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Please go easy on me-I'm somewhat new here (and I am a proud moderate democrat)

Health Care Reform is going to pass. I repeat, HCR will pass. It will be far short of what progressives want. Conservatives will scream government takeover etc. But at the end of the day, Obama is going to achieve what every other president has failed at- reforming our broken healthcare system. Is this reform far from perfect? Of course. But is this Reform the bill that can get through the minefield we call Congress-Yes! And this HCR will bend the cost curve a bit (far from what is needed), and this reform will afford tens of millions of Americans healthcare.
So what is the point of this post? To look back and see what Obama has accomplished over the past year.

  1. Obama is fighting two wars- intelligently, pulling back from Iraq, and taking care of Afghan., so that we can wind down those wars ASAP (God-willing). A smart foreign policy. The damage that Bush has done is being turned around, thanks to Clinton and Obama-no small feat.
  1. We were on the brink of a Depression. Obama steered America clear of catastrophe. Why he isn't getting more credit for that, I don't know. But our country, and the world, was on the close a total collapse and thanks t Obama's leadership, this has been avoided.
  1. Economy- Obama inherited this sinking ship. Stimulus/jobs bill are working. Economy slowly turning around.
  1. HCR-It is simply unbelievable that HCR is going to be achieved.

In summary, (assuming HCR WILL pass) in his first year or two, President Obama will have several substantial and long lasting accomplishment. That is Change we can believe in.

Originally posted to aheffy on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:20 AM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (350+ / 0-)
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  •  Dont tell me that HCR is passing (19+ / 0-)

    Because it never has passed.  The bill could be on Obama's desk with him about to sign it. pen in hand. smile on face. And the wind would blow it away.  i can see it now.

    It is not passing. we've been had in a grand scheme to distract us from everything else. In the end we're holding an empty bag.  You can tell me it's passing when my bag has something in it.

    "A lie isn't a side of a story. It's just a lie." The Wire

    by glutz78 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:25:59 AM PST

  •  Add this video for futher detail of progress made (29+ / 0-)

    to date:

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:26:31 AM PST

  •  Obama has done ok, he does deserve credit for (50+ / 0-)

    several things.  And although a lot of people don't see it, the HCR bill without the PO is still a great accomplishment for Dems, and more than that it is a great starter for getting HCR done right.

    •  They've accomplished nothing (3+ / 0-)

      pass the bill today.  we dont need more obama talks.

      Why dont they pass the bill today?  because they're slow walking this down to its death.  still.

      "A lie isn't a side of a story. It's just a lie." The Wire

      by glutz78 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:55:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not so great (7+ / 0-)

      The Dems passing a PO would be a great accomplishment, it would mean that Congress actually is able to respond to the needs of the citizens.  If, however, congress passes any of the current proposals without a PO, i.e. the "Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act" and mandate that every American is required to buy their overpriced and antitrust-exempt junk insurance, it will further entrench that industry making actual reform in the future all but impossible and it will not be the electoral panacea that so many seem to believe it will be for the Democrats in November and beyond.  The PO is still far more popular than any of the current HCR proposals.  Anyone that thinks this bill is the starting point and not the ending point hasn't been paying attention.

      Furthermore, I am nonplussed as to why Obama failed to include a PO in his proposal if for nothing more than to have it to use as a bargaining chip.  I've read the writing on the wall and it is clear that Obama doesn't and never really did support the PO so I've given up on him actually fighting for it, but Dems are again starting their bargaining from a position of weakness by not at least including it in the proposal as a starting point.  Dems did the same thing in the beginning of the debate by taking Single Payer off the table before negotiations even began, which would have given them enough leverage to argue for a PO as the compromise position that it actually is.

      Actions speak louder than words and based on the actions of the Dems, it is clear that there was never any real intention for them to include a provision like the PO in the final bill and that the PO was only ever included so they could bargain it away, and so they could pretend they were throwing a bone to the base.

      Experts are to Fox News what winners are to the Special Olympics. If you show up, you are one. -Jon Stewart

      by democracy inaction on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:43:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      the HCR bill without the PO is still a great accomplishment for Dems  

      How is this good for Dems? For that matter, how is it good for anyone but insurance shareholders and CEOs?

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:45:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because it opens the door (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg, Imhotepsings

        Like Social Security and Medicare before it, HCR will be modified and amended in the years to come to more closely resemble what we have in mind. It will likely morph into having a public option and even a single payer system down the road. Previously, the door has been slammed to just getting the past the first step. But we are about to get that first step accomplished! When the President said he was taking on HCR in his first year I was blown away because I knew it would be a shitstorm like no other. We should not underestimate the enormity of this. It is going to pass and it will be the first step to one of the greatest reforms in American history.

        Obama to GOP: "Grab a Mop"

        by DoubleT on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:31:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only door opened up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brooke In Seattle

          by the mandate and excise tax without the pubic option is the door to massive Republican landslide victories in November 10 and 12. And mandating that we buy for-profit claim-denial "insurance", and taxing us to pay more for it is indeed a giant step--backwards.

          You heard it here first.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:47:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I with you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewfromct

            I hope like hell the mandate does not happen. But there is so much more to the potential HCR package that to dismiss it due to the mandate flaw - albeit a huge flaw admittedly - we may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. A recent diary byblue aardvark touches on some of the other details of the bill that still make it groundbreaking stuff.

            Obama to GOP: "Grab a Mop"

            by DoubleT on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:33:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The mandate is a double mistake (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle, Johnny Q, DoubleT

              firstly because it's simply grossly bad policy, and secondly because it's political suicide for Democrats, and when the Rethugs take over next November you can be damned sure that they'll gut the funding for Sanders' clinics, weaken and water down whatever regulations and restrictions on denials and recissions that the Dems do manage to pass, all the while quietly keeping the mandate and raising the excise tax, not to mention making it more regressive.

              Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

              by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:42:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Mandate (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DoubleT

                You may very well be correct. I am not smart enough to figure out how to have guaranteed insurance for all without somekind of mandate. With guaranteed insurance and without mandate, people will forgo insurance until they get sick.
                What's the solution?

                •  The solution is single-payer (4+ / 0-)

                  or at the very least a robust public option that is not driven by the profit motive and therefore does not waste precious funding on billions in profits and billions more on advertising, corporate jets, and CEO mega-salaries.

                  Open up medicare to a buy-in by all who choose a non-profit government option. Those who prefer private coverage should be free to choose it if they wish, but private insurers who accept government subsidies should be required to cover every applicant--no refusals for pre-existing conditions.

                  The trouble is that the industry has bought up just enough CorporaDems to stymie real reform, and a shockingly large number of people here either refuse to see that, or worse, find it to be acceptable.

                  Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                  by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:00:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Its true (30+ / 0-)

    that many of us had completely unrealistic expectations for Obama.  With the GOP in permanent attack mode and the Dems as divided as they are, its fantastic that he's accomplished as much as he has on HCR. I hope you're right that something passes.

    And you're absolutely right about the economy and the wars.  Cleaning up Bush's mess is going to take a long time, particularly since the GOP wants to turn it into Obama's mess.

  •  Tipped and rec'd for sanity (34+ / 0-)

    Unlike the blistering screed currently burning up the top of the reclist.

    "You have no interest in helping me do my job and I have no interest in helping you do yours" - Rep Geoff Simpson to wingnut radio host.

    by slippytoad on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:30:21 AM PST

    •  Because stating (9+ / 0-)

      future events with absolute certainty is the ultimate proof of sanity.

      As for the Greenwald piece - we will know who is right by tomorrow evening.

      Harry Reid's lack of backbone is an act, his obstructionism isn't.

      by stevej on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:37:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We will know who's right (6+ / 0-)

        When either the HC bill is dropped unpassed, or the President signs something.

        Assuming the latter, what is in that final bill will represent not just Obama's desires, but the horse trading in the Congress.

        I do believe he could fight harder but it is not clear to me that such fighting would be successful, and I cannot blame him if he's tired of fighting Congress.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:50:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if this is true (0+ / 0-)

          I cannot blame him if he's tired of fighting Congress.

          We're well and truly screwed, given the current composition of Congress and the fact that he's in his first year of his term.

          "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

          by DMiller on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:02:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sanity would be passing the bill TODAY (0+ / 0-)

      WHY NOT TODAY?

      Why is this stupid conference necessary at all?  

      P
      A
      S
      S

      I
      T

      T
      O
      D
      A
      Y!

      "A lie isn't a side of a story. It's just a lie." The Wire

      by glutz78 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:56:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it really that criticial if it happens today (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones, yella dawg

        or in a week? Hell, some progressives want to kill the bill altogether and start again in 20 years.

        So, what's your point?

      •  You're spamming. Knock it off. (5+ / 0-)

        H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

        by JesseCW on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:21:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Optimistic answer versus pessimistic answer (7+ / 0-)

        The optimistic answer: Obama is going through the motions, even though he knows Republicans have no intention whatsoever of compromising. Then he can say to the public "well, we tried, we gave the Republicans every opportunity and they chose to spit in our faces, so we'll be regretfully forced to go it alone." Then the Democrats pass a decent health care plan, hopefully with a public option or a Medicare expansion and Obama signs it, sooner rather than later.

        Pessimistic answer: This is more of a kabuki dance of Democrats giving themselves roadblocks as to why health care legislation couldn't be passed AGAIN. Of course, they never had any intention of passing anything meaningful in the first place, so there you go. Oh, and it does a wonderful job of putting them back in the minority, which is what they always wanted to do, anyway. God knows why, but there you go.

        I hope the first scenario is true and I fear the latter one is.

        •  Damn, yes its Dems setting up the hurdles. (0+ / 0-)

          Actually, hurdles is too tame.  I have a tragi-comic variant of the new PO commercial (attractive woman in red top running against Ins Co fat cats) - Nelson, Lieberman, Lincoln, Bayh, Landrieu, Baucua and even Reid running out and dropping spikes, digging trenches (with flaming oil), banana peels, dumptrucks, etc in her way.

          Its no surprise the ReThugs are fighting HC Reform.  Its the Dem sabotage that hurts.  I've seen it since late Spring 2009.  Ouch.

          We wanted a Howard Dean HC bill - we got a Lieberman HC bill. Ugh

          by JVolvo on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:39:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting question (0+ / 0-)

        So, do your stuff:  Call 'em and tell 'em, "Pass it today."

        Meantime, the conference will go on.

        It's time to come together as a nation. To pass health insurance reform now-this year. - Barack Obama

        by rsmpdx on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:46:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nice take on POTUS's accomplishments- (9+ / 0-)

    thanks.

  •  Thank you to the diarist and my president! (18+ / 0-)

    I remember what we had with Bush...it was just a little over a year ago.  I sure as hell do not want to go back there.  I am proud to say I voted for Obama and I am proud to see CHANGE being enacted.  Is it perfect?  No.  But I do not remember a president in recent times having to deal with as much critical issues as Obama.  

    Thank you Mr. President for your leadership!

    •  Please don't forget, it has only been (21+ / 0-)

      a little over one year that he is President. We are on the right path, and that is more than what we had for 8 years prior. I am always reminded of his innaugration speech, in it he asked for patience. I don't see much patience, either with the right, the left, the media, or with the American people. Those who say they would not vote for Obama again, simply need to take a look back at what we had before he took the oath of office. I can not see anyone who could do a better job than he has done in this short period of time, and he won a Nobel Peace Prize too. Look at John McCain today, and think what things would look like if he had won, with Palin by his side. I think that thought alone would make most happy that Barack Obama is our President.

      •  /shudder (5+ / 0-)

        Look at John McCain today, and think what things would look like if he had won, with Palin by his side.

        You should send this story idea to Stephen King. It's certainly scarier than anything he's producing these days. ;)

        Progressivism, like conservatism, cannot fail. It can only be failed.

        by tomjones on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:36:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I find interesting is (7+ / 0-)

          J.D. Hayworth an asshole, has been politician, turned radio talker has McCain runny scared. One wonders how he would stand up to world leaders and threats from world leaders. McCain has made an about face from almost every single positon he held in the past, and he is doing so just to get re-elected. As President it doesn't appear he could be trusted to do the right thing. I think when he weighed in on the economy and his suspending his campaign weeks before the election in 2008, the American people saw just how disengenous John McCain was, and decided NO on McCain and Palin. It also didn't help him selecting Sarah Palin for V.P. just for the political points, and with no regard for what was good for America. He is the face of the Republican party, and this is how they all operate, it is all for self-angrandizment and politicl expediency, and not at all about what is good for the U.S.A.

    •  If Bush hadn't been so bad.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cameoanne, Johnny Q

      ....four (or eight) years of things not getting worse would be acceptable. But Bush was so bad that Obama needs to be more than average. So far, he has been average, but he has the potential to do so much more. He's like the smart kid with ADD who the teacher gives C's and B's too and tells his parents that little Johnny is so smart, but he just doesn't seem to put in the effort in school.

      •  Obama's more like an Aspergers Student... (0+ / 0-)

        ...in a room full of bullies.  As a person with that Syndrome, I can talk about what that can be like.  That he's managed what he's managed in the last year is a testament to his skill.  Few Presidents come close to doing as much as he did.

        The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

        by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:37:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Incidentally.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....I have ADHD, so I can talk about it like that.

  •  Please explain to me (20+ / 0-)

    how, exactly, that mandating citizens to buy a product from the private market or otherwise incur a fee/penalty without a lower cost, public option is in anyway a success?  

    •  Not sure where you get (12+ / 0-)

      that the public option would provide lower cost insurance. According to the CBo, the PO of the House bill would have had higher prmiums due to higher risk pools.
      The Health Care bill will give you the opportunity to go shopping in the exchange, which will offer many plans and regulations.

      •  But a public (10+ / 0-)

        option would have at the very least paved the way to a single-payer system.  It would have provided real competition to a private health care industry that we know is above rules and regulations.

        Explain to me why less than 40% approve of this Health Insurance Reform bill if it's such a good bill?

        Obama and the Democrats made sure that this bill satisfied the wishes of insurance companies and Big Pharma before putting it out there...

        •  Maybe it would (4+ / 0-)

          and I think a Public Option is good policy, too.
          But the approval rating for Health Care has been in the 40s since August, when the PO was still very much alive.
          The problem is, nobody knows what's in the bill (and a lot of trhings are much more popular than the PO), because all the media has been reporting since August is the tea party, the special deals and the Democrats who blast reform.
          That's why it's important to pass the bill. Then the media should report what will change. (Yes, I'm naive)

        •  you don't know (8+ / 0-)

          that it would have paved the way to single payer, that is a hope, not a fact.  It would provide real competition IF there was a cost control, which there is not.

          In addition, the polling on the bill itself is all over the place, with each individual piece scoring highly and the whole bill at break even for and against.  Its as accurate as reading tea leaves to rely on polling at this point.

          •  A crippled PO could have been cited (8+ / 0-)

            as proof that "government-run health insurance doesn't work." There's no way to know for sure how it would have worked in the real world...everything is just an educated guess, because this kind of system hasn't been tried (the closest thing is what they have in Mass, where there's a sort-of public option but it's means-tested). What we know works is government-funded/national health insurance, because that exists in some form in every developed country except ours--thanks to American Exceptionalism, that means we can't do it.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:09:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's silly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle, sneakers563

              There's no way to know for sure how it would have worked in the real world...everything is just an educated guess, because this kind of system hasn't been tried

              If it's not going to work, then why are the insurance companies fighting it so hard???  I know a real-world place where it works.  It's a magical place called Europe.  We should check out how they have a PO in Germany, but there are still private insurance companies.

              We know it will work.  Of course Republicans will try to call any Democratic victory 'a defeat', but that is nothing new.  It shouldn't stop us from getting real reform instead of this bogus private insurance mandate.

              •  It's not an "option" in Europe (0+ / 0-)

                it's universal. As I said, national health, whether administered by nonprofit companies or by the government, works. But none of the European countries have a for-profit-based system with market exchanges and a limited-eligibility "public option" as part of that. Unfortunately a European  style system is not an option here, even though it clearly works.

                "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:08:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I've heard that adding competition (10+ / 0-)

        doesn't lower costs.  It has to do with the way that hospitals make contracts with insurers, giving the best deals at cost to the insurers with the largest customer pool and giving worse deals to everyone else.  New competitors can't name their own prices, they have to bargain with them, and they need bodies to bargain with.

        Which means the PO would have to be either 1) heavily subsidized; or 2) have a large membership to start off with, both of which Democrats have said they will not do.

        One way to approach this problem is to have mandated uniform rate controls.  Maryland has this, and someone told me that Michigan does also.  

        There's a good argument to be made that having a weak PO in place now will be good for us down the line, since it's a lot easier to strengthen an existing thing than it is to create a new strong thing.  

        But my sense is that a problem this big is going to take more than just insurance reform; at some point Congress is going to have to address hospitals and pharmaceuticals as well.  Maybe one of these days a bold minority of candidates will try to bring up single payer.  Because the idea that all of Europe can do it and do it well but America can't is unpatriotic.  

        Snarka Snarka Snarka!

        by Hunter Huxley on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:48:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but the idea that all of Europe (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yella dawg, mnguy66, BoxNDox, Imhotepsings

          did it is wrong, in that some of the successful European plans are insurance based.   Its the cost controls that will be meaningful in the long run.  This bill is still too weak, but the PO is not the only way to control costs.

          •  The European plans are administered by (7+ / 0-)

            private insurers, but not run by them. I don't know if they have for-profit insurance, but if they do it's purely for supplemental, not basic, coverage.

            The real problem with the public option is the reason it's been abandoned, rather than its intrinsic value. The public option has been cut back, then cut out, entirely to protect the market share of private insurers, including for-profit insurers.  

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:17:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some do (5+ / 0-)

              Switzerland allows for profit insurance, and I'm pretty sure that the Netherlands does as well, but not totally sure.

              The basic difference is that in the German system, for instance, there is higher regulation and the sickness funds are non-profit.  

              Higher income people can opt out of the system and into a private plan if they wish.

              I think people would do well to remember that the German system is insurance based, and that just to cover non-elderly adults, there is a tax that is equivalent to 14% of income on all workers. 7% on the employee and on the employer side.  

              "I don't know if there is a God, and if there is, he's nothing like me."

              by otto on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:33:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  then the real problem (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yella dawg, cameoanne, Imhotepsings

              is that its not single payer, and that was abandoned, public option was just a stand in for single payer.

              And single payer is not the only successful model.  The earlier comment was on Europe, but Japan also has a system with insurance.

              So it always comes back to appropriate cost control measures, negotiated pricing, rate increase limitations, which can exist in single payer or insurance based systems.  

              So if the end goal is the same in both, and successful models exist for both government single payer and mandated insurance contributions with private insurance, the real problem is the dispute about whether any private insurance exists or whether insurance should be strictly government run.  In that sense I can agree with Obama, I have no belief in the inherent superiority of either approach, in that sense I am agnostic.  Private ownership doesn't send me into angst, government ownership doesn't send me into angst.   Effective cost control, a measurable outcome once a plan is implemented is my goal.  I have always believed in the truth behind the adage, "there is more than one way to skin a cat".     I recognize some people have philosophical stands, that who owns the pie matters more than how the pie is split.   I am not one of those people.  I just want the pie split fairly regardless of whose pie I end up eating a piece.  Or, I want my pie, and the whole pie split fairly, and I don't care who I take it from as far as ultimate ownership extends.   I know the corporations will treat me badly, and I know the government will treat me badly, provided I and everyone else are not hypervigilant.  I don't believe that a perfect political or economic systems exists, its how we police individual greed writ large that matters.

