Thursday, August 22, 2013

Recommended Documentary "Hot Coffee"

If you are a savvy fellow or gal, you do not need to watch "Hot Coffee". You already understand how consent is manufactured. Hot Coffee is great though because it goes meta. It becomes that which is bemoans. It is propaganda about the evils of propaganda campaigns married to political money. Don't watch it though, tell your friends to watch it. Make sure you discuss it with them after and then point out five or so progressive campaigns that have gone exactly as the documentary describes. This movie will reveal to a wide audience exactly how our political process works with the true molders of public opinion and for what ends.

This is a documentary produced and directed by Susan Saladoff. She is a medical malpractice attorney (political donations). Attorneys are great at crafting narratives in courtrooms, so a heavily edited documentary is not a big leap. "Hot Coffee" is about that little old lady that spilled coffee on herself and got millions. It was a prime example of sue happy America. The entire pitch of the movie is that cases like that were blown out of proportion int he media to get the message out there. Later, political operatives on the right took money from corporations and the chamber of commerce to jump on the primed public to pass tort reform bills. That evil son of a bitch Karl Rove got George W. Bush to do it in Texas, and he nearly did it to America. To soothe the liberal mind, you see former President Clinton biting his lip when he says he is vetoing a tort reform bill and President Obama waving tort reform off. Phew. At least someone in DC is fighting for us.

Right when you see how the system works and are disgusted, they hit you with a medical screw up involving a baby. The kid went from normal to disabled because of a medical screw up. Did the family get $6.5 million? No, they only got $1.2 million. The film brings up other sad stories. There is the good politician that the evil right wing business interests targeted. There is also the young woman who worked for Halliburton who said she was raped (jury disagreed) while working in Iraq and forced to accept arbitration (no mention of Halliburton's legal requirement to be an equal opportunity employer even when in an active war zone). This movie brilliantly explains how we go from the media molding opinion to interests finding politicians to politicians enacting and executing laws. They reveal the entire democratic process for reforms, crusades, etc.

Why? This documentary is the very thing that it is shrieking about. The doc wants you to be against tort reform. In fact, it wants you to support repealing tort reform. It even softens you up with the baby story, which kills any parent. The reason why they made this documentary was for their moneyed interests on their side of the aisle. Lawyers. The lawyer lobby is huge. They dwarf donations by many other industries, and are a heavy hitter industry for campaign donations. Their donations go to democrats 75% of the time. The movie is made revealing all of the secrets for political legislative campaigns because the lefties finally found one that was right wing orchestrated. This documentary skips over gay marriage, health care reform, pro-immigration, pro-civil rights, and every other modern political crusade because those crusades are pet issues of the left. Tort reform hurts lawyers. This documentary reveals how single issue political movements work without any fear that viewers would turn the logic back on them because they are so confident in their power over the megaphone. Low information, functionally illiterate leftists buy the big biz only loves the GOP message, but the Obama era has taught everyone how money feeds both parties. This film maker is arrogant to think this would not backfire on them.

This documentary does hint at a problem facing the left in their pursuit of single payer health care. There is a trick to single payer health care that foreign countries use for malpractice. There is a board and set amounts per the malpractice. No trial. No chance for a jackpot. No chance for lawyers to get a nice fat cut for pain and suffering based on a jury's mindset. Believe me, the coffee case reveals how foolish it is to entrust awards to juries. The McDonald's company did set coffee temperatures too high (still are) per franchise rules. The jury (of old ladies) thought that it was wrong of McDonald's to brush away the 700 prior complaints about spills. They then set the award per two days' worth of coffee sales, which totaled $2.7 million. Stop for a moment. This was twenty years ago. If McDonald's sold $1.35 million in coffee per day and coffee then was $1 or less, they probably sold over 1 million coffees a day. Even if they had 700 complaints in one day, that is a success rate of no scaldings of 99.93%. Bamboozled. Personally, I would have compensated her for her medical treatment and the cost of a nice vacation that would last as long as she was in recovery. Class action lawsuits are entirely different, and beyond the scope of this documentary.

The left and our credentialed mandarins constantly want to pull power and decision making back behind a curtain. Experts should be in charge of everything. That is everything except civil suit awards. The documentary makers want you to think that juries deserve the power to set awards without caps. That is a constitutional right (oh, now it matters). What they want is a jury that a well trained lawyer can work like a speed bag. After all, it is only 20 years since silicone breast implants were burning the souls out of upper middle class white women yet somehow they are safe enough for FDA approved use again. Single payer will probably come if current trends continue another twenty years, but the left is going to have to find a nice, fat carrot to hand over to the attorney lobby. Read your newspaper to see what they may be priming us for with regards to lawyer compensation. Don't watch "Hot Coffee", but recommend it to a friend.

Update: Jamie Leigh Jones, the young woman who said she was raped in Iraq, was found to be lying about the gang rape.


asdf said...

I watched this fairly recently. The documentary gives you the impression that the coffee that was served is way hotter then it should be, but if you go and research its actually common practice everywhere. The coffee you get at any fast food joint is going to be the same temperature today. Now, I personally don't like how hot they serve it, but I know its hot. I know not to spill it on myself. I know to put lots of cream in first if I'm going to drink it right away. And the woman knew it too. The only way this lawsuit makes sense is if the coffee served that day was way hotter then she was expecting and thus she was surprised to get burned if it spilled. However, there was no surprise and she should have known.

The only good thing to come out of this is that the new cups have way better lids compared to the ones when I was much younger. However, that could just be changes in manufacturing cost.

The one thing I'd love to see is the medical malpractice insurance filings. I can understand why the loss ratio would be lower on such business (lots of underwriting and variance) but the consistency of the low number is surprising. I'd need to see the actual filing to understand. It could be legit or it could be kinduv a scam (I was surprised just how much insurance was scam insurance when I started as a regulator).

asdf said...

I pulled one of the medical malpractice filings. Fascinating. A blog post when I have the time.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Definitely post. My wife selected this one and expected to laugh at stupid lawsuits, but we were shocked at how revealing it was. It's Humpty Dumpty progressive attitude on display. Experts are needed to make all decisions, except jury awards.

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