27 thoughts on “Open Thread”

  1. take care, Crank.
    Open thread topic: baseball hot stove.
    Crawford is going to the Angels. The Red Sox and Yankees will then get into a bargaining war for Werth causing him to be overpaid by about 50 million dollars. Cliff Lee, albeit a great pitcher, will receive two more years and about 50 million more dollars than he should.

  2. Does anyone think Grienke can be pryed away from the Royals and if so by who. I think he is available, but at a huge price.

  3. Since it’s an Open Thread, let’s all regale in the story of Congressman-elect Andy Harris from Maryland, who ran for election on demonizing ObamaCare and the need for repealing the new HCA.
    At the new congressional orientation he demanded to know why he has to wait a month after being sworn in for his government-subsidized health care to kick in. Never thought I would ever agree with a Republican, but he’s right in this instance. There is no reason anyone should be expected to go any amount of time without affordable (or free) health care.
    I know some of you will disagree on the grounds that the US just isn’t a good enough nation to provide quality, affordable health care to all of it’s citizenry (as the rest of the industrialized world does), but I love my country and don’t think we’re too shitty of a nation to do it too.

  4. I heard somewhere, ESPN probably, that Grienke did not want to go to a big market ballclub. Don’t know how accurate that is.

  5. Berto, the United States has the best healthcare system in the world. That is why sick people come here from not only third world countries but also the “industrialized”world as well when they need top flight care. This care is available to all of our citizens all the time. The fact that it has to be paid for is the issue. You might remember the old saying “you get what you pay for”. The illusion that health care in other countries is free is just that, an illusion. You might notice that many of those countries are more broke than we are. Who is going to pay for their healthcare then?
    As for Grienke, he does have a no-trade clause in his contract and it is reported to include most of the large market teams. we are hearing rumors of the Rangers and the Jays being in the hunt. The package I heard rumored from the jays included two of their young starter, Snider and another player I was not familiar with. I am not sure why they would give up two young pitchers that were already in the majors, but that is the rumor.

  6. Let’s stick with baseball, the disagreements tends to be more civil.
    Greinke, given his history, strikes me a someone who might struggle in a big market with the press and fan attention that comes with it. He would though be a reasonable Plan B for the Rangers if they lose Lee.

  7. Werth going to the Yankees? I doubt it. They have a pretty good outfield now and it is relatively cheap. Now Lee is another story. The Yanks will be thrilled to overpay him especially after the AJ/Javier fiasco and the latest edition of “Andy Pettitte: Will He Retire This Time?”
    Anyone have any predictions about Vazquez? He seems to have the Bret Saberhagen disease, alternating between good and bad seasons and the Yanks caught him again on the downside. Does he stay a Yankee and redeem himself? Does he get traded and win 20 games? Is he done?

  8. Terry, despite your insistence, without any backup but your bravado, that the US has the best healthcare in the world, and it’s all opinion, I think the best is probably France. I get no kick out of saying anything nice about them. Our wine is better, Italy’s food is better, our medical research is mostly better, but their delivery system is better. Far better.
    And Berto, you hit the nail on the head. Those parasites in Congress (and this is very much a bipartisan affair) get the best coverage, they get it free (I think, if not, then damn cheap), and they get it for LIFE. The market is generally a good way to decide things, I do agree. So let’s let the Republicat’s out of the Congressional Medical Pig Trough and let them find and pay it like most of us. Boy would the problem get solved quickly. Can we give Ted Kennedy credit for that at least? If there was one legislator who didn’t need any kind of medical coverage, it was him, and he fought for it for a long time (and yes, I know, he could have used some emergency underwater coverage too).

  9. France a better system? Are you kidding? My wife’s aunt is French and lives in Paris. Her descriptions of how bad the health care is as compared to us is unbelievable! We both had the same procedure and compared what happened there with here. She could not believe the care I received as compared to her. While it maybe anacadotal evidence, I’ll stick to it!
    I agree that the congress (and all Federal employees except Military people) should have the same Health Insurance options as the rest of us. Plus any law that is passed must apply to them as well.

  10. Which countries are more broke than the US? Which ones have as much debt as the US?
    In the US, we play with numbers to make things look good. For example, which of the major banks in the US is really not bankrupt? Which ones have more assets than liabilities REALLY?
    Not B of A, not Chase, not Citibank to name three off the top of my head. Instead, those banks (and others) report what their assets used to be worth before the economic meltdown and the current close to 20% unemployment in real terms we have. If they ever had to tell the truth, there would be a run on banks due to them being so far in the red.
    BTW, Lee, nice anecdotal story. I often wonder why anecdotes don’t work for groups such as NORML like they do for protecting the economic elite and ruling class.
    Health care for all citizens can be paid for by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. If that doesn’t work for you, maybe we can 2) have the same magic fairies who pay for our ongoing wars pay for the citizens health care too.

  11. Classic Berto.
    First: “In the US, we play with numbers to make things look good.”
    Followed by: “Health care for all citizens can be paid for by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.”
    Berto translated: 1. In the US, you cannot believe the numbers. 2. Yet the numbers show we can all have healthcare for cheap! 3. And ‘anything that contradicts me is mere anecdote.’

  12. Berto,
    How exactly is it hypocrisy to want to begin receiving his employer-provided health-care as soon as he starts his job? Is he also a hypocrite for wanting to begin receiving his paycheck upon commencing work, even though he is in favor of lower taxes? You’ve got to be able to do better than that.

