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XANAX FOR SALE

XANAX FOR SALE, If there's one question I hate the most, and which is most often repeated by the cable chatterboxes, it is: "What does [fill in name of pol or candidate here] have to do tonight?"

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I often quote Lenny Bruce (or at least paraphrase him), is XANAX safe. XANAX FOR SALE, And now I will again. Purchase XANAX, There's a great bit from "The Sick of Humor Lenny Bruce" which was originally issued on translucent red vinyl in which we eavesdrop on then-Pope John XXIII talking business with his sleazy Hollywood agent. The agent compliments the Pope on his new Marlboro as ("That puff of smoke knocked me out, baby"). And then the agent mildly scolds the Pope for waffling around on civil rights. "You gotta just come out and say it," he tells the Pontiff. "You've got to say 'Let them go to school with them!'"

That's the clarity we need tonight from Barack Obama. I promised you health coverage. Here is how you're gonna get it. Period.

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60 Responses to “XANAX FOR SALE”

  1. Bob Williams Says:

    “Now, over the years, you’ve heard plenty of promises from plenty of people in plenty of speeches. And some of those speeches were probably pretty good.”

    “But speeches don’t put food on the table. Speeches don’t fill up your tank, or fill your prescription, or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night.”

    - The Divine Hillary Rodham Clinton
    February 14, 2008

  2. reg Says:

    If this unleashes a discussion of health insurance reform, I’d suggest everyone who hasn’t read this remarkable New Yorker piece that looks at what drives costs:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?printable=true

    It’s a great piece that takes a look at one town in Texas and reveals most of what one needs to know about this debate. Hint: People who balk at reform and begin hyperventilating about “death panels” for Vets or Grandma, deregulation schemes and limiting medical malpractice suits are taking you on a circus ride in LoonyToonsLand and don’t have even a little bit of a clue as to what’s going on.

    Also, there’s this on the malpractice issue:
    http://www.insurance-reform.org/TrueRiskF.pdf

    Very useful stuff when debating with the willfully ignorant or faith-based free market crackpots.

  3. reg Says:

    What have you got, Bob, on the health insurance reform issue ? Other than the usual empty rhetoric, deliberate disinformation, recycled cliches, hysterical tantrums and bullshit on wheels that GOPers are dishing out these days ?

  4. Bob Williams Says:

    Good morning, reg!

    1. interstate portability.
    2. health savings accounts
    3. tort reform
    4. tax breaks for people, like me, who purchase insurance as individuals.
    5. no Death Panels :D

  5. Bob Williams Says:

    Also, reg, here’s a little gift, just for you:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203440104574400581157986024.html

  6. reg Says:

    Bob – you spit back all of the ridiculous, recycled bullshit – just as I predicted.

    You couldn’t really believe that shit is serious reform that addresses the breadth of the problem or would contain costs. It’s absurd. I think you probably know that but are too locked into the ideological party line to admit it.

    Read the two articlesI posted for starters. I’m not arguing this crap because it’s so discredited and ridiculous you make me want to go Barney Frank on you.

  7. reg Says:

    Bob – you really don’t expect me to waste my time reading shit from the WSJ editorial page, do you. Not even when it’s written by someone as sharp, knowledgable and experience in these issues as Sarah Palin – which is a cut above the usual crap they print. Love the Journal, but that op-ed page is a lunatic’s asylum.

    The fact that you’ve probably read that piece of shit but haven’t read the New Yorker article I linked – and don’t know the facts about “tort reform” as being a red herring – is just fucking sad. Really…

  8. Bob Williams Says:

    Sorry, reg. I let my New Yorker subcription laupse when the articles became funnier than the cartoons.

  9. reg Says:

    And that absurd response is why I fear you’re an idiot.

    Read that article I linked – and the pdf on malpractice -or don’t expect me to bother with your tired nostrums.

  10. reg Says:

    Frankly Bob, people like you remind me of instances when – years ago – I used to encounter old communists and chat with them. They lived in such an ideological closed circle – as evidenced by your ridiculous “health reform” list which nobody except political hacks living in corporate pockets and rent-an-ideologue types who work for the Cato Institute take seriously – that it wasn’t worth even trying to pop their bubble of bullshit.

  11. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Atul Gawande’s New Yorker piece is excellent. Gotta ‘second it’ as a must read.