        •  Great comment. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hunter Huxley, Imhotepsings

          The HCR bill does have some measures intended to make a stab at holding costs down, but as you say it doesn't do nearly enough.

          What I believe will happen if Congress passes HCR is what is currently going on in MA, which adopted a very similar plan.

          After only a few years under their plan (which is very popular, btw, despite its mandate to buy insurance without a PO), officials are already working on stricter cost measures because...well, they now have no choice.

          They're on the hook for providing universal coverage, so they have to figure out how to make it affordable for the state.

          Progressivism, like conservatism, cannot fail. It can only be failed.

          by tomjones on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:42:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Shshh..The Public Option means (8+ / 0-)

        Everyone gets healthcare for free.  /snark

        I admit I'm a little jaded at the moment but I am really annoyed by the naysayers who demand low cost to free health care out of the sky.  Health care is only going to be low cost if we fundamentally change how we deliver care in this country.  We need mandates and we also need to control cost and if that means a tax on Cadillac plans, then so be it.

        I also say this as someone who pays the UK National Insurance Tax and thinks all these naysayers wouldn't be happy with that amount either.  Expat in London.

        •  If the Dems pass a Cadillac tax (6+ / 0-)

          or any other tax on the middle class during a recession they might as well resign today.

          •  Why? I don't have a Cadillac plan. Why should I (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sideboth, yella dawg, funmerlin

            have to keep subsidizing those people that do have Cadillac plans.

            Furthermore, if really want to curtail costs, we need an excise tax.

          •  Cadillac Tax (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yella dawg, cameoanne

            Is not a tax on middle class. It is a tax on ultra, ultra rich plans, which lead to over-usage, which leads to increased health costs for all. The horrors-just imagine if you have to see a doctor, and God-forbid, have to a pay a $10 co-pay. Or if you have to have a few MRI's and have to pay $50. Or if you have a hospital stay and instead of paying $0, now you have to pay $200. Oh no, the sky is falling!

            •  Tell that to coal miners (3+ / 0-)

              with relatively modest pay and large health care costs.  

              •  The tax is structured so high risk professions (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yella dawg, Nailbanger, Imhotepsings

                can have higher cost policies than the base amount.

                In the Senate bill, the base limits were raised by $1350 for an individual and $3000 for a family of four for policies on employees in certain high-risk professions (including coal miners).

                The base limits were raised by $1350 for an individual and $3000 for a family of four for the 17 states with the most expensive coverage.

                They were further raised by $1350 for an individual and $3000 for a family of four for retirees 55 and older.

                These raises are cumulative, meaning a 55 year old coal miner with a family of four living in a high cost state could have a policy that costs $36,500 per year before the plan would be taxed. (The $27,500 base rate proposed by Obama + $9000)

              •  Coal Miners (0+ / 0-)

                Exchange thir cadillac plan with a more modest plan, and get a better wage. And I think your example is a sliver of the cadillac plans that are out there. Most are either high paying execs or other unions.

            •  Cadillac tax (0+ / 0-)

              is the McCain plan.  Obama ran opposing this.  Why is it a good thing now?

              You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

              by Johnny Q on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:59:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Well, when there aren't enough jobs to go around (6+ / 0-)

          and people can't afford to pay for food much less health insurance and care, then what do you expect them to do?

          What do people in London do if they are unemployed and uninsured?

          Do you know what happens to those people in this country?

          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

          by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:16:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which is why everyone else pays more (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yella dawg, cameoanne, Imhotepsings

            This is the part I think you don't get.  Everyone and I mean EVERYONE (except if you make less than 110 pounds per week) pays into the system.  In the UK we accept less services so that everyone gets to have health care.  Everybody chips in and no one has a Cadillac health care plan.  The tax is around 10% of your income or 11% if you make over a certain amount.

            •  And is it free for basic care at point of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              itsbenj, Jiminy Cricket, cameoanne

              delivery?

              Is everyone eligible for care no matter their economic status?

              Are people turned away from continuing care because they can't afford to pay?

              From what I know about the British National Health system, the answers are Yes, Yes, and No.

              Even after the Congress passes this bill, I don't think we will get the same answers in this country.

              "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

              by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:35:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The UK healthcare system is not free!!! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Silverbird, yella dawg, Imhotepsings

                It is 10% of everyone's salary.  You pay upfront from your salary in order not to pay a doctor or a hospital.  

                •  At point of care, meaning no co-pays (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jiminy Cricket

                  or co-insurance or deductibles.

                  People in this country will get insurance with this bill, but they won't be able to use it because they won't have the money for co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles.

                  So, they will get sick and perhaps die from preventable diseases and conditions.

                  "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                  by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:34:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  No one is uninsured in London (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmo, drewfromct, cameoanne, Nailbanger, axel000

            or anywhere in the UK. That's why it's called the National Health Service.

            The unemployed get state unemployment benefits.

            Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

            by bumblebums on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:24:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That was my point. (8+ / 0-)

              Those were largely rhetorical questions.

              The problem is that there are millions of unemployed people in this country who get no unemployment benefits and millions more who don't qualify for health care -- not even for Medicaid for the poorest.

              You have to meet very special criteria to qualify for aid, and every state has its own extra special criteria to keep people off the dole.

              That's not changing, as far as I can tell.

              Our country is STUPID to remain tied to an employer-based insurance program. It needs to be severed from work once and for all, and the benefits to those who have nothing need to be applied across the board, not to just those the state decides can jump through their hoops the best.

              Continuing to tie health care to insurance and to a job is just defined insanity: It is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

              "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

              by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:32:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yella dawg, axel000

                I'd love to have an NHS here too.

                Now tell me how you propose to undo our system in one legislative act.  

                Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

                by bumblebums on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:36:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I thought that was what HCR was (5+ / 0-)

                  supposed to do.

                  Instead, we get health insurance reform, government mandates to pay money to a soulless corporate entity with penalties for non-compliance and still no guarantee of care, and millions of people who still get no coverage OR care.

                  This is successful reform? Successful for whom?

                  "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                  by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:39:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You expected our entire system (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    yella dawg, lynncosbm

                    to be dismantled and replaced overnight with single payer?

                    Okaaay.

                    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

                    by bumblebums on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:41:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  So you are willing to pay 10 or higher percent (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    yella dawg

                    of your salary for health care.  You also would need to put doctor's on salaries and start rationing out care.  Not significantly but enough to cover cost.  I am willing to do this, are you?  Two diaries were recently posted, one from a member from France and one from the UK that very clearly detailed both cost and services.  There were lots of comments about how people were not willing to pay 10% of their salary for it.  The unemployed are covered by everyone else and health care is pretty much a mandate since it is directly taken out of your salary.

                    •  If I had a job, I would be. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tmo, Jiminy Cricket, Johnny Q

                      I've been out of work since January 2007.

                      Haven't been to a doctor in five years.

                      Hell, yes, I'd pay 10% of my salary to get NHS care.

                      I've had British friends, and known nurses who came from there to here to make more money, so I've heard the stories. I've also known women who had their lives saved by visiting nurses and continuing home health care in Britain.

                      But since I'm unemployed, uninsured, and without savings, this country would let me starve to death or die from lack of care. At least in Great Britain, I'd be getting a pittance of money and treatment for my various continuing ailments that remain untreated here.

                      I will most likely die from something simple like high blood pressure or a heart attack before anything meaningful allows me care in this country.

                      I'm a non-person here. Nobody gives a damn what happens to me.

                      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                      by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:23:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And I think you should have healthcare as well (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        GN1927, Imhotepsings

                        I come from a point of view that everyone has to chip in and probably pay more than we want to make sure that the less fortunate and the unemployed are covered.  I don't want to pay more money for healthcare executives bonuses but I will pay more money for quality services for everyone.  Americans (which I am one) are always looking for the best service for the lowest cost.  That doesn't work for our healthcare.  We expect the top surgeons, the best medication, the best treatment but we don't want to pay for it.  To get universal healthcare, we are all going to have to sacrifice a little and pay a little more.

                      •  I would too but (0+ / 0-)

                        the majority of people are not willing to pay an upfront 10% tax.  And until there is the political will for that in this country it will have to be done another way.  This bill is a start, and as commenter below states you will be eligible for Medicare now.

              •  Medicaid eligibility will be SOLELY income-based (3+ / 0-)

                The bills from both the Senate and the House change the Medicaid eligibility requirements to be income-based only:
                http://www.kff.org/...

                A research analyst with Credit Suisse explains this in some detail:
                http://www.twst.com/...

                Mr. Nersessian: So let's break it up into the pieces. In terms of the way the legislation is structured right now, you start with the Medicaid piece, let's start there. The Medicaid piece, what's on the table right now, at least in the Senate Finance bill, which is getting the most attention, is expanding Medicaid coverage for everybody under 133% of the federal poverty level. That would be about $13,000 a year in 2009 for an individual, and about $25,000 to $26,000 for a family of four.

                Now what's really misunderstood by a lot of people who don't follow health care very closely is that currently Medicaid is not open to everybody just based on their income level. Really to qualify for Medicaid today, you have to be below a certain income level and you have to qualify based on your demographic characteristics. In other words, in many states the only people who qualify for Medicaid today who are between the ages of 19 and 64 have to either have dependent children or a disability. Healthy, childless adults between the ages of 19 and 64 generally don't qualify for Medicaid; it doesn't matter how poor they are, unless the state has been granted a waiver to expand coverage to some childless adults at the low end of the income spectrum.

                So what this proposal would do is open Medicaid eligibility to everybody under 133% of the poverty level. So there are about 19 million Americans today between zero and 133% of the poverty level who are uninsured, and Medicaid would essentially be the vehicle to covering that segment of the population.

                Californians: The Courage Campaign is working for changing the 2/3 budget rule and for ending Prop 8. Go!

                by tmo on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:35:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In every state? With no assets test? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tmo

                  That would be heavenly.

                  But I live in Texas. I'll believe it when I can actually see a doctor and not have to sign away my first-born male child first.

                  "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                  by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:38:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Why can't we have National Health? (0+ / 0-)

              Give me one good reason.  And the poor widdle insurance companies lising their shit doesn't count.

              Nor does having corrupt and cowardly representatives.

              You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

              by Johnny Q on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:03:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  That is just nonsense. (11+ / 0-)

        The CBO rates the PO as having slightly higher premiums because it delivers better coverage to people who need it more.  Move those people to private insurance and the costs are higher there.  Expand the PO to draw from a larger pool and the costs are lower there.

        Unless your employer does not provide you with insurance coverage, you would NOT have the opportunity go shopping on the exchange.

        •  but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yella dawg, funmerlin, Imhotepsings

          the PO isn't expanded at this point and might never be, so the what is, is what was presented, the PO in the bills isn't an answer.  Its just part of an incremental change itself and pretty ineffectual.  So its still about the next bill, not this bill that the real objections come up.  There is no reason to have no bill when we're still playing the game of maybe next year.

          There are many things in this bill that are worth having.   That are not betrayals of promises or philosophy.   Its still the first time a bill got out of committee.  Its still imperfect.  So is the world.   If this bill passes, the world will be slightly less imperfect.  And that is good.

          •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

            A health care reform bill passed the HELP committee in the Senate and it included the public option.

            There are many things in the bill worth having.  The public option is worth having.  The CBO has stated that competition form the public option would "probably lower private premiums in the insurance exchanges to a small degree."  The rationales for excluding the public option are all political.  There is no valid reason to exclude it.

            •  first time a general health care (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yella dawg, Imhotepsings

              bill passed all committees and made it to the floor for a vote, which passed.   As in nobody else has gotten this far, even though the bill that came out is a hodgepodge of compromises and is not a bill that would be passed if only policy were considered.  And when we have the philosopher king acting as benevolent dictator, politics will be excluded and policy will rule.  Until then, politics matter.

        •  There are vouchers in the Senate bill (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yella dawg, funmerlin

          that would allow you to go shopping on the exchange and get the tax exemption for it. They're not in the House bill.
          http://wyden.senate.gov/...

      •  So the PO is potentially a bad idea. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg

        I sort of get where you're coming from.

        If you remove the anti-trust exemption, which the House is about to do today (and send it to the Senate, where it will die), and regulate the hell out of the insurance industry (everybody gets in, prices based on expenditures, billing fraud is cracked down upon, coverage is guaranteed, the poors are subsidized, etc.), it can work quite well without yet another new insurance company run by the government.  Make the leash strong enough, and we can trust the market.  I can sort of buy that.  It's middle-of-the-road centrism and triangulation at its best, but I think that can work.  

        Or the insurance industry goes Galt...er...gets out of the health business altogether, but if that happens (unlikely), even Republicans will be screaming for single-payer because you gotta do this insurance thing somehow.

        This space intentionally left blank.

        by Steaming Pile on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:26:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. (0+ / 0-)

          the public option has slightly higher premiums because it is more attractive to those with higher costs, but it puts competitive pressure on private insurers in the exchange causing them to have slightly lower premiums.  That is what the CBO said.

      •  ah yes, the bogus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cameoanne

        weakened version of the public option. yup, the designed-to-fail version of the public option does indeed cost more than private insurance.

        the original robust PO scored by the CBO, of course, saved billions of dollars.

    •  Mandate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steaming Pile, ETF

      I firmly believe that a government-run public option plan will not be run any better/more efficient/less expensive than what the market will be able to do. Sure, PO will save the profit of insurance companies. but that savings will be offset by fraud and inefficiecies. Thus, PO will cost about the same as th market. I believe with the Exchanges, we will have more competition, which will help a bit. Concerning mandates, you can't have your cake and eat it to. If you want everyone to be able to have coverage (where thy can't be turned down for any reason), than we need mandate. If not, everyone would forgo insurance, and apply for it on their blackberry on the way to emergency room.

      •  Wow, you really trust the market? (15+ / 0-)

        Health insurance does not belong in a market.  Private health insurance companies profit by way of denying coverage.  And do you really think that it's a PO that will introduce fraud and inefficiency into our health care system?  Our health care system is already rampant with fraud and inefficiency!

        •  "Trusting the market" (12+ / 0-)

          = what we have right now.

          Endless rate increases, worse coverage.  BECAUSE THEY CAN.  People need healthcare, and when this is the only way of getting it they can blackmail people with their lives.

          That is what comes of trusting the magic "market" to get healthcare to people:  more dead Americans, more sick Americans, more financially ruined Americans.

          Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

          by chumley on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:02:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Precisely (6+ / 0-)

            As though this health care system can get any worse with the addition of a public option.  

            Or if you want, let's forget about the public option.  What happened to the expanded Medicare buy-in?  

            Many people are happy with Medicare.  So why not expand the program to include those 55 and above?

            •  Medicare Buy In (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              drewfromct, yella dawg, cameoanne

              I see no reason why this should not be reduced to either age 55 or 60. Orr, if someone permently retires past age 55, they should be able to buy int it.

              •  And there will be lots of these people. (7+ / 0-)

                You get laid off at 55 years of age - just try to find another job paying anywhere near what you were making.  Just try, and get back to me.  That is, if you can still afford Internet service.

                So lots of these people will just retire, or work part-time to supplement whatever retirement savings they might have accumulated up to that point, or work some crappy job trying to limp across the finish line where they can start tapping into their 401K funds.

                Being able to buy in to Medicare would help such people a lot, especially if they got some kind of subsidy based on what they've paid in already, or what they're paying in at the aforementioned crappy job.

                This space intentionally left blank.

                by Steaming Pile on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:15:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Pfft. 55? Try 50. (9+ / 0-)

                  They need to lower it to 50.

                  Lose a job at 50 and try to find another.

                  Been trying for three years now.

                  No job. No insurance. No safety net in lieu of them.

                  "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                  by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:18:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, so where is the (5+ / 0-)

                    talk about expanding Medicare?  Presumably many Americans will be in favor of expanding a popular program.  Where are the Democrats and where is Obama on this issue?

                    Oh, I know where Obama is.  He's entertaining those he referred to as "savvy businessmen" at a White House dinner...

                  •  The "logic" for 55 (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    yella dawg

                    ...is that it's a standard age band for a huge rate increase (i.e., prices go up a lot on 55'th birthday) for all Individual plans.

                    Premiums jump from the miserable to the horrible (to paraphrase Woody Allen). The cluster of uninsured  (4%??) who are not eligible for subsidies and are not undocumented immigrants are also those hit the worst by the highest standard (not associated with pre-existing) premiums is this group.

                    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

                    by kck on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:51:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That works in the old world of employment. (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Clues, kck, yella dawg, midwestblue

                      In the 21st century, once one hits 50, unless one is bond trader, doctor, lawyer, or banker  -- or US Senator -- a company apparently has no legal obligation to keep one employed.

                      Employers can cut anyone over 50 loose, and they aren't going to get hired again.

                      Know why?

                      Mostly because of the health care costs to employers' bottom lines.

                      Of course, they aren't eligible for Medicare until they turn 65, so insurers hope that they die between 50 and 65 with no job and no affordable health care. Now many people in the Gen X and Millenial groups want the age for eligibility raised to 70. Talk about killing Grandma! Take away her access to health care for 15 years, and she'll be sure to be no further burden.

                      It's an insidious business, how we hate our middle-aged in this country.

                      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                      by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:11:16 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Employers can cut anyone loose (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        yella dawg, Imhotepsings

                        at any time--there is no legal obligation to keep anyone employed unless they have a contract, which most don't. There are additional incentives to cut older workers since they have often reached a higher pay scale, and of course they increase the cost of the insurance pool. But as for having "no legal obligation to keep one employed" after 50--that's not right. There is actually, in theory, a cause of action for age discrimination if someone is fired solely because of age, though it is incredibly difficult to win.

                        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                        by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:22:33 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, that 's my point. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          tmo, yella dawg

                          Yes, there are rules on the books.

                          They are largely unenforceable.

                          And employers collude to keep the layoff of older workers invisible and immune from litigation.

                          When I was laid off, they gave us a whole list of all the workers with all their age ranges and positions to help cover their asses, and we had to sign documents saying we wouldn't sue if we wanted our severance and unemployment.

                          Who can afford a lawyer at the drop of a hat? Certainly not the people who live in my world. We don't have them on retainer, and we don't have savings that would allow us to just hire one.

                          Surprisingly, a large number of those laid off were women over 50. The company also laid off an equal number of men and people under 50 -- whose names I knew by their incompetence throughout the company. Of course they laid off some of those people! But they laid off my whole department, and we were saving them money!

                          So, they take advantage of a layoff to get rid of the deadwood and the older workers at the same time, and nobody has a legitimate legal complaint.

                          Meanwhile, only 28% of laid-off workers over 55 got jobs in 2008. Numbers aren't available yet for 2009, but I'll bet it's even worse.

                          We are being forced out of the job market with no legal recourse.

                          And an important part of my comment above was "Employers can cut anyone over 50 loose, and they aren't going to get hired again." Those under 50 don't have nearly the trouble getting re-hired that those over 50 do.

                          Most of my working life was also spent in "right to work" states (one of the most insidious misnomers of modern times), so I know that I could be fired at any time. In previous years, I've had minimal trouble finding a new job whenever I've wanted one. I've been out of work for three years now, and I know it's not just me.

