BBO Discussion Forums: Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

  • 1025 Pages +
  • « First
  • 755
  • 756
  • 757
  • 758
  • 759
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15121 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 21,040
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-April-12, 20:13

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-April-11, 16:39, said:

Massive American Graveyard Additions




USA? USA? USA?

I think it's unfair to rank countries on the total number of cases and deaths. The US is much larger than any European countries, so it's wrong to compare us on absolute numbers. Per-capital statistics more meaningful.

#15122 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,899
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-April-12, 20:39

View Postbarmar, on 2020-April-12, 20:13, said:

I think it's unfair to rank countries on the total number of cases and deaths. The US is much larger than any European countries, so it's wrong to compare us on absolute numbers. Per-capital statistics more meaningful.



Each passing day Donald Trump becomes less and less relevant - and that's a good thing.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15123 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,489
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-April-12, 20:42

Another excellent column by Tim Wu, the author of "The Curse of Bigness", at NYT:

Quote

On April 24, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s principal gatekeeper for health care mergers, published an innocuous-seeming notice granting a request for “early termination” of its review of a $108 million health care acquisition. Newport Medical Instruments, a small developer of cheap, portable ventilators, was being acquired by Covidien, a much larger American company headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes. Covidien makes, among other things, larger and more expensive ventilators.

The government’s review was relatively brief. One of the lawyers involved, a former F.T.C. staff member, has noted that he successfully steered the merger through the F.T.C. “without second request” — without extensive review.

We now know that approving that merger without conditions had severe costs. It would cripple what had been a prescient federal program, begun in 2007, to build an emergency stockpile of up to 40,000 portable ventilators with the eventual help of Newport Medical Instruments. But Covidien terminated the project, apparently in large part because it was insufficiently profitable.

That cancellation set back the federal ventilator program by at least seven years. In fact, 13 years later, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, and despite a new contract with another company, not a single ventilator has been delivered.

It is easy to criticize the F.T.C. for missing the dangers to public health in the Newport merger. But it’s a mistake to see the episode as an isolated blown call or a case of insufficient diligence. The United States’ approach to mergers and consolidation is broken, and nowhere is this more clear than when it comes to health care. As it stands, the F.T.C.’s power to review mergers takes little account of what makes health care different from other industries. And tragically, the Newport merger is only one in a long line of disasters.

The Federal Trade Commission is staffed by skilled lawyers and economists who try their best, within their authority, to stop the worst abuses. (I’m biased: I was at the F.T.C. from 2011 to 2013.) But the agency’s own rules treat the market for ventilators as little different than the market for, say, bowling balls. The scope of review is too narrow for the concerns that arise when it comes to potentially lifesaving goods like ventilators, pharmaceuticals and hospitals. In fact, in the Newport case, even if the lawyers had suspected Covidien’s motives, there was probably little under existing law that they could have done.

The problem is systemic. Consider that over the past decade, the F.T.C. has found itself largely unable to stop another abuse: the transfer, by large pharmaceutical companies, of individual drug brands to tiny companies that subsequently raise the prices of the drugs by factors of thousands. (The F.T.C. has the power to review transfers retrospectively and undo them.)

Perhaps the most notorious example was the sale of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a life-threatening parasitic infection, from Impax Laboratories to Turing Pharmaceuticals. Turing raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to nearly $750.

And Turing isn’t even the worst offender. For $100,000, a company named Questcor bought from Aventis the rights to a $40 treatment for infantile spasms. Questcor jacked up the price from $40 to an astonishing $28,000. (A company that bought Questcor in 2014, Mallinckrodt, jacked it up even more, to $39,000.)

In most markets, such exploitative tactics are difficult to sustain, because customers would revolt. But health care markets are different. For many drugs or treatments, there are no realistic substitutes. And the markets are further complicated by insurance and government involvement — and ultimately, by the fact that we care about human health in ways that are hard to quantify.

Perhaps the greatest failure, in terms of harm done, has been the F.T.C.’s inability over the past two decades to stop hospital consolidation, despite growing evidence of negative effects. In theory a hospital merger might produce welcome efficiencies, but in practice too many hospital mergers tend to yield higher prices and lower quality of care (measured by morbidity), not to mention bed shortages. After a bad hospital merger, patients pay more and die more.

