I were an a jury, I would not insist the victim pay any more than what the hospital was already charging for equivalent elective treatment. Indeed, I'd boycott any hospital that behaved otherwise (wouldn't you?).

    This is a bit like the question of the convenience-store owner who charges a million dollars to use the drinking fountain to the guy who stumbles in from the desert dying of thirst. This never happens in an actual free market and for good reason: a businessman that dumb goes out of business really fast (wouldn't you really be afraid to buy anything at all from him if that was his level of behavior?).

    Azar, by the way, was arguing for the new federal rule that hospitals had to publicly post their prices to encourage price competition. Of course, this probably will not work as long as patients pay almost none of the bill: the problem is the third-party payment system (employer-provided insurance, Medicare, Medicaid).

    And, in a truly free market, it is hardly necessary for the federal government to require retailers to post their prices! After all, who would order in a restaurant where they refused to tell you the prices until after the meal.

    Read Robert Field's book: what we have now in medical care is basically "crony socialism." And, if you really want to empower the medical-industrial complex, just implement federal single-payer and watch what happens. Economists refer to it as "regulatory capture."

    Whatever government touches really does turn to crap.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    The rule requiring hospitals to post prices goes into effect in 2021. Hospitals have filed suit to stop it.

    2) Canada spends less of its GDP on health care than we do by the rationing mentioned above, and by free riding on the pharmaceutical research done by the US. My cousin had to wait 6 months for a hip replacement. Sally Satel of AEI tells the story of her mother dying of cancer before she could get an appointment with a specialist.

    The only way to control health care costs is rationing, but the word is electoral suicide.
  189. @Thea
    I’d hate to disillusion you about the honor of ladies that strip but I don’t think many people are surprised to read about the exchange of money for certain acts in strip club VIP booths.

  190. @Paleo Liberal
    Things are different now, you are correct. And yes, a tanking economy had a lot to do with it.

    Realize I am not making predictions. I am merely stating what needs to be done to get rid of a sitting president. It ain’t easy, which is why it has only happened once.

    Andrew Johnson essentially bribed his way out of conviction. He needed one more vote to acquit. He made an offer a certain Senator from Kansas couldn’t refuse.

    What was different in 1974 — the country was polarized some in the 1960s, but the regional polarization was less than usual. Recall that Nixon carried 49 states; most of which went Democratic in state and local elections. The goal of the Republicans was to become the dominant party in Congress and in the state legislatures. Nixon was standing in their way. 1974 was shaping up to be a bloodbath, from which the GOP could not recover for a very long time. The calculation was to throw Nixon and Agnew under the bus, which would allow the GOP to minimize the damage and maximize the recovery. By 1980, the GOP was the dominant party in Washington and well on its way to contesting local elections all over the country.

    I don’t have a clue how this will play out. It appears there will be an impeachment and an acquittal, which could be a terrible strategy by Nancy Pelosi. She seemed so smart in taking it slow so far.

    If Pelosi is really a crafty lady, she will use the impeachment process to build her case better. Until the past few days I thought she was handling things well. She needs to get courts to force Trump to hand over certain documents. She needs courts to force Bolton to testify. And then see is there is enough of a groundswell to put the Republicans in a Nixonian bind.

    At this point Pelosi seems to think she can make her case during the Senate trial. Well, we shall soon find out. This could play out a lot of ways, and my crystal ball isn’t working well enough.

    True. I can’t predict the future, no one can. All I can say it is looks like we are fated to live in interesting times. In 46 minutes, I’m becoming apolitical for the next several years, so it won’t be my concern anymore.

    My impression was that Nixon and the GOP apparatus cared little for each other and held each other in contempt, ideologically and personally. As a result, the 1972 landslide was shakier than it looked, because there was a complete lack of coattails, unlike 1964. Nixon occasionally even floated the idea of breaking off and starting a third, Gaullist-style party with John Connally or some other conservative Democrat as its first candidate in 1976. That was probably a flight of fancy, but the tension between their world-views was pretty real.

    (Plenty of blame to go around, IMO: Nixon hogged all the resources in part because of egomania and a desire to beat Johnson’s landslide. But one also can’t deny that Nixon didn’t have some sharp, insightful, and less than flattering points about the GOP’s essential nature-points that are still very relevant today-and why it wasn’t managing to appeal to anybody despite the New Deal Coalition’s fracturing, judging from the tapes and papers.)

    With Donald Trump, the dynamic is a little different, because I genuinely don’t believe Trump has much of a vision beyond whatever his whims are for the day. (This is why I can’t take claims about him being some crypto-white nationalist seriously.) Trump had a deep desire to be liked by a class of elites that has largely held him as a joke before 2015, and then rejected him afterwards. Simultaneously, he’s a deeply lazy dude: he desires to take the easiest route out of any potential problem that poses itself. That’s part of why his policies have turned out the way they have. Whenever he’s come too close to going overboard-say, leaving the Middle East-he immediately diverted elsewhere upon encountering resistance. The GOP brass knows this. All that said, though, they also aren’t blind to Trump’s long-term image impact that the Republican Party is going to have to deal with. If they could theoretically replace him with Mike Pence without driving the base absolutely bonkers, they would have, well before now.

