Bucking the Status Quo — Obama Video Address: August 15, 2009

This week, President Obama continues to hammer home his campaign for health care reform. He highlights the extremes to which reform opponents will go to scare the crap out of you. Bogeyman number 1 of course are the “death panels” made famous (and made up entirely) by former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin.

As I wrote in a prior post, Obama may be trying to do too much with this initiative. Recent changes in tone from Washington indicate that the administration is starting to realize this. The controversial “public option” is being deemphasized in recent discussions. The end of life counseling that inspired the Death Panels lie, may also be off the table. The far left will say this is a bad thing. I don’t necessarily agree. Surely there are ways to encourage true competition in the health insurance industry without ongoing government intervention. As I said last week, much of what ails the insurance industry can probably be fixed by tougher regulation.

But make no mistake, some of the folks opposing reform have been itching for a fight going all the way back to the 1960’s and earlier. There was a revealing moment on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday when Dick Armey, lobbyist extraordinaire, was basically forced to admit he opposes Medicare and Social Security. Let more politicians echo that sentiment and then watch how fast the elderly whom they’ve scared with Death Panels, turn on them. In fact, I quite delighted last week in watching Lawrence O’Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball” nail all these opponents of socialized programs. He asked them if, since they opposed Obamacare because it’s a government program, then surely they must oppose Medicare and Social Security. Not a single one would agree. You see logical consitency might lose them the entire elderly vote in 2010.

Politicians, including a disturbing number of Democrats, simply don’t want to rock the boat. Logical consistency be damned. No socialized medicine because it will turn us into a fascist state except for all the socialized medicine we already have. Just keep the status quo. If we change anything, voters might not like us anymore and of course, that is what government is all about right? Winning the popularity contest.

If we take any message from this week’s video address, it’s that the status quo will not do. If you want a bureaucrat between you and your health care, keep things as they are. Since the bureaucrat works for the insurance industry, that makes it ok, right?

And now the President of the United States of America:

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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41 thoughts on “Bucking the Status Quo — Obama Video Address: August 15, 2009

  1. Wow. I’m getting an anti-democratic vibe from you Rutherford. Popularity contests?

    For all your whining, you seem to forget that Congress could pass your savior’s health care plan tomorrow. Seems odd that your angst is towards the plebs and a conservative movement you so gleefully told us was dead only a few months ago. Hell, only a week ago you claimed the resistance was artificial.

    Face it dude, in the background of all the noise is a 1000 page bill that sucks. YOUR party failed you.

    Sure, there is some unfounded paranoia. But, I’ve watched many of these town halls. The biggest gripe isn’t fascism or death panels or Nancy Pelosi. No, instead it was a very simple question: How the hell do way pay for this?

    You start your blog off with about Obama “hammering” home his campaign for health care reform. Oddly, your second paragraph’s topic sentence hints at the reality of Obama wimping out.

    Your lashing out in several different directions. Step back, say good game and accept your loss like a man.

  2. 6 months into the “stimulus”……10% of the money interjected into the economy. Who knows what percent of the 10% has been utterly wasted.

    Yay Government.

  3. He asked them if, since they opposed Obamacare because it’s a government program, then surely they must oppose Medicare and Social Security. Not a single one would agree.

    Because not a single one could get a word in edge-wise.

    You do realize that MSNBC is simply preaching to the choir, which is why its viewership is so small. 😉

  4. Politicians, including a disturbing number of Democrats, simply don’t want to rock the boat. Logical consistency be damned. No socialized medicine because it will turn us into a fascist state except for all the socialized medicine we already have. Just keep the status quo. If we change anything, voters might not like us anymore and of course, that is what government is all about right? Winning the popularity contest.

    Look at how the socialized medicine we have is failing. If these programs, which in comparison to what Obamacare will, are simple. Right now, they’re simply fiscal nightmares.

    You haven’t been able to refute any of the points I made before about this.

