American Götterdämmerung

The corruption of Big Media is now evident to all but those in Big Media. On Saturday night the tombstone epitaph was written by Frank Rich.

Saturday night, the curtain fell for the last time on the magnificent Otto Schenk Metropolitan Opera production of Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (“The Twilight Of The Gods“) – the final opera in the four part operatic cycle Der Ring Des Nibelungen.

As the curtain fell on Saturday night, Frank Rich, at the New York Times, unwittingly authored his own personal Götterdämmerung and that of his fellow “journalists”.

It was also Saturday night which featured Barack Obama clowning for his Big Media masters.

Frank Rich, most Democrats and Republicans, and we too, agree on why Big Media is in such obvious self-inflicted peril:

IF you wanted to pick the moment when the American news business went on suicide watch, it was almost exactly three years ago. That’s when Stephen Colbert, appearing at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, delivered a monologue accusing his hosts of being stenographers who had, in essence, let the Bush White House get away with murder (or at least the war in Iraq). To prove the point, the partying journalists in the Washington Hilton ballroom could be seen (courtesy of C-Span) fawning over government potentates — in some cases the very “sources” who had fed all those fictional sightings of Saddam Hussein’s W.M.D.

Colbert’s routine did not kill. The Washington Post reported that it “fell flat.” The Times initially did not even mention it. But to the Beltway’s bafflement, Colbert’s riff went viral overnight, ultimately to have a marathon run as the most popular video on iTunes. The cultural disconnect between the journalism establishment and the public it aspires to serve could not have been more vividly dramatized.

Frank Rich did not have the honesty, or possibly the wits, to notice, let alone mention, that at the very moment he hit the “publish” button on his column the very same “partying journalists” again fed in a Washington ballroom “fawning over government potentates”. This time the “partying journalists” were “fawning” over Barack Obama and his gang of looters.

It is no longer George W. Bush looting the American economy for his friends. Now it is Obama looting the American economy. Now it is Obama borrowing “almost 50 cents for every dollar” spent. Now it is Obama looting the American economy with a “charge it” credit card for this year alone of at least $1.84 TRILLION. Big Media “partying journalists” only briefly mention the looting while fawning and partying along with the Bush Obama Crimelords.

Americans know neither Big Media opinion nor “news” is to be trusted. That is the main reason why Americans won’t pay for their Big Media news. Americans know ‘you get what you pay for’ – and American Big Media “news” is not worth a single copper alloy penny.

Frank Rich did not lay the death of Big Media at their worthless product. In a shocking lack of self-awareness, the Obama fawning New York Times columnist diagnosed the disease as – technology.

Technolog!. Rich states that the causes of journalism’s downfall are well known and “some self-inflicted”. The entirety of self-criticism is 2 words “self-inflicted”. The huge bulk of Frank Rich’s argument, aside from “economic meltdown” which came well after the rejection of Big Media by Americans, however is the “irreversible history” of Big Media’s “self-destructive retreat from innovation”.

Many paragraphs are devoted by Rich to blame technology. Rich’s audacity of hope is that like the “Hollywood movie studios, radio and the Broadway theater” Big Media will learn to “adapt” and “collaborate” with the new technologies.

Rich reminds us all that Thomas Jefferson considered journalism as “essential to a functioning democracy”. We agree with the need for journalism in American life and democracy. But Big Media is no longer in the news business. Big Media is nothing more than a massive corruption and a self-interested and self-perpetuating political party.

Rich rattles his tin cup as he attempts to fool Americans that “journalism” has done much good but does not bother to list Big Media’s refusal to report news that do not fit into the Big Media Party agenda.

Rich rattles his tin cup for “journalism” but fails to mention that the beneficiaries of Big Media wealth are not investigative journalists who search and publish the news American Democracy needs to function – the beneficiaries of the Big Media Party are the “bloviating” Big Media Party blowhards and interests.

We can’t know what is happening behind closed doors at corrupt, hard-to-penetrate institutions in Washington or Wall Street unless teams of reporters armed with the appropriate technical expertise and assiduously developed contacts are digging night and day. Those reporters have to eat and pay rent, whether they work for print, a TV network, a Web operation or some new bottom-up news organism we can’t yet imagine.

It’s immaterial whether we find the fruits of their labors on paper, a laptop screen, a BlackBerry, a Kindle or podcast. But someone — and certainly not the government, with all its conflicted interests — must pay for this content and make every effort to police its fairness and accuracy. If we lose the last major news-gathering operations still standing, there will be no news on Google News unless Google shells out to replace them.

Americans will pay for news but not for the garbage agenda of Big Media. Frank Rich does not know this. Rich begs for money to pay the rent – presumably for Washington ballrooms – where fawning on Obama and fluffing of pillows can continue on the agenda. The public has already said “NO, we will not pay Big Media bills for garbage. We will pay for news.”

The real question is for the public, not journalists: Does it want to pony up for news, whatever the media that prevail?

It’s all a matter of priorities. Not long ago, we laughed at the idea of pay TV. Free television was considered an inalienable American right (as long as it was paid for by advertisers). Then cable and satellite became the national standard.

By all means let’s mock the old mainstream media as they preen and party on in a Washington ballroom. Let’s deplore the tabloid journalism that, like the cockroach, will always be with us. But if a comprehensive array of real news is to be part of the picture as well, the time will soon arrive for us to put up or shut up. Whatever shape journalism ultimately takes in America, make no mistake that in the end we will get what we pay for.

Americans know “we will get what we pay for” which is why Americans will pay NOTHING for the product of Frank Rich and Big Media. To borrow from King Lear “Nothing begets Nothing.”

Last week Newsweek borrowed our moniker for “journalism” of today – “Big Media”. Newsweek explained what Big Media is and why it is dead:

It’s an idea that was born when Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications Corp. in 1989, to form Time Warner. It endured as the industry’s prevailing business model for nearly a generation, spawning such clones and mongrel breeds as Viacom, News Corp and GE’s NBC Universal. The vertically integrated media conglomerate was—or was supposed to be—many amazing things, giving a handful of companies unprecedented power over the media—and the chance to earn outsized profits in the process. But its defining characteristic was its sheer size, earning it a fitting nickname: Big Media.

But the theory behind the strategy relied on more than size. Housed under one roof, a single Big Media entity would control the means of producing and distributing media content, from magazine and books to television shows and movies, from cartoons and theme parks to sports franchises and the cable networks that carry the games to recorded music labels and music publishers. In Time Warner’s prototype of the model, it would control everything from the first letter of a Time magazine story or Warner Books novel to the last alphabet of the credits at the end of a Warner Brothers flick or HBO series based on the magazine story or the book division’s fiction.

Big Media needed a stooge in the White House to complete its “vertical integration” and set about to get one. Big Media won a temporary victory with the vertically integrated White House. But Newsweek says Big Media is dead:

No more. On April 29, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes officially announced the death of Big Media. [snip]

The entertainment industry is only the latest in which the idea of vertical integration failed to live up to its promise. [snip]

So what was Big Media’s legacy? What did it contribute, positive and negative, to humankind? It’s bad form, of course, to speak ill of the departed, but the model has left mostly a negative mark on the media landscape and corporate America. Consider this list of dubious contributions:

MOGULDOM: More than any other industry, Big Media established the prototype of the modern mogul, perhaps corporate America’s most damaging form of management and leadership in history. Two prime examples: Sumner Redstone, who bashes his daughter in public, and Gerald Levin, the overreaching visionary behind the AOL transaction. The idea of the celebrity business executive—outsize personalities with jet-setting lifestyles, fantastic salaries, a sense of corporate omnipotence and entitlement—mushroomed across all sorts of industries in the last two decades, but in many ways its genesis was in Hollywood.

If it worked in Hollywood, Big Media figured it would work to have a “celebrity” executive to do their stooging in the White House. It worked. Temporarily.

Frank Rich and Big Media need to brush up, not their Shakespeare, but their Wagner. In Das Rheingold, the first of the four operas in Der Ring Des Nibelungen the Rhinemaidens sing a song. The song is addressed to the “partying” Gods who have looted their gold:

Traulich und treu
ist’s nur in der Tiefe:
falsch und feig
ist, was dort oben sich freut!

[Now only in the depths is there
tenderness and truth:
false and faint-hearted
are those who revel above!
]

Frank Rich and his corrupt “journalist” brethren have heard the fat lady sing.



139 thoughts on “American Götterdämmerung

  1. Excellent analysis, Admin.

    The question becomes how do we break the power of the big media controlled totalitarian state. This is a business decision, just as you say. An effort to establish vertical integration by installing their boob in the White House. But it is also a power grab by the elites against the interests of the American people. Why else would they refuse to report the sculduggery against Hillary and her supporters during the primary? And that power is to define the political agenda and the allocation of tax moneys as we are seeing with Kerrys motive to exempt them from taxation. He has a point in the sense that they are determined to promote a secular religion, but there is no reason why they too should be permitted to feed at the public trough.

    Rich is the same whore he always was. A whiny left wing ideologue still bitching about Bush and decrying the failure of his colleagues to speak out against the assault on truth, who is so corrupt that he refuses to connect the dots and see that they are doing the exact same thing here. How can you have any respect for this man.

    ABM 90: Bush then Ogama. Two bad jokes in a row.

  2. Big media just doesn’t know how badly they suck so they cannot interpret their lousy ratings accurately. Somehow they have sold themselves on this idea of creating product for the American people. They have totally lost the idea of journalism as people like Murray Kempton practiced it. Instead, they produce stuff for us. They produce wars and events and outrage for our entertainment. What they don’t produce is actual journalism and they don’t know it yet. Joining up with a corrupt White House to ramp up the nation for war and then covering the war so you can drive up advertising revenues and make more money is not journalism. It just isn’t. Yet that’s what they do.

  3. Amazing article, Admin

    The death for big media for me started during the Clinton administration, when I saw practically torture of the Clintons. I sat and watched, and literally screamed at my TV. I put up with that until HRC ran. Then it became more personnel to me. Technology on the internet now provided me with the resources to tune out big media. I could talk to people on the internet with like interest, and I could search for all sides of a story, national and international. When that happened, big media was dead for me, because now I could search and find out the truth for myself.

    I remember cutting off the local paper. We were literally only keeping it going for the TV listings. We found out how to fix that on the internet, and on cable TV. We also discocovered that we could find the local opinions on line if we wanted to, and discovered we wanted very little of the local opinions. We now read several papers nationally and internationally. We can even go to our hometown papers, and see their point of views.

    Big media is dead, they just have not announce the funeral plans yet.

  4. The important role media can play in a functional democracy is one of a constructive critic. That role has been lost in the shuffle. When they criticize today, when they decide what to report and what to censor they do so mainly along party lines, and protect their vertical integration business strategy. The corrollation between GEs support for ubercorrupt Obama and his support or nuclear power policies which can save their obsolete business model colors everything their media subsidiaries do. Just as cigarettes have a warning label attached to them so to should NBC pundits stamped across their foreheads (their mouth in the case of Mitchell). Said label to read: ” Warning: independent media researchers have determined that this product bears no rational relationship to the truth and is being offered to the public in furtherance of a self serving business agenda designed to dumb down the public and corrupt the electoral process. Caveat emptor.”

  5. We can’t know what is happening behind closed doors at corrupt, hard-to-penetrate institutions in Washington or Wall Street unless teams of reporters armed with the appropriate technical expertise and assiduously developed contacts are digging night and day.
    ***********
    What a load of crap….The only way that we are finding out about corruption is through FOIs, and law suits by EFF, ACLU, etc.

  6. Wbboei, as to how to break the power of Big Media, that is already happening every time we do not turn on the television or read their magazines and refuse to pay for any of their “product”.

    The danger lies in a government “bail out” of Big Media which is what they are angling for but they are so full of themselves they cannot come out quite and ask for the money. Instead, the Frank Rich types will write about what a great job they have done in years long past and when it was someone they did not like in the White House.

    A long time ago, Frank Rich wrote an article about how Disney was a great company and promoted gay rights. Rich wrote then that he was concerned because in the say way Disney could promote diversity they could someday promote something he did not like. Now it is Frank Rich who has joined the Big Media conglomerates and pushing Obama on Americans instead of pushing Obama for facts and figures and the truth. Frank Rich and his brethren have become what they used to be against.

  7. The Postmaster has asked congress to ok the mail deliveries to 5 days per week.Another financial bonanza for credit card companies and all others that impose late fees and higher interest rates.THe union will allow this to occur as long as the still get paid at the six day rate.Look out americans,we are being financially raped again.Is there no end to the change that Telebama is bringing with his black race credit card?My advice is “throw the bum out with the WH garbage” and put Hillary in THe Oval Office that she won going away.Acorn must be stopped and a recount made to bring truth and justice back to our election process.It is never too late to take action.

    By ABM90 Truth or Consequences must be enforced NOW

  8. Frank Rich and his brethren have become what they used to be against.
    **********
    That seems to be a universal human trait….Republicans for a “big brother” government that spends money that they didn’t have, Democrats acting like fascists and the “creative class” acting like the ignorant “low information” people that they despise.

  9. SHV, that “universal human trait” is one our founding fathers and mothers understood very well. The system they devised is now being tested.

    Lincoln held out some hope that even in the (to borrow from the Rhinemaidens) “depths” the “better angels of our nature” would rescue us. Lincoln was an optimist. 🙂

    We don’t hold out much hope for the “creative class” of arrogant Stalinists however.

  10. Elizabeth Edwards tells “Today” she would have stopped presidential bid

    May 11, 2009

    WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Edwards says if she had known her husband John was having an affair rather than her initial belief that he’d had just a single betrayal, she would have strongly resisted his running for president again.

    Edwards said “I do love him” and also said in a nationally broadcast interview that’s the reason she has remained with Edwards despite his admitted affair with videographer Reille Hunter.

    Edwards went on NBC’s “Today” show Monday to discuss “Resilience,” the book she has written about her battle with incurable breast cancer and her discovery last year that her husband had been involved in an affair with Hunter.

    Asked at one point if she wrote the book to strike back at her husband, Edwards said she actually had started it well before she learned that Edwards’ involvement with Hunter was more than a one-night stand.

    Edwards said, “I only knew about a single night, a single moment of weakness.” She said that if she’d known about a more involved relationship, “I probably would have been more adamant about his not running.”

    suntimes.com/entertainment/people/1567887,w-elizabeth-edwards-today-show-051109.article#

    ——————————-

    I’m sorry but I don’t believe her.

  11. The Twilight of – Big Media.
    One can only hope.

    Isn’t it strange that such a racist xenophobic arrogant SOB as Wagner could have composed such glorious music?

