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GM Joe

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Everything posted by GM Joe

  1. Me, too. And it's remarkable to me that there have been terrible failures of leadership in both parties. De Blasio telling people to go out on the town one last time before lockdown. Cuomo cutting medicaid during a pandemic. Democrats in the House not using their leverage to make the Senate bill better. And on and on. Maybe we're just not very good at picking leaders.
  2. Another good sign, via an AP poll out today: https://apnews.com/3562b5a082a27221e532075de509a36c Also, most Americans support wearing facemasks....including most Republicans....according to this huffpost/yougov poll. https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5ec584fcc5b642a7d150e103#comments Both polls are consistent with what I've been seeing right along. Common sense survives!
  3. At the same time, essential workers should be paid accordingly and given every reasonable protection.
  4. Which is so strange to me. We allow "free speech zones," libel laws, and all kinds of restrictions on other rights. But somehow guns rights are supposed to be absolute. The only difference I can see is that guns are a product, and there's an industry that wants no restrictions on its ability to sell its products.
  5. There are definitely a lot of people hurting out there, financially, emotionally, physically, psychologically. Not to mention vaccinations are down, cancer patients are having to forego treatment, and on and on. As you say, it's a good sign not many are wanting to go too fast. The national surveys I've seen (e.g. https://navigatorresearch.org/navigating-coronavirus/) have shown a consistent preference for being safe when lifting stay-at-home orders. Most people seem satisfied with what the pace of their states' transition, with the remainder having a plurality in favor of going more slowly vs. more quickly. In my state specifically, out of a population of more than 12 million only a few hundred have come out to protest. A few businesses have reopened in defiance of the order (and then were shut down). Some politicians are suing, seemingly to make a name for themselves/grandstand. Which, again, isn't to say people aren't hurting. It's outrageous how small businesses are being treated by the federal government, for example. And social isolation is seriously damaging to some, particularly seniors. Thankfully the state's unemployment filing backlog is being worked through, making things better for people who lost their jobs (thanks substantially to the extra $600). If only we'd done what most other countries did, and just pick up the payroll tab so as to avoid all this dislocation and swamping of the state unemployment machinery! I'm just hoping we will all be ready to go back under stay-at-home orders as the inevitable second wave begins (as it already has in France and Iran). That's why I'm thankful my state's plan is based on metrics, and has mechanisms for moving regions back and forth between phases as indicated by conditions on the ground within each region. I'm happy to let the data do the talking rather than letting politics decide what's best.
  6. That's the impression news reports are giving, but the truth is the vast majority of people are complying. Something like 90% are either fine with what's going on or worried that we'll move too quickly.
  7. It does sometimes seem like our options are a quick slide or a slow walk.
  8. I have family members with pre-existing conditions and totally understand! I'm glad you were able to get coverage. But I'd love it if everyone could have health care like in other industrialized nations.
  9. It's absolutely true that socially we have had real progress. Not uniformly across the country, and there is still resistance to all of it -- widespread resistance, even. But the support ratio has definitely flipped on a lot of things. And that is unqualifiedly good. But on the issues that the wealthy care the most about, the movement is ever in their favor. Sure, after they get a large tax cut, the D's may come in there and give them a tiny tax increase, but then the next R will just give them another large cut. The D's may do a little regulation here and there to clean up the environment or some such, but the R's will just undo that and more. And so on. And all the while things that would do the most to help people move up the ladder are off the table. At best, we get funhouse mirror versions of those things, like the Heritage Foundation inspired ACA. Or we fight like hell, finally get a small win on some issue legislatively, and then it's undone by the courts. To be clear, I'm not saying everything is terrible and hopeless. I'm not saying Biden will be uniformly bad. He will probably do what he can, within the limits of what his campaign donors (insurance companies, banks, wall street, etc.) will allow. Which is better than we're getting now, and will be critically important for some people. Which is why I always vote for the lesser evil...making me complicit in evil.
  10. I appreciate your perspective, but I've had this conversation too many times already. Besides: not the point.
  11. Great point. That GM screen and the booklet in it were golden.
  12. I'm struggling with this election as well On the one hand, I've been voting for the lesser of two evils since 1988, and things have just gotten worse and worse. In each election we're told that next time we'll have a better choice, but right now, we have to choose one of these two, so choose the lesser evil. But the next time it's always the same story. Every time someone even mildly progressive starts to gain traction in the presidential race, the party elites and media unite to put and end to their campaign. On the other hand, the evidence suggests Trump could be an existential threat to American democracy. One that our sociopolitical system seems unable to deal with. Do I want us to end up like Hungary or Russia? Absolutely not. Coming back from that costs blood, not votes...and may not be possible with today's surveillance technology. I'll be voting for down-ballot progressives where possible (and giving what I can to down-ballot progressives in other districts). I know the weight of the party will be against them in every case, but sometimes it works. And that gives me hope. And I suppose I will reluctantly vote for Biden. But goddamn, I can't help but feel that's part of the problem. Every time we vote for the lesser of two evils, we move the center further right. Voting for the lesser of two evils made Trump's rise possible. What was crazy right-wing stuff when I was a kid is now mainstream. And it's partly my fault.
