This is pretty epic, but I would answer Frum on one point. Real leaders don't pander to their followers. The GOP courted these followers with Nixon's Southern Strategy and Reagan's "the government is the problem," both without any true goal of doing away with Civil Rights or "big government." They are laying in the bed they made now.
Mr. Frum: as the last sane man in the asylum, kindly bolt the door on the way out.
"If you're not should"

Why change it up? Just use you're favorite stupid phrase - Required Reading
Rmoney isn't polling that much better than McCain was at this time in 2008. Republicans are in full on panic mode. And once the debates start, the pressure on Rmoney will start to show. I really think he'll blow the debates.
Have you even listened to Romney? It sounds to me like he has a great message; 12 million jobs, smaller federal government and low energy costs. As someone graduating from college next spring, that sounds great to me.
5 - Vince! How you been dog? Haven't see you lately.

Except for the part where he declines to explain how he will make any of those things possible. He might as well be saying Unicorns for everyone!
unicorns for EVERYONE !
@6, he has provided zero details about how he's going to create these 12 million jobs. I can run for president claiming I will create 200 million jobs, but if I can't explain how exactly I'm going to make it happen then it's just a made-up number.

Also, the kind of jobs Republican administrations tend to create are crappy, minimum-wage, entry-level jobs, not middle-class, paying-back-your-student-loans jobs. As someone graduating college next spring, that should scare the shit out of you.
I'm 54. That's the exact age at which Romney's voucher system for Medicare applies; if you're older, you are (mostly) grandfathered in. This is personal to me.
we're on track to have 12 million jobs as is.

The problem is that if you're 55 every year you are alive you're going to find fewer doctors willing to deal with Medicare. Because it's grandfathered out, old people die, and no new participants are coming in, the Medicare pool is going to get smaller every year. That drives up costs and makes doctors less willing to work with it. So being 55 isn't much better than being 54.
And yet does the base csre how awful a job their candidate is doing? I keep seeing the same hastily-cut-and-pasted chain emails from my hilbilly kin: Obummer's comin fer yer guns! Vote for Romney!

They really dont care too much how bad Romney is doing. Its about guns, abortions, and taxes. All things they think Obama has the exact wrong positions on, based on their sources for news. They dont give a shit who David Frum is, or what he thinks.
Leaders lead.
If the followers follow, that's great.
If the followers follow and approve, that's even better.

Sometimes the leader has to sell the idea of the course and destination to the followers.

But when the "leader" is taking the destination and course corrections from the followers, the "leader" has lost the ability to lead.
@8,9: Unicorn steaks for everyone!
@6 - I'll echo that it is all about the details of paying for it. I graduated in 2007, having not paid much attention to federal operations I was flabbergasted when I learned that there were no war-time taxes levied upon us to pay for the enormous expenditures of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Now that we've already 'purchased' the wars we're told after the fact that we have to choose between medicaid and war because our deficit is so big and our economy is so bad. Did we ever have that kind of money sloshing around? Even during the boom times?
@13: I want to see Medicare continue (actually, I want to see "Medicare-for-all") but I think this idea that doctors hate Medicare is way off-base. Specialists with high-rent offices and lots of support staff who want to push new procedures of dubious efficacy, maybe.

But Medicare has in fact provided price supports for much of medicine. Small-town GPs with many elders under their care function quite well with Medicare; they don't have to wrangle with insurance companies, payments seem to be solid and timely, and their patients are approved for lots of things that actually work for them (extensive physical therapy, for example).

When I as an uninsured person need routine blood tests that the local hospital will only do for $375 "because that's what Medicare allows" but I can order from an on-line company and have the actual work done by a reputable chain of labs for less than $100, it's clear that the medical industry has done very well by Medicare.

But if we had a system of fee-for-results instead of fee-for-service, costs would tumble and outcomes improve dramatically.
@6 I'd honestly rather listen to Romney himself than yet another "just registered in the last hour to post pro-Romney comments" campaign staffer troll.
internet_jen@17: from the point of view of an economist, your ability to borrow money (and on what terms) is at least as important as your spare liquid cash, so yes, you could say that we did in fact have the spare $2 Trillion in our pockets. But to put it mildly, we never had an honest conversation about whether that was a wise investment, or what the opportunity cost was that we were paying.
With the standard disclaimers about much of of his political philosophy being bad and wrong, I usually like Frum and believe he has actually given reality some due consideration.

That said, what does Frum hope to gain from this?

Is his goal to have this on record when the Romney train derails so hard it destroys a section of Republicanville? Is he hoping to stop the Republicans from repeating this next cycle? Is he trying to save down-ticket races from this disaster?
I like how an "epic, ten-part tweet" is just a normal goddamn paragraph if you take it out of the context of Twitter.
@20 The ability to borrow and at what rates point is especially relevant when it comes to stimulus measures. Right now, the Federal Government, even with its Republican-intransigence reduced rating, is being offered basically free money. We should be investing this in future capacity, but barring that, we could clear up a large portion of the black cloud, by paying back the looting of the Social Security Trust with these funds.
@6 Actually, I have listened to Romney. I also read "Work At Home, I made $8333 my first month!" ads, and emails with awesome get-rich-quick opportunities from exiled Nigerian princes living in London. You seem like the credulous sort. Maybe you should just answer one of those ads to solve all your problems?