  12. White House: Budget deficit to top $1.8 trillion

    May 11, 2009

    BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON—- With the economy performing worse than hoped, revised White House figures point to deepening budget deficits, with the government borrowing almost 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year. The deficit for the current budget year will rise by $89 billion to above $1.8 trillion — about four times the record set just last year. The unprecedented red ink flows from the deep recession, the Wall St. bailout, the cost of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill, as well as a structural imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.

    As the economy performs worse than expected, the deficit for the 2010 budget year beginning in October will worsen by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion, the White House says. The deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. For the current year, the government would borrow 46 cents for every dollar it takes to run the government under the administration’s plan. In one of the few positive signs, the actual 2009 deficit is likely to be $250 billion less than predicted because Congress is unlikely to provide another $250 billion in financial bailout money.

    The developments come as the White House completes the official release of its $3.6 trillion budget for 2010, adding detail to some of its tax proposals and ideas for producing health care savings. The White House budget is a recommendation to Congress that represents Obama’s fiscal and policy vision for the next decade.
    Annual deficits would never dip below $500 billion and would total $7.1 trillion over 2010-2019. Even those dismal figures rely on economic projections that are significantly more optimistic — just a 1.2 percent decline in gross domestic product this year and a 3.2 percent growth rate for 2010 — than those forecast by private sector economists and the Congressional Budget Office.

    For the most part, Obama’s updated budget tracks the 134-page outline he submitted to lawmakers in February. His budget remains a bold but contentious document that proposes higher taxes for the wealthy, a hotly contested effort to combat global warming and the first steps toward guaranteed health care for all.
    Obama’s Democratic allies controlling Congress have already made it clear that they will reject key elements of his plan. Already apparently dead is a plan to raise $267 billion over the next decade to pay for his health care initiative by curbing the ability of wealthier people to reduce their tax bills through deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes. And the congressional budget plan approved last month would not extend Obama’s signature $400 tax credit for most workers — $800 for couples — after it expires at the end of next year.

    Obama’s remarkably controversial “cap-and-trade” proposal to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions is also reeling from opposition from Capitol Hill Democrats from coal-producing regions and states with concentrations of heavy industry. Under cap-and-trade, the government would auction permits to emit heat-trapping gases, with the costs being passed on to consumers via higher gasoline and electric bills.

    Among the new proposals is a plan — already on its way through Congress — that would increase the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s borrowing authority from $30 billion to $100 billion in order to grant a two-year reprieve from higher deposit insurance premiums while the industry is struggling. Also new are several tax “loophole” closures and increased IRS tax compliance efforts to raise $58 billion over the next decade to help finance Obama’s health care measure. The money makes up for revenue losses stemming from lower-than-hoped estimates of his proposal to limit wealthier people’s ability to maximize their itemized deductions.

    The updated budget also would repeal an unintended tax windfall taken by paper companies that use a byproduct in the paper-making process as fuel to power their mills. The tax credits were never intended for paper companies, but now they could be worth more than $3 billion a year, according to a congressional estimate. The budget would make permanent the expanded $2,500 tax credit for college expenses that was provided for two years in the just-passed economic stimulus bill. It also would renew most of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, and would permanently update the alternative minimum tax so that it would hit fewer middle- to upper-income taxpayers.

    suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1567878,w-obama-white-house-budget-051109.article#

  13. Admin,

    I finally saw a video clip of the AF1 flyover of NY. That’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever witnessed. I read your question the other day asking whether there were campaign donors on board. Is that the word on the street? Because I can’t make heads or tails out of it otherwise. I read what the guy who stepped down said and it is still cloaked in mystery.

    Basil – working with artists on a daily basis what I know is that the best of them frequently function on two different levels. They spend the years that most of us spend learning our social skills rewiring themselves to manifest their art and because of that, there are a lot of developmental tasks they skip entirely. When you make the kind of journey that Wagner and Mozart made, you’re probably going to skip quite a few maturity steps along the way.

  14. Big media is defnitely dying but the first casualties are the union workers just as they were here in SF. The Chronicle is slowing drifting away but the union workers had to rewrite their contracts and make some very serious consessions including seniority.

  15. Actually, I’m not sure if these are the same unions. I went to a veryinteresting meeting on Saturday and the unions are getting fed up with what the union bosses are doing. They mentioned how the AFLCIO supported John Kerry yet he did not have a labor platform. They do not want unions to be used for political gain. It is the UAW workers who are being blamed for the decline of the auto industry when in fact is it upper management as well as the union leaders who were at fault. Just like the ACORN 8 are speaking out so are more rank and file members. In fact the local chapter of the SEIU is passing around a petition for its members to sign that would demand the union leaders to start using the money from the flim flam stim plan improve conditions and create jobs.

  16. “They do not want unions to be used for political gain.”

    ————————————

    I don’t blame them.

  17. The updated budget also would repeal an unintended tax windfall taken by paper companies that use a byproduct in the paper-making process as fuel to power their mills. The tax credits were never intended for paper companies, but now they could be worth more than $3 billion a year, according to a congressional estimate.
    *********
    I wonder if they repealed the tax credit for the coal companies? It is a great scam, they spray coal with diesel fuel, call it an alternative fuel and get billions if dollars in tax credits.

    “Forget that it looks like coal. And will burn like coal. It’s now called “synthetic fuel.” As such, the coal-like product, along with roughly 50 million tons of similar stuff from more than 50 similar plants in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama and other states, is worth more than $1 billion a year in federal income-tax credits, a corporate giveaway protected by a bipartisan group of supporters in Congress. ”

    ww.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101031013-493241,00.html

  18. OT: I don’t know if this has been posted–

    Letterman Writer: Obama “Too Competent” To Make Jokes About

    w w w.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/05/letterman_writer_obama_too_com.html

    Also, Hillbuzz has a good essay on the lack of humor or criticism being aimed at the O administration and what that might mean over time.

  19. Howard Kurtz is parroting Frank Rich and blames technology and quotes the same people saying the same thing. Not one word about the Bush/Obama sycophancy, the careerism, the bias, which has driven readers away:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/11/AR2009051100782.html

    I have been one of the industry’s most fervent optimists, convinced that somehow, some way, newspapers would find a path to survival. But the past few weeks have shaken my belief, suggesting that what I find indispensable — a daily compendium delivered to your doorstep — might be left behind by history and public indifference. [snip]

    Warren Buffett, who reads five newspapers a day, now sees the possibility of “just unending losses” and says he wouldn’t buy one at any price. The legendary investor is not just very wealthy but owns the Buffalo News and a chunk of The Washington Post Co.

    The people who run such companies bear a considerable share of the blame. In 1993, just before the Internet became a consumer force, I argued in a book that newspapers had become too cautious, too incremental and too dull, tailored largely for insiders. The rise of hugely profitable monopoly papers in most cities made them increasingly bland, seemingly allergic to controversy. [snip]

    Now that they are belatedly beefing up their Web sites, executives are using corporate-speak like “platform-agnostic” to explain why they are firing hordes of journalists suddenly deemed redundant. Perhaps newspapers had grown too fat and were always destined to slim down in the Web era, but the mass firings have about them an air of desperation. How can papers with far smaller staffs and reduced ambitions stem circulation declines? [snip]

    The problem, as you’ve undoubtedly heard, is that the print advertising that has supported sizable newsrooms is plunging, while online ads bring in just a fraction of the revenue. Combine that with an Internet culture built on free content, and newspapers suddenly find themselves on a starvation diet.

    Numerous schemes are being floated, from turning newspapers into nonprofits to seeking foundation grants. Steven Brill, the founder of Court TV and the defunct magazine Brill’s Content, has joined with two other former media executives to form Journalism Online. He is talking to publishers about a site that would allow consumers to easily buy subscriptions, day passes or single articles from numerous media organizations, each of which would decide how much to charge and how much to put behind a pay wall. Rupert Murdoch, who is considering development of an e-reader that might be better suited to newspapers than Amazon’s Kindle, also plans to begin charging “micro-payments” for individual articles on the Wall Street Journal’s subscription-only Web site, the Financial Times reports.

    But what about the old rolled-up, flip-through-the-pages, take-it-on-the-subway product? In a world where the most obscure factoid can be searched in seconds, is most of America now immune to those charms? With both Chicago newspapers in bankruptcy, that may be the case.

    Clay Shirky of New York University says on his blog that “people committed to saving newspapers [are] demanding to know, ‘If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?’ To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the Internet just broke.”

  20. Obama has many problems. Competence, however, is not one of them. Anyone dumb enough to believe that whopper should check with the CIA and then check in with the nearest psycho ward (and bring a tooth brush–a extended stay may be indicated).

  21. Howard Kurtz has been another huge disappointment to me. The list keeps growing and growing…

  22. Watching Telebama the cock of the walk throw back his head jut his chin in the air with a smile of self adoration is reminiscent of the his role model,I’lDuce Benito Mussolini of Italy.He was hated by his people as he idolized Adolph
    Hitler like a brown nosed loser,hated by the Italian people who later hung hin a public square.History really repeats itself.

    By ABM90. No violence please. Just Impeach him

  23. It will all come down to the economy as it always does….fortunately for Obama, almost any significant recovery in the short term will give him a huge advantage in 2012. By then, we will also be out of Iraq and perhaps Afghanistan as well. The guy was very lucky to follow Bush and have such a easy time looking good, despite having very little to do with it….frustrating, but reality.

  24. jbstonesfan Says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    It will all come down to the economy as it always does..

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    That is correct.

    “It’s the ECONOMY, Nimrod!” (bumper sticker)

  25. basement said:
    Basil – working with artists on a daily basis what I know is that the best of them frequently function on two different levels. They spend the years that most of us spend learning our social skills rewiring themselves to manifest their art and because of that, there are a lot of developmental tasks they skip entirely. When you make the kind of journey that Wagner and Mozart made, you’re probably going to skip quite a few maturity steps along the way.

    ——————-

    I wonder if it might be the other way around. Maybe the artists keep their original wiring and the rest of us re-wire to conform with society.

  26. The danger lies in a government “bail out” of Big Media which is what they are angling for but they are so full of themselves they cannot come out quite and ask for the money. Instead, the Frank Rich types will write about what a great job they have done in years long past and when it was someone they did not like in the White House.

    ****************************************
    They will get their money I am afraid and then the circle will be complete and they will be the official voice of the NEW, Fourth Reich…

  27. Sorry but as an artist I think you are both wrong. The art wiring has a life of its own. Artists come from all cultures, ethnic groups and personalities. The art blends to different degrees in different people.

  28. Carol,

    I agree. I don’t think we can lump everyone into one category or another. There are extremes and then there are middle of the road.

  29. Hillary Clinton introduces new State Department spokesman

    12 May 2009

    Washington – APA. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has today introduced the new State Department spokesman, APA reports. Ian Kelly will succeed Robert Wood.
    “Ian has spent significant time overseas serving in various public affairs positions that have prepared him well for his new role. He will be a full-fledged member of my senior team, and as such, he will speak authoritatively on my behalf and on behalf of the Department,” Hillary Clinton said.

    Ian Kelly chaired Russia desk at the Department of State.

    en.apa.az/news.php?id=101993

  30. I do not think they will get “our” money. The got in line too late. They can print all the deficits don’t matter articles they want but it will not matter. I would not want to be the congressman who voted for media bailouts when my own constitutents were suffering. Bambi gave them all the opponents all the ammunition they needed to defeat such a bill at that press dinner the other night when he extolled NYT, WashPo, etc. But the real beauty of this is it will complete a circle alright–it will force the public to recognize the motive behind all their reporting and that will diminish their voice. It will force people–and particulary the left to see what he is all about namely the corporate state. Clearly, their values and his policies are on a collision course. The ideal scenario here would be for them to push the issue as Kerry is now doing to make them tax emempt, and then have it shot down by a coalition of blue dogs and republicans. The big media bastards are selling a defective product to the public. The proper legal remedy is not a bailout so they can turn around and do more of the same–especially when it emanates from taxpayers. This is verbotten. These big media organizations need to go the way of the buggy whip. Let them go on line as the Christian Science Monitor has done. And let them compete on a level playing field with all the other media sources.

  31. It will all come down to the economy as it always does….fortunately for Obama, almost any significant recovery in the short term will give him a huge advantage in 2012. By then, we will also be out of Iraq and perhaps Afghanistan as well. The guy was very lucky to follow Bush and have such a easy time looking good, despite having very little to do with it….frustrating, but reality.
    ——————————
    I guess I see it differently. First, I do not think we will be out of Iraq by then. I think divisions will be shifted to Afghanistan, but others will remain. I do not think we will get a multinational peace keeping force. Second, I see Afghanistan and Pok ee stan as a deep hole which will suck in more manpower, and treasure. That will displease the left. Third, I see this economic thing getting no better and I think that will kill him–politically speaking. In short, the facts will be there to defeat him if the other party has its act together. I worry more about that. They need the right message, the right candidate, party unity and a ground game. None of that has happened so far. If they have those then he will be defeated. It seems to me those are the ifs.

  32. Dont you think we need a bumper sticker which says:

    WAKE UP AMERICA!: OBAMA= BUSH III
    Foreign Wars, Patriot Act, Corporate
    Contributions = Taxpayer Bailouts,
    DON’T LET HIM BAMBOOZLE YOU!!!
    corporate contributions= bailouts
    Afganistan=military adventurism

  33. Dont you think we need a bumper sticker which says:

    WAKE UP AMERICA!: OBAMA= BUSH III
    Foreign Wars, Patriot Act, Corporate
    Contributions = Taxpayer Bailouts,
    DON’T LET HIM BAMBOOZLE YOU!!!

  34. Maybe it should be FISA instead of the Patriot Act. The target of this is the left wing of his party whom he has betrayed and will continue to betray because he is a shill for the corporate state.

  35. wbboei,

    Thank you. I’m reading so many different points of view about what obama has planned. Criticism of his making a speech in Egypt giving their lack of democratic reform among everything else you and I have both read about the 2-state option, Hamas, etc…

    I value your opinion.

  36. Link from Bitterpolitiz

    Rasmussen and the quietly rusting Democratic advantage.

    Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)

    Monday, May 11th at 7:00PM EDT

    35 Comments
    Examining Rasmussen’s trust-on-issues numbers from month to month is interesting enough, but I was interested in the long term trends. So I put together this chart comparing this month’s numbers with those of last October’s*:

    October 2008 May 2009
    Issue Dem GOP Diff Dem GOP Diff Cum Shift
    Economy 51% 38% 13 44% 43% 1 (12)
    Govt Ethics 40% 30% 10 40% 29% 11 1
    National Sec. 47% 44% 3 41% 48% (7) (10)
    Education 53% 34% 19 49% 36% 13 (6)
    Healthcare 54% 34% 20 53% 35% 18 (2)
    Taxes 47% 42% 5 41% 47% (6) (11)
    Iraq 47% 42% 5 41% 43% (2) (7)
    Social Security 49% 37% 12 48% 39% 9 (3)
    Abortion 47% 38% 9 41% 41% – (9)
    Immigration 40% 38% 2 36% 37% (1) (3)

    As you can see, back in October it was fairly clear that Democrats were enjoying consistent leads over Republicans when it came to how much the public trusted them on various issues. It’s also fairly clear that in most cases, those leads have been savaged. Leading in four categories and tied in one may not sound wonderful; but compared to zero-for-ten that’s not half bad – particularly since it’s looking as if the Democrats are in the process of thoroughly squandering their existing trustworthiness with regard to the economy. The only real disappointment is the government trust numbers (which were much better last month**), but that’s the next project.

    What does it mean? Not much, except of course as a helpful reminder that the people who are currently eager to tell you that we’re doomed as a party are not necessarily working from completely accurate data. Hardly surprising: most of those people don’t have your best interests at heart. Or any of your interests at heart, really.

    Moe Lane

  37. MAIN STREET MAY 12, 2009 Obama and the Clinton Legacy

    Governors understand the tangible benefits of trade.By WILLIAM MCGURN

    Inside the Fourth Estate, the received wisdom holds that the White House is now home to the anti-Bush. And on issues from taxes and stem cells to union elections and Guantanamo, Barack Obama is indeed taking America in a direction different from that of his predecessor.

    Still, there’s a persuasive case that the legacy most threatened by the Obama presidency belongs to the last Democrat who sat in the Oval Office: Bill Clinton.

    Think about it. It was Mr. Clinton who campaigned on the promise to “end welfare as we know it.” It was Mr. Clinton who signed the bill removing the Glass-Steagall barriers separating commercial from investment banking. Most famously, it was Mr. Clinton who assured us that “the era of Big Government is over.”

    Today all the assumptions that once defined Bill Clinton’s “New Democrats” are being contested by the Obama White House. And nowhere is the contrast more stark than on the defining issue of trade.

    To begin with, Mr. Obama has yet to deliver a major address on trade — especially telling, given the global economic uncertainty. In sharp contrast, barely one month into office, Mr. Clinton heralded America’s global leadership on trade as one of the most important challenges of our day. To underscore the importance of his message, he chose for his venue American University, where his hero JFK had delivered a famous address on peace in a nuclear age. There Mr. Clinton called for American leadership to open up markets abroad, not just to boost opportunity for Americans but to advance freedom and democracy for all people.

    Second, Mr. Obama has yet to even ask Congress for fast-track authority — legislation that gives a president greater flexibility to negotiate trade agreements. Again, in sharp contrast, at this same point in the Clinton presidency Congress was putting the final touches on fast-track legislation that Mr. Clinton would use to help complete the successful Uruguay Round of trade talks.

    Finally, though Mr. Obama’s trade representative, Ron Kirk, recently announced that the administration planned to finish up outstanding trade agreements with key U.S. allies — Colombia, South Korea and Panama — he gave little but lip service for a forward agenda. On the White House Web site, trade isn’t even listed as an issue. By contrast, not only was Bill Clinton working to conclude the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) at this point in his presidency, he and his senior administration figures were already talking about expanding Nafta to other Latin America nations.

    One highlight of the Nafta fight was the televised debate between Al Gore and H. Ross Perot. In that debate, the vice president seemed to be channeling Milton Friedman. Indeed, Mr. Gore even managed to introduce a brilliant stage prop — handing the Texas billionaire a framed photograph of Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley, the two legislators whose protectionist tariff legislation helped usher in the Great Depression.

    Now, the differences between the Clinton and Obama approaches to trade no doubt owe something to differences in economic philosophy. But they probably also owe something to personal experience. Governors spend a great deal of time at events like factory openings because they know firsthand what the jobs created by foreign investment and overseas trade can mean to a family and community, not to mention what economic growth means for their political tenure.

    So it was probably no coincidence that at a time when Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt was out excoriating the Japanese and Koreans for their trade policies, Gov. Clinton, his fellow Democrat, was trying to sell them on coming to Arkansas. As governor, Mr. Clinton would make 12 trade missions overseas. And he would see the number of companies in the state with foreign investment triple.

    One of these companies was Japan’s Bridgestone Corporation. In 1988, Bridgestone acquired the U.S. company Firestone Tire and Rubber. Mr. Clinton invoked that example in a profile published in the Atlantic just a month before he was elected president.

    “Bridgestone had plenty of money,” he told the reporter. “They came in here, spent thirty million dollars modernizing these plants, retrained the workers, gave them the benefit of modern management, and expanded the work force. It’s a good thing.” While Mr. Clinton acknowledged that the purchase of Firestone by a Japanese company would probably mean that some R&D work moved overseas, he nonetheless said the purchase of Firestone was a “blessing” for his state.

    A senator generally doesn’t see trade from this angle. A senator doesn’t get the personal feel for opportunity that a governor does when he returns from a successful trade mission. This comes through in Mr. Obama’s books, where the passion he brings to other issues is absent on trade, and any talk about its benefits is limited to the kind of dry acknowledgment you might expect from a very intelligent law professor.

    Which may be Mr. Obama’s way of saying: So much for “New Democrats” and the Clinton legacy.

    ***************************************************

    Except the Fraud is hardly “a very intelligent law professor”

  38. posted on another blog

    45 Centrist Democrats Protest Secrecy of Health Care Talks
    Recommend

    WASHINGTON — Forty-five House Democrats in the party’s moderate-to-conservative wing have protested the secretive process by which party leaders in their chamber are developing legislation to remake the health care system.

    News Analysis: Obama’s Push for Health Care Cuts Faces Daunting Odds (May 12, 2009)
    Change in Estate Tax Suggested to Pay for Health Care (May 12, 2009)

    The lawmakers, members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said they were “increasingly troubled” by their exclusion from the bill-writing process.

    They expressed their concerns in a letter delivered Monday to three House committee chairmen writing the bill, which House leaders hope to pass this summer.

    Representative Mike Ross, an Arkansas Democrat who is chairman of the coalition’s health task force, said: “We don’t need a select group of members of Congress or staff members writing this legislation. We don’t want a briefing on the bill after it’s written. We want to help write it.”

    Mr. Ross and eight other lawmakers who signed the letter are on the committees responsible for writing the legislation.

    Centrist Democrats said they fully endorsed President Obama’s goal of guaranteeing access to health insurance and health care for all. But, they said, they are concerned about the cost of the legislation, which could easily top $1 trillion over 10 years. And they want to be sure that the role of any new government-sponsored insurance program, expected to be a centerpiece of the bill, is carefully delineated.

    Many Blue Dogs come from usually Republican districts or swing districts and see their stance on health care as vital to their political survival. By contrast, the committee chairmen writing the House bill have safe Democratic seats.

    The Blue Dogs said the policy-making process in the House compared unfavorably with the approach in the Senate, where two committees have held open forums and the chairman of the Finance Committee, a Democrat, is working with the panel’s senior Republican.

    In the letter, Blue Dogs representing districts in states as varied as Maine, California, Pennsylvania and Alabama lamented that “our contributions, to date, have been limited.” They praised “the collaborative approach being taken by our Senate colleagues.”

    The committee chairmen writing the House bill are Representatives Henry A. Waxman and George Miller, both of California, and Charles B. Rangel of New York.

    Asked about the letter, Karen Lightfoot, a spokeswoman for Mr. Waxman, said he had met with some members of the Blue Dog Coalition and welcomed their suggestions. When she was asked why, then, they were complaining, she said, “That’s more of a question for the Blue Dogs than for us.”

    Representative Parker Griffith, a retired physician from Alabama, was among the letter’s signers. Mr. Griffith said he needed to see details of the proposal for a new public insurance plan before knowing if he could support it.

    Another coalition member, Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee, did not sign the letter, but expressed similar concerns.

    “Especially in the House,” Mr. Cooper said, “there’s too much of this attitude that if it’s bipartisan, that just means you didn’t negotiate hard enough. I hear that a lot from folks. They are almost looking for ways to eliminate Republican support.”

  39. obama seems to think he can achieve what no other president has been able to. His cracked messiah complex believes he can bring in a new health care system, broker Mid-East peace, solve the Iraq/Afghanistan quagmire, etc…etc… And he will do it by forcing his will on others, thuggery, threatening livelihoods, crippling the economy, and finally throwing others under the bus who get in his way or who can take the blame for his mistakes.

    The media will abet him in his efforts and America will never look the same again.

  40. Jan–do you believe all that? Look, there have been dark times for western civilization before dont lets forget. Like when Guderians tanks rolled over France and were unstoppable until they reached the English Channel. It took time for the opposition to form and counterattack effectively but it happened and it pushed the invaders all the way back to Berlin. Just look at the erosion of support he is suffering here in this country–based on Lane analysis above. He is first and foremost a sociopath and that will be his undoing. He will overreach. He will make mistakes that Bush did not make. He has powerful enemies. He is anti American, so it is easy for people here to reject him. Bush is yesterdays news. The question for this clown is what have you done for me lately? His mistakes and the passage of time will turn the entire focus away from Bush and toward him. If they make the further mistake of trying to bailout his media friends, their ability to influence the process will be correspondingly diminished.

  41. GOP Senator Ends Holdout of Obama’s FEMA Nominee
    May 12, 2009 11:48 AM

    Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said today that he will end his holdout over the nomination of Craig Fugate to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Vitter had been stalling the vote on Fugate’s nomination because he said he had not received adequate information from FEMA about its plans for high-risk flood zones, or “V-Zones.” Today Vitter said in a letter to acting FEMA Administrator Nancy Ward that since he has received a “specific written commitment” from the agency on the issue, he will allow Fugate’s nomination to move forward. Vitter’s concerns centered around new federal flood maps that included areas that were not previously designated flood zones, including much of Louisiana’s Cameron Parish, Grand Isle, and Lafourche Parish.

    Federal regulations prohibit FEMA recovery funds from being used for rebuilding in areas designated as “V-Zones” because of their risk for future flooding. “I’m very confident based on their written commitment that the V-Zone issue will be solved soon so that crucial infrastructure and facilities can be rebuilt. I look forward to working with the new FEMA administrator on that and much more,” Vitter said in a paper statement today. That written confirmation came in a letter from acting administrator Ward, who told Vitter that the agency is “working with the utmost diligence to resolve the outstanding issues in your state.”

    “We understand that prompt action is necessary due to the impact that delays can have on affected individuals and communities, and we share your desire to achieve solutions that meet the needs and are in the best interests of those affected,” Ward said in a letter sent yesterday to Vitter.

    The White House said today it wants the Senate to move quickly to confirm Fugate. “The President appreciates the good work of Acting FEMA Administrator Nancy Ward, but looks forward to the confirmation of his nominee Craig Fugate,” said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro. “With hurricane season just weeks away, the President would like to get Fugate, an experienced emergency manager with bipartisan support, in place as soon as possible.”

    Last week, the White House slammed Vitter for blocking Fugate’s nomination, with press secretary Robert Gibbs saying the Louisiana senator was engaging in “political posturing” at a critical time at the start of the hurricane season . Gibbs said Fugate, who served as the head of Florida’s emergency management agency, has a “stellar bipartisan record” and is supported by Democrats and Republicans. “He is somebody that deserves immediate Senate confirmation, not political posturing, from a senator from Louisiana who should understand as well as anybody what’s at stake in responding to a hurricane. And we expect that he’ll be confirmed quickly,” he said.

    Vitter said at the time that his delaying the nomination vote was nothing compared to the delays residents of Louisiana and Texas have had waiting for support from FEMA.
    “Almost four years after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, communities like Cameron Parish and Grand Isle are still waiting on an answer from FEMA so that fire stations and other key facilities can be rebuilt. And FEMA is complaining about a short delay of this nomination vote? It seems like they have their priorities mixed up. I’m eager to end all of this delay; I hope FEMA is,” Vitter said in a statement through a spokesman.

    blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/gop-senator-end.html

  42. wbboei,

    I don’t believe he can achieve anything without a huge and damaging trickle effect occuring. I’m just saying he believes he walks on water. Yes his reputation is being slowly shredded. I just worry about the damage he will do in the meantime.

  43. JanH Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 11:56 am
    obama seems to think he can achieve what no other president has been able to. His cracked messiah complex believes he can bring in a new health care system, broker Mid-East peace, solve the Iraq/Afghanistan quagmire, etc…etc…

    $$$ well, we’d want any president to tackle the big problems, or at least make headways on certain fronts. We would have expected (and still expect?) Hillary to have those ambitious goals too…

    And he will do it by forcing his will on others, thuggery, threatening livelihoods, crippling the economy, and finally throwing others under the bus who get in his way or who can take the blame for his mistakes. The media will abet him in his efforts and America will never look the same again.

    $$$ …but you are right. obama claims is working toward achieving those goals, which anyone would want a sitting president to focus on. But is he really working toward achieving those goals, or is it just a cover story, and that he’s involved (not leading, not planning, but facilitating) in working toward

    a) lining the pockets of those who installed him
    b) doling out funding favors to win re-election

    and as he fails, he’ll say:
    “Give me a little more time.”
    “Re-elect me so I can finish the job”
    “These issues are tough”
    “Dog ate my homework”

  44. Obama said driving Chicago Olympics bid

    May 12, 2009

    WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama is playing an unprecedented role in trying to lure the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago, Olympics experts say. In addition to recording two promotional videos for the city’s bid, Obama has appointed key adviser and personal friend Valerie Jarrett to spearhead an effort to associate his presidency with the Olympics push, the Washington publication Politico reported Tuesday.

    “Without Obama in the White House, I would say there would be no chance whatsoever for the U.S. winning,” Canadian IOC member Dick Pound told the publication. “The United States is the only country in this race that has had an absolutely extraordinary transformational experience with the election of Obama, which weighs very heavily in its favor.”

    Politico quoted veteran Olympics observers and participants in the Olympic site selection process as saying that Obama is being seen around the world as the driving force for the Chicago bid. “Everybody who follows the bids is talking about the Obama factor,” said Robert Livingstone, an expert in the murky Olympic bid business. “It’s the biggest issue of the whole campaign.”

