Burr chooses politics over national security

Not content to screw over North Carolinians on health insurance, Senator Richard Burr today voted to CANCEL a meeting of the Armed Services Committee, originally scheduled for 2:30 this afternoon.


You might think this an unprecedented abrogation of responsibility, but you'd be wrong. This is just Senator Richard Burr at his legislative worst: doing nothing and obstructing - even on matters of national security.

On the Senate floor, Carl Levin (D-MI) asked permission for the already-scheduled Senated Armed Services Committee to go forward — a request supported by ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Levin pointed out that a couple of the commanders had traveled long distances to attend today’s hearing, from as far away as Japan. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), speaking on behalf of Republicans, objected and blocked the request:

BURR: As a member of the committee — and I side myself with the chair and the ranking member — that I have no personal objection to continuing. There is objection on our side of the aisle. Therefore, I would have to object.

Watch firsthand the consequences of the two-year-old temper tantrum from our senior Senator from North Carolina:



He didn't have a problem with it, but other republicans did? Then why did he have to object? Why couldn't others? I'm really trying to ease back into this whole politics thing and not call names, etc., but this one is really making me twitch. What a...>twitch


I just watched the whole thing. What an earth are you talking about??

Sen. Burr certainly never lost his temper. He isn't even heard from until the last 13 seconds of the video. He was perfectly amiable, and completely polite -- as he always is.

Sen. McCaskill (D-MO) seemed rather petulant, but not Burr.

I'm not sure, but I think what was going on here is that the Democrats scheduled a Senate session which conflicted with the previously scheduled committee hearing, which meant that the committee hearing was automatically canceled, to allow the members to be in session. But Levin and McCaskill wanted to hold the hearing anyhow, and they needed unanimous consent to do so.

Levin asked for unanimous consent, and he didn't get it.

So what?

Do you really think they ought to be holding hearings that conflict with sessions, so that Senators will have to miss one or the other? I don't.

Hey, what's wrong with you guys? You just WON probably the biggest political battle of the decade, not counting elections. I'm the one who's in a bad mood this week. Why are y'all so grouchy today? Are you beginning to realize just what you signed up for?

The only temper tantrums I see are the ones here on bluenc.



I realize you're not very strong in the "nuance" department, Dave, but surely you're not as dense as you're pretending. But just to make it clear, the whole fucking Republican party is throwing a temper tantrum, along with throwing bricks, cutting gas lines, threatening murder and worse.

Fortunately, the adults are in charge. Dick will have to stay after class ... the Senate will be in session all night.

If you don't like what you see here, you're more than welcome to leave.

childish behavior

James, childish behavior is holding all-night sessions to "punish" Republicans for opposing the trampling of the of the U.S. Constitution & the rules of the U.S. Congress. Childish (and hopelessly corrupt) behavior is buying and selling votes for AF-1 rides and M&Ms. Childish behavior is forcing a vote on a Sunday in Lent to rub the Christian House Members' noses in their defeat.

It is not childish to believe that extremely important legislation, which will greatly impact the lives of every American, should be subject to study, deliberation & amendment. It is not childish to object to steamrollering such legislation without proper deliberation. It is not childish to object to the unprecedented abuse of budget reconciliation to implement a "nuclear option" to prevent a filibuster.

And it certainly is not childish to object to the Democrats holding hearings which conflict with sessions. Some Republican(s) obviously did object, and asked Sen. Burr to deny Levin unanimous consent. They presumably did so because he was on the committee and they were not.

If the Democrats didn't want to inconvenience the military commanders who traveled so far to testify at the hearing, they shouldn't have scheduled a Senate session for that time, when the hearings were already scheduled. Obviously.

You haven't answered my question, either: Do you really think they ought to be holding hearings that conflict with sessions, so that Senators will have to miss one or the other? Do you think military commanders should be summoned to testify at hearings, where their time will be wasted because the Senators can't be there there to hear them, because of a hastily-scheduled Senate session at the same time?

I don't. I think that hearings should be heard, by the Senators who summoned the military commanders to testify, which obviously can't happen if those Senators are in session.


