Democrats & Liberals Archives

Governor Rick Scott Strikes A Blow For Prescription Drug Abuse!

It’s a program that has vastly reduced the abuse of prescription painkillers in other states, especially in Kentucky, where it’s greatly reduced the incidence of abuse. Success, though, is no measure of good government for Scott Walker. No, he wants to give people another reason to look down on Florida. I guess he can’t be too tough on medical fraud, or people might start asking questions about what he did before he got into office.

Oklahoma started the nation's first prescription monitoring program in 1990.

Initially, people "worried that Big Brother would get in their business,'' said Larry Carter, agent-in-charge of the program. "But that fear disappeared over the years."

How effective is it?

"In 1990 we were overwhelmed with prescription forgery and fraud. But after the first year of the program, it practically dried up."

The Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System began in 2006, also amid privacy fears that have evaporated, said administrator, Danna Droz.

Like Florida's proposed system, Ohio does not force doctors to participate. But increasingly they are, and that's proof of its effectiveness, she said.

The database receives an average of 4,000 hits a day from doctors or pharmacists entering information or checking a patient's prescription record. Droz explained that the system helps people with a legitimate need for pain pills since it shows they're not abusers.

The abusers often go to Florida to buy pain pills.

"I was so hopeful that Florida would get a monitoring program," she said, "not only for them but for us."

For me, policy is a matter of reason. If I have a choice between a good policy and furthering Democratic Party ambitions, the policy comes first. I think you really get into trouble when you expect PR to make up for lousy decision making. A thousand flowers can bloom in terms of consequences, before the first flower of our thought at how to spin things has unfolded. Get policy right, and it speaks for itself.

Getting policy right, though, takes study, care, and vigilant attention to results. Unfashionable things recently, among Republican politicians. Why should they care? They just push the correct buttons on the GOP noise machine, and their propagandists take care of the rest.

You can make anybody afraid of something if you pick the right words. You can even make people scared of saving 210 billion dollars over ten years.

But making people scared of the right things? That's a different story. What does it say about the Republicans that they're more concerned about union-busting than actually dealing with the real costs of healthcare, which are going to be what makes the deficits of the long-term worse.

The Republicans have become rigid-minded on so many policy fronts, that it's hard for them to adapt to a real world that's not set up for their ideological convenience. That doesn't mean they don't try, but their trying means that the consequences of getting policy wrong unfold when they don't have to.

As Ezra Klein puts it:

Looking back, the absolute best investment the federal government could have made between 2000 and 2005 would've been regulators able to see and stop what was happening on Wall Street. Missing the bubble and the build-up of risk cost us trillions.

Same goes for Social Security. You could imagine a number of reforms that would reduce the program's long-term spending. But cutting its administrative budget -- which is already extremely lean -- doesn't mean less spending. It probably means more fraud, as there are fewer inspectors able to check up on questionable disability claims.

There are consequences for bad policy, and the suffering often has both economic and human dimensions to it. If we define responsibility as going down a checklist of partisan promises and fulfilling them, then all the budget decisions are easy, and few of them are right. If we define responsibility in terms of getting policy right, we save ourselve trouble and expense on multiple levels.

We're also less likely to let issues blind us to the fact that we're trusting the care of billions of dollars to a man who defrauded the government of billions in Medicare payments.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2011 7:06 PM
Comment #318958

about what he did before he got into office.

Stephen Daugherty, this link doesn’t work.

I’m assuming this is the link to proof of your last comment:

We’re also less likely to let issues blind us to the fact that we’re trusting the care of billions of dollars to a man who defrauded the government of billions in Medicare payments.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2011 07:06 PM

Or perhaps…

If asked where you got them, you could point to a document, or a report, or an expert. You’d just have to hope the reader didn’t actually go look at that document or report or expert. Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 12:35 PM
Comment #318960
Looking back, the absolute best investment the federal government could have made between 2000 and 2005 would’ve been regulators able to see and stop what was happening on Wall Street.

Ezra Kline is using his position to rewrite history!

The White House, however, has just issued a fact sheet, “The Administration’s Unheeded Warnings
About The Systemic Risk Posed By The GSEs” that shows that the Bush Administration repeatedly
warned Congress about the dangers posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to housing markets.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 12:47 PM
Comment #318964

Good links WW. I anxiously await reading how Mr. Fact-Finder Daugherty will spin your President Bush reference.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 1:37 PM
Comment #318969

Weary Willie-
Fannie and Freddie, Fannie and Freddie.