                          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

                          by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:37:10 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The problem isn't being unable to afford (0+ / 0-)

                            a lawyer--if you had a good chance of winning a civil rights suit, there'd be lawyers who'd take the case on contingency....but of course there aren't, because it is so pitifully easy for employers to defend against age discrimination cases.

                            But "right to work" isn't the reason you can be fired at any time, except in an indirect way. "Right to work" is just a union-busting statute which makes it next to impossible for unions to survive (it bars "closed shops" where employees have to be union members to hold a job)...which makes it less likely that any employee will have a (union) contract that might protect them from getting fired at the drop of a hat.

                            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                            by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 05:05:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Yup, agreed. I know it's very common. (0+ / 0-)

                        There are laws against age discrimination.

                        However, in all my years in the corporate sector I worked through lay-offs and have seen many HR cases filed, won, and lost but never saw an employee laid off due to age nor an age discrimination case brought forward.

                        Single-payer is the only workable scenario that's universal (as well as affordable and sustainable). None of these other schemes cover everyone. None of these schemes are sustainable. In fact they purposely sideline the fundamental questions of do people have a right to health care in such a modern, affluent country and is it OK (allowable) to value profit over access to health care for Americans.  

                        Agreed, our laws - and our government and infrastructure for that matter - even with the proposals for insurance reform, are no more mature than they were in the '50s. We need visionary, courageous change, desperately. No doubt about it.    

                        HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

                        by kck on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:28:24 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Medicare buy-in works if you allow Employers (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brooke In Seattle, pamelabrown

                to pick up the buy-in cost.

                That drives down their cost of insuring the rest of pool in the private market, and also encourages them to hire/retain 55-65 year olds.

                Of course, it would mean loss of profit, so it can't be done.

                H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

                by JesseCW on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:25:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Healthcare (0+ / 0-)

            We have the best healthcare in the world. Prices are increasing at this clip for many, many reasons. Two reasons are we are living longer, due to our great system and medical advancements, and the delivery of care is convoluted (pay for service instead of quality of care).
            I'll take the private market any day of the week!

            •  Really? The best healthcare? (12+ / 0-)

              The UN seems to be unaware of it, since it's rated the French system as the best in the world, and it conbines mandatory public with supplementary private insurance. Norway, Sweden, and, well, most European countries are ahead in all the statistics, including life expectancy, as is Japan. And let's not even get into infant mortality rates.

              Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

              by Dauphin on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:13:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  UN (0+ / 0-)

                Yeah, I believe anything the UN says!!!

                •  Tell me a source (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tmo, cameoanne, Johnny Q, Imhotepsings

                  What source would you believe when it comes to healthcare success?  

                  You will learn from any source that our costs are higher and our results are lower.  

                  It's not the source that's the problem.

                  "I don't know if there is a God, and if there is, he's nothing like me."

                  by otto on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:39:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Results Lower? (0+ / 0-)

                    I think not. If I'm really sick, I want t be teatd here, in the good old USA! Just the other day, a Canadiam Premier came t American for a heart surgery.

                    •  Is the Economist a good source? (7+ / 0-)

                      I challenge you to read this comment and respond on the merits.  

                      If you can't, then you are not a credible participant in a discussion when it comes to health care.  I don't believe that you have anything other than personal opinion to operate on here, and you're demonstrating that you lack sufficient information to make informed opinions on the state of health care.  

                      It's no wonder. The medical tourism industry has experienced massive growth over the past decade. Experts in the field say as many as 150,000 U.S. citizens underwent medical treatment abroad in 2006 — the majority in Asia and Latin America. That number grew to an estimated 750,000 in 2007 and could reach as high as 6 million by 2010. Patients are packing suitcases and boarding planes for everything from face lifts to heart bypasses to fertility treatments

                      Read more: http://www.time.com/...

                      I'm not going to debate this any further unless you're willing to demonstrate anything more than anecdotal evidence and opinion to prove your position.  

                      You're just flat out wrong on the issue and your evidence is nothing that Americans don't experience every day.  
                      Yes, overall we have lower results than European countries, and we spend twice as much, while we leave 40+million uninsured.  

                      I've used health care in both Holland and Germany.  In Holland, I had a housecall from a doctor, and in Germany, I had an appointment within the hour for a neurologist.  

                      The problems you think are happening there, happen here with greater frequency.  We routinely prevent people from getting to their doctor, but we have no control over it because the path is blocked by a representative from a private corporation which has little oversight from the federal government.  

                      It's pretty right wing.  

                      Start with quality. Evidence is mounting that spending more does not necessarily buy better health. On the contrary, it appears that many Americans are getting mixed or even downright dreadful health care. In a recent study economists at the OECD found that America does indeed do well on some measures, such as breast-cancer survival rates and cervical-cancer screening, compared with other rich countries. However, it does worse in other areas. American infant mortality was 6.7 per 1,000 births in 2007, against an OECD average (excluding Mexico and Turkey) of 4.0. The death rate after haemorrhagic strokes was 25.5% in American hospitals but only 19.8% in OECD countries as a group.

                      "I don't know if there is a God, and if there is, he's nothing like me."

                      by otto on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:54:13 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, I noticed the Economist criticised (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        otto, yella dawg

                        the US system. My eyes nearly popped out of my skull.

                        Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

                        by Dauphin on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:56:37 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You brought up infant mortality (0+ / 0-)

                        Pasted...
                        While comparing statistics among countries can be tricky, in the case of infant mortality figures, the comparisons are downright treacherous. For starters, different countries count differently.

                        According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, all babies showing any signs of life, such as muscle activity, a gasp for breath or a heartbeat, should be included as a live birth. The U.S. strictly follows this definition. But many other countries do not.

                        Switzerland, for instance, doesn't count the deaths of babies shorter than 30 cm, because they are not counted as live births, according to Nicholas Eberstadt, Ph.D., Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute and formerly a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Population and Developmental Studies. So, comparing the 1998 infant mortality rates for Switzerland and the U.S., 4.8 and 7.2 per 1,000 births, respectively, is comparing apples and oranges.

                        Other countries, such as Italy, use different definitions in various parts of their own countries. Eberstadt observes that "underreporting also seems apparent in the proportion of infant deaths different countries report for the first twenty-four hours after birth. In Australia, Canada, and the United States, over one-third of all infant deaths are reported to take place in the first day. ..." In contrast, "Less than one-sixth of France's infant deaths are reported to occur in the first day of life. In Hong Kong, such deaths account for only one-twenty-fifth of all infant deaths."

                        A UNICEF press release noted: "Under the Soviet era definition ... infants who are born at less than 28 weeks, weighing less than 1,000 grams or measuring less than 35 centimeters are not counted as live births if they die within seven days. This Soviet definition still predominates in many [formerly Soviet] CIS countries."

                        The release also points out: "The communist system stressed the need to keep infant mortality low, and hospitals and medical staff faced penalties if they reported increases in infant deaths. As a result, they sometimes reported the deaths of babies in their care as miscarriages or stillbirths."

                        Since the United States generally uses the WHO definition of live birth, economist John Goodman and others in their 2004 book, "Lives at Risk," conclude, "Taking into account such data-reporting differences, the rates of low-birth-weight babies born in America are about the same as other developed countries in the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development]." Likewise, infant mortality rates, adjusted for the distribution of newborns by weight, are about the same.

                        American advances in medical treatment now make it possible to save babies who would surely have died only a few decades ago. Until recently, very-low-birth-weight babies, those weighing less than 3 pounds, almost always died. Now some of these babies survive with the help of breathing assistance and other recent inventions.

                        While such vulnerable babies may live with advanced medical assistance and technology, low-birth-weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds) recently had an infant mortality rate 20 times higher than heavier babies, according to the WHO. And these deaths count as infant deaths even though most would have been counted as stillbirths if they hadn't received the gift of life, however transitory.

                        Ironically, American doctors' ability to save babies' lives causes higher infant mortality numbers here than would be the case with less advanced medical treatment.

                        Because of varying standards, international comparisons of infant mortality rates are improperly used to create myths about how the United States should allocate local or national resources. If we want to lower our infant mortality rate so it compares better with that of other countries, maybe we should bring our measuring into line with theirs to better determine the actual extent of the so-called "problem."

                    •  Do you know how much you're paying? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Imhotepsings

                      Do you have insurance through your employer? Most Americans who are satisfied with their health insurance don't have any idea what the premiums are.

                      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                      by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:31:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes that's true- a Premier did (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Silverbird, Dauphin, Imhotepsings
                      come to the US for heart surgery. It has caused a stir and has been reported on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). A couple of points, however: (1) unlike in our sainted democratic republic of US, reporters actually followed up on the story with the Premier's spokesperson and (2) discovered that the Premier has a vacation home in Florida that he'll be using to recover in. It is theoretically possible that he'll find the climate of Winter- and Springtime Florida to be more conducive to recovery than that of Newfoundland and Labrador, where he normally lives and works.

                      I would imagine that if you're wealthy and want absolutely top-notch, expensive coverage, you come to the US for treatment. I KNOW, however, that if one lacks health insurance in the US, one would be better off in virtually any other "advanced democracy."

                      Just a little background lest you think that Canadians are abandoning their government-supported healthcare and coming to the US to pay through the nose in droves.

                  •  A Classic Example (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    otto

                    of shooting the messenger when he/she puts down the UN's rating. It appears his/her source is John Boehner. Best healthcare in the world, indeed.

                •  Dude, no one has disproven their (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Imhotepsings

                  data as of yet, and experience does show they are right, since there is a distinct trend amongst Americans married to Europeans to enrol in European systems. If the US system was superior, the trend would be reversed.

                  Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

                  by Dauphin on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:40:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  We have the most EXPENSIVE healthcare (7+ / 0-)

                NOT THE BEST in the world.That's a fact.You have been oversold.Wake-up.

                We ought to get what we pay for.Its about being a responsible consumer.

                Studies done on our health care system,including the Dartmouth study,show we get too much of things we don't need (tests,procedures,more specialists,hospital admissions) but not more of things that make us healthier,like primary physician care and preventive illness treatments.  

                Doctors should not be "investors"in health care.They deserve a fair salary based on their professional knowledge and skills but they shouldn't be getting a percent of the profits from health care devices and tests.That compromises them as healers.

                Cynicism leads to Inactivity. Hope leads to Action.

                by Citizenpower on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:54:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  LOL NT (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dauphin

              H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

              by JesseCW on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:25:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If you want to understand the issues (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pamelabrown, cameoanne, Imhotepsings

              You need to check the stats out on your claims.

              I'm not going to pile on or mock you, but I'll just let you know that we are in the middle range when it comes to things like infant mortality and longevity.  We are at the bottom when it comes to access.  

              However, we are at the top when it comes to cost.  We pay nearly double per capita and as a percentage of GDP than the other industrialized countries do.  

              When you take these pieces of information and try to square them with what you are saying, it becomes very difficult to make the claim you are making.

              I am not a hardliner when it comes to this HCR.  I personally believe that change is generational and requires time to make it happen.  This HCR will require updating as we move along.  

              "I don't know if there is a God, and if there is, he's nothing like me."

              by otto on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:38:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Results and Costs (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, we pay way to much for healthcare. We should be focusing our attention to radically bending the cost curve. Results can be skewed many different ways. Ex-infant mortality.

                •  My friend (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brooke In Seattle, Imhotepsings

                  You have no argument here.  You have limp anecdotes.  That's it.

                  You should consider that the entire industrialized world, excluding The US, has determined that universal health care guaranteed by the government is the most efficient and cost effective manner of providing health care.  They have determined this by demonstrating that costs are lower and outcomes are higher.

                  You are a veritable fountain of RW talking points- that's something I don't frequently say, because I'm generally interested in a real discussion.  You, however, have no facts on your side of the argument.  You are making the argument for American Healthcare the way believers make the case for God.  Any disagreement is simply tossed aside, and belief is the main function that propels the argument.  

                  If you are truly interested in understanding the way it works in the rest of the world, watch this documentary.  I realize that for you PBS is probably not a credible source, but in the show they interview doctors, patients, and administrators from various industrialized countries.
                  http://www.pbs.org/...

                  "I don't know if there is a God, and if there is, he's nothing like me."

                  by otto on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:58:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The US has great overpriced care (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Imhotepsings

              for those who can afford to overpay, and poor or no care for those who can't. All countries have health care rationing--most developed countries ration on the basis of need, the US rations healthcare on the basis of wealth. Most of us find that morally repugnant.

              The funny thing is, of course, that the government provides limited health coverage for the very old, the very poor, and the disabled--and manages to spend almost as much on healthcare as other countries spend to cover all their citizens with overall better outcomes.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:29:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The US ranks 37th. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              midwestblue, Imhotepsings

              http://www.photius.com/...

              We have about the highest infant mortality rates of any industrial country too.  We are 2nd in one area -- total expenditure on healthcare as a % of GDP.

              2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

              by Silverbird on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:50:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Based on that statement (0+ / 0-)

              I will guess that you live in a medical marijuana state.

              Don't bogart, my friend.  We'd all like to be as (slap) happy as you.

          •  Trusting the Market (0+ / 0-)

            No, agree that the insurance industry needs reform and addtl regulation. Far from what we have right now

            •  Regulation (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              anagram, Imhotepsings

              is the opposite of "trusting the market"

              I don't know what you've been smoking, but you need to put down the pipe and clear your head.

              The "market" does not care if people live or die, or whether or not they receive health care. The sole concern of the market is with funneling the highest possible amount of profits to the fewest possible recipients. Period.

              Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

              by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:55:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry-but I disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Of course health insurance should be privately run. The private sector is significantly more efficient and less costly than the public sector. (talk t any recent immigrant which system they like better!). Medicare fraud is well over $60 Billion a year. The dreaded and hated Anthem in California- out of 10 million claims over 5 years, they had 700 complaints. Pretty good numbers!

          •  Dude, (8+ / 0-)

            you spend more as a percantage of GDP than any other developed country, your life expectancy is lower, and your average standard of care is far lower than in most other developed countries. In fact, the UN ranks your efficient private insurance as 25th in the world, right after Slovenia - my country - which spends a grand total of 1500€ per year per citizen on healthcare. And we get the same standard of care.

            Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

            by Dauphin on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:15:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're repeatedly posting debunked (7+ / 0-)

            right wing talking points.

            Are you trolling, or is this extra-dry snark?

            H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

            by JesseCW on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:26:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  of course? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewfromct, Imhotepsings

            I do not agree with the argument that privatization "of course" increases efficiency, and reduces costs and fraud.  That is the kind of pure ideology typically advanced by those who stand to reap a financial windfall from privatization.

            Depending upon the values of the people running it, and the resources available, both private and public schemes can be good or bad.

            A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

            by eightlivesleft on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:27:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Government (0+ / 0-)

              So, you believe the government can run a business better than a private company, do you??

              •  of course (5+ / 0-)

                the government isn't trying to wring every last drop of profit out of a business to make their quarterly numbers.  

                Frankly, I'd far rather the government be running most businesses than the sociopaths that are driving our economy into the ground at the moment.

              •  you bet I do (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tmo, Brooke In Seattle, Imhotepsings

                Not under all circumstances, but yes, I do think so, especially when the objective is to serve Americans citizens rather than maximize profits.  Want to raise me anything else?  I'm trying to think what your hypothetical diary might look like if the Democratic Party, and Obama, favored privatizing public schools, public police and fire departments, public libraries, public roads, and public parks.  You sound like Ronald Reagan.

                A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

                by eightlivesleft on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:00:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Another wow! (0+ / 0-)

                  Of course, there is a need for some govt run entities, but whenver possible, private companies are superior to govn run entities. Remember Ma Bell? Here in Philadelphia, our public schools have failed, and private companies are taking over many schools with great success.

                  •  I do not want (3+ / 0-)
                    a "private entity" in control of my life. I do not want a corporation, beholden to its shareholders, determining what coverage I am and am not allowed. I do not want a company whose ONLY purpose is to make as much money as possible to dictate health care.

                    I don't CARE if a private company is "more efficient" than the government. I want people appointed by representatives answerable to ME administering for my well-being. Who effing cares if it's less efficient than a corporation?

                    •  Private entity (0+ / 0-)

                      Controlling your life. That's exactly the point..I don't want big brother. I want the freedom to choose. Private companies competing for my business, makes things more efficient and better than goverment run schlock

          •  Anthem got less than 200 complaints per year? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drewfromct, midwestblue

            Out of 2 million claims a year?  That is a joke. A fast food joint in a small town gets that many complaints.

            Whoever spooned you this stellar satisfaction with Anthem cooked their books.

            "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

            by 417els on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:37:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  My trust in the market depends... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cameoanne, seesmithrun, gobears2000

          ...on the strength of the leash keeping it under control.  If insurance companies are prevented from doing the dick moves they've been doing in the past, if there is no longer any question that the orthopedic procedure you just had done is covered (of course it is), if everybody is allowed in, and if the price of said coverage is based on expenditures, not on what Anthem believes they can make you pay, and that no one is going to the poorhouse based on the requirement to purchase coverage, then yes, I think I can trust such a market.

          This space intentionally left blank.

          by Steaming Pile on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:10:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're missing something. (12+ / 0-)

        Corporations don't give a shit about anything but quarterly profits.  

        Quality products and services? Advertising bullshit.

        It's quarterly profits and nothing else.

        Game Over. The corporations win. And they will take us all down with their greed.

        by The Dead Man on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:55:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow... (9+ / 0-)

        If that isn't a Republican talking point (private enterprise = always efficient, gov't = wasteful wasteful bad bad) I don't know what is.

        "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

        by Boisepoet on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:15:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I want everyone to have health care. (2+ / 0-)

        I couldn't give a shit about coverage.

    •  maybe its not (6+ / 0-)

      but the public option when scored by CBO was small and not at all guaranteed to be lower cost, their opinion was that it would be higher cost because of the selection of those who were most ill.

      A robust public option that enough people could join and that had the power to dictate costs to lower prices never came out of either house in Congress.   That bill is a chimera.  It doesn't exist.

      Chanting meaningless words doesn't make something so.

    •  Absolutely amazing to me (6+ / 0-)

      that the citizens of the wealthiest country are okay and happy with incremental and slow change in its health care system, a system ranked well below the health care systems found in third-world countries.  

      Why be happy with this kind of change when we already have good models in other countries (France, for example) that we can follow?

      Either there is something very wrong with this country's citizenry or its politicians.  I have yet to figure it out.  Maybe it's a problem with both...

      •  Where is the confusion? (0+ / 0-)

        First, our healthcare system is the best in the world.
        Second, Americans absolutely want Reform. But our politicians are corrupt and show no leadership to achieve meaningful reform. That's why we're stuck with this half baked HC bill.

        •  "Our healthcare system is the best in the world" (4+ / 0-)

          Is this a snark?  I mean, is this an opinion you honestly hold?  Check out the WHO and see where this country's health care system ranks.  And besides, if we had the best health care system in the world, why the hell do we need reform?

          And I don't really think all the blame lies on the politicians.  Yes, they are corrupt, including the Democrats and, yes, our beloved leader, Mr. Obama.  But there is seriously something wrong with the level of knowledge among this country's citizenry. They are just uninformed, plain and simple.  And it's not entirely their fault.  The U.S. media is an excellent propaganda vehicle, even better than what you'll find in totalitarian countries.  

        •  The confusion (3+ / 0-)

          is in your own post. How does

          First, our healthcare system is the best in the world.

          Square up with this:

          Second, Americans absolutely want Reform.