You are so full of yourself

"forcing a vote on a Sunday in Lent to rub the Christian House Members' noses in their defeat." You really think you have a monoploy on Christianity, don't you Dave? How full of shit are you Dave? Dave here are a few of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God" and another one "You shall not make for yourself an idol", so stop pissing God off by thinking you speak for him or by taking ownership of him. Either follow all the ten Commandments or shut the fuck up. Another Commandment "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor", neither the U.S. Constitution or the rules of the U.S. Congress were violated last Sunday so stop lying. And if you think any of those things happened in our secular democracy you make your argument in court. You know who uses religious arguments for this kind of stuff? The taliban. Are you a taliban Dave? You sure do sound like one. The Democrats did not do anything that Republicans and Democrats have not done dozens of times in the past. But apparently you think that only when Democrats do it it is really evil, anti-Christian and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Really Dave? Is that how full of yourself you are Dave? I am not surprised. BTW Dave, remember Terri Schiavo? That vote (SB686) was also held on a Sunday, particularly on Palm Sunday. Hipocrisy much Dave? You are full of it Dave.

"Do you really think they ought to be holding hearings that conflict with sessions" it's done and has been done all along by unanimous consent, but apparently Dave thinks it is an affront all of the sudden. Who do you think you are kidding Dave? Or, it's O.K. if you are a Republican, is that how it works Dave?

Dave, none of this is childish, you wish. Most Americans are finally figuring out what these Republicans are really all about, and it is not what you are thinking.


...the AGs of at least a dozen States are suing over the blatant unconstitutionality of this monstrosity.

The most obviously unconstitutional provision is the requirement that American citizens purchase insurance. The federal government has no constitutional authority to force Americans to buy something which they don't wish to buy.

More generally, the Interstate Commerce Clause does not confer on the federal government the authority to regulate intrastate insurance purchases, nor does it have the authority to forbid NC insurance plans from contracting with MDs who decline to comply with every whim of the federal Dictator of Health and Human Services.

Plus, you claimed, "The Democrats did not do anything that Republicans and Democrats have not done dozens of times in the past."

But I think you must surely know, Bob, that the Budget Reconciliation process has never before been misused to enact massive new federal programs, rather than bring budgets into compliance with budget resolutions as was intended; nor has a Budget Reconciliation bill ever been introduced and even voted on before the bill it amends became law.

KENT CONRAD (D-ND): "It [budget reconciliation] was never designed for that kind of significant legislation [like ObamaCare]. It was designed for deficit reduction."

As for Terri, she was dying, and the need for action was extremely urgent to save her life, hence the Sunday session. There was no such urgency for this legislation.

I am, however, impressed that you remember the bill number for Terri's bill.

Dave, here we go again

Why am I not surprised that you think it's O.K. when Republicans do it but not when Democrats do it. Well Dave, following your logic, if it was good because Terri was dying then it was good for Democrats to do it because 47,000 Americans are dying every year due to their lack of access to health insurance. Or, are you going to argue that Terri's life was more valuable than that of those 47,000 Americans that die every year?

As for your Constitutional argument, feel free to write an amicus brief when the case comes to court. That's how we do it in this country. I will stick with the argument of the AG of Georgia who thinks your argument and those of people like you have no merit:

Based upon my understanding of the current Act, I am unaware of any constitutional infirmities and do not think it would be prudent, legally or fiscally, to pursue such litigation. I must therefore respectfully decline your request.

While I understand that the new law is the subject of ongoing debate here in Georgia and around the nation, I do not believe that Georgia has a viable legal claim against the United States. Considering our state’s current severe budgetary crisis, with vital services like education and law enforcement being cut deeply, I cannot justify a decision to initiate expensive and time-consuming litigation that I believe has no legal merit.

In short, this litigation is likely to fail and will consume significant amounts of taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the process.

And Dave, your AGs that are filing lawsuits will have this to contend with:

The Supremacy Clause is a clause in the United States Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2. The clause establishes the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. treaties as "the supreme law of the land." The text establishes these as the highest form of law in the American legal system, mandating that state judges uphold them, even if state laws or constitutions conflict.

But your amicus brief will be welcomed. BTW Dave, let me give you a hint, saying things like "Dictator of Health and Human Services" will not go well in those briefs. Hot air much? Tea party much?

As for "that the Budget Reconciliation process has never before been misused to enact massive new federal programs," regardless of how you want to twist this one Dave, it ain't happening the way you put it. You know about the Byrd rules, don't you Dave? Let me tell you how this is happening Dave: The House passed a bill and the Senate passed a bill, then the House passed the Senate's bill and later a reconciliation bill. The Senate is about to pass the House reconcilliation bill and it will go back to the House, due to the Pell grant issue, and the House will most likely pass that bill too. But in any case Dave, the original Senate version of the bill is already the law of the land, Obama signed it this week. You see how democracies work Dave. And another thing Dave, you make it sound as if reconcilliation is a horrible thing. Well Dave, were you that pissed when the Republicans passed the largest deficit bill at the time using reconcilliation? That would be Bush's tax cuts for the rich Dave. Were you?


