76 thoughts on “A Chicken in Every Pot, A Glock in Every Nightstand

  1. Mike Kennedy says:

    Funny post.

    Now if Republicans really wanted to make a point, someone in Congress would put forth the bill that the gentleman from SD did. Don’t expect it will happen.

  2. I wish our legislators would do this more often. It’s a wonderful way to illustrate what has become my major pet peeve, intelluctual honesty.
    By the way, while you folks in the Mid West are discussing important issues like gun control and healthcare, the Maine State legislature is arguing about whether our offical state dessert should be a Whoopie Pie or a Bluberry Pie. What do You guys think?

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Isn’t it traitorous for a Maine legislator to support anything but Lobster Pie?

      By the way, you are probably aware that Minnesota’s State Muffin is the blueberry muffin. Queue “It’s A Small World After All.”

      1. Dennis Lang says:

        The lyrics are coming to me now. Meanwhile, I don’t believe we have a state pie. Do we? If not a grave omission worthy of a legislature session.

  3. Momkat of Apple Valley says:

    Back in the post-9/11 days, some representative in the MN House proposed a bill to change ‘French Fries’ in the capitol cafe to, of course, ‘Freedom Fries’. Rep. Phyllis Kahn quickly proposed an amendment to change every French based county, city and street to similar patriotic names. She listed a few: Nicollet, Lac Qui Parle, etc. I believe the bill failed to pass.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      But wouldn’t the Fishing Opener on “Lake America Kicks Ass” have been just as lyrical as on “Lac Qui Parle?”

  4. Mike Kennedy says:

    I’m voting for apple for the state pie — no good reason except that we raise some decent apples in MN and wild rice pie doesn’t sound good.

    Not to change the subject but found this the other day. It’s really cool.

  5. Joe Loveland says:

    Huffington Post notes:

    Despite the purely idealistic nature of the (Hal Wick gun purchase mandate) proposal, it seems perhaps particularly strange in the state of South Dakota, where legal immigrants have been barred from accessing concealed weapons permits since 2002, when the legislature changed the law following the attacks on 9/11. A measure is now in the works to return those firearms rights to legal immigrants.

  6. Joe Loveland says:

    And from Raw Story reporting about Fox News coverage:

    Conservative columnist Ann Coulter told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday that if the health care law is allowed to stand “then Republicans should turn around and mandate all citizens be forced to purchase a gun and a Bible.”

    “There’s a lot more evidence that owning a gun and a Bible is better for society than everyone having to own health insurance,” she said.

  7. Jim Leinfelder says:

    Ah, conservatives, as funny as they are factual.

    Perhaps, should Ms. Coulter ever be faced with a devastating disease or injury at a time when health insurance eludes her means to buy it or her qualifications due to pre-existing conditions, someone should thrust into her bony hands a revolver and a Bible.

  8. Jim Leinfelder says:

    Ha, ha, yeah, it is to laugh. Keeps getting funnier. Good one. Ja’ hear the one about the desperate cancer patient getting care by threat of armed force? Good time, good times…

    This jocularity reminds me, I should check in with my freelance peer going through chemo to find out about his interest in us throwing him a fundraiser.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      You’ll see from previous posts that I strongly support national health reform, Jim. I am well aware that there are too many tragic stories like your friend’s. I’m laughing at Coulter, not with her.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Right, I know you’re a fine chap, Joe. I’m just not liking where this is veering. The cynical bill offered by that South Dakota pol wasn’t to mock something absurd like making a woman wait like a child for an abortion or changing the name of french fries to “freedom fries.”

        There’s a good faith effort to address a huge problem in these United States that has to date been kicked down the road by both parties. The provisions in the health care reform legislation contains measures proffered by Republicans themselves.

        I’m just not able to laugh along at people determined to kill efforts to address this appalling problem who offer nothing empty sloganeering, or a cheap bit of mocking legislation as a substitute for substantive policy change.

  9. Jim Leinfelder says:

    That said, I do acknowledge your recent posting re: the raison d’être of this blog, and that your focus on this SD pol’s legislative gambit is from that pragmatic perspective.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Yeah, I know my focus on communications strategy and tactics bugs some folks. Some SRC readers want more raw meat ideology, some want less. I’m committed to disappointing both groups.

      Soapbox: It’s possible that liberals might be more successful if they learned a bit more about communications strategy and tactics. Ideology obviously matters, so let’s definitely have those ideological debates. But studying successful communications methods, even those of your opponents, can help implement more of the ideology.