You know, that’s the revisionist history. Look up Ameriquest. Dead by August 31st 2007. Look up Indymac. Dead by July 2008. Look up the more than a hundred other private lenders that croaked or were bought up by other banks in the wake of the decline of housing prices, and the failure of the secondary markets, as documented in this Frontline Episode.

Hell, look at all the other institutions that failed. Look at Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and all the other banks that needed TARP to survive. If it was all just about Freddie and Fannie, why does the crisis develop so early, hit the private markets hard first, and then, and only then take out the GSEs?

RF asks how I plan to spin it. No spin necessary. Just look at all the elements that collapsed first, before Fannie and Freddie hit the floor. Just consider the fact that AIG and Bear Stearns collapsed first. Just consider that hundreds of completely private firms collapsed first, practically destroying the market on which Fannie and Freddie’s business model depended on.

Just consider that their market share sharply declined during the inflation of the bubble, and their percentage of bad loans, even on subprime, was much lower than average.

You and RF are the ones spinning here, like tops, like dreidels, like gyroscopes. You keep on pushing the Fannie and Freddie line despite the fact that I keep on offering repeated refutations of your central premises based on the cold hard facts.

This smacks of something else Republicans want to be true, like the notion that tax cuts didn’t help to put us in our current fiscal straits. If we accept the basic facts of what happened in the latter part of the last decade, then the overly permissive policies of the Bush Administration and Republican Congress get called into question, not to mention the continued defense and apology for those same policies.

And we can’t have that. We can’t have folks questioning conservative policies, even if they did lead us to an utter disaster. Republicans winning elections is a higher priority than America’s economy recovering and staying recovered.

Oh, I replaced the link that broke on that news article. Really, though, I just picked those links out of a hat. The Rick Scott Medicare fraud case was big news for those who were paying attention. Of course, we can’t pay attention to the conduct of the folks the GOPs putting up as candidates for office, because actually holding them accountable for past demonstration of incompetence and corruption would keep Republicans from getting elected, and the priority is winning elections, rather than cutting losses when candidates turn out to be rotten.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2011 2:16 PM
Comment #318975

Hey Weary, you really put Mr. Daugherty back on his heels with your link. He doesn’t even bother to refute that Bush acted and congress wouldn’t.

Mr. Daugherty writes about the forest fire while totally ignoring the careless match that started it and the pouring on of gas that spread it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 2:57 PM
Comment #318979

From your fixed link, Stephen Daugherty:

Scott says he didn’t know about his company’s fraudulent billing practices and if he had, he’d have fired those responsible.

John Schilling of Naples says Scott must be lying.

Schilling agrees that the fraud didn’t start with Columbia,

One of four Columbia/HCA executives convicted in the case was Bob Whiteside. He was later acquitted on appeal and says he still stands by Scott, his former boss.

In 1994, Columbia purchased Scott’s former acquisition target, HCA, which had approximately 100 hospitals. In 1995, Columbia purchased Healthtrust, which had approximately 80 hospitals, primarily in rural communities. By 1997, Columbia/HCA had become the world’s largest health care provider with more than 340 hospitals, 130 surgery centers, and 550 home health locations in 38 states and two foreign countries. With annual revenues in excess of $23 billion, the company employed more than 285,000 people, making it the 7th largest U.S. employer and the 12th largest employer worldwide. Based on market capitalization, Columbia ranked in the top 50 companies in America and top 100 worldwide. That same year, the company was recognized by Business Week magazine as one of the 50 Best Performing Companies of the S&P 500.

Scott was not indicted in the scandal and has protested that he never condoned any illegal activity. He has asserted that federal agents never even interviewed him. But Columbia/HCA’s board found him an unpleasant symbol of the problem and voted to oust Scott almost immediately after the scandal erupted in 1997

Maggie Mahar, a journalist for the business magazine Barron’s in those days, flew down to meet Scott in order to write a profile, but found a man so undynamic she had to change the focus of her story. “He was supposed to be a new up-and-comer, and I just didn’t get it,” she recalls. “Usually someone who runs a large corporation has a large personality, if not intelligence. With Scott there just wasn’t enough there, so I wrote about whether tax breaks for nonprofit hospitals were unfair to for-profit hospitals.”

Mahar lays much of the blame for Columbia/HCA’s illegal acts at Scott’s feet.

