Comments Posted By michael reynolds
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Hey, Ford was much smarter and more capable than generally credited: he had the ability to alter the space-time continuum at will and reverse time's arrow. (You may have noticed the physical resemblance to Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen.)

Do not mess with Gerry: even the grave he could force you to get a swine flu vaccination and wear a Whip Inflation Now button.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 15.01.2009 @ 13:03

Impressive post. Makes me wonder, not for the first time, why Tom Friedman is on the Op-ed page of the NYT and you're not.

I think a special prosecutor is taking it too far. My tinged-with-cynicism take is that we should go with a commission. A prosecutor will try to put someone in jail, and I think that's a half step further than the country (or I) want to go. I have a horror of prosecutions that can be seen as partisan. I was relieved when Ford pardoned Bush, and I always thought the impeachment of Clinton was idiotic.

I think we need to find out what happened. Who did what to whom and when and why. And then I think we leave it up to historians to pass judgment. Dick Cheney, who should probably be in jail, will die a peaceful death in his own bed. Not justice, maybe, but maybe better for the country than prosecution would be.

But only "maybe better." I'm not sure. I'm on the bubble on this.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 15.01.2009 @ 02:06


Okay, if you're going to start in with anecdotes about British nannies, I think we're all going to want more detail. Such as: what did she look like? Do you have pictures? And did she wear white stockings? I don't see how we can fairly evaluate the relevance of the nanny to health care unless we have a more complete picture of relevant details.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 13.01.2009 @ 01:09


The French seem happy with their system generally. (No one's 100% happy about anything, least of all the Fench.) But the French people I know think we are either idiots or crazy on the subject of health care. I tend to agree with them.

Lose your job in France you don't lose your health care. In this country you do. So we've built a system that kicks you when you're down. Not only do you lose your job, now you can't get your meds. It's absurd.

I can't speak to whether French doctor's offices are dirtier. When I lived in France as a kid I was under the US military health care system. And while living in Italy recently I didn't happen to get sick at any point.

But we may be comparing apples and oranges. Since I'm a relatively affluent American I see doctors who typically have very nice offices. (A cost they pass along to me, by the way.) But a poor or working class or unemployed American gets his medical care most often at a clinic or an emergency room. Having been to emergency rooms on occasion, I can tell you they aren't quite as swank as my kid's pediatrician's offices.

We accept as normal all sorts of bizarre issues of American health care. We accept as normal that emergency rooms are overwhelmed by poor people getting non-emergency care. (Poor people often take their kids to emergency rooms that cost thousands of dollars to treat routine ear infections a pediatrician deals with for $50.) We accept as normal that losing your job means your kids can't see a doctor. We accept as normal that every medical practice in the country has to hire employees whose sole job is negotiating the bureaucracy of private medical insurance. And we accept as normal that the course of a sick person's treatment is a function of stock dividends at insurance companies. These are not logical or defensible. They are idiocies built into our system.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 12.01.2009 @ 11:52


Want to explain what the heat wave deaths had to do with the health care system?

They don't do air conditioning because 1) the weather is more temperate than ours, 2) They have more old buildings which are hard to retrofit and 3) the French are tightwads.

The old people who died never made it to a hospital. They were victims of lack of air conditioning and the French obsession with August vacations. Like blaming our health care system for the number of gunshot deaths in the US. Irrelevant.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 11.01.2009 @ 21:12

So explain to me, if it is simply impossible to have healthcare for all, how France manages to do it. They have universal health care. And they spend far less than we do. And achieve longevity numbers marginally better than our own.

How can the French do it we can't? Are they just smarter than we are? Are you saying Americans are less competent than Frenchmen?

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 11.01.2009 @ 16:41


I am totally against torture. In real life. 24 is fiction. As opposed to real life.

Some people seem to have a hard time telling the two apart. Just because it works for Jack Bauer doesn't mean it's a good idea in real life. And the flip side: just because something is bad in real life doesn't mean it's bad in fiction. In real life it might be a bad idea to drive the Batmobile through traffic at 150 mph. But I kind of think it's okay in fiction. I don't think that's real rush hour traffic. You know? It's even possible that Gotham isn't a real city.

As a guy who makes his living writing fiction I think it would be great if everyone understood this line. Real life over here, fiction over there. Not the same. I don't want to shock anyone but Jack Bauer isn't real. Sadly, Dick Cheney is.

That being said, my favorite Jack moment: when he shoots the molester and cuts off his head doing a "Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia" thing.

"I'm going to need a hacksaw."

Here's hoping that in this new season Jack will need a hacksaw. And then feel kinda bad about it.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 10.01.2009 @ 14:13



Were you to write something coherent I'd respond.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.01.2009 @ 23:33

I don't see why we'd want to start talking to people we don't like. Not when our current policy of refusing to talk to people we don't like has been such a stunning success.

By the way, does anyone know whether Fidel has finally died a peaceful death in his own bed? How about the Iranian theocrats? Still around, are they? They haven't evaporated from the withering heat of our silent treatment?

The policy of wishing problems away is ineffective. We made progress by talking to the Chinese, not by ignoring them. And the Chinese were no bundle of fun under Mao. Diplomacy can occasionally be effective. So can armed force. Neither is always effective.

You do what works. Which sometimes means trying a lot of different things. Like diplomacy. And if that doesn't work, well then, it doesn't work. So you try something else.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.01.2009 @ 14:10


To the aptly-named "BS"

Not now. Not with Obama as commander in chief.

Get something straight: Mr. Bush and the GOP have zero credibility in this or any other area of policy. Zero. You may regain some at some point. But right now a Republican sneer at Obama is like Zippy the Pinhead dissing Einstein.

Not with Obama as Commander in Chief? Nah, it'd be so much better with the current Commander who was, um, commanding us up to and including the moment this latest mess blew up.


Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.01.2009 @ 00:12

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