Category Archives: healthcare

Donald Trump, George W. Bush’s third term

By Joseph Ballin 8/9/2017 12:46 AM EST

One thing that really drives me up a wall is when people say “Trump makes me wish we had Bush as president again.” When Gore Vidal said we are the United States of Amnesia, he wasn’t fucking joke. Bush was the second worst president (second only to the current asshole) in US history and nearly destroyed the country and the world. Growing up under Bush for me was like someone growing up under Hitler or Franco, it’s a dark time in your history to remember. I simply refer to it as “The Dark Times”. In fact Trump has brought back a lot of memories that I tried to suppress from the Bush administration.

Not to mention the fact it was Bush’s stupidity that helped create Trump in the first place. If Bush was never president, we never get McCain picking Sarah Palin, and if we never got her, we never got Trump. For all the MAGA chuds out there who said Trump would be different from from Bush, where are they now? In fact Trump has become Bush’s third term. Here’s some stuff Bush and Trump both did as president:

1. Bush killed the nuclear deal Bill Clinton established with North Korea, Trump just killed the nuclear deal with Iran that was established by Obama.
2. Both bombed an Arab Baathist country in the middle east for no reason at all.
3. Both came in trying to be friendly with Putin, only to have relations deteriorate dramatically over their presidency.
4. Both expanded NATO.
5. Both ran on an anti-interventionist foreign policy during their respective elections, only to turn into full blown neocon war mongers the second they get into the white house.

Other than that, every thing else is standard stuff presidents do in terms of foreign policy, which is basically war mongering and war crimes, along with breaking international and US law. One key difference between Bush and Trump foreign policy, Bush talked alot about freedom and democracy, Trump has the foreign policy of the Golden Horde, rape and pillage.

1. Both reenacted the Mexico City policy that was previously resided by president Clinton and Obama.
2. The civil rights department of the US government has been largely rendered defunct under both GWB and Trump.
3. The Bush administration abandons ratification Kyoto Protocol, while the Trump administration leaves Paris Deal.

On LGBT issues, I would say Trump is actually WORSE for LGBT Americans than Bush. Trump may not have ran an openly anti-LGBT campaign, but if you had looked at the 2016 GOP platform, it looked like something out of Nazi Germany on LGBT rights. The following things Trump has done on LGBT rights over the last 200 days: removed any referenced to LGBT people or civil rights on white house website, rescind Obama’s guidelines on transgender students bathroom access, rescinded Obama’s federal contractors executive order covering sexual orientation and gender identity, appointed a bunch of batshit insane Christian fucktards to various government departments and courts, gender identity not covered in US census, argued sexual orientation isn’t covered under civil rights laws, banned transgender service members from the US military, and a bunch of other awful shit.

Trump hasn’t been able (thank the gods) to get a lot of bills signed into place, outside of the recent sanctions bill he signed on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. No deathcare bill passed, not tax cuts passed, no federal right to work bullshit, etc. Outside of alot of deregulation and taking healthcare away from women, he’s been a failure for the most part in terms of the oligarchic Christian fascist movement in the US. Let’s hope the next 100 days have Trump signing stupid shit like the Fred Thompson courthouse and not stuff like privatizing social security.

The Sam Seder Tim Black debate, or the Sam talks over Tim while Michael Brooks makes snarky commentary.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/iyXhdzgGOSc/maxresdefault.jpg

By Joseph Ballin 6/29/2017 5:37 PM EST

Reader’s note: I am a fan of both Sam Seder’s The Majority Report and The Tim Black Show. I do not hold any hostilities towards either person debating in this piece and am writing this to illustrate how we on the left can find better solutions to our problems. That being said I’m biased toward Tim in this debate.

What’s the difference between a liberal and a progressive? Personally I don’t care or like these labels. Hillary described herself as a “progressive who can get stuff done.” So I couldn’t care less about those labels, but Tim goes into what I think he meant is between neoliberal corporate shills and people who want change in this country. Yes Sam is correct that the Majority Report does talk about all of the issues that Tim Black listed. So Sam goes to Tim’s youtube page and criticizes him for not covering healthcare enough. However, Sam has not watched Tim’s show and doesn’t know that he’s covered healthcare numerous times on his show. And now Sam goes into the Seth Rich / Kimdotcom territory.