          If, as you say, our healthcare system is the "best in the world", then why the need for reform?

          The answer is that, while the rich and very rich enjoy unfettered access to top-quality care, there are tens of thousands of preventable deaths every year because we've allowed ourselves to become beholden to profits at the expense of peoples' lives.

          When the profit motive is rightly prioritized after, and not before lives, only then will we have a better system.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:01:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  USA has a Pathological Mentality (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drewfromct, Brooke In Seattle

        This country was founded by greedy capitalists despite the whitewashing we hear about the pilgrims. People didn't come here from Europe to escape persecution--they came here and used slaves to make money for their home countries in Europe. This greedy mentality is ingrained in the American psyche and makes too many people think the private sector can do no wrong when, in reality, all the private sector cares about is itself though it spends tons of money on propaganda to convince Americans that preserving the status quo is good for the public when it is only good for private insurance companies.

        And God said unto Blue Cross/Blue Shield, "let not he who have preexisting condition enroll in thy plan for he will incur great cost unto thee!"--- Holy Bible

        by Aspe4 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:13:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They're NOT happy about it. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drewfromct, cameoanne, Imhotepsings

        Most are seriously pissed off that it has taken Congress an entire year to produce the piddling amount of progress they've made.  The rest stand with the Republicans because they have coverage (at least, they think they do) and couldn't care less about those who don't.  I don't think there are enough people between those two extremes to fill a standard-sized Applebee's.

        This space intentionally left blank.

        by Steaming Pile on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:18:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because no country has succeeded in (3+ / 0-)

      implementing healthcare reform without a direct or indirect mandate. If the risk pool isn't stabilised, that leads to a slow or quick adverse selection death spiral.

      That's Obama's greatest failure. He thought campaigning against the mandate was a good way to get ahead of Mrs. Clinton. And it's bitten him in the arse. Worse, that little piece of demagoguery endangered the entire healthcare reform.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:11:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DO YOU DRIVE? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Your world is black and white. I live in vibrant color.

      by lr3921 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:47:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't drive, you aren't required to buy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, Jiminy Cricket, two roads

        auto insurance.

        Everyone breathing is required to buy mandated health insurance.

        The car insurance analogy is so played out.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:15:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The mandate is necessary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          In order to counter the pre-existing conditions.  You can't have one without the other.  But then, I suppose everyone against the mandate for buying something from a private company walks to the free clinic out of principle.

          Your world is black and white. I live in vibrant color.

          by lr3921 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:59:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  and from now on (0+ / 0-)

          I will only accept the mandate is evil argument from people who do not drive or purchase auto insurance.  Which I'm guessing is fewer than the number of people trumpeting it.

          Your world is black and white. I live in vibrant color.

          by lr3921 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:01:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jiminy Cricket

            [Points at self.]

            Don't drive, don't own a car, only have a license as an ID.

            Mandates to buy health insurance ARE evil if there is no corresponding mandated coverage for care.

            "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

            by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:48:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Car insurance analogy doesn't work (0+ / 0-)

            If someone doesn't have car insurance then the Government won't let them drive because driving is a privilege that you must get a license for. Being alive is not a privilege you must get a license for, that can be revoked by the government.

    •  31 million more with insurance = success (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings

      not to mention the lives that will be saved.  We may have diff measures of success but implementing a program that provides the less fortunate with access to health care and saves the lives of many of my fellow citizens is a success in my book.

  •  What has Obama done on climate change? (3+ / 0-)

    This is the important issue we face as billions of people could die from it, yet Obama has done very little in response. Sure he continued to bail out the banks, but he has done next to nothing to bail out our planet.

    •  No, that's nonsense (13+ / 0-)

      Obama has done a lot on climate change. And the EPA stands ready to regulate CO2 should the Senate fail to act.

    •  The Saturday before superbowl, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KroneckerD, Imhotepsings

      my 7 year old granddaughter wrote a letter to President Obama. In her letter she asked him to do something to stop the commercials of "half naked woman",(her words not mine) during the Superbowl. She felt this was not approproiate since Superbowl is a family event, and as a little girl it makes her very uncomfortable to see these "half naked woman", she doesn't think they make good role models for little girls, for a number of reasons. Her Mom allowed her to mail the letter, knowing full well that is not the job of the President, nor was it something even President Obama could do much about.
      The point I am trying to make is she was frustrated with something, and she appealed to the one person she beleived could do something to help her. However she is just 7 years old, and as smart as she might be, she simply doesn't know much about our political system, and the powers of the President. When she sees more "half naked woman" on T.V. commercials, she will probably be disappointed and think President Obama is not doing the job he was elected to do. However, she is just 7 years old, and she is entitled to feel that way.
      Her request to President Obama reminds me of all the things others expect from him. He is just the President, nothing more and nothing less. There are things he can do and has done by executive order, and there are things he simply can not do. Congress needs to pass the laws. He can offer his input, encouragement and make speeches to state his case, but he can not get the job done all by himself. He is not a dictator, he is not a magician, he is not God.
      When Sophia,(my 7 year old granddaughter) expresses her frustration about the continuation of "half naked woman" advertisments on T.V., we will have to explain to her the way things work, and how if she really wants to put an end to it, she will have as much power to do so as the President, boycotting their products and speaking out when and where ever she can, even perhaps leading a protest. The same is true for HCR. It would be great if President Obama can say, this is what we are going to do and just do it, but it doesn't work that way. We are the ones who need to get it done, and we need to use every single tool we have. Some of us know that and are doing whatever they can do, others are just like Sophia and expect the President to do the heavy lifting and  get the job done. It simply doesn't work that way.

    •  What did Clinton do? Any President is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings

      very dependent on Congress on this issue. Your question should be "what has Congress done" Obama is doing the best he can. Just like Clinton did.

  •  ... and the seals clap nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhawklefty, Badabing

    Freedom of religion is freedom FROM religion. Tweeting @dmiller23

    by DailyDrew on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:46:09 AM PST

  •  Obama does not deserve all of the credit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, mos1133, Imhotepsings

    But it is worth noting he did follow the worst President ever, and was handed a severe economic crisis, two wars (one very unpopular), and a deliberately dysfunctional executive branch demoralized by the systematic insertion of Rovian politics into (Justice, Science, Energy, Intelligence, Military chain of command, Labor, on and on).

    He should be fighting for the public option right now. But I can understand if he's tired.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:46:56 AM PST

  •  Change? (7+ / 0-)

    I guess so.  From being stuck with buying insurance from the private insurance company thieves to being required to buy it from private insurance company thieves.

    And your #2 and #3 are really the same thing so that leaves you with what he's done for the wars and a promissory note on a health care reform.  I'd say that's a bit far from "wow" with large majorities in both houses of Congress and a clear mandate from the voters.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:50:24 AM PST

    •  Wow (5+ / 0-)

      Do you realize that for 50 years, every president has tried and failed at HCR, and Obama will succeed? Where is the confusion there? I happen to think that with the RIGHT reform and regulation, the private market will be able to deliver healthcare, better than the government (I'm sure to hear it for that statement!!)
      We have 10% unemployment-we could have had 25%
      Foreign policy gets an A grade
      "clear mandate from the voters"- I think not.

      •  George Bush declared a mandate after (3+ / 0-)

        losing the election and got pretty much what he wanted done.  The question is not whether HCR passes as whether it will work.  I'd say mandating that people buy health insurance from the thieving private health insurers is not working.  Unless of course you work for or own stock in the private health insurers.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:59:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "We have 10% unemployment-we could have had 25%" (7+ / 0-)

        And we have two wars right now. We could have had what, ten?

        That's a pretty low standard to set. The fact is, unemployment is not dropping very quickly at all. Let us not forget that 10% is extraordinarily high, and it is something that we cannot live with under any circumstances. Obama should get credit for the stimulus, of course, but we need a concerted effort to bring unemployment down as quickly as possible. $15 billion jobs bill ain't gonna cut it.

        If you're reading this, that means I've broken my New Year's resolution.

        by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:01:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unemployment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aj2k

          I hear what you are saying and I agree with it. I am no economist, but it seems that moving the unemployment number is very difficult. I just don't see what else Obama could have done. let's not forget that he inherited these problems.

        •  I guess it is impossible to please everybody (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gobears2000, Imhotepsings

          Unemployment is a lagging indicator. It does move very slowly.

          We lost 700,000 jobs a month when Obama took over. They are finally started to create jobs. Things are happening on the job market.

          Yes, 10% is very high. But remember, we had 25% unemployment back in the early 1930's. So, with that comparison 10% is very low.

          10 wars??? What do you want him to do with his two wars? He is trying to end the Iraq war. He is doing exactly what he promised on Afghanistan and apparently doing it very well.

  •  Is your title a crack at Sham-Wow? n/t (4+ / 0-)
  •  2 & 3, yes (2+ / 0-)

    #1, the jury is still out.

    #4, I think we should hold back on the confetti; it's a tad premature.  HCR has been a disaster for the Dems thus far, and we're not out of the woods.  Most of that is not Obama's fault, but I don't think he's been as effective as he could have been.

  •  I love you diary, but (7+ / 0-)

    there is a much longer list of accomplishments. Let me know if you would like me to post it.

  •  He has done ok on some things, not on others (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Nancy Miller, Arza

    restoring our image abroad - good ... fight the war on terror and defend the constitution - bad ... climate change boulder pushing - good, civil liberties - remarkably bad

    mixed bag, just like anyone else

  •  Stop calling it reform (9+ / 0-)

    It's not reform, and there's a strong argument to be made that it's worse than the status quo. So "accomplishments" aside - leaving out the fact that there aren't any yet - at least stop trying to convince people that A) It's reform at all and B) That it has much to do with the health care system. if (IF) anything passes it will constitute slight modifications to the manner in which we procure and pay for health insurance.

    And no matter what you try to make it out to be, it's not going to save Democrats come November, because anyone that's paying attention knows when they're getting fucked.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:56:13 AM PST

    •  Status Quo (4+ / 0-)

      The status quo is unsustainable. This IS much better than doing nothing. And I see this as a start to more reform. The huge piece that is missing is bending the cost curve and reducing the cost of care.

      So, what would YOU have liked to see from HCR?

      Dems are in a tough position in November no matter what. I think passing HCR helps their case just a bit.

    •  Exactly - by the DLC and the Obama WH. (3+ / 0-)

      ... they're getting fucked.

      Unfortunately, it will be the Democratic party, or what little is left of it, that will get fucked.

      And, of course, not that Obama gives a rat's ass, the country.

      We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

      by obiterdictum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:26:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a friend with a pre-existing condition. (5+ / 0-)

      If this bill passes, she will for the first time in her life be allowed to buy health insurance.

      It is then beyond me how ANYBODY can then claim that this is bill is not reform. Of course it is reform.

      •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Imhotepsings

        For many on dailykos, if there is not nationalized healthcare, HCR will be a failure. Unless you're one of the tens of millions like your friend who be now be insured under HCR!

        •  "Insured" (4+ / 0-)

          is not the same as seeing a doctor and getting treated.

          We can't afford to keep paying billions in profits to a bunch of greedy middlemen whose sole motivation is to profit by DENYING care.

          How is that not obvious to you?

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:10:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nevermind that they're not... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Imhotepsings

            "insured under the bill"

            It is more accurate to say that "under the bill, they are mandated to insure themselves".

            But to its credit: it does make insurance more accessible and affordable for some.

            More and Better Democrats

            by SJerseyIndy on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:38:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's no credit: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              midwestblue

              it does make insurance more accessible and affordable for some.

              taking our hard-earned tax dollars and handing them over to the insurance profiteers is no solution.

              I wouldn't mind paying higher taxes for single payer or the PO. But the idea of taking my tax money to pay for for-profit clams denial is enough to make me start throwing teabags around.

              Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

              by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:44:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  "Be ALLOWED to buy?" (7+ / 0-)

        Really?

        We have to bribe private insurers with billions just so that a common sense law can put into practice?

        I have nothing against your friend, but what you're also forgetting is that the laws as written do not prevent insurers from simply calling it something else and denying your friend coverage and care. Same beast, and if they give a shit to even try, different name. But, it won't stop there. They can still rescind policies. They can still claim fraud. They can do every single one of the same exact things they were doing before, with "laws" in place that will allow the Democrats to throw up their hands and say "we tried to make it illegal" when the fact is that they didn't try at all - in fact they went out of their way to make sure the same exact loopholes are in place.

        The problem here is that you keep believing what they're telling you, despite the overwhelming evidence t the contrary and the actual language in both bills. If you think things will change, you are deluded, plain and simple. I have had new insurance for three months, and they have already flagged a scratchy throat as potentially pre-existing. If you think they're going to stop you're just living in a fantasy world. Read the bills.

        What is beyond me is how you can make these claims without knowing what the bills allow private insurers to do - and that is gouge your friend for junk insurance and then dump them whenever they see fit. That is, of course, unless your friend has thousands to fight it in court.

        Slap happy is a platform.

        by averageyoungman on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:02:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's great (4+ / 0-)

        they'll let your friend pay out the ass for insurance, and take our tax dollars to cover the premiums that she can't, just for the privilege of letting them deny her claims later on.

        The insurance companies are not in business to ay for anyone's medical care. They are in business to secure huge profits for themselves by taking money in and then NOT PAYING their customers' medical bills. I have yet to see any convincing proof that the mandate and the excise tax will change this. And I have no faith whatsoever in the Congress or Obama to do anything to change it, either.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:08:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Could we celebrate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, lams712, mos1133

    after HCR passes please? What is the point of this preemptive celebration? Is this an experiment with the universe to see if this can be jinxed?

    If you're reading this, that means I've broken my New Year's resolution.

    by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:56:25 AM PST

  •  This Diary - Double Wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alexa100, RhodaA
  •  you know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Rogneid

    I always knew that being a candidate and being president were two different things and said during the election "if you think this man is going to give us the progressive platform on a silver platter you're insane" but I never thought it would be this hard

    You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

    by rexymeteorite on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:57:59 AM PST

  •  re #2: Why hasn't Obama recieved more credit (10+ / 0-)

    for saving us from a Great Depression? "Some people" reject the premise as false. Some people believe the looming Great Depression was nothing more than a trumped up boogeyman, lifted straight out of Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" to facilitate Bush's final Great Boonboggle.

    Everyone agrees: DADT sucks. So when do we vote?!??!

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 06:58:27 AM PST

  •  This is why it's called The Wreck List (9+ / 0-)

    I don't like this President very much, and even with his best accomplishment, Iraq, he wasted a year.

    The Stimulus has serious problems, as does health care "reform."  Afghanistan and unemployment are terrible tragedies of neglect and delusion.

    I wish Markos would finally deliver the new version of the site.  We desperately need to get out of a wreck list that so consistently embarrasses us, new software would help.

    •  Yeah (8+ / 0-)

      I'm getting pretty tired of the diary/counter-diary/counter-counter-diary format that the wreck list takes every day. Not to fault the diarist here, but this diary is just a short blast of thoughts, nothing original or particularly cogent, but here it is heading to the top, simply because people want to get back at MOT's impassioned diary.

      If you're reading this, that means I've broken my New Year's resolution.

      by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:03:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's one reason I resisted the urge (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver, Morlock, Lost Left Coaster

        to counter-diary today.

        The cycle is getting old.

        When you get too big a majority, you're immediately in trouble. -- Sam Rayburn

        by wmtriallawyer on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:06:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I hate that old give-and-take, too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927

        It's too much like dialog and conversation. What we need around here is solid pontificating and lecturing. None of this dialog crap.

        /snark

        •  Okay... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anagram, midwestblue, ohmyheck

          Let me explain it a little more thoroughly for you.

          This diary, when it comes down to it, is crap. No links, no original thoughts, not even a comprehensive list of Obama's accomplishments in office, many unsubstantiated assumptions ("Obama is fighting two wars intelligently") and some of the things that are included as accomplishments are dubious (such as including passing HCR as an accomplishment, when that is still as yet unfulfilled, although I hope we can list that as an accomplishment soon). But it gets recced up because people are responding to counter other diaries on the rec list. So the rec list is occupied by this crappy diary that has very little to share, simply as part of the diary/counter-diary/counter-counter-diary cycle.

          I'm all in favor of dialogue etc. But most of the time the aforementioned cycle is a lot of heat, not very much light.

          If you're reading this, that means I've broken my New Year's resolution.

          by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:32:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm somewhat new here (0+ / 0-)

        So I'm don't understand what you are saying. Can you explain?
        Who's MOT?

        •  There's an impassioned and angry (0+ / 0-)

          diary on the rec list right now by a diarist named Ministry of Truth. I think that many people are reccing this diary as a counter to that one (although I may be wrong, but that was my impression).

          Sorry, abbreviating too much can lead to lack of clarity! Sorry about that.

          If you're reading this, that means I've broken my New Year's resolution.

          by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:33:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  somewhat new here, aheefy? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lams712, midwestblue

          With UID#28,408?

          I think not.  Do you think we are stupid?

          As for this quote:

          Obama steered America clear of catastrophe. Why he isn't getting more credit for that, I don't know

          If you don't know why, it is because you don't WANT to know why.  Choosing to be uniformed. because you might not like what you find, is no excuse.

          I can't wait for DK4.......

          Paradigm Shift. Think "Berlin Wall".

          by ohmyheck on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:14:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I want Ignore (7+ / 0-)

      So that people can have their preferences of what type of experience is suitable for each of us.  For some, it's going to be relentless condemnation and scream louder throughout the entire presidency.  That's fine.  But we should have the option to opt out of sharing that experience, just as those who find the celebration of this presidency somehow problematic should have the option to opt out of sharing our experience.

      Being able to put a handful of diarists and commenters on ignore would translate into a more satisfying experience for everyone IMO.

      It's not the rec list; it's that it's time for a bunch of people to part ways yet still share this space, as is fair.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:14:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Embarrasses who? the pure liberals? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, Pam from Calif, Escamillo

      Oh...ya but our way is the only way idiology ain't going to cut it. I think it is time for Rachel to speak some sense into you:

      ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

      by ThisIsMyTime on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:18:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! (10+ / 0-)

    Thank you.  Ignore those who are running lies about a supposed do-nothing Presidency.  I think that POTUS' approval ratings show that scream louders in the netroots have little effect save screaming at the clouds and ruining their own experience of such a fabulous Presidency!

    Very proud of the Obama administration, in its entirety.  Good stuff.

    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:01:04 AM PST

  •  I've been tough on Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, sephius1, cameoanne, Livvy5

    But, he's done all right, given the circumstances. I have been tough on him because I think he's fumbled some major opportunities and sometimes all right just doesn't cut it. Bush put us in too deep a hole. Obama has done okay, but he needs to do far more.

  •  Although I am more of a fire-breather (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nolalily, TooFolkGR, jstipich

    than the president, from time to time I remember Lincoln, how damn MODERATE he was, vis a vis the radical Republicans. Lincoln looks amazingly strong and wise through time.

  •  Can't cross my fingers any harder. (6+ / 0-)

    If we can just get this passed, we can tweak it later. But we can't do anything if we don't get this done NOW!

    A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.

    by Purple Priestess on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:07:29 AM PST

  •  HCR in name only (6+ / 0-)
    Health Insurance Improvement? - Possibly
    Health Care Reform? - Not even close.

    Nothing more than bandaids propping up the current status quo, people trying to sell this as HCR are selling a pig in a poke.