Bob wrote, "The House passed a bill and the Senate passed a bill, then the House passed the Senate's bill and later a reconciliation bill. The Senate is about to pass the House reconcilliation bill and it will go back to the House, due to the Pell grant issue, and the House will most likely pass that bill too."

The actual timeline was a little bit different from that:

1) The House passed a bill and sent it to the Senate.

2) Instead of amending the House's bill, the Senate Democrats wrote their own. Since they are Constitutionally prohibited from originating bills which raise revenue, they took an entirely unrelated House bill, and replaced every word, jot & tittle of it with a completely new bill. (This is unconstitutional, but not unprecedented.)

3) The Senate Democrats then bribed (cornhusker kickback!!) enough reluctant members to pass their bill on a straight party-line vote, and sent it to the House.

4) The Senate then lost one Democrat, because the bill was so unpopular in Massachusetts (where they know something about gov't-controlled healthcare) that what was perhaps the safest Democratic Senate seat in the country went Republican.

5) Instead of amending the Senate's bill, the House Democrats wrote another new bill, disguised as a budget reconciliation bill, with amendments to the Senate bill. They pulled this stunt even though budget reconciliation bills are supposed to only change already-enacted budget laws, to bring them into compliance with previously passed budget resolutions, and this bill:
a) wasn't law yet, and
b) wasn't a budget bill, and
c) wasn't being brought into compliance with a budget resolution

6) They then bribed (AF-1 & M&Ms!) enough reluctant House Democrats to (barely) pass the Senate bill.

7) Then they passed the budget reconciliation bill (which the members had been given almost no time to study) and sent it to the Senate -- even though the law it purports to amend wasn't law yet.

8) Obama then signed the House-passed Senate bill, and the Senate commenced deliberation on the supposedly-budget-reconciliation bill.

That's where we stand, now.

And, as for the Supremacy Clause, it predates the 10th Amendment, which means that even if (as you seem to think) it meant that any and all federal laws trump any and all State laws (which it didn't), that interpretation was voided by the explicit language of the 10th Amendment.


It just passed in the Senate and now to the House. Isn't democracy great!

As for the timeline

It is just like I said. Too bad you don't like the process. Add your timeline version to your amicus brief and let me know how that works out.

As for the supremacy clause

Nowhere in the 10th ammendment does it says that it trumps Article 2 or any parts of it.

Just in case Dave, here is the 10th Ammendment:

Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Where does it say that the Supremacy Clause is null and void? Other than your interpretation, nowhere.

what's more

As for your claim that this law will save 47,000 American lives per year, or perhaps some fraction of them, that's nonsense. This law will kill many thousands of Americans, if it stands, just as Canada's system and the UK's system kill thousands of their citizens. On Saturday I chatted with an expatriate Canadian (whose daughter I helped move) who told me that both of his parents would have lived longer had they been in the USA instead of Canada.

And it's no wonder; look what they put up with there:


* Wait times in the public system depend on many factors that include, but are not limited to:

  • In which province you live
  • Whether you are an urban or rural resident
  • The urgency of your condition
  • Your age – many elderly patients are simply never going to get elective surgeries such as hip replacements

** Wait times for clients of Timely Medical Alternatives depend only on:

  • The urgency of your condition. As an example – we can arrange for cardiac consultations normally within one week. In emergencies, we can arrange for next-day consultations with the surgery/procedure to follow immediately.

But don't worry. My new expatriate Canadian friend also told me that, though they got gov't controlled medicine in 1968, Canadian health care was excellent through the 1970s, so it takes a while for the rot to set in. Perhaps you won't live long enough to suffer under it.

But what about your children? What if they get cancer?


Really Dave?

A commercial website with a vested interest and anecdotes from a Canadian friend that may or may not exist? Is that the best you can do?

Dave while you are at it

tell us what the wait times are in the U.S., specially for those 47,000 that Harvard says they exist but you say they don't.

I don't want to know the truth?

Dave you wouldn't recognize the truth if it came and slapped you in the face? John Stossel realy? Is that who you want me to believe? A raving lunatic libertarian that now has moved to Fox and has been proven to consistently lie and distort. But Dave I asked you a question the other day and you never answered. If the Canadian ssytem is so much worst than ours why do they rank 14 in life expectancy and we rank 37? Why Canada's infant mortality rate is 4.7 per thousand 23rd out of 225 countries, and the U.S. is 43rd? I thought you cared a lot about babies. Why Dave? You know Dave, facts are pesky little things.