      Just a little defense of my more nerdy tactically oriented posts…

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Completely get that. I’m a fan of George Lakoff’s analyses. But, here’s the thing, it seems to me that what works on, say, Palin’s or Bachmann’s base, is not going to work for their ideological opposite numbers.

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        It’s not one-size-fits-all, I agree. But “this strategy worked well for Person X for A, B and C reasons” type discussions are often actionable beyond the immediate discussion. Not always, but often.

        For instance, I’d like to have me a Rupert Murdoch. That would help.

      3. Jim Leinfelder says:

        But, re: Murdoch, would you really? As Lakoff points out, Liberals/Progressives really aren’t wired that way, which is part of their charm and also at the root of their ineffectiveness in today’s Dollar Store marketplace of ideas.

      4. Joe Loveland says:

        I’d like to have someone as willing to invest in liberal commmentary promotion as Murdoch is with conservative commentary promotion. The tone, tenor and content would obviously have to be different for liberal audiences, and it probably wouldn’t be as commercially successful as with it is with conservatives, so the liberal sugar daddy would have to be very committed. But it would help liberals to have the well-financed messaging vehicles that conservatives now take for granted. I know you’d have to use the vehicles differently though.

  10. Mike Kennedy says:

    For all the gun lovers out here, catch all new episodes on the History Channel of “Top Shot, Reloaded.”

    I’m thinking of buying a gun and taking up target shooting. All this talk about guns has got my mind totally focused on firearms.

    I hope no one starts discussing porn.

  11. Mike Kennedy says:

    See, Jim, now you went and ruined it for me. If I get a gun and start target shooting, it looks like I also will have to get all kinds of body art, according to this video.

    I’ve worked hard to get this body — badly colored pictures of snakes, demons and rock references will only cover it up.

  12. Mike Kennedy says:

    Wow. You’re right, PM. Are you suggesting I have her tattooed on me?

    It might be a little large, though my 19 year old came back from a year or so ago with the Celtic cross and our last name name in Gaelic on his upper right back.

    He, of course, had it done at LA Ink (featured on a reality show) because his girlfriend’s aunt worked there. It does look pretty cool, but he’s still paying me back for the $400 he I loaned him. Maybe I could just get small shamrock on my ass to qualify as a bad ass target shooter.

    Nah, guess that wouldn’t be bold enough.

    1. PM says:

      Actually, I was thinking that you should have HER Do it for you!

      Now, maybe she would be willing to put a self portrait on your skin….

  13. Mike Kennedy says:

    Jim, Thanks much for the link. I plan to watch the entire thing when I can get my hands on it. What I read and the little I saw is fascinating.

    Ferguson is intelligent, funny and I love how he loves being an American. Put these two guys together and you have some compelling entertainment while getting an education.

    I read CFs book “American on Purpose” and while it is funny, it’s also a story about how he overcame his problems, how he loves living and working here and how family support can get you through most anything. It was a keeper.

  14. Joe Loveland says:

    Interesting post from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post:

    …Wick made two mistakes.

    First, South Dakota is a state. As any federalist could explain, it can do lots of things that the federal government cannot. This is why no one is questioning the legality of the individual mandate currently operating in Massachusetts.

    Second, as Jack Balkin points out, the federal government actually did tell American citizens that they had to purchase firearms. Here’s the Militia Act of 1792:

    ‘Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia … That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service …’

    Balkin, a Yale Law professor, takes the opportunity to make a broader point:

    ‘The notion that being asked to either buy health insurance and make health care accessible for one’s fellow citizens — or to pay a small tax — is a form of tyranny akin to George III’s regime is simply bizarre: it shows how perverted and twisted public discourse has become in the United States. The assault on the individual mandate is really an assault on the public duty to assist other Americans in need, and in particular, an assault on the legal obligation to pay taxes to contribute to the general welfare. The assault on the health care bill is not a defense of liberty. It is a defense of selfishness.

  15. Mike Kennedy says:

    Well, plenty of other law professors would beg to differ with professor Balkin. You are not being “asked” to buy health insurance. You are being forced to buy it or you will be penalized.

    There is a big difference. Our society “asks” many things of its wealthier citizens in terms of charity, and a good many respond.

