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Opening Arguments

I'm in office now, so shut up

An Indiana congressman who should decide whether he really wants to stay in the kitchen:

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Indiana Congressman Brad Ellsworth has dropped plans for public meetings in the coming weeks as rowdy health care protests over have disrupted sessions across the country.

Ellsworth says he decided to instead hold small private meetings with constituents to allow people to give him their opinions without being interrupted.

Yes, "small private meetings" with no distracting interruptions, that's the way to go. Democracy is just too noisy and messy and inconvenient to put up wit


Michael B-P
Mon, 08/10/2009 - 12:32pm

Maybe the distinguished gentleman needs look one up from some of the other playbooks:




Mon, 08/10/2009 - 1:14pm

People being purposely disruptive isn't democracy, it's groups using disinformation and disruption to stop democracy.

tim zank
Mon, 08/10/2009 - 5:21pm

Why can't these mouthy old senior citizen radicals follow the model of "true democracy" in action? They need to adopt a more "civil" approach like SEIU, Code Pink, The New Black Panthers, ACORN, ELF, MOVE-ON, GLBT, Farrakhan's Nation Of Islam etc...

You know, the groups that are so mellow, law-abiding and tolerant.

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 8:29pm

Instigators of violence and disruption are just as bad no matter which end of the spectrum they're on.

The sad thing is a good number of the shouters inside the meetings are simply misled by the Fear, Uncertainty and Dread (and outright lies) being spread by idiots like Palin.

tim zank
Mon, 08/10/2009 - 9:00pm

How on Earth would YOU know if they are misled?? That's the most preposterous thing I've heard (lately). Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid, etal are idiots for standing up and actually telling the public they haven't even READ a bill they've passed yet this year. They're arrogance over-ran them. These morons got control and just like a kid in a candy store went waaaay overboard and it's backfiring. They went way too fast, and honestly, anybody who thinks an entity that can't run a railroad or a post office is capable of running the health care industry deserves to die a premature and painful death at the hands of some pencil pushing bureaucrat.

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 9:11pm

And now you're ranting about some non-specific stuff that doesn't have to do with the health care reform bill. You offer a distraction, nothing more.

Here's something relevant to the "misled" statement: http://www.politifact.org/truth-o-meter/

Fact-checking is fun.

tim zank
Mon, 08/10/2009 - 9:57pm

You offered the Palin distraction. I don't care what Palin says, I don't care what Pelosi says. I only need to know one thing to oppose this. The US Government cannot, has not, and will not EVER do anything efficiently.

These morons couldn't run a lemonade stand, for God's sake don't give them the ability to shorten your life.

See, when Obambi was just sucking up evil corporations, like banks, insurance companies and car companies, it didn't get everyone's attention. He made a grab at insurance coverage, and that's something very important (near & dear) to older people, and older people are not only the biggest voting block but they are also very well versed with health insurance and how it works.....

Big mistake.....it's gonna backfire big time.

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 6:38am

If you think Palin is the distraction I was speaking of, you're clearly not reading or understanding anything I've been saying. You seem more interested in ignoring anything anyone says and going off on tangents about the ebil gubmint.

Third Down
Tue, 08/11/2009 - 9:52am

Here we go again. Complaining about not having time to have read the HC bill (what do Souder's 10 staffers do again?) while continuing to recite lies about the bill. Anyone who has actually read the bill and not the Beck/Palin/Limbaugh lies will know there is nothing in it about death panels or euthenasia. Continuing to perpetrate that myth is not democracy in action.

The House bill is not perfect. It would be good to have some reasonable discussion on how to improve without having shouting matches in town hall meetings. All this is happening while my health insurance premiums are going up 25% next year.

Michael B-P
Tue, 08/11/2009 - 11:38am

Besides all that, it still looks to me as though Ellsworth needs to develop a confrontation strategy rather than simply slinking away into an office bunker.

tim zank
Tue, 08/11/2009 - 5:43pm

Here's something I don't think all of you "Obamasciples" have fully grasped. Once you have granted the Federal Government the power to control health care (and auto companies, banks, insurance companies, energy etc) they OWN it but there will eventually come elections whereby Democrats won't have control.