    So, if the GOP is going to abandon him, my guess is this: the Democrats are going to have to get close enough to what they want politically to make the jump palatable. That’s going to be a big problem given what their own base seems to want for 2020.

    IMO, the big problem with the GOP is they don’t seem to understand that things aren’t going to go back to the Dubya/Romney days, no matter what they try. Zombie Reaganism is a dying ideology with no future, but the people in charge haven’t gotten the memo: the situation is reminiscent to that of New Dealism around the Mondale debacle. Given the geriatric, nostalgia-laden trends all over US politics (this isn’t just a problem with the parties, the Supreme Court and an unelected judiciary are even more noxious here), this is, perhaps, to be expected.

    I suppose it’ll last until it can’t. I know it can’t last forever, along with so much else that our ruling elites are doing. Hang on to your seatbelts…

  191. @nebulafox
    I don't think he could have protected Agnew: the crimes that led to Agnew's downfall were committed before he even took office, IIRC.

    True.

    Agnew was convicted of bribes he took as governor of Maryland.

    To be more precise, he wasn’t convicted. He pleaded no contest as part of a plea bargain deal which included resignation.

  192. @Ron Mexico
    "Barnstorm", too! Are Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson on the bus, as well?

    Paige and Gibson, no.

    Corn Pop, perhaps.

  193. @PhysicistDave
    nebulafox wrote:

    IQ signifies how fast you can learn new material and-potentially-connect it with old material. Assimilate, you might call it. It does not signify good character or common sense. In terms of coming up with novel, creative results, I’d say it is necessary, but not sufficient...
     
    Yeah, well that is my late brother all right: Stanford BA, later an MBA, fantastic memory, good at learning mid-level college math, etc. But not very good judgment.

    And, as you say, the flip side is my cousin who works on a GM assembly line and really struggled through to get the high-school diploma. Yet, you can have a good discussion with my cousin about topics ranging from national issues to how management functions at the plant he works in (i.e., he is not reflexively anti-management but can talk intelligently about both their strong points and weak points).

    Needless to say, my cousin was for Trump.

    So Biden will get the over-educated SJWs like my brother and will not get my cousin. But how many of my cousin's co-workers will Biden be able to suck in with Biden's "good ol' boy" act?

    Construction worker I had in mind was a middle-aged Indonesian dude I had lunch with: I’d be very shocked if he was in school beyond his teenage years, and he was probably the first in his family to be literate. Yet he talked very lucidly about this and that industralization program, what was working, what wasn’t, the pros and cons about accepting Chinese vs. Japanese funding, etc. I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.

    As far the USA goes, I’d be careful about dismissing the American people as a bunch of idiots, for all the well-justified concerns about the malleability of the electorate. I’ve noticed that blue-collar citizens often (though not always) tend to be far more connected with the reality that something has broken down with American society in the 21st Century than their UMC counterparts. They are unable to articulate exactly why these problems are the way they are sometimes, but they know that something just isn’t right here, in stark contrast to the never-never land you’ll see among those for whom the new order of things have worked out pretty well, i.e, cognitive elites who also happen to have the right personality traits (conscientiousness, social compliance, and more) to climb the greasy pole.

    (Problem is, they also often lack the ability to convey their skepticism or incredulity about elite flights of fancy-we have 16 genders now!-in ways that don’t leave them open to superficial but socially effective mockery by their cognitive superiors. Which they know on some level: meaning they’ll either mouth what they need to and try not to think about it too much, or keep quite and vent at a safer place.)

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    cognitive superiors
     
    Doesn't matter how fast you're going if you're going off a cliff. Nothing superior about these clowns.

    https://twitter.com/jamespoulos/status/1203362052665856000
    , @PhysicistDave
    nebulafox wrote to me:

    I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.
     
    There is a theory, the "Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis," that human intelligence evolved as an arms race to deceive, and detect deception from, other human beings.

    It makes a good deal of sense historically. The literate elite in Rome used their education to control everyone else. Presumably, a higher IQ often helped one get into the priesthood in most societies, and skill at social manipulation is certainly helpful to the hierarchy of an established religion.

    We live in a rather unusual age in which some of us with high IQs truly want to cure diseases, build bridges, create businesses that genuinely serve the public, etc.

    But maybe we should face up to the fact that to have a high IQ and yet be honest, sincere, and productive is not the human norm. Maybe it is more normal for people with above average IQs to be Bernie Madoff, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, or Jeffrey Epstein.

