Thursday, September 10, 2009

How about a discussion on health care?

Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress tonight on the issue of health care. Also tuning in will be an ever-dwindling group of people willing to watch the president's speeches on television (as evidenced by Fox's decision to air "So You Think You Can Dance" instead). If the viewing audience represents the American public at-large, a majority will be hostile to the president's message.

So can the president pull a rabbit out of the hat tonight?

Update: any post-speech analysis?

Update II: Dennis Miller just made a funny point ... [paraphrasing] ... When Obama shows up 10 minutes late for his own speech, it doesn't give me a lot of confidence that the government can handle health care.


  1. What is the answer to fixing healthcare??? I dont think any president could pull a rabbit out of a hat when it comes to healthcare.

  2. Sick & Wrong


    How American Health Care Killed My Father

    A couple of interesting pieces. The first story linked to includes some swearing, so you've been forewarned.

  3. Perhaps the money quote from the second article to which I linked:

    "I’m a Democrat, and have long been concerned about America’s lack of a health safety net. But based on my own work experience, I also believe that unless we fix the problems at the foundation of our health system—largely problems of incentives—our reforms won’t do much good, and may do harm. To achieve maximum coverage at acceptable cost with acceptable quality, health care will need to become subject to the same forces that have boosted efficiency and value throughout the economy. We will need to reduce, rather than expand, the role of insurance; focus the government’s role exclusively on things that only government can do (protect the poor, cover us against true catastrophe, enforce safety standards, and ensure provider competition); overcome our addiction to Ponzi-scheme financing, hidden subsidies, manipulated prices, and undisclosed results; and rely more on ourselves, the consumers, as the ultimate guarantors of good service, reasonable prices, and sensible trade-offs between health-care spending and spending on all the other good things money can buy."

  4. The speech tonight was anything but reassuring.

  5. The only reassuring I received tonight from Obama's speech was that he is still an absolutely clueless idiot.

  6. When will we as a society stop parroting the vitriol that is modeled for us on the boob tube (this question is aimed at people on all points of the political spectrum)? Our ability to listen and to understand others has been poisoned by people who are motivated in large part by fanning the flames of controversy and ramping up the rhetoric in order to incite as many people as possible (all for the purpose of securing viewers and maximizing ratings).

    Is this really a model we want to emulate in public discourse, and on this weblog? Dehumanizing those who see the world differently from you is an early step in the future justification of all kinds of bad behavior towards others.

    How about simply addressing the man's ideas, and breaking them down for those elements with which you disagree?

    Or you can just call him a big dum dum head. Your choice.

  7. Ferd -

    I will remind you that a lot of people showed up at these town halls and asked serious questions of their legislators. A lot of these people were moderates and independents who have never been involved in the poltical process before. And what happened when they asked their serious questions? They were pigeonholed as paid hacks of the Republican party and the insurance industry. Disgustingly called tea-baggers. And when just a couple of these folks got out of control, the media dutifully higlighted the scenes so as to paint all the reasonable protesters as a "mob," parroting the democratic talking points.

    As far as "big dum dum head," Obama's rhetoric has been the worst of all. If you want an example of somebody throwing bombs, it's the big dum dum head himself who gave a very partisan speech even last night - amazingly at the same time he preached to the left and right about their own partisanship.

    Notice last night that the Republicans laughed when Obama said there were a few details to be worked out. The Republicans are willing to listen, if there's anything to listen to. Go back to the stimulus ... it was written behind Nancy Pelosi's locked door, and then voted on before anybody could read it. Past precedent shows that you may not even get the opportunity to listen - or read - and that's why everyone is upset.

  8. At first I was alarmed as I figured Obama was probably a socialist, later maybe a communist with Muslim leanings---- now I'm scared to death ! He's worse than any of these---he's stupid ! A supid president during perilous times (Iran, Iraq, etc) is VERY dangerous. He lets Pelosi run things because he doesn't know how---he's a gifted speaker, but of whose words?

  9. You people would scare Joe McCarthy.

  10. I don't think anyone opposes some type of health care reform that delivers better care and reigns in prices.
    The democratic plan does neither, it is another way to increase welfare at the expense of the working class.

  11. So far after watching the speech last night, and then reading the comments on this page, I am agreeing with Ferd and Tom. What I have read on this site is that Obama is an idiot, a big dum dum head, and stupid.
    The fact is this: all of your brains together wouldn't begin to equal this man's.

    Not only is he smart, but he is courageous. It is a profile in courage for this president to take on this issue. He doesn't have to do this. The politically expedient thing for him to do would be to give up, or not to introduce it at all. Yet, he knows that this is the right thing to do.

