Thursday, September 10, 2009

Barryspeak, Part 2: The Joint Address

After the innocuous and relatively conservative speech on Tuesday, I knew that the joint address that President Obama delivered last night was going to be the antithesis of it. And I was certainly not disappointed. While he talked the game of personal responsibility at several points, the plan he came up with, with a few notable exceptions, is a non-detailed rehash of the thrice-damned House monstrosity.

I sat here, computer on the fold-out, my bowl brimming with tortellini, the younglings swirling around despite their father unleashing verbal explosions at the screen on hearing something tat deserved to be called bullshit. Of course, i get that out of my system so that the post is only half as long as it would be if I inserted an expletive as often as I do punctuation.

I'm going to be limited in analyzing, because we've really covered most of this shit already. First, I want to give a shout out to Representative Joe Wilson (R, SC, right) for the relatively mild "you lie" heckle, accuracy be damned on his timing (you suck for apologizing, though)

Really, I was hoping for a "bullshit!" chant from the GOP. Or even better, they rise in unison, drop trou, and present a unified front of wrinkly old ass to our president. It would be panned (and given an opportunity for John McCain to take advantage), but it would have been the talking point. As it was, the look on Nancy Pelosi's face (left) says it all.

(For those who give a flying goat's dried titties, here's the speech text.)

But thanks to the bold and decisive action we've taken since January, I can stand here with confidence and say that we have pulled this economy back from the brink.

How? Not with that pseudo-stimulus Bullshit! package. Not with (no)Cash for Clunkers. And not with more speeches (like the rest of the travesty to follow).

We are the only democracy, the only advanced democracy on Earth, the only wealthy nation that allows such hardship for millions of its people.

One critical point stands out. WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!!!! I can't stress this enough, because the difference between our Constitutional Republic and a demonocracy is that legally, we are not subjugated by mob rule. And that is the central point of disagreement with EVERYTHING below.

That [the practice of rescission] is heartbreaking, it is wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America.

Then there's the problem of rising costs. We spend one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren't any healthier for it.

These are important point that we can all agree on. Where the problem comes is how we deal with this and the other problems in our non-free market system.

And now, on to the plan:

The plan I'm announcing tonight would meet three basic goals.

It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance for those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.

Somehow, I doubt it. But knock yourself out.

First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the V.A., nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.

I'm sure it says that. If not for the fine print (below) I'd even believe it.

We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of- pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.

And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies.

So we're mandating coverage levels now, essentially raising the price of the insurance (by mandating things).

We'll do this by creating a new insurance exchange, a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices.

Government getting into the private sector as a guide and support. Sounds good. Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Wait....

This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign....

So this is how you claim bipartisan cred? Fuck off and fuck McCain (although the idea, temporary low-cost transitional coverage, may be a necessary evil in any good plan).

That's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance -- just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.

Likewise -- likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers.

So much for personal responsibility (the theme of his kid speech Tuesday). The difference between this and auto insurance is that the auto insurance is to directly protect the rights of others from your irresponsibility.

Okay, now, let's deal with the "lies" that Obama tackled.

The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens.

On the face, it's not true. As long as the individual has the right to decide their health care coverage, the "death panels" are bullshit. However, when those rights disappear into the paternalistic "democratic" government, the death panel is a necessary inevitability.

Now, there are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants.

The question, then, is how do we deal with illegals when they show up anyway? The bill doesn't insure them, but doesn't explicitly not cover them either. Not a lie, Mr Wilson, but admire the spunk.

My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there's choice and competition.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good one. Joe, where were you on this one?

And the insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that [hold insurance companies accountable], but an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.

Correction. It's a not-for-profit government option. It's administered, steered, controlled, paid for, and regulated by the federal government. But he says...

They [insurance companies] argue that these private companies can't fairly compete with the government, and they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option, but they won't be. I've insisted that, like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums its collects.

Actually, they can't if the government decides otherwise. Even if some protections against government excess are added to the bill, that same government can either change the law, or adjust the laws so no one can make a profit. And just because the government could do something, doesn't mean it should, especially if it's not allowed to (you know, that pesky Constitution).

In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up.

If we can trust government estimates on new programs. I don't have enough space for the list of new programs that didn't.

It's worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I've proposed tonight.

Can't find the specific links, but it's gone from around 70% in July to around 50% now. You won with a higher percentage of the popular vote than there is support for the government option now.

The public option -- the public option is only a means to that end, and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal.

Ultimate goal? You mean:

While you've got maybe half the country ok with the government option, single payer is a no-go for obvious reasons.

First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future.

After taking record deficits and quadrupling them, "ringing hollow" doesn't even approach it.

Now, part of the reason I faced a trillion-dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for, from the Iraq war to tax breaks for the wealthy.

Because everything is Bush's fault, right? You can't make a speech without this crutch on the TOTUS, can you?

Second, we've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system, a system that is currently full of waste and abuse.

Does this lie go before, or after "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."? Been there, heard this. Especially when you were passing Bush's Wall Street bailout and your "stimulus" bullshit package.

That's how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next. And that is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.

You mean the system that is losing more money than everything but Social Insecurity? I hope not, because once you start raiding it, it dies in a year. Either way, it won't be handed down to me in 30 years or so. Of that, I'm sure.

Now, finally, many in this chamber, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the costs of health care.

One concession that the lawyers will kill, or lip service to sound bipartisan? You make the call.