    Chicago is competing against Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid for the 2016 Summer Games.

    upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/12/Obama-said-driving-Chicago-Olympics-bid/UPI-90501242142770/

  45. wbboei Says:
    May 12th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    ===============

    Yes. Obama is fast making enemies of his own supporters, such as the fat cats who now want to get out of TARP, Chrysler’s creditors, etc; as well as the neo-Libs who saw through him on FISA etc.

    Someday this will reach a critical mass and his support will erode.

    Isn’t his action more the pattern of someone wanting to loot as fast as he can for his cronies, with little regard for the future?

  46. LOL…I love this…

    May 11th, 2009

    How Would Obama Be Covered If He Were a Republican?

    By Patrick Dorinson
    Political Commentator

    Every day we learn more and more about the personal life of President Obama. The mainstream media seems obsessed with giving us every little detail of his day. About the only thing they haven’t covered yet are his personal grooming habits. What kind of toothpaste does he use? Does he shave with an electric shaver or shaving cream and a disposable razor?

    ———————————–

    Put away your pom poms MSM. Get serious and start doing your job—just like you would if President Obama was a Republican.
    ————————————
    And before all you Obamaphiles get your blood pressure up too much and rush to your keyboards to defend the president, this is not about him. He is not the one making these “news” judgments. In fact, I’ll bet pretty soon, if he hasn’t already, he will long for the privacy his old life afforded. No, this is about the mainstream media television producers and newspaper editors who seem to think we need to know all this stuff. They seem to want to continue the role they perfected in the campaign as press agents for President Obama, his administration and its policies.

    Last week there were two events that demonstrated the overkill:

    First, two weeks ago, on a Saturday night, he took his lovely wife Michelle to dinner at a fancy Georgetown Restaurant: Citronelle. They had a few martinis and the president had a “72-hour aged steak” and one French fry. They left a 20% tip. When I woke up the next morning, there was a picture on news Web sites of him and Michelle walking around the grounds of the White House. The report I saw made a point of saying that they were “holding hands.” Is this something unique to married couples? Ronald and Nancy Reagan were the most loving couple you would ever see and I don’t remember seeing so many stories early in his administration about their close relationship.

    We did, however, get stories about Nancy Reagan replacing the old White House china. And they did not portray her in a flattering light.

    Then last Tuesday for their weekly lunch, the president and his comic relief sidekick Vice President Biden went to Ray’s Hell Burgers in Arlington, Virginia. Their visit was carried live on some cable channels. — They were also treating the press pool to lunch, some reporters took the president up on his offer of a free lunch others did not.
    The visit to Ray’s sparked controversy right away because there were conflicting reports of exactly what the president had ordered. Did he have cheddar cheese on his burger? Others swear he ordered a mushroom burger. The issue has yet to be resolved.

    All this over-the-top, goo-goo eyed “reporting” and I use the term advisedly, is getting ridiculous. But mercifully, the stories are only one day stories with a short shelf life. But what would the media be saying if President Obama was a Republican?
    Here’s how the MSM might cover them:

    President Caught Drinking in Georgetown

    President Obama secretly sneaked out of the White House with a woman presumably his wife but not confirmed and was later spotted knocking back two martinis in a darkened corner of the Citronelle restaurant. Some patrons who were there said he was also seen smoking a cigarette. The White House would not confirm or deny he went to dinner. Addiction experts are concerned that the president, who admitted to past recreational drug use and is a closet smoker, might be falling back to old habits under the strain of the job.

    Obama Eats Beef Twice in Four Days

    A coalition of environmentalists, vegetarians, animal rights and anti-meat activists are outraged that President Obama has eaten beef twice in less than four days. On Saturday night the President had a steak in a Washington-area restaurant and on Tuesday he had a hamburger at Ray’s Hell Burger in nearby Arlington. “We have spent years educating people about the dangers of meat consumption to both humans and cattle”, said Butterflys-are-Free Johnson, spokesperson for the group, “And in one week he has undone all this work. We are very angry.” Environmentalists are also concerned about methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that cows produce from their flatulence. In a written statement the Coalition for a Beef-Free America flatly stated, “The quicker we get people to stop eating beef the better it will be for the environment”.

    Today on “Today”

    On NBC’s TODAY show, medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, said she thought the president was setting a horrible example for America’s children. “Childhood obesity is a huge problem in our country today. By his actions, President Obama is telling America’s children, ‘do as I say not as I do’. This will set back our efforts to get children to eat healthy for decades”.

    Democrats Demand White House Menus

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has written a letter to the White House demanding that it turn over all menus and transcripts of meals that President Obama has had since he took office. She is particularly interested in what the president has for breakfast and if he is eating eggs from free range chickens or factory farmed chickens. “Who will speak for the chickens?” she said, “Sadly they have no voice and we want them to know Democrats stand with them’’.

    The more the mainstream media fawningly and breathlessly covers these trivial matters like the whole water dog business and what the president had for dinner, the more they expose their cheerleading bias. The celebrity gossip approach of their coverage of this president is not good for the country especially during these perilous times. So put away your pom poms MSM. Get serious and start doing your job—just like you would if President Obama was a Republican.

    foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/05/11/dorinson_patrick_obama/

  47. RGB,

    I agree. Bill Clinton walked in trying to do a lot of things at once: gay rights, stop old growth logging, abortion ‘gag rule’, various. Bravo, at least when it can be done by executive order (or by cancelling the previous GOP Pres’s order).

    Getting Congress to spend money in a lot of complicated bills at once is less practical.

    Fake liberal bills serve two purposes: they please the kookaids — and please the fat cats by preventing really effective bills from being proposed.

  48. JanH – for the record, the coverage of Reagan was the most nauseatingly, overwhelmingly sacherine, sunshiny coverage any president has ever received. The press fell at Reagan’s feet and slobbered all over him and Nancy. All the while, bankruptcies and unemployment was skyrocketing (the unemployment rate under Reagan was higher than anyone else, including Obama, since the depression) while they funneling record amounts of money to their buddies in the defense industry and every place else they could. The media would constantly report on Reagan’s incredibly popularity which was never reflected in polls. The essential thing to know about the Reagan administration is that he ran the most corrupt administration, by far, in the history of our nation with a total of 28 staffers convicted on corruption charges. Nixon had fewer than 20.

  49. OBAMA’S MODUS OPERANDI: DISTRACTION PHOTO-OP USING TROJAN HORSE GIFT

    The NY Times front page article today on health care is a perfect example of how obama “appears to be working for the public good”, but winds up helping the big guy, not the little guy.

    obama wants to **appear tough**, but he’s not willing to fight. He’s willing to bribe his way into coming off looking good.

    Obama: “I need all you health care honchos for a huge photo-op. Here’s what we’ll do. You have to put up with me dressing you down in public, reading you the Riot Act, about your past indiscretions, and how you need to clean up your act. Don’t worry, that part’s fake. In return, I’ll let you write the legistlation. It can be called something like “Reinventing Health Care”. When your respective boards see what nice favors got inserted into the legistlation, they’ll reward you with a big fat bonus. I look forward to seeing you at Monday’s summit”.

    So obama needs to look tough, look decisive, look like he’s working for the public good. He knows we need laws passed and enforcement to achieve these good things. But inside the pretty little package (the bill, the signing ceremony, the smiling faces and the backslapping) is the trojan horse, and the bad guys leap out at night and kill us with the **devil that’s in the details**.

    Here we go again. Another distraction.

    $$$ See my comments interspersed.

    nytimes.com/2009/05/12/us/politics/12health.html

    Obama Push to Cut Health Costs Faces Tough Odds
    ====================================

    By ROBERT PEAR
    Published: May 11, 2009

    WASHINGTON — President Obama engineered a political coup on Monday by bringing leaders of the health care industry to the White House to build momentum for his ambitious health care agenda.

    $$$ Two steps out of the gate and the fawning over obama has commenced. Down boy.

    Mr. Obama pronounced it “a historic day, a watershed event,” because doctors, hospitals, drug makers and insurance companies voluntarily offered $2 trillion in cost reductions over 10 years. The savings, he said, “will help us take the next and most important step — comprehensive health care reform.”

    $$$ Somewhere….over the rainbow….skies are blue…

    Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Obama had told the health care executives, “You’ve made a commitment; we expect you to keep it.”

    $$$ Sign: “DO NOT MESS WITH THE PITBULL”

    If history is a guide, their commitments may not produce the promised savings. Their proposals are vague — promising, for example, to reduce both “overuse and underuse of health care.” None of the proposals are enforceable, and none of the savings are guaranteed. Without such a guarantee, budget rules would normally prevent Congress from using the savings to pay for new initiatives to cover the uninsured. At this point, cost control is little more than a shared aspiration.

    $$$ Oh, it’s another one of the vague, unenforceable, non-guaranteed type reform deals. I thought it might be different this time.

    Still, the event was significant. There was something in it for Mr. Obama, and something for the industry — though not necessarily the same thing. Their interests overlap but do not coincide.

    $$$ Obama gets to look tough. They get to dictate the terms. Duh.

    For Mr. Obama, the White House meeting was an opportunity to showcase his consensus-building approach, in contrast with the confrontational style of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who at this point in her husband’s first term attacked “price gouging, cost shifting and unconscionable profiteering” by the industry in a speech to union members.

    $$$ Oh, not Mr Consensus Builder again??? Notice how HRC is called “confrontational”?

    Mr. Obama is not cracking the whip on the health care industry so much as wooing it, just as he said he would in the campaign.

    $$$ Maybe that’s why they donated heavily to his campaign.

    For the health care and insurance executives, the savings initiative helps them secure a seat at the table where many decisions about their future will be made in the next year. They also ingratiated themselves with Democrats in the White House and Congress who are moving swiftly to reshape the nation’s health care system.

    $$$ The already ingratiated themselves to the congressmen by donating to them too. The congressmen remember who bought their seats.

    “We came together in a serious way a couple of weeks ago,” said David H. Nexon, senior executive vice president of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, one of the six health care industry groups that promised to lower costs. “Health care reform is moving very fast. We want to make sure it comes out in a way that’s workable and sustainable.”

    Dennis Rivera, coordinator of the health care campaign of the Service Employees International Union, led efforts to bring the industry groups together, with help from Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

    The consensus-building approach has already yielded some results. Insurance executives have offered to end certain underwriting practices, like refusing to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions or charging women higher rates than men, and they have invited Congress to impose stringent, uniform federal regulation on their industry. But even as insurers and health care providers stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Obama in vowing to slow the growth of health spending, they oppose him on other fronts. For example, insurance companies are opposed to a new government-sponsored health plan, which Mr. Obama supports but insurers fear could drive them out of business.

    $$$ Obama will roll over when push comes to shove.

    Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, welcomed the industry’s cost-cutting commitment as “a good-faith gesture.” But he said, “It does not mitigate the need for a public plan option in our health care reform bill.”

    $$$ Schumer knows obama is willing to be rolled, in exchange for pretending to be taken seriously by the industries he claims to be cleaning up.

    In addition, insurers and health care providers are lobbying strenuously against cuts in their Medicare payments that would produce savings of the type they profess to want. Insurers are fighting Mr. Obama’s proposal to cut payments to their private Medicare Advantage plans by a total of $176 billion over 10 years. Doctors are pleading with Congress not to cut costs at their expense, in particular by allowing a 21 percent cut in their Medicare fees scheduled to occur in January. Pharmaceutical companies and makers of medical devices worry that new products may have to pass a cost-benefit test before being approved for coverage under Medicare.

    To fulfill Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of offering affordable coverage to all, cost control is a political, as well as an economic, necessity. By their own account, Democrats will have difficulty financing coverage for more than 45 million people who are uninsured. The task would be virtually impossible — and new social insurance programs would be unsustainable — if health spending continued to increase at the currently projected rate of 6.2 percent a year for a decade.

    $$$ Hillary would be willing to fight this. In fact, it was going to be one of her centerpieces. For obama, it’s window dressing.

    The industry says it can shave 1.5 percent off the annual rate of growth through voluntary efforts. But similar efforts to control health costs have been rolled out in the past, without much of a long-term effect.

    Henry J. Aaron, a health economist at the Brookings Institution, said that when he heard the industry’s promises on Monday, “I had a Rip van Winkle moment, as if I had fallen asleep in 1977 and woke up again this morning.”

    $$$ Proof that obama knows it won’t really work.

    Mr. Aaron served in the administration of President Jimmy Carter, whose proposal for hospital cost controls prompted the industry to undertake a short-lived “voluntary effort.”

    After President Bill Clinton proposed an overhaul of the health care system in 1993 and 1994, the growth of health spending slowed, only to surge a few years later.

    Drew E. Altman, the president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, offered a historical perspective spanning nearly four decades.

    “Neither managed care, nor wage and price controls, nor regulation, nor voluntary action nor market competition has had a lasting impact on our nation’s health care costs,” Mr. Altman said. “Reformers should not overpromise.”

    Industry groups sounded constructive and positive on Monday, but the real test will come in a few weeks when lawmakers unveil detailed legislative proposals. “Will they still be supportive?” Mr. Altman asked. “Or will they revert to form and protect their turf?”

    $$$ Will the squirrel suddenly get good manners, or will it try to steal the bird seed again? Only time will tell.

    Rather than gambling on the answer, some lawmakers want to establish an enforcement mechanism, which would take effect if the industry’s voluntary steps did not slow health spending by a specified amount.

    Such cost-control devices have proved spectacularly ineffective in limiting the growth of Medicare spending on doctors’ services.

    $$$ A little bit vague here, Mr. Pear. Which cost-control method proved spectacularly ineffective? The voluntary steps, or the one with an “enforcement mechanism”.

  50. There will be a “big chill” in US/Israeli relations. Obama and his Jewish kapos will try to intimidate Netanyahu that absent Israel allowing a enemy state along it’s borders, the US will reduce military and economic aid, the life blood of the Israeli economy. Thus, Israel will wither have to cease to exist or simply go alone, and protect it’s very survival from a nuclear Iran. You don’t make peace with people who refuse to recognize your right to exist as a Jewish state. I am unsure what, if naything, Bibi can do….a very bad situation, caused in large part, by American Jews who are afraid to go against a popular Prez and are ashamed of being Jews.

  51. basement angel,

    That may very well be, but times have changed and obama is now being feted by the media as their new savior in a pretty horrid way as well. We have yet to see how badly their coverage will get or how many errors the emperor with no clothes will make.

  52. jbstonesfan,

    If that is indeed the scenario, then I hope Bibi and Israel fight to the death for their right to exist. Israel has won wars before when no one thought they had a chance to. As far as American Jews go, it makes me so angry to see this happening.