  5. “He asked them if, since they opposed Obamacare because it’s a government program, then surely they must oppose Medicare and Social Security.”

    They are both broken systems run by the government but they are already embedded in the system. Once they are in, they are impossible to get rid of. Thats why we oppose ThuggyCare.

  6. I’m no Medicare or Social Security expert and I expect nobody here is either.

    Gorilla and Elric,

    How is Socialized medicine failing? How is Medicare broken? If it is broken then why do 70% of traditional Medicare enrollees say they always get access to needed care. If it is failing then why are the administrative costs of Medicare always lower than any other large health plan?

    Looking at the following for example;

    If it is a fact that 90% of retirees covered by Medicare earn less than $32,000 per year for individuals or $40,000 for couples.

    It is also been calculated that beneficiaries will spend an average of 23 percent of their income on health care.

    An analysis of Census data shows that Social Security lifts about 13 million seniors above the poverty line.

    Leaving aside Social Security income, nearly one of every two elderly people — 46.8% — has income below the poverty line.

    If in your own words both Medicare and Social Security is “broken and failing” are you in favor of “shit caning” both programs and let the population of Americans 65 and over fend for themselves?

    After all you obviously got yours… fuck the rest…..right?

  7. Rutherford,

    I also watched Lawrence O’Donnell skewer opponents of socialistic government program like Medicare and Social Security. I would argue however that these two programs are NOT socialism.

    Socialism is as defined:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism

    Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

    Doesn’t Medicare consists of individuals paying money into a trust fund and then, at some point, using that money to pay for medical care which is provided by privately owned medical facilities and doctors in private practice.

    How, precisely does that fit any part of the definition of Socialism? Where is the “governmental ownership of the means of providing” anything part of that program? Government does not own the health care providers that Medicare money gets paid too.

    Social Security also consists of individuals paying money into a trust fund and then, at some point, using that money to pay for groceries and many other things which they buy from privately owned stores and providers. There’s no communal or governmental ownership here either.

    I’ll freely admit both programs are not optional, but not everything that is mandated is Socialism. Requiring a driver’s license or auto insurance is mandated by our government but not usually claimed to be Socialism.

  8. Elric, I found this quote from you on Alfie’s blog and it made me curious.

    LBJ was a Thug too. I dont defend these past leftist radicals like FDR, LBJ and Woodrow Wilson. They are the ones that got this marxist ball rolling.

    Is there a Dem President you do like? My guess is “Give ’em hell” Harry since he bombed the crap out of the Japanese.

  9. I also watched Lawrence O’Donnell skewer opponents of socialistic government program like Medicare and Social Security. I would argue however that these two programs are NOT socialism.

    Curator, I absolutely see your point. And I would argue that Lawrence O’Donnelll and every intelligent informed American would say that the public option is not even socialism. Under the public option, doctors and hospitals are not owned by the government. That I think was really Lawrence’s point … if you’re gonna call Obama’s current efforts socialistic, then what do you say about the policies we already have in place that are similar in nature?

    If in your own words both Medicare and Social Security is “broken and failing” are you in favor of “shit caning” both programs and let the population of Americans 65 and over fend for themselves?

    Ahhh and there you have hit the nail right on the head.This is the fix politicians find themselves in because they want to condemn current policies that are very popular with their constituents. So all they can do is say, “well Medicare is fine but what Obama is proposing is nothing like Medicare. It’s evil.” Several liberal pundits have said wouldn’t this be that much simpler if we simply said open Medicare up for everybody. Now that puts the Republicans and blue dogs in a real fix because to oppose that, they must oppose the current program. And they can’t claim that there would be any difference between what is proposed and what we currently do.

    Forget the “population of Americans 65 and over”. Let’s up the ante and make this personal. Hey Elric and Gorilla, ready to cut your parents off from these programs? I didn’t think so.

  10. Is this a sign of success?

    Tell me, doctors are dropping out of accepting medicare and medicade at a very high rate because it does not adequately compensate. Obamacare will force them to accept it, even though it pays well below market/cost. Again, is this success?