To its credit, the F.T.C. has tried hard in this area, litigating aggressively to stop the most outrageous hospital mergers. Yet it has faced setbacks in the courts.

Very few observers who are not on the industry’s payroll find it easy to defend what has happened over the past decade when it comes to health care mergers. Action is overdue. The F.T.C. might, as Commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter have urged, dig deeper into its own authority and begin writing special rules for the worst abuses. Congress, which is considering the first major antitrust overhaul since 1914, might create special scrutiny for health care transactions, sensitive to their broader effects.

What’s certain is that we can do better. In an alternative universe, the F.T.C. lawyers scrutinizing the Newport deal, equipped with greater authority and resources, might have flagged the acquisition as suspicious, consulted the Department of Health and Human Services and made the deal contingent on full performance of the federal contract for ventilators. And now, instead of squabbling for supplies, we might be facing the coronavirus crisis with a stockpile of new ventilators — grateful for the foresight of the federal government and the vigilance of the F.T.C.

I miss Jack Anderson.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15124 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,592
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-April-13, 03:18

View Postbarmar, on 2020-April-12, 20:13, said:

I think it's unfair to rank countries on the total number of cases and deaths. The US is much larger than any European countries, so it's wrong to compare us on absolute numbers. Per-capital statistics more meaningful.

You could also compare us to China and India which have way more people.

But you are right, the US is always getting picked on. Like in soccer (aka football in the rest of the world) when we lost to Trinidad and Tobago. We could have whipped either of them in a one on one match, but playing both at the same time, 2 on 1, 22 players playing against 11 players was totally unfair :)

If you want to look at per 1000 numbers, the US is doing a poor job testing people for COVID-19 if you compare it to countries with 1st rate health care systems and competent national governments. But we look like a true health care world power if compared to countries like Bangladesh and Ethiopia.
1

#15125 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,845
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-April-13, 07:28

Many issues are complicated. But some are straightforward. Let's go with simple for a bit.

Could Donald Trump please shut up?

He has been minimizing the covid issue from the beginning. Sure, he did not say that there would be a miracle and it would all go away, he said maybe. And he just wanted everyone in church for Easter, he didn't say we all had to go. And so on and so on. Now it's getting the country up and running in early May. Yes, if you make enough predictions then sooner or later you get one right. But in a time of crisis people hope that what the president says has some connection with reality. Instead, it's been a succession of optimistic statements based on his gut. feeling, or based on what he thinks sounds good at the time. Republican or Democrat, surely we hope for better from the president of the country.
Ken
0

#15126 User is offline   hrothgar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 15,290
  • Joined: 2003-February-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Natick, MA
  • Interests:Travel
    Cooking
    Brewing
    Hiking

Posted 2020-April-13, 07:46

View Postjohnu, on 2020-April-13, 03:18, said:

You could also compare us to China and India which have way more people.


From my perspective, the best way to compare this is probably doing 1:1 comparisons of individual cities, but this leads to other issues:

Covid-19 spreads really really easily and, as a result, if you have a single super spreader in an area its going to matter enormously.
This sort of luck related issue can actually dominate policy related differences.
Alderaan delenda est
0

#15127 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,899
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-April-13, 09:07

View Postkenberg, on 2020-April-13, 07:28, said:

Many issues are complicated. But some are straightforward. Let's go with simple for a bit.

Could Donald Trump please shut up?

He has been minimizing the covid issue from the beginning. Sure, he did not say that there would be a miracle and it would all go away, he said maybe. And he just wanted everyone in church for Easter, he didn't say we all had to go. And so on and so on. Now it's getting the country up and running in early May. Yes, if you make enough predictions then sooner or later you get one right. But in a time of crisis people hope that what the president says has some connection with reality. Instead, it's been a succession of optimistic statements based on his gut. feeling, or based on what he thinks sounds good at the time. Republican or Democrat, surely we hope for better from the president of the country.


