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Laughter: The best medicine (an Open Thread)

Well, I’ve cleaned up after my bleeding ears and was ready for a laugh. Where better to go than the New York Times?

Health Insurers Ease Stance on Pre-Existing Conditions

WASHINGTON —The health insurance industry said Tuesday that it was willing to end the practice of charging higher premiums to sick people if Congress adopted a comprehensive plan that provided coverage to all Americans.

The industry’s flexible position on the issue came as a surprise to lawmakers, and could make it easier to reach an agreement in Congress because it narrows the issues on which insurers are ready to fight the Democrats who control Congress and the White House.

Insurers said they were still staunchly opposed to creation of a new government-run health insurance plan, which, under many Democratic proposals, would compete directly with private insurers.

In effect, insurers said they were willing to discard an element of their longstanding business model, under which insurance policies are priced, in part, on the basis of a person’s medical condition or history.
. . .
Insurers said that they could accept more aggressive regulation of not just their premiums but also their benefits, underwriting practices and other activities. Such strict regulation, they said, would make a new public program unnecessary.
. . .
In November, two weeks after the presidential election, the industry said it could support legislation requiring insurers to accept all applicants, regardless of illness or disability. In return, the industry said, Congress should require all Americans to have coverage.
. . .
However, the two executives said that insurers wanted to retain the right to charge different premiums based on the age, place of residence and family size of subscribers.

Do they think we’re idiots?

  1. They are generously going to stop refusing customers (or charging more) for pre-existing conditions
  2. Congress will require that WE ALL must purchase insurance
  3. They still might charge more depending on how old we are, where we live or how many people we have in our family

And THAT proves we don’t need a public option for health care. . . . .

(Rolling on the floor laughing hysterically)

Feel better now?

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Live Blog: Presidential Prime Time Press Conference

Obama 2008

Should we start calling him “President Prime-Time?” The Prez has been everywhere on TV lately, making questionable “jokes” on Jay Leno, giggling uncontrollably on 60 Minutes, and making one policy announcement after another in his ongoing quest to put Wall Street in full control of the U.S. Treasury and turn American workers into indentured servants. It’s gotten to the point where even the Koolaid-slurping NY Times is questioning whether Obama is a bit overexposed.

Had enough yet? Tune into CNN and you may find President Obama’s latest public town hall meeting. Flip to NBC and you might come across the president yukking it up with Jay Leno. Turn to ESPN, and there he is giving his college basketball picks. Click over to CBS and there he is once again, chatting with Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes.”

Mr. Kroft at one point asked Mr. Obama if he was “punch drunk.” If he was not, a lot of others must be by now.

But the blitz is not over yet. Viewers hoping to escape reality won’t find their reality television at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, since the president will once again command the airwaves with a prime-time news conference, this time on all the major broadcast and cable news networks.

If you can stand it, turn on your TV or watch on your computer as Mr. O tries to convince us that AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Citigroup really aren’t robbing us taxpayers blind and destroying America’s future. Can he do it? I say no. He’s had his Katrina moment, and the bitter gun-toters out here in the provinces aren’t going to buy it.

Riverdaughter always suggests tivoing a program and watching it the first time with the sound off in order to pay attention to body language. I don’t have a Tivo, so I’m going to watch as much of the press conference as I can stand before I hit the mute button. My big question is, will Obama ever look directly at the camera or will he just swing his head back and forth between the two telepromters as usual? Plus, I’m kind of hoping Dear Leader will break into hysterical laughter again.

Please join me in live-blogging whatever Dear Leader reads off his teleprompters tonight. ABC News summarizes the issues that may come up in this latest “dialogue with the American people.”

Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

OBAMA/On a day when Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary, Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner, tax cheat (TTTG,tc) appear before Congress seeking unprecedented power to further loot manipulate regulate the financial industry, including non-banking entities like AIG, the company whose bonuses they’ve been called on the carpet to address, perusal of the day’s news stories, blog posts, and opinion pieces reveals more questions than answers.  Is this the bizarre Obministration Hokey Pokey Bamboozle One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Cha-Cha-Cha it appears to be, or are the Obanomic efforts of the government so far truly on behalf of the people?

Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall wonders if we are living in an “alternate universe” after reading today’s Wall Street Journal article claiming that the Obministration has had a recent change of heart towards Wall Street, itself.  I’m not sure what exactly it is about the Journal’s conclusions that has Marshall’s knickers in a twist, but one of the passages that jumped out at me lead me to believe that the article’s writer is completely full of hooey.  Rather than eschew a close working Wall Street relationship as Monica Langley claims, it seems to me that Barack Obama was bought, paid for and hand-delivered to the White House courtesy of the banksters he now serves.  Though Ms. Langley spends a lot of ink chronicling the many instances where Obacolytes paid lip service to being critical of the “dirty bankers” that financed his campaign and advised his every move during his presidential run, she ignores the obvious fact that he’s been dirty banker pocket lint all along.  Here’s the part that leapt off my page: Continue reading

Tuesday: It’s official. Obama gave the country to the bankers

img_0073He had a choice.  He could have upheld the Constitution with all of the pretty language on promoting the General Welfare or he could take the easy way out and let the private investors have taxpayer funded sweetheart deals to bail out the bankers.  The bankers come out of this relateively unscathed.  The private equity firms profit no matter which way the markets go.  YOU work until you’re 85 or dead, whichever comes first, provided you can find work.  You can hear the gory details in yesterday’s podcast from Planet Money.  No matter how you slice it the taxpayers get left holding the bag.

The only thing left to do is figure out what to do about this.  The Tea Party idea might be good if it weren’t populated by so many Malkinites who think the real problem is government spending on taxpayers, who you would *think* actually deserve to profit from their hard work.  But that’s not the Republican way.  No, the Republican way is to make you think that the people below you are the problem.  It’s always the pecking order for them.

But what about Democrats?  What’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans these days?  Last year, the party traded in its guiding principles for Republican Lite.  Barack Obama is definitely pro-“money class”.  He’s proven that now by Geithner’s plan where the only people to benefit already have money.  We can rage against Congress but they are feckless.  They pretend to care whether billions of taxpayer dollars go to save the lifestyles of the rich and finance.  But where are they where pensions are concerned?  What about our 401K retirement accounts that we were all forced to take instead of a pension?  What about the giant Ponzi scheme?  If Congress doesn’t back up their diatribes with action to rein in the bankers and hold them accountable for the mess they’ve made, we might as well be voting for Republicans.

Meanwhile, the left seems paralyzed.  Those of us who would rally the troops are trying to keep our jobs.  Those on the left who sold out to Obamamania last year seem like bewildered children who discovered something nasty about their parents.  They just can’t believe it.  But it’s worse than that.  Obama has effectively neutralized the left with the left’s help.  His campaign attacked it from within and made it helpless.

A couple of days ago, I stumbled on this interview of Margaret Atwood on Bill Moyer’s Journal.  The topic was religion and government but she could be talking about any group that seeks power for its own sake.  The last five minutes of the interview is the relevant part:

This is something we recognized early on: *WE*, the liberals of the left, were Obama’s opposition because we were supposed to be the closest to him ideologically.  He had to either co-opt us or discredit us and Voile!, no one on the left could stand in his way.  That’s how the PUMAs and others like us became the old, uneducated, working class, menopausal females because who wants to sit at that lunch table?  That’s why we were called racists because we supported the person who was the real progressive, the real change agent.  That’s why we became the “Old Coalition”, as Donna Brazile called us.  We were the heretics of a new religion.  The question is, what do we do about it?  Because if we do not reconstitute the left, all that remains is the right.


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