Tough questions

I personally do not expect that there will not be some negative changes to individual health care issues in America because of this new bill. 30 million new people in the health care system will, necessarily, create a new problem. Instead of going to the ER for the flu or to the ER for severe strains and so forth, the people that will now be able to realize access to doctors (in years to come) will be going to the very doctors that others have been able to go to because of having coverage. That, in itself, will create a huge strain on the practices of doctors and on our health care system overall from general practioners to specialists. That is a given. This will create a need for more doctors and for PA's (Physician's Assistant), of course. This, to me, will become an avenue for people in our country to be able to achieve in. Instead of looking on the negative side, we need to look on the positive side. If I am raising a son or daughter today, guess where I am going to try to get them to focus their efforts?

We are not Canada. We are not Europe. We are America. There is a HUGE difference. I just HATE it when we are compared to other countries and when people try to show how some other country was unsuccessful with some kind of program or policy etc. that we are going forward with.


Get it??????

OK, Bob

BasqueBob wrote, "Dave I asked you a question the other day and you never answered.

Bob, I answered you. Either you forgot, or else you didn't read it.


But I don't mind answering again:

BasqueBob asked, "If Canadians provide much worst health care than we do, why do they rank 14 on life expectancy and we rank 37th?"

Actually, you're confusing lifespan with UN ranking of healthcare quality. But, either way, you're wrong.

As Will Rogers said, "It's not what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you know that isn't so." You know a lot of things that aren't so.

For instance, you "know" that infant mortality rates in the USA are higher than elsewhere, and lifespans are lower. But you're wrong.

Two main things drag down American life expectancy:
#1 is infant mortality statistics, which are skewed by differences in how stillborn & newborn deaths are counted.
#2 is deaths among young people, which usually are unrelated to health care.

W/r/t #1, the reason that infant mortality rates appear lower in other countries is that they don't count some of their dead newborns.

In the USA, any baby who draws a breath is given world-class medical care, and if he dies his death is counted as infant morality, no matter how tiny or premature he was. But in most countries with socialized medicine, if a baby is born sufficiently premature, he is given no special care, and is counted as stillborn, and doesn't count toward the infant mortality rate, even if he lives for hours. The European health care systems save a lot of money that way, but they also break a lot of parents' hearts.

Ironically, the fact that American at-risk babies get better, more aggressive care than do European at-risk babies, and have a better chance of survival, is the basis for the liberals' claim that America has worse lifespans and infant mortality rates.

This statistical slight-of-hand also serves to artificially inflate foreign average lifespans, making it appear as though they live longer than Americans, which is also untrue. This false claim, in turn, is often cited by liberal supporters of government-controlled heath care as proof that socialized health care is better than American health care, when, actually, the opposite is true.

W/r/t #2, when teens and young adults die in the United States, their health care is rarely to blame. They tend to die from automobile accidents, homicides, etc.

If you compare the life expectancies of the elderly -- the people whose lifespans are most dependent on quality of medical care -- the USA is best in the world.

Here's an article which touches on some of these issues.

Oh, and BTW, the same UN report that ranked the USA #37 overall also ranked the USA #1 in the world in the Responsiveness of our healthcare system. The #37 comes from conflating health care with an ideological test they called "fairness" of the financing mechanism used. The United Nations (dominated by socialists) gave us free-market capitalists a rank of #55 for our financial fairness.

For actual medical care, the USA is the best in the world. For now, anyhow.


As for Stossel, he is the epitome of an investigative journalist. Fox scored a real coup when they got him. You just assume he gets it wrong because you don't want to learn from him.


But, the real truth is

Europe is not America. Canada is not America. Only..and ONLY America is "America". We have been far and away the strongest, most sought-after country for immigration, the most innovative overall (please do not cite exceptions on that) the world has ever seen. Pick a country you would rather have been born in. We may have our failures and we may not always "do the right thing", but we always try and our intentions are that, and we are ALWAYS America and we are the best for a reason. This new bill will be tweaked and maneuvered and changed around a kazillion times to get it right. The funding will be a problem, please do not think I do not understand the true reality of the cost of this monstrous undertaking. Right now, with America being in such a downturn economically, EVERY government program from local to state to federal is seeing problems with funding. But, take heart, my friend. Things change. We are still a vibrant and energetic people. This will change around. During the Great Depression, everyone thought America would go under. During nearly every big recessions, everyone thought America would go under. Never happened..and it is not going to happen now.


you make some reasonable points, Foxtrot.