    Of course his speech last night was partison -- what would you expect??? He believes that the GOP as a whole is dead wrong on health care. I agree, and so do many more than you think.

    Many of us are sick to our stomachs at the name calling and the inflammatory language. Right now the Republicans are doing everything they can to defeat this. They are not debating the issue, and I think they could care less about health care primarily, as long as the power is with them. They want to defeat the Dems at all costs. It's all about power.

    So, they and the ilk of talk radio bring up ludicrous accusations like "death panels," all with the intent of raising the public's ire. The more scare tactics they use, the better. They could care less if they are true or not.

    I used to be a Republican. Back then we had a two party system. Somehow, the Republicans have become something much uglier. Any party who would follow the voices of Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc., is not worth even being called a political party. They have become the party of fear and hate and simple craziness.

  12. "Many of us are sick to our stomachs at the name calling and the inflammatory language"

    I would be willing to state that you didn't have a problem when the Democrats were doing it to Bush and Co. for the last eight years.
    As for the rest of your post, the majority doesn't want any type of Gov. "healthcare reform".
    Healthcare works just fine for 90% of the citizens, the Dems want to wreck it for the other 10%.

  13. It doesn't work just fine, we just know nothing different...

  14. In 1935, Social Security was established over the heated objections of Republicans. In 1965, Medicare was established again over the heated objections of Republicans. Is there any cogent person out there who would want their abolishment? How many GOPers strip grandma and grandpa of their assets and place them on Medicaid (welfare) to avoid paying for their care and saddling it to the taxpayers?
    This debate is simply a referendum on Health Insurance Companies and their 40% profits. I would like to know if there were any "town hall" objectors who either they, or family members, are not recipients of one or both of these two programs.
    It is also reprehensible how the party of the religious right treats the "least of these, my brethren."

  15. "It doesn't work just fine, we just know nothing different..."

    What part doesn't work fine?

    As for this, "This debate is simply a referendum on Health Insurance Companies and their 40% profits"

    Please name any insurance company that is making that kind of profit, I would be interested in buying their stock if that is tha case.

  16. Just pick one.

  17. I nominate Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) as GOP poster boy.

  18. Here you go,from Yahoo finance, net profit margin industry average,
    A far cry from "40%"

    Industry Statistics
    Market Capitalization: 97B
    Price / Earnings: 9.6
    Price / Book: 8.4
    Net Profit Margin (mrq): 3.3%
    Price To Free Cash Flow (mrq): 30.3
    Return on Equity: 13.0%
    Total Debt / Equity: 0.0
    Dividend Yield: 0.1%

  19. You can donate to Joe Wilson right here ... :)

  20. Both of the links posted at 7:47 seem pretty biased, one is from a labor union and the other is one State only.

  21. Apparently millions of people were able to get health insurance in the past month, as numbers changed from then to the speech last night. I guess keeping numbers consistent wasn't important enough?

    Anyone who trusts this man: I have some incredible beachfront property on the sun to sell you.

  22. Or perhaps some WMD's that can be used to invade a faraway land.

  23. You know - every time you bash Bush, you're admitting implicitly that Obama is not doing a good job ... "yeah, our guy stinks, but just remember how bad the last guy was." So to the extent you're saying that Obama is doing a bad job, I agree.

  24. Even the Obama diehards I spoke with today weren't high on the speech. My favorite answer: "Well, you can only expect so much when dealing with U.S. healthcare. You can polish the turd all you want, it is still a turd."

  25. I think they are bigger problems to worry about than health care like I dont no ask this question where did the stimulas money go?All ive seen is some roads being paved and that dont create jobs.

  26. To all of those who continue to defend a debased political rhetoric in this country:

    It's unfortunate, and I'll speak out against it, regardless of who is the perpetrator. I am most disturbed when I succumb to it, and I'm working continuously to practice the art of listening and understanding. I fail more often than I'd like.

    That being said, it's unfortunate that so many here make the argument that it's okay because the other guy does it. If you don't like Obama's style of discourse, raise your own style. Don't debase it further. It's a discouraging race to the bottom if that's the attitude that we take as citizens. If everyone's so disgusted by politics as usual and the rhetoric of the media, why do they then turn around and imitate it? If you're going to get right in there in the middle of it and commit the same wrong that you're so disgusted by in others, own up to it and stop being hypocritical.

    To reach back to the oft-quoted Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

  27. Interesting question posed above: where did the stimulus money go? Well, its being held until just before the next two elections---so Obama can shout "victory"---they think we're stupid.

  28. To Sept. 10, 10:54 As to where the stimulus money is going, ask your local school officials who are current recipients. School funding as well as unemployment funding is currently being propped up by federal stimulus money as the State of Ohio is also broke.


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