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Audiology of Hope 360: Special Topics in Health Care Finance

Hounds and FOXes come running in from right field when Obama’s bandwagon cranks up its 120dB dog whistle Wurlitzer. His policy point man is an ivory tower free marketeer (and DLC’s Senior Economist). His Social Security wingman is an avid privatizer.

The third horse in BO’s domestic policy troika is health care maven David Cutler — a technology optimist, of American Exceptionalist bent.

Do other countries do health care better? Irrelevant — we’re different. Expensive? We ought to spend a lot more. Patients Bill of Rights? Dead issue. Single payer? Dissed and dismissed in a single paragraph of his book. Insure the uninsured? Sure, but don’t let that distract us from the real issues. Negotiate drug prices? Careful, you’ll kill the Golden Goose!

Our review of Cutler’s eccentric frame for health care reform not only decrypts Obama’s call to the Right – it unearths the audacious belief system that animates our New Politickers’ across-the-board hope of finessing every clash of interest, and “turning the page” on every hard choice. Continue reading

Yeah, she’s cynical alright

The Anointed One defends his wife (‘cos, see *he’s* allowed to come to her defense):

Barack Obama, interviewed on WOAI radio in San Antonio, Texas, expressed frustration that his wife’s comments became political fodder.

“Statements like this are made and people try to take it out of context and make a great big deal out of it, and that isn’t at all what she meant,” Obama said.

“What she meant was, this is the first time that she’s been proud of the politics of America,” he said. “Because she’s pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she’s not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she’s encouraged.”

Oh, my, must stop laughing. *wiping tears from eyes*
Honey, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.   But this is what happens when the media starts beating up on your favorite woman and no one steps in to stop it.

What goes around, comes around.

Won’t you please go to Ohio for the help that we can bring?

We can Change the world, Rearrange the world!

Ladies, I think I’ve got myself a posse. Yep, just talked to my mom the disillusioned Bush lover. She lives in Pennsylvania and *this* year, she’s voting for Hillary (because she thinks Obama is a Muslim. Don’t worry, I”ll talk to her about it.)

So, I told her I was planning to go out to Ohio the weekend before the primary to campaign for Hillary and I asked her to come along and she seems VERY persuadable. And as we head west, we can pick up my aunt in Pittsburgh. Heck, I have aunts and cousins galore in Pittsburgh. We’ll probably stay at a Super 8 and drink cheap tequila afterwards. It’ll be a blast!

Can you get a posse together to go to Ohio? Or Texas?

Let’s roll.

This one’s for the girls!:

Women will pay for this for a loooonnng time

Media Concept Obamaphile Typical Obamaphileroseanne1.jpegTypical Clintonista?

What has the public learned from the last couple of months of primaries? Well, it has learned that it is Ok to:

  • call a presidential frontrunner “babe”, as Chris Matthews has done on hardball
  • heckle a presidential candidate by asking her to “Iron My Shirts!”
  • characterize a presidential candidate’s supporters as “older women” even though her appeal cuts across all demographics.
  • characterize a presidential candidate’s supporters as “uneducated” even though she appeals to people of all educational backgrounds. (I wonder how my asian colleagues feel about being called “uneducated”?)
  • criticize the presidential candidate’s mannerisms such as her applauding for herself
  • bait other candidates to attack her during a debate
  • ridicule her attempts to be nice to the press
  • make her campaign without the support of her spouse.
  • forbid her to go negative
  • forbid her to even *compare* herself to her male opponent
  • make her look unlikeable
  • call her laugh a cackle, her tone of voice “shrill”
  • use pictures of her that make her look crazy
  • present her accomplishment as trivial
  • say that her ability to speak on policy is due to ventriloquism
  • call the presidential candidate a pimp and her daughter a whore.

The job that has been done on Hillary not only threatens her career, it threatens the dignity and credit for accomplishments for *all* of the women of this country. The media, Republicans and Obama campaign have almost gotten away with clubbing a female into a submission and if any of you women out there think it’s not going to reverberate throughout society so that men can get away with this %^&* when ever it is convenient to them, you’re wrong. They’ve gotten away with it towards one of the most powerful women in the world. Her power means nothing compared to Tweety’s ability to tear her down. In the public sphere, his power is greater than hers. That’s what this episode is telling us.

If she loses, we lose.

PS, lest we forget who we’re talking about here:

Here’s the New Narrative: The Media Will Pick Your President

Yup, you have no choice in the matter. You can present issues. They don’t care. You can point to experience. Pfttt! You can compare and contrast. Annnnd?? You can even expose the hollow center of the opposing candidates confection. So?

What are you going to do about it?

They are going to take Obama and Pump Him Up. They’ve already done it. They’ve made his generalties glitter so brightly that people can’t see straight. They can’t think straight. It’s all appeal to the emotions. Just like the Iraq War was an emotional response to terrorism. When it isn’t sexy to associate with the good candidate, no one will want to. And when you are in the midst of rapture from a manufactured movement, it is very hard to not get swept up in it. Everyone is doing it. Even against their best interests. Yeah, a green, substanceless politician with mystery initial backers and a media enhanced charisma is going to get nominated to run the White House and there’s not a thing you can do about it.  They’ve done it before.

In fact, if the media *does* manage to get Obama nominated, they will be even more empowered than they ever were. Because they were finally able to put Hillary Clinton in her grave. They don’t know why they wanted her dead in the first place but that’s not the point. They have been frustrated in their attempts to kill her off. It was maddening. But, oh my droogs, they are sooooo close to doing it they can almost taste it. There will be celebrations all over the Village when it happens and we will probably not have another woman who is brave enough to face that firestorm again in our lifetimes.