    When it comes to Social Security and Medicare, the federal government simply won’t be able to keep its promises in the future. That is the reality every American should get used to, despite the grand promises of Washington reformers. Our entitlement system can’t be reformed- it’s too late. And the Medicare prescription drug bill is the final nail in the coffin.”

    The Coming Entitlement Meltdown
    http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2007/tst030507.htm

  11. * Breast cancer kills 25 percent of its American victims. In Great Britain, the Vatican of single-payer medicine, breast cancer extinguishes 46 percent of its targets.

    * Prostate cancer is fatal to 19 percent of its American patients. The National Center for Policy Analysis reports that it kills 57 percent of Britons it strikes.

    * Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data show that the U.K.’s 2005 heart-attack fatality rate was 19.5 percent higher than America’s. This may correspond to angioplasties, which were only 21.3 percent as common there as here.

    * The U.K.’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) just announced plans to cut its 60,000 annual steroid injections for severe back-pain sufferers to just 3,000. This should save the government 33 million pounds (about $55 million). “The consequences of the NICE decision will be devastating for thousands of patients,” Dr. Jonathan Richardson of Bradford Hospitals Trust told London’s Daily Telegraph. “It will mean more people on opiates, which are addictive, and kill 2,000 a year. It will mean more people having spinal surgery, which is incredibly risky, and has a 50 per cent failure rate.”

    * “Seriously ill patients are being kept in ambulances outside hospitals for hours so NHS trusts do not miss Government targets,” Daniel Martin wrote last year in London’s Daily Mail. “Thousands of people a year are having to wait outside accident and emergency departments because trusts will not let them in until they can treat them within four hours, in line with a Labour [party] pledge. The hold-ups mean ambulances are not available to answer fresh 911 calls. Doctors warned last night that the practice of ‘patient-stacking’ was putting patients’ health at risk.”

    http://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/real-clear-politics-usa-vs-canada-vs-britain-health-care-statistics/

  12. 90,000 acres are ablaze, started by illeagal aliens. They disrespect the most beautiful aspect of our nation, our state parks, with their fires and insecticides.

    Where is the left on this one? Or for that matter the right? The damage being done to ecosystems is spellbinding. All of this by blood thirsty, murderous, rogues. To make a point last month, they threw decapitated heads on a fricking dance floor!

    If you smoke pot, it should be “hydro” from your buddy’s basement and not from these animals.

    Republicans, Democrats, seal the damn border!

  13. I’m for border security but pointing out illegal aliens in this case for border security when there’s Americans and companies that dump sewage into lakes, leave trash all over the place, I would hope you’d go after those people too.
    I think illegal immigration is the next convo up for public discussion after health care. Which will probably be worse. I can see a lot of protesters with these signs,


    —-
    I don’t think the public option is going anywhere. The White House is still behind a public option. Either way, it doesn’t matter because the new line of attack is that co-ops aren’t different then the public option. I think it’d be to everyones best interest if the public option stays. Cause no matter how you try to please the republicans, they’re doing this for 2010 elections, not because it’s whats right for the country. Interesting part is that Obama predicted this would happen and that’s why there was a deadline to begin with.
    Ultimately, if the health care bill fails, which it has not. It’ll be because not enough liberals that support the plan are making their voice heard. It’s the same criticism I gave those who were against Prop 8. They complained about the support of prop 8 but they were over-confident thinking it’d automatically garner support. Republicans are the best dirty attackers ever, and you can’t just sit around thinking it’s the right thing to do therefore people will support it.
    Unfortunately, the people that need health care the most are too busy working to put food on the table to come out and support.

  14. if you spent $30 MILLION a day every single day for 2000 years it would still not equal to obama’s $23.7 TRILLLION in financial bailouts

    … the main reasons why people get poorer are because of higher taxes and inflation.

  15. Tell me, doctors are dropping out of accepting medicare and medicade at a very high rate because it does not adequately compensate. Obamacare will force them to accept it, even though it pays well below market/cost. Again, is this success?