The one thing me and Jimmy Dore have both been very clear on, we want evidence. We want evidence of Russiagate, evidence Assad gassed his own people, evidence for or against the Seth Rich cover up, etc. That’s reality based thinking. That’s why I’m an agnostic atheist, because I can’t prove there isn’t a god/gods, but there is no evidence that they do exist so there is no reason for me to believe in them. In fact, nothing in the universe can be proven. A fact is a statement that is taken to be true based off of evidence. It is something we collectively as a society agree what is real and fake. A theory is a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.

Ok now that we got that out of the way let’s deconstruct all this shit. There is no verifiable evidence Russia hacked, interfered, or colluded with Donald Trump or his campaign. In fact, as president, US relations with Russia under Trump are at a record low. Trump has repeatedly attacked the government of Bashar Al-Assad and Iranian militias several times, Russia’s allies. Trump signed a treaty expanding NATO to Montenegro, something Russia opposes. He signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which authorized $100 million dollars for the “Countering Russian Influence Fund”, to counter “Russian influence and aggression” and to “support civil society organizations in Europe and Eurasia.” It also included a measure imposing new restrictions and oversight on Russian diplomats in the United State. The Act also includes provisions that no appropriated funds may be used to support the Russian annexation of Crimea and assist Crimea, if such assistance includes the participation of Russian Government officials, or other Russian owned or controlled financial entities. It also states that no funds may be used to support “the Russian occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia” or to assist the central governments of other countries that have recognized the two territories’ independence. On top of all that, US has imposes more sanctions on Russia during Trump’ presidency. If Trump’s a Russian puppet, he’s doing a really shitty at it.

Again this is not to say there isn’t business ties Trump has to Russia, like with Deutsche bank and Trump hotels because he’s a billionaire, but he also has business ties to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Philippines, Azerbaijan, mafia, etc., but the mainstream media never mentions this. Why does mainstream media never bring up the fact General Flynn was a paid agent of the Turkish government? Why does the mainstream media not bring up the fact Trump appointed all these Goldman Sachs people because of his ties to Israel? Or China provisionally granting Trump 38 trademarks after getting elected? Or the Clinton’s business dealings in Russia? So there is enormous hypocrisy on this issue. Focus on Russia and nothing else. Why you may ask? Because starting a new cold war with Russia ensures defense contractors can make giant profit because now we have a great power enemy again. Also we can’t start a cold war with China because our economies are to tied together. It has less to do with Trump himself and more to do with more spending on the military and strengthening the police state. That’s why you don’t hear anything about getting rid of voting machines or having open, fair, and free elections.

As for the Syria gassing of 2017, the entire thing was brought up so briefly and forgotten about so quick by mainstream media and the Trump administration it really makes you wonder what really did happen in Syria. Why has there been no independent UN investigation into the gassing? There is no evidence Assad ordered the gassing of any civilians. As for the Seth Rich story, I stated on day one when I first heard about the Seth Rich murder that I found it very fishy. I have no idea is Seth Rich was the Wikileaks leaker or who killed him, but I do know a couple things. I do know Assange has hinted, but not confirmed, to Seth Rich being the leaker. Wikileaks, outside of the Garani Massacre Video which they said they would publish, but never did, has been 100% on point. So now that we got all that out of the way, back to the debate.

So Sam now brings up whether or not it’s a good thing to promote the Russia fear mongering story to split off three Republican votes in the Senate for healthcare. First of all I won’t advocate a new cold war with Russia over healthcare. Second of all why does Sam think Russia influences how Republican senators vote on healthcare. We’ve already seen the Senate healthcare bill be delayed because of how awful it is. People aren’t thinking about Russia when they think of healthcare, they are thinking of NOT DYING! Plus I would wager all that corporate cash the Republicans senators take is more of an influence than the so called Russia scandal over Trump’s head. The only thing that will force Republicans to change their votes on healthcare is though mass movements.