    So, how do we make an IQ test that distinguishes between Steve Hawking and Bernie Madoff?
  194. @Lot
    Oswald Mosley slept with both his wife’s sister and her stepmother.

    https://www.nationalvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/mw66777.jpg

    ALPHA

    • Agree: Lot
  195. @AnonAnon

    Yes, but in every other developed country people are paying through taxes or insurance premiums or a combination of both and getting comprehensive health care from birth to the grave.
     
    Other countries get rationed health care. I’ve been in on-line discussion groups populated by Canadians for over a decade and these are some of the health stories I’ve read -

    - 18 month wait for a vasectomy
    - two year wait for knee surgery
    - 10 month wait for gallbladder removal

    No thank you.

    Rich people go to nicer restaurants, they live in nicer houses, etc. But we don’t let poor people starve or live in the street.

    We should have some basic tier of health care as a safety net but then a higher tier for those who are able and willing to pay more. You don’t have any money or don’t want to pay for the 1st class upgrade? Get in line for your knee surgery in 2 years. Want it tomorrow? Sign up for the deluxe plan or pay ala carte. We get all messed up with leftist ideology of “health care is a right” being taken to mean that everyone should get the exact same level and quantity of health care and that quantity is “all you can eat”.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Jack D wrote:

    We should have some basic tier of health care as a safety net but then a higher tier for those who are able and willing to pay more.
     
    Of course Americans are a generous people, much better at caring about people who are not relatives or friends than people in many (maybe most) societies..

    We've never just shrugged at fellow citizens starving or bleeding to death.

    On the other hand, if someone is able-bodied and just wants a handout... well, he can at least sweep the floors, etc.
  196. anon[219] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    We should have some basic tier of health care as a safety net

    By Federal law, anyone who presents a health issue at any Emergency Room in the US must be taken care of regardless of ability to pay, this has some effects in every city and even more so on the southern border.

    Pres. Obama, Speaker Pelosi and a host of others assured us that Obamacare would accomplish exactly what you suggest. Were they lying? Or did it just not deliver. Can you explain why it failed? I’m sure you read the full text of the enabling legislation, didn’t you?

    Gah.

    Is there anything more frustrating and boring than reading Boomers mooing ignorantly about “muh hulth care! Muh nashunul hulth care”? Anything? Anything? Bueller?

  197. @Realist

    The Biden thing was diplomacy. Trump was (and is) far more worried about Harris or some wildcard than Biden.
     
    Harris dropped out...you living under a rock?

    No. Are you?

    I’ll stand by my statement regarding both the time of the call and presently. All she has to do is be Biden’s running mate and step in for health reasons.

  198. @nebulafox
    Construction worker I had in mind was a middle-aged Indonesian dude I had lunch with: I'd be very shocked if he was in school beyond his teenage years, and he was probably the first in his family to be literate. Yet he talked very lucidly about this and that industralization program, what was working, what wasn't, the pros and cons about accepting Chinese vs. Japanese funding, etc. I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.

    As far the USA goes, I'd be careful about dismissing the American people as a bunch of idiots, for all the well-justified concerns about the malleability of the electorate. I've noticed that blue-collar citizens often (though not always) tend to be far more connected with the reality that something has broken down with American society in the 21st Century than their UMC counterparts. They are unable to articulate exactly why these problems are the way they are sometimes, but they know that something just isn't right here, in stark contrast to the never-never land you'll see among those for whom the new order of things have worked out pretty well, i.e, cognitive elites who also happen to have the right personality traits (conscientiousness, social compliance, and more) to climb the greasy pole.

    (Problem is, they also often lack the ability to convey their skepticism or incredulity about elite flights of fancy-we have 16 genders now!-in ways that don't leave them open to superficial but socially effective mockery by their cognitive superiors. Which they know on some level: meaning they'll either mouth what they need to and try not to think about it too much, or keep quite and vent at a safer place.)

    cognitive superiors

    Doesn’t matter how fast you’re going if you’re going off a cliff. Nothing superior about these clowns.

  199. @MarkinLA
    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay. You also have the uncertainty factor in relationship to the ability of the providers to cure the ailment - especially for something like surgery. Will doctors need to provide surgery statistics in their office for me to make an informed decision as to who to hire?

    Supposedly Trump is going to require hospitals to make their prices available to the public. I am skeptical that this will work and it will be full of holes. For example, if an operation that normally takes 1 hour takes two, will the hospital give you the "book" value or will you have to pay for the operating room time on a time basis? I hope I am wrong about it working but we will see.

    MarkinLA wrote to me:

    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay.

    Actually, last night (Friday) Tucker had HHS Secretary Alex Azar on discussing just this point!

    Azar explained that 70 percent of hospital procedures are procedures for which the patient actually could shop around.

    Seventy percent is more than enough discerning shoppers to put pressure on hospitals to compete. What if you are an unconscious accident victim rushed to a hospital who cannot consent? Well, if I were an a jury, I would not insist the victim pay any more than what the hospital was already charging for equivalent elective treatment. Indeed, I’d boycott any hospital that behaved otherwise (wouldn’t you?).