    It is no wonder doctors are opting out of Medicare since the GOP had been reducing the reimbursement rate every year. In January 2006 doctors had a 5% reduction in their government reimbursement for treating Medicare beneficiaries. They are already reimbursed at a lower rate today than in 2001.

  16. This is the fix politicians find themselves in because they want to condemn current policies that are very popular with their constituents.” –R

    Republicans have made efforts to fix things like social security and Medicare, but the dems block any effort to reform.

    The issue isn’t whether or not it needs fixed, which it does, it is finding politicians willing to honestly engage with the populace on it. This is a perfect case in point to my comments (#395) in Straight talk. You guys are pushing a horrible bill, which will create expectations in the population- especially among the most vulnerable- then lament how fixing problems in these new entitlements will be shallow and disingenuous. Couple this with the dishonest presentation that this administration is taking to presenting their plan, and it is really no surprise that the American people don’t trust government in general and the now dems on healthcare.

  17. Hey guys, it’s all cleared up now. Gibbs said that Obama hasn’t changed his position at all on health care. Public Option is just a “sliver” of the the bill.

    I know lots liars. Hell, the walleye I caught in June has probably grown 4 inches by August 1. But politicians’ lies are hilarious. I mean, they will show you a dog and say it’s a cat.

  18. … the main reasons why people get poorer are because of higher taxes and inflation.

    The topic of “why people get poor” is impossible to discuss with any meaning without a clear definition of “rich”? Is it standard of living? Net worth? Disposable income? Ability to create wealth? Investment opportunity? Freedom from debt? Ability to pass on wealth to the next generation?

    Poor people are essentially out of the loop. This was the great miscalculation of Reagan’s “trickle down” economic policies that a rising tide lift’s all boats. What did the huge tax breaks and assistance to white-collar America in the 80’s do for America?
    Businesses improved, but only to the extent that they were able to do mergers and create mega conglomerates, outsourced labor into third-world markets, which actually put already poor people out of work. The blue-collar sector was at it’s highest since the Depression. The rich were getting richer, and the poor were getting poorer. I’d day the number one reason the poor stay poor is the almost non-existent access to capital or education.

    It is not because of “higher taxes and inflation”.

  19. Curator,

    I believe the definition of “rich” is, in fact, a tough one.

    However, you seem to neglect a glaring reality that I feel is attached to the improvement of business via the free market.

    My buddy is a steal worker. He just received lasik surgery. He claims he now has 15/15 vision. Just think about what a quality of life change that is. 40 years ago, taking a laser to one’s eye for the sake of perfect vision would only be lore found in a Frank Hebert book. Flash forward to the year 2009 and a fricking Detroit steel worker gets this done?

    How come you liberals never echo more stories like this?

    Hell, an old man like Tex can bang broads for ever now thanks to a little blue pill.

    Working class people have home theaters with TV’s the size of drive ins.

    Rutherford, a black man, lives in a 3,000 square foot house and he’s not Sammy Davis Jr! Who lived in 3,000 square foot houses in 1965? Maybe Humphrey Bogart?

    Sure, I know some of this came from the irresponsibility of the loose credit era. And not all of this materialism improves our quality of life. But damn, it’s close to harvest time right now.
    Do you have a conception of how hard we should be working right now, only a hundred years ago?

    You dismiss advancements in technology that have improved our life outright. The free market gave my buddy 15/15 vision.

    I am exchanging ideas with you as we speak, my fat ass horizontal on my couch, from a device called a lap top.

    You do realize we would be doing this via letter and stamp only 15 years ago?

  20. “Americans and companies that dump sewage into lakes, leave trash all over the place, I would hope you’d go after those people too.”-sensico

    What the hell does that mean? Why would I not be pissed about that? Dude, there are fires raging that were started by murderous savages who illegally entered our country. Finding other turds that smell doesn’t change that fact.

