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  1. #1351
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The context of the posts was ultimately in response to someone who thinks that Democrats should do more.
    As was noted earlier via both text and video, they can't do more so long as Republicans obstruct them and roll back their efforts.

    Seems like a futile line of questioning so long as Republicans are in power but that's just based on what I've seen of the modern Republican party.

    So long as McConnell is in power or Republicans control any aspect of the government, Democrats won't be able to do much of anything regardless.

    And if they do, Republicans will just roll their policies back once they return to power, regardless of their effectiveness.

    Even if Obama or Clinton or Biden wanted to enact reparations, Republicans like McConnell have already indicated that's a non-starter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    That's voting record and policy positions more than accomplishment.
    It's a subjective question regardless.

    For example -- while some might see Trump coasting on the economy given to him by his predecessor as an "accomplishment" many of us don't.

    Same goes for ending police oversight and shutting down polling stations in black neighborhoods.
    Last edited by aja_christopher; 05-23-2020 at 06:37 AM.

  2. #1352

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    Covid numbers aside, since the actual numbers are not known. The US has a higher mortality rate in almost every health category than all the European countries. We deliver worse outcomes and less healthcare to the total population for way more cost.
    However, hasn't that been the case for many administrations and congresses before Trump took office?

    I think a better indicator would be that the percentage of uninsured Americans has risen since Trump took office despite his inability to really repeal the affordable health care act (mainly because of Republican resistance in Congress).

    The health care problem in the US is due to much more than insurance availability though and one of the problems is that we always look at insurance, even though many health care plans actually are not insurance. If someone gets health "insurance" through their work, often it is just payment processing services that their employers are using. Insurance, strictly speaking, is something you are likely never going to use. Car insurance and house insurance for example are used for serious accidents and fires or storms (and sometimes those are even excluded from the policy). So the incentive for the insurance company is that the risk of a payout over a large number of policies is very low.

    However, in most health care plans, the insurance provider doesn't actually pay out any of their own money but processes payment from employers to health care providers. There is no risk from the insurance side so it isn't really insurance. Instead, there is an increase in the number of people between the patients and the doctors determining their care. Imagine if you had to go through State Farm or Geico if you needed to fix a flat tire. Instead of costing $20 or less, it would cost $200 and you'd have to wait a month before you'd get into the garage.

    That's what the doctors I know often complain about is that there are people with no medical experience using the bureaucracy of the plans to make critical medical decisions. What citizens need is significant medical advocacy that combines the collective interests of the actual health care providers and the people who use or will potentially need their services. However, the problem there naturally is that the health care companies spend a great deal to insure their advocates are in the political offices where these decisions are made.

  3. #1353
    Amazing Member Maine Starfish's Avatar
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    man, the day McConnell loses his senate seat, will be a day to celebrate

  4. #1354
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Small Talent For War View Post
    However, hasn't that been the case for many administrations and congresses before Trump took office?

    I think a better indicator would be that the percentage of uninsured Americans has risen since Trump took office despite his inability to really repeal the affordable health care act (mainly because of Republican resistance in Congress).

    The health care problem in the US is due to much more than insurance availability though and one of the problems is that we always look at insurance, even though many health care plans actually are not insurance. ....
    Yes, that is a nice, comprehensive post. I was only countering this posters idea that somehow the Universal healthcare other countries had got worse results than here in America. They objectively are better, and cheaper.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  5. #1355
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Small Talent For War View Post
    However, hasn't that been the case for many administrations and congresses before Trump took office?

    I think a better indicator would be that the percentage of uninsured Americans has risen since Trump took office despite his inability to really repeal the affordable health care act (mainly because of Republican resistance in Congress).

    The health care problem in the US is due to much more than insurance availability though and one of the problems is that we always look at insurance, even though many health care plans actually are not insurance. If someone gets health "insurance" through their work, often it is just payment processing services that their employers are using. Insurance, strictly speaking, is something you are likely never going to use. Car insurance and house insurance for example are used for serious accidents and fires or storms (and sometimes those are even excluded from the policy). So the incentive for the insurance company is that the risk of a payout over a large number of policies is very low.

