THE WAGES OF SIN ARE INFLATED COSTS! Will the Baucus Bill reduce health costs? The topics too tough for the Times: // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2009
Death to America: Those who pray for Death to America should have gotten a warm, happy glow reading this weekends op-ed pages.
Your nation faces massive challenges. But so what? Your most famous and influential columnists continue to gambol and play.
On Saturday, at the New York Times, Lady Collins surveyed the sceneand decided to focus on this:
An ad in the Jersey governors race seemed to concern one candidates weight. Inevitably, the simpering duchess focused on that. Soon, in accordance with Hard Pundit Law, The Lady was typing this:
It has been a long time since this simpering imbecile wasted your time on Mitt Romneys dead dog, Seamus. How inane is Lady Collins? During the last campaign, she explored the topic at least eight separate times, typing columns with titles like these:
On Saturday, Seamus was back! On Sunday, other familiar simpering returned, this time from Lady Dowd, who started her column thusly:
Your nation is facing massive challenges. But to Dowd, Obamas prize represented the latest chance to imagine Bill in a purple rage. Dowd touched herself as she imagined his rage. Oh Bill, she once again moaned.
That same day, The Pundit Dean typed in the Post. Your nation is facing massive challenges. But The Dean was writing a fat column too. Every time you think politics has hit a new low, it finds a way to go lower, he started out, seeming to be in a purple rage. He was talking about that New Jersey ad too. But crackers! He had the same silly focus as Lady Collinswith a dollop of Dowd thrown in:
Dowd featured Bill in a purple rageand Broder helped us recall that Gore is fat! Of course, Broders memory had failed him again. Candidate Gore was cut like a rock in 2000. It was only later, when he put on some weight, that Broders cohort spent years reminding us that Gore is just too fucking fat.
Today, they gambol and play about Corzines ad. But the fat card is a broken-souled card they themselves have endlessly played.
Your nation faces massive challengesand people like these still sit at the top of your press corps, shaping your public discussion. Do some people pray for Death to America? The Ladies Collins and Dowdand the Deanare helping their cause along.
The Lady Dowd, back when it began: Over the weekend, by happenstance, we reviewed the Lady Dowds work during the 1992 Democratic Convention. Frankly, the New York Times teamed her that week with Frank Rich for a daily dose of simpering inanity. These are just a few helpings of their inanity, back when they were defining this type of inanity as the shape of our discourse:
In those days, Dowd and Rich were inventing the simpering imbecile style which now defines the way your lives and your interests get discussed. When they gazed on Clinton and Gore, their thoughts turned to Elvis and to Eddie Haskelland to the Doublemint Twins. This began the long, slow process of dumbing-down which has made a sick joke of your lives.
That same week: That same week, Lady Dowdon her own, without Lord Richintroduced one of the themes which would later be used to send Bush to the White House. She plagiarized the highlighted, mocking material from a piece which had appeared in the Washington Times on July 6. That earlier piece had been written by Elisabeth Hickeyand it wasnt about Al Gore:
Dowd had stolen those delicious Eloise at the Plaza images from Hickeys piece in the Washington Timesa piece about someone else who had once lived at the Fairfax. (Which wasnt a fancy hotel at the time. In 1982, after a massive renovation, the facility became a the Ritz Carlton.) Nor had Gore ever ordered room service as a child, he later told reporters. But so what? Dowds plagiarized images stuck, and were widely applied during Campaign 2000.
Death to America? Maureen Dowd and her simpering pals have paved your nations road to perdition. Darlings! Life is all about Seamus, being fat and page-boys! And Eloise at the Plaza, of course.
Way back when, Dowd and Rich helped invent this simpering style. It has damned your interests ever since.
THE WAGES OF SIN ARE INFLATED COSTS: Last week, we finally snapped.
We still dont understand why big news orgs want to protect The Interests in our health care discussion. But after watching The NewsHours Gwen Ifill stare into air about our huge over-spending, we decided the time had come to assume the obvious:
Our big news orgs, like our big politicians, are working on behalf of The Interests.
