links for 2009-11-02

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

16 replies on “links for 2009-11-02”

  1. There are going to be many TARP recipients who won’t make good on the investment. That’s just the way the cookie (or financial system) crumbles. We probably won’t get all the money back from GM. And I am still skeptical that we will get it back out of AIG. But we won’t hear a lot about that from the Treasury. They are going to just tout how they have earned interest from the banks that have paid it back.

    Chances are since we have waited so long to do anything on financial reform, we’ll get something half-assed that won’t fix anything. And then in 10 years when it blows up in our faces again, we can all laugh at this crisis that was. This is, of course, if we don’t fall into a repeat pattern of Japan’s lost decade.

  2. On behalf of all the people waiting for an organ, thanks a lot for that title. We really appreciate your help. What do you do for your friends, I wonder?

  3. @soon-to-be-needing-one:

    I don’t know Waldo, but I’d actually be surprised if he wasn’t an organ donor.

  4. Soon-to-be, do you think potential organ donors should NOT be told that having one kidney could be considered a pre-existing condition by some insurers and could result in the organ donor having trouble getting/keeping health insurance down the road?

    It does seem to me like a really crappy way to treat organ donors, but I’d be mad at our current health care system for allowing for-profit companies to monopolize this market and to pursue cost-cutting strategies like excluding the less-than-perfectly-healthy. I wouldn’t be mad at Waldo for pointing this fact out.

  5. Politico had a much better live results map on their website. Check it out on their site (go to Politico and click on Virginia for the election results).

    My major beef with the SBE map is the county results come up as giant yellow blocks with text in them. Not graphically pleasing. Politico also less susceptible to election night problems.

  6. when all is said and done, it’s going to reflect a much different outcome than predicted a few months ago…

    ? I didn’t predict an outcome. I said that, as of June 12, “McDonnell is positioned to come in five points behind Creigh Deeds,” but that “a lot can and will happen between now and November.” Both you and I figured then that the race was Creigh’s to lose. I think that’s true, what with him losing. :)

  7. Fair enough. I must add, though, that I was being generous in choosing that particular post. There are others where you have predicted the imminent, long term demise of the Virginia GOP. Might need to rethink that one.

  8. Not demise in the literal sense. :) But, yes, I absolutely have seen my political blogging as the chronicle of the long, slow slide of the RPV, focusing on the steady loss of seats. Republicans have lost the majority in the congressional delegation, both U.S. Senate seats, the state senate and, for a time, the governor’s seat. The only thing that changed hands yesterday was the governor’s seat, and that because McDonnell had the sense to pretend he’s somebody that he’s not. But that’s awfully noteworthy, since Republicans in Virginia have long run to the right—adapting is a new trick. :) But, yes, this is clearly a reversal for fortunes for the RPV. I’ll need to think it over before I write anything about it. That’s an unusual tack for a blogger, I guess, but I’ve found that I prefer it. :)

  9. I am an organ donor, in the sense that my driver’s license indicates that my organs are to be harvested upon my death, but not in the sense that I have ever donated a kidney or chunk of my liver. Cecil, you are exactly right: living donors have to know about what they’re about to get into. I’ve been really interested in individuals who donate kidneys to strangers, and have done some reading on the topic in the past couple years. It’s a rare thing for people to do, and it’s a ethical and practical morass. Surely we want people to have as much information as possible, and not hide information from them, prior to donating an organ.

    Also, of course, this highlights the problems with our health insurance industry. They are acting rationally in increasing the premiums of donors—with just one kidney, any future kidney problems are disastrous, rather than merely bad, so it’s logical that health insurers would be wary. But societally, we want to encourage people to donate organs, not punish them for doing so. It’s further evidence that we need a national healthcare system.

  10. Waldo, it’s one thing to call for reform because living donors run serious risks in terms of inability to obtain insurance in the future. It’s another thing entirely to exhort people NOT to become donors, as your headline suggested. IMHO (not like it hits home or anything, ahem).

  11. I didn’t exhort people not to. I suggested that they “think twice” because it may make them uninsurable. You don’t really believe that people shouldn’t think through fully (or at least “twice”) the health-related ramifications of donating a kidney, do you?

  12. Of course not. But many people who are already on the fence don’t need to be pushed, in either direction. One has to pass a battery of psychological tests to be a living donor & now it appears that the counselors who perform those test also should (must!) be required, ethically, to disclose this (if they don’t already… a friend who has kindly made the offer for me recently, & is aware of the ramifications, will soon find out just how frank the counselors are. It will be interesting.)

    This is obviously a very sensitive subject for many folks. Interestingly, UVA is changing its benefits to cut back on dialysis & other prescription drug reimbursements (I’m sure you’re already well versed in the benefits changes, of course).

    Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to respond, although I still believe that “think twice” can & will be misinterpreted by at least some people.

    And sadly, I believe that if any health reform measures include an opt-out clause, you can bet that Mr McDonnell will be first in line to exempt Virginia.

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