Obama Hagiography Reports
Posted by aogThursday, 21 May 2009 at 14:12 TrackBack Ping URL

New York Times ♥ President Obama

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AVeryRoughRoadAhead Sunday, 24 May 2009 at 23:24

Cheney Lost to Bush, By DAVID BROOKS contains a very cogent paragraph which sums up my frustration with the pre-2007 Bush admin (post-2007 frustration being about a completely different and vastly-damning behavior)(emphasis mine):

What Obama gets, and what President Bush never got, is that other people’s opinions matter. [Jack Goldsmith at The New Republic] puts it well: “The main difference between the Obama and Bush administrations concerns not the substance of terrorism policy, but rather its packaging. The Bush administration shot itself in the foot time and time again, to the detriment of the legitimacy and efficacy of its policies, by indifference to process and presentation. The Obama administration, by contrast, is intensely focused on these issues.”
AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 25 May 2009 at 01:13

Apropos of nothing but my definite agreement with the author, from The Case for Working With Your Hands, By MATTHEW B. CRAWFORD, Ph.D.:

Those who work on the lower rungs of the information-age office hierarchy face their own kinds of unreality, as I learned some time ago. After earning a master’s degree in the early 1990s, I had a hard time finding work but eventually landed a job in the Bay Area writing brief summaries of academic journal articles, which were then sold on CD-ROMs to subscribing libraries. […] How was it that I, once a proudly self-employed electrician, had ended up among these walking wounded, a “knowledge worker” at a salary of $23,000? I had a master’s degree, and it needed to be used. The escalating demand for academic credentials in the job market gives the impression of an ever-more-knowledgeable society, whose members perform cognitive feats their unschooled parents could scarcely conceive of. On paper, my abstracting job, multiplied a millionfold, is precisely what puts the futurologist in a rapture: we are getting to be so smart! Yet my M.A. obscures a more real stupidification of the work I secured with that credential, and a wage to match. When I first got the degree, I felt as if I had been inducted to a certain order of society. But despite the beautiful ties I wore, it turned out to be a more proletarian existence than I had known as an electrician. [As an electrician,] I had made quite a bit more money. I also felt free and active, rather than confined and stultified.
erp Monday, 25 May 2009 at 08:08

Style over substance. No thanks.

Brooks is a turncoat.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 25 May 2009 at 21:44

Of what use is substance if it can’t be translated into useful action or accomplishment ?

Like Clinton, W had great potential. Like Clinton, he largely squandered his opportunities to reshape the world in a positive way. Having good impulses and making abortive starts doesn’t cut it.

David Cohen Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 07:27

I think this is clearly right. I love Bush. It’s unlikely I’ll ever again have a president who so closely matches my policy preferences, but his Bushian contempt for the Bully Pulpit side of the job — for salesmanship and for talking himself up — stops him from being a great president. Too often it left a vacuum that his opponents were willing and able to fill with lies: that he promised a quick and easy war; that “mission accomplished” meant that we were done in Iraq; that there is no trade-off between freedom and security and thus the only explanation for torture and wiretapping is aspiring fascism, etc.

On the other hand, the way the left is rolling over for Obama makes clear that their objections were never about principle, only about the Principal.

erp Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 08:03

I really love the guy too.

History may have a different view of Bush. He wasn’t perfect, but as close as we can hope for. What he lacked were support troops willing to fill in the PR gaps and watch his back. Brit Hume and Tony Snow are the only members of the media who come to mind as presenting Bush and his policies fairly. Congressional Republicans with rare exception were and are craven and despicable.

Politics is the art of the possible and IMO Bush did what was possible with grace. We’re faulting him for not being able to do biblical-style miracles, but stay tuned, Obama has told us that he can and will do them.

His supporters may be far more disappointed than we are.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 08:44

Yes, I found then President Bush’s unwillingness to engage in vigorous debate or allow his proxies to do so a very poor decision, founded I think on the mistaken impression that his political opponents had some basic human decency and love of country.

One is forced to note that former Vice President Cheney’s approval ratings are markedly increasing since he started doing far more public speaking than he did as VP. One could also think of Governor Palin, who did very well until she was “handled” by the GOP establishment.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 12:30

Heh. So it’s true. Results don’t count as long as your motives are pure. You guys are all post-modernists and don’t know it.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 15:19

Uh, I read these comments as exactly the opposite — results count. I.e., we like Bush, we like his motives, but we fault him for failing to achieve sufficient results. Are you sure you’re responding to the same comment string we’re reading?