Sunday, reading the New York Times, we began to wonder again. Could it be that our journalists are simply too dumb to deal with such an issue?
Heres why we started to wonder:
New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt has generally seemed more honest, and more adult, than most major journalists. But yesterday, he discussed the Times coverage of the health care debate. The analysts began to cry when, early on, Hoyt said this:
Really? That concept is hard to explain? Heres how hard it is to explainoutside an idiocracy:
The reality is slightly more complex than that, but not much. But within our current upper-end press corps, that concept is hard to explain.
Are we living in an idiocracy? That thought once again came to mind.
After reading Hoyt, the analysts turned to this detailed New York Times editorial, The Baucus Bill, about the health care debate. Soon, they were crying again.
As always, we scanned the long, multi-part editorial for its treatment of health care costs. Your country spends two to three times as much on health care, per person, as comparable nations spend. Back in the day, Candidate Obama said he would bring those stunning costs down:
Presumably, that meant the following: If you pay $12,500 for your premiums now, youll only pay $10,000 after health reform passes. That would still be massively more than would make sense in other developed nationsnations which spend so much less per person. But the statement made conceptual sense. It gave an idea of what this candidate meant when he said he would cut health care costs. In part, it meant that the typical family would be spending much less for insurance.
Alas! In yesterdays editorial, the New York Times devoted an entire section to a subject it called COSTS AND DEFICITS. The editors had already written the following as part of their overall praise for the Baucus Bill:
The editors spoke about containing costs, not about actually cutting them. But from that passage, you would think that the editors understood a basic fact: Containing costs and restraining deficits are two different subjects. As a candidate, Obama had seemed to say that his reform plan would actually cut the cost of premiums; that is a separate question from what his plan might do to the federal deficit. In the quoted part of the editorial, the editors only said that the Baucus Bill would do a lot to contain costs. But the editors at least seemed to understand that they were discussing two separate topics:
You would think the editors understood that these are two separate questions. But go aheadread the section of their editorial which is headlined COSTS AND DEFICITS. That part of the editorial covers nine paragraphs413 words. But the entire discussion concerns the bills effect on the deficit. To all appearances, when the editors spoke about containing costs, they only meant costs to the federal government.
Later in the editorial, the editors offer a fleeting complaint about the Baucus Bills failure to include a public plan to compete with private insurers, which would provide more choice to consumers, hold down prices and save the government money on subsidies [our emphasis]. But weve come a long way from the time when Candidate Obama quantified the degree to which insurance premiums would be cut under his plan. In yesterdays editorial, the editors had almost nothing to say about this questionand they almost seemed to conflate the two basic questions we have cited above.
Simply put: Is your press corps smart enough to conduct a discussion of health reform? In todays hard-copy Times, David Herszenhorn presents a long discussion of soaring medical coststhe biggest problem facing the majority of Americans, who already have insurance. Here too, there are some conceptual problems, but its fairly clear that Herszenhorn is talking about the costs that citizens pay for their health care, whether they pay it out-of-pocket or through the price of insurance premiums. This is the very topic that got short shrift in the Times editorial.
Sorry, thoughwe cant link you to Herszenhorns discussion. Due to the Times ongoing confusion about material which appears at its Prescriptions blog, Herszenhorns long report in the hard-copy Times doesnt seem to appear anywhere at the papers web siteat least, not as we type.
Why do Americans spend two to three times what others spend on health care? Last year, Candidate Obama directly addressed that gigantic problem, promising that his plan would cut the cost of premiums. By this weekend, the editors of the New York Times almost seemed to have that question conflated with a separate issue. And the papers public editor, who is more serious than most, was lamenting a concept which is hard to explainthe concept that a bill can create new federal spending without raising the federal deficit.
Do you live in an idiocracy? Have your nations intellectual leaders lost the ability to lead?
Do you live in an idiocracy? The signs are all around.