Scott left with a $10 million severance package and 10 million shares of stock, most of which were from his initial investment before the company was taken public. At the time, those shares would have been valued at more than $300 million.

In 2001, HCA reached a plea agreement with the government that avoided criminal charges against the company and included $95 million in fines. Four mid-level executives were brought to trial but two were acquitted and two more had guilty verdicts overturned.

Scott said prosecutors never attempted to question him.

I’m looking forward to the day Democratics run out of Mudd!

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 3:16 PM
Comment #318980
…to a man who defrauded the government of billions in Medicare payments.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2011 07:06 PM

Shame on your post, Stephen Daugherty

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 3:23 PM
Comment #318983

Royal Flush-

Mr. Daugherty writes about the forest fire while totally ignoring the careless match that started it and the pouring on of gas that spread it.

I can admit that Fannie and Freddie certainly put stress on the markets when they failed. But why did they fail? They didn’t take more risks than their competitors. In fact, they were compelled to take fewer and smaller risks. They certainly didn’t expand their market at the pace the others did.

I look at Fannie and Freddie in context, rather than take them out of context and falsely claim they were the cause. There were literally dozens and dozens of their competitors who went first, and whose risky loans formed the bulk of the underlying collateral for the toxic assets.

But if I’m wrong, please explain why Bear Sterns, AIG, Lehman Brothers and the other Banks were involved. Explain how they could legally be running derivatives operations on the side. Explain how the failure of one business would cause widespread panic, rather than celebration among the competitors short one more rival.

Weary Willie-
You’re doing a very good job of buying his protests.

Now tell me something, should you be buying the protests of a man who once Took the fifth 75 times in a civil case?

I mean, a civil case. That means that he thought he was vulnerably to criminal liability for his actions. That, or he wanted to basically obstruct the deposition in order to keep from losing a judgment.

Either way, he doesn’t come across as a fellow who thinks he has much to gain by being honest. I mean, billion dollar Medicare frauds don’t simply organize themselves. If he didn’t know his company was bilking Medicare for millions, he should have.

If you want to accuse me of throwing mud, go ahead. What I relate is a matter of public record. You simply buy his excuses and create your own for him.

I mean, you folks wondered how your party, how the right wing got so hopelessly corrupt. This is how: when you excuse everything, you hold people accountable for nothing. When you hold them accountable for nothing, they believe they can get away with anything, and they do until the magnitude of their crimes causes their rackets to collapse of their own weight.

There’s a reason why Rick Scott does his best to distance himself from HCA, why Republicans mention Fanny and Freddie, but neglect AIG, The Wall Street Firms that all got taken out, or the hundreds of failed, perfectly private non-bank lenders who preceded them.

If you folks have to discuss that, then what naturally follows is an examination of policies mostly passed on and by Republicans for the sake of their buddies on Wall Street. You don’t want that. You don’t want to have to question that paradigm, even in the wake of one of the worst economic collapses in decades.

Your apologetics ignore a massive part of the economic collapse, and the fact that Wall Street gets a complete pass from you undermines the rest of your argument.

Anybody who knows how the crisis went down knows that Wall Street’s speculative markets were critical to pulling off what went down. In fact, many of the non-bank lenders were subsidiaries of the larger financial companies. You can’t separate the Housing Crisis from the Wall Street collapse, not if you’re sticking to the facts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #318984

Weary, you expect shame from Mr. Daugherty…the “fact-man”? Don’t hold your breath while waiting.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 3:57 PM
Comment #318990

Ken Lay also said he didn’t know what was going on at Enron. The CEO of BP said he did not no that his company was a habitual felon. I remember seeing 6 or 7 CEOs take a Congressional oath and then lie to the Congress and the nation.

I didn’t know is a standard defence. You people on the right know this and if someone on the left did that and said that you would be all over it.

It wasn’t the left or the right that sold this country down the drain. It was the liberal/conservative coalition backed by capitol that did and is doing it to us.

Obama is every bit as much a part of that as Bush and many of their predecessors going back to the early 50’s. That is when capitol decided to promote a nation of hedonists and they succeeded quite remarkably.

Everyone who wants them knows where to get them, Florida.

Ask Rush Limbaugh or his well paid maid, there is a pill peddler on every other corner.

The Florida Connection has done much damage in my community. Dozens of people have gone to prison, but they are replaced by others as soon as they are busted.