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 17:30

Economy putrid, foreign policy failed, North Korea building atomic bombs. Like I say, apparently results do not count, but since Bush’s motives were pure — he really, really wanted the Iraqis to be democrats, even if they didn’t give a rat’s patootie — he scores.

With a scoring system like that, I could have had Tiny Archibald’s job.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 18:04

Economy tanked by a Democratic Congress (check the dates), I don’t see the foreign policy failure — I think it went better than average, and North Korea has resumed developing and testing atomic weapons because of Obama’s foreign policy. Plus, I fail to see, based on this comment string, what you think Bush “scored”. People liking him? I wasn’t aware affection was supposed to be performance based.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 27 May 2009 at 12:42

Uh no, economy was ruined by Reaganomics. I know you guys will never stop blaming the collapse of Citigroup on the power of barely literate Guatemalan wetbacks who could not vote, but it really wasn’t the Community Reinvestment Act. I can prove it, but when I offer to introduce disbelievers to several bank chairmen I know who did not get involved in squirrelly mortgages [crickets].

No. Korea has an atomic program because Bush and before him Clinton believed — against all human experience — in the utility of diplomacy against gangster states. Obama is no better, but Bush’s policy was a complete failure. Likewise with regards to our Muslim enemies.

Now Cheney the appeaser comes out and growls, but where was he when real men were needed. Out shooting tiny birds is where.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 27 May 2009 at 18:48

Wait, I thought the economy was ruined by Bush II - someone told me that recently. I do want to note in a negative fashion your rhetorical sleight of hand in rewriting the claims about the CRA from issues of promoting stupid economic choices by bankers through subsidy and coercion to “barely literate Guatemalan wetbacks”. If you turned down the sound track to your Narrative, you might be able to respond to what people actually write.

On the other hand, you must be in a quite an upbeat mood. After all, you have stated that Carter Era economics were clearly superior to the ghastly Reaganomics that followed it, and now we have in the White House an Administration that shows every sign of following Carter style economic policy with Carter Era results.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 27 May 2009 at 20:11

Economies don’t move instantaneously, you know. It was Nixonomics that ruined the dollar, with a shove from Johnsonomics.

I guess you don’t recall that oil prices went up 400% in the ‘70s. It took some time for the economy to adjust to that. The increase in oil of (taking a moving, smoothed average) around 75% last year deranged the unprepared Reaganomics economy at least as much as, probably more than, the Arab oil shocks did in the Carter and Nixon years.

If Bush II wasn’t implementing Reaganomics, he sure gave a good imitation.

The CRA did not promote stupid economic choices by bankers. They did that all on their own. The CRA had nothing to do with it.

As you say yourself, following markets assumes things will go wrong, but worshipping markets means you deny yourself the idea of fixing them. I dunno. If it’s true, per Bloomberg, that there are 19 million unoccupied dwellings in the United States, and if we live about 3 to a dwelling, we’re gonna need 60 million more Guatemalans to make it level again.

I don’t think there are 60 million Guatemalans.

erp Thursday, 28 May 2009 at 08:09

I do try to hard to keep up, but somewhere or other I missed that Guatemalans caused our economic collapse. Harry please recommend a book on the subject so I can catch up.

Perhaps you forgot that Nixon was a meddling socialist. Going of off the gold standard, price and wage freezes, allowing dual citizenship and inflicting a 55 mph speed limit on highways are enough to secure his place in hell for all eternity. The Watergate imbroglio was small potatoes designed to deflect the eye from the real problem.

Carter’s only claim to fame is that he made Nixon look good.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 28 May 2009 at 08:19

Mr. Eagar;

Having lived through the 70s and the last decade, I find this claim laughably ahistoric.

The increase in oil of (taking a moving, smoothed average) around 75% last year deranged the unprepared Reaganomics economy at least as much as, probably more than, the Arab oil shocks did in the Carter and Nixon years.

So inflation, unemployment, and GDP growth were all radically different.

I would also dispute the “75%” number. Looking at this chart(2003-2008).png I see an over 300% rise from Jan 07 to Jul 08.

erp;

Yeah, the obsession with Guatemalans is odd, in a somewhat creepy kind of way.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 28 May 2009 at 12:39

Not much oil changed hands at $147. I have not done the calculation — way too tedious — but from talking to people who were buying oil hedges and then asking them how those turned out, I’m ballparking that the real expenditure over the course of last year’s spike, compared to the year before, was around 75%. Whereas, maybe you lived through the ‘70s but must have forgotten, the real expenditure increase then was much greater.