  53. Bless you JanH….we seem to be on the same page on this one. Sadly, not much Hillary can do either as she is part of the team. By the way, I was waiting in line at a grocery sstory and one of those “mags” indicated Obama is seeking “revenge” against former President Clinton, among others. I am concerned and do not understand why Bill has been so quiet the past couple of months??? Why???

  54. I doubt very much that obama will go after Bill Clinton. The stories he and Hillary could write about the “behind the scenes” garbage that this idiot and his handlers pulled and are still pulling.

    If he is indeed “seeking revenge” then the guy is a bloody idiot!jmo

  55. jbstonesfan,

    This article may be of interest to you…

    jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1242029500942&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  56. US, Israel boycott Security Council Session

    May 12, 2009 09:01
    Saed Bannoura

    Israel and the United States boycotted the Monday evening Security Council session after claiming that the peace process in the Middle East is an issue that only concerns the Palestinians and Israel.

    After the US and Israeli declared they are boycotting the meeting, UN Secretary-General, Ban ki-Moon, stated that the time has come for Israel to change its policies regarding settlements, home demolitions and the restrictions on the movement of the Palestinian residents. He also called for intensifying the diplomatic talks in order to achieve a two-state solution, and added that Israel repeatedly vowed to conduct fundamental changes regarding its policies in the Palestinian territories but never lived up to its promises.

    Ki-Moon also said that Israel’s actions on the ground, serious readiness for peace talks on all related issues, including the borders, Jerusalem and the refugees, would be the real test to Israel’s commitment to the two-state solution.

    Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, stated that Israel decided to boycott the meeting since the country believes that the peace process is a Palestinian-Israeli issue, and that the Security Council cannot intervene. Shalev added that Israel is still formulating its policies ahead of the planned visit of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to the United States.

    The United States said it did not attend the session because the country is still awaiting Netanyahu’s visit to the US. Netanyahu will be visiting the US in the coming days to hold meeting with the Us President, Barack Obama, and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

    imemc.org/article/60345

    ——————————

    “the peace process in the Middle East is an issue that only concerns the Palestinians and Israel”

    Exactly!

  57. MEDIA’S ACHILLES HEEL: LACK OF VETTING OF INFORMATION (AND CANDIDATES)

    Student reveals how media can be played…If one kid can do it, imagine how the well-funded obama machine can easily manipulate the media suckers.

    finance.yahoo.com/news/Irish-student-hoaxes-worlds-apf-15201451.html?.v=1

    Irish student hoaxes world’s media with fake quote
    ====================================

    Irish student hoaxes world’s media with florid but phony quote from dead French composer
    Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press Writer
    On Monday May 11, 2009, 12:07 pm EDT

    DUBLIN (AP) — When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.

    His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.

    The sociology major’s obituary-friendly quote — which he added to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre hours after the French composer’s death March 28 — flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India. They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia twice caught the quote’s lack of attribution and removed it.

    A full month went by and nobody noticed the editorial fraud. So Fitzgerald told several media outlets they’d swallowed his baloney whole.

    “I was really shocked at the results from the experiment,” Fitzgerald, 22, said Monday in an interview a week after one newspaper at fault, The Guardian of Britain, became the first to admit its obituarist lifted material straight from Wikipedia.

    “I am 100 percent convinced that if I hadn’t come forward, that quote would have gone down in history as something Maurice Jarre said, instead of something I made up,” he said. “It would have become another example where, once anything is printed enough times in the media without challenge, it becomes fact.”

    So far, The Guardian is the only publication to make a public mea culpa, while others have eliminated or amended their online obituaries without any reference to the original version — or in a few cases, still are citing Fitzgerald’s florid prose weeks after he pointed out its true origin.

    “One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack,” Fitzgerald’s fake Jarre quote read. “Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear.”

    Fitzgerald said one of his University College Dublin classes was exploring how quickly information was transmitted around the globe. His private concern was that, under pressure to produce news instantly, media outlets were increasingly relying on Internet sources — none more ubiquitous than the publicly edited Wikipedia.

    When he saw British 24-hour news channels reporting the death of the triple Oscar-winning composer, Fitzgerald sensed what he called “a golden opportunity” for an experiment on media use of Wikipedia.

    He said it took him less than 15 minutes to fabricate and place a quote calculated to appeal to obituary writers without distorting Jarre’s actual life experiences. He noted that the Wikipedia listing on Jarre did not have any other strong quotes.

    If anything, Fitzgerald said, he expected newspapers to avoid his quote because it had no link to a source — and even might trigger alarms as “too good to be true.” But many blogs and several newspapers used the quotes at the start or finish of their obituaries.

    He said the Guardian was the only publication to respond to him in detail and with remorse at its own editorial failing. Others, he said, treated him as a vandal who was solely to blame for their cut-and-paste content.

    “The moral of this story is not that journalists should avoid Wikipedia, but that they shouldn’t use information they find there if it can’t be traced back to a reliable primary source,” said the readers’ editor at the Guardian, Siobhain Butterworth, in the May 4 column that revealed Fitzgerald as the quote author.

    “It’s worrying that the misinformation only came to light because the perpetrator of the deception emailed publishers to let them know what he’d done, and it’s regrettable that he took nearly a month to do so,” she wrote.

    Fitzgerald said he had waited in part to test whether news organizations or the public would smoke out the quote’s lack of provenance. He said he was troubled that none did.

    And he warned that a truly malicious hoaxer could have evaded Wikipedia’s own informal policing by getting a newspaper to pick up a false piece of information — as happened when his quote made its first of three appearances — and then use those newspaper reports as a credible footnote for the bogus quote.

    “I didn’t want to be devious,” he said. “I just wanted to show how the 24-hour, minute-by-minute media were now taking material straight from Wikipedia because of the deadline pressure they’re under.”

  58. Interesting read. A Hillary voter harassed to the point of abandoning the Democratic party.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/letter_of_amends_from_a_recove.html

    Letter of Amends from a Recovering Liberal in Berkeley
    By Robin
    Dear friends, family, loved ones, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, my brother in law, Sam, and my cousin Joe: I am sorry and you were right.

    These are not easy words for anyone to utter, much less a leftist from Berkeley, or a recovering leftist, that is. Even though I’ve been in recovery for 14 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days, leftists are always right in your face, in an I-hate-you-if-you-disagree sort of way. Hence, this letter of amends to all the people I’ve lectured, scolded, ranted and raved at, and otherwise annoyed during my 30 plus years of “progressive” politics.

    My recovery program urges a fierce moral inventory, a cleansing of heart and mind (kind of like a “forgiveness tour” but without the scary dictators), so here goes:

    To my brother in law, Sam, for blasting you in that Chinese restaurant for voting for Reagan, mea culpa.

    To my cousin Joe for calling you a traitor when you became an MBA, started holding a real job (as opposed to most of us Berkeley types who are psychotherapists, massage therapists and aromatherapists), and became a conservative, my bad.

    To my goddaughter whom I told when she was l0 years old that Republicans were bad, Democrats were good (yes I really did say this), and who got confused and tearful because she lives in a suburb where most people are Republicans, kid, what in the world was I thinking?

    To my leftist friends, with whom I agreed that 9/ll was the US’s fault, you and I were all such jerks.

    To those potential friends whom I dumped when I found out you were conservative, your gain is my loss.

    To all those columnists and editors whom I harangued with angry letters and e mails, sorry, sorry, sorry.

    And finally to me, Robin, for installing you for the last 27 years in the far left cult of the People’s Republic of Berkeley, where Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the SLA, where the Black Panthers had their violent beginnings and the heads of the Black Muslims are jailed for murder and rape, my apologies, girl.

    I didn’t know any better. I thought the whole world lived in areas where the streets are filthy, aggressive street behavior is allowed because the perps are victims of capitalism, and where you can easily get mugged walking down a street or eating in a restaurant at noon. (By the way, with the Left in charge, expect gangs, crime, indoctrination of 5 year olds and general anarchy to be coming soon to a neighborhood near you.)

    Given that the media is pretty much censored (good luck finding a conservative book in your local “independent” book store or hearing a Republican speak anywhere), you didn’t know that a party of grown ups even existed that didn’t advocate screaming at others as the preferred mode of communication. So to my dear Robin, apologies for what I put you through, what I deprived you of, and my pledge to do better.

    Cousin Joe, Sam, et al, you may be wondering how I did a l80 in 1 1/2 years. How did I go from a rabid, sanctimonious liberal whom you steadfastly avoided at family gatherings to a fan of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage? Recovery encourages us to share our story, so here’s mine:

    In February of 2008, I saw a new client, a bright and sensitive young woman who came in looking like she just escaped a war zone. In some ways she had; she had innocently shared with others at her job that she voted for Hillary rather than Obama. Immediately she was being targeted for abuse that put her in fear for not only her job, but her life.

    We both suddenly became aware that something had grown really dark in the Democratic Party. I started hearing about many other incidents where loyal Democrats were being physically and emotionally threatened for supporting Hillary. A woman in Berkeley had her front window broken because it displayed a poster of Hillary. Randi Rhodes, an Air America talk show leftist, called Hillary a f______ witch. (Rhodes was recently promoted to a national talk radio show, illustrating another disturbing trend: the deafening silence about what Rush Limbaugh has dubbed the new “thug-ocracy.)

    An acquaintance had her car broken into, and the only item stolen was a NoObama bumper sticker. A South Park episode featured an episode where a nuclear weapon was being aimed at Hillary’s genitals. My local greeting card store sold very flattering cards about Obama, insulting ones about Hillary, and a Hillary “nutcracker.” When I complained, the young male manager literally laughed in my face.

    Things went from bad to worse when Sarah Palin entered the scene. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President, there was no debasement of her character, no sexual threats. But with Palin, a full scale “wilding” ensued that chillingly reminded me of the random sexual attacks on women by gangs of men in New York. She was called every vile name in the book by both male and female liberals.

    Actress Sarah Bernhardt hoped a gang of black males would rape her. When Palin’s church was torched with children inside, the press was missing in action (somehow I imagine the press would have been all over this if Obama’s church were torched). Not only was the misogyny disgusting, but the classism was abhorrent. The Democrats, by ridiculing Palin’s voice and her education, were acting like arrogant snobs. The party had changed, I had changed, and the differences looked irreconcilable.

    The final straw for me was when a close friend flew into a rage at me when she learned I wasn’t supporting Obama. The political became personal when she began impugning my character. Worse yet, she tried to intimidate me into changing my mind by threatening to dump me.

    Suddenly a light went on. The peace and love and flower power of the old left was dead and gone (if it even existed to begin with except in my imagination). The Democrats had morphed into a power hungry Thought Police, and I was done with them. My new motto in life: don’t PC on me.

    So this is my letter of amends, and I hope that I can be forgiven by all whom I’ve offended. I knew not what the heck I was doing. But now the problem is: how in the world does one be a conservative these days? How to stay brave and committed when conservatives are being targeted, punished, and shunned on a daily basis? How to sleep at night knowing that the country I have finally come to love may be destroyed from within by a massive Big Brother government?

    I guess I’ll just have to do a step one, as we 12 stepper’s call it, and turn it all over to my Higher Power.

    Love,

    Robin

  59. As far as the Republian paty getting its act together…..Florida will be telling. Crist is oing to run against a more conservative Repug who calls Crist too moderate. Will the party go hard right or stteer for the middle.

    As I see most Americans in the middle, if the repugs go hard right there will really be room for an independent candidate. I believe Hillary could have won the last election as an independent.

    My fear is that we will only have a choice between BO and a far right repug. In that case I will not vote for the first time in my life.

  60. Letter of Amend s from a Recovering Liberal in Berkeley.

    Amusing and accuratre. Worth a peek.

    americanthinker dot com/2009/05/letter_of_amends_from_a_recove

  61. I could use a Fed Job, from BP
    ******************************************

    There’s little belt-tightening in evidence in Washington, D.C.: Counting benefits, the average pay per federal worker will leap from $72,800 in 2008 to $75,419 next year.

    –WHAT????????????
    OK, median (not average) non postal fed EE back in ‘06 was about $60K.

    fedsmith.com/article/1023/

    fed workies get 50% more than private sector

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-06-24-fedpay_N.htm

  62. Here’s more of the article
    ************************************************

    It’s A Good Time To Work For Uncle Sam

    President Obama’s call last year for “shared sacrifice” doesn’t extend to federal employees, at least based on the details of his administration’s 2010 budget released this week.

    At a time when the official unemployment rate is nearing double digits, and 6.35 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, the U.S. government is on a hiring binge.

    Executive branch employment — 1.98 million in 2009, excluding the Postal Service and the Defense Department — is set to increase by 15.6 percent for the 2010 fiscal year. Most of that is thanks to the Census Bureau hiring 102,000 temporary workers, but not counting them still yields a net increase of 2 percent in one year.

    There’s little belt-tightening in evidence in Washington, D.C.: Counting benefits, the average pay per federal worker will leap from $72,800 in 2008 to $75,419 next year.

    Meanwhile, according to Forbes’ layoff tracker, there have been 558,087 layoffs since November 2008 at large public companies; even local school districts aren’t immune. That’s just a sliver of the total unemployed, which government data estimate to be 8.6 percent of the workforce, or an alternate method of reckoning that counts discouraged workers puts at 20 percent.

    Some of the Feds’ hiring increases have been stunning. If you look at the four-year period from 2006 to 2010, the number of Homeland Security employees has grown by 22 percent, the Justice Department has increased by 15 percent, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can claim 25 percent more employees. (These figures assume that Congress adopts Mr. Obama’s 2010 budget without significant changes.)

  63. Anyone else catch this bit about BO dancing around the point of elderly health care?

    Remember Soylent Greene?

    THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

    I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.
    Also, from Hotair, here’s an excerpt from a health Care Professor at Brandeis University.
    Remember, our population is aging. And with the very, very elderly, the costs go down, so that percentage should be falling, and it’s not. Second, the cost of care is growing by so much, so at the same percentage, it’s worth a lot more. So let’s go back to the issue of comparative effectiveness, which we’re supporting. That’s where that can have a big impact. It’s not only there, but that’s where the waste is. That’s where people are using technologies that really either don’t work at all or keep people alive for for very limited [time] and [at] very high cost.

  64. gonzo,

    yup. i read that. but ti doesn’t apply to states, which are cutting workers, and the PO which is laying people off, too.

    You’re in the health care field, right?
    What do you think about my post at 6:29?

    BTW – Amusing and accuratre.
    😳 Wish my typing was more accurate.