    However, in most health care plans, the insurance provider doesn't actually pay out any of their own money but processes payment from employers to health care providers. There is no risk from the insurance side so it isn't really insurance. Instead, there is an increase in the number of people between the patients and the doctors determining their care. Imagine if you had to go through State Farm or Geico if you needed to fix a flat tire. Instead of costing $20 or less, it would cost $200 and you'd have to wait a month before you'd get into the garage.

    That's what the doctors I know often complain about is that there are people with no medical experience using the bureaucracy of the plans to make critical medical decisions. What citizens need is significant medical advocacy that combines the collective interests of the actual health care providers and the people who use or will potentially need their services. However, the problem there naturally is that the health care companies spend a great deal to insure their advocates are in the political offices where these decisions are made.
    The increase in uninsured Americans is largely due to reductions in legal penalties for people who don't want to pay for health insurance.

    I do completely agree that the system would be better if there were choices that were restricted to covering the rare but expensive situations rather than everyday stuff. That would probably result in improvement for other plans as they would need to compete with the so-called catastrophic care plans.
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  6. #1356
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    A few Trump/Republican party Accomplishments -- for those who don't understand why many think Biden is the better option.

    Given the fact that many of these policies passed under Obama and Biden, it's reasonable to assume that both supported them via vote and action.

    For brevity I've included only six or so in a page of hundreds of similar accomplishments if only to show the futility of "debating" each transgression.

    Feel free to debate -- internally and via your own research so you will better appreciate what you learn -- why you think people should support said accomplishments, or at the very least understand that there will always be Americans who will stand up to this kind of injustice and corrupt behavior.

    -----
    "On February 22, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights jointly rescinded Title IX guidance clarifying protections under the law for transgender students.

    On February 23, Attorney General Sessions withdrew an earlier Justice Department memo that set a goal of reducing and ultimately ending the department’s use of private prisons.

    On February 27, the Department of Justice dropped the federal government’s longstanding position that a Texas voter ID law under legal challenge was intentionally racially discriminatory, despite having successfully advanced that argument in multiple federal courts. The district court subsequently rejected the position of the Sessions Justice Department and concluded the law was passed with discriminatory intent.

    On March 6, a week after Trump called on lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act during his address to Congress, House Republicans released a proposal to replace the ACA with a law that would restructure Medicaid and defund Planned Parenthood.

    On March 16, the Trump administration released a budget blueprint that proposed a $54 billion increase in military spending that would come from $54 billion in direct cuts to non-defense programs. The blueprint also proposed spending $4.1 billion through 2018 on the beginnings of construction of a wall through communities on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    On March 27, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which repealed a U.S. Department of Education accountability rule finalized last year that would clarify states’ obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

    On March 27, Trump signed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The order, signed by President Obama, represented a much-needed step forward in ensuring that the federal contractor community is providing safe and fair workplaces for employees by encouraging compliance with federal labor and civil rights laws, and prohibiting the use of mandatory arbitration of certain disputes.

    In a March 31 memo, Sessions ordered a sweeping review of consent decrees with law enforcement agencies relating to police conduct – a crucial tool in the Justice Department’s efforts to ensure constitutional and accountable policing. The department also tried, unsuccessfully, to block a federal court in Baltimore from approving a consent decree between the city and the Baltimore Police Department to rein in discriminatory police practices that the department itself had negotiated over a multi-year period..."


    https://civilrights.org/trump-rollbacks/
    Last edited by aja_christopher; 05-23-2020 at 07:25 AM.

  7. #1357

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The increase in uninsured Americans is largely due to reductions in legal penalties for people who don't want to pay for health insurance.

    I do completely agree that the system would be better if there were choices that were restricted to covering the rare but expensive situations rather than everyday stuff. That would probably result in improvement for other plans as they would need to compete with the so-called catastrophic care plans.
    Yeah, I think that is a crucial point missed in the discussion. It isn't just whether the government pays health providers directly as a single payer (they already pay a lot anyway for worse results) or they pay health care plans or if there is some form of socialized medicine. The medicine in the United States costs far more and is no better than the rest of the world.

    Other countries even without social medical plans seem to be able to keep costs down to the level that most people can afford care without insurance. I have family in Thailand for example, and they have insurance but that's rare and they never use it when they go to the hospital as they can afford to pay directly at the hospital instead of going through some convoluted plan. It's the exact same equipment and most of the doctors they see were actually trained in the US or the UK medical schools so the care is just as good.