    This is a bit like the question of the convenience-store owner who charges a million dollars to use the drinking fountain to the guy who stumbles in from the desert dying of thirst. This never happens in an actual free market and for good reason: a businessman that dumb goes out of business really fast (wouldn’t you really be afraid to buy anything at all from him if that was his level of behavior?).

    Azar, by the way, was arguing for the new federal rule that hospitals had to publicly post their prices to encourage price competition. Of course, this probably will not work as long as patients pay almost none of the bill: the problem is the third-party payment system (employer-provided insurance, Medicare, Medicaid).

    And, in a truly free market, it is hardly necessary for the federal government to require retailers to post their prices! After all, who would order in a restaurant where they refused to tell you the prices until after the meal.

    Read Robert Field’s book: what we have now in medical care is basically “crony socialism.” And, if you really want to empower the medical-industrial complex, just implement federal single-payer and watch what happens. Economists refer to it as “regulatory capture.”

    Whatever government touches really does turn to crap.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Azar explained that 70 percent of hospital procedures are procedures for which the patient actually could shop around.

    I would question that 70 percent given that this guy is giving the usual "We have a free market solution" speech. The room rate for the hospital is hardly the be-all and end-all of medical billing practices. For example, I had a negative reaction to a blood pressure medication and ended up in the ER thinking that it could be a MI. The EKG showed the possibility, other tests did not. Just as I was about to take the final test and leave I had an atrial fibrillation episode ( I have them all the time). They could not do the test then but tried to chemically convert me, then at least chemically slow the heart down to take the test. I spent 36 unnecessary hours in the cardiac care unit while they endlessly gave me drugs that basically did nothing. I finally converted just before the scheduled time to take the test. Had I known what would eventually transpire I would have signed and AMA and left without taking the test or staying overnight.

    Because of all that activity, the bill was astronomical. My Obamacare insurance paid about 1500 and I had to use my full deductable of 6500. When I went to pay it at the payment office, there was already a sign that said cash payers only needed to pay what a government related payment system would pay - so there already was an acceptance of far less payment than the bill.

    There are already surgery centers and imaging centers competing with hospitals for routine in and out procedures. The real problem is all the activity that occurs when not everything goes as planned or is not so cut and dried like a simple surgical procedure that isn't potentially life threatening. Now throw in all the doctors who bill you separately from the hospital.
  200. @Jack D
    Rich people go to nicer restaurants, they live in nicer houses, etc. But we don't let poor people starve or live in the street.

    We should have some basic tier of health care as a safety net but then a higher tier for those who are able and willing to pay more. You don't have any money or don't want to pay for the 1st class upgrade? Get in line for your knee surgery in 2 years. Want it tomorrow? Sign up for the deluxe plan or pay ala carte. We get all messed up with leftist ideology of "health care is a right" being taken to mean that everyone should get the exact same level and quantity of health care and that quantity is "all you can eat".

    Jack D wrote:

    We should have some basic tier of health care as a safety net but then a higher tier for those who are able and willing to pay more.

    Of course Americans are a generous people, much better at caring about people who are not relatives or friends than people in many (maybe most) societies..

    We’ve never just shrugged at fellow citizens starving or bleeding to death.

    On the other hand, if someone is able-bodied and just wants a handout… well, he can at least sweep the floors, etc.

  201. @nebulafox
    Construction worker I had in mind was a middle-aged Indonesian dude I had lunch with: I'd be very shocked if he was in school beyond his teenage years, and he was probably the first in his family to be literate. Yet he talked very lucidly about this and that industralization program, what was working, what wasn't, the pros and cons about accepting Chinese vs. Japanese funding, etc. I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.

    As far the USA goes, I'd be careful about dismissing the American people as a bunch of idiots, for all the well-justified concerns about the malleability of the electorate. I've noticed that blue-collar citizens often (though not always) tend to be far more connected with the reality that something has broken down with American society in the 21st Century than their UMC counterparts. They are unable to articulate exactly why these problems are the way they are sometimes, but they know that something just isn't right here, in stark contrast to the never-never land you'll see among those for whom the new order of things have worked out pretty well, i.e, cognitive elites who also happen to have the right personality traits (conscientiousness, social compliance, and more) to climb the greasy pole.

    (Problem is, they also often lack the ability to convey their skepticism or incredulity about elite flights of fancy-we have 16 genders now!-in ways that don't leave them open to superficial but socially effective mockery by their cognitive superiors. Which they know on some level: meaning they'll either mouth what they need to and try not to think about it too much, or keep quite and vent at a safer place.)

    nebulafox wrote to me:

    I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.

    There is a theory, the “Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis,” that human intelligence evolved as an arms race to deceive, and detect deception from, other human beings.

    It makes a good deal of sense historically. The literate elite in Rome used their education to control everyone else. Presumably, a higher IQ often helped one get into the priesthood in most societies, and skill at social manipulation is certainly helpful to the hierarchy of an established religion.