    Some people call this a pragmatic solution to the reality we live in, I like to think it's the ultimate expression of "No, we can't".

    Selling this as HCR before it's lead to Democratic defeat in 2010-2012 via a populist promise of repeal will be dishearting to watch but inevitable given the blatent display of so-called pragmatism by the Dems.

    •  Thats fine dude (6+ / 0-)

      Call it what you want-- call it a band-aid, a sell out, or dressing some animal like some other animal. Who cares. All I know is this:

      1.) It's progress

      2.) Several of my family members are going to immediately benefit from this bill

      3.) Nobody has ever even managed insurance reform before.

      You can keep your righteousness, I'll take this instead. With this bill as a foundation (e.g.- near universal coverage), actual progress on health CARE reform is going to be much easier.

      •  Good for you! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Unapologetic Progressive

        Several of my family members are going to immediately benefit from this bill

        How lucky you are that you have several family members who are the CEOs if large for-profit insurance companies.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:14:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's enough! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          N in Seattle

          Drew, you're acting totally ignorant of the people who WILL be helped here.

          Sure I'm disappointed as to how the health care bill got, but your comment just put me over the edge here.

          When will we ever learn that PROFIT cannot be a part of the equation when endangering people's lives adds to a company's bottom line?--Earicicle

          by billlaurelMD on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:34:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who will be helped (4+ / 0-)

            other than insurance CEOs and large shareholders?

            Paying for insurance is not the same as having your medical bills covered. Not. The same. At all. Not even close.

            I'm really disgusted by the naivete of folks who think that being forced to buy for-profit insurance will be any kind of improvement, just as I'm tired of the naive faith that the same Congress which failed to regulate banking will actually deliver any meaningful regulation of the insurance industries. Having a pre-existing condition "covered" does not in any way guarantee that future claims will ever be paid, let alone paid in full, and never mind paid in full in a timely manner.

            People need to wake up and see what's really happening.

            Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

            by drewfromct on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:41:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes obviously (0+ / 0-)

              my family members are insurance CEOs. I'm not going to get into specifics with you, but yes, OHMYFUCKINGGOD, certain actual people are going to be helped by this bill. As in their outrageous premiums will be reduced and coverage, theoretically at least, guaranteed. I'm under no illusions here about for-profit insurance, and my "naivete" isn't nearly as disgusting as somehow implying that I'm an idiot for seeing that this bill is going to work for people who aren't CEOs. Just because this bill isn't good does not mean it is a travesty, and it certainly does not mean that anybody who sees progress in it is somehow in okay with / oblivious to the excesses and evils of the insurance industry. It's you who needs to wake up, man-- we're not in black-and-white world anymore.

    •  the longest journey begins... (0+ / 0-)

      ...this particular single step has never been accomplished in over half a century of trying.  It's nowhere near where we'll eventually get, just as Social Security wasn't done really well in 1935, and just as Medicare/Medicaid weren't done right in 1966.

      We're still working on those other safety nets, still trying to improve them.  Just as we'll continue to work on HCR to make it better in the future.

      It's a process -- a glacially-slow, fiendishly complicated one much of the time -- but the single step we're about to take (I hope) is a major milestone on that long journey.

      grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

      by N in Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:20:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good Positive Diary (4+ / 0-)

    only suggestion -- please update per comment above by RhodaA

  •  May he put us on the path to true health care (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, Subversive, alexa100

    reform.  If we accomplish this first step, and that is all it can really be called, a first step, in 20 years we may get what this administration campaigned on.

    •  I think of this as a good thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alexa100, lynncosbm

      I never thought "Hope and Change" meant that Obama's 4-8 years in office would ram through progressive legislation and stave off big corporations at every pass. To me it actually meant incrementalism-- as in, he's going to slowly change the way Americans think about government. Reagan did the exact same thing, except the other way around. He tore it down, slowly, and Obama's trying to build it back up slowly. Insurance reform is a logical first step. That's just me, though.

      •  He has been swifter than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cameoanne

        After one year the nation is more cynical than ever about govt.  

        Nice going, eh?

        Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

        by not2plato on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:18:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, if you mean (0+ / 0-)

          the Nation of Teabaggers, sure. I'm pretty sure the country is skeptical of government because there is 10% unemployment, 2 wars, and the craptacular pungent remnants of the Bush Administration hanging around. Getting the economy back to decent again, coupled with a near-universal health care bill, is going to significantly reduce the skepticism among people who aren't media members or teabaggers.

    •  it's what *many* administrations have sought (0+ / 0-)

      For well over half a century, at least as far back as FDR.  And even this small, hesitant step has never before been taken.

      That, I'd suggest, is a real accomplishment.  Perhaps more a political and health policy accomplishment than a health care accomplishment, but the former is a necessary step on the road to the latter.

      grok the "edku" -- edscan's "revelation", 21 January 2009

      by N in Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:25:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  obama is mediocre at best. i wrote on someones (6+ / 0-)

    diary back in may or june that obama needs to lead a nation and not say he is for something and then cut the knees out from his supporters because he wants to wimp out for the rich and powerful. for example, i was given crap from members of this sight for his handling of the bail out and not requiring the executive teams at every bailed out firm to resign. i was encouraged by a member of the community to just wait and see when the obama administration passes financial reform - well todays headlines read obama administration is not backing volkers reform plans - mr. mediocrity strikes again.

    i am losing faith in obama's economic and leadership ability and if there was a third party candidate, i may vote for them but he lucks out because there is only a two party system. i just do not see bold ideas and a reform mentality, i see a good middle manager, managing a corrupt system

  •  i like the President ... though his lack of will (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, codairem, cameoanne

    to change the narrative in Washington - to put the Reagan past and the neocon past into its proper box - is discouraging.  The marketing to a hypothetical conservative audience that doesn't exist is discouraging.  His tacit acknowledgment and legitimizing of the surveillance/torture-state is sort of amazing.

    Bipartisanship is not as nice as it sounds when these are the partisans you are trying to appease.

  •  Its not reform (6+ / 0-)

    it is merely more of the same.  

    Buying 30 million private policies with public money is not reform.  It is SCHIP for everyone.  The insurance bought will be 60-40, that is, the user will have to pony up 40%.  This is so costly that most holders of these junk policies will not use them.  

    The Obama bill does nothing to end medical bankruptcies.  

    It is a scam and worse than nothing because it institutionalizes the private health insurance model.  

    It makes slaves of the tax payers and mandates that those who don't get the govt provided policies go into the market and buy junk for themselves or be fined.  

    It is a travesty and a further shame on the nation.  

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle

    by not2plato on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:16:15 AM PST

  •  Good luck with this diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billlaurelMD, Seeds, phrogge prince

    ...I agree with most of your points, but a lot of 'em won't be popular around these parts... sadly.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." -- Dom Hélder Câmara

    by SLKRR on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:16:33 AM PST

  •  this is substance-free Obama worship (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhawklefty, atmplant, ZackB, axel000

    ...and that is going easy on you.

  •  I am really convinced (5+ / 0-)

    the right has poisoned this website.

    •  Why, because people criticize Obama? (3+ / 0-)

      There are plenty of stories (and rumors) of many liberal members of Congress who are disaffected with Obama. Are they right-wingers?

      •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        417els, Escamillo

        Because
        a.  It's common sense.  Wouldn't you send out infiltrators if you were Republicans?  Isn't that just like something they would do?
        b.  The talking points against Obama, personally, don't add up but they do if you're impatient, not educated on how this damned system chugs along and pout when you don't get your way.  I think the thugs have exploited those traits that are sometimes a problem for the left.  The arguments, or I should say, the intensity of the arguments is way out of order considering what Obama has faced and accomplished.  Of course, we don't hear much about what he has accomplished in the stampede to cry about him not accomplishing the whole kit and caboodle.

        •  Just curious (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anagram, sneakers563

          You say the talking points against Obama "don't add up" and are the products of pouting, impatient, and uneducated people. Again, what about those that are within the government who have grown tired of Obama's very hands off style of leadership, not to mention the myriad arguments about his refusal to stand up and lead on a critical issue like the PO?

          Secondly, you say we don't hear much about what he has accomplished. Don't you think if he had many accomplishments his PR team would be trumpeting them from the rooftops? The guy had all the momentum in the world after his inauguration with huge congressional majorities, and from where I stand it looks like he blew his political capital, and made crucial stands at the wrong times for the wrong people and issues. And not to be a jerk, but I keep hearing about all of his accomplishments, yet the only one that I can see is the stimulus/preventing a terrible recession from becoming a depression. To me, there just isn't a whole lot of "there" there.

          And about "right-wing infiltrators:" I'm sorry but this sounds very paranoid, bordering on CT. Honest people can have differing opinions, even when they're on the same side politically. Vociferous disagreement says to me that people care, not a bad thing at all.

        •  Nah, it's the Naderists. (0+ / 0-)

          I do remember an Obama-detractor here that was ostensibly from the left, but eventually went way too far and showed he was actually from the right.

          But I think it's mainly the Naderists.  They've always viciously trashed Democrats, and have needed no encouragement from the right to do so (though Nader himself accepted campaign contributions from the RNC and/or its acolytes in order to fund his campaign in 2004, a truly nihilistic act on Nader's part).

      •  I'm thinking of the hit & runs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nolalily

        that usually occur within the first few minutes of any diary with a positive message about the President.

        I am not talking about the folks who regularly post diaries and intelligent comments regarding more effective strategies for change.

        Sometimes it's better to individually address a problem rather than just criticize our politicians for failing to do so.

        by texasmom on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:03:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Infiltrated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nolalily

      seems a good word to me.  Oh well, it keeps them off the street.

      OT - we are coming to NOLA for a conference in May - YAY!

      Sometimes it's better to individually address a problem rather than just criticize our politicians for failing to do so.

      by texasmom on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:40:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The chickens, (0+ / 0-)

    they have yet to hatch.

  •  Obama-Wow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lamonth, NearlyNormal, Lady Libertine

    Is this a new brand name, like Sham-Wow?
    It so smacks of commercialism.

    I agree that Obama will sign a bill that will be called health care reform, but it will likely take many many more years before it truly reforms the completely broken health care system in this country. The insurance companies and big Pharma probably won't give up their huge take of profit until the baby boom passes out of existence. There is simply too much money to be made on the aging and death of that huge generation.

    Who you jivin' with that

    by cosmic debris on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:19:33 AM PST

  •  Uh-oh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, Jerry056

    You didn't "falme" Obama!  Prepare to be chastised!  This site has become the "Obama is teh suck" blog.

    "Wide acceptance of an idea is not proof of its validity." Dan Brown

    by Bulldawg on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:20:10 AM PST

  •   r u writing this from the white house? (0+ / 0-)

    i loved working in there too.

  •  Boy, I remember when I felt that way. Right up (5+ / 0-)

    until Obama appointed Rahm Emanuel COS. Several days, if memory serves.

    a) nothing has passed, and

    b) passing the WH/Senate's HCR is not a victory, unless you are the insurance/pharma industry.

    Aren't you going to wait to see what has actually passed, when it kicks in, and who's going to pay for it?

    We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

    by obiterdictum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:22:41 AM PST

    •  Wait (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      N in Seattle, Loquatrix

      No. I know that the HCR that will pass is far, far from perfect. But it is significantly better than the status quo, and I do believe that this is a starting point for more reform to come

      •  We haven't seen it yet, my point. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NearlyNormal, cameoanne

        And we haven't seen anything yet from the WH that should encourage us to hope it will be significantly better than the status quo - or that it will not be significantly worse.

        If it's mandated - fines for those who can't afford it? - with nothing to prevent insurance rate hikes; paid for with middle-class and small business taxes and cuts to Medicare and SS, which kick in immediately; and if coverage doesn't kick in until 2014; it sounds to me a hell of a lot like a triumph for the insurance and pharma corporations and an epic disaster for the middle class.

        Maybe none of that will be in the bill that Obama signs. I'm just saying - we haven't seen it yet.

        Not time to celebrate yet.  

        We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

        by obiterdictum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:43:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Much respect for this diary (4+ / 0-)

    Its been hard lately to come to this site as a moderate democrat, but no one can deny that democrats in general have much better ideas.

    Cheers for the positive attitude.

    "He knows when to use his lightsaber," David Plouffe on The Daily Show speaking of Obama's Jedi skills.

    by Ralpheelou on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:23:05 AM PST

  •  You lips to the Senates ears! (2+ / 0-)

    I will be sending faxes, emails, phone calls as the first diarist suggests.  As you know we've all been here before.  I'll believe when I see it.  I just hope I don't get seriously sick between now and 2013 or actually 2020 by the time it is really working.

  •  This bill does a lot of good things. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, codairem

    But the biggest thing it lacks is real costs controls.  Because of that, it kicks the can a little further down the road, but does not fix our problems.  

    Unfortunately 45 million without insurance and high deductibles and all the other bad stuff today is not enough to force real change.  That time will come.  And when it does tea baggers will be shut out, and we'll get national health care.  In the mean time, this bill does some good things for people, but costs will continue to drive the debate.

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:26:21 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary. (2+ / 0-)

    It helps to have a positive perspective to keep motivated.

    "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."

    by rscopes on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:26:55 AM PST

  •  OK, let's spread the credit here.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cameoanne, axel000

    The initial actions undertaken to rescue the economy (whether you agree with them or not) were taken under GW Bush.  Since then Obama has taken the reins and done well (stimulus, Detroit bailout, etc), but he did not walk into a complete vacuum. GWB sucked big time, and I disagree with the Wall Street bailout, but the bottom line is that GW Bush was actually taking action before Obama arrived.

    Second, HCR has been driven almost entirely by the legislative process, with the White House being very hands off. If HCR happens, it will be a Congressional achievement as much as anything.

    Sorry, I just had to give my standard "Three Equal Branches of Government" rant.  We don't live in a monarchy, and not every success (or failure) can be laid at the feet of the President.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:27:12 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the positive Diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird, Tchrldy

    And no need to apologize for it!  Sometimes the power of positive thinking is therapeutic. This is one of those mornings it feels great.

    We have to stay realistic-- it would be hard for any president to govern in a way that would have the DKos community jumping for joy.  

    Still-- we can keep the pressure on.  The Right's constant screechy-whiny act skews every decision to the right of where the American people are, in my opinion.  

    I don't agree with the President on the insurance mandate--- Americans are never going to be happy with a mandate unless there is also a public option.  So, especially after tomorrow, we should heap the pressure on for some big improvements.

    I know our phone calls will make a difference.  

  •  It's just how things work- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    417els, codairem

    hard to really praise someone for 'avoiding' a disaster as compared to coming into a huge crisis and cleaning up.

    Obama steered America clear of catastrophe. Why he isn't getting more credit for that,

  •  I hate to break it to you, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, JBL55

    your hair is not on fire. And you call yourself a blogger. The nerve.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:31:12 AM PST

  •  {{{crickets chirping}}} (0+ / 0-)
  •  If the piece of crap Senate Bill, (7+ / 0-)

    or the one like it that Obama is proposing, is signed into law it will be a failure for every day people and non-corporate Democrats and a bonanza for the corporate Democrats, Republicans and insurance companies.

    As for the wars, if we walk away today Republicans will blame Democrats.  If we stay 5, 10 or 20 more years, we will still have to walk away and the Taliban will still be there and guess what:  Republicans will blame Democrats.  We could have pulled out of Vietnam very early on and saved thousands of lives and both countries would been better off for it.  But that is not the corporate Democrat way—instead they remain tools of the military-industrial complex.  

    As for the economy I agree that Obama inherited a mess not of his own making.  But all you to do is read Matt Taibbi’s recent Rolling Stone piece to see that he is also not serious about preventing another melt down and bail out for the bankers.

    I am not denigrating what Obama has accomplished over the past year. But one has to view the totality of his efforts and compare his failures and more importantly where he has not even tried—he could have repealed DADT by executive order at any time and THEN sought to have Congress repeal it by legislation.  He has not even tried.  I could go on, but I am not here to bash Obama.  I want him to succeed.  But more importantly I want to see him fight for what the Democratic wing of the Democratic party stands for.

    •  Problem is, he works for the corporate wing. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, NearlyNormal, cameoanne

      We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

      by obiterdictum on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:45:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  my theory is that as a community org. he is use (0+ / 0-)

        to kissing big corporation's but to get them to invest in rundown communites. i call it the corporate sponsor mentality - this mentality is widely spread amongst minority groups looking for funding of their organizations or business group. tavis smiley fell victim to this when he was shilling for some corporate entity not knowing that same corporate entity was screwing the black community.

    •  On the Taliban (0+ / 0-)

      Afghanistan has been in perpetual war since the beginning of written history, another 2-3 year committment there will just delay the inevitable.  Real security comes from better intelligence and helping countries like Afghanistan police their own countries as an internal matter.

      Dropping bombs doesn't defeat terrorists.

      Government for the people, by the people

      by axel000 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:23:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A couple of things: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, NearlyNormal
    1. I truly hope the Afghanistan war works out, but at this rate I don't see how it can. There are myriad reasons for this and a thousand and one people to blame (previous admin., anyone?), but it seems to me at this point we're throwing good after bad. We've been there for almost ten years and the Afghan govt. is still a giant clusterfuck that would fall apart in a matter of minutes if NATO troops left. I don't see that all-important fact changing.
    1. Obama taking credit for the economy: you do realize that if President Obama takes full credit for any economic "recovery" he's opening himself up to bitter attacks on the most important issue of the day: 10% unemployment. I'm not saying Obama and the Dems don't deserve credit for averting a depression; I'm simply saying that once you own the economy, you own the economy, good and bad.

    I'll be perfectly honest here, I have been very unimpressed by Mr. Obama's first year in office. You can count his major legislative victories on one hand (imo, they could be counted with one finger, the stimulus, which was still watered down). To me, here is the most important fact regarding President Obama: he has spent every last cent of his political capital and has absolutely dick to show for it. I'll grant you that they might possibly maybe get a "health insurance reform" bill through, but you must know that this is a bill that nearly everybody hates and is deathly unpopular with the public. Other than that, I'm having a hard time seeing what the fanfare is about.

    •  this is exactly how i feel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal

      we had the strength of a movement and 2 majorities and it was all pissed away...for what?

      seriously? What do we have?

      You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

      by rexymeteorite on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:37:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Point 2 is to insinuate that a man who fills a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Escamillo

      pothole must have created it first.  That's nonsense.

      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

      by lockewasright on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:18:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, nowhere did I even come close to implying (0+ / 0-)

        that Obama "created" our economic troubles. I was pointing out what I see to be political reality; that is, if he's going to take credit for averting disaster, he's asserting some level of ownership of the economy as a political issue, and at some point he's going to be held responsible for 10% unemployment. Most of us know the high unemployment can't be blamed on Obama, but as Bush's term continues to recede in the rear-view, it's going to be harder and harder to blame him.

        •  The false notion that Obama is responsible for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo

          our current unemployment issues is in place already and will probably gain traction as time passes in spite of it being Bush's fault regardless of whether Obama takes the credit that he deserves for the stimulus, the jobs it's created, the more sensible administration of TARP and middle class tax cuts.  That's what political operatives for the other side do and they'll do it regardless of whether Obama takes credit for the good stuff he's done.  

          Unemployment was sky high before Obama's inauguration and grew quite a bit before any policy of his had a chance to be passed or take effect.  The rate of job loss has dropped significantly and consistently since he's take office and DOW is outperforming Boosh's last couple of years pretty solidly.  Those stats and charts won't vanish.  Messaging needs a lot of work, but the stats do support our guy.

          Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

          by lockewasright on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:13:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Might I add in another accomplishment? (3+ / 0-)

    While not perfect, he's respecting good science to an extent not seen in a long time in a President.

    Someone else may have mentioned it before, too :)

    We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley Shacklebolt

    by chparadise on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:35:03 AM PST

  •  Economy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright

    I too don't understand why he does not get more credit for pulling us from the edge of the economic collapse. If you weight issues, this deserves probably 75% or more of the total weight. Sure, it helps many fat cats on Wall St, but it also help the regular joes 401K. It helped main st simply because there would be no main st if AIG and the Big Banks collapsed. Like Obama said, we weathered the storm and now it's time to clean up.

  •  I think you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhawklefty

    are living in an total dreamworld. Good luck with living in a fantasy world.

    He who has overcome his fears will truly be free

    by angry hopeful liberal on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:36:20 AM PST

  •  I'd think there are millions of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Tom Taaffe, Arza

    unemployed folks who'd disagree with you on the Depression and economy ones.  And it still can and may well get worse again even for those still employed.

    The 'economy' was saved for the wealthy.  The 'economy' for the masses is still on life-support.

    As a 'moderate democrat' you may well feel he's done things worthy of a 'wow'.  From over here on the left, it's been more of an 'eh' on the things you've mentioned.

    He's done far better work with his executive orders on the quiet, however, making changes and fixes to things 'W' screwed over.

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:37:18 AM PST

  •  I Haven't Seen Obama Fight for (5+ / 0-)

    health care reform but I've seen him apply plenty of health insurance massage.

    No matter how I look at what the Senate and the president tout as HCR, the more I see windfall for Big Insurance and Big Pharma than truly affordable relief for American families with incomes less than $100K a year.

    Calling it health care reform hasn't made it honest health care reform.  That would be Medicare for all.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:37:26 AM PST

  •  fuck that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, NearlyNormal, axel000

    I am happy for anyone the bill will help, that is a good thing.

    but i am so angry at obama and dem leadership for fucking this up, for everything they've done re: the public option, for all of their poor political calculus and preemptive surrendering.

    at this point, i don't think this is something to celebrate.  the results will be, when and if they happen (if the R's dont roll them back when they take the majority and presidency because we've fucked this up so bad).  i hope we get to see positive results, and crow about them.

    It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.

    by DoGooderLawyer on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:38:47 AM PST

  •  It is certainly not a Do-nothing presidency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom

    but it hasn't accomplished enough, and we cannot stop pushing for vital victories.

    Just getting a bill isn't enough.  It needs to be a substantial gain for citizens, not just a hostage market for insurers.

    So, keep pushing.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:40:38 AM PST

    •  Things done (6+ / 0-)
      1. Continued Bush's Big Bank Bailouts,
      1. enacted a too small "stimulus" that has failed to keep unemployment at 8% as ballyhooed at the time,
      1. Kept Guantanamo open
      1. Maintains indefinte detention policies
      1. Moved on from holding Buch Cheney torturers accountable
      1. deliberately undermined inclusion of any sort of public option in Health care bill,
      1. ratcheded up illogical, immoral Afghan War
      1.  Appointend Geithner at Treasury, retained Bush family hack Gates at Defense, Summers as key advisor, Rahm as COS
      1. IN Iraq for the foreseeable future

      I am a progressive, pardon my lack of excitement.  The HC"R" reform bill may well pass, and lacking any of the initiatives pushed by progressives  the Democrats will regret its passage come November.

  •  awww, what a nice newbie you are. (0+ / 0-)

    and obama-wow is really cute.
    i noticed yesterday, reading about the prologue to tomorrow, the "kiddie tables" and seating arrangement, that "some" are wondering why Blair House--where a small room will get "stuffy and overheated" (like, uncomfortable?)--and thought: BRILLIANT.
    we know the ones who can't tolerate the small things will crack under the big ones: cameras, the roar of the public, the wrath of FSM...
    yes. it. can, stan.
    yes. it. will, phil.
    the "surgical" president...no wonder he's smiling most of the time.
    but when he's not, look out.
    and when he's honoring our troops with his salute, be sure we're in that salute, too.

    The Addington perpwalk is the trailhead for accountability in this wound on our national psyche. [...you know: Dick Cheney's "top" lawyer.] --Sachem

    by greenbird on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:40:49 AM PST

  •  Health care bill might pass. Reform? No. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, codairem, axel000

    Here's what health care reform looks like so you will know it when you see it. Because of it's cost and consequences, health care is central. Unless costs come down, US cannot really recover economically. Health care is big part of US deficit/debt problem. Obama inexplicably failed to propose the health care reforms he campaigned on and current bills are not really health care reform in any meaningful way.

    1. Lowers cost of health in US from 17% of GDP to the 10% of GDP spent by Western Europe.
    1. Provides 100% coverage.
    1. Gets better results. US is 37th in world vs. top 10. We don't as long. More children die. Two key stats.

    Current health care bills do none of the above.

    1. Cost - increases cost directly by $200B. Allows for unlimited insurance and drug costs average 25% yr to continue. US costs will increase from 17% of GDP to 20% of GDP.
    1. Coverage - 40 million with no coverage when bill is fully implemented in 6 years.
    1. Results - cost and coverage issues mean US will remain 37th.
    •  premiums, drug pricing, hospital costs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      all need to be price controlled, but it won't happen until the pain becomes incredible.  Give it another eight years or so and maybe by then we will see real reform.

      Government for the people, by the people

      by axel000 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:20:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are correct. Another 8 year cycle. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        axel000

        We missed it this time also. Hopefully like artillery where we get the range. First one's too far (Clinton). Second one is too short (Obama). Third one his the target (Palin?)...just kidding, just kidding.

        It will take a presidential campaign where Medicare for All is a campaign issue, the president campaigns on it and uses the mandate of election on the issue to get it passed.

  •  The mellower the bill gets... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    landrew, Tom Taaffe

    the higher the odds of passing. I guess you are reading it correctly. In the end, it will be an awesome bipartisan achievement. A Republican bill, passed triumphantly, by Democrats.

    Depressing.

  •  Sigh... (10+ / 0-)

    I love the President as much as the next guy.  But unfortunately, diaries such as this really don't contribute the discussion.

    This diary -- rocketed up to the top of the Rec List primarily because one faction on this blog wants to see something positive about Obama -- is really more of a comment.  And it's kind of weak tea at best. A list of some accomplishments, not all, and frankly...I could have sworn I've read this diary 100 times already.  Probably because I have.

    Not really looking forward to at least two more years of "Obama/Dems are teh sux" vs. "No they ain't!" around here.

    Particularly when neither set of diary templates does anything to advance our party, our nation, or our communities.

    When you get too big a majority, you're immediately in trouble. -- Sam Rayburn

    by wmtriallawyer on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:43:09 AM PST

    •  sad (0+ / 0-)

      the cliques have gotten powerful around here

      You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

      by rexymeteorite on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:45:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like what the diary... (0+ / 0-)
      ...said in my five minutes I can devote to this blog. The diary is the right perspective. Not everyone in this country bathes in political minutiae all day. From that perspective, Barack Obama is accomplishing important, lasting things, refer back to the list above.
    •  I agree, wmtriallawyer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer, ohmyheck

      The war of the Obama fans vs the Obama bashers is growing increasingly stale for me.

      What the last year has proven to me is how dysfunctional our national government is in the realm of setting a reasonable policy agenda, and then enacting it. Obama could have been better, he could have been worse. Let's move on to try to address the structural dysfunctions of the systems, which work to keep voters from being able to hold our elected officials accountable.

      In my view, we need to build a muscular progressive movement that is separate from the Democratic Party, so that it can bring pressure to bear on incumbents to actually serve the interests of the voters.

  •  Crusty's coming, Crusty's coming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, nicethugbert

    HCR--I'll believe it when I see it.
    Iraq and Afghanistan--Did you see Gen. Odierno's comments yesterday about their being a "Plan B" for Iraq?  Who thinks the deadline for Afghanistan is more than a PR exercise?
    Economy--The fed now projects unemployment over 10% through 2011 (while bankers give themselves record bonuses).
    The unitary executive--The Obama WH, remarkably, has made it possible for any subsequent administration to reassert the most egregious claims of the last one (though it won't surprise me, frankly, if it turns out the worst behaviors are still going on now).

    I'm sure Obama means well, but with Democrats like these what's the point of caring about politics?  I'll work for the Dems next year and in 2012.  Won't make much difference.  We're gonna get killed (and it'll be obvious that Obama is in way over his head, regrettably the wrong person for the job, and I say that as someone who backed him to the hilt during the primaries).  

  •  What, no pictures? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, drewfromct, anagram, TomP, SpamNunn

    Whoops, wrong diarist...

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:45:58 AM PST

  •  It is crucial to pass HCR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, katesmom

    just to get it on the books.  It can be upgraded with a PO once folks realize, despite the corporate media's 24/7/365 spin about evil doing HCR, it is in fact very good for them. Busting up the health insurance monopoly alone would throw us all a life line.  Competition would bring down costs in a nano second.  

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    The Republicans will have to shut up about HCR b/c it will become as popular as social security and medicare.   We won't have to suffer through their constant lying, whining and bellyaching, at least where HCR is concerned.   They'll move on to the next good thing to obstruct.

  •  precedent president. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, lockewasright

    lots of firsts in the longlonglonglong list and i get it.

    The Addington perpwalk is the trailhead for accountability in this wound on our national psyche. [...you know: Dick Cheney's "top" lawyer.] --Sachem

    by greenbird on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:50:01 AM PST

  •  Stop! You're Raining On Perfectly Good Pissing! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, lockewasright, k8dd8d

    n/t

  •  Totally agree with you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, Rogneid, k8dd8d

    This President was left with a huge mess and he is not only cleaning up the mess with alacrity but simultaneously advancing the policies we elected him to enact.

    If we doubt the effectiveness of President Obama we need only look at the lengths the opposition has gone to in its attempt to thwart his efforts.  As far as I know, the Republicans have never been forced to stoop so low as to threaten fillibuster on every single bill, start a phony anti-government grassroots movement, question a President's birth certificate, fire up its base against filling out the census, question the religion of the President, bash the city and state where he resided, and etc.  The Republicans know, even if sometimes Democrats forget, that Obama is a huge threat to their chances of ever getting back in power.

    Our President is teh awesome!

    by GMFORD on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 07:57:37 AM PST

  •  news flash: we are in a depression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Taaffe

    enjoy the dead cat bounce while it lasts.  

    Obama threw away his legacy by letting war criminals walk free, and the whole world knows it.

    But hey, he is a "pretty savvy guy" so we will see how it all works out.....  

    Out of my cold dead hands

    by bluelaser2 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:00:31 AM PST

  •  doesn't matter if HCR passes (0+ / 0-)

     It will probably all be undone next year. After the Repugs sweep Dems in the November mid-terms.

  •  Thank you for your positive energy. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg, lockewasright, JBL55, k8dd8d

    I agree with you on all your points and they need repeating as often as possible. Try not to take any slings and arrows that will be hurled at you personally, deflect them and continue moving forward.

    Forward ever, backwards never.

  •  Maybe this is all too familiar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geverend, Boston to Salem, Escamillo

    Just change the years to 2009-2010 and you'll see that the same old arguments are just recycled over the years.

    Tiresome at times.

    ....progressives have faced this situation before. Medicaid passed, it did very little for low-income adults.
    ...Medicare passed, it all but ignored people with disabilities.

    ...Social Security passed, the benefits were negligible,  excluded agricultural workers, domestic workers, the self-employed, railroad employees, government employees, clergy, and those who worked for non-profits.

    ...Original Social Security bill offered no benefits for dependents or survivors, and included no cost-of-living increases.

    ..likely liberal champions of the day who perceived the New Deal, the Great Society, FDR, LBJ, and their congressional Democratic majorities as disappointing and incompetent sell-outs who failed to take advantage of the opportunity before them.

    ..the programs passed, and once they were in place, they improved, expanded, and became integral to the American experience. It took years and perseverance, but progress happened after the initial programs became law.

    •  Each of those programs you describe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, Tom Taaffe

      had an initial framework on which to hang improvements and expansions.

      Where do you suggest improvements on this plan start without either a PO or the Medicare buy-in as part of the original proposal?

      It can't just be added to later if there is nothing to actually hang it on -- other than increases in premiums for insurance companies.

      That's not my idea of health care reform.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:03:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All of these exceptions go to show that (0+ / 0-)

      the public option discussed in the Senate, narrowly benefiting a few million Americans, would have been a good thing, and not irrelevant as those who accuse Progressives of fetishizing the public option say.

      Then that got exchanged for a Medicare buy-in for 55+. Which would also have been a good thing.

      Then that got exchanged for ... mandates and abortion restrictions! But yeah, it's all the same, no?  Just pass SOME bill and we'll be ok.

      It's telling also that improvements to initially weak progressive legislation stopped after the 1980's.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that no good legislation has passed since 1990.  But very little, and even less of the improving-on-already-good-earlier-legislation variety.  Mostly what we see nowadays is worsening already bad legislation: the Patriot Act building on Clinton's already objectionable anti-liberties legislation, the continuous ratcheting up of the Drug War, and now the further hostagification of American health care to the denial-of-benefits industry.

      Of course, I would love to be proved wrong.  Will the Senate take up and pass the House's antitrust exemption repeal?

      Silvio Levy

  •  Without pushing for a viable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Taaffe

    public option in HCR, especially when you are going to REQUIRE health insurance, will not get anyone enthused on the left and will have the same or worse political consequences of passing nothing at all.

    If Obama pushes it and a few Dem Senators stop it, then the left at least knows who to blame.

    Visit www.350.org to stop climate change.

    by bogmanoc on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:02:56 AM PST

  •  Corrections (4+ / 0-)

    4 wars
    The US is engaged militarily in 4 countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan, the last three being escalations of the Obama administration.

    Economy
    The official narrative which you have recited almost verbatim is still somewhat volatile. No fixes have been made, Americans have paid for the failures/crimes of a handful of businesses, and by all reports the same corrupt overly risky behavior persists against the advice of most honest brokers in the know. Your comment is like saying that a gang invaded your home and robbed and beat you and your family and someone chased them next door.  

     

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:04:29 AM PST

  •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

    I do not know if health care is going to pass.  TO assume it will is very dangerous because this situation keeps changing.

    http://randomthoughtstd.blogspot.com/

  •  I consider The Obama Administration (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, yella dawg, k8dd8d, axel000

    a work in progress. We were so on the wrong course and heading for an iceberg when Obama took office. He has made changes slowly, but obviously not as many or as fast as most of us would like. However, I'm holding off any major judgments about whether I'm happy or unhappy with Obama for a couple more years. I want to see how things play out. I suspect 2 years from now I will be pleased for the most part with the changes that have been made since Jan 2009. We'll see.

  •  You may be right and you may... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    axel000

    ...be wrong... I'm inclined to disagree with you, but on the other hand the only sure thing we can say is that the jury is still out on every point you mention.

    Time will tell.

    Now I'm going to be mean but even if Obama fails the way Jimmy Carter or Gorbachev failed (even if it's  not entirely his fault), I'd still rather have him in the White House, even if he were Barney Fife, rather than Boss Hogg.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:11:23 AM PST

  •  Obama had a big advantage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    axel000, nicethugbert

    Over presidents who tried and failed to reform healthcare in the past. For one, those failures allowed the problem to get steadily worse, making the need for reform more obvious than ever. Even during the time of Clinton's efforts, the problem was not affecting nearly as many people. I know, I was able to buy a good family policy for well under $200 per month in the mid 90s, and now that same policy would cost over $1000 if I could afford it. Obama also had a big majority in congress. So give him some props if it gets done, but recognize that his success was made possible more by the political situation he's in than by any extraordinary efforts on his part.

    •  Wow, and to think it didn't even have to be on (0+ / 0-)

      his agenda, he could have said the economy was so damaged HCR could and should wait. This man has such a thankless job. I hope the Repubs do better for you in 2012 and beyond.

      •  What a stupid comment (0+ / 0-)

        Where did I say anything about supporting Repubs? What I pointed out is true--Obama's success was made possible by the failures of his predecessors. To give him all the credit for making it happen is the same a giving Reagan all the credit for the fall of the Soviet Union.

        I don't believe Obama expected that passing healthcare reform would be as difficult as it's been, or he probably would have waited. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear he was prepared for the pushback from the health insurance lobby, and he was far too naive in trying for bipartisanship with Republicans. He should have never let this get past the August recess-waiting on Baucus was a horrible mistake.

        If it passes, it's a step in the right direction, but the mood of the country was ready for so much more. I think this bill is really more a failure on his part than a success.

  •  Bi-partisanship is the problem................... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Tom Taaffe

    Dems ran hard against the rethugs and now they want to make nice with them while the rethugs continue to SPIT IN EVERYBODY'S FACES.  You don't make nice with people like that for a year straight, let alone 5 seconds.

    The proper response to an obstructionist is not a years worth of, "Excuse me....Awe c'mon please?....Can has friendship?"

    The proper response to an obstructionist is to just steam roll over them like they don't even exist.  You don't even hear "zah lamentation of zeh wemen...." and all that Conan BS.  Just moving along.  Nothing to look back and see.  Don't worry be happy.

    A year's worth of bi-partisanship looks very weak to the people who you told you would solve their MASSIVE problems and a year later their problems persist and look no closer to ending.

    How can those people vote for you in the future when you were too weak to solve their problems in the past?  Why would they bother to vote at all if they don't see positive results they can actually feel, hear, see, touch, and live?

  •  I love Obama but I am highly... (3+ / 0-)

    upset about any prospect of a private insurance mandate.

    Pinch of incense to the Roman gods.  (Progressive Christians will understand the reference immediately.)

    Evil evil evil on principle: essentially the US Gov becomes tax collector for the most evil, disgusting, odious industry in America, right next to Big Coal.  

    Count me in on any lawsuits against it.

    Meanwhile if there's any way to prevail on Obama to drop that horrid monstrosity from the HCR bill, let's do it.  

  •  Oh Jesus Christ! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, lams712, midwestblue, Tom Taaffe

    Are we really going to celebrate drone airstrikes in order to try to feel better about getting totally fucked on healthcare :)  Somebody come and fucking save me!

    I'm the Left that Rahm's mother warned him about

    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:21:45 AM PST

  •  I will believe HCR passes when I see.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....it. I think you are counting the chickens before they hatch.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:25:06 AM PST

  •  Did anyone make a ShamWow joke yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m00nchild

    Miraculously absorbs all of your hope? ;>p

    Strength of character does not consist solely of having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them - Clausewicz

    by SpamNunn on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:25:29 AM PST

  •  Carpet Bomb Afghanistan now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wildthumb, ohmyheck

    with Big Macs and Taco Bell $5 boxes.  Get the populace hooked on junk food.  Also make sure there is a 1080p television in every home.  Bribe the tribal leaders into handing out pallat after pallat of cheetos and cool ranch doritos.  Develop a version of Afghani Idol ala American Idol.  Put lots of money into developing a robust soccer league.  Develop a a few racetracks designed for use for speeding Toyoata Tacomas.  Remaining US soldiers should patrol troubled areas handing out large bags of twinkies and hohos.  Reality TV is essential.  Cover the spoiled daughters of a drug king pin or some washed up war lord.
     The Mission should be to stupefy the society so that they are as lame and head up the ass as our own.  It would cost a fraction of what we're spending now.
     Shouldn't be much of a problem after that....well...depending on where all those tow missiles went....