Then, they will proceed to butcher Obama. There is going to be no getting around it. The Deval Patrick version 2.0 story will start to take up more of their time. They’ll start to examine his non-record. They will make John McCain look like John Wayne. To be able to pick your president for you is something divinely to be wished for them and they are already writing the scripts. This is the best of all possible worlds. Another triumphant 2008.

They prepared the trap and Democrats fell right into it. Oh, sure Clinton made mistakes but compared to candidates of the past, they were minor. And yes, she could have picked a better campaign manager, that’s true. But John McCain was completely broke a few months ago and suddently he is Tweety’s new man-crush.

So, there you go. That’s the whole truth. The media has decided who the horses will be in this race. Your vote meant nothing. All the campaigning was pointless. Obama was the inevitability candidate and has been since the day he announced. And McCain will be 44 because emotions are so easy to manipulate and the GOP-media complex has had lots of practice. There are only a few big states left for this to be turned around but they are counting on the clock running out. Resistance is useless. You will be assimilated. You wishes and opinions were never important. You will be fighting a huge, unstoppable wave of bad media against your candidate.

Now, what are YOU going to do about it?

I’m Free the Weekend Before the Ohio Primary!

I have no family obligations and nothing on my calendar.  I live 6 hours from Pittsburgh and it’s not far to Ohio from there.  The Confluence points to the Ohio River.  I think it is a sign.

Hmmmm, are there any good bars in Youngstown?

Never Look Back

There are two good reasons for never looking back: 1.)They might be gaining on you. 2.) You can’t do anything about it now.

The only reason you might want to look back is for some retrospective analysis. So, what did we learn last night? We learned that in open primary states, Hillary is vulnerable. She didn’t lose by much among Democrats but it’s very likely that some motivated independents and Republicans crossed over to vote for Obama. And, we learned that Obama was able to finally crack her support. And he did this with the help of the media. Maybe money helped too. But there was one other thing that was missing that gave Obama the edge. And here is where Jane Hamsher comes in.

Back in 2006, I was an avid reader of Jane’s snarky posts about Joe Lieberman. God, I hated the guy. Everything about him was duplicitous. He was a skilled liar, warmonger of the nth degree and backstabbing mole in the Democratic caucus. (Still is) So, when Jane started to focus on the primary and told us more and more about Lamont, I got interested. Because I live in NJ and CT is only a 2 hour drive from here. The she started asking for help during the primary and said there would be a party at Sullivan’s in New Haven after all day canvassing. Well, who am I to turn down a party? So, I jumped in my car that weekend and drove to CT and had a really fun time. I canvassed my ass off though. I mean, the sheets were never ending. It seemed like there were thousands of them. Everytime I returned to headquarters in Middletown, they would say, “Can you do one more district before it gets dark? Great! Here are two more districts. I think Pat said he could go with you. You can take 15 lawn signs and here is another six pack of water. Have fun and we’ll debrief you when you get back.”

Seriously. It was the most organized thing I had ever seen. It was a thing of beauty and there were people from all over the place who had heard Jane’s call who instinctively sensed that CT was the Achilles heel and the best place to strike a blow to get the 2006 elections turned around. I canvassed witn Diana from Ohio and Chris from Massachusetts and Tim from Virginia and someone else from Georgia and it was amazing. It was like “If you ask it, they will come.” And they did and there was much rejoicing at Sullivan’s that night at the tables on the sidewalk with the Kiss Float parked right across the street.

So, what were the factors that lead to the success of the Lamont primary? (For the general, it was going to be tough for him because the Republicans crossed over to vote for Lieberman since their guy never really showed up). There were three things going for Lamont:

  1. A compelling narrative. Jane outlined what was at stake so well that it was easy to see the strategy and be motivated to do something about it.
  2. A community of like minded people. Again, Jane was not affiliated with the Lamont campaign officially so she was able to create a buzz independent of it and in collaboration with many smaller blogs in CT like MyLeftNutmeg. Instead of the Lamont campaign trying to coordinate all of the activities from a central point, the blogs acted as nucleation sites for people interested in the narrative and with time on their hands to help out.
  3. Organization. I swear, the Lamont campaign team was crack or on it. They were relentlessly on task. There wasn’t an inch of either headquarters I visited that wasn’t super efficient. You walked in, you signed the register, they gave you your lists, buttons, stickers, voter registration cards, water bottles and a map and turned you loose in about 5 minutes. They sent people out in groups and it didn’t take long to assemble them. When you got back, it was assembly line fashion where you dropped off your lists, spoke to a campaign staffer about what you saw and heard and picked up a T-Shirt.

Narrative, nucleation and organization. That is what is required to turn this thing around in OH and TX. Obama has been completing the Daou triangle with the media and motivating his base. It’s ironic that even though Daou is Hillary’s internet director, he hasn’t been able to do this. I suspect he’s been held back by other campaign forces. But whatever the problem is, there is a little bit of time left to correct it. There’s no time like the present. Never look back.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Daou triangle, Lambert at Corrente was kind enough to send me an updated version.  Basically, the triangle demonstrates that if you can motivate the grassroots and coordinate the campaign’s message with the media, you will get a synergistic effect that will feed on itself and drive your message out to the public.

daou_triangle.gif