America is not Canada or the UK, and the new law is not the same as theirs.

But at the core of our new law is the same disastrous presumption and strategy that is at the core of theirs: the belief in the necessity to control costs by having the national government regulate health care providers and limit expenditures -- i.e., rationing.

They don't call it that, of course. Most of them don't even really think of it as rationing. They think they are reallocating limited resources where they'll be most beneficial.

They're wrong. Medical resources are not nearly so limited as they assume. The truth is that in a free market people will choose to allocate more of their resources to the things that are more important to them -- like medicine. They'll drive old cars instead of new, so that grandma can get a new hip.

Those cost/benefit analyses which the national government does to determine which expenditures to allow and which to reject are the foundation for rationing. They'll tell some patients "Sorry, you are too old to get a hip replacement. You probably only have a very few years of life left, so we'd rather spend the money on someone younger, who will utilize their new hip longer. It just makes economic sense. We'll get you a wheelchair, instead."

Moreover, in many cases the supposed savings are illusory, when the economy as a whole is evaluated.

If the federal government orders hospitals to buy only half as many MRI machines as they otherwise would have bought, the result is not just long waits to get the diagnostic procedures we need, it is also more expensive MRI machines.

(Note: this is exactly the sort of thing that the so-called health experts who pushed for ObamaCare advocate. In fact, limiting the purchase of MRI machines by hospitals was the example used by two of those experts from Duke who wrote a guest op-end in the N&O some months ago.)

For most high-tech products, with small production numbers, a very big part of the purchase price is the development cost, amortized over the number of units produced. If you cut the number of units, you spread that cost over fewer units and make them more expensive. The result is that if the nation's hospitals and radiology labs buy only 250 MRI machines instead of 500, the long-term savings is likely to be much less than 50%. So the waiting lines go up, and quality of care goes down, for very little cost savings.

In fact, those cost savings can even be negative. If patients have to wait longer for the procedures they need, because of government-imposed shortages of MRI machines, some of the patients will have to spend extra days in the hospital, racking up unnecessary bills that dwarf the cost of an MRI scan.

What's more, to the extent that those gov't cost-cutting controls cut into the profits of the companies that develop and make MRI machines, they also limit the resources for improving the technology. The pace of development slows, and so a few decades down the road when you get your scan, it will be with a less sophisticated machine which might not find your problem. It is impossible to know how many lives that will cost, but it is likely to be a lot.

With a free market, we'll spend more, but we'll get better care, in both the present and the future, than we'll get with a government-controlled health care system.


Is health care not rationed in the U.S. ?

Millions of Americans would beg to differ with you. Health care is rationed everywhere through different mechanisms. In our country insurance companies ration health care through high premiums, denial of procedures and recision. You know what the main difference between our system and other systems is? That in those other systems people get a fairer, pay attention I am saying fairer not fair, shot at getting the treatments they need and ours gives preference to those that can bid the highest.

As for the savings being illusory explain why we spend 16% of GDP vs 10~12% of GDP by other Industrialized nations. Is that also illusory?

Dave you know which is the country with the most MRI machines per capita in the world? Japan. Go find out how the Japanese government regulates medical costs in Japan and yet they have all those profitable clinics. Japan is a private system but it is highly regulated. So is Switzerland and the Netherlands. Yet they manage to cover over 95% of their populations.

Again, no one is trying to copy Canada, that's the right wing mantra, or Japan. But our system if not broken is in serious need of some help. This week we've taken the first steps towards those goals.

And last but not least, free markets do not mean no regulations.

You cite

the WSJ article, which I am familiar with, and a Ruppert Murdoch publication for this. John Stossel, WSJ, private websites peddling their product, that is what you want me to believe over Harvard University, The World Health Organization and myriad of peer reviewed publications. Really Dave? Sorry, I am an engineer and have been trained in the sciences. I also noticed how you yourself deride the UN numbers for some things but then in the same post use the UN numbers to back one of your points. I am glad the US is #1 at something, but I wasn't trashing the U.S. you were trashing Canada and using its health care system as the boogey man. You see Dave where your credibility goes down hill? True for what you want and false, your word not mine, for what it is incovinient to your argument. BTW Dave, many scientist consider homicide a healthcare issue, mental health and public health. Nevertheless the fact remains using the same measuring standards across the board: U.S. ranks 37th 38th in life expectancy and 43rd in infant mortality. Spin it as you will.