Posted by: jlw at February 21, 2011 4:27 PM
Comment #318991

Royal Flush-
Well, I tell you what. I don’t expect you to acknowledge any fact that is inconvenient to your putting liberals in their place.

If it’s Fannie and Freddie’s fault, you can go and attack another institution started by liberal policies. If it’s Wall Street’s fault, largely, then people will naturally ask why the hell you’re opposing Wall Street Reform at every turn, and taking Wall Street’s side. Wouldn’t that be inconvenient.

You can’t shame me into accepting BS talking points. I can concede that Fannie and Freddie were poorly run, and that the collapse did damage to our economy. But you have the causal relationship dead wrong, and I’m not going to humor you, or debase myself by conceding to your argument about the causes, or your scapegoating of Fannie and Freddie.

Fannie and Freddie didn’t help this crisis, but they didn’t start it, not the way you would prefer us all to believe.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2011 4:31 PM
Comment #319004


It wasn’t the left or the right that sold this country down the drain. It was the liberal/conservative coalition backed by capitol that did and is doing it to us.
Obama is every bit as much a part of that as Bush and many of their predecessors going back to the early 50’s. That is when capitol decided to promote a nation of hedonists and they succeeded quite remarkably.

I couldn’t agree more with this statement. In fact, It goes to a point I was trying to make in an earlier post.

My problem with Stephen Daugherty’s post is the mud would not be flung if the politician in question was a Democratic.
His reply to a right-wing smear campaign of the same calabre would reflect all the points my response did in defense of his precious Democratic. Gov. Scott was a scapegoat and almost 15 years later Stephen Daugherty is using this to attack him because the newly elected Governor is not a Democratic.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 6:34 PM
Comment #319005

Royal and Weary,
If you own the company you are responsible for the good and bad it does. And why I van see why Scott don’t want to admit to the charge since it would send him to jail. I can’t believe you would be wiling to give him your money for safe keeping; however, I could be wrong.

You bring up a good point about pain killers; nevertheless, I do not believe we have solved the problem. Sure more and more Doctors won’t issue them, but walk out on the street and pain killers are there for the asking. So what good does it do to keep pain killers away from patients who know and need the medicine?

As far as Medical Fraud gentleman, that is so easily done that most people don’t even realize it is happening on their bame and to them. For walk into a Doctors’ Office and tell him you don’t feel well. Does he order blood work, x-rays, and any numner of tests just to tell you to come back later. Than for another visit he will tell you all the tests came back negative and ask if you still feel sick. Now, where any of these medical procedures absolutly necessary or are they designed to milk the insurance companies out of millions every day?

Yes, it is that simple and goes on in almost every Doctor Office and hospital with the patient being no wiser. For the system is designed so that a Doctor can’t give medical advice unless the tests show something is wrong. And if the patient does not know how to ask the right health questions, the insurance company must pay just on the possibility the Doctor might think something is wrong.

So why Scott may for legal reasons not want to admit to the wrong doing by his company, the only other logical thing to think is that Scott had such bad Doctors working for him they had to abuse the system in order to protect themselve. For what I would really like to see is the acts which lead up to the charges. For there is IMHO a huge difference between running an unnecessary test and operating on a patient just for the sake of collecting payment from the insurance companies.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 21, 2011 6:35 PM
Comment #319007

Henry writes; “Now, where any of these medical procedures absolutly necessary or are they designed to milk the insurance companies out of millions every day.”

Now you’re talking Henry. Glad you get it. Perhaps that helps explain the high cost of insurance.

I have both Medicare and a MedSup. Yet, though the cost to me personally would have been minimal, I have declined expensive tests my personal physician has suggested. I do this for two reasons. I don’t want Medicare and my MedSup paying for what I believe is unnecessary. And, some tests carry risk that outweighs any advantage.

I had two prostate biopsy’s at the urging of my urologist which were unnecessary. The first one I paid for out of my own pocket and the second one was paid for by Medicare and my MedSup. I pondered having the procedure for some time but doctor’s can make medical issues very scary and we all want to believe that doctor knows best.

After two of them, it finally occurred to him that I might have a long-term infection. A round of antibiotics cleared it up and my PSA levels returned to normal.