  65. basil9 Says:
    Anyone else catch this bit about BO dancing around the point of elderly health care?
    **************
    Obama is setting the stage for “entitlement reform” SS and Medicare go under the bus.
    ““Recession hits Social Security hard
    Geithner unveils report on entitlement programs. Social Security trust fund may be exhausted 4 years sooner than earlier forecast. Medicare is much worse off.”
    (snip)
    The trust fund reflects a $2.4 trillion surplus paid into Social Security over 20 years that Uncle Sam has borrowed, spent and promised to pay back. Trust fund exhaustion represents the point at which only 76% of benefits could be paid out.
    (snip)
    Those who describe Social Security’s situation as a crisis point to the 2016 date as the most important, because that’s when the government has to start paying the system back with interest.

  66. I remember when I was younger and there was a great deal of moral outrage with the thought of unplugging a life saving machine. Most hospitals were holding firm that they would not allow this. I myself wondered if I could ever do this to someone I loved. I really thought I could not, until my mother who was suffering from MS was tied to these very same machines. It wasn’t a hard decision after a few days, but how things have changed. When I flew into Milwaukee 17 years ago, when my mother’s condition worsened, I was greeted by the staff and Dr’s pressuring me to turn off all support systems. It was on the verge of appalling. I told them I need time to assess the situation with my sister. I took that time to say good by to my mother and begin the grieving process. We needed it. But you could feel the pressure even then.

    I think you would end up without a choice with BArfy and his thugs. It will traumatize people, I am sure of it.

    There is no doubt a great deal of health care $ is spent on the elderly, and that there are difficult choices with limited resources. But one has to ask why are resources so limited in the first place? What are the values of this society? Do we really have any? All we are ever told to do is shop. Save the economy and BUY, BUY, BUY….

    Don’t trust any one over 30 is coming home to roost…Beware Barfy, you are nearly 50….

  67. SHV Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 6:34 pm
    **************************************************

    Who will fight for us? We must, we can not let them destroy SS. It is not an entitlement. THEY the GOV have been terrible stewards of our future!

  68. Obama is setting the stage for “entitlement reform” SS and Medicare go under the bus.
    ““Recession hits Social Security hard
    Geithner unveils report on entitlement programs. Social Security trust fund may be exhausted 4 years sooner than earlier forecast. Medicare is much worse off.”
    (snip)
    The trust fund reflects a $2.4 trillion surplus paid into Social Security over 20 years that Uncle Sam has borrowed, spent and promised to pay back. Trust fund exhaustion represents the point at which only 76% of benefits could be paid out.
    (snip)
    Those who describe Social Security’s situation as a crisis point to the 2016 date as the most important, because that’s when the government has to start paying the system back with interest
    ————————————————–
    This whole move on uhc is about rationing. The whole move on social security reform is about take backs from the American People. The blowback from this will be very strong. Carvilles claim that gop will be dead in the water for 40 years is a little heavy–by about 38 years. Of course Carville has always had a tendency to exaggerate. Wait until these bastards hit a rock and their ship starts to leak. If you are a professional, you like it when your opponent is overconfident. When that happens he makes mistakes and exposes his flank. These people remind me of the raw recruits who find glory in war because they have never really tasted it. Carvelle is just a mercenary.

  69. Who will fight for us? We must, we can not let them destroy SS. It is not an entitlement. THEY the GOV have been terrible stewards of our future!
    ————————-
    Pelosi. Last time I checked she was standing up to idiot wind Obama over this issue.

  70. SHV, gonzo,

    What REALLY caught my attention was THIS comment:

    I mean, the CHRONICALLY ILL and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

    Chronically ill can refer to ANYONE of ANY age!!!!!!

  71. basil9 Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Anyone else catch this bit about BO dancing around the point of elderly health care?

    —————————

    Shame on him! Seniors are golden. They are the fabric of a nation and one of the most precious commodities a family can have.

  72. wbboei Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 7:02 pm
    If we have to depend on Botox Nan, our boat is sunk.

    Chronically ill could encompass a lot of people. Asthmatics, MS, Kidney (which is subsidized), COPD, Diabetes, Quads…etc

    Where would “THEY’ draw the line?

    I am a nurse and even I don’t go to the Dr unless I am extremely sick. I can’t afford the deductibles on tests and my drug coverage is a joke. They wanted to charge me $200 for Advair for my asthma, which only acts up like once a year. I paid $40 dollars last year. It is all a joke.

  73. I don’t like Crist either! He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing…
    ——————————————
    My concern is that he is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

  74. gonzo,

    ‘Chronically ill could encompass a lot of people. Asthmatics, MS, Kidney (which is subsidized), COPD, Diabetes, Quads…etc’

    And they can be any age from infants to the elderly and everyone in between.

    And I know what you mean about deductibles. I just got back from a biopsy on a condition possibly caused by the condition I was ‘cured’ of! Luckily for me, I have excellent health coverage but whenever i get the duplicate bills I just shudder and sometimes I feel guilyy about how much they cost. i try to console myself with the fact that I worked and paid into the system for decades but, still, there were times during the 18 month treatment that knowing the monthly meds bill was in the thousands of dollars that i felt guilty as he!!. Then I remembered what a rip-off that was, too. I mean, HTF can a bottle of pills and a couple of injections cost thousands per month?????

  75. wbboei,

    You ARE joking, right????

    ‘Pelosi. Last time I checked she was standing up to idiot wind Obama over this issue.’

  76. I got this over @ Ace Of Spades and it came to my mind that maybe this whole torture thing was actually a ploy to out Nancy and put in Hoyer who might be, say more sympathetic to messing with SS?

    Am I off?
    ***************************************************

    PolitiFact: Nancy Pelosi’s I Know Nossing Claims are “False”
    —Ace
    Stating the obvious. Something we conservatives aren’t used to seeing.

    [Pelosi’s] comments are directly contradicted by a CIA timeline prepared by the Director of National Intelligence that indicates Pelosi and Porter Goss, R-Florida, then-Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques.
    Specifically, the CIA timeline states that on Sept. 4, 2002, Pelosi and Goss received a “Briefing on EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) including use of EITs on (alleged al-Qaeda operative) Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.”

    That briefing came a month after the CIA began using Justice Department-approved enhanced interrogation techniques – including the drowning simulation technique known as waterboarding – on Abu Zubaydah, according to a Justice Department memo released last month.

    In a May 5, 2009, memo submitted with the timeline, CIA director Leon Panetta acknowledged the differing accounts of the meeting that Pelosi and Goss attended. But he said the CIA’s version is based in part on records created at the time of the meeting.

    At PolitiFact, we normally would be reluctant to make a Truth-O-Meter ruling in a he-said, she-said situation, but in this case, the evidence goes beyond the competing accounts from Pelosi and Goss. We are persuaded by the CIA timeline, which the agency says is based on “an extensive review of (the CIA’s) electronic and hardcopy files.”

    It’s also important to note that the timeline that contradicts Pelosi was put together at the behest of an administration controlled by her own party. That document provides compelling — albeit sparsely worded — evidence that Pelosi’s recollection is incorrect.

    Add in the fact her aide was, apparently indisputably, briefed about this in February 2003.

    Again, the press used to be interested when a Speaker of the House provably lied about national security in an effort to play politics.

    In fairness, the media is generating some outrage. David Shuster, for example, says he’s disgusted and may vomit.

    Over Carrie Prejean. Shuster’s focused laser-like on the big stories.

    Meanwhile, liberal columnist Richard Cohen allows himself to ponder the possibility that Cheney might be right about torture, which is a dangerous thing to do, doing that whole “question your own deeply-held assumptions” thing that liberals are always urging on conservatives but rarely seem interested in themselves.

    Amidst the snark, he asks:

    Cheney says he once had the memos in his files and has since asked that they be released. He’s got a point. After all, this is not merely some political catfight conducted by bloggers, although it is a bit of that, too. Inescapably, it is about life and death — not ideology, but people hurling themselves from the burning World Trade Center. If Cheney is right, then let the debate begin: What to do about enhanced interrogation methods? Should they be banned across the board, always and forever? Can we talk about what is and not just what ought to be?
    This is terrific, but it should be noted that non-liberals have been seriously considering this question since 11 September 2001. Still, nice for Cohen to finally acknowledge it.

    And back to Granny Rictus McBotoxImplants, just because it’s sort of fun:

    In a similar vein, can we also find out what Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it? If she did indeed know about waterboarding back in 2003, that would hardly make her a war criminal. But if she knew and insists otherwise, that would make her one of those people who will not acknowledge that the immediate post-Sept. 11 atmosphere allowed for methods that now seem abhorrent. Certain Democratic politicians remind me of what Oscar Levant supposedly said of Doris Day: “I knew [her] before she was a virgin.” They have no memory of who they used to be.
    Heh.

    It occurs to me that David Shuster’s venom for Carrie Prejean — dumb, disgusting, superficial, a winner of a “beauty pageant” — applies more to Granny Rictus McBotoxImplants, who’s sporting more molded plastic on her than a ’73 Corvette Stingray.*

    * An old Letterman gag, back when he was funny.

    Whoa! DrewM points out this headline item: Steny Hoyer, the Dem’s Number Two and the man who would, presumably, become Speaker of the House should Granny Rictus McBotoxImplants be removed from her post, wants any investigation into torture to include what Pelosi knew:

    Interrogation Probe Should Include What Pelosi Knew, Hoyer Says
    House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday that investigations into the Bush administration’s use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects should look into what congressional leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, knew about the methods that have been criticized as torture….

    “Frankly, information about what was said, when it was said, who said it, that ought to be on the record so the American public knows,” Hoyer said.

    Hmmm… check out Steny Hoyer’s bus! It doesn’t have monster-truck wheels like Obma’s, but I’m pretty sure it could roll over Nan-Nan without breaking an axle.

  77. wbboei Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 7:31 pm
    I don’t like Crist either! He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing…
    ——————————————
    My concern is that he is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
    **********************************************

    That came to my mind but I thought no, wolf….because I do not trust him and I think he made alliances with the DNC that enabled the Fraud to pull off the corruption in FL.

  78. I was waiting in line at a grocery sstory and one of those “mags” indicated Obama is seeking “revenge” against former President Clinton,
    ———————————————————
    This is within the range of predictable behaviors for a sociopath. It does raise interesting questions such as revenge for what, what does he have for leverage and at what cost to himself and the party. Mrs. Smith informs me that Chelsie’s wedding is in August. That is enough time for a moratorium.

    Meanwhile Bambi is coming around to the idea that 2009 will not be such a good year after all. His prior position to the contrary is just one more lie.

  79. I got this over @ Ace Of Spades and it came to my mind that maybe this whole torture thing was actually a ploy to out Nancy and put in Hoyer who might be, say more sympathetic to messing with SS?

    Am I off?
    ——–
    No. A few months back Bambi started a whisper campaign against her. Hoyer would sell out social security in a New York minute in order to become Speaker. You are reading it right, in my opinion.

  80. That came to my mind but I thought no, wolf….because I do not trust him and I think he made alliances with the DNC that enabled the Fraud to pull off the corruption in FL.
    —————————-
    Let me say it straight out: Crist is in bed with bambi, and has been all along. I do not read him as a moderate republican. I see him as a Quisling.

  81. ‘A few months back Bambi started a whisper campaign against her.’

    Oh Goodddieeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

    (not the selling out ss part)

  82. basil9 Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 7:54 pm
    ‘A few months back Bambi started a whisper campaign against her.’

    Oh Goodddieeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!
    ************************************************

    Be very careful what you wish for

  83. I think the bottom line on SS “reform” is the 2016 date. For more than twenty years, the surplus SS money was spent inorder to give a false impression of the size of the deficits. The $2.4 trillion SS trust fund is basically govt bonds (IOUs). Beginning in 2016 the govt is going to have to borrow money with interest to put cash back into SS. I think the Obama budget is 50% borrowed money now with no end in sight. Add double (triple) debt + SS borrowing…the Dems or the Repubs wont have cash to give pork to their supporters. The new Dem party kissed off the AARP crowd and will screw them so as to show the young kewl crowd that Dems are looking out for them.

  84. wbboei, THE THIRD BUSH TERM has always been about screwing the auto unions, screwing the social security people and of coarse making people believe he was actually going to do something about healthcare.
    This was set up way in advance.

  85. Gonzotex @ 6:51, My husband has advanced MS and is having alot of trouble walking, I asked to Dr. if I should bring him in, he said NO. This is how it is going to be with Barkey’s healthcare. I also heard all of us overweight folks are going to have to get healthy. I wonder how we can do that when food costs so much??

  86. RGB said:

    $$$….
    the vague, unenforceable, non-guaranteed type reform deals. I thought it might be different this time.

    Still, the event was significant. There was something in it for Mr. Obama, and something for the industry — though not necessarily the same thing.

    ================

    RBG, your posts are great! But would you consider markers like [[[ …. ]]] for your inserted comments? It’s not always clear where yours leaves off and the quoted part resumes.

    =========

  87. This whole move on uhc is about rationing
    **********
    Exactly and the insurance companies want to be the ones doing the rationing. Medical care is rationed now and the level of rationing depends on quarterly profits. The insurance companies also practice medicine by extortion. Don’t use their doctors or Hospitals then you are SOL. Two years ago I had a detached retina and lost 1/2 of my vision in one eye in about five hours. The surgeon said that there was no OR time available in the “in network” hospital until the next morning but he could do the surgery in an out-patient center that night. Had the surgery that night, perfect result…”Surgi-Center” bill $17,850…insurance paid $431. Had lung surgery last year. The only surgeon that specialized in lung surgery in my area was in “net-work”…the hospital where he did surgery was out of net work,,(go figure)…Hospital bill $35,000, insurance paid $2,100. I got my Medicare card two months ago, and I am very happy to have single payer socialized medicine. I can now go to the hospital of my choice and the doctor of my choice. I am also protected from balanced billing.

  88. Carol said:
    My fear is that we will only have a choice between BO and a far right repug. In that case I will not vote for the first time in my life.

    ====================

    In 2012 I’ll be looking at the record of the administration which is theoretically headed by Obama but really includes people like Hillary — and comparing it to the administration we would probably get under the Republican.

    If the Republican is Sarah….!

  89. Add double (triple) debt + SS borrowing…the Dems or the Repubs wont have cash to give pork to their supporters. The new Dem party kissed off the AARP crowd and will screw them so as to show the young kewl crowd that Dems are looking out for them.
    —————————————-
    I do not know what the age distribution curve of the electorate will look like in 2016. But I would assume that 50% of the likely voters are 50 and above. I would also assume that the vast majority of people in that age group view social security as an important entitlement. If these assumptions are accurate then his effort to screw the elderly to get the votes of the younger crowd will backfire. Especially, when the younger crowd realizes that the absense of social security may force them to support their parents. That is the problem with all these stereotypical assumptions for 50,000 feet–and no input from the affected parties. many of whom will be forced to take care of their elderly parents if social security was taken away. Hillary and Krugman both said social security was not a problem as I recall.