Now Black brings up the rigged 2016 Democratic primary and the DNC fraud lawsuit. Tim brings up exit polling being used by the US to determine whether an election is legit or bs in foreign countries. I would like to point out that irregularities in exit polling in Ukraine were cited by the US and EU for the fascist coup in Ukraine. And I would also like to point out Sam Seder has had on Greg Palast on Ring of Fire, someone who says the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged. But ok Sam I guess the primary wasn’t “rigged.”

Continuing on Tim brings why Democrats blaming progressives for the lose of Hillary Clinton. So Tim brings up Susan Sarandon and her revolution comment about Trump, stating we are seeing a revolution already taking place under Trump. Ok so I agree and disagree with Tim here. A revolution against Donald Trump hasn’t sustained itself, yet. It needs to be sustained though mass rallies every week and civil disobedience in the streets. And I believe a revolution under Trump can happen if he topples Assad and invades Iran

Michael continues to break into this heated debate to make a funny comment. Now we get back to Seth Rich. So Sam again thinks that it’s crazy to think that politicians won’t murder people to cover up corruption. I agree Tim Black that we need to ask questions. Again I’m an agnostic on Seth Rich, I don’t know who killed Seth Rich.

One of the most damming quotes from the Sam Seder vs Tim Black debate comes right around here. “She (Nancy Pelosi) is a great leader. I would not support a challenge to her” – Sam Seder. Ok so let’s give Sam the benefit of the doubt and say Pelosi wasn’t guilty for the thousands of losses of Democrats in elections over the past decade or so. So why is it Sam doesn’t bring up the fact Pelosi didn’t do shit to bring about real progressive change during her time as speaker from 2007 to 2011? She opposes single payer, she didn’t prosecute GWB, and she didn’t bring up the Employee Free Choice Act.

And finally Sam says Steny Hoyer would be worse than Pelosi. So Sam why not get rid of Hoyer? And if he’s replaced with another corporate Dem get rid of them until we get someone who will at least listen to progressives. That’s what the Republicans did with Eric Cantor and their party is stronger than ever. Tim brings up the fact Sam voted for Hillary Clinton in New York, a blue non-swing state, but he doesn’t blame Hillary for not appointing Bernie Sanders as her VP pick, which everyone agrees would have won her the election. You know why she didn’t do it? Because of spite and corporate greed. She would rather lose to a Republican than give an inch to progressives, and that’s why we have Trump.

The Hypocrisy of Risk Management

Listening to the snorting pigs on right wing radio, in the wake of the Japan earthquake / tsunami / nuclear meltdown situation, these hypocritical pigs scramble to lay cover for their beloved cash cow, the nuclear energy business.

Heard a fat bozo to remain unnamed saying how all energy comes with risk, oil, coal, natural gas explosions, cave ins, and nuclear is just like any other. The pig man said that whiny liberals want to create a fantasy realm where there are no accidents and we all live in a clean fairy land.

Wait a minute Miss Lippy…when you have a dangerous money making venture you got a responsibility to assess that risk!! You get out there and you clean up your messes!!

No so fast junior. Instead do a fake assessment of risk, make as much money as possible, and lawyer up. Piggo says all energy all has risk….wait a second pighead, how about your precious insurance companies?? You give them the liberty to assess risk all day long, so that in the name of profit, they say some risks, like pre-existing conditions, are just too darn risky.

If Pig-run insurance companies can assess risk and act accordingly, then why can’t we the people do the same? Fossil fuels and nukes are pre-existing conditions, and we should begin to wean ourselves from them, so that those energy sources with less risk, solar, wind, can pay us back a fat profit, which is of course the earth, in one piece. Clean energy is betta, it makes the earth silky and smooth.

Stop looking at me, swan.

Pre-existing Conditions (ANOTHER FREE SONG!)

Prepare for a whole new dimension in Reefercake productions…presenting Mrs. Reefercake on the Drums!!

Pre-existing conditions

Last friday on the Majority Report, someone IM’d about Huntington’s disease…also said they liked my song “how’d you get that job?” but that is beside the point…They were worried about getting tested, because they could be nailed with a pre-existing condition.

