Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Friday, December 16, 2011

A sad day for Oregon

Commentary By Ron Beasley

Oregon is a progressive state and is well represented by Senator Jeff Merkley. Ron Wyden has been slowly moving to the right but his latest move is a knife in the back of all Democrats running in 2012.

Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Paul Ryan propose overhaul of Medicare

WASHINGTON � In an unlikely partnership, Sen. Ron Wyden joined Rep. Paul Ryan on Wednesday in a plan for remodeling Medicare to ensure its long-term future.

The plan that Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon and Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, rolled out is a hybrid of earlier ideas, modified and repackaged in a way they hope will soften the partisan political turmoil.

Medicare serves more than 47 million Americans and is nearly sacred politically. At the same time, the ballooning costs projected for Medicare threaten both the popular program and the national economy.

The congressional debate over Medicare typically pits Democrats resisting change against Republicans complaining about costs. By wading into that debate together -- and doing it in an election year -- Wyden and Ryan hope to convince lawmakers from both parties to have what Wyden called "a different conversation."

The Democrats were planning to run against Paul Ryan's medicare plan in 2012.  Wyden just made that much more difficult if not impossible. Ryan himself may have been vulnerable.  This is the sort of thing you would expect from a blue dog Democrat from a conservative state not a Democrat from Oregon.  Needless to say progressives and Democrats in the state are furious.  Wyden was just reelected in 2010 I anticipate he will be a Republican by 2016. 


  1. I'm seeing a bunch of positive responses even from Democrats, a development I find disturbing. There are two problems with the hybrid proposal of which I am aware.
    1. What is being pushed is Medicare Advantage, the private insurance alternative to Original Medicare. Allowing states to structure Medicare alternative exchanges is letting too many foxes into the henhouse. Some will be responsible but there seems to be no provision to promote real competition in the insurance market. Cherry-picking eliminating the most costly cases is a real probability.
    2. Once a Medicare beneficiary opts to switch to the private insurance market there's no going back without underwriting approval unless you are prepared to go naked (without supplemental Medigap coverage). I would not have known this unless a helpful agent informed me, but most seniors are not that alert.

  2. My concern is not so much the content - Wyden is owned by Blue Cross/Blue Shield so it's not a surprise. It's the timing.