  13. I'm glad to hear it! Would you consider a Kickstarter to get it re-edited and re-typeset?
  14. But, then, Trump never has had much patience.
  15. In my view, the good news is that we're still producing food, water, power, and all the other essentials, so the basics of civilization don't look set to go away anytime soon. And if government supports people and businesses during the downturn, everyone with diminished income will get to pay their bills and keep their heads above water. So that keeps factories, shops, and homes in the same hands they were in before the crisis. And if that government support for businesses is predicated on people remaining on the payrolls through the crisis, those businesses also won't have to lose their trained workforce. After the crisis passes, we'll have a lot of pent up demand for all those non-essentials that we couldn't get during the crisis. People will go back to work providing those things and will therefore have money to buy them as well. So it seems as though this could just be a rough period after which we're likely to see a nice rebound and a return to growth -- if we handle the crisis well. If we handle it poorly, of course, it could get pretty darned bad. Congress can easily throw vast sums of money out the window if they listen to the corporatists in both parties instead of taking care of the middle and working classes. And if people keep going out despite stay-at-home orders, more people will get the virus, and more of them will die because the hospital beds are all full. I hope we handle this crisis better than we've been handling things in general.
  16. But we're so good at doing nothing!
  17. Looks like we're in for a long period of staying mostly at home, and being unable to purchase many things. Could be 3 months, 5 months, or much longer. 😬
  18. Yeah, the hording list is getting long. People don't seem to really know what to stock up on. When they started talking about Costco's in Chicago running out of TP a couple weeks ago, my wife and I decided to stock up at that point since the mania hadn't hit our area yet. Nothing crazy -- just an extra pack of TP, an extra 3-pack of tissues, a few cans of soup, etc. Enough stuff that, with what we normally keep on hand, we would be able to make it for 14 days if we couldn't even get deliveries (which seems unlikely). Then, late last week, the mania hit everywhere (including our area), and we were amazed what people were stocking up on, and how much. The guy behind me had filled his entire cart with canned soups! Another did the same with bottled water. And anything that could possibly be used as TP was flying off the shelves. Just amazing. I'm so glad Amazon and eBay have shut down a lot of the resellers, but there's still so much hoarding it's going to be a problem for a long time.
  19. Klobuchar's out. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-klobuchar/amy-klobuchar-ends-bid-for-u-s-2020-democratic-presidential-nomination-idUSKBN20P2TF She's urging her supporters to vote for Biden.
  20. I haven't heard anyone saying Castro wasn't that bad.
  21. Whatever. It's the same thing he said 4 years ago, and that Obama said before that. It's politics.
  22. Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist is better than I'd hoped. I love that it's a musical set in a world where there's an explanation for why people break out in song, dance around, then go on as if nothing happened. That it's also smart, funny, well-written, well-acted, etc. makes it a top pick for the season as far as I'm concerned. Plus, Jane Levy and Peter Gallagher are two actors I'm always happy to watch do their thing.
  23. I didn't pay for the article, either, but we know that we pay more per capita for healthcare than any other nation, yet our outcomes aren't better. We know that other advanced nations handle healthcare in their own, individual ways. Yet they all pay less and have outcomes at least as good as ours. So there appear to be many paths to lower costs that do not sacrifice health. We also know that congress barred Medicare and Medicaid from negotiating for lower drug prices, and we know that the VA is allowed to negotiate for lower drug prices, and that the VA therefore pays less for drugs. It would seem a simple matter of will to allow Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate on drug prices, saving the nation substantially. In short, we know there are a lot of ways we could be saving money and getting at least as good of outcomes as we have now. So to the extent that any given program does things that are shown to result in lower costs with health outcomes that are at least as good as we have now, I think we should at least consider it. Medicare for All is one such. It appears to be a reasonable path to what we want: more coverage, less expenditure. Part of that is done through negotiating for lower drug costs. Part is done through eliminating the administrative overhead (we know that the overhead of Medicaid is much lower than that of any private health insurer, for example, and we know that dealing with one insurer is less costly for hospitals and doctors than dealing with many different insurers each with their own procedures and requirements). Those things seem like they're reasonable ways to reduce costs and get good outcomes. Whether they're philosophically in line with American values is a different debate. How we should handle what to cover and what not to cover is yet another debate. But they do seem to be ways to get where we keep saying we want to go.
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