One last thing, you say "Actually, you're confusing lifespan with UN ranking of healthcare quality. But, either way, you're wrong." you are right the U.S. ranks 38 at life expectancy. . Thanks for the correction.


Didn't you read anything at all that I wrote, Bob?

(Obviously you didn't read the article that I linked to, either, or else you simply refuse to let the facts affect your beliefs.)

Do you understand how counting or not counting the deaths of very premature babies affects the calculated average lifespan? What happens when you average a zero in with a hundred 70s?

The fact is that only by using different measuring standards is it possible to support the false claim that the USA has a high infant mortality rate and a low average lifespan.

Another fact is that www.TimelyMedical.ca is Canadians advertising to Canadians, who know all too well the truth about the terrible queues they have to endure. The fact that they are a private company with no incentive to hide the truth, and certainly no incentive to discredit themselves with their customers, means that there is every reason to trust what they are saying about the Canadian public health care system.

The only customers they get are people who have been told that they'll have to wait for an unreasonably long amount of time for the care they need.

Remember: TimelyMedical is competing against free! That's hard! In fact, it is impossible to compete against "free" unless what you are selling is a lot better than what is free.

And it is.

Have you ever known someone who needed their gall bladder out? Do you know how miserable they are? Can you imagine waiting three years for that simple, arthroscopic procedure?

How about someone who needed heart bypass surgery? Even if they don't die waiting for it, have you seen what a huge difference it makes in their quality of life? Would you want your wife to have to wait a year for it?

Be glad you're not Canadian!



You can say wrong until you turn blue in the face. I know who owns the WSJ and I know their agenda. I told you I read the WSJ article. I read it long before I ever knew you existed. It is obvious that you read the article as if it were the gospel. How couldn't you? It reinforces your worldview. Again, who do you want me to believe, people that use well established methodologies to gather data, analyze it and then draw conclusions, or people that state a conclusion and then try to find data to fit their conclusion? I choose the former. Sorry Dave, you make an unconvincing argument.

I know in your twisted logic just because someone is trying to compete so valiantly, according to you, against a system that is "free", that in it of itself makes them right. Really Dave? That's all it takes? Dave, how well is the movement to repeal the Canadian "free" health care system working out? You know Dave, Canada is currently being governed by conservatives. Are they trying to repeal their current health care system? I didn't think so. Wonder why Dave? You know who owns www.TimelyMedical.ca? Do you know who Rick Baker is? BTW Dave, by over a ten to one margin, Canadians prefer their own health care system over ours (82%-8%). 70% of them are either fairly satisfied, or very satisfied with the system. Dave, you can check this poll here.. Sorry your Canadian friend had such a bad experience. Dave here is another hint: nothing is free, Canadians pay for their health care, you know ... taxes. We just pay a lot more than they do for ours, over 16% of our GDP.

Hey Dave and since you ask, I sure do know about gall bladders, I have one. Can you imagine someone with a sick gall bladder not having it ever taken out because they can't afford the surgery or health insurance? Forever is a very long waiting period. Dave, can you imagine someone going bankrupt for a gall bladder operation? Are you going to argue that the majority of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are not due to medical issues? Here Dave, from the American Medical Journal.

You know what Dave? You are the one that brought the Canadian comparisons to this argument, and quite honestly I wish our Canadians brothers and sisters the best, but Canadians are taking very good care of themselves and I care about what's going on right here right now. Even Republicans concede that our system is not working well. You know what Dave? Republicans had plenty of opportunities to make it better, and you know what they did? Nothing, worse than nothing, they let it fester and get out of control.

You know what worries me the most about our health care system? That as a nation we can not afford it anymore. Will this bill fix it? No, but it is a first step and you can bet that it is not the last. The status quo was absolutely untenable. Welcome to a new world Dave. I can assure you that the system we end up with will not be the Canadian, U.K., Swiss, German or Japanese system for that matter. It will be a 100% American and different from the one we have today. Hopefully for the better. Stop being scared and pissed.

I just heard Burr's name on C-SPAN

and almost threw up in my mouth. Seriously.

I guess I can now honestly say that Bank Run Burr makes me sick?

National Security

Anything but national security! Whatever will we do?

"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

I know

I hate sucking up to the "love the troops" crowd, but some stories write themselves.

Good catch. You're by far the most astute among our cynics.