The inflation of the later ‘70s had the effect of smoothing out the increase in oil and of transferring back from the pockets of OPEC the dollars the Arabs had absorbed in the early and mid ‘70s to the pockets of western bankers, although not to western consumers. So far as I know, only Martin Mayer noticed this in public, although no doubt the bankers were laughing up their sleeves at the time.

I note, in passing, that as of this morning, half of the mortgages in default were taken out by people who would not have gotten a bank points under the CRA.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 28 May 2009 at 14:08

Whereas, maybe you lived through the ‘70s but must have forgotten, the real expenditure increase then was much greater.

Really? Do you have any data for that, or is this simply a Narrative Assertion of yours? Why should I take your personal memory as more accurate than mine? Hey, I know, let’s take a look at gas prices. It will be just a bit harder for you to handwave excuses on that. Here’s one which is quite interesting, as it goes from 1972 to 2009. Interesting things to note —

  1. The entire effect of the OPEC oil embargo on gas prices happens by 1974, over 2 years before former President Carter takes office.
  2. Overall gas prices decline during the Carter Era by a very noticeable amount.
  3. It was former President Reagan who really took the hit on gas prices.
  4. Bush II experienced a near tripling of gas prices in his time in office.

So, what’s the results that matter? Reagan and Bush II economic policies overcame or thrived on massive gasoline prices increases, while Carter economic policies failed despite declining gas prices. Even for you, this is a rather pathetic effort at rationalization.

Harry Eagar Friday, 29 May 2009 at 17:54

I always love it when the antiliberals look at 600% inflation and say, doesn’t matter.

I notice your graph starts conveniently late, but I was paying current two bits for gas around 1972-3 (and the same for hamburger and chicken).

There was an indecent amount of inflation going on, as I guess you’ve forgotten. As I noted: We were already inflating to beat the band and inflated further to dish the Arabs. As a policy, it wasn’t that attractive, although at least better intentioned than Reagan’s.

Not only do I recall the ‘70s, I recall the last 8 years. I sure don’t recall the economy thriving 2000-2008.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 29 May 2009 at 18:24

I always love it when the antiliberals look at 600% inflation and say, doesn’t matter.

Well, be sure to point that out when you see it.

It’s not my graph, it’s one I happened to find. I don’t see what you mean about starting conveniently — we were discussin the Carter Era and it starts well before then providing good context. It even starts before the Arab Oil Embargo. When should it have started, 1859? It certainly beats no graph or evidence, which is what you have provided. Still, feel free to provide a better one if you like.

And why was there inflation? Federal economic policy, which is precisely the point under discussion. Can I not then interpret your comment in that regard as “don’t blame Carter for his government’s economic policies”? Who should I blame for those policies — Reagan? As for being better intentioned, so what? “He meant well” — the last whimpering objection of the Modern American Liberal when the facts have turned on him.

You may not consider consistently low unemployment, inflation, and steady GDP growth to be thriving, but I doubt that’s a majority opinion. That’s particularly the case when comparing it to current conditions.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 30 May 2009 at 12:27

I comnpletely agree with you on inflation from the ‘60s — though I would have been more ready than you to apply the same lesson to Bush II, who didn’t make even the minimal gesture toward inflation control that Johnson did.

I am not aware that there was consistently low unemployment, inflation and steady GDP growth during either the Reagan or Bush II regimes. Do tell.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 30 May 2009 at 21:39

Do tell.

I did. It’s right up there in my previous.

Or did you mean “provide some evidence”? If so, why? You don’t seem to suffer under that burden and I am curious as to why you think your assertions should be taken as valid without supporting data but mine are not, especiallly after the previous exchange in which your assertions proved to be quite unfounded. Shouldn’t the presumption of correctness switch over to me now?

But I suppose it’s inescapable that those of us with facts are far more willing to resort to them. You might look in to picking up a few.

Here are some chart generators - I think they clearly demonstrate my case if you look at the Bush II years.

You only see a downturn at the very end in the waning months when Bush switched over to (even for him) massive spending and intervention.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 31 May 2009 at 23:49

What I remember about the Bush years were decline in real wages for most Americans, failure of publishing, airlines, construction, and finance; decline of retailing, contraction in agriculture.

You seem to subscribe to the notion that economies react instantaneously to inputs. Presumably, everything was great in September 1929 — the stock market was at record highs — but something novel happened in October to spoil things.