    We live in a rather unusual age in which some of us with high IQs truly want to cure diseases, build bridges, create businesses that genuinely serve the public, etc.

    But maybe we should face up to the fact that to have a high IQ and yet be honest, sincere, and productive is not the human norm. Maybe it is more normal for people with above average IQs to be Bernie Madoff, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, or Jeffrey Epstein.

    So, how do we make an IQ test that distinguishes between Steve Hawking and Bernie Madoff?

    • Replies: @Adam Smith

    So, how do we make an IQ test that distinguishes between Steve Hawking and Bernie Madoff?
     
    It's called the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

    I think the bigger question is how do we keep psychopaths away from positions of power.

    maybe we should face up to the fact that to have a high IQ and yet be honest, sincere, and productive is not the human norm.
     
    Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    Are you are familiar with Andrew M. Łobaczewski or Bob Altemeyer?

    http://www.survivorshandbook.com/wp-content/articles/political-ponerology.pdf

    https://theauthoritarians.org/Downloads/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

    https://www.trainingourprotectors.com/uploads/5/4/1/5/5415260/when_rwa_inherit_the_earth.pdf
  202. @Jack D
    As phony as a 3 dollar bill. High profiles cases always bring out the head cases looking for attention. Is she also Princess Anastasia, rightful heir to the crown of Russia? Who else was she trafficked to - the Pope? The Beatles?

  203. @PhysicistDave
    nebulafox wrote to me:

    I sometimes suspect that people with lower IQs can actually be more perceptive about immediate reality if they choose to be, because they lack the ability to abstractly rationalize beyond empirical experience to the degree that someone with a higher IQ can.
     
    There is a theory, the "Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis," that human intelligence evolved as an arms race to deceive, and detect deception from, other human beings.

    It makes a good deal of sense historically. The literate elite in Rome used their education to control everyone else. Presumably, a higher IQ often helped one get into the priesthood in most societies, and skill at social manipulation is certainly helpful to the hierarchy of an established religion.

    We live in a rather unusual age in which some of us with high IQs truly want to cure diseases, build bridges, create businesses that genuinely serve the public, etc.

    But maybe we should face up to the fact that to have a high IQ and yet be honest, sincere, and productive is not the human norm. Maybe it is more normal for people with above average IQs to be Bernie Madoff, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, or Jeffrey Epstein.

    So, how do we make an IQ test that distinguishes between Steve Hawking and Bernie Madoff?

    So, how do we make an IQ test that distinguishes between Steve Hawking and Bernie Madoff?

    It’s called the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

    I think the bigger question is how do we keep psychopaths away from positions of power.

    maybe we should face up to the fact that to have a high IQ and yet be honest, sincere, and productive is not the human norm.

    Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    Are you are familiar with Andrew M. Łobaczewski or Bob Altemeyer?

    http://www.survivorshandbook.com/wp-content/articles/political-ponerology.pdf

    https://theauthoritarians.org/Downloads/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

    https://www.trainingourprotectors.com/uploads/5/4/1/5/5415260/when_rwa_inherit_the_earth.pdf

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Gonna be tricky, because politics attracts psychopaths as much as journalism attracts narcissists and playgrounds attract pedophiles.

    Beyond the fact that high-functioning psychopaths typically can do very well in politics for all the reasons you'd expect-glib charm, ruthelessness, etc-American politics in 2019 are particularly friendly to them. To mentally survive long-term in modern American politics, you have to enjoy the game for its own sake rather than for any ideals, since those ideals are dependent on the donors. With zero privacy and having not just yourself but everybody you care about at risk of having their lives ruined, being a psychopath is a great advantage. Ordinary people are at risk of getting burnt out. A psychopath can exuberantly handle all the attention, and doesn't really care about negative consequences as long as they can get what they immediately want. Long-term thinking isn't really required beyond a basic extent, either. To the extent that one needs a real skill in modern American politics beyond standard issue rat****ing, it is acting. The people on the debate stage? Actors. That's why Trump and Sanders has such appeal in 2016.

    High-flying business has a psychopath-attraction problem, too.

    >Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    I've never noticed people being afraid of other people who are smarter than them outside of corporate bureaucracies, middle school classrooms, and fanfiction.

    I think the only way that could become problematic in a potential friendship is if the party with a higher level of intelligence talks down to the other guy and tries to treat them like a child (part of why American politicians are so distasteful to me these days), or alternatively tries to show off.

    I've also noticed that truly brilliant people seldom-not always, but seldom-have the need to show off their intellect for the sake of it. It's that insecure upper-middle class of intellect that you'll see doing that.

  204. @PhysicistDave
    MarkinLA wrote to me:

    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay.
     
    Actually, last night (Friday) Tucker had HHS Secretary Alex Azar on discussing just this point!

    Azar explained that 70 percent of hospital procedures are procedures for which the patient actually could shop around.