I am obsessed with healthcare system, kind of how sammy is obsessed with social security. I googled around and found this. The situation is pretty fucked up – essentially you need to hide and lie and play games….

http://www.lkwdpl.org/hdsa/hdtest.htm
from this site…
“Are the test results confidential?

Test results should be kept confidential and should only be given to another person with your written permission. On an initial call to a testing center, you should ask how confidentiality is ensured.”

so go and get the test, but make sure the place is confidential and only get a claim in for your insurance, if your test comes up clean.

If you do test positive for the huntington’s disease gene, don’t submit the claim, and keep if confidential. Also keep in mind, that marijuana has been effective in treatment, so keep hope alive, there are treatments. Best wishes.

Tardball

HA! I forgot about this… Here’s legendary nitwit Chris Matthews berating Alan Grayson not two short months ago about Grayson’s assertion that health care reform would ultimately get passed via reconciliation.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It’s almost as if Matthews has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. Unpossible!

Meanwhile, Grayson is now up to 80 House co-sponsors of his Medicare For All bill with 40,000 petition signers. Have you signed the petition yet?

Relatedly, here’s a nice summary by Robert Reich about the philosophical roots of the HCR legislation that was passed last night…

Medicare built on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal notion of government as insurer, with citizens making payments to government, and government paying out benefits. That was the central idea of Social Security, and Medicare piggybacked on Social Security.

Obama’s legislation comes from an alternative idea, begun under the Eisenhower administration and developed under Nixon, of a market for health care based on private insurers and employers. Eisenhower locked in the tax break for employee health benefits; Nixon pushed prepaid, competing health plans, and urged a requirement that employers cover their employees. Obama applies Nixon’s idea and takes it a step further by requiring all Americans to carry health insurance, and giving subsidies to those who need it.

So don’t believe anyone who says Obama’s health care legislation marks a swing of the pendulum back toward the Great Society and the New Deal. Obama’s health bill is a very conservative piece of legislation, building on a Republican rather than a New Deal foundation. The New Deal foundation would have offered Medicare to all Americans or, at the very least, featured a public insurance option.

I’m not posting this in order to be (too) cynical about the new legislation.  As Reich notes, the larger political significance is the rebuke of Reaganism, which I can fully appreciate.  But it’s not nearly enough, which is why it is so critical that Grayson continues to push Medicare For All.

UPDATE:

Noam Chomsky’s take on the bill.

H.R. 4789

Alan Mother-Fucking Grayson…

Will somebody please put this man in charge??? Can you imagine if this had been the health care plan that Democrats were pimping from the get-go? All the bullshit fretting and hand-wringing and, quite frankly, republican empowerment we could have avoided. But instead, Democrats act like Republicans, Republicans hypocritically demonize them for doing their dirty work, and the rest of us get disgusted and turn off politics. You’d think that the Democratic Party would somehow cease to exist if the insurance/drug company money suddenly dried up.

(via)

UPDATE:

Tom Mother-Fucking Tomorrow

Embrace Failure Open Thread

I tried to watch some of the Health Care Summit on teevee yesterday, but it was fairly unwatchable, not least because of the cable channels. It wasn’t on C-SPAN – later I learned they buried it on C-SPAN3 (seriously? not even 2?) – so I landed on CNN, who managed to cut away to their gasbags every time one of the non-leadership Democrats started to speak. Then at the break they told me that what I was seeing from Republicans was “an honest difference of opinion”.

Anyway, this is a nice compendium of the things I missed thanks to commercials and Wolf’s talking beard. I must say, I did not know Rochester’s Louise Slaughter was a suthna.

And just as a side note to the whole stupid idea of this summit, which seems to be nothing more than a prelude to using reconciliation (aka majority rule) to pass healthcare reform – can you imagine if republicans felt the need to do the same thing prior to passing the tax cuts? The average person has no idea those things passed with a mere majority vote. Furthermore, nobody gives a shit! Just Pass The Damn Bill!

Update: See also, Greg Sargent

Take action before all the Democratic Senators Resign

The public option is making a comeback thanks to Michael Bennet and three other brave senators. Contact Harry Reid now before all the Democratic Senators resign because Republicans are hurting their feelings. Maybe those of you popular enough to have more than 20 facebook friends can post this as well.