The collapse of the Bushite economy was written in the Reaganite policies.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 01 June 2009 at 08:44

What I remember is how you throw out all sorts of claims and accusations based on your Narrative and then when that proves a frail reed in the winds of reality, you change the subject and go vague so as to avoid getting hit with those nasty things called facts. I note that you failed to address of the issue of why your memory is so unburdened by any need of corroboration, as you seem to consider mine requiring. I should properly reply to you “A decline in real wages? Do tell” and retire confident that you drop the issue rather than supply evidence.

But I am a generous fellow. I will start by laughing at your claims of “failure” because it seems to me that we still have publishers, airlines, construction, and finance, and the consumer spending (i.e. retail sales) grew substantially over that period (census bureau data).

As for a decline in real wages, I agree with this guy who disputes the essence of your claim. I also find it amusing that it required 25 years of solid growth and economic improvement before the Reaganite economy to collapse. Such a house of cards!

Harry Eagar Monday, 01 June 2009 at 14:03

‘for most Americans’

I haven’t repeated it lately, but you do have to disaggregate the aggregates to figure out what’s going on.

Non-wage increments for, say, health care are no help if you’re not getting health care as a bennie.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 01 June 2009 at 14:16

Go right ahead. Until then, I will regard that claim as purely a Narrative based one.

joe shropshire Tuesday, 02 June 2009 at 01:01
Getting back to the post. Robert Samuelson, who should have Paul Krugman’s job, weighs in. Closet Bushite, I guess, but give it a read anyway:

The Obama Infatuation

Obama’s rhetoric brims with inconsistencies. In the campaign, he claimed he would de-emphasize partisanship — and also enact a highly-partisan agenda; both couldn’t be true. He got a pass. Now, he claims he will control health care spending even though he proposes more government spending. He promotes “fiscal responsibility” when projections show huge and continuous budget deficits. Journalists seem to take his pronouncements at face value even when many are two-faced.

There is money laying on the table here, not to mention a public service to be done and, one would think, a righteous good time to be had, if anybody wants to write the story.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 02 June 2009 at 16:32

here

Man, that was exhausting! I had to scroll through THREE WHOLE PAGES of Google hits to get this:

A study released today (Thursday, June 2, 2005) by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Working Partnerships USA, a consortium devoted to workforce issues, says that just a bare majority of adults likely will have job-based health insurance by 2010, with middle-income adults facing the sharpest coverage decline and lower-income adults being largely priced out of the market.

The researchers from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the San Jose-based Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), developed a model that shows that for every 10 percent increase in insurance premiums, 910,000 fewer American adults have job-based coverage. Of that number, three-quarters become uninsured, and one in every five end up on Medicaid.

That, of course, was during the good ol’ days of Bush prosperity. The de-benefitting rate has since gone up hugely. I think we must blame Obama, of course, since as a senator from Illinois, he is responsible for the debacle in the financial markets.

I think Joe is right to think that there’s a story about Obama’s failure to deliver. Oops. It’s been on the front page of every paper in the country. I understand how you guys missed that.

I think Samuelson is being disingenuous, though. Of course the Democrat wants a Democratic agenda. I do not, myself, see that he has pursued it so far in a highly partisan way. (Nominating a judge first elevated to the bench by a Republican! The noive of some people) If you want your agenda forwarded, win the election. (I do not, on the whole, want his agenda forwarded — particularly in foreign policy, unless I am badly mistaken about how that is going to turn out — but almost anything has to be better than what we just had.)

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Tuesday, 02 June 2009 at 20:44
Now, [Obama] claims he will control health care spending…

Of course he won’t, and like Cali’s (and the U.S. of A.’s) woes, I blame the voters.

The key to controlling health care costs is RATIONING, either of services or of money, which is how all of the universal health care systems get by. But ‘Merican folks insist on gettin’ somethin’ for nothin’, which is directly responsible for the issue highlighted by the UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the San Jose-based Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA) - although I’d accept neither of those organizations’ claims, “facts”, figures, statistics or conclusions without an enormous barge of salt, excepting a general and generic “hey, we’ve got a problem here !”

Get a policy with a $5,000 annual deductible, or with a lifetime cap of $250,000, or with certain services excluded, and it’s amazing how affordable health insurance becomes. But everyone wants a gold-plated policy for aluminum prices.

erp Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 07:19

When my husband and I reached Medicare age ten years ago, I searched for what used to be called a major medical policy thinking we’d pay for our own healthcare insurance as we always had.