  •  congrats! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Regina in a Sears Kit House

    your diary is at the top of the rec list.  Not bad for a newbie!

    Laughter is a force for democracy - John Cleese

    by GlowNZ on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:28:08 AM PST

  •  (and I am a proud moderate democrat) really what (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, denise b, aliasalias

    does that make the rest of us? Am I a radical Democrat because I support a progressive agenda? Time after time polls show Americans overwhelmingly support traditional progressive values health care for all, public schools, social security, progressive taxation. Yet we have a constant refrain from "moderates" who feel that supporting minority positions like tax cuts for the corporations and the rich, endless war on terror etcc... is the way to be a moderate. So basically this is used to fool Americans into voting against what they want. Label one group moderates and the other group as extreme. The extreme position that are validated by so called moderates is a dishonest mechanism.

    Lets stop enabling extremists agenda by compromising on their minority positions.

    So for the record a PUBLIC OPTION is a very moderate position even SINGLE PAYER is a very moderate position. Forcing Americans to buy health insurance or drugs from insurance corporations at inflated prices is an extreme position. It is time we acknowledge that.

  •  This is a good diary for debating the big issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Silverbird, Dr K

    so I will take each proposition one by one. Many of the other "look at Obama's accomplishments!" diaries get bogged down in the minutiae. Here we go:  

    Obama is fighting two wars- intelligently, pulling back from Iraq, and taking care of Afghan., so that we can wind down those wars ASAP (God-willing). A smart foreign policy. The damage that Bush has done is being turned around, thanks to Clinton and Obama-no small feat.

    Obama is slowly withdrawing from Iraq, though we will maintain a significant presence there for quite a while. To his credit, it has been relatively quiet on the Iraq front. However, much of his strategy in Iraq was pre-destined because of the Status of Forces Agreement hashed out between Iraq and the US under Bush. To my knowledge, he hasn't deviated too far from that.

    Afghanistan, of course, is a completely different situation. In my opinion, we are fighting a losing battle there, and while we may make some progress, the long-term prospects for a stable and democratic Afghanistan, or even the prospects for an Afghanistan that is under the sway of American influence, are vanishingly small.

    We were on the brink of a Depression. Obama steered America clear of catastrophe. Why he isn't getting more credit for that, I don't know. But our country, and the world, was on the close a total collapse and thanks t Obama's leadership, this has been avoided.

    Obama played a key role shepherding TARP legislation through Congress, and has continued and refined many of the programs started in the waning days of the Bush presidency, so he deserves credit and we should demand accountability for his actions with regard to the bailouts. Many of the actions taken to prevent collapse were done by the Federal Reserve though, so really, you should be thanking Ben Bernanke, as much as Obama. However, I don't think that the bailouts really prevented a collapse, in my opinion, they only delayed the inevitable. Obama does get credit for saving GM, from my perspective.

    Economy- Obama inherited this sinking ship. Stimulus/jobs bill are working. Economy slowly turning around.

    He certainly inherited a sinking ship, no doubt about that. And the stimulus/jobs bill is working to prop up state governments, especially, that have been hit very hard. However, I don't think we are going to return to a "normal" growth cycle any time soon--America's industrial base and her middle class have been all but hollowed out, and far too much of our economy has shifted to financials, and, very broadly, corporate management of global resources (as opposed to producing things, we are managing their flows.) This isn't a sustainable economic scenario. And there's way way too much debt, though Obama gets a point from me for at least taking some action against sovereign debt accumulation, inadequate as it is.

    HCR-It is simply unbelievable that HCR is going to be achieved.

    Well, I completely fucking hate the Senate HCR bill (much worse than the House bill, IMHO), but this has been diaried about ten gazillion times, and the objections to this are well known.

    •  Good analysis of Obama's foreign policy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annapaxis

      I agree that Obama tends to be given a lot of credit for pursuing Bush policies, somewhat less enthusiastically and somewhat more competently than Bush did.

      Withdrawal from Iraq? Already in the works. TARP? Bush policy. Obama gets credit for stimulus bill, but in my opinion pulled his punches by asking for too little, so that now he has to do a jobs bill. Again, squandering opportunity.

      In Afghanistan he has put his own stamp on the Bush policy - by copying Bush's surge in Iraq.

      Over all, it's not that what Obama is doing is so bad, or indefensible, it's that it all seems unimaginative, uninspiring, and a lot less than he should have been able to accomplish given the opportunity he was handed on his election - in my opinion, a once-in-a-generation chance to make real change that helped real people.

    •  The nice thing about Iraq... (0+ / 0-)

      It's not in the news.  That's because the situation in Iraq is boring.  And boring in this case is a VERY, VERY GOOD THING.

      Our troops aren't out on patrols getting in firefights and getting blown up by IEDs.  They're in barracks packing up equipment and chilling out.  The streets are much quieter (there's still bombings, but the overall violence level is way down.)

      Point is that the Iraq War is winding down - we're leaving!

      Hopefully, the recent captures of Taliban leaders and victories against the Taliban will set the stage for a political situation that will allow us to pack up and leave Afghanistan as well.

      I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it! - Franklin Delano Roosevelt http://meldroc.com/

      by meldroc on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:51:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is good that Iraq is quiet for the moment (0+ / 0-)

        and that we are withdrawing our combat troops, but we're not going to leave completely under "Operation New Dawn." The numbers are always subject to change, but I anticipate have tens of thousands of American troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

        I'm curious about the resolution to the war in Afghanistan. I just don't see how it works unless the Taliban are included in a new Afghan government, and I don't think that is acceptable for Obama on the domestic political front...we'll see.

  •  Yes, congratulations aheffy and welcome to the (2+ / 0-)

    DKos diarists club.

    Your brief diary has unleashed a swarm of competing viewpoints, from the Obama loyalists to the Obama cynics.

    Count me among the disappointed, but not cynical. I have come to believe that Obama is our generations's Carter - a highly intelligent, decent man who is out of his depth as President. Good things have been accomplished on his watch, but far fewer, in my opinion, than could have been, given the opportunities when he was elected.

    When i feel up to tolerating the inevitable blog-swarm, perhaps I'll post a diary on the topic.

    For now, I congratulate you on your early success in heading the rec list. I look forward to your future diaries.

    •  Opportunities thwarted by reality... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg

      like the crash of the world's financial system.  And while I too am disappointed, I have had to reassess my expectations.  Who, besides the almighty, would have been able to wave a magic wand and fix everything Obama was handed in a year?  I think he's done pretty good.  It's our democratic Congress I'm disappointed in...again.

    •  Obama is no Carter. (0+ / 0-)

      Even the rethugs have given that up.  "Out of his depth"?  Are you kidding?  And I'm a big fan of Carter.  Imagine what Obama could have done with Carter's Congress.

  •  I am Spartacus! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Too bad this is just a health insurance industry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Tom Taaffe

    bailout.

  •  Great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, elwior

    Thank you for this! I truly believe  that we should be focusing on the positive right now. We've still got a lot of work to do to get HCR passed.

  •  The thing is, Obama is winning LOTS and LOTS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wildthumb, yella dawg, Livvy5

    of battles, but the media is trying to convince the whole country that he is losing the war (his presidency, not THE wars).

    Example, just the other day, I opened my Seattle Times and flipped to the Op/Eds.  Great piece on developing partnerships between federal agencies so they help urban areas and regions with one voice.  This is truly exciting:  .The Obama administration's innovative policy for nation's urban areas

    The radical idea of closely collaborating agencies emerged last June with an unprecedented agreement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation, plus the Environmental Protection Agency. Their "Partnership for Sustainable Communities" aims to embrace better quality and energy-efficient housing, access to adequate public transit, good jobs, quality schools, safe streets and environmental protections — regardless of which department is technically responsible. The goal is to have the federal government "speak with one voice" in its field operations.

    The partner agencies are now moving forward on this agenda. HUD, for example, has a new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, guided by Deputy Secretary Ron Sims, who learned the ropes of metro-area coordination as King County executive in Washington state, and directed by Shelley Poticha, former president of the policy group Reconnecting America.

    But then, I flip back to the second page in the same section, to see a FULL PAGE spread on some Tea Party thing that bashes everything.  Full Page Tea Pary Story

    Where are the full page spreads with the positive things about Obama?

    Those two things juxtaposed on each other were eye opening for me.  

    He needs to win the media battle, the 24 hour cycle with the good stuff, and he's not doing it.

    A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives ~ Jackie Robinson's epitaph

    by k8dd8d on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:43:49 AM PST

  •  You are in the wrong blog. We don't like moderate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, yella dawg

    s here!

    Go away. (Snark)

    As R. W. Emerson said, "Fear springs from ignorance."

    by healthy on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:46:32 AM PST

  •  Obama had the most successful first year (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, Fury, Wildthumb, yella dawg, k8dd8d

    legislatively then any president.
    Yet, all you hear from the media is crickets.  No one knows this and has the impression he has done nothing.
    it is so unfair and maddening.
    That is why Washington is broken.  because our media tell us nothing but, stupid shit.

    •  What exactly has Obama DONE? (0+ / 0-)

      Obama has done NOTHING. I think it's funny how the Obama loyalists blame Congress every time something goes wrong, yet laud Obama every time there's an accomplishment. You have to pick one, Obama loyalists. Is it all Congress or all Obama?

      (PS: it's congress).

    •  In my opinion, Washington is broken because (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, k8dd8d, Tom Taaffe

      the politicians have become a self-perpetuating class of elites, who are not accountable to the people in any real way. Big money donors are able to defeat the interests of the majority of voters. The media is a symptom, not a cause, in my view.

      For real change to occur, I believe there needs to be a progressive movement that truly holds the elected officials accountable for pursuing self-serving agendas, such as contributions from lobbyists and corporations, rather than policies that help their constituents.

  •  Rah Rah (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Taaffe

    "Centrist" refers to a politician who takes money from corporations, and then votes for those companies to become richer.

    by gooderservice on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 08:52:32 AM PST

  •  Dear diarist, (6+ / 0-)

    Your rainbows haven't reached my neighborhood yet.  Pls repost diary when they are on the way.

    P.S.  Please send food.

    Sincerely,
    Detroit

    •  Dear Detroit (0+ / 0-)

      I feel for you. Your union leaders and auto executives have failed you miserably. The auto execs have shown no vision as to what people want in cars. Pathetic leadership at GM etc. Your union leaders have failed you even worse.
      Sincerely,
      IFeelUrPain

      •  How so? (7+ / 0-)

        Your union leaders have failed you even worse.

        Please be specific and provide links.  That's a pretty serious charge.

        I'll be particularly interested to learn how the UAW forced GM to produce gas-guzzling monstrosities that didn't sell for several years in a row.

        And what's with this?

        Sincerely,
        IFeelUrPain

        Is that supposed to be funny?

        www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:08:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a former UAW Local Officer/negotiator (0+ / 0-)

          I am a former UAW Local officer and former chief negotiator.

          The UAW international leadership sponsored the worst band of criminals in my local. They sabotaged contract negotiations, stole our strike benefits in the moment when management tried to impose a settlement and then tried to zero out all funding for my unit (which was 85% of the local). The local leadership and regional director tried to bargain behind my back (which is illegal), shut down funding for our contract campaign repeatedly and denied 95% of my union members the right to vote in local or unit elections.

          When we built a bullet-proof majority in our local executive and joint council, documented the thievery down to the canceled checks and the systematic failure of representation (forgotten contracts, sabotaged grievances, denial of democratic rights, etc.), the international came in like gangbusters, bought off a few leaders with UAW jobs and burned the rest of us out of the union.

          With unions like the UAW, its no wonder that the labor movement is dying. They are worse than management, far worse. Like the Democratic Party, Labor will have no one to blame for their loses but themselves. They sold out the the poor and working class for an extra plate of pork chops and a pat on the head from the rich.

          •  Very Sad (0+ / 0-)

            I hope that your story is the exception, rather than the rule. I see the hundreds of thousand of lost labor jobs, and it is very sad. Good paying jobs and great benefits gone, due to horrible mismanagement, as well as bad labor moves. Of course, it is the little guy that gets the most.

            •  Sadly its all too normal....... (0+ / 0-)

              I've been an officer and/or organizer in 3 unions and a member of 7. All of them sold their membership out, or at the least privileged the senior membership at the expense of junior workers. 3 were rotten to the core. I could name a few other unions that I couldn't get into, because they were closed. Indeed, my friends from Ireland had a easy time getting into the NYC carpenter's union, while I could never get in it, because of systemic corruption (the mafia shot the president after he got busted in the late 1980's, so he wouldn't rat on them).

              The top-down character of these unions, ensures lack of democracy and at their best, their 'lead from the rear' mentality ensures that they are always losing. A problem they share with the Democratic Party.

              At their worst, they are a fascist shithole of corruption and yet another institution that betrayed the poor and working class, just like the Democratic Party.

              •  Hred for calling unions "facist". Spread Tea (0+ / 0-)

                Party propaganda elsewhere.

                •  I stand by those remarks. (0+ / 0-)

                  American Labor is the victim of its own corruption, selfishness, small-mindedness and lack of democracy. Its thuggish attitude toward the reformers in their midst is just the icing on the cake.  Their top-down political structure ensures the privilege of the union bosses at the expense of their workers.

                  I applaud those few - like the California Nursing union and UE - who fight for something more than themselves and who practice shopfloor democracy, but the AFL-CIO crowd can go jump in the river for all I care. I wouldn't get wet trying to save them.

                  HR yourself.

              •  Oh by the way (0+ / 0-)

                because of systemic corruption (the mafia shot the president after he got busted in the late 1980's, so he wouldn't rat on them).

                If you are referring to John OConnor, according to all accounts I have read, Gotti ordered him shot because he tried to unionize the construction of a building owned by a Gotti associate. re: OConnor shooting

          •  I am familiar with the kind of internal politics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron

            that goes on at the local, regional and national level. Sometimes it isn't pretty. There are usually three or four sides to a story like this.  It's not generally known, but internationals shut down locals sometimes, for various irregularities, misconduct or just to consolidate redundant staff.  I don't know what happened in your case.

            Again, did the UAW force GM to make cars that nobody wanted?  That's why they went down the drain.  The fact that you are supporting attacks on unions in general based on your individual situation is understandable, but kind of sad.

            www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

            by chuckvw on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 04:08:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem with the UAW (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw

              Is that the rules only apply if the regional directors and/or the international leadership say they exist. It functions like a feudal state. All must bow before the regional director, no matter what the membership wants or votes for. Its sick.

              I was ordered repeatedly by the regional director to betray membership decisions. My refusal to betray my membership was my undoing. They robbed our funds and betrayed us at every turn. And when we showed them the power to fight both them and management - and win every battle - they stepped in and crushed us, by buying off a few leaders and smearing the rest of us out of the movement.

              I was offered a job in the UAW, in exchange for betraying membership voted decisions and I refused. For that 'crime' I was unilaterally removed from the bargaining committee by the regional director - in direct contravention of membership votes - and driven from the union.

              And the UAW moved the local offices to another city, so that the membership couldn't participate in local decision-making, despite the fact that I had negotiated free office space where the members worked.

              Every day was a nightmare in that union. I feel bad for auto workers. Their union betrayed them. All they care about is the dues money. The last thing they want is an empowered membership.

              We were academic workers, for the record. What was lost was a union willing to fight for more than just its own selfish interests, but had a storied track record of fighting for the rights of all people to have access to higher education. We regularly mobilized students on issues that had nothing to do without contract, defended school workers against privatization - when their own unions sold them out - and took our job as the frontline defenders of public education when Clinton and his band of neoliberals were destroying educational opportunity for the poor and working class.

              But the muttonheads in the UAW could give a shit about anyone but themselves and their petty power.

              •  I'm sorry to hear that (0+ / 0-)

                It sounds like you had a hell of a time.

                www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

                by chuckvw on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:06:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Everyone had a horrible time (0+ / 0-)

                  The average life expectancy of a committed activist in that union was less than a year. Many refused to ever get involved with a union again after living through that daily nightmare, despite the fact that we were so politically successful.

                  I held the record at 7 years. But I will never get involved with an American union again. Were this my only bad experience, my commitment to unions would allow me to consider this an anomaly, but I've been in too many unions to be so naive.

                  Industry after industry, they sold out the junior workers - if they didn't just sell out everyone - or just proved to be so damn corrupt or incompetent that they bankrupted themselves in the eyes of those they were supposed to be representing.

                  And like the Democratic Party, they sold out the poor and working class, especially in the 1990's. That was the era of the great sellout. Everyone betrayed the poor, the working class and the economically vulnerable. That's why our economy is such a mess now. While the 'lower social orders' came out in droves for Obama and the Dems in 2008, don't expect them back, unless the Dems start doing really big and bold things to create jobs (like a WPA program, 'Marshall Plan' styled interventions in historically poor neighborhoods, tearing up anti-labor trade agreements, etc. etc.). This corporate welfare crap won't cut it. Fuck the new world order. I'd sooner vote for the neighbor's dog than vote for a neoliberal or a 'centrist' (code word for corporate patsy).

    •  how did the union leaders fail him worse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, MJ via Chicago

      than the executives?  For that matter, how did they fail him at all?

      •  Unions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Taaffe

        Have failed their membership miserably, by taking a very short-sighted view of things. They blead companies to death blackmailing these companies for their last penny, make them uncompetitive and then scratch their heads when either the company goes out of business or their jobs are shipped overseas. I'm not saying the CEo's are blameless, but they share the blame with the unions.

        •  Fake "noob" is right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          Someone who's been around that long and doesn't know what a "hide rate" is...  I'm suspicious.  How could someone be on this site for that long and be unfamiliar with the "HR" concept?  

          It comes up every day in dozens of diaries, many of them on the Rec list or front page.  There are even Rec-listed and front-paged diaries about Meta that discuss it in-depth.

          This diary is crap.  I'm shocked it hit the top of the rec-list.

        •  these are anti-union republican talking points (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, Clues, ranger995

          Your comment is crap.  No substance at all.  Just anit-union, right-wing talking points.

          Have failed their membership miserably, by taking a very short-sighted view of things. They blead companies to death blackmailing these companies for their last penny, make them uncompetitive and then scratch their heads when either the company goes out of business or their jobs are shipped overseas. I'm not saying the CEo's are blameless, but they share the blame with the unions.

          OK.  Unions should just stop fighting for their employees.  We can all go work for McDonalds for $6.50 an hour, and just buy this great new health insurance because we have to.  

          Strong Unions are not the problem.  They are the solution.

          •  Unions (0+ / 0-)

            Employers are not your enemies. They are your partners. Decent wage is one thing. Healthcare is a perfect example of everything wrong with unions. There are many unions that have $0 or $2 copays for doctor visits AND do not contribute a penny for premiums. How sustainable is THAT?!?!

            •  In a logical world (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw

              This would have businesses screaming at congress and pouring millions of dollars into lobbies for ....

              Single payer healthcare

              If union employees are breaking the backs of big business with healthcare demands, do you have any sort of theory, cockamamie or otherwise, why this hasn't happened?

              Your opinion of the state of our unions is superficial.

          •  Keep repeating... (0+ / 0-)

            Strong Unions are not the problem.  They are the solution.