IMO the age of Trump makes the "soft sciences" critical to understand. Written by Daniel Kriegman, Robert Trivers, Malcolm Slavin, all PhDs:

Quote

The answer appears to be that for Trump there is only one reality, one truth: Donald J. Trump is the world’s greatest genius and he, and only he, can solve the problems we face. Yes, that does sound crazy. But that’s precisely the nature of narcissistic personalities; they have delusional beliefs about their own importance and greatness.


My greatest fear of the repercussions of Trump is what happens if reality penetrates his narcissistic bubble - when his personal inner mantra changes from All Must Praise Trump to All Must Save Trump?

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15128 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,489
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-April-13, 13:41

Just want to say I enjoyed the Trinidad & Tobago vs US joke.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15129 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,489
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-April-13, 19:26

The core responsibility of a government is to protect its citizens, write John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge in Bloomberg Opinion. The pandemic reveals that key institutions in Europe and the U.S. are no longer up to the job.

https://www.bloomber...y&sref=UHfKDqx7
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15130 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,592
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-April-13, 20:34

More WTF sh*t from the Grifter in Chief

Market And Business Ties Often Determine Where COVID-19 Supplies Go

Quote

"We operate about 50 distribution centers in the United States, and we have about 22 manufacturing facilities," said Jesse Greenberg, a Medline spokesman. "We're doing our very best to step up to this challenge."

The executives say safeguards are in place to prevent firms from price-gouging during the pandemic. Earlier this month, the Justice Department took the extraordinary step of issuing a letter allowing five of the country's biggest medical supply companies to collaborate on the COVID-19 response, sharing information and resources in ways that would normally violate antitrust laws.

"It's totally unique. I do not remember anything like it before," said Eleanor Fox, who studies trade regulation at the New York University law school. "It would probably be an illegal cartel, but for the fact that this is a crisis."

But the majority of medical supplies procured by these companies aren't being handed out through FEMA or distributed on the basis of immediate need. Instead, the equipment is going first to companies' regular customers.

"We have existing contracts," said Medline's Greenberg. He noted that his firm stopped taking new orders from frontline health providers, even those in desperate need, as the pandemic escalated. "The inventory isn't there for Medline to service new customers."

This means a hospital with existing supply contracts with one of these companies before COVID-19 hit might get shipments of masks and gowns even when not facing a surge of sick patients.

The corruption and criminal incompetence of the Criminal in Chief and his toadies is beyond belief.
0

#15131 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,489
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-April-13, 21:26

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman said:

I know there's a lot of other stuff going on, but surprised not to see more commentary about how weird it is for the U.S. president to be trying to organize an oil cartel.

https://www.bloomber...m&sref=UHfKDqx7

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#15132 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,899
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-April-14, 07:15

Isn't it odd how capitalists rebuke their ideology when faced with the prospect of failing.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15133 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,899
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-April-14, 07:52

Seems we have reached flameout: https://www.vox.com/...l-states-rights

https://www.youtube....h?v=QLUbodrA0NE

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#15134 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,845
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-April-14, 08:50

From Y

Quote


Paul Krugman @paulkrugman said:

I know there's a lot of other stuff going on, but surprised not to see more commentary about how weird it is for the U.S. president to be trying to organize an oil cartel.

https://www.bloomber...m&sref=UHfKDqx7

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter


I was out this morning, briefly and for the first time in a week or so, and realized that I could not remember the last time that I filled my gas tank. Of course far more sophisticated things are being discussed, but I can see how this simple item would have an effect.

The price is something like $1.90 a gallon. Maybe they could jack up the price but give free toilet paper with each purchase.
Ken
0

#15135 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,592
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-April-14, 13:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-April-14, 07:15, said:

Isn't it odd how capitalists rebuke their ideology when faced with the prospect of failing.

As has been noted in many different ways, Socialism for the rich, Capitalism for the poor.
0

#15136 User is offline   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,592
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-April-15, 00:42

I'll admit that I have rightfully complained about the incompetent, delayed. slow, and muddled response to the COVID-19 crisis by the Manchurian President. I am happy to report that the Grifter in Chief has finally done something decisive and game changing.