I learned to my chagrin that the only alternate to Medicare is an HMO. Insurance companies are not permitted to offer those over 65 any kind of health insurance.

We wanted to retain control over what kinds of services we get and who provides them, so we opted for a supplementary insurance and paid for drugs ourselves.

Since then all the “free” stuff we geezers get is costing us over $12,000 per year, including costs for Medicare, Medicare Drug Plan, BC/BS supplementary, and drugs not covered by the drug plan which incidentally went up by a third in 2009. The top tier drugs cost $40/month per prescription up from $30 for 2008.

Exactly which “services” would be rationed? Annual mammograms and pap smears? Blood tests? Treatment for phlebitis, Basel cell cancer, pulmonary embolism, prostate or bladder cancer, high blood pressure .…

Much of the money for Medicare and BC/BS goes into administrative expenses. We frequently get huge packets in the mail jammed with material few us read . The local private hospital here which I assume is typical, has all kinds of “services” and “help” available — all have colorful brochures, rooms and a staff.

The hospital sends out an expensive full color multi-paged “newsletter” touting their services, yet neither the bed nor my gown was changed in the three days I spent there last year. The bathroom was unspeakable.

My doctor discharged me ASAP so I wouldn’t get a staph infection.

I shudder to think of how far further health care will deteriorate when controlled by the same people who run the rest of the guvmint.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 08:55

Mr. Eagar;

You have still failed to answer the question, after several tries, of why I should do your research for you, and my research for me.

In any case, I note that your cite doesn’t actually demonstrate your case. It’s a projection which, notably, could have been verified by now but apparently wasn’t. I find it telling that picked something written in the past as a projection rather than something written now based on actual data. Moreover, it certainly has the ring of one of those many “panic studies” which take statistical blips and convert them in to monstrous disasters. “developed a model” — that’s what you consider evidence? Seriously, really?

P.S. I think Obama has acted in an extremely partisan manner, witness the voting on his biggest effort, Porkulus. And let’s not forget “I won” as an argument. You, as usual, cherry pick one not so partisan thiung and bluster as if that’s the whole story.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 12:36

Here is a bit of research; I noticed while looking up something I had written back in November 2001. It was a headline:

Republicans blame Democrats for stalling on stimulus package

Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?

The fact that not one Republican signed up for the Obama stimulus package, after many tamely submitted to the Bush stimulus package, suggests partisanship to me, although not to be attributable to Obama.

The 2005 projections, as it turned out, were way too optimistic, so I don’t think I’ll apologize for using them. In the amount of time I had, I did not find a very good summary, but it appears that at the height of your purported Bush prosperity, 3 in 10 working Americans had no private health coverage, one in 20 had no job, another one in (40?) had given up hope of finding a job (because of Reaganomics, mostly). As we know, of those who did have private health coverage, many had what Rough would call an aluminum policy.

The situation has deteriorated in every respect since then.

Since there’s no doubt that pay envelope compensation for most Americans is down, relative to inflation, and since health care is the big enchilada of non-pay compensation, it’s hard to figure how we’re doing better. The massive wealth transfer — since partially rescinded — to the haves and have-mores didn’t help Joe Sixpack.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 13:42

Mr. Eagar;

Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?

Yes, so I will give you the advice the doctor gave the guy who said “Doc, it hurts when I do this”. Stop setting yourself for these setbacks by making sweeping statements from your Narrative. The GOP does something partisan in 2001, the Democratic Party does it in 2008, the only person who seems to have a problem is you, because I refuse to let you excuse the latter while blaming the former. It takes a journalist, I suppose to read “Shut up and do what I want because I won the election” as non-partisan. Or to look at a vote and notice one set of votes is purely a single party, and the other side a mix, and say the latter is the more partisan side.

I will also note that you’ve gone quite far afield from trying to defend Carter’s economic policies and have descended in to bashing other Presidents as a distraction. I could point out that comparisons generally require at least two things, and that trends generally require more than one data point. I could point out that by your claims of “delayed effects” we should blame what claims as Bush non-prosperity on Carter. Or that the largest growth in financial burdens on average Americans over the last few decades have been taxes. (⇐ see, there’s a trick for you — look something up before you make the claim). But instead I will state that there is rather a large amount of contention on health care costs, pervasiveness of health insurance, and causal factors for the latter.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 13:50

When did I defend Carter’s economic policies? I merely pointed out that something else kinda important was going on at the time.