We must all take personal responsibility for controlling the cost of our health care and not depend upon some government regulator making that decision. The Health Care Act will in no way reduce unnecessary medical procedures, and in fact, will most likely increase their frequency.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 7:04 PM
Comment #319009

Henry Schlatman, none of Stephen Daugherty’s links said Rick Scott did anything illegal. In fact, procecutors did not even interview him. Of course he did not want to admit to the wrong doing by his company. Even his company did not admit to wrong doing! In fact, “his company” told him it wasn’t his company any longer! “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass the way we just did”! The company paid enough money to make the problem go away and left Rick Scott hang out to dry.

I guess this is what happens when people only pay attention to the star on top of the tree instead of the lack of water at the base of the tree.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 7:10 PM
Comment #319015

WW, each side has it’s scapegoats. Right now your side is scapegoating teachers and unions.

Scapegoating works well for the conservative/liberal coalition backed by capital. It keeps the rest of us at each other’s throats.

MSMBC, Fox News and talking heads like Glen Beck are part of the liberal/conservative coalition backed by capital.

Today, facts are not allowed to stand alone, they must be spun.

Looks like the people of the middle east are finally learning the lesson. If you shut down business you shut down business as usual.

Posted by: jlw at February 21, 2011 8:31 PM
Comment #319017
WW, each side has it’s scapegoats. Right now your side is scapegoating teachers and unions.
I disagree.
Scapegoating works well for the conservative/liberal coalition backed by capital. It keeps the rest of us at each other’s throats.
I agree.
MSMBC, Fox News and talking heads like Glen Beck are part of the liberal/conservative coalition backed by capital.
I agree.
Today, facts are not allowed to stand alone, they must be spun.
Looks like the people of the middle east are finally learning the lesson. If you shut down business you shut down business as usual.

Posted by jlw at February 21, 2011 08:31 PM

I disagree!

We’ve solved that problem over 200 years ago!

As a parent, did you ever let them fight it out?

Local communities really wouldn’t give a horse’s hockey puck for anything in the middle east, except for some oil.

By the way, that thing about a hedonistic society? We would be wise to think about that statement.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 9:17 PM
Comment #319026

First there is the New Christine and the Old Christine.


Next! Two and one-half men…..

Do you see where I’m going here?

Darma and Greg!

Star Trek The Nest Generation!

That’s not real! C’mon!

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2011 10:37 PM
Comment #319032

I agree that a National Labor Strike in America right now would be a game changer. For seeing how many of Walker Supports was crying about the Teachers missing just one day of school I wonder what they would do if all Public Workers in all 50 states got sick for a couple of weeks?

Besides students having to stay home, no permits could be apporoved, no clean water, backed up sewers, traffic lights not working, snow not removed, and who knows whatelse. In fact, the Governor might not be able to eat, have clean cloths, and entertain since his House Staff could be included.

Yes, if the Democrats and Republicans can learn any lessons from the General Change that is sweeping the globe it should be that Today’s Youth don’t care if the Status Quo of the Parents Esytablishments and Institutions survive. For in this day of the growing cost of living they are demanding better pay. And with the top 2% holding over 80% of the Wealth, can you guess who needs to grow up and face Reality?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 21, 2011 11:56 PM
Comment #319034

First there was see the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet.

Then the bare shoulder shower scene commercial. Scandalous.

Then The Marlboro Man, G.I. Joe, and He Man, a kids show created to sell product to the parents.

Do you see where I’m going here?

Who owns the TV and Radio stations? Who buys those shows and airs them?

Hedonism: Devoted to pleasure and self-gratification as a way of life.

Materialism: Preoccupation with material as opposed to spiritual or intellectual values.

Even religion is going over. Huge materialistic/hedonistic mega church’s, huge real estate holdings, Christian amusement parks and mega million sales campaigns. Selling God for profit rather than doing the work of the Lord. While they talk about Satan deceiving the world and the end of days.

This has to be the work of liberal/progressive socialists even if it is all brought to us in living color by capitalism.

Posted by: jlw at February 22, 2011 12:17 AM
Comment #319036


First off I am a democrat, but this bizarre tale of irony went through my head and I cannot let it go;

Go back to to the year 2007/2008. People were losing their jobs, the stock market was tanking, and the housing bubble was bursting. What caused some of these problems? Clearly deregulation-a republican principle. In 2008, American citizens were angry, and rightly so, at the CORRECT people-Wall Street Bankers and CEO’s—Mainly Republican backers. OK makes sense.