  13. Lee, I do have a problem with your anecdote. It’s not evidence. However, we can trade such stories. I have a very close friend who vacations in France for a month every year. Plus he’s a doctor, a head of a large department in a major medical center here. So his anecdotal opinion is probably a better source than yours. He sees the entire system. And he’s seen it as a patient, a parent of a patient, and as a practitioner looking in. And his feeling is France’s medical delivery system is way ahead of ours. Why are we so chauvanistic, that we must state we have the very best of everything. Why can’t we learn how to do things better from others?
    It’s one of my biggest beefs with Republicans: this sense of entitlement that we are the best at everything. That a contrary opinion deserves derision. Berto, shhhh, you do it too. A little humble pie never hurt anyone.

  14. Our wine isn’t as good as France’s. It’s not that all wine made in France is better than all wine made here but they do tend to dominate the top end of higher end categories (Burgundy/Pinot Noir in particular, Bordeaux varietals probably to a lesser extent but that probably depends on your viewpoint, Syrah, dessert/sweet wine, Sauvignon/Chenin Blanc and most certainly Champagne/sparkling wine) and they perform very well with lower priced wines (Bordeaux, Provence-based wines, Languedoc, etc.). This comes from someone who has been in the wine business for 17 years and co-owned a winery for over 10. Easy to admit that a country with several hundred years more experience at doing something is better at it.

  15. Questions:
    Which countries are more broke than the US?
    Which ones have as much debt as the US?
    Which of the major banks in the US is really not bankrupt? Which ones have more assets than liabilities REALLY?
    Why can’t the magic fairies who pay for the wars also pay for health care for the citizenry?
    Answers (from TAANSTAFF, Lee, et al):

  16. Paul H.,
    Who’s his employer? Can his employer provide affordable quality health care? Andy Harris doesn’t seem to think so (for others). But, yet he does (for himself).
    He fits right in with modern conservative “thought”. (i.e. government spending is wasteful, unless the spending is specifically on me).
    I get what you’re saying, Paul. That’s why voting for a Republican for a government job is like hiring a Marxist as the CFO of your business.

  17. I think Crank is just holed up in his man cave listening to the new Springsteen box set, and watching the Houston ’78 show on blu ray over and over again while trying to figure out how to make that damn time machine work.

  18. Jim, I MIGHT defer to your vinal (hey, it’s a great pun!) experience. Well, maybe not, I’ll take a great Barolo, and there are some Argentine wines that will knock your socks off. I love California wines, I don’t care for Oregon Pinots, and even though I live on Long Island, well, those aren’t great. But still, if you want my opinion, I’d be glad to have samples sent….. 🙂
    Anyway, Lee, we will never agree much on politics. But I think we can agree that our differences are far outweighed by our similarities: we aren’t enemies that I know of, and that, I bet, if you and I were in a room figuring out all sorts of compromises, we would do better than the clowns in Washington. I do think that Conservatives are far less willing to compromise. You deviate from the party line an inch, you are an outcast. And, well, if compromise was good enough for Lincoln, it’s good enough for everyone else. And yes:
    What is law for us should be law for EVERYONE, including our Congressional brethren (and sisteren?) who put themselves above us. Why not make that part of the Conservative agenda? I might even vote for them then.
    And did you know that courthouses are exempt from the American’s with Disabilities Act? If someone can’t physically get in (and they all have zillions of steps), I think it was Renqhist who said tough shit.

  19. Just catching up on a few of the thread topics:
    -Greinke is, according to a number of accounts, well aware that he’s not cut out for big markets like NY, Boston, Philly or Chicago. I could see him in a more laid-back large market like one of the California teams or a mid-market like Texas.
    -I can’t believe anybody’s making an issue of that Congressman-elect wanting to get employer-provided healthcare that’s part of his job benefits. That’s part of the pre-Obamacare system, remember.
    -I’m pretty sure the teams like the Yankees and Mets that aren’t after Crawford won’t be after Werth, either. I could see the case for the Red Sox chasing Crawford, though.
    -Vazquez is not young and his K rate dipped this year, as did Burnett’s. I think he’ll rebound outside the Bronx but I doubt we will see a replay of his tenure in Atlanta.
    -I’ve never had the bucks to taste the really, really high-end French Old Growth wines on which the reputation of French wine rests. In the $10-20/bottle range, France makes good wine but so do many other places, from California to Australia to Israel to South Africa. While I generally buy a lot of Yellow Tail cab, which is good value for the money, overall in that price range I’d rate the South American reds the best.
    -Anybody who thinks the US has the world’s worst debt problems is seriously delusional.
    -ShelesJoe: Ah, if only. I actually haven’t picked up the new Bruce set, but will soon.

  20. Crank,
    Actually, government paid for health care is part of Obamacare.
    You would think the Congressman would want to (over)pay the private insurance companies for his heath care since he thinks they do a better job than the government in providing health care insurance. But like all conservatives, he only wants the government to pay for things that specifically make his life better.

  21. Government paid for health care for people not already receiving it by virtue of government employment. Congress’ health plan was already there before the bill passed.
    What you’re arguing is like saying it’s hypocritical for a person with a job who opposes welfare if he doesn’t quit the job and go on welfare. It’s a ludicrous argument.

  22. “But like all conservatives, he only wants the government to pay for things that specifically make his life better.”
    See Rand Paul, who is calling for across the board cuts in government spending. Except for the Medicare payments to doctors (of which Paul is a doctor who receives Medicare payments). Who coulda guessed?

  23. No Crank. What I’m arguing is like someone who wants to do away with welfare, but the moment they are in a position of need applies for welfare because it helps themselves.
    In your example, let them quit their job and not apply for welfare (or they can stay at their job and not ask for a government “handout”).
    I believe you’re confusing the words “ludicrous” with “obvious”.

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