And here’s a little commentary on Evan Bayh, the latest Repub- er, Democrat to announce he will be leaving the Senate.

We are all Ron Burgundy now

The Choakely loss is the best thing that could have happened to this horrific healthcare reform effort.  I say that for no other reason than that it will push us across the finish line.  We’ve been subjected to this shit for the last 9 months, drowning out all the other (major, growing, worsening) problems like unemployment, foreclosures, wars, you name it.  It’s time to put it to bed and move on.  Sad as it is, I find the new political calculus to be extremely clarifying.  Here are the facts as I see them:

  1. The Senate bill is nothing short of a major disappointment for all right-thinking progressives everywhere.
  2. Given GOP obstructionism, there is absolutely no way in hell another comprehensive bill gets to the Senate floor for a vote.  That ship has now sailed.  Permanently and forever.
  3. Congressmen are worthless assholes.

Granted, all three of these points are major negatives.  However, thanks to number 2, the issue is now binary: is the Senate bill better or worse than the status quo? We no longer have the luxury of debating the relative merits of various proposals.  There is only one choice left.  Does the House pass the Senate bill or not?

Consider that the Democrats will never again have the kind of majorities they have right now.  No matter what happens, it’s as good as gone in ten short months.  They took half-assed measures to combat a horrible economic climate, and for that they will be rightfully punished.  More accurately, we’ll all be punished, with Republicans.  But before that happens, they have to leave the people with something meaningful.  Otherwise they serve no purpose – why even have two political parties?  Can they really be that pathetic as to pass nothing at all?

Alarmed by the nonstop posts from Josh Marshall about House Democrats in disarray, I called my Rep yesterday to find out where he stood.  The intern had the gall to tell me that Sarbanes is a strong supporter of the public option and is waiting to see what happens to the bill after it comes out of conference.  Look, pal, I hate to spoil this for you, but I hope the conference bill is made out of two-ply so the Republicans won’t chafe their asses when they use it to wipe.  Even though they already passed one bill, the Senate still requires another cloture vote for the merged bill, and the Republicans have made it eminently clear that it’s not going to happen.  Therefore, who gives a shit what happens to it in conference?  I shudder to think how much worse the bill would have to become in order to get a Republican vote.  I’m guessing drastically reduced subsidies for the poor, because what else is there left to take?

So back to the question at hand: does the Senate bill improve the current state of healthcare for Americans or make it worse? And there’s really no question that for tens of millions of unlucky bastards, it’s an improvement.  So if you’re a Democrat in the House, you have to take the teabags out of your eyes and pass this fucking bill.  Right now they’re acting like Ron Burgundy when first presented with a plate of cat poop: denial.  I’m here to say, you put that cat poo in your mouth!  The insurance company hacks managed to drag this thing out long enough and by god, they did it.  They killed the public option!  It’s fucking dead.  Recriminations all around.  But guess what.  The so-called “public option” that was on the table was never anything more than a progressive fig leaf, something to distract from the absence of true single payer.  The proposals on the table were all weak as hell and were always going to require additional legislation to improve and expand.  So it is with this bill.  And the Senate bill puts us in a better future position than no bill at all.

One thing I’ll say about the rude awakening that Democrats received this week, it shook everyone out of their comfort zone.  Nothing wrong with the noises I’m hearing about fixing this or that poison pill in reconciliation.  The House seems so righteously pissed about having to eat the poop that I think odds are better that they’ll actually make it right.  Probably wishful thinking, but put it this way… if the Senate bill does in fact have as many shitty parts as everyone lets on, then there’ll be that much more motivation to fix it.  Hell, things got so hot for Nelson over his “Cornhusker Kickback” that he’s been preemptively begging them to take it out.  How often does that happen?

Here’s another reason I like the new situation, as opposed to what we were facing a mere week ago.  With 60 votes off the table, Nelson and Lieberman and the rest of the jackass caucus become instantly irrelevant.  I can’t be the only one who fully expected Lieberman to screw us over and turn Republican at the final cloture vote, WWF-style, with a folding chair to Harry Reid’s head as he crossed the aisle.  The supermajority actually empowers too many assholes, and in fact emboldens the GOP to be completely obstructionist.  Because after all, “Dems have 60 votes, it’s not our fault they’re incompetent!” is pathetic, but had a point.  Now I think (hope) we’ll see more legislation that forces them to make tough votes.  For instance, I dare them to filibuster bank reform.