2008-In comes Barack Obama. He has the philosophy that govt. can do good and big things to help the American people. He needs to clean up the financial chaos that is left by conservative ideas and makes a huge decision. The decision is to lend a hand to the bankers and CEO’s who caused the financial meltdown. Irony #1 and #2- The republicans do not want him to do the bailout because they believe that the free market should be left to its own devices. Irony #2 If Obama lets the banks and corporations fail, it destroys the very thing that gets republicans elected.

2009/2010 The banks and Wall St. survive and begin the recuperation process (some Ceo’s and bankers’ are even greedy enough to take bonuses at this time), but the average middle class person is still angry and upset because they have lost a lot financially and unemployment is rising. They can no longer blame the banks and ceos now because the president has said that we need to help them out so that we can all recover. IN STEPS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY to fill the void of all this pent up anger. They say, “Hey look the problem isn’t the corporations and greedy bankers it’s the state employees and teachers unions that are to blame.” All eyes and anger turn towards these institutions that really have nothing to do with the crisis. Average middle class worker turns on average middle class worker.

2011 and beyond: Wisconsin, due to irrational public pressure begins to dismantle it’s public unions and this spreads nationwide. The one big player and donor that always supported democratic principles is now gone, and the Democratic party dissolves. The very same corporations that Obama bailed out, support Republican candidates and they dominate from here on out. Over time, middle class wages decrease, benefits are cut and the corporations are now in full control.

The biggest irony of it all is that the very thing that democrats believe in (govt. helping the average person) ends up destroying them, and the thing that the republicans wanted Obama to do, (allow the free market to decide) would have destroyed them, but does not, because Obama intervened to save them.

Ouch that hurts! Anyone help me off the ledge? Anyone?

Posted by: John at February 22, 2011 12:41 AM
Comment #319038

Henry, a national strike by unions would play right into the hands of these third worlders. It would paralyze the country and you can forget the governors and their national guards, Obama would call out the army.

The one thing that low wage workers dislike more than unions is the wages they are being paid.

The unions need those low wage workers on their side if they hope to defeat the corporations and their brown nosers.

The name of the game is bust the unions first, then go after the minimum wage and government supplements to low income workers.

The unions may loose before they win.

I don’t think it will be much longer before the workers of this country finally realize the scam being pulled on them is called Third World.

Boycotting WalMart would do far more harm to the New World Order than any strike could. Not buying from the companies that outsource and insource labor would cause a swift reevaluation of current corporate policies.

They are not worried because we are addicted. The whole country needs rehab.

Posted by: jlw at February 22, 2011 12:49 AM
Comment #319044

Weary Willie-
The proper term is Democrat. The Word Republican functions as both adjective and noun, and has been the traditional designation for the party members since it began.

Meanwhile, the word Democrat is a noun, and does not double as an adjective in this way. You wouldn’t call a nobleman an aristocratic, nor a believer in the rule of the rich a plutocratic. Democratic is an adjective. Democrat is the noun form.

That is why it’s not correct to call us the Democrat Party, or the members Democratics. It’s basic grammar. Maybe you believe you get a pass on basic grammar, and proper use of words, but nobody’s going to rewrite the dictionary on your account.

As for mud being flung? Look, if we Democrats can’t say anything that has a negative effect on a Republican’s reputation, then we can’t keep the Republicans honest by pointing out what they’re doing wrong, or have done wrong.

I was shocked on a personal level to see people vote for Rick Scott. It seems to me that folks are using emotions rather than reason to determine their votes.

Now, if Scott had decided to govern, rather than stuff his agenda down people’s throats, I wouldn’t been interested in letting you all know what a scumbag he is. But because he and his friends in the Tea Party are doing real damage to the economy, and to their states, I feel motivated to tell you what I’ve been hearing about these people.

It doesn’t get better when I go beyond what I remember off the top of my head. Did you know that HCA didn’t even have a compliance division, that they actually had money in reserve in case medicare got suspicious and did what they eventually did?

You need to take a look at your arguments, and realize that you could just as easily be the one who’s slinging mud without cause. If all you ever do when I bring up a Republican that’s doing wrong is automatically defend them, if all you do is call people like me liars and blind partisans, then you will never catch the corrupt in your party in time to prevent them from doing harm to it.

Naturally, neither of us will be the first people to jump up and attack our own party or party members. So each side needs the other to keep it accountable. But one place where accountability is necessary is checking the other side’s facts when they make their claims.

Henry Schlatman, none of Stephen Daugherty’s links said Rick Scott did anything illegal. In fact, procecutors did not even interview him. Of course he did not want to admit to the wrong doing by his company.