    Seventy percent is more than enough discerning shoppers to put pressure on hospitals to compete. What if you are an unconscious accident victim rushed to a hospital who cannot consent? Well, if I were an a jury, I would not insist the victim pay any more than what the hospital was already charging for equivalent elective treatment. Indeed, I'd boycott any hospital that behaved otherwise (wouldn't you?).

    This is a bit like the question of the convenience-store owner who charges a million dollars to use the drinking fountain to the guy who stumbles in from the desert dying of thirst. This never happens in an actual free market and for good reason: a businessman that dumb goes out of business really fast (wouldn't you really be afraid to buy anything at all from him if that was his level of behavior?).

    Azar, by the way, was arguing for the new federal rule that hospitals had to publicly post their prices to encourage price competition. Of course, this probably will not work as long as patients pay almost none of the bill: the problem is the third-party payment system (employer-provided insurance, Medicare, Medicaid).

    And, in a truly free market, it is hardly necessary for the federal government to require retailers to post their prices! After all, who would order in a restaurant where they refused to tell you the prices until after the meal.

    Read Robert Field's book: what we have now in medical care is basically "crony socialism." And, if you really want to empower the medical-industrial complex, just implement federal single-payer and watch what happens. Economists refer to it as "regulatory capture."

    Whatever government touches really does turn to crap.

    Azar explained that 70 percent of hospital procedures are procedures for which the patient actually could shop around.

    I would question that 70 percent given that this guy is giving the usual “We have a free market solution” speech. The room rate for the hospital is hardly the be-all and end-all of medical billing practices. For example, I had a negative reaction to a blood pressure medication and ended up in the ER thinking that it could be a MI. The EKG showed the possibility, other tests did not. Just as I was about to take the final test and leave I had an atrial fibrillation episode ( I have them all the time). They could not do the test then but tried to chemically convert me, then at least chemically slow the heart down to take the test. I spent 36 unnecessary hours in the cardiac care unit while they endlessly gave me drugs that basically did nothing. I finally converted just before the scheduled time to take the test. Had I known what would eventually transpire I would have signed and AMA and left without taking the test or staying overnight.

    Because of all that activity, the bill was astronomical. My Obamacare insurance paid about 1500 and I had to use my full deductable of 6500. When I went to pay it at the payment office, there was already a sign that said cash payers only needed to pay what a government related payment system would pay – so there already was an acceptance of far less payment than the bill.

    There are already surgery centers and imaging centers competing with hospitals for routine in and out procedures. The real problem is all the activity that occurs when not everything goes as planned or is not so cut and dried like a simple surgical procedure that isn’t potentially life threatening. Now throw in all the doctors who bill you separately from the hospital.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    MarkinLA wrote to me:

    For example, I had a negative reaction to a blood pressure medication and ended up in the ER thinking that it could be a MI. ... I spent 36 unnecessary hours in the cardiac care unit while they endlessly gave me drugs that basically did nothing. ...

    Because of all that activity, the bill was astronomical.
     
    First of all, let me express sympathy for both your medical situation and your billing situation! Yes, the current system is indeed quite insane.

    As I have mentioned before, I have a close family member who is a pathologist: pathologists see lots of the mistakes of the other physicians, and it is in fact far worse than most people realize. It should be a national scandal, except that most of it is hidden from the public.

    I note that you did not give the name of the hospital, the docs who were in charge of you, etc., and probably for good reason: you could be sued. I myself know quite a lot about incompetent physicians here in Sacramento because of the pathologist in the family, but, for the same reason, I can't just give a public dump of what I know: they'd sue me (and probably win).

    So one of the most elementary problems is simply lack of freedom of speech. It's not just threats of libel, slander, and defamation suits, by the way: lawyers can do wonders with "tortious interference with contractual relations." Tell a hospital the truth about some medical group they have a contract with, and you may owe that medical group a huge sum of money (I have discussed this in detail with some attorneys).

    More broadly, when government highly regulates, subsidizes, or actually runs some area of the economy, they tend to "freeze in" the business models in that area of the economy.

    In the last thirty years, in the video-rental industry we have gone from brick-and-mortar rental stores (whatever happened to Blockbuster Video?) to the original Netflix model of mail service to current streaming services.

    We don't see that in medical care. For example, one of the largest problems most people face is knowing when some medical problem is serious enough that they need to go to a doctor or the hospital. One obvious solution is online screening for a small fee by people with some sort of medical background: this could be very effective now that everyone has video capabilities.

    It is also a surefire way to lose a massive lawsuit. For every ten lives that were saved by the screener telling someone to get to the hospital now, there would be someone the screener missed who would die... and the family would sue for millions. And, of course, the screener wold be prosecuted for "practicing medicine without a license."

    Similar points could be made about education, insurance, the monetary and financial system, retirement planning, etc.: changes in technology should be producing radical changes in business models in all of these areas, just as radical as Netflix, Uber, amazon.com, etc. It's possible to guess at what some of those changes might be, but, of course, no one can fully anticipate what business model would be most effective.