            Strong Unions are not the problem.  They are the solution.

            Strong Unions are not the problem.  They are the solution.

            If unions are the solution why are unions losing members by 100,000's??

        •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          That's a pretty blanket indictment of ALL unions.

          They blead companies to death blackmailing these companies for their last penny

          And yet, I don't see a glut of yachts and summer homes on the market.  Those poor executives, "bleading" their last pennies.

          Pardon me while I go find the tissues.

    •  In an attempt to derail the stupidity, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      let me edit my comment.  Here you go:

      Dear Diarist,

      Your rainbows haven't reached my neighborhood yet.  Pls repost diary when they are on the way.

      Sincerely,

      (Any US state or city with >10% unemployment, and foreclosed-housing-ghettos and a crumbling tax base that is unaffiliated with labor unions so that the anti-union trolls can't derail the comment again).

      •  In an attempt to figure out what you are talking (0+ / 0-)

        about
        Dear Poster,
        Not understanding your point here. Is it that the economy still sucks? If so, then we are in complete agreement. The economy blows, unemployment is way too high, the deficit is scary high, there are more ticking time bomb out there, such as commercial real estate.
        Sincerely,
        WTF is your point?

        •  My point is that the "accomplishments" (0+ / 0-)

          that have you gushing "WOW" like a teenager at a boy band concert haven't happened yet.

          We have not averted financial disaster, we do not have a good plan for HCR, and the jury is still out on the military strategies that you are applauding.

          You seem to agree with my points about the economy in your post above this, yet fail to make the connection between those and your giggly little self-congratulatory diary.  Congratulations on being named Ingenue of the Week.

          •  Expectations (0+ / 0-)

            What in the world were you expectations for one year?

            •  Weak (0+ / 0-)

              My expectations were that Obama would be, as he said in his campaign, a fierce advocate for many of the policies that convinced us to work for him, give him our money and vote for him.  He hasn't "fiercely advocated" for anything.

              You've gone from lauding non-existent accomplishments to the argument that it's only been one year.  You wrote a diary that's jumped the gun on claiming accomplishments, and then you backpedal on it with the excuse that it's only been one year.

              Meanwhile, every single damn day we get another slap in the face from this administration.

              No amount of cheerleading or painting of the pig is going help us accomplish our goals of rolling back the W years and enacting policies that we need.  But don't let that stop you from plastering rainbow and unicorn stickers all over the place.  What's a little reality, eh?

  •  Thanks it's a good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aheffy, yella dawg

    perspective to have.  There have been many accomplishments.

    Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - A. Grayson

    by IL JimP on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:19:05 AM PST

  •  On the brink of depression? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, ranger995, ohmyheck

    And Bush's parting shot was to shovel a ton of taxpayer money into the bawling mouths of "too big to fail" banks.

    Obama has not done much to oversee that money. Personally, having read a lot about it, I see this near depression as sculpted by big financial institutions precisely so they could demand all that money. They are the ones benefiting. They are the ones who said if they didn't get the money our economy would belly up.

    For a lot of people, it feels belly up anyway. Obama has not overseen the distribution of money very well. Just listen to Elizabeth Warren, who is one of the few people I do trust.

    And back in the Clinton years when the person overseeing financial institutions tried to regulate the derivatives market, Larry Summers made one of the biggest pushes to stop the regulation. Summers and Geithner are not on the side of the people.

    To me, it's a huge fail for Obama that these guys are such a big part of his economic team. With them on his team, Obama will never fight for real regulation.

    Yes, I'm an Obama supporter, but I also will not close my eyes to the reality of the situation. Then big banks are winning, and the middle class is losing.

    "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

    by MillieNeon on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:28:57 AM PST

    •  Mendacity. (0+ / 0-)

      You would rather sit there clacking your keyboard to spurn Obama and his administrative staffers with the same tired remarks, than offer sources to anything you say, or get from behind your computer screen and think about how you can help our President.   All of you doing this, from thread to thread, have completely shown who you are.  You don't give a damn about anything you are complaining about.  You only want to castigate the Obama administration, Summers, Geitner, Rahm....  Period. IOW, your words are a waste of anyone's time.  They are worthless.  Don't you people ever get tired of retyping these worthless scripts?  I really wonder how you can stand being so redundant.  Your idea of  "Tried and True" isn't working for you.

      I just called 18 Senators and spoke with their staffers.  How many have you called this morning?

      So.... I'm off I go to call more of 'em.

      •  Just because you say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Taaffe

        our words are worthless, doesn't mean they are. You accuse us of castigating the administration, but you are too blind to analyze the reality of what's going on in this country. I have taken the time to research Summers and Geitner.  

        And it's always interesting to note that people like you do not offer any actual factual analysis of why my opinions are wrong. All you can do is name call and call the ideas worthless. That right there shows that you have nothing to say that exonerates Summers and Geitner. So you resort to your tired old "how can you castigate Obama" blah blah.

        I am not into hero worship. I look at what is actually being done or not done.

        I have called no Senators on this particular morning. I haven't been awake that long as I am a freelance writer and usually work until the wee hours of the morning. When I get up, I have to take care of animals and clean. Then I relax a bit on the computer.

        But I have called and emailed many congresspeople in the past two years and the past two weeks. Not to mention signing petitions and coaxing my friends to write and call too. On top of that, I volunteer with a literacy program to help high school kids get a better grasp of writing. What do you do?

        So interesting how you assume that because I have opinions different from yours means I don't actively participate in the political process.

        Your kind can't brook any criticism of the administration and you would love it if the rest of us just ignored what's not working.

        So go ahead and call my words "worthless" rather than offer any actual evidence that what I say about Summers and Geitner aren't correct. See how far that gets you.

        "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

        by MillieNeon on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:02:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your whole diatribe comes down to this: (0+ / 0-)

          I am not into hero worship.

          The rest you have said is mendacious.  Like that word, too?

          You just proved my point.

          •  Proved your point? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues, Tom Taaffe

            Your only point is that you cannot brook any criticism of the administration, so you blather on about non-issues instead.

            You have no point except "don't criticize the administration."

            Show me what Summers and Geintner have done to actually help the mortgage crisis, to correctly oversee TARP money, to regulate banks so that they do not keep using risky and junk trading products to produce wild profits, etc.

            If you were able to provide information countering my claim that these men are too connected to big banks and high finance to actually make the changes we require in order to stabilize the banking system, then you might have a point.

            But your paucity of any real information shows that you are like the Teabaggers, raging on concerning issues about which you apparently know very little.

            If you call me a liar, then it is your job to be explicit about providing actual information that disproves what I say. Anyone can call anyone mendacious. Doing that in itself means nothing. A lot of hot air. It's only by providing actual information that contradicts what I say that will make any points for you.

            Again, you can only resort to insults and name calling, proving you have no point.

            "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

            by MillieNeon on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:05:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Did I miss (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MillieNeon

            the new regulations for wall st. and the mega-banks?

            •  Yes, apparently (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clues

              they were all set to regulate the mega-banks and wall st., but then someone on DK criticized the president, so they stopped the regulations.

              "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

              by MillieNeon on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 02:38:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  But you do get kudos (0+ / 0-)

        for using the word "Mendacity". One of my favorite words from T. Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." And nobody can say it quite like Burl Ives.

        "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

        by MillieNeon on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:05:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a rational diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aheffy, yella dawg

    And your first!  

    Obama is going to pass that Bill, and it's going to benefit millions, and the more people see how HCR has positively helped them, the more improvements will happen because people will stand behind further reforms.

    I appreciate your list of accomplishments since he took office.

    We can approach the future with optimism, or we can drag our gloomy and doom around with us everywhere we go.  Which one is going to get more done?  I choose optimism, and recognizing what has been done since President Obama took office.

    Thanks, again.

  •  Oh, and I can't wait to watch the Summit (0+ / 0-)

    tomorrow.  :D  

  •  And woman got Sotomayor and gays will get (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry, yella dawg

    full rights in the military very soon.

    that is HUGE

  •  I'm an extreme leftist, and I agree. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aheffy, revgerry, abulic

    When one looks at the scale of change, the rate of change and how it has happened throughout history, Obama is setting a pace that is astounding.

    Trouble is, he's leaving some stuff by the side of the road; very troubling stuff, mostly related to the DOJ and enforcement of laws.

    If there was a stronger Senate leader, lots more would have been done by now, and this constant crisis with cloture is going to come to a head soon.

    "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

    by shpilk on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 09:54:22 AM PST

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I fel it is not so much the repubs, but Harry and Nancy and alittle bit Obama

      •  Oh, no .. it's all the Pugs. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg

        There used to be reasonable people in the Republican Party, you could work with a Howard Baker, Everett Dirksen, Jacob Javits ..

        Those times are gone.

        Of all of the 290 bills stalled in the Senate, I don't more than 10 or 15 of them are actually contentious in any way - but Mitch McConnell refuses to allow Democrats to claim a victory. For this reason alone the filibuster must be suspended.

        It's not Pelosi, it's not Obama.

        It is the filthy Repugs, combined with the weakness of Harry Reid's Senate leadership.

         

        "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

        by shpilk on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:05:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Wow?" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, MJ via Chicago, Tom Taaffe

    You're "wowed" by Obama's first year in office?  Seriously?  Your expectations were apparently not very high.  To each his own I guess.  shrug

    Personally, when I think of great presidents or great leaders, Barack Obama will not be at the top of the list--or even on the list...at least not based on what I've seen thus far.

    I'm also perturbed that your self-proclaimed "moderation" is equated with being "rational."  Imo when a house is burning it is not "rational" to lolly-gag and "moderate" in trying to get water to douse the fire.  In fact, I think that's the opposite of "rational."  And I get infuriated when people who see the house burning and are yelling at the top of their lungs are marginlized and ridiculed as if THEY are the ones who have the problem.  That's just mind-boggling to me.  The reality is most who are considered "extreme" are nowhere near.  They just want some semblance of their country back.  Imo, that is more praiseworthy than being "moderate" or praising mediocrity as this diary does.  But that's just me.  Again, to each his own...

  •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m00nchild, ranger995, Tom Taaffe

    Because jobs in my field are still gone, my interest rates are through the fucking roof, the only change I will see because of HCR will be that my parents--union members--will PAY MORE MONEY, war criminals walk around free, wall street tycoons walk around wealthy, and Obama punches hippies on a daily basis.

    The Raptor of Spain: A Webserial
    From Muslim Prince to Christian King (Updated Nov. 24)

    by MNPundit on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 10:09:29 AM PST

  •  Why he doesn't get credit for the economy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, ranger995, 3goldens, Tom Taaffe

    We were on the brink of a Depression. Obama steered America clear of catastrophe. Why he isn't getting more credit for that, I don't know

    Because there's still nearly 10% unemployment, officially (and more unofficially). The stimulus wasn't big enough, and another big one is needed but won't get past the Democrats in the Senate.

  •  The true Obama-wow (another, in a long series!) (0+ / 0-)

    just happened!  Did anyone see the speech he gave to the business round table?

    It was the most amazingly courageous and heartbreakingly responsible thing I have seen any politician do...

  •  I used to console myself with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, 3goldens, Tom Taaffe

    accomplishments like the above.

    My consolation was short lived as:

    1.  The wars, and war profiteering, continued unabbated
    1.  HCR Reform is like Credit Card Reform (how's that working out by the way?).  Another example:  HCR is akin to Bush's Clear Skies Initiative and No Child Left Behind.  It makes a lot of noise, gains a lot of press, but in the end... it's not a major change.

    Question:  How can you tell if an industry is going to have their obscene death-driven profits impacted by proposed legislation?  

    Answer: You watch the stock price and how many people are dumping said stock.

    Insurance Stocks are doing just fine.  Oddly, so are bank financial casino stocks.

    1.  Stimulus was nothing but crumbs thrown to the masses.  

    On the plus side, I'm glad to see the comparisons to FDR have stopped.  

    Btw, have you seen the latest headline from the WH regarding Financial Reform?  It's going to be scaled back, of course.  Volkner's ideas are pretty much going to be ignored.

    Then again, when you have Summers, Geithner, and Bernanke running the finance show, what else should we expect?

    It's 2010, time for a new slogan: Excuses We Can Believe In. I'd rather have better Democrats than more Democrats.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:03:43 AM PST

    •  Financial reform non-existent, we are still being (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnathan Ivan

      conned everyday by a bunch of "bank" executives. Some of them work for the WH. This idea that we were on the brink of disaster and were miraculously saved, is not just a misrepresentation of what happened, but also premature. We may yet be facing catastrophe, and unemployment continues to climb.

      Whoopie the banks are doing better, disaster averted..... just ignore those people on the streets.

      "Sir, you look like the piss boy."

      by ranger995 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:36:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo... it's so ingrained that we HAD, just HAD (0+ / 0-)

        to save Wall Street Titans' profits or else the world would end... that I don't even try to touch on the silliness of that whole marketing affair.

        Interesting fact:

        The total losses by Wall Street Thugs, at the height of the "crisis", exceeded the total value of world real estate.

        How then could the collapse be caused by home owners in America failing to make their mortgage payments?

        Because Wall Street does not create value;  It is a casino which gambles.  And now it knows it can gamble with tax payer money, no string attached.

        Oh well, I could go on and on about this...  

        At the end of the day it boils down to this:

        1.  We're told Obama makes great accomplishments and cares about working Americans.
        1.  Wall Street is doing just fine;  Insurance Co stocks are on the rise;  Finance Casino's are on the march;  No real reform, either finance or HCR.

        It's really simple:  If Wall Street is happy, working Americans are getting screwed.  I have 0 faith in RahmObama, Reid, Summers, Geithner, Bernanke, Holder... none, zip, zero.  Because I know who they work for.

        It's 2010, time for a new slogan: Excuses We Can Believe In. I'd rather have better Democrats than more Democrats.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:45:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pulleeese! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995

    The definition of military stupidity is fighting a war on two fronts. No, it wasn't Obama's choice to invade those countries, but the Democratic Party whooped and cheered us into those wars, like the good little 'loyal opposition' that they were under Bush.

    Iraq and Afghanistan are worse off thanks to us, no matter how awful the Taliban and Ba'athists were, and we've squandered trillions of dollars and thousands upon thousands of lives to plant American flag/capitalism in those countries.

    I don't want to hear another word about fiscal discipline while these lunatic wars are still ongoing. And I'll be rip-shit if the Defense budget is not the first thing on the fiscal chopping block. We spend more on war/defense than all our allies and enemies combined and we're getting our asses kicked by people who make bombs from the stuff you find under your kitchen sink.

    The only good thing about the stimulus plan was the aid to states. The rest was corporate welfare and designed to save a speculative economic system that will deliver a jobless recovery. The job numbers being touted in Washington as the outcome of the stimulus package are bullshit and everyone knows it.

    The new 'jobs bill', while a leaner cut of pork than its original (much leaner, thank you), its still nothing but more corporate welfare. And it won't produce jobs. At best, it will only reward those industries - like our military-industrial complex - that can afford to hire more workers, because of all the corporate welfare we provide.

    The HCR is not health care reform, its insurance reform. It won't solve our problems, it will just lead to more private sector shenanigans. If there's no public option, its close to useless.

    Meanwhile war criminals like Cheney will continue to attack the Obama administration at every turn, because they do not fear him. Given all the evil things that man and his allies have done, we should only be seeing their lawyers on the sunday morning talking head shows.

    It is symptomatic of a broken justice system that this parasite can brag about his crimes on TV without fear. This is what happens when you show up with flowers to a gunfight. They shoot you and laugh about the flowers you brought.

    And no, we are in a depression. I don't care what the GDP indicates, the country is still bleeding jobs and it will be years - if ever - before our job market comes back, because the 'bipartisan' prescription for economic health is producing a jobless recovery.

    So much for change we can believe in.

    •  Thanks for your post (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with much, disagree with the Depression comment.
      we are NOT in a depression (unless you're one of the 10-15 without a job). I don't know what a depression feels like, but I'm guessing it is much worse than this. You could probably smell raw fear in the air

      •  You know the old saw.... (0+ / 0-)

        Its a recession when you are out of a job, its a depression when I'm out of a job. While we have a very narrow and highly generalized definition of what a recession is - two or more quarters of declining GDP - we have no solid definition for what a depression is.

        I'm old enough to know what life was like during the recessions of the 1970's, 80's and early 90's and this one is much worse. It still is. We have a better social safety net than we had when Roosevelt took office, but much less than we had in the 1970's, thanks to Clinton-era 'welfare reform' and the privatization of public services.

        What makes the problem worse than the 1930's is that we are dealing with the sum of 30 years of downsizing, outsourcing, privatization, corporate mergers, automation and the conversion of full-time work into temporary and contingent labor. Both parties bear responsibility for this disaster, along with corporations, banks and the financial sector. Easy debt replaced declining wages.

        In short, we are dealing with the death of living wage work in this country. What was once the problem for manufacturing workers has spread to almost all areas of the economy. R%D, college teaching, journalists, etc. all are facing dead industries.

        When Roosevelt - or even Eisenhower - invested in 'infrastructure' it meant jobs for everyone from accountants, office workers and engineers to the totally unskilled. Now, infrastructure investment means Bechtel makes billions and only a few people will actually get jobs, because of automation and the specialization of work. And just because the bridge, dam or road is in the US, doesn't mean that much of the work won't be done in China or some other low-wage third world country. Such is the nature of privatized investment, as we saw when stimulus investment in windmills meant jobs for china, not jobs for US workers.

        So far, Obama's economic and social policies look like the second coming of Clinton, which means - in my book - more betrayal of the poor and working class, lower wages and fewer jobs. I see nothing that addresses the systemic destruction of our job market. In fact, everything Obama and the Democrats are proposing will yield a jobless recovery.

        People voted for the democrats because of the legacy of the new deal, civil rights, etc. What we got was Republican-lite economics and warmongering foreign policies that are bankrupting this country. But of course, when the bill comes due, it will be domestic programs that will pay the bill, not our steroid-driven military budget or our reckless foreign wars.

        I'm so fucking furious.

  •  Is 'Obama-Wow' a cast member on Jersey Shore? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712, Mike Peterson

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:19:40 AM PST

  •  Don't celebrate too soon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712

    Done wrong, it could actually make things worse and turn many people against the idea of UHC.

    We need single payer.

    Palpably Extant: the death of the 4th estate.

    by spencerh on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:22:53 AM PST

  •  All the corporate power and still they pretend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues

    to be Dems on the internet.

    Think about it.

  •  WELCOME! Great diary. I get beaten up once in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aheffy

    a while, but it's like family. You'll love it here.

    If you don't vote in 2010 you're perpetuating the Bush Error. Texas may teach creationism... it's not over.

    by Crispian Day on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:33:30 AM PST

  •  Wow. An unpopular diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aheffy

    Good on you.  I think history will look at this era and be very kind indeed to the President once people realize just how much he has accomplished.

    And they'll see us as jaded brutes who did not argue over policy, but only argued over timing and who did what when.  

  •  Rec'd for the optimism. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aheffy

    Honestly, I don't know how right you are about HCR passing, but an upbeat diary around here is  genuinly refreshing.

    I get tired of the "WE'RE DOOOOOOOOOOMED" and "OBAMA SUCKS" diaries all the freaking time.

  •  "I'm somewhat new here" vs UID 28408 (0+ / 0-)

    I guess I am really really new here then.

    Hmmm.

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