Then I pick up the daily paper — you should try it, you might be surprised — and there’s another example of horrible partisanship:

Republican picked for Army secretary

I understand why no Republicans voted for the Democratic proposal, although I do not understand why that is not considered partisan.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 14:33

How is that not defending those policies? I.e., providing an explanation of why they are better than I claimed they were? But hey, if you want to state that your position on Carter’s economic policies is that they were (overall) bad, I will update my internal Eagar Model.

You’ve got your Narrative sountrack cranked up again. I never claimed the GOP action was not partisan. It was about your claim that Obama had governed in a mostly non-partisan way. And note - I used a comparison by taking two things and comparing them, i.e. that one thing was more partisan than another. That is not a statement on the absolute level of partisanship of either.

I have also never claimed that everything Obama does is partisan. That you need to focus on minor detail on that score rather than anything of significance demonstrates how much cherry picking is required to support your claim.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 15:35
The top tier drugs cost $40/month per prescription up from $30 for 2008.

Which sounds like a pretty good Part D plan to me, a licensed insurance agent specializing in Medicare-related policies.

Exactly which “services” would be rationed? Annual mammograms and pap smears? Blood tests? Treatment for … high blood pressure…

Based on the experience of the Canadian model, yes, all of the above and more. CAT scans and MRIs, too.

But I’m not an M.D., so I can’t give you an inclusive list of which services I think would be best rationed. Think of three medical conditions for which you’re being treated, decide for which one you want to stop treatment. That’s essentially how it would have to work.

Or, we could simply ration on the basis of who can pay for what procedure - no mandated hospital charity, no taxing the young to pay for elders’ health care (although there we’d run into the problem of refunding past Medicare contributions plus interest).

erp Wednesday, 03 June 2009 at 16:19

AVery…

Don’t forget the gap. Part D pays the other part of each prescription bringing the total for each near or above $100. My husband will fall into the black hole this month which means he’ll pay over $600/mo for the next six months— adding about $3,700 more to the annual total. We’ll top $15,000 this year.

No offense, but I don’t want you or anyone other than my physician deciding which treatment I need that’s why I’d like to buy insurance for a health care network far away from anything like government interference. If a Canada/UK type system does become fact, I think that there will offshore facilities which will provide services for a fraction of the government costs. Since these will be competitive, that’s where the best service with the best people will be. Right now a liberated Cuba looks like a good place to start.

About 20 years ago, we had cause to visit an ER in Paris. Calling it third world would be a compliment.

Non-hand-on costs need to be cut, not treatments rationed.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 04 June 2009 at 12:51

Well, let’s see. The Bush administration advocated government stimulus plans early and late, so being for a stimulus plan cannot be, in itself, a partisanly Democratic position. Yet not one Republican thought along this very plausible line: 1. I voted for the 2008 Bush stimulus; 2. it was so small it had no discernible effect; so 3. stimuluses can be good but they have to be sized to fit; therefore 4. I’ll cast my vote for the Obama version.

I understand that the rightwing is panicking, and that ACORN is the new domestic version of the Trilateral Commission, but what exactly was so horribly partisan about the Democratic bill? Where is the provision that no monies be expended in Republican congressional districts? Where is the amicus brief from the Democratic National Committee in support of the governor of South Carolina?

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 04 June 2009 at 14:05
  1. The massive size.
  2. The backloading of the spending to influence the 2012 election rather than stimulate the economy.
  3. The systematic exclusion of GOP Congressmen from deliberations on the contents of the bill.
  4. Obama’s snide “I won” comment.
  5. Obama’s “pitchforks” remark.
  6. The rush to pass the bill before it could be debated by the GOP.

P.S. It turns out that Sotomayor being put on the bench by Bush was part of a deal to get a conservative on the bench as well and not an independent action. One might also note that the GOP strongly opposed Sotomayor’s elevation to the appellate court which makes her nomination, in strong contrast to your claim, quite a partisan choice.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 04 June 2009 at 20:47

1. So, they could have been for it if they were sure it wouldn’t work?

That’s not an argument I’d care to carry to the hustings.

2. Makes no sense to me. If the economy hasn’t gotten quite a bit better during Obama’s term, a brief spurt (assuming anyone could time it that nicely, which is a big assumption) won’t help at the polls.

So far, nothing substantive from you.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 04 June 2009 at 21:26

they could have been for it if they were sure it wouldn’t work?

No.

As for the backloading, it’s about buying votes, not boosting the economy.

Personally, I think they were all much more stubstantive than the one point of yours still standing.

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