    Unfortunately, government control and regulation of all those areas tends to "freeze in" the existing oligopolies, and so it becomes hard for most people to even imagine that health care, education, etc. could and should be revolutionized just as much as video rental or online marketing.

    We just all think that medical care, schooling, etc. are inevitable nightmares, not realizing that the one common thread here is "Ringo's law": whatever the government touches turns to crap.
  205. @Adam Smith

    So, how do we make an IQ test that distinguishes between Steve Hawking and Bernie Madoff?
     
    It's called the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

    I think the bigger question is how do we keep psychopaths away from positions of power.

    maybe we should face up to the fact that to have a high IQ and yet be honest, sincere, and productive is not the human norm.
     
    Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    Are you are familiar with Andrew M. Łobaczewski or Bob Altemeyer?

    http://www.survivorshandbook.com/wp-content/articles/political-ponerology.pdf

    https://theauthoritarians.org/Downloads/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

    https://www.trainingourprotectors.com/uploads/5/4/1/5/5415260/when_rwa_inherit_the_earth.pdf

    Gonna be tricky, because politics attracts psychopaths as much as journalism attracts narcissists and playgrounds attract pedophiles.

    Beyond the fact that high-functioning psychopaths typically can do very well in politics for all the reasons you’d expect-glib charm, ruthelessness, etc-American politics in 2019 are particularly friendly to them. To mentally survive long-term in modern American politics, you have to enjoy the game for its own sake rather than for any ideals, since those ideals are dependent on the donors. With zero privacy and having not just yourself but everybody you care about at risk of having their lives ruined, being a psychopath is a great advantage. Ordinary people are at risk of getting burnt out. A psychopath can exuberantly handle all the attention, and doesn’t really care about negative consequences as long as they can get what they immediately want. Long-term thinking isn’t really required beyond a basic extent, either. To the extent that one needs a real skill in modern American politics beyond standard issue rat****ing, it is acting. The people on the debate stage? Actors. That’s why Trump and Sanders has such appeal in 2016.

    High-flying business has a psychopath-attraction problem, too.

    >Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    I’ve never noticed people being afraid of other people who are smarter than them outside of corporate bureaucracies, middle school classrooms, and fanfiction.

    I think the only way that could become problematic in a potential friendship is if the party with a higher level of intelligence talks down to the other guy and tries to treat them like a child (part of why American politicians are so distasteful to me these days), or alternatively tries to show off.

    I’ve also noticed that truly brilliant people seldom-not always, but seldom-have the need to show off their intellect for the sake of it. It’s that insecure upper-middle class of intellect that you’ll see doing that.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Replies: @Adam Smith

    Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?
     
    I think you're correct. Afraid is the wrong word for it. (Whatever it is)

    I think I meant something more like distrustful.
  206. @MarkinLA
    You did not answer the question of how the government created the problem.

    The comment about being able to walk away is in relation to time constraints. The market can find the price for a TV because the purchaser has an unlimited time horizon for normal goods. Health care is not that simple, just like real estate. You have the sense of urgency that forces you to overpay. You also have the uncertainty factor in relationship to the ability of the providers to cure the ailment - especially for something like surgery. Will doctors need to provide surgery statistics in their office for me to make an informed decision as to who to hire?

    Supposedly Trump is going to require hospitals to make their prices available to the public. I am skeptical that this will work and it will be full of holes. For example, if an operation that normally takes 1 hour takes two, will the hospital give you the "book" value or will you have to pay for the operating room time on a time basis? I hope I am wrong about it working but we will see.

    The rule requiring hospitals to post prices goes into effect in 2021. Hospitals have filed suit to stop it.

    2) Canada spends less of its GDP on health care than we do by the rationing mentioned above, and by free riding on the pharmaceutical research done by the US. My cousin had to wait 6 months for a hip replacement. Sally Satel of AEI tells the story of her mother dying of cancer before she could get an appointment with a specialist.

    The only way to control health care costs is rationing, but the word is electoral suicide.

  207. @nebulafox
    Gonna be tricky, because politics attracts psychopaths as much as journalism attracts narcissists and playgrounds attract pedophiles.

    Beyond the fact that high-functioning psychopaths typically can do very well in politics for all the reasons you'd expect-glib charm, ruthelessness, etc-American politics in 2019 are particularly friendly to them. To mentally survive long-term in modern American politics, you have to enjoy the game for its own sake rather than for any ideals, since those ideals are dependent on the donors. With zero privacy and having not just yourself but everybody you care about at risk of having their lives ruined, being a psychopath is a great advantage. Ordinary people are at risk of getting burnt out. A psychopath can exuberantly handle all the attention, and doesn't really care about negative consequences as long as they can get what they immediately want. Long-term thinking isn't really required beyond a basic extent, either. To the extent that one needs a real skill in modern American politics beyond standard issue rat****ing, it is acting. The people on the debate stage? Actors. That's why Trump and Sanders has such appeal in 2016.