I received one of those letters a few days ago. It was from our beloved friend and colleague, Ted Kennedy. He had written it back in May, shortly after he was told that his illness was terminal. He asked that it be delivered upon his death.

Ah, the "not pissing on the dead" part is over when they trot out the corpse to sympathy-sell health care. We all know that fat Teddy's mission was the empowerment of government. He dedicated his life to it. The best thing is that his successor will be less effective. Or maybe a Republican. That would be karma.

One of the unique and wonderful things about America has always been our self-reliance, our rugged individualism, our fierce defense of freedom, and our healthy skepticism of government. And figuring out the appropriate size and role of government has always been a source of rigorous and, yes, sometimes angry debate. That's our history.

Actually, it's been an unchecked expansion from the early days where we were figuring out the proper size to our current state of Constitution rape. And despite the conservative line, our skepticism knows better.

I understand how difficult this health care debate has been. I know that many in this country are deeply skeptical that government is looking out for them.

No. We KNOW, with crystal fucking clarity, that government does not "look out for us." It "gives us stuff in exchange for freedom. It trades goodies for votes. It invests our money in its power.

When someone from the government comes along and offers to "give" you something, there's always a string attached. And with enough of those strings, you can make a really nice noose. (spread this quote. It took me a whole two minutes to get it right.)

I'll be kind and end on a bipartisan note:

Thank you. God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.


dmarks said...

That video shows definite ill intent on healthcare right there. I hope he has changed his mind, but I sure doubt it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Patrick wrote:

First, I want to give a shout out to Representative Joe Wilson (R, SC, right) for the relatively mild "you lie" heckle, accuracy be damned on his timing (you suck for apologizing, though).

If you truly, truly believe that rubbish you wrote, you need to change the name of this blog to INSANE Political Discourse.

No sane reasonable person would congratulate a fool like Joe Wilson for disgracing himself and his party.

You have officially joined the ranks of the Dwellers of The Valley of Crazies on this one, Patrick.

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: Exactly. And I can't wait for one of my liberal readers to try to argue out of it. Maybe Shaw.....

Guess not.

Shaw: Well, I have been considering Joe to get AOTW next week, if it's any consolation.

But when you have someone who misrepresents most of what he says about a plan, talks about thing his plan will not do, and the opposition can't seem to do shit for shit, I'm not really upset when a Republican actually shows some passion.

It may have been a little out of place, but the "polite" Washington atmosphere isn't getting shit right, so why not get a little more public incivility into the debate (rather than hiding it or letting the outsiders do it)?

(and strangely, this is the only thing you argue over?)

Toad734 said...

A shout out to Joe Wilson for lying about a non-lie??

What Joe said isn't true. Why would you applaud that? I know you guys want to believe it but that doesn't make it so. If I could just believe something and it would be real, Angelina Jolie would want my man juice and there would actually be a Santa Clause but that isn't really the case is it?

dmarks said...

Patrick: Whatever he says now, he was in the past in favor of destroying healthcare with "single payer" (a euphemism for complete federal control. A monopoly. No choice). Might as well call it single-choice healthcare. Or no-choice.

Toad: There is a Santa Clause. But if you don't kill the man on the roof on Christmas Eve, you won't find out about it.

Patrick M said...

Toad: I believe I did say "accuracy be damned on his timing" for that very reason. But Obama is quite good at the game of Parse the Word. So even if the plan says it will cover them, it doesn't say it won't (just not subsidize them). After all, we already do cover them a little now.

Dmarks: Have you noticed the Obama supporters don't seem to want to talk about Obama?


Shaw Kenawe said...


We Obama supporters are happy to talk about him. I have an entire blog that supports what this president is trying to do.

When we Obama supporters come to a hostile environment [SANE POLITICAL DISCOURSE] to talk about issues, we don't mention Mr. Obama because it only gives you and others a chance to mock and demean the man.

It is apparent people like YOU only want to encourage more obstreperous behavior--evidenced by your high praise of the execrable behavior by a Congressional nitwit who disgraced himself and his colleagues with his nonsensical outburst.

Talk about President Obama?


On Wednesday night our president did a magnificent job of explaining his vision for health care reform. The economic and moral urgency is clear. He provided enough details on coverage and how to pay for the changes. I am glad that he continued to support a public option.

We are blessed with a president with the intellect, values, generosity of spirit and toughness to get the job done. Now let’s see if the Republicans can set aside scare tactics and work in good faith with the president. With or without them, we have to get this done.

Eleanor Shaw-Belblidia
Gaithersburg, Md., Sept. 10, 2009

Patrick M said...

Shaw: He provided enough details on coverage and how to pay for the changes.

he broke out the generic "cut government waste" argument, said the premiums would pay for themselves (except the government is also subsidizing low-income people), and bases it on the assumption that most people WON'T end up on the government option.

Explain how that provides enough detail?

Now let’s see if the Republicans can set aside scare tactics...

What about legitimate disagreements based on facts (the point of the above post)?

As for getting it done without a significant portion of the country's support, go for it.

Toad734 said...

First off, there is a section of the bill that specifically says that no one who isn't a legal citizen of the US will be covered/subsidized.

Not only that, the house version isn't a law yet, its just a version of a proposal.

So, one more time: Joe Wilson = Liar, Obama = Not a Liar.

Patrick M said...

Toad: Correction again = Joe Wilson = factually incorrect, Obama = parsing the word.

It's called nuance.