    I think we know how to handicap our friend Bob W — you see, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, will all air the President’s speech tonight. Fox plans to carry the season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance.” While we discuss BHO’s big speech tonight, Bob can give us the skinny on Tom DeLay’s dance moves. Which is only ever so slightly less irrelevant than tort reform.

  12. reg Says:

    I hesitate to link this since we have the overpowering intellect of Sarah Palin on the table, but here’s Paul Krugman’s very important piece on why the “public option” matters. Part of it is the politics, frankly. If we don’t draw the line against cowardly and disingenuous bullshit on this issue (not to the mention Brownshirt hysterics and slanders), where the hell will we draw it. Asses need to be towed into line and/or kicked.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/why-the-public-option-matters/

    Also, why is Newt Gingrich on my NPR ? Ever ? This guy has no credibility on anything and left office in disgrace. Unless he’s balanced by interviews with John Edwards or some other discredited shadowy figure from the Democratic fold people would sooner forget than be lectured by, his presence is an insult to the public.

  13. Bob Williams Says:

    Har! I wouldn’t miss Our President’s big speech for the world. Indeed, I hear he’s going to suggest that a good way to control costs may be tort reform. Also, he will say the the government option is very very very very important, but not vital.

  14. reg Says:

    I actually think it’s a good thing for our public discourse that FOX counterprogram a “fitting” GOP response to Obama – a corrupt, has-been rightwing hack doing a little dance for the cameras. (It would be a cross-platform synergistic triumph for the entire Murdoch enterprise, considering who appears in the pages of the WSJ today.) If DeLay isn’t on the show tonite, he should be…

  15. Kyle Says:

    I’m curious: what is it with the persistent “har’s”, Bob? You use them quite a bit in your comments. Is this a verbal tic, or are you in the senior citizen age bracket? I feel like I’m reading a Beetle Bailey cartoon. It’s like LOL for the 75+ crowd.

  16. reg Says:

    Bob – I’ll give you tort reform that caps punitive damages. I could care less. It’s just that it’s a bullshit argument – meaningless in the context of the real problems of health care system – and if Obama mentions it (which he has before) it’s just to shut up idiots who use it as a talking point to deflect from serious issues.

    (I’d have also given you clowns a carefully planned ANWAR oil drill in the context of the kind of energy independence “Manhattan Project” that Bush would have proposed after 9/11 – if he actually gave a shit about the country’s future, had a brain or wasn’t captive of Cheney’s neo-coin cabal. It’s just that people who propose ANWAR as a “solution” are crazy if they think it’s a solution of any consequence. (Your Madonna of the SnowMachines is a case in point about the “crazy.”) But I won’t give you bullshit concession if you’re raving about that as the “solution” and have demonstrated a total lack of seriousness AND and attitude of total obstruction on taking steps that actually matter.

    I

  17. Bob Williams Says:

    Har! I’m not quite 75, Kyle. Are you really curious, or are you just being a pain in the keister?

  18. reg Says:

    Bob – did you read that pdf link on the impact of “tort reform” on medical costs ? Do you have any counter-evidence ? Did you read the New Yorker article in which doctors admit that in one of the highest-cost health services regions of the country that “defensive medicine” because of law suit fears is a neglible factor at best, but that a model that’s driven by increasing profits by increasing “treatment” that can be translated into invoices is pushing up costs dramatically. Frankly, I’m not sure this thing can be solved unless doctors are put on salary and there is some way of setting some nationals standards for effective treatment along the lines of the Mayo clinic. But any steps toward universal coverage, regulation of an out-of-control insurance industry and a public option that can model and encourage best practices are a good start.

    That’s where the cost issues arise – along with lack of universal access to preventive treatment so that routine issues turn into ultra-expensive trips to the emergency room (and the resultant “cost-shifting.”)

  19. reg Says:

    (That last paragraph got disconnected by “bad”, i.e. non – editing from the earlier point about accumulating billables via “aggressive” treatment that offers nothing or might actually be worse for the patient, but makes money for doctors and hospitals.)

  20. reg Says:

    “keister” ? Either you’re older than John McCain or you’re a relatively young guy who has a picture of Ronald Reagan over his bed and listens to the Holy Father of Gipperdom’s wit and wisdom on a collection of audio cassettes.

  21. Kyle Says:

    Curious, yes. I just noticed you use “har” a lot, and it always strikes me as a dated exclamatory remark. Like “poppycock”.

    (Also: I har’ed at the ‘keister’ comment.)

  22. Bob Williams Says:

    Kyle, I use it mostly to annoy reg.