    If the government wants to provide health care to those below a certain income limit, no one is arguing that it can’t use tax money for this purpose. The bone of contention is forcing everyone to buy it.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576117913097891574.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

  16. PM says:

    Charles Fried, who was President Reagan’s Solicitor General (the guy who argues all of the US cases before the Supreme Court) and also teaches constitutional law at Harvard Law School, says that he is convinced that the law as written is indeed constitutional.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/02/ronald_reagans_solicitor_gener.html

    Frankly, i don’t think requiring people to pay for something that they use should really be that big of a deal. Actually, sounds like the conservative, responsible thing to me. Like the sort of thing that a Mitt Romney would suggest….(when he isn’t being an opportunistic flip flopper).

    1. Gary Pettis says:

      Come again? The sentence is:

      “Frankly, i don’t think requiring people to pay for something that they use should really be that big of a deal.”

      Set aside Health Care, what are the other things that you have in mind?

      This sounds like a philosophy statement right out of the of the Nanny State Handbook.

      Who exactly is going to tell us product, service or thing we are required to buy? Who will be charged what costs? Who is going to set the prices?

      The Grand “Tell The People What They Must Have” Master will be:

      Big Brother?

      Or,

      The Elites, e.i., the people who are far way smarter than me and surely wiser at making my life choices than me . . . or should it be I?

      See, I need their help already.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Well, being a city dweller, I’m all for folks using toilets that drain into a publicly-funded and maintained sewage system that feeds into a taxpayer-supported sewage treatment plant. In fact, call me an elitist, Mr. Pettis, but I would insist on it and strongly support laws that prohibit folks just having a dump wherever the urge strikes them.

        It’s bad enough we have all these self-involved dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

        That said, Mr. Pettis, it would not surprise me to learn you deposit your waste in a tank out back, as so many denizens of the exurbs do. I do not think it’s a good practice. But it’s not the disaster it would be here in the city.

      2. PM says:

        Probably good for people to pay for law courts, police, national defense, roads, lights, all sorts of infrastructure, etc. Water, electricity, basic research, education, dredging, …..

      3. PM says:

        As for how decisions like that should be made, we have an obvious and already working system–representative government, a series of laws, a constitution, courts, administrators, etc. That is the system that tells us we can’t pee on the side walk whenever we feel like it, that we need to obey traffic laws, that we have to be 18 to vote, 21 to drink, drive on the right side of the street, etc.
        It happens all the time, and generally works pretty well.

  17. Mike Kennedy says:

    Well, as I said earlier, plenty of law professors and 26 states and now several courts all disagree.

    It will be the Supreme Court that will have to sort this out, and Kennedy will once again, more than likely, be the deciding vote on whether the law is constitutional or not.

    We can debate and post articles all day long, but in the end, nothing we say or post will matter.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      As NPR pointed out:

      …(Utah U.S. Senator Orrin) Hatch’s opposition (to the Democrats’ health insurance coverage requirement) is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it.

      In fact, says Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea. “It was invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. back in the day, as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time.”

      Pauly, a conservative health economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, says it wasn’t just his idea. Back in the late 1980s — when Democrats were pushing not just a requirement for employers to provide insurance, but also the possibility of a government-sponsored single-payer system — “a group of economists and health policy people, market-oriented, sat down and said, ‘Let’s see if we can come up with a health reform proposal that would preserve a role for markets but would also achieve universal coverage.’ ”

      The idea of the individual mandate was about the only logical way to get there, Pauly says. That’s because even with the most generous subsidies or enticements, “there would always be some Evel Knievels of health insurance, who would decline coverage even if the subsidies were very generous, and even if they could afford it, quote unquote, so if you really wanted to close the gap, that’s the step you’d have to take.”

      One reason the individual mandate appealed to conservatives is because it called for individual responsibility to address what economists call the “free-rider effect.” That’s the fact that if a person is in an accident or comes down with a dread disease, that person is going to get medical care, and someone is going to pay for it.

      “We called this responsible national health insurance,” says Pauly. “There was a kind of an ethical and moral support for the notion that people shouldn’t be allowed to free-ride on the charity of fellow citizens.”

      So while President Clinton was pushing for employers to cover their workers in his 1993 bill, John Chafee of Rhode Island, along with 20 other GOP senators and Rep. Bill Thomas of California, introduced legislation that instead featured an individual mandate. Four of those Republican co-sponsors — Hatch, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Robert Bennett of Utah and Christopher Bond of Missouri — remain in the Senate today.”

      1. Newt says:

        Would anyone care to explain why a coronary artery bypass graft procedure by one of the top cardiac surgeons in the world (who practices in India ) costs $12K but the same procedure in the US by a comparably-skilled surgeon is $175K?