    From my perspective, health care plans in the US seem more like price-fixing plans and the fact that everything here costs many times more than the exact same treatment or medicine just across our own physical borders to Canada or Mexico just bears that out.

    In general, I think that is an example of the United States' central problem. We live in an increasingly and intentionally high cost economy. Every citizen - especially the poor - is considered some sort of profit-generating unit so just living here means that you are living and working for the benefit of several profit-driven entities. There is no incentive in the country and especially in our politics to actual reduce the burden of the cost of living as investment driven wealth accumulation has far more influence on policy than the middle class and working class labor and productivity that pays off on the investments.
    Last edited by A Small Talent For War; 05-23-2020 at 07:52 AM.

  8. #1358
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Students, lawmakers putting pressure on Murphy to allow high school graduations





    You can't always get what you want, and often for good reason.
    I do believe Messrs Jagger and Richards wrote a song about that. Look, I understand the disappointment those kids felt over losing their graduation, but they have to grow up and understand that was for their own good. Filing lawsuits they’ll more than likely lose won’t accomplish a damn thing.
    Avatar: Here's to the late, great Steve Dillon. Best. Punisher. Artist. EVER!

  9. #1359
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    I do believe Messrs Jagger and Richards wrote a song about that. Look, I understand the disappointment those kids felt over losing their graduation, but they have to grow up and understand that was for their own good. Filing lawsuits they’ll more than likely lose won’t accomplish a damn thing.
    In the midst of a life-threatening pandemic we should be making decisions based on science and logic -- not emotion and political bias.

    Unfortunately we have leadership -- and a political party -- that is actively working to suppress and even attack said science in effort to retain power.

    With leadership that doesn't respect science it's not hard to see why many of the citizens who support them don't respect it either.

    ----
    "Take Georgia for instance. Based on reporting by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it is now clear that some of the positive trend data that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp used to rationalize Georgia’s first-in-the-nation reopening wasn’t accurate. And it wasn’t a minor mistake — in at least three separate occurrences, the daily testing and infection rates tracked by the Georgia Department of Public Health were taken out of chronological order and sequenced in a manner that showed Georgia’s curve was miraculously and misleadingly flattening. In response, the Georgia governor was forced to acknowledge the mistake.

    “Our mission failed. We apologize. It is fixed,” tweeted Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for the Georgia governor.

    But Georgia isn’t alone. The transparency of Florida’s coronavirus tracking has also come under scrutiny in light of two recent reports. First, the state stopped releasing the list of coronavirus deaths after it was pointed in a report by the Tampa Bay Times that the state’s Medical Examiner Commission’s death totals were 10% higher than totals reported by the Florida Department of Health. Then in May, the removal of a top data manager who helped develop the state’s Covid-19 data collection tool further called into question whether Florida health employees were being pressured to manipulate the coronavirus information.

    Unlike Georgia, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has strongly pushed back on there being any impropriety and has largely tried to discredit the terminated employee. But the question remains, is Florida’s Covid-19 data truly transparent, and if not, what is there to hide?

    And just this week, the accuracy of the testing data of multiple states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was also called into question. The CDC and states were forced to acknowledged that they have been mixing two different sets of screening results in order to compile their reported testing data. By combining both viral and antibody tests – essentially tests that tell if someone is presently sick, or was previously sick – the metrics are rendered useless in determining real trends related to infection and convalescence.

    So what are we to make of all of this?

    It is fair to question whether all of the testing inaccuracies are simply clerical mistakes in a time of exceptionally high pressure. But it is equally fair to ask whether all of reporting irregularities are part of an intentional pattern that obfuscates science in an effort to achieve political interests – particularly those that relate to the rapid reopening of state economies.

    In other words, we need to grapple with the troubling question: in the early days of this pandemic, are our governments suppressing science?

    It isn’t impossible to believe that to be the case, especially since many of the nation’s governors are feeling extreme pressure to get their states back to work amidst the worst economy since the Great Depression. Additionally, federal and state officials are being urged on by President Trump, who himself has often questioned the value and accuracy of scientific findings.

    But perhaps the biggest driver for the suppression of science is that many elected officials are making big bet decisions based on political calculations, and they would really like to have those decisions backed up by data as well.