  23. reg Says:

    “Despite intense controversy over the
    public option,’ a government-backed insurance plan that would compete with the private sector, a CBS poll at the end of August found that 60 percent of Americans still support the idea, down from 66 percent in July.” NYT

  24. reg Says:

    Bob – you need to sit your keister in a chair and do some homework on this issue…it would cut down on our “har” moments when we read your “solutions.”

  25. Jon Says:

    Hey guys, entertaining as it may be, can you leave off Bob bashing long enough to respond to this opinion from Dennis Kucinich?

    http://kucinich.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2806&Itemid=76

    The Congressman’s basic contention is that a true public option as contained in HR3200 is dead, having been replaced by government subsidized, mandatory insurance which we would have to buy from the industry that has helped get us into the current mess. (Does the word “bailout” have any resonance here — reminding us, however slightly, of a similar strategy of dealing with the banking/mortgage meltdown? )

  26. Dan O Says:

    Yeah I agree with Marc.

    I may be stating the obvious, but Obama has let this issue drift a bit and not been as forceful on the leadership as I think he could have been. This is a chance to bring some focus back into the battle.

    I wonder how Johnson would have handled this? He would have just done whatever needed to happen to ram this through. Obama’s impulse to to play nice, as nice as it may sound, just doesn’t work with this crop of Republicans who (for the most part) just don’t want to be bipartisan. They only want to try to win by killing any reform. Their only purpose is to oppose, and not very intelligently.

  27. Dan O Says:

    And he seems to be takign the show on the road: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/58036572.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aU1yDEmP:QMDCinchO7DU

    It’s not too late for him to get control back on this whole thing.

  28. reg Says:

    I think Kucinich overstates the case against the current reform effort and declares public option prematurely dead to serve his own POV, but he raises some very major problems with a bill that doesn’t offer an affordable, effective public insurance option. My take on this whole thing short of single payer is that the current effort moves the country into accepting universality and, frankly, leaves a lot of issues to be fixed down the road. Maybe that’s the best we can get. My question to Kucinich is how does he get single payer through – obviously he can’t – and is it worth making the “perfect” the enemy of legislation that will offer access to health care to many, many people who currently can’t afford it or find it impossible to buy at almost any price because of pre-existing conditions. At the least, this bill will create a single, non-discriminatory market for health insurance, which can be regulated under this bill and improved with more public intervention in the future as is deemed necessary and politically possible. There are risks involved, but not as much risk as holding out for single payer, which means at least another decade of an unsustainable, highly discriminatory system.

  29. reg Says:

    Dan – there may have been some virtues in Obama’s “non-partisan” game, in that it forced the GOP to show it’s rather bare and ugly ass. (Although he let it go on too long.) I think Obama is more strategic and even “Machiavellian” than he gets credit for. But the difference between him and Johnson isn’t merely temperment. Obama doesn’t have the credibility or clout to beat up Congress, twist the arms, and probably wherewithal to to dig up a few corpses that could end careers that Johnson had after all those years as a major wrangler on the Hill.

  30. Mavis Beacon Says:

    Ooh! Fun game.

    Reg is Cathy
    Woody is Family Circus (or something else I skip)
    Randy is Calvin and Hobbs
    Marc is Get Fuzzy
    GM Roper is BC
    Jim R is Andy Capp
    Anna is Brewster Rocket Space Guy
    I’m either Mutts or For Better or Worse depending on if you like me or not.

    Also, in regards to insurance premiums, I could be wrong about this, but my understanding is that some specialties pay very high premiums (like obstetrics) while other pay very little.

  31. Dan O Says:

    Reg,

    Agreed. I think he is much craftier than people give him credit for, but this health care reform push has felt sloppy all summer long. Maybe he is letting these dwarfs expose how ridiculous they are, but it hasn’t looked good for anyone. And the waffling on the public option seems like it’s been chum in the water for the right.

  32. Woody Says:

    Here’s what I thought about reg’s New Yorker article. It’s worthless.

  33. Woody Says:

    Obama’s got it under control.

    Boehner told reporters that the president has not invited House GOP leaders to the White House for meetings on healthcare reform since the end of April.

    Earlier this year, GOP leaders sent a letter to the president in May stating that they would like to work with the administration to find “common ground” on healthcare reform.

    But the administration responded with a tersely worded letter indicating that they had healthcare reform under control.

