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No one read this blog?! Bad on them. Still, where's the one-line bio touting your impressive interweb connections and elevated status among bloggers?


Sure we have a paradigm for Republican over-reaching - it's called Watergate; cf Iran-contra. The elements of a Republican scandal include a) contempt for congress; b) executive secrecy; c) financial benefit to someone in the incumbent's base.

The Medicare scandal is garden variety Republican scandal. Democrats should describe it as such.

Regime Change USA - Anti-Bush T-Shirts and more

Let alone four more years!


Just found your blog recently with a link from
Angry Bear. Try to get over her when I have time.

This great stuff should go to Kerry. Or Move.On. The picture is good enough for most people to figure out.

So many great blogs. So little time.


...it now turns out that Doug Badger of the White House -- the purest of hacks -- may have pressured Scully as well.

Could the man have a more fitting last name than "Badger"? By the way, since the word has gotten a bit dusty with overuse, it's worth noting that a badger is a truly vicious animal.


But we've got to keep it simple.

And, no offense intended, charts are not that.

MoveOn effectively hammered on this issue about a month ago (part of fighting the taxpayer-funded TV ads touting the benefits). They simply cited the Consumers Union study that showed the majority of Medicare recipients wouldn't benefit.

Haven't looked for that study; it's quite possible that it uses the same calculations as your back of the envelope estimates. (And may have its own chart...)


"Will someone ask a Republican member of Congress if there is a definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that includes oral sex, but not grand larceny?" may be the rhetorical question of the year.

Seniors and all of us who are getting older by the moment need to rise up and challenge not only Bush, but also the members of Congress who participated in the scam....including alleged Democrats such as Ron Wyden.

Arnold Williams

You're wrong. Totally. What kind of national health system will we get through the present Congress? It would be a stretch. But we can build momentum fo rone by encouraging Bush to pass things that create a demand for REAL reform. This is only the first. He should be praised for it, and encouraged to EXPAND it.

I simply do not understand why you don't accept a process that leads to progress toward a goal, instead of trumpeting to all and sundry that they should never allow changes to Medicare.

Kevin Hayden

Liberals suffer from ADD. When the Bushies and Reaganauts and Nixonites are in power there's a scandal a minute, so ya just can't get consensus on what to highlight.

The failure to find WMDs is already known. So the Dems should go after the 5 biggest ones:

1) Valerie Plame (demographic: everyone)

2) The Medicare fiascoes (demographic: seniors and older boomers)

3) Failing to equip troops with proper safety equipment. (demographic: troops, vets & their families)

4) Invasions of privacy vis-a-vis the Patriot Act and libraries, TIA w/Poindexter, Justice and abortion records, etc (demographic: Dems AND INDEPENDENTS, because it's a key issue both abhor)

5) Jobs, in the swing states where it's high enough to matter and higher under Bush (demographic: this one keeps OR and MI in our column and gives a real shot at OH and CO).

Instead, it'll be an issue of the week, so the public will chalk it up to negative campaigning. Ya gotta have few enough for folks to list them on one hand and repeat it a thousand times. That's how PR works, not on fresh bursts of short term outrage.


While I am appalled by the latest relevations, I am not sure there is tremendous political hay to make here. It is hard to consistently argue that the bill cost more than we were told and to argue that a more costly benefit is what was needed on policy grounds(even though both may very well be true). I think the new information can best be used to neutralize Bush's ability to use the Medicare bill as a campaign device.

p.s. I doubt Scully needed much "Badgering" to threaten to fire the actuary. He's been known to say far worse.


so $12,800 per senior over 7 years works out to be about $1800 per year in government "financing." If you add the deductible ($250, but moving up) and the premiums ($35 per month or $420/year, but only an estimate), you get $2470 per senior per year in government + out of pocket costs.

Sounds like a lot, but most of the data I've seen (Acturarial Research Corp. analysis for the Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2003 - based on CMS survey data) indicate that number is about in-line with seniors with coverage (average spend $2,775 for retirees, $2,864 for Medicaid seniors vs. $1,356 for seniors with no insurance)

I'm still question that lack of cost-containment strategies in the bill. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of putting a check on run away drug spending.

Tom Geraghty

"We have a template in our heads for understanding liberal overstretch: liberals are utopian, technocratic, they believe government can do more than it can, they don't respect the role of culture and markets. It's the Great Society story, and it had plenty of truth to it -- back then."

This is exactly the kind of mindset that liberals have to get themselves out of before we can make real progress on our economic and social problems.

The Great Society was a "mistake"? The national poverty rate was cut in half between 1960 and 1979. An example of "overstretch"? European countries spend far more now on social welfare than 60s American liberals ever dreamed of, as everybody who read this blog well knows.

Sure, liberals made mistakes in the 60s. But when conservatives get inside our liberal heads and convince us to apologize for our successes, and to start negotiating against our own values, we might as well just throw in the towel.


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