    High-flying business has a psychopath-attraction problem, too.

    >Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    I've never noticed people being afraid of other people who are smarter than them outside of corporate bureaucracies, middle school classrooms, and fanfiction.

    I think the only way that could become problematic in a potential friendship is if the party with a higher level of intelligence talks down to the other guy and tries to treat them like a child (part of why American politicians are so distasteful to me these days), or alternatively tries to show off.

    I've also noticed that truly brilliant people seldom-not always, but seldom-have the need to show off their intellect for the sake of it. It's that insecure upper-middle class of intellect that you'll see doing that.

    Perhaps this is why average people are afraid of most people cursed with high IQ?

    I think you’re correct. Afraid is the wrong word for it. (Whatever it is)

    I think I meant something more like distrustful.

  208. @MarkinLA
    Azar explained that 70 percent of hospital procedures are procedures for which the patient actually could shop around.

    I would question that 70 percent given that this guy is giving the usual "We have a free market solution" speech. The room rate for the hospital is hardly the be-all and end-all of medical billing practices. For example, I had a negative reaction to a blood pressure medication and ended up in the ER thinking that it could be a MI. The EKG showed the possibility, other tests did not. Just as I was about to take the final test and leave I had an atrial fibrillation episode ( I have them all the time). They could not do the test then but tried to chemically convert me, then at least chemically slow the heart down to take the test. I spent 36 unnecessary hours in the cardiac care unit while they endlessly gave me drugs that basically did nothing. I finally converted just before the scheduled time to take the test. Had I known what would eventually transpire I would have signed and AMA and left without taking the test or staying overnight.

    Because of all that activity, the bill was astronomical. My Obamacare insurance paid about 1500 and I had to use my full deductable of 6500. When I went to pay it at the payment office, there was already a sign that said cash payers only needed to pay what a government related payment system would pay - so there already was an acceptance of far less payment than the bill.

    There are already surgery centers and imaging centers competing with hospitals for routine in and out procedures. The real problem is all the activity that occurs when not everything goes as planned or is not so cut and dried like a simple surgical procedure that isn't potentially life threatening. Now throw in all the doctors who bill you separately from the hospital.

    MarkinLA wrote to me:

    For example, I had a negative reaction to a blood pressure medication and ended up in the ER thinking that it could be a MI. … I spent 36 unnecessary hours in the cardiac care unit while they endlessly gave me drugs that basically did nothing. …

    Because of all that activity, the bill was astronomical.

    First of all, let me express sympathy for both your medical situation and your billing situation! Yes, the current system is indeed quite insane.

    As I have mentioned before, I have a close family member who is a pathologist: pathologists see lots of the mistakes of the other physicians, and it is in fact far worse than most people realize. It should be a national scandal, except that most of it is hidden from the public.

    I note that you did not give the name of the hospital, the docs who were in charge of you, etc., and probably for good reason: you could be sued. I myself know quite a lot about incompetent physicians here in Sacramento because of the pathologist in the family, but, for the same reason, I can’t just give a public dump of what I know: they’d sue me (and probably win).

    So one of the most elementary problems is simply lack of freedom of speech. It’s not just threats of libel, slander, and defamation suits, by the way: lawyers can do wonders with “tortious interference with contractual relations.” Tell a hospital the truth about some medical group they have a contract with, and you may owe that medical group a huge sum of money (I have discussed this in detail with some attorneys).

    More broadly, when government highly regulates, subsidizes, or actually runs some area of the economy, they tend to “freeze in” the business models in that area of the economy.

    In the last thirty years, in the video-rental industry we have gone from brick-and-mortar rental stores (whatever happened to Blockbuster Video?) to the original Netflix model of mail service to current streaming services.

    We don’t see that in medical care. For example, one of the largest problems most people face is knowing when some medical problem is serious enough that they need to go to a doctor or the hospital. One obvious solution is online screening for a small fee by people with some sort of medical background: this could be very effective now that everyone has video capabilities.

    It is also a surefire way to lose a massive lawsuit. For every ten lives that were saved by the screener telling someone to get to the hospital now, there would be someone the screener missed who would die… and the family would sue for millions. And, of course, the screener wold be prosecuted for “practicing medicine without a license.”

    Similar points could be made about education, insurance, the monetary and financial system, retirement planning, etc.: changes in technology should be producing radical changes in business models in all of these areas, just as radical as Netflix, Uber, amazon.com, etc. It’s possible to guess at what some of those changes might be, but, of course, no one can fully anticipate what business model would be most effective.

    Unfortunately, government control and regulation of all those areas tends to “freeze in” the existing oligopolies, and so it becomes hard for most people to even imagine that health care, education, etc. could and should be revolutionized just as much as video rental or online marketing.

    We just all think that medical care, schooling, etc. are inevitable nightmares, not realizing that the one common thread here is “Ringo’s law”: whatever the government touches turns to crap.

  209. H/T:

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