I've worked for doctors before, and they do complain bitterly about Medicare, but they are completely and utterly full of shit for doing so. They don't like Medicare because it's not the gravy train that *they* want it to be, not because it actually compensates them unfairly.

Both as an employee of providers and as a patient, I've seen the reimbursement rates from private insurance, and they're appalling. I've seen reimbursement rates for lab tests that were 5 percent of the original charge. Some of the worst insurance companies "negotiate" doctor's fees down to 50 percent of the original charge. The better ones (like Premera) pay up to 90 percent, but that is extremely unusual. On average, I'd guess that doctors get paid 75 percent on average from private insurance. At least when I was working at medical clinics, the Medicare average was 80 percent.

Private insurance companies are also such assholes about paying for a longer than 15-minute appointment that one of the doctors I worked for would see the patient for as long as she actually needed to and just ate the loss.

Also, it's standard operating procedure for insurance companies to deny claims for literally no reason. Our claims submitter only came back for more information when a claim had been denied FOUR times. So, in other words, it's SOP for insurance companies to deny completely valid claims three times for no conceivable reason other than that they're hoping for the provider to give up and go away. We also got frequent requests for patient records from private insurance companies; I never saw that from Medicare.
@25, thanks. You confirm my suspicions/perception (sample size of one) and provide a lot of revealing details. So much of this kind of thing is below the horizon for the public at large. How anyone could look at medicine's "free market" with a careful eye and conclude that it's either efficient or fair is beyond me.

The vast majority of people throw away their Explanation of Benefits (whether from Medicare or private insurance) without a second glance once they see "This Is Not A Bill" at the top. Those people should show a modicum of curiosity.

I have been taking an elderly neighbor for (Medicare-paid) weekly or twice-weekly physical-therapy appointments off and on for several years. They are hands-on, much more perceptive than physicians, and have without doubt eliminated much pain, improved strength and function, prevented falls, and healed wounds. Medicare pays a couple of hundred bucks a visit. The other patients we see in the office who are younger and on private insurance are often more crippled but typically are allowed only a handful of visits (for which the insurance company probably only pays $30-50 per session).

The only nursing home within a hundred miles charges around $8000/month now. I know Medicare and physical therapy are keeping my neighbor out of there and at home for less than a tenth of the cost. Too bad those benefits aren't as available to younger people, many of whom have dependents and a lot of debt.
12 million jobs over 8 years is 125,000 a month (do the math college grad). That is less than a) what the Obama administration has created (4.6 million in 30 months, or over 153K per month) or b) what is necessary to keep pace with population growth (roughly 150K per month).

What we need is a more informed electorate that can do math!
12 million new jobs over 8 years = 125,000 per month (do the math college grad!). That's less than a) the Obama administration has created (4.6 million in 30 months = over 153K a month) and b) is necessary to keep pace with population growth (roughly 150K a month).

What we need is a better informed electorate that can do math!
@6, what college are you graduating from and what program? Did you borrow from your granparents to pay for college like Mitt suggests?
@3 David Frum actually left the asylum several years ago, but because he spent so much time inside it he provides useful commentary on why the people inside it act so crazy. My own take on it is that Mitt Romney has never shown himself to be all that smart, just some guy born with a silver foot in his mouth.
I'm in grad school and I can't find a day job to support myself while I'm stuck in Cali (trying to move back to Florida...long, convoluted story I won't bother you all with). I have applied to Petsmart literally six times and gotten nothing back, so I'm living off $$ my parents give me (that they can't really afford, because my sister can't find a job either and is living away from home for uni too), trying to dot my i's so I can come home and ease the pressure. I can only imagine how much harder it'd be to get a job if "trickle down" were in effect.
I'm with 22. Just step away from the twitter and fucking write a normal blog post already.
Frum is a mystery to me. How is someone that smart conservative?

Most of the time he doesn't even advance conservative ideas. He has been doing so a little more in the last few months, just as I stopped paying as close attention to him. I guess I should go back and see what he has revealed about his conservative impulses.
Frum is a horse's ass who showed none of his supposed brilliance while humping Bush's leg for 8 years.

Maddow did an excellent take down of him here:…
I just clapped my hands when I saw that Vince is back.


One of your most Ardent FanBoys

(Bob. In Baltimore....)

claims to have found a secret recording of you from 2006

in which you endorse legalizing Polygamy.

He has even posted a transcript
(on Slog, for crying out loud.
Punked on your own blog!
damn- the internets is a jungle!....)

"I have the same reaction to legalizing marriage for gays as I do for polygamists. What’s the big deal? Legalize it. It’s kind of like arguing against giving women the vote because then women will want to enter the work force. (Horrors!)"-Dan Savage

Please clarify.....

Please wait...

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