    Even if the science needs to be manipulated to do so.

    Data doesn’t always match the narratives that our politicians want to tell, especially when their agenda is obvious. But for the rest of us, valid and transparent data is the only way we can make informed decisions of how we navigate our businesses and our lives in the new pandemic-changed world."

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethcoh.../#4a159b4f6009
    Last edited by aja_christopher; 05-23-2020 at 09:02 AM.

  10. #1360
    Ol' Doogie, Circa 2005 JDogindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    I do believe Messrs Jagger and Richards wrote a song about that. Look, I understand the disappointment those kids felt over losing their graduation, but they have to grow up and understand that was for their own good. Filing lawsuits they’ll more than likely lose won’t accomplish a damn thing.
    Sadly, we live in an age where people misbehaved for years and got what they wanted in the Snyder Cut, so that set a bad precedent.

  11. #1361
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetengine View Post
    Is it all red states ?
    Red voters for sure, but they don't just exist in red states.
    "Theory: The Phoenix doesn't corrupt the characters, it corrupts the authors." Gambit, King of Thieves

  12. #1362

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine Starfish View Post
    man, the day McConnell loses his senate seat, will be a day to celebrate
    X-Books Forum Mutant Tracker/FAQ- Updated every Tuesday.

  13. #1363
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    It's not unreasonable to be concerned that we might see an even worse "Spanish Flu" rebound in the upcoming seasons -- we need a government we can trust to give us the facts on how this virus is spreading and how best to combat it in order to save lives.

    Not one that promotes false data and advocates taking dangerous unproven medications as a solution.

    As always, even if Republicans lose office, we will be dealing with the consequences of their current actions for years to come, if not decades.

    It's likewise fair to ask whether the general Republican lack of concern is related to to it's high mortality rate among the poor and people of color.

    -----
    "Deadly second wave"

    The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much more deadly than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. By August, when the second wave began in France, Sierra Leone, and the United States,[104] the virus had mutated to a much more deadly form. October 1918 was the month with the highest fatality rate of the whole pandemic.[105]

    This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War.[106] In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began, and the flu quickly spread around the world again. Consequently, during modern pandemics, health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval (looking for deadlier strains of the virus).[107]

    The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections had become immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu. This was most dramatically illustrated in Copenhagen, which escaped with a combined mortality rate of just 0.29% (0.02% in the first wave and 0.27% in the second wave) because of exposure to the less-lethal first wave.[108] For the rest of the population, the second wave was far more deadly; the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches – adults who were young and fit.[109]

    Third wave 1919

    In January 1919 a third wave of the Spanish Flu hit Australia, then spread quickly through Europe and the United States, where it lingered through the Spring and until June of 1919.[110][2][3] It primarily affected Spain, Serbia, Mexico and Great Britain, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.[111] It was less severe than the second wave but still much more deadly than the initial first wave. In the United States, isolated outbreaks occurred in some cities including Los Angeles[112], New York City[113], Memphis, Nashville, San Francisco and St. Louis.[114] Overall American mortality rates were in the tens of thousands during the first six months of 1919.[115]

    Fourth wave 1920

    In spring 1920 a very minor fourth wave occurred[116] in isolated areas including New York City[113], the United Kingdom, Austria, Scandinavia, and some South American islands.[117]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanis...ly_second_wave
    Last edited by aja_christopher; 05-23-2020 at 09:16 AM.

  14. #1364
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Roughly half the Twitter accounts pushing to 'reopen America' are bots, researchers found

    As parts of the US have lifted shutdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a fierce argument online about the risks and benefits of reopening. New research suggests that bots have been dominating that debate.

    Carnegie Mellon University researchers analyzed over 200 million tweets discussing COVID-19 and related issues since January and found that roughly half the accounts — including 62% of the 1,000 most influential retweeters — appeared to be bots, they said in a report published this week.

    That's a far higher level of bot activity than usual, even when it comes to contentious events — the level of bot involvement in discussions about things like US elections or natural disasters is typically 10% to 20%.

    The researchers identified bots using artificial-intelligence systems that analyze accounts' frequency of tweets, number of followers, and apparent location.
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  15. #1365
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    So AI is gonna kill us all using the 'Boiled Frog' method?

    ...that just might work.

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