His company did do something illegal, under his watch, under his management. That’s a matter of public record.

In 2000, after three years of negotiations, the company, renamed HCA, paid $840 million to settle some of the civil claims. The company also pleaded guilty to 14 felonies, paying $95 million in criminal fines — including $30 million for illegal payments to doctors.

Got that? His company had to plead guilty to criminal charges!

Felony Criminal charges. The company he was boss of admitted to committing felony charges. Maybe in your world, CEOs should just keep coasting along, walking between the raindrops. In mine, when a ****-up this big occurs, somebody at the top should pay with their job. They should not get bonuses, they should not get severance pay.

If some mid-level manager ran a store, and the employees were cheating customers and vendors at that store, and this got found out, wouldn’t it be rational to fire his or her sorry rear end? The CEO is responsible for the way the company does business.

Why are you so eager to declare him a martyr, a scapegoat? Do you measure his innocence and saintliness by the inverse of how many Democrats dislike him?

Check his facts and check mine before you go off on that tangent. Scott is a crook. The Reports I hear about having him cutting public sector pay and jobs, while adding more people to his staff, political cronies making six figures.

If you don’t get the facts right, if you don’t get the policy right, no political stance, not right, left, or center will do you any good.

The Republicans have a nice set up: they can be nihilistic about government. They can cut ruthlessly, senselessly, becuase in the end, a government that doesn’t work, that does people harm, or which fails to provide service, is a government that confirms their rhetoric to people.

Nice work if you can get it: Cause the fiscal situation to go out of balance, then tell people we’re broke, can’t afford any of the liberal policies. Don’t touch the stuff that will get you burned in effigy. Don’t worry about actually reconciling the budget, because you can always blame spending on the Democrats, even if it’s your policies that originally started that spending.

Their rhetorical approach, by its nature, cannot be disproven, because any success of government can be downplayed, and any failure, even their own failure, can be touted as evidence of government’s inability to do anything right.

We need to stop complaining about how unfair this is, and start getting people to understand the depths of the perversity of this approach. If you have no hope of government getting the job right, if in fact the person doesn’t want government to succeed at fulfilling America’s needs, then they have no motivation to govern well, or to move the country in a direction of that kind, even if it’s actually the right thing to do. When government is seen as useful for nothing else but helping the wealthy and powerful, then rank corruption is inevitable.

What people need to realize is that they need to see to their interests, and do so in a sustainable way. That’s the liberalism I support, and which I think others can support, once they understand the basic principles.

The way I would put what happened, is that Obama put keeping this country solvent and financially capable ahead of letting Wall Street collapse. If he had been as nihilisitic an opportunistic as his counterparts in Washington, he could have just let Wall Street destroy itself. That, actually, would have been the socialist thing to do. Thereafter, he would have to intervene to save the country from the depression that would ensue.

Republicans were spared the worst of what could have happened, and now that things are more back to normal, they want to return things completely back to normal.

In my view, though, they play with fire. They are one bad vote (Like TARP) away from gutting themselves. The system they’re trying to defend is hopelessly unsustainable. It will fail in some way, it will inspire Americans to put pressure on big business at some point, it will motivate people to try and change things.

Those who keep these things from happening might be vulnerable to short term scapegoating, but those doing the scapegoating are vulnerable to long-term political failure, as they willingly take ownership of a system that’s going to betray them the same way that it betrayed the Republican Party all through the last decade.

Sooner or alter, circumstances will batter and bruise Americans into seeking out the policies that are in their interests. Even if Republicans succeed in surpressing that for a time, the anger and dissatisfaction will build to the point that the next time something goes wrong, they get hit right between the eyes with it.

It’s not Obama’s fault. He’s done more to balance interests than most Presidents I see it. But he can’t get anything done without Congress, and the Republicans and conservative Democrats have done much to try and take that away from him.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2011 12:30 PM
Comment #319059

Seems Wal-Mart is already seeing a decline in sales so how many more quarters before they go to zero?

As far as strikes, why do you think collective bargining came to be? Wonder what Walker will do when Public Workers go on strike every year and shut down the whole system?