Trump’s Name Will Appear On Stimulus Checks

Quote

President Donald Trump’s name will be printed on the economic stimulus checks that will be distributed by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals to help mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The addition, which was ordered by the Treasury Department, is expected to delay the delivery of paper checks by several days, according to the Post, which cited unnamed senior agency officials. The phrase “President Donald J. Trump” will be printed in a memo line on the left side of the checks (most will total $1,200 for individuals), below a line that says “Economic Impact Payment.”

I'm sure our fellow citizens who have lost their jobs, emptied out their bank accounts without a paycheck coming in, and desperate for money to pay for food and other necessities will rejoice at having to wait several more days before they get their relief checks. I certainly hope that those who receive their checks will treat the Grifter in Chief well for his generosity in personally paying them from his personal checking account.
0

#15137 User is offline   Vampyr 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,602
  • Joined: 2009-September-15
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:London

Posted 2020-April-15, 05:34

View Posty66, on 2020-April-13, 13:41, said:

Just want to say I enjoyed the Trinidad & Tobago vs US joke.


Give him an upvote then!
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
0

#15138 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,845
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-April-15, 07:45

View Postjohnu, on 2020-April-15, 00:42, said:

I'll admit that I have rightfully complained about the incompetent, delayed. slow, and muddled response to the COVID-19 crisis by the Manchurian President. I am happy to report that the Grifter in Chief has finally done something decisive and game changing.

Trump's Name Will Appear On Stimulus Checks


I'm sure our fellow citizens who have lost their jobs, emptied out their bank accounts without a paycheck coming in, and desperate for money to pay for food and other necessities will rejoice at having to wait several more days before they get their relief checks. I certainly hope that those who receive their checks will treat the Grifter in Chief well for his generosity in personally paying them from his personal checking account.


I thought nothing Trump did would still stun me, but I was wrong.

I was 12 when I saw Quo Vadis in 1951 and I was overwhelmed by Peter Ustinov's portrayal of Nero. Ok, the film was not exactly what you would call historically accurate, but I was 12.

Now we have Donald J Trump. No one has to make anything up to portray Donald J Trump.

I think civilization will survive the virus. Whether this country will survive Trump is less clear to me. Never mind whether this imprinting will or will not slow down the issuing of checks, although it is hard to see how it wouldn't. I just can't imagine any other president, or any other would be president, or anyone at all, doing such a thing at such a time. He might as well have the check say "I, Donald J Trump, wish to make it completely clear that I am totally nuts". Egocentric doesn't cover it. Narcissist doesn't cover it. Just plain nuts comes closer. A person does not need a Ph. D. in psychology to recognize a nut.

Yes, the stopping of financial support of WHO is, at Bill Gates says, just as dangerous as it sounds. It's irresponsible,it's stupid. etc. Yes,of course/ But I see this putting of his name on the checks as a moment of clarity for anyone still fining reasons to support Trump. It's the act of a nut.
Ken
5

#15139 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 21,040
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-April-15, 19:25

View Postjohnu, on 2020-April-15, 00:42, said:

I'm sure our fellow citizens who have lost their jobs, emptied out their bank accounts without a paycheck coming in, and desperate for money to pay for food and other necessities will rejoice at having to wait several more days before they get their relief checks. I certainly hope that those who receive their checks will treat the Grifter in Chief well for his generosity in personally paying them from his personal checking account.

Hopefully most people will get their checks through direct deposit, which shouldn't be affected by this.

But clearly Trump's narcisism knows no bounds. Of course, we already knew that when he showed a campaign video during yesterday's press briefing, and got into an argument with a reporter who questioned his claim that his response to the pandemic has been great.

#15140 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,899
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-April-15, 19:28

This is what would-be autocrats do in banana republics:

Quote

President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to try to force both houses of Congress to adjourn -- an unprecedented move that would likely raise a constitutional challenge -- so that he can make appointments to government jobs without Senate approval.

“If the House will not agree to that adjournment, I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress,” Trump said Wednesday during a White House press briefing. “And perhaps it’s never been done before, nobody is even sure if it has, but we’re going to do it.”


Hard to believe but what we are witnessing is a slow-motion coup d'etat by the Christian Nationalists to overthrow secular government.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

  • 1025 Pages +
  • « First
  • 755
  • 756
  • 757
  • 758
  • 759
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

26 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 26 guests, 0 anonymous users

  1. Google