OK, now I’m rambling.  All I’m saying is, despite all the angst coming from the netroots this week, I actually expect the Democrats to absorb these blows and come out swinging after Wednesday’s State of the Union address.  If they do, it will take everyone by surprise, and they’ll get that much more credit for doing something that should have been a goddamn given all along.  And if they don’t, well… I’m Ron Burgundy.  Go fuck yourself, America.

UPDATESteve Benen has the manifesto.

* * * * *

Apropos of nothing, I’m sitting here watching Festival Express on netflix as I type.  Highly recommended… I was going to link Don’t Ease Me In until I realized Pinky posted the very same clip a year ago.  So Buddy Guy gets the nod instead.  Band is hot, so crank the volume up as loud as it goes for this one…

The enemy of my enemy is my fellow technocrat

There’s been a recent outbreak of Blogger Warz!! between two of my favorites, Greenwald and Krugman.  It’s good reading, so I won’t bother excerpting (ok maybe a little).  Greenwald wrote an article discussing Obama advisor and current Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, and a recent paper he published regarding preferred methods of government propaganda.  Greenwald:

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.”  He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).   This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”  Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.

Greenwald rightly notes that if it was a Bush Administration official proposing these things, we’d be pissed.  Things start to get hot, however, when later in the article Greenwald makes note of the recently uncovered relationship between “independent health care modeling expert” Jon Gruber and the Obama Administration, namely a $400,000 contract to provide cost estimates on the impacts of various reform proposals.  This is a guy who is an MIT health economist, technical expert and leader in the field.  It’s definitely a good thing that lawmakers are relying on technical experts to help craft new laws that will have sweeping impact on society.  But he has repeatedly failed to disclose his financial ties to the current reform effort, even as he advocates for it (op-eds, NYT, WaPo, etc) and is in turn held out as a technical expert by senators, administration officials, etc, trying to sell their plan.

Krugman leaps to Gruber’s defense (and his own), not because the guy’s actions were particularly defensible, but because the revelations have the potential to be politically damaging in this final hour of healthcare reform.  (These shady things are supposed to come out after the fact, not during!)  He closes with this:

And here’s the thing: by claiming that there’s a huge scandal when nothing worse happened than insufficient care about disclosure, Greenwald and the people at FDL are actually reducing our ability to call foul on real corruption. After all, if everything is a scandal, nothing is a scandal. One of these days, perhaps soon, we’ll have a genuinely corrupt administration again — but when whistleblowers try to call attention to the misdeeds, you can be sure that there will be claims that “even liberals said that Obama did things just as bad or worse.”  The crusade against Gruber is getting really destructive.

As I had hoped, Greenwald responded to Krugman this morning, and pretty much dismantled his argument with the Vulcan logic we’ve come to expect.

For me, this is the nub of the matter.  I couldn’t disagree more with Krugman’s claim here, as he has it exactly backwards.  What will make it impossible to effectively call out wrongdoing by future corrupt administrations (by which Krugman seems to mean:  Republican administrations) is the willingness of some people to tolerate and defend corruption when done by “their side.”  The next time we have what Krugman calls a “genuinely corrupt administration” which, say, secretly pays people they’re holding out as “independent” experts, the administration’s defenders will say:  “how can you possibly object to our doing this when Obama did it, and not only did you fail to object then, but you defended it?”

I don’t expect Krugman will respond further to this, if for no other reason than it will continue to give oxygen to the controversy.  In many ways this dispute epitomizes the burgeoning grudge match on the left between those who are Democratic true believers, and those who are willing to cry foul no matter who is in charge.  I’m sympathetic to both sides (which I previously would not be, had we not just lived through the Bush administration) and am curious what others think about this.  Here’s those links again:

Greenwald argument

Krugman rebuttal

Greenwald rebuttal

UPDATE:

Marcy Wheeler rebuttal, responding to claims from Krugles that she’s a scandal-monger