No, IF Walker and others were smart they would offer the Public Workers the ability to profit as the State of Wisconsin recovers over the next 5-10 years: however, I’m not holding my breath that republicans become smart anytime soon. For I don’t believe they can see that All Business depends on having strong consumers and that means having Labor and Management paid more in a time of increasing prices of goods and services. The way they are headed now will only lead to the State government depending more and more on the Want-to-Be Rich who already don’t want to pay taxes.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 22, 2011 8:48 PM
Comment #319065

Pull a Regan on them Henry fire them and hire new people.

Posted by: KAP at February 22, 2011 9:23 PM
Comment #319078

Walker attempted that with security in his last job and now his boss has to pay almost $500,000.00. When President Reagan fired air traffic controlers it was because rget walked away from collective bargining and put the Public at Risk. I don’t think School Teachers calling in sick puts the Public in danger.

Might make Walker feel bad since his wife after a week of all day babtsitting might start riding him; nevertheless, firing Public Workers and replacing them with other people IMHO would be like the BFL Owners hiring replacements and we all know how well that worked.

Besides I’m surprised no one in the Media has asked Walker what would he gave done in Egypt if ge was in charge. Care to answer for him?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 22, 2011 11:47 PM
Comment #319082

Henry, Teachers calling in sick falsely to go and protest didn’t put anyone in danger but did it help the children they were hired to teach and what kind of example is that to those children, plus the fact Doctors walking around giving false excuses so they can save their jobs is a crime and handing those false excuses in is a crime. So Walker has every right to fire them and every right to have those Doctors investigated.

Posted by: KAP at February 23, 2011 12:19 AM
Comment #319092

Henry’s right. You can union-bust all you want, but that won’t remove the grievances. As long as those remain, even if you fire the union itself, the working conditions will inspire a move back towards labor organization, sooner or later.

Besides, tell me, how much money does this actually save for Wisconsin? It seems to be the number one unasked question among Republicans. Precisely what about destroying collective bargaining rights will fix the deficit?

It won’t cut a single dollar of spending for Wisconsins’s government this year.

The Budget’s a red herring on this one. This is Walker’s transparently self-indulgent attempt to impose his view of unionization on everybody else, using a self-created budget crisis to stampede people into it.

Why can’t the GOP be honest with people, and just tell them the real reason they’re making these cuts: their intent to impose their political beliefs on everybody.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 11:29 AM
Comment #319107

Stephen, Unions are a minority like you liberals are, people get a little taste and want to spit it out.

Posted by: KAP at February 23, 2011 4:08 PM
Comment #319165

Walker doesn’t have the right to fire the teachers. In facy, with the writting of the Doctors’ Note neing up to the sole opinion of the Doctor I doubt if even the Medical Board will find wrong doing.

Because Walker would have to go against the long standing conservative point of view that parents are responsible for teaching their children and the Medical Board would have to say that Doctors no longer have a right to have an independent medical point of view.

See them having the courage to go adainst their own?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 23, 2011 11:36 PM
Comment #319173

Henry, Did you ever hear of FRAUD because that is exactly what the teachers and doctors are doing.

Posted by: KAP at February 24, 2011 8:17 AM
Comment #319186

Even another Doctor unless they were there at the exact same moment can’t call what the Doctor did as Fraud. He may have a different opinion; however, even the doctor can’t prove what was going on as fraud. Mistaken, wrong, etc… Nonetheless, a Doctors Note is not about you being sick, it is about the fact you were seen by a Doctor is it not?

Something I might add increases the cost of healthcare. And IMHO is something Big Brother doesn’t need to be doing.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 24, 2011 2:24 PM
Comment #319193

One question Henry, Would you be defending this same people and their actions if they were Republicans?

Posted by: KAP at February 24, 2011 3:36 PM
Comment #319245

Whatever. Convince yourself the people just love you and don’t know it yet.

Self-identification is notoriously inaccurate as a measure of actual politics. Hell, when even the Tea Partiers rush to defend what Ronald Reagan once called a doorway to socialism, you tell me how reliable political labels are.

There’s what people say, and then there’s what people do.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2011 7:53 PM
Comment #319253

Stephen, As far as I concerned Democrats are Chicken S—t cowards that run away from a fight and the only way they are brave is when they are a majority. They are not for the people the only thing they are for is their big donations from the unions no better then the corporate bought and paid for Republicans. Also Stephen the hypocritical comments you have made in the past about Republican obstructionism do not wash anymore because your Democrats are no better if fact IMO they are worse as demonstrated by those of your party in the states of Wi. and In.

Posted by: KAP at February 25, 2011 9:05 PM
Comment #380622

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