  90. basil9 Says:
    That’s where people are using technologies that really either don’t work at all or keep people alive for for very limited [time] and [at] very high cost.

    ===============

    I’ve heard that in some UHC countries (Britain? Canada?) people have to wait a long time for things like knee replacement. That is a bad thing.

    But when people who are effectively unconscious are kept alive on tubes and respirators…?

  91. wbboei Says:
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Who will fight for us? We must, we can not let them destroy SS. It is not an entitlement. THEY the GOV have been terrible stewards of our future!
    ————————-
    Pelosi. Last time I checked she was standing up to idiot wind Obama over this issue.

    =================

    Hm. And she did at least put up some fight for the family planning money to stay in the first ‘stimulus’. Did she also fight for the abortion protection bill (FOCA?)

  92. SHV: as you know, that was not the example I had in mind. Frankly, those are the kinds of stories I associated with government run systems like the one in Canada. If you are 80 and you need surgery you will get it at some point in the future, but by then it may be too late. It sounds like it is happening now under the private health care systems run by insurance companies. Thanks for the insight.

  93. At PolitiFact, we normally would be reluctant to make a Truth-O-Meter ruling in a he-said, she-said situation, but in this case, the evidence goes beyond the competing accounts from Pelosi and Goss. We are persuaded by the CIA timeline, which the agency says is based on “an extensive review of (the CIA’s) electronic and hardcopy files.”

    ====================

    So? The CIA would be very good at constructing any evidence they want.

    Pelosi has been standing up to Obama on SS and other things that matter more, as has been mentioned in posts above. Maybe he is out to backstab her.

  94. I think [Crist] made alliances with the DNC that enabled the Fraud to pull off the corruption in FL.

    ==================

    He was certianly right in the middle of that! It was Crist and his GOP legislature that set the primaries on a date that would get the FL Dems in trouble with the DNC.

  95. wbboei Says:
    May 12th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I got this over @ Ace Of Spades and it came to my mind that maybe this whole torture thing was actually a ploy to out Nancy and put in Hoyer who might be, say more sympathetic to messing with SS?

    Am I off?
    ——–
    No. A few months back Bambi started a whisper campaign against her. Hoyer would sell out social security in a New York minute in order to become Speaker. You are reading it right, in my opinion.

    ===============

    Sounds like Obama style. What whispers has he done?

    And why is he so keen to go after SS?

  96. Hillary and Krugman both said social security was not a problem

    =================

    Hillary certainly said that SS is fine on its own income and expenses for several decades. The problem is that the government has been borrowing FROM the SS fund (as was explained in a previous post).

  97. # wbboei Says:
    May 12th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    SHV: as you know, that was not the example I had in mind. Frankly, those are the kinds of stories I associated with government run systems like the one in Canada. If you are 80 and you need surgery you will get it at some point in the future, but by then it may be too late. It sounds like it is happening now under the private health care systems run by insurance companies. Thanks for the insight.
    **********
    I have been dealing with Medical insurance companies for more that 35 years as a provider and recipient. The Doctors get screwed almost as much as the patients. They pay what they want to, delay payment, demand more documentation inorder to delay payment, etc. Most of my practice involved children with heart problems. They were either covered under the parents policy or by the State. The state usually paid better than the insurance companies. The kids were screwed when they became 21…no way they could get insurance..pre-existing conditions, etc. The latest estimate that I saw for the paper work costs involved with insurance companies is $440 billion /year. From what is happening in DC now, it’s obvious that the fix is in with Obama and the Dems…the insurance companies are safe.

  98. From what is happening in DC now, it’s obvious that the fix is in with Obama and the Dems…the insurance companies are safe.
    —————————————————–
    Where does the AMA stand on UHC? Are they not potential allies AGAINST the insurance companies? After all, the little games the insurance companies play, as you have described them, comes between doctor and patient, and between the doctor and just compensation for his or her services.

    Don’t you think the sociopath will end up copying Hillarys plan?

  99. Sounds like Obama style. What whispers has he done?

    And why is he so keen to go after SS?
    ———————————-
    Turndown: I know he is doing it. But do not recall exactly he was saying. He was doing a whisper campaingn Biden at or near the same time. He was telling people he was unhappy with Biden because he was always off message and unpredictable, which caused some to speculate that Biden was on his way out. Apparently, Biden helped seduce Spectre to commit treason against his party and the people of his state. Hence, Biden has redeemed himself.

    I suspect SHV has put his finger on why bambi is going after social security. See comment above. Recall this was also a fixation of the late Tim Russert.

  100. Don’t you think the sociopath will end up copying Hillarys plan?
    *************************************

    No I don’t. Hillary was not going to let the Ins co. write the new plan. Oh my God! She was going to allow people to access the same quality health care as Congress! Imagine that! If I remember right, she had a plan, as always, as to how things would get paid, the honor of the Dr and patient relationship, etc.
    Yes she was all for covering children and low income, and she was very much against pre- conditions, as she always has been. But to me, it did not sound like the Gov was going to be in control as the Fraud’s version. Letting the Ins Co write it up, will be a disaster. Just like Bush letting the Energy Co.’s write the energy policy under Bush. Nothing really will change for the middle class except for the worst. We will be stuck with the bill and obviously get much less than we put in.

  101. Recall this was also a fixation of the late Tim Russert

    ***********************************

    In what way?

  102. I got this over @ Ace Of Spades and it came to my mind that maybe this whole torture thing was actually a ploy to out Nancy and put in Hoyer who might be, say more sympathetic to messing with SS?

    ====================

    That would be an Obama ploy.

    countusout.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/democrats-cia-is-out-to-get-us/#comment-5310

    quoted some media story:

    Asked whether the CIA was seeking political cover by releasing the documents, Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said: “Sure it is.”

    The CIA certainly has the motive, means, and opportunity. So of course Obama would be encouraging them.

  103. After all, the little games the insurance companies play, as you have described them, comes between doctor and patient,
    *************
    The games that the insurance company play can be financially ruinous and potentially deadly. Most Americans who think they are secure because they have health insurance are kidding themselves, they are one serious illness or accident away from bankruptcy. If you haven’t needed you insurance for a serious illness recently you are lucky. Even with good insurance, they will deny costs, reduce the coverage, etc. The medical bills show what was charged and what was paid; followed by the reason for reduced payment, usually doesn’t meet our “profile” is a common reason. You will then get balanced billed. If you are lucky you can negotiate the charges and pay them, most Americans get turned over to a collection agency. IIRC, prior to the current financial melt down, ~ 50 of bankruptcy filings were instigated by medical bills and of those ~ 80% of the people had health “insurance”.

    The real debate about health care is the same as it was when Medicare was being discussed, “Is health care a right or a privilege?” When Medicare was proposed, the Republicans said there was no right for Americans to get health care. Today it wouldn’t be politically correct to openly make that argument but it is still the bottom line.

  104. Where does the AMA stand on UHC?
    **********
    As a voice for physicians the AMA is a shadow of it’s former self, they are still in the pockets of the insurance companies. How many doctors want a Govt program? A hard number to find but a survey a year ago had 59% doctors wanting a govt plan.
    AMA and single payer:
    ww.pnhp.org/blog/2008/10/31/ama-position-on-single-payer/

    Obama basically wants a Mass. type plan which is a financial disaster.

  105. Gonzo: thank you for the clarification. My recollection of Hillarys plan was she would let people keep the insurance they had if they wanted to keep it, or they would open up the Congressional Plan or the third option. I got asked about it on the campaing trail and was conversant with the details then but no longer.

    SHV: then you see no role for private insurance companies in the process? Or do you think the problem is fixable through proper regulation? What kind of profit margins do these insurance companies have? Are they dealing with a problem of adverse selection as the mortage banks were thanks to people like Barney Frank? I come away from this discussion with a different view, and hoping that if the insurance companies have bought bambi off then I hope we can proved that since that would be one more mark against him.

  106. Are there NO honest HMO’s? Or credit card companies?

    Why is competition not working?

  107. Here’s a good article about 2016 and all that, with lots of numbers.

    texashillblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/soc-sec-system-hurt-by-living-longer.html

  108. SHV: then you see no role for private insurance companies in the process? Or do you think the problem is fixable through proper regulation? What kind of profit margins do these insurance companies have? Are they dealing with a problem of adverse selection as the mortage banks were thanks to people like Barney Frank? I come away from this discussion with a different view, and hoping that if the insurance companies have bought bambi off then I hope we can proved that since that would be one more mark against him.
    *************
    I have zero expertise in health care funding but I won’t let that stop me. Again it comes down to the question…DO Americans have a right to a adequate level of health care? If they do then an insurance model is not the way to do it. Problem of adverse selection get to that point. If they are doing their job, the insurance companies will not take on high risk, won’t insure “pre-existing” conditions. etc. What is supposed to happen to those people?? I am not sure what profit margins but over-head costs are in the range of 25-35% as opposed to Medicare which is ~5-8%. There is a role for insurance companies and that is to provide coverage above the basic medical plan, in the same manner as Medicare supplemental coverage. Single payer isn’t socialized medicine. With socialized medicine, the govt owns the delivery system…..single payer is like Medicare..delivery is by the private sector but who “pays the piper calls the tune”. And that is why the devil is in the details.

  109. As I remember Obama wasn’t for UHC, his was for more of the same. The only reason he is now for it is that it will only fatten the pocket of the auto, oil, banking businesses. They will not have to have it as benefit of employment. It will save millions of dollars on big business. They have been complaining for years about the rising cost of healthcare, and the union wages. HE is fixing that for big business on the backs of the taxpayers as he will use taxpayer money for UHC. Obama is a republican undercover. He will break the back of SS before he is finished with his first term!

  110. The insurance companies have brain washed the American public about how good the current system is (the outcome stats usually put the US at or near the bottom for industrialized countries) and that “socialized medicine” is bad. But as I have said before, I am not aware of a big movement of Medicare recipients to throw away their “socialized medicine” coverage.

    A story about socialized medicine…..A friend did graduate work in London about 37 years ago. She married a Englishman, got pregnant and had a premature baby that weighed ~ 3 1/2 lbs. 35 years ago a birth weight like that had a very poor outcome. Her child was taken care of in one of the worlds leading pediatric hospitals and after several months in the hospital was discharge in good health. My friend raves about the care her child received and how good the Harley Street doctor were and that it didn’t cost her a dime. So I said we need a single payer system here…She was horrified and said:”that would be socialized medicine and I don’t want that” btw she is on Medicare.

  111. HE is fixing that for big business on the backs of the taxpayers as he will use taxpayer money for UHC
    **********
    Exactly..The average employer based health plan is $12,600..Obama is talking subsidies and/or tax credits of $2,500..(BFD) and magical financial savings that will make health insurance affordable for all. It will be like Mass. subsidize the insurance companies and add 5-8% more overhead costs to run the progam. And you are right, big business will say t that you can qualify for the govt plan we are eliminating our coverage. Same thing happened with the so called “drug benefit”, companies dropped their drug plans.

  112. SHV, I work at a large hospital, everyone is scared of socialized medicine. I just wonder why they don’t want it. They give care now free, people don’t pay, the ones that have insurance pay a higher premium to cover the cost and the people that don’t pay have their credit ruin and are harassed by debt collectors. Its a farce, people just listen to whatever MSM says and believe hook, line and sinder.
    My brother in law is German, he loves his healthcare there and says ours sucks because its so expensive that you have to wait to get something done until you can afford anyway, so why not have UHC.

  113. I haven’t seen Hillary in the news lately. They have released the reporter in Iran many more things have been happening, but I only see the kook Kerry in the news. WHY??

  114. SHV, I work at a large hospital, everyone is scared of socialized medicine.
    ************
    Ask them if they are afraid if Medicare????? That is basically what people who are for single payer are talking about. Bill Clinton tried to drop the Medicare eligibility to 55 years..If the Republicans and the insurance companies hadn’t killed it we would be in much better shape now. Older workers who are losing their jobs are unlikely to be re-hired and if they do find another job, it will be low pay and no benefits. How will they afford $10k a year or more for health insurance even if they get a $2,500 rebate? You are right, the system is run on smoke and mirrors..hospitals are getting into real financial trouble.

  115. gonzotx Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 7:37 pm
    I got this over @ Ace Of Spades and it came to my mind that maybe this whole torture thing was actually a ploy to out Nancy and put in Hoyer who might be, say more sympathetic to messing with SS?

    Am I off?
    ***************************************************

    As soon as I heard Pelosi was affected negatively by bringing up the torture issue, I thought B0 was using it as a way to get at her. Pelosi and the Congress are too powerful for Obama. I was hoping some of the Democrats in Congress would at least make Obama act like a “Democrat”…through their own delusion that he actually is a Democrat. Prospects for that are looking dim.

    I still don’t know who/what Obama is…Dem, Repub, Independent, Fascist, Opportunist…how about wbboei’s Sociopath? Ha ha… 🙁

    I am also wondering why B0 wants to mess with SS and Medicare. They are creating the SS and Medicare crises with the budget deficits, but why? To take them away from people…could he even do that as a “Democrat”…don’t most Democrats in Congress believe in protecting SS and Medicare?

    I used to think the Republicans wanted to destroy the government to force people to do without it…now it’s the Democrats too?

  116. SHV, gonzo, confloyd, (and anyone else with medical administrative knowledge)
    Thanks for the insight into hospitals and insurance companies.
    I have a question which I hope one of you can help me with. Because of my condition, I am not able to resume teaching and so I am now eliigible for Medicare but I have health coverage through the teacher pension plan I don’t want to lose that as it’s been fantastic (as anything related to bad health can be). I’m thinking of rejecting the medicare for now as it would not cover prescriptions or other care I sometimes need. Plus I have to pay for it AND a supplemenatal plan. What do you think?

  117. WELL AS IF WE DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW THIS…….BUT IT’S GOOD THAT IT IS COMING TO THE SURFACE BEFORE 2012!!

    Report: One-fourth of overseas votes go uncounted

    By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer – Wed May 13, 3:07 am ET
    WASHINGTON – One out of every four ballots requested by military personnel and other Americans living overseas for the 2008 election may have gone uncounted, according to findings being released at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

    Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, said the study, while providing only a snapshot of voting patterns, “is enough to show that the balloting process for service members is clearly in need of an overhaul.”