You may think the policies being etched in stone right now are just groovy, but how ya gonna like it when a Republican is in the White House and Republicans control Congress again? Unless we crown Obama king, a few years down the road the pendulum will swing back, it always does.

For example, The Health Benefits Advisory Committee won't be an elected body, they will be appointed by every successive "current" administration. So just to illustrate what might be your worst nightmare, picture Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindahl, Mitch Daniels or whomever you loathe on the right making their appointments to the committee. And now that we have established it's really cool to have "Czars" that don't answer to anyone, just wait until the next Republican administration appoints theirs.

Your Messiah has set some very dangerous precedents and what you think is all warm and fuzzy now will be a nightmare for you in 3,7, or 11 years. Be careful what you wish for.

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 6:15pm

We need healthcare/insurance fixed regardless of who's in power now or later. Thinking that doesn't automatically make one an "Obamasciple." Cute pejorative, though.

None of these things has been even set into a final bill yet. To reject any change or reform outright based on fears of what MIGHT go into the bill is myopic, and frankly, stupid.

tim zank
Tue, 08/11/2009 - 6:46pm

I think it's rather obvious now, about 60% of the populace (me especially) would like NO BILL. The primary reason the insurance industry is expensive and complicated is BECAUSE of the government intervention already imposed.

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 7:41pm

Where do you get that 60% number?

Or maybe the insurance industry profits went from $2.4b to $12.7b (up over 400%) between 2000-2007 - while they cut their rolls and the number of uninsured went up 19% 38.4M-45.7M during the same period.


Yeah, we don't need the insurance industry reigned in or anything. It's not like it's easier for them to kick off liabilities to increase profit or anything.

But old cranky men like you, Tim Zank, already got yours, so the hell with everyone else, eh?

tim zank
Tue, 08/11/2009 - 8:38pm

Monday, August 10, 2009
Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters nationwide favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% are opposed to a single-payer plan.

I rounded up I guess 3% points....my bad...

You can chastise insurance companies and bash anybody you like for making money, I'm never gonna change your mind and your not gonna change mine. You think socialism is a good thing, I don't. I want less government, you want more. I just hope my side prevails so we can continue to support people like you while still making a living for ourselves. Again, be careful what you wish for. When you put everyone out of business, you don't have a whole lotta jobs left Einstein.

Michael B-P
Tue, 08/11/2009 - 10:15pm

Tim raises a significant point in this issue:

"The primary reason the insurance industry is expensive and complicated is BECAUSE of
the government intervention already imposed."

I do not know the actual cost to the health insurance industry of compliance with terms
imposed on them by the government. However, I do recognize that in
in our political process the grovellers and extortionists who make the laws
are hired to do so by the the electorate. The terms of compliance
that eventually emerge to acquire the force of law are therefore ultimately
the electorate's responsibility. In the case of health insurance, while legislators may
indeed have added to the cost burden of companies in that industry, the
industry effectively imposes price controls on providers by discounting reimbursement
while charging subscribers protection money to do so. It's academic to question the economic
success of that formula after taking stock of insurance companies' real estate holdings and the
visible expansion of medical capital investment. So the question presents itself: why are we paying the
extortion racket in the first place, particularly since it's doing such a lousy job of constraining
annual double-digit price increases for medical care?

Anyone care to answer?

Third Down
Wed, 08/12/2009 - 12:54pm

Several studies have shown that Medicare costs per capita have increased at a lower pace than overall insurance costs per capita, despite serving the eldest and most ill of society. This would indicate that the government is doing a better job of slowing this extortion than the private sector.

tim zank
Wed, 08/12/2009 - 3:07pm

3rd down..please cite "several studies".

Thu, 08/13/2009 - 2:31pm

. . . and, what defines the population from which the per capita figures quoted for insurance costs is being drawn?

tim zank
Sat, 08/15/2009 - 10:05pm

thought so...