  34. Mavis Beacon Says:

    Another good idea! Woody can have posts covering three topics:

    1. Liberals are stupid.
    2. Reg is stupid.
    3. Liberals are mean and stupid.

    Then he can link to them depending on his mood and the subject matter. Cuts down on typing time for Woody and reading time for us. Seems like a win-win.

  35. Kyle Says:

    Any folks happen upon this site yet? An excellent source for debunking the tons of misinformation regurgitated by right-wing extremists and other yapping poodles who have no serious ideas for reforming healthcare.

  36. jim hitchcock Says:

    Wow, the Santa Monica Pier is 100 years old today. Let’s go fishing, Marc!

  37. Woody Says:

    Mavis, you left off:
    4. Liberals hate America.
    5. Democrats are liars.

    - – -

    Obama disapproval on health care up to 52 percent

  38. Scott Edwards Says:

    Reg raises good points:

    “My question to Kucinich is how does he get single payer through – obviously he can’t – and is it worth making the “perfect” the enemy of legislation that will offer access to health care to many, many people who currently can’t afford it or find it impossible to buy at almost any price because of pre-existing conditions. At the least, this bill will create a single, non-discriminatory market for health insurance, which can be regulated under this bill and improved with more public intervention in the future as is deemed necessary and politically possible. There are risks involved, but not as much risk as holding out for single payer, which means at least another decade of an unsustainable, highly discriminatory system.”

    While millions have been uninsured for decades the healthcare debate came into being only when middle-class coverage became threatened by a combination of rising costs and record profits.
    The Woody’s on the right cry crocodile tears over the specter of death panels while insurance companies routinely deny coverage or claims about 21% of the time; in effect a private sector death panel.
    Nothing in the proposed legislation will remedy these denials by the insurance industry as long as health care is a for-profit enterprise.

    KPFK’s Democracy Now had a piece on Insurance Company denials of claims for insured persons within California.
    Staggering:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/9/californias_real_death_panels_data_reveals

    As I see it, failure to bring Healthcare to all with a single-payer system reflects the failure of american liberalism which is knee-jerk promoting reform in a free market system while the rest of the civilized world sees the solution outside of the free market.
    Even liberals fear the ‘slippery-slope towards socialism’ label… Something their plutocratic brethren on the right have absolutely no problem with if it comes in the form of a direct entitlement aimed towards them: Privatize profits and socialize losses.
    So among liberals if an uninsured person dies from a treatable medical condition it is lamentable while if an insured person dies it is an outrage. So the current system will treat you and then proceed to bankrupt you. This is still universally preferred an accepted in the american system.
    Let me illustrate:

    Your insurance company negotiates with the provider a group discount with is typically 50% of the fee charged the uninsured.
    When the uninsured does not pay the debt is typically sold to collection agents for fifty cents on the dollar (thereby recovering the rate had that patient been insured). The collection agent then charges usurious interest on the debt which itself is not rationally related to the underlying cost of treatment.
    For the insured patient denied coverage the provider also sells the debt in a similar fashion but the provider must take a discount below the negotiated discounted rate on the services provided to the insured.
    The true cost of service is therefore illusory because uninsured patients are charged twice as much as insured and the providers will only receive about 50% of the negotiated discounted rate from one quarter of the insured patients whose claims are subsequently denied by the insurance companies.
    The net result is that providers raise their prices on the uninsured because providers do not need to negotiate this fee.

    The liberal then acquiesces in the debate over the costs because even liberals can’t see Healthcare as an inalienable right.
    Thus they quibble over indemnification instead of demanding a birthright.
    Until the concept of ‘reform’ is set aside Healthcare will always remain a privilege for those who can afford it and revocable on a case-by-case basis according to the demand for profit.

  39. Woody Says:

    Obama’s new health care czar with his death panel – “We Takin’ Over”

  40. Scott Edwards Says:

    Woody Says:

    September 9th, 2009 at 3:37 pm
    Mavis, you left off:
    4. Liberals hate America.
    5. Democrats are liars.

    —–

    Who are you to define what america is…?

  41. Scott Edwards Says:

    Woody Says:

    September 9th, 2009 at 3:49 pm
    Obama’s new health care czar with his death panel – “We Takin’ Over
    —–

    Pretty friggin bigoted, bordering on racism, Woody.
    The host must have a high threshold for comments which have no other value than to demonize the President’s proposals based on racial stereotypes.
    Seems like you ‘hate america’, Woody.