    The border is getting just as bad as the Pashtu area of Pakistan and Afghanistan. These gangs go to kindergartens and kill the teacher if they are not paid. I don’t need a caveat announcing that pollution is bad to point out the threat these savages pose to America.

  21. “I’m slowly realizing that the GOP is made up of conspiracy theorist. And it’s because most of whats left of the GOP are old people who lost their minds. And then they drag their grandchildren into the mix, thus creating more conspiracy theorist that think the government, wants to kill old people. Where the hell did the thought process go?” -sensico

    deep thoughts, by sensico.

    Can I make a scrap book of your well thought out and eloquently written meditations? Seriously, you could rival Marcus Aurelius.

  22. Curator, Tacit War Hero…

    You’re worse at economics than you are politics.

    You think Medicare a success do you? Please explain to me why it is going broke and now cost 900% more than the original estimate? Give me a 900% overrun with about anything pertaining to providing an asset, and I’ll bet I can make it look good too – for as long as it last. Most physicians will tell you Medicare is a piece of crap, and many won’t take patients on Medicare. I guess that in the libbie world, that is defined as a success considering everything else progressive politic has touched.

    As far as rich vs. poor – don’t tell me Reagan’s supply side economics didn’t work. Comically wrong.

    We had a 26 year bull market, record sustained low unemployment and inflation, and the biggest creation of real net worth in the history of the world. The fact that everybody, including most slackers from the left, weren’t included and in fact probably did get poorer, is a testament not to the failure of supply side economics but personal failure on behalf of those left behind. You’re excuses are wearing thin and thankfully most people aren’t buying it anymore now that Obameo is Pres.

    Even using your definition of poor, America doesn’t know what poor is. Cruise over to Africa, South America, the former eastern bloc, or a host of other shit holes and then you’ll get a taste of poor.

    Poor people don’t have credit cards, DVDs, automobiles, and flat screen TVs Rambo. 😉

  23. “The fact that the Muslim woman accused of the same thing was at least treated like a human being just proves again that if you are not a Muslim in Pakistan, you have no rights”

    Both were accused of theft; the Christian woman was dragged naked through the police station. The Muslim woman was not touched.

    “Pregnant Christian Dragged Naked Through Pakistani Police Station,” from International Christian Concern via AINA, August 17:

    Washington — International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a pregnant Christian woman miscarried on July 26 after police beat her and dragged her naked through their police station in the Gujrat District of Punjab, Pakistan. Police had arrested her and a Muslim woman after their employer accused them of theft, but police did not even touch the Muslim woman.

    The woman, Farzana Bibi, worked as a maid in the house of a wealthy Muslim. During a wedding held at the house, some jewelry was stolen from some of the landlord’s female relatives. The police were called, and when they arrived at the scene they arrested two maids: Farzana and a Muslim woman named Rehana. Nazir Masih, Farzana’s husband, said, “Police registered a fake theft case against my wife and Rehana without any proof.”

    Nazir went on to say that the police tortured his wife even though she told them she was pregnant. He told ICC, “Sub-Inspector Zulfiqar and Assistant Sub-Inspector Akhter subjected her to intense torture. They stripped off her clothes and dragged her naked around the compound of Cantonment Area Police Station in Kharian. They humiliated and tortured my wife, but did not do anything to Rehana.” […]

    Jeremy Sewall, ICC’s Advocacy Director, said, “While we were not able to confirm whether Farzana was innocent of robbing her employers, it is absolutely unacceptable for police to humiliate her and abuse her so severely that she lost her child. The fact that the Muslim woman accused of the same thing was at least treated like a human being just proves again that if you are not a Muslim in Pakistan, you have no rights. The government should go beyond suspending the two officers guilty of this crime and try them for manslaughter.”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/027272.php#respond

  24. “Hey Elric and Gorilla, ready to cut your parents off from these programs?”

    Doesnt matter what we want. These are broke programs and eventually everyone will be cut off because they are unsustainable.