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090513/ap_on_go_co/us_military_voting

  118. Oh come on Chuck. You know the drill. If you are out to steal elections and disenfranchise voters, you dont need to overhaul the existing system, it is working just fine, thank you. Go sell this bullshit about overhauling the system aspires to be anything more than corrupt, and their vote means something. If you are serious (and we both know you are not) go investigate the 2000 voter complaints which were filed against Mr Ogama in the primary. Oh no? Well then just forgettboutit.

  119. Swine Flu May Be Human Error; WHO Investigates Claim

    By Jason Gale and Simeon Bennett

    May 13 (Bloomberg) — The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error.

    Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu drug, said in an interview that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus’s origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint.

    “One of the simplest explanations is that it’s a laboratory escape,” Gibbs said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “But there are lots of others.”

    The World Health Organization received the study last weekend and is reviewing it, Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director-general of health security and environment, said in an interview May 11. Gibbs, who has studied germ evolution for four decades, is one of the first scientists to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus that was identified three weeks ago in Mexico and threatens to touch off the first flu pandemic since 1968.

    A virus that resulted from lab experimentation or vaccine production may indicate a greater need for security, Fukuda said. By pinpointing the source of the virus, scientists also may better understand the microbe’s potential for spreading and causing illness, Gibbs said.

    Possible Mistake

    “The sooner we get to grips with where it’s come from, the safer things might become,” Gibbs said by phone from Canberra yesterday. “It could be a mistake” that occurred at a vaccine production facility or the virus could have jumped from a pig to another mammal or a bird before reaching humans, he said.

    Gibbs and two colleagues analyzed the publicly available sequences of hundreds of amino acids coded by each of the flu virus’s eight genes. He said he aims to submit his three-page paper today for publication in a medical journal.

    “You really want a very sober assessment” of the science behind the claim, Fukuda said May 11 at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has received the report and has decided there is no evidence to support Gibbs’s conclusion,

    said Nancy Cox, director of the agency’s influenza division. She said since researchers don’t have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can’t be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.

    No Evidence

    “We are interested in the origins of this new influenza virus,” Cox said. “But contrary to what the author has found, when we do the comparisons that are most relevant, there is no evidence that this virus was derived by passage in eggs.”

    The WHO’s collaborative influenza research centers, which includes the CDC, and sites in Memphis, Melbourne, London and Tokyo, were asked by the international health agency to review the study over the weekend, Fukuda said. The request was extended to scientists at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, as well as the WHO’s influenza network, he said.

    “My guess is that the picture should be a lot clearer over the next few days,” Fukuda said. “We have asked a lot of people to look at this.”

    SNIP

    Gibbs said his analysis supports research by scientists including Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, who found the new strain is the product of two distinct lineages of influenza that have circulated among swine in North America and Europe for more than a decade.

    In addition, Gibbs said his research found the rate of genetic mutation in the new virus was about three times faster than that of the most closely related viruses found in pigs, suggesting it evolved outside of swine.

    Gene Evolution

    “Whatever speeded up the evolution of these genes happened at least seven or eight years ago, so one wonders, why hasn’t it been found?” Gibbs said today.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aShZig0Cig4g&refer=worldwide

  120. Not exactly the 1.2 percent decline this year and 3.2 percent growth projected for next year by Ogama’s child prodegy budget director. An L as opposed to a V when Ogama’s spending programs assumed and relied on a V when they formulated this garganutam 3.6 spending spree sometimes referred to as a budget by those who dont know any better.

    Eurozone industrial output plunges
    By Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt

    Published: May 13 2009 11:50 | Last updated: May 13 2009 11:50

    Eurozone industrial output plunged unexpectedly sharply in March, highlighting the severity of continental Europe’s recession, even though signs have emerged that the worst of the downturn is over.

    Industrial production in the 16-country region was 20.2 per cent lower than a year before – the largest year-on-year drop since records began in January 1991, according to data released by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, on Wednesday.. The latest fall took production back to a level not seen since November 1997.

    EDITOR’S CHOICE
    Global Insight: Pessimists find reasons to be cheerful – May-12Downturn bottomed out, Trichet signals – May-11Editorial: Fighting recession in the eurozone – May-07The scale of the drop indicated first quarter eurozone gross domestic product figures on Friday would be even grimmer than feared, with the pace of economic contraction accelerating significantly compared with the already-steep 1.6 per cent fall reported in the final three months of 2008. Economists are predicting a fall in excess of 2 per cent – significantly larger than reported by the US and UK.

    The latest industrial production figures were dragged lower by a weak Italian, Spanish and French performance. In contrast, industry in Germany – the eurozone’s largest economy – has shown clearer signs of moving closer back towards growth. German industrial production fell by 0.4 per cent in March compared with February, after falls of 3.7 per cent and 6.2 per cent in February and January.

    The moderation in the pace of decline in Germany also led to a less-dramatic moderation at the eurozone level. March’s month-on-month fall of 2 per cent, although steep, was the smallest since August last year, before the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment bank.

    Forward-looking confidence indicators and surveys have suggested that the severity of the recession will continue to fade in the current quarter – and some economists are forecasting growth could resume in the second half of the year. However, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and European Central Bank are all assuming continental Europe will not see growth resuming until next year – and then only gradually.

    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

  121. turndownobama-com Says:

    RBG, your posts are great! But would you consider markers like [[[ …. ]]] for your inserted comments? It’s not always clear where yours leaves off and the quoted part resumes.
    &&&&

    Thanks. I usually delineate my comments by separating it from the referred to text by separating it using &&&&&&&.

    When I insert comments throughout, I usually start my comment w/ $$$. But maybe ending with $$$ would make it crystal clear.

  122. gonzotx Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 11:32 pm
    Don’t you think the sociopath will end up copying Hillarys plan?
    *************************************

    No I don’t. Hillary was not going to let the Ins co. write the new plan. Oh my God! She was going to allow people to access the same quality health care as Congress! Imagine that! If I remember right, she had a plan, as always, as to how things would get paid, the honor of the Dr and patient relationship, etc.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Yeah, he won’t. He’s Mr. Half Measure. Obama owes too many chits, so Single Payer utopia will never be realized with him in power. Hill would have fought for it.

    I heard yesterday on NPR news that there were protestors arrested in Washington. One was a doctor, who complained that the health care task force not include one single representative from groups advocating single payer.

    It’s like Cheney, convening a task force on energy that did not include any environmentally concerned groups, just the industry cabal that knew what they wanted to ram through. I’ll see if I can dig up that story.

  123. I only heard about this yesterday on the radio. Here are three different articles.

    1. pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/article_7b7db2a4-3f36-11de-b640-001cc4c002e0.html

    2. firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/05/12/1929527.aspx

    FIVE SINGLE-PAYER PROTESTORS ARRESTED
    ===============================

    Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:52 PM by Domenico Montanaro
    Filed Under: Congress
    From NBC’s Ken Strickland
    Five protesters were arrested this morning at a Senate hearing on health-care reform. The protesters — some, who identified themselves as doctors and nurses — were be charged with “Disruption of Congress,” according to the Capitol Police spokeswoman. The Senate Finance Committee hearing was a roundtable discussion between senators and experts on the best way to pay for health-care reform.

    As the hearing opened, about 25 women, who identified themselves as nurses stood up, turning their backs to the senators. Taped to each of their red shirts were signs that called on Congress to pass what’s called a “single-payer system,” a system in which the government alone would run health care — no private insurance.

    “Nurses say patients first,” the signs read. “Pass single payer.”

    After standing silently for about five minutes, the nurses walked out of the hearing in an orderly fashion. They were not escorted by police. But shortly after the group left the hearing, more vocal individual protest began. A person stood up and in a screaming or loud voice, called for Congress to pass the single-payer system.

    “We want guaranteed health care,” one said. “We’re tired of private insurance.”

    Within a minute or so, a police officer escorted the protester out of the room and arrested them in the hallway. This sequence was repeated four more times, ending with the arrest of each individual.

    And the best saved for last (has a good picture of the doc from Ocean City, NJ, in handcuffs, looking righteous):

    3. healthcare-now.org/2009/05/doctors-single-payer-activists-arrested-make-history-at-senate-finance-roundtable/

    Doctors, Single Payer Activists Arrested, Make History at Senate Finance Roundtable
    ===========================================================

    May 5, 2009 by Healthcare-NOW!
    By Donna Smith–

    It has finally happened right here in the United States. Citizens who believe healthcare is a human right have been arrested and are being processed like criminals through the Southeast District of Columbia police station. Their crime? Asking for single payer healthcare reform – publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare – to be discussed during the Congressional hearings on reform.

    Doctors and other single payer activists were handcuffed and went to jail today speaking up for single payer to be at the table in the Senate finance Committee’s roundtable discussion on healthcare access and coverage. In stark contrast, Karen Ignagni, head of the industry lobby group American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) was escorted into the room like royalty by staff members of the Senate committee. Clearly, the position of the United States Senate is not with the majority of Americans who support a national, public insurance system.

    It made me physically ill to see Maryland pediatrician Margaret Flowers cuffed like a criminal and pushed out the door as the Senators waited to begin their staged roundtable discussion. It made me want to scream. It made me proud of them for being bold but ashamed that not one Senator spoke up for their own citizen-protestors and asked that they at least be allowed to speak. But the insistence that the citizens rising in protest be arrested continued from the chair with each incident.

    Simply asking to have single payer be included and fully vetted is a crime. Profiting as the for-profit health insurance companies do at the expense of 22,000 American lives every year, however, gets you a run of the table in this healthcare reform discussion. Just ask the Senators who are drafting what this nation’s health system will look like – and watch their behavior today – if you want evidence of how your voice will be heard in the process.

    The protestors were stoic and respectful but direct. One by one they stood. One by one they asked why single payer reform was not “at the table” of 15 witnesses Senator Max Baucus and his finance Committee gathered to map out what sort of coverage Americans might expect in the Senate reform bill now being crafted.

    Sen. Baucus eventually spoke and indicated that he was respectful of those who believe in single payer – as he acknowledged many of his constituents in Montana do – but he made no attempt to explain why no single payer voice has been included in any Senate discussion to date. He urged any others in the audience who might have any designs on speaking up like the protestors did to not do so, and then he moved on to his roundtable discussion.

    The press seated comfortably at the press table first looked amused and then puzzled by the procession of protest in the chamber. The C-SPAN cameras fixed on both the Committee’s table at the front of the room and the witness table directly across from them could have easily picked up the protests but the network chose to keep their cameras fixed only on Chairman Baucus – though the protestors’ words could be heard in the audience. Only two reporters of the 20 or so assembled were curious enough or industrious enough to rise and exit the room to see the arrests being carried out in the hallway.

    While neither the Finance Committee or the press allowed their proceedings to be disrupted for very long, the air in the room and the atmosphere had changed — the giddy and gleeful assembly of industry lobbyists who had been chattering in rapt anticipation of the coming of their carefully chosen witnesses could not deny that some brave and patriotic fellow citizens had just been hauled out for arrest for nothing more than demanding that a point of view held by a majority of patients, nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers be included in the national discussion.

    While this Congress may pass something very different than single payer reform, it will not do so without hearing the cries of the people left so openly exposed to personal health and financial ruin by the corrupt system that celebrates only profit. The citizens who stood for the thousands and thousands of dead today will not let this democracy give itself completely over to the big money interests in healthcare. Not without a fight. Not on their lives or yours or mine.

  124. from my previous post, the following paragraph toward the end is worth highlighting, given that admin’s current topic is “Why the media sucks so bad, and isn’t it apparent why they’re going under”:

    “The press seated comfortably at the press table first looked amused and then puzzled by the procession of protest in the chamber. The C-SPAN cameras fixed on both the Committee’s table at the front of the room and the witness table directly across from them could have easily picked up the protests but the network chose to keep their cameras fixed only on Chairman Baucus – though the protestors’ words could be heard in the audience. Only two reporters of the 20 or so assembled were curious enough or industrious enough to rise and exit the room to see the arrests being carried out in the hallway.”
    &&&&&&

    These same media slime were complicit in filtering out “unpleasant” information during the Bush years that might make him look bad…until it became “cool” to rag on Bush endlessly once it became only too obvious what evil clowns were in power.

    Wen it will become “cool” again to out the current evil clowns?

  125. It has finally happened right here in the United States. Citizens who believe healthcare is a human right have been arrested and are being processed like criminals through the Southeast District of Columbia police station. Their crime? Asking for single payer healthcare reform – publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare – to be discussed during the Congressional hearings on reform.
    ************
    And the reason that Single Payer is “off the table”..dah..dah..follow the money..

    “Altogether, health insurers and drug manufacturers have contributed more than $24 million to the current members of the Senate and House of Representatives since 2005.
    The top recipient is democratic Senator Max Baucus, a leading proponent of health care reform and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He received $183,750 from health insurance companies and $229,020 from drug companies.

    “When the engineer of the health care reform train is getting more fuel from the HMOs and drug companies that any other Democrat on Capitol Hill, you have to wonder who is really driving the train and whether average Americans will be tied to the tracks,” says Carmen Balber, Director of Consumer Watchdog’s Washington D.C. office.

  126. It’s no surprise that Senators like Max Baucus are willing to deprive Americans of health care for money; the surprise is that they can be bribed for so little money. Trillions of dollars are in play for the Health Care and Drug Industries and Max and other congressmen can be bribed for a few hundred thousand. Corrupt is bad enough but stupid and corrupt is worse.

  127. That is really it, isnt it? Hillary was determined to protect the American People and that is why nbc, Backus and so many others did not want her. Ogama is out to protect corporations and that is why they wanted him, he could bamboozled the American People and then pick their pockets. A man who pretends to be a populist and is in fact a puppet of the establishment.

    Coincidentally, Montanans are electing some really bad people these days like Schweitzer who brags about giving wrong adresses to voting booths and this Backus who was a close friend of Honest Tom Daschelle, who is so honest that he drivers his gas guzzler 1970 Pontiac to work rather than a limosene befitting his exhalted station. At least the voter of South Dakota were smart enough to run him out of town with the tar and feather brigade. Montanans need to wake up and run those two out of the political process as well. Strictly corporate shills with no redeeming vitures.

    I have ties to Montana that go back over 100 years, am old enough to remember Mike Mansfield, and hate to see it go this way. These two masquerade as Montanans but are really something else entirely. I am not old enough to remember Sheriff Plummer but if you read John Guenthers book on Montana you will see that he too was in league with the rustlers and a bunch of people around Shelby decided he would look good with a noose around his neck. As for Schweitzer and Backus, no noose is needed. Just run them out of office with pitchforks.

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