Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So I'm getting back into my blogging groove (because summer finally showed up), and I'm checking progress in stopping the eventual excesses that comes with one party in control of Washington. And so far, it's looking good. Here's the stories I saw on Monday (but am to lazy to finish the post until Tuesday):

1. Poll: More Than Half Say Stimulus Isn't Working

No shit. Now this is important for a few reasons. First, it's an increasing realization of people (including many Obama voters), that his promise of "fixing" problems, especially those of the pesky "last eight years" is proving to come up short (which many of us had said was going to happen). And they're seeing more and more money being spent, although they didn't think they voted for it (although, again, the evidence was there that Obama was going to do this). Third, it means that the honeymoon period of the Obama administration (the time that he could pass shit on a plate) has gone. This means everything radical gets hard to pass. And a government encumbered by its own size can't mess things up as fast.

2. Obama shifts focus to Iraq, Afghanistan wars

This one may be a tossup. After all, being against these wars until he took over means that little can be blamed on him. And he can navigate between the war-mongering crew that want an all-out war by moving troops where needed (Afghanistan) and the Code Pinkos as he works to wind down other places (Iraq). So unless he starts another war, or pulls out the troops suddenly, causing panic and chaos, it's a no-lose situation, except with the hyper-partisan. On the other hand, it can also be viewed in the context of surrender on leading the health care reform debate (especially since he makes the points against the government option while trying to address critics). So this one is a win for him, but also a win to slow down the domestic nightmare.

3. White House E-Mail for 'Fishy' Health Care Information Goes Dark

It's a loss of perception, and a partial admission that the site was, as critics (such as myself), charged, an attempt to assemble an "enemies list" in the health scare debate. And it's also a reminder that perception often becomes reality.

4. Obama aide says president still favors public health plan

Of course they're having to say this after admissions over the weekend that the President was willing to consider reform without the government option in it. And after losing the filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate to push it through (We love you (Senator) Conrad), the viability of the government option is greatly reduced. The so-called "death panels," defined in the bill as end-of-life counseling, have been removed; the rest of the government takeover could die over this.

5. Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay to Join 'Dancing With the Stars'

This really doesn't have anything to do with the Obama administration or the current political climate. But it does tell me that any politician can fail to sink into political obscurity and make himself out to be an asshat. Maybe I should get a list of politicians who I'd like to see take the same route. At the federal level, I have 537 elected officials so far (the House, Senate, President, and Vice President). Then I won't have to look at 'em (because "Dancing with the Stars" sucks ass by it's nature (but not as much as "Idol")).

Long story short, we've seen this kind of situation before. 1993. Now if the GOP learns from their mistakes, then it may be another 1994.


Anonymous said...

I think Obama finally realized that he wasn't going to get the support he needed and we have the American people to thank for that. Health care reform with out government control is something that I would fully support!

I must admit that I am a fan of DWTS.........but don't hold it against me.

Patrick M said...

Jenn: Now we have hope for a little change we can believe in.

And yes, I'm going to hold it against you for your DWTS love (mitigated if you agree that American Idol sucks copious ass). :)

TRUTH 101 said...

Scrap this whole silly and bloated plan that panders to the powerful and get started on a single payer system that covers all of us. And we all help pay for. Excellent post Patrick.

Patrick M said...

101: Scrap this whole silly and bloated plan that panders to the powerful and get started on a single payer system that covers all of us

Not gonna happen. If the bloat bill is being slowly worn away by opposition to a government option, what chance does an absolute government system have? Seriously, unless you started running subliminal ads during American Idol to trick people, the government run option would be deader than fried chicken about 10 seconds after it was mentioned.

Anonymous said...

American Idol bites the big one, so be rest assured, I'm not that bad.

TRUTH 101 said...

You fail to realize that Libs like me are against the plan going through just as much as the righties Patrick. Single payer is real change. It benefits you. It benefits business. It doesn't benefit insurance company fat cats. But as you and your right leaning friends would say, they can find another job and they should have saved for just in case anyway.

Patrick M said...

Single payer benefits no one except those who like to exercise power. It kills private markets, deprives those who would seek something other than what their doctors (and rationing boards) decide on, turns doctors into government employees (depending on the amount of control exercised, snuffs out innovation (because there's little motive to expend assloads of money that don't buy votes), and eventually collapses under its own weight.

We're seeing just that in the British system, a shift by the Canadian system to allow private spending on health care, and the French system (which is the most effective health care out there in many ways), relies on taxing the shit out of people, then expecting to make up the rest out of their own pockets anyway.

So single payer is not the answer, and it's not real change from the status quo. It's instead a shift from health care paid by the insurance companies to health care paid by the government. Change would be a return to real individual responsibility for paying for health care.

dmarks said...

Yes. Single payer does not "pander to the powerful". It is instead complete control by the powerful. It benefits insurance company fat cats, as long as these fat cats are government bureacrats.

If abolishing choice so completely is such a great idea, and creating a health-care monopoly is such a good idea. why not have the government nationalise all private industry and business?

(Single-payer also benefits the bloodthirsty, as shown by the system in the Netherlands where babies are killed against the wishes of the parents in order to save the government money. The UK is considering this also).

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: That's the essential point that the people in a rush to single-payer miss: In single payer, one entity has absolute control. At least with the insurance company mess, there are other options, even if they suck.

dmarks said...

Patrick: The Left has often had great arguments against trusts and monopolies. Better sometimes than the Right. Yet, too often, they are reluctant to apply their good arguments when the monopoly concerned is the government.

"At least with the insurance company mess, there are other options, even if they suck."

I think the key to real good reform is to improve these options. Improve competition, including letting insurance companies sell across state borders. These are simple reforms with little possibility of bad side effects, and they would make a lot of good difference. And the only people who loose out are insurance exects getting fat from being protected from competition.