Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conservatives and Facts

As I have made my posts here and engaged in spirited discussions with people who had opposing opinions I have been struck by one recurring theme of these discussions.

Facts, or the lack there of.

In discussions of global warming I hear opinions. I also here non-factual statements that are not true despite the positive nature of the statement. I got told once that Global Warming was not real because mankind wasn't that powerful. My favorite is that temperature readings more than 50 or so years old are meaningless since older measurements weren't as accurate as they are now. A statement that displays such a basic lack of understanding of science and statistics as to almost disqualify the speaker from being allowed to voice an opinion on any scientific matter.

On evolution I have been told that since the theory of evolution is not perfect and because we haven't found a complete fossil record linking our ancestors to those of the great apes, that creationism is equally as valid as evolution despite the simple fact that creationism makes no scientific attempt to explain the available data.

Talking about Gay Marriage, opponents have all sorts of dire predictions about social consequences if we allow gay marriage but they have no studies or data from those places that do allow gay marriage that supports their beliefs.

One consistent refrain of conservatives and Republicans in the health care debate was that without Tort Reform the reforms would not be able to constrain health care costs. The problem is that every study I have seen shows that medical malpractice awards add something around 1.5% to health care costs and that limiting punative and non-economic damages would change that number very little. They don't mention that Texas placed significant caps on punative awards and then saw malpractice insurance rates go up even faster than before, not down as promised.

The Health Care debate has been one continuous stream of lies in attacks on the various plans, most famously the Death Panels, something the habitually fact challenged Sarah Palin continues to talk about.

I have asked Conservatives/Republicans for some facts that they wanted to brag about and tell me what great things Conservatives/Republicans have done for this country and none of them had any Conservative/Republican accomplishments to brag about.

Republicans/Conservatives advocate constantly for tax cuts as a solution for almost every problem. And they keep claiming that tax cuts pay for themselves and that they spur economic growth despite all the studies that show that tax cuts by themselves have a very small positive short term impact on growth and long term actually retard growth and never never pay for themselves.

20 years ago the same people were claiming that cigaretts weren't addictive.

The amazing thing is that Conservatives and Republicans are consistently wrong about the facts and they just don't seem to care.

Tort Reform

I am looking for help
I have been doing some research on Tort Reform, particularly medical malpractice tort reform and would be very interested in any studies that any of you have seen that show that excessive medical malpractice awards are actually a significant factor in health care inflation.
I have looked and cannot find any studies that make that claim.
Can anybody help?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Activist Supreme Court

Its funny in a twisted way.
An activist Supreme Court overturns a century of laws and previous ruling and screwed all of us.
And conservatives/Republicans seem to love it. Now corporations can spend their money without limit in direct support of the candidates of their choice.
When Barack Obama ran for President in 2008, he raised an amazing amount of money. Hundreds of millions of dollars, from millions of individual donors.
And the Supreme Court of the United States just made that into chump change. If the 10 biggest banks can give their employees 10's of Billions of dollars in bonuses, imaging how much they might be willing to spend to ensure that they are allowed to continue to make huge profits while taking ridiculous risks with other people's money.
And that's only the financial industry
Look at how much the Health Insurance industry has spent, all the while trying to hide how much they were spending, to oppose any real reform in the health insurance market.

Needless to say, I think this decision will turn out to be a disaster for this country. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Republicans and conservatives seem to love this ruling. I just wonder if now they will stop whining about activist judges.
I doubt it.