  25. My buddy is a steal worker.

    Hey Rabbit is this a new euphemism for thief? 🙂

    (Sorry … I don’t usually pick on typos but I just couldn’t resist that one.)

  26. No, the dodging is avoiding the issue that these government programs are unsustainable. That is why we dont support this Thuggy Care. Sadly we are stuck with Social Security and Medicare which is what the demomarxists wanted. Bush want to try to revise Social security but noooooo the Demomarxist said its just fine as it is. Same morons that said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were just fine.

  27. You dismiss advancements in technology that have improved our life outright. The free market gave my buddy 15/15 vision.

    I can’t speak for Curator but my next post (on Anthony Weiner) handles this head on. Rabbit, don’t confuse the delivery of health care with the financials. No one is saying to take health care itself out of free market capitalism. The insurance industry is another story entirely.

    I’m with you 100%. In its ideal form, capitalism breeds competition which in turn breeds quality, break through thinking, etc. etc.

  28. We had a 26 year bull market, record sustained low unemployment and inflation, and the biggest creation of real net worth in the history of the world. The fact that everybody, including most slackers from the left, weren’t included and in fact probably did get poorer, is a testament not to the failure of supply side economics but personal failure on behalf of those left behind.

    Easy cop out Tex. Where was the net worth created? The only reason the poor got poorer was that they were lazy? How can you deny that if the wealth does not trickle down, then trickle down economics is at the very least a misnomer, if not an outright lie,

  29. “No one is saying to take health care itself out of free market capitalism.”

    Liar

    LOL Elric, sometimes your thickness defies description. Not a single person in that video talked about socializing health care. Again, read this slowly so it gets through, single payer is about the financials, not about the delivery mechanism. The government will not be running hospitals. Doctors will not be employed by the government. Health care is what doctors and hospitals do. Insurance companies are not in the health care business.

    And by the way, I heard someone say this a day or so ago and I got a kick out of it. On a person-by-person basis we already have a single payer system. You’ve got one insurance company handling your health care reimbursements, correct? That’s single payer. 😉

  30. “You’ve got one insurance company handling your health care reimbursements”

    That is true but if you dont like it, you can go somewhere else. When you have the demomarxists controlling your healthcare and you have a single payer system, you are stuck. But hey, dont let facts get in the way my little drone.

  31. Rabbit, I’m a bit confused on your connection of forest fires to illegals. Have you actually seen statistics stating that most forest destruction is being perpetrated by illegal aliens?

  32. “R”,

    You create some thought provoking commentary. You’re funny and bright. I’m sure you’re a good father and husband. But you and Rambo don’t know the first thing about economics.

    Easy cop out Tex. Where was the net worth created? The only reason the poor got poorer was that they were lazy? How can you deny that if the wealth does not trickle down, then trickle down economics is at the very least a misnomer, if not an outright lie,

    The net worth was created in a GDP – take a look at the graph and notice the growth?

    http://www.data360.org/graph_group.aspx?Graph_Group_Id=149

    Rutherford, for 24 years you experienced the growth – that is why you are living in a fine home – call it trickle down. The fact that you’re now experiencing a downturn in no way detracts from the phenomenal growth the the aggregate worth.

    And for the people our age who missed it, I say point the finger at yourself for missing it and quit making excuses hoping Benevolent Barack will pull rabbits out of hat — he can’t and is making a bad situation worse. When Bloomberg, the leftist shills of NYC are saying so, I believe it is time for you to admit that you are experiencing penis envy and are now reclined to simply beg for your piece of the pie. Free enterprise doesn’t work that way, nor should it. Big government, if it has proven anything, has proven itself a dismal failure at managing affairs concerning finances.

    Besides, you not believing in God and casting your nets toward the “theory” of evolution should appreciate the fact that adaptation means only those that can adapt will survive. 😯

  33. “The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.”

    Tex, my favorite paragraph from your link.

    If Obama can explain away that paragraph, the Rabbit will support the President on health care.

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