        I have the answer, but I want to see what the winds bring in.

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        Newt, good to hear from you. I concede I’m not the great Indian medical expert that you are. But I imagine there are lots of reasons for the India v. U.S. medical cost differential:

        1) Cost-of-living. Consumer prices as a whole are are 150% higher in the United States compared to India, so medical prices are naturally also much lower in India.

        2) Cost shifting. A U.S. hospital gives away millions every year in uncompensated care to the uninsured, and raises the prices on other patients to make up for the loss.

        3) Physician salaries. The average heart surgeon in the U.S. makes about $500K. Much lower in India.

        Quality of outcomes may also be different, which can affect costs. I don’t have data though.

        Now I trust you will enlighten me, and advise that the entire difference is due to medical malpractice insurance rates.

      3. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Wow, Newt, that is so great…unless, of course, you happen to live in India and make the average $735/year and have basically no access to this procedure. Then you just die.

      4. Newt says:

        Loveland is partially right. Leinfelder is predictably wrong.

        The correct answer is that there is no intermediary between patient and provider. The patient pays direct.

        Now use this information to formulate a cogent health policy!

        P.S. Why has Lazik surgery decreased in cost from $4,000 to $750 when all other healthcare has skyrocketed in cost? Think hard.

      5. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Really, I’m wrong? Everybody in India can afford their “cheaper” (for us) health care? Not a small minority? They’ve all got the cash on hand to pay that $12K? Because, as you state, amphibian, there is no intermediary, i.e. insurance. If you can’t pay, you die.

        Hey, guess what costs more in India than it does here?

      6. Newt says:

        Yes, everything in India is cheaper. And public hospitals serve the poor at a basic level. If you introduced insurance of any kind (think intermediary) to India’s private system, costs would skyrocket.

        How do you explain my Lasik example?

      7. PM says:

        Newt:

        so, to control costs, we should ban private companies selling insurance? No more United Health? Cigna?

      8. PM says:

        Frankly, Newt, I am a little bit amazed at your apparent indictment of risk management.

        One of the best books i have ever read is this:

        it is the story of how humans have constantly tried to limit risk, and how risk management and economic development go hand in hand–indeed, our entire economic structure is simply a by product of our desire to insure ourselves against death, disease, crop failures, fate, weather……

        Seriously, read the book. it is well written and entertaining and fascinating.

  18. Mike Kennedy says:

    PM: Politicians who flip flopped — I am aghast.

    I watched many Dems vote in favor of both the Afghan and Iraq wars then later oppose both.

    So it comes as no shock that Republicans are every bit as hypocritical and two faced. Now they just have to find someone to blame for phony health care numbers or what-have-you to be just as pathetic as those Dems were.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Health insurance and care for all Americans remains a good idea, to most Americans.

      The invasion of Iraq on the illusory strength of trumped up evidence and bald-faced lies, not so much.

      As for Afghanistan, I’m not aware of all that many Dems who thought it was a bad idea. I think the criticism was mainly of what a half-assed job we did of it, letting Bin Laden, et al flee from Tora Bora after failing to give the commanders on the ground the troops they needed in those critical early days to get the job done, while diverting the bulk of our defense resources to the non-threat of Iraq.

  19. Mike Kennedy says:

    I think the documentation is pretty strong that some in the administration ginned up evidence for the war — bald faced lies, not so clear.

    I also think it rather well documented that military strikes in places like Tora Bora had less to do with field strength than a reluctance to give commanders on the ground the decision making powers. Instead, endless chains of commands would evaluate and then run the proposed strikes by military lawyers. Well, the enemy ain’t going to stand around and wait.

    If it were just a matter of troop strength, why haven’t the Dems who have been in power and relentlessly criticized the prosecution of the war, still not infused the field with enough troops and firepower to end it?

    While we are at it, why has this administration follwed through on all its promises from closing Gitmo to changing war strategy?

    Yes, most Americans probably do support health insurance for all Americans, but there is widespread disagreement on how to pay for it and against forcing people to buy it.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Because the “mission” keeps changing. The mission then was to cut off the head of Al Quada. Now it’s become nation-building, which as we’re witnessing in Egypt cannot be accomplished and sustained at the end of a gun barrell.

      Yeah, why haven’t the Dems unscrambled Bush’s omelette and put it back in the egg carton? What’s their problem?