    Tell you what, asshole, until you’re gone I am boycotting this blog. My view may not be your cup of tea, but I can assure you they are sincere.
    You have crossed a line that I believed was settled with the abolition of Jim Crow.
    So the way I see it, Woody, you are both unpatriotic and insincere. You are playing the race card and comparing the POTUS to a gangster over his health care reform proposals.

  42. Dan O Says:

    Scott:

    That’s mild for him. Thus all the animus that pops up from time to time here about him. I’m actually counting in my head–it’s just a matter of time before he writes a self-serving diatribe about how you fuggin liberals have no sense of humor. Oh, and his best friend is black too.

  43. reg Says:

    Hey Woody – you racist shithead. Don’t comment on things you haven’t read. I’m not reading your idiot’s datribe because your worthless. Really. As a human being. Total trash…

  44. Bob Williams Says:

    Any minute now.

    “Noncommital President Urges Congress To Do Something”

    -James Taranto

  45. Woody Says:

    You guys keep playing the race card. Honestly, I really wasn’t even thinking about race with that link. Isn’t it sad that you can’t debate issues without your name calling and taking offense. Scott, nice seeing you and sad to see you go. Marc determines who gets to comment, not the commenters, so it’s your choice to leave.

    It’s a shame that many of you couldn’t have heard my running commentary during the speech. I was in the zone.

  46. I Used to Have A Woody Says:

    The President just finished. I think Marc called it perfectly.

  47. Bob Williams Says:

    Shorter Obama: Crisis! People are dying! Tens of millions are on the brink of disaster! But my plan will reduce the deficit! And I won’t raise your Taxes! Honest! Plus, Teddy!

  48. Woody Says:

    BTW, even I thought that it showed no class to interrupt the President. At the time and even suspecting that it was a Republican, I said to my wife that they should throw the guy out. The nerve of a Republican acting like a rude Democrat.

    My analysis of the speech…. Well, you don’t care, but it sounds like the same thing dressed up in differently, and there’s no way that it could work financially without driving private companies out of business, which is what Obama wants, and huge tax increases, both direct and indirect; i.e. mandated purchases of coverage, which I honestly don’t think is constitutional.

    The college kids are going to replace the elderly at the next Townhall meeting when they realize that they are going to have to pay for health care insurance that they don’t want with money that they would rather have for cars and booze.

  49. Randy Paul Says:

    Well, you don’t care

    We’re in agreement.

  50. Woody Says:

    You cared enough to read it.

  51. Randy Paul Says:

    I stopped there.

  52. reg Says:

    Hey Bob – Taranto shows his usual analytical skills. You guys are weak. Really weak.

  53. reg Says:

    Woody – Joe Wilson is your congressman. (The guy who represents all of the mendacious assholes.) Don’t abandon him when he stands up for your core values.

  54. Woody Says:

    Randy: I stopped there.

    You got that far, and, while you won’t admit it, you read the whole comment, as did reg.

    I just threw this in over at Celeste’s place, but I’ll let others enjoy it here…a better video on healthcare.

  55. Randy Paul Says:

    You got that far, and, while you won’t admit it, you read the whole comment, as did reg.

    Actually I didn’t. I was falling asleep.

    Among your many delusions now do you believe you’re omniscient?

    Pride is the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins, Woody. Time to repent!

  56. reg Says:

    “as did reg”

    LOL ! He really needs to jerk off in front of a crowd…undoubtedly while worrying about what other men are doing with THEIRS. Pretty sad.

  57. Woody Says:

    reg, is it ture that you masturbate when you read my comments?

  58. Michael Crosby Says:

    Obama’s speech was probably the strongest Presidential speech from a progressive viewpoint since FDR. If I were writing it I probably would have had an extra paragraph about where premium costs will be in 2016 with no action, and what that will mean to average Americans, but he did a great job.

    Marc, your advice about letting us know we are making history seemed unlikely, but what do you know. To paraphrase the President: “We didn’t come here to fear the future, we came to shape the future.”

    I’m down with that.

  59. Sam Says:

    More ‘blame the youth’ crap…disgusting. Lets get into the real problem facing these youth, the system! Work as hard as they may, jobs have left and black and latino kids won’t get meaningful jobs under this kind of set up.

    Listen to Bob Avakian tell it like it is in this powerful clip, “The youth deserve a better future”
    …lets get THIS into the discourse.

  60. GM (?) (Assuming GM is a real person) Says:

    Woody: “reg, is it ture that you masturbate when you read my comments?”

    I don’t think that comment would be allowed where you blog, why put it here?