  20. Mike Kennedy says:

    Well, no. They first went along with it, then bashed it to high heaven and are now following it. Come on.

    Take a stand. Stick to it. Oh, I forgot. It’s easy to be critical and pick everything apart while you’re sitting comfortably in your arm chair. Then you suit up, get in the game…….and well, not quite as easy as it looks.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      I’m not tracking, Mike. I’m not aware of there ever being a reluctance to go after the individuals who planned 9/11 wherever they were and kill them, render them non-operational. The perps, of course, all but one, were quite dead.

      But that was NINE years ago. And now, after all that mission creep and in the midst of one of the country’s worst economic crises, within two years, you want it all neatly resolved?

      Take a stand, no matter how conditions may change and better information may come in, and stick to it, no matter how ineffective and wasteful of lives and treasure.

      That has a familiar ring to it.

  21. Mike Kennedy says:

    I ain’t arguing so much about this as I am about the fact that people change their minds and parties change their stances. You are talking about nine years — yet we have people posting that Republicans had a different position on health care nearly 20 YEARS ago? That’s my point.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      It’s not a particularly meaningful comparison by my lights. What’s changed about the health care and coverage issue in this country, other than how much worse it’s gotten since many Republicans espoused the very position they now denounce as bad for the country, that would cause them to reverse their position? Besides Obama being elected, I can’t think of anything.

    2. Joe Loveland says:

      In the Middle East, a lot has changed over the past 9 years. Americans have learned the promised WMD aren’t there. Americans have learned we weren’t greeted as liberators, as we were promised. Americans have learned that it will cost trillions more than the original estimates, and that those costs are bankrupting us during the worst economy in decades. That’s new information to inform today’s positions, and that is pretty key information.

      What are the key factors that have changed over the last 20 years that warrant a wholesale change on the Republican Party’s position on the issue of an insurance mandate…from characterizing it as the centerpiece of their reform to characterizing it as a shockingly unconstitutional attack on American freedom? Other than the fact that Obama and Democrats endorsed their idea, what has changed over the last 20 years to warrant such a massive change of opinion?

  22. Mike Kennedy says:

    Well, for one thing, we are in a financial hole unlike any other we’ve ever been in and with all due respect to the CBO, most people think health care costs will increase (they continue to do so as we speak).

    Second, Republicans may have been more on board if the administration could administer like it campaigned. Telling your opposition that “elections have consequences and I won” is no way to garner support for something that came along at a time when there were more pressing issues (like a failing economy and huge job losses).

    Third, there has been quite a change in the political landscape since 1993 — in case you weren’t watching. To dismiss Tea Party influence on politics is shortsighted.

    In addition, much of the opposition is coming from states, many of whom had nothing to do with the 1993 discussions.

    Finally, we have nearly 20 more years of watching how similar systems have worked or not worked in other countries. Some perhaps have changed their minds based on that.

    Political parties change their philosophies.
    You can’t be naive enough to believe that positions remain forever. History just doesn’t bear you out.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      I agree with one part of that – the Republican Party has gotten much more conservative to appeal to the Tea Party extreme.

  23. Joe Loveland says:

    Mike, Newt and other critics of the health insurance mandate, I’m curious whether you think the states should repeal their laws to require car insurance?

    1. Newt says:

      PM – Humans are notoriously poor at predicting risk.Think about the 2008-2009 financial industry collapse that was treated as a “complete surprise” by all the Harvard and Stanford MBA quants. All that risk management brainpower – utterly useless, ineffective and plain wrong.

      Joe – we should do away with insurance mandates of any kind. They don’t control costs as intended.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      So, you support government requiring me to purchase auto liability insurance to ensure I don’t create auto repair expenses for my fellow citizens. But you oppose government requiring me to purchase health insurance to ensure I don’t create medical expenses for my fellow citizens?

  24. Mike Kennedy says:

    It’s not a question of support for one or the other. I don’t think the federal government can mandate it.

    It appears clear that states can. If the Supreme Court finds the federal government can do it under its powers, then I’ll have not problem with it.

    But I would have preferred market reforms were put in place first. There hasn’t been any competition in health care or incentives to drive down costs for at least a generation.

  25. Dennis Lang says:

    As usual, interesting and informative exchange, made all the more compelling by the many links posted to support the diverging view-points. It becomes a “discussion” open to conjecture and more than just a platform for idle (once in a while bombastic) partisan rhetoric. Nice work Crowd!

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