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    • How To Predict If The Shortages Will Be A Priority To Fix
      Covid has not been a priority to fix in many countries for a simple reason: it’s making the rich a lot richer. U.S. Billionaires have seen their wealth increase by 70% during the pandemic. Man, people dying and getting sick and having to buy much more online is good for Billionaires! What a time to be a peon! So, as for the shortages, the question is how muc […]
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Thursday Morning News: Aftermath

For your eschatological pleasure:
Good morning.  This is going to be short as I was up past my bedtime last night.

I’m putting my “podcast for the day” up front.  Gretchen Morgensen, financial reporter for the New York Times, explained the foreclosure debacle to Terry Gross on Fresh Air.  Yeah, yeah, I know Gross is a Kool-Ade drinker.  She still is one of the best interviewers around.  If you get lost in Dakinikat’s posts, you may find Morgensen’s summary easier to digest.

Ruh-Roh, Jon Stewart’s interview of President Obama sounds like it didn’t go so well, er, for Obama.

As example of the president’s supporters being unenthused, on The Daily Show comedian Jon Stewart called President Obama’s legislative agenda timid during an interview with the president set to air this evening.

“Is the difficulty you have here the distance between what you ran on and what you delivered?” Stewart asked. “You ran with such, if I may, audacity, yet legislatively it has felt timid at times. That I am not even sure at times what you want out of a health care bill.”

“Jon I love your show, but this is something where I have a profound disagreement with you,” Obama responded, “This notion that health care was timid – you’ve got 30 million people that will have health insurance because of this.”

At many other times throughout the course of the interview Stewart joked with the president, basically questioning where the mantle of change that the comedian and many Democrats voted for had gone, leaving the president on the defense.

“You ran on very high rhetoric, hope and change and the democrats this year seem to be running on please baby one more chance,” Stewart joked.

Stewart: “so you wouldn’t say you would run next time as a pragmatist? You would not, it wouldn’t be yes we can, given certain conditions.”

“No I think what I would say is yes we can but.” Obama answered to laughter from the crowd,  “but it’s not going to happen overnight.”


Asked the humorist: “What have you done that we don’t know about? Are you planning a surprise party for us, filled with jobs and health care?”

It sounds like Obama bogarted the mike the rest of the time with long, involved answers with multiple prepositional phrases.  He was probably coached to shut Stewart down.

Ayayayayay.  I have to check the DVR.  I find it amazing that the one guy in America who can conduct a serious, hard hitting, hold-them-accountable interview of a major politician is a comedian.  All hail the Jester.

In the aftermath of Obama’s slash and burn march through the Democratic party’s constituent landscape, the coalition he presumably built in 2008 is fracturing.  The New York Times reports that Catholics, women and the poor are fleeing him for the GOP.  Didn’t see that coming.  What was it that Harold Ickes said during the RBC hearing?  Disenfranchising all those votes was “not the best way to start down the path of party unity”?  From the article, Coalition for Obama split by drift to the GOP:

The poll provides a pre-Election Day glimpse of a nation so politically disquieted and disappointed in its current trajectory that 57 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were more willing to take a chance this year on a candidate with little previous political experience. More than a quarter of them said they were even willing to back a candidate who holds some views that “seem extreme.”

Here’s my take: Some of these groups never were firmly in Obama’s camp in the first place.  Some of these voters, the working class, for example,  voted for a Democrat, not Obama specifically.  Some were frightened into it, eg women.  And some were guilted into it lest they be called racists.  And now, they’re so angry at having their issues dismissed in favor of the banks that they’ll vote for  Republicans they like even less.  It’s not just that Obama has been so ineffective for them.  It’s that they could have had someone else.  You know the *other* candidate who won all those huge Democratic states by large margins and whose voters were suppressed?  Yeah, those are the people who are defecting in waves right now.

Here’s another interesting finding that jumped out of the poll:

There was clear opposition to addressing one of the government’s biggest long-term challenges — the growing costs of paying Social Security benefits — by raising the retirement age or reducing benefits for future retirees.

I’d kill the Catfood Commission.  Retirement at 70 is cruel.

Speaking of Social Security, Atrios went to another blogger conference with the White House.  Here’s the question he asked:

Q    Mine is an easy question.  Will you rule out raising the retirement age to 70?

THE PRESIDENT:  We are awaiting a report from the deficit commission, or deficit reduction commission, so I have been adamant about not prejudging their work until we get it.

But I think you can look at the statements that I’ve made in the past, including when I was campaigning for the presidency, that Social Security is something that can be fixed with some modest modifications that don’t impose hardships on beneficiaries who are counting on it.

And so the example that I used during the campaign was an increase in the payroll tax, not an increase — let me scratch that.  Not an increase in the payroll tax but an increase in the income level at which it is excluded.

And so what I’ve been clear about is, is that I’ve got a set of preferences, but I want the commission to go ahead and do its work.  When it issues its report, I’m not automatically going to assume that it’s the right way to do things.  I’ll study it and examine it and see what makes sense.

But I’ve said in the past, I’ll say here now, it doesn’t strike me that a steep hike in the retirement age is in fact the best way to fix Social Security.

So, what I get from this is that Obama doesn’t understand that those of us in our 40s and 50s have been paying extra into the social security system to pay in advance for the benefits we were counting on.  And when the time comes, we have every reason to expect that those funds will be there.  Oh, and retiring at 70 doesn’t strike him as the best way to solve the problem but he wouldn’t absolutely rule it out.

I would like him to absolutely rule it out.  And not touch benefits.  Ok, just get away from the social security issue altogether.  Just don’t even go there.  Just don’t.

Also from Atrios is this:

Big signs popping up around the urban hellhole with pictures of Obama, the 2008 logo/colors, saying “Support Obama. Vote Nov 2nd.”

That could come back to bite you in the aftermath of a big loss for Democrats.

Anglachel wrote another substantial, chewy post on WKJM’s Frustration (WKJM stands for Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall).  She takes on the Stevensonian side of the party that seems to be in control of the party apparatus this cycle.  (I’d LOVE to get her take on Chris Hedges ridiculous piece of revisionist history.  There’s some meaty material to work with there including what looks like a peculiar tendency towards left wing eschatology, although Hedges would probably vigorously deny it.)

About Josh Marshall, Anglachel writes:

What scares Marshall the most is not that Bill might be criticizing Obama, but that Bill’s very presence illustrates all that is missing from the current administration. Comparing the loss of the 1994 mid-terms to the potential loss of the 2010 mid-terms is an attempt to obfuscate causes by mindlessly jabbering about effects.

Yes, Obama came in to office with a hellacious mess on his hands – and a majority in both houses and an electorate screaming for change. He had the political opportunity of a lifetime to transform the fundamental terms of political engagement, just as both FDR and Reagan did. He could have taken on the banks. He could have charged ahead for substantive health care reform. He could have pounded the shit out the failed policies of the Reagan Revolution and pinned the blame for everything on them, and the country would have lapped it up exactly the way they responded to FDR. But he didn’t and now he will play (at best) catch up for the remaining two years.

WKJM is not the only one who is trying to avoid talking about thereasons for party discontent by presenting a half-assed and historically inaccurate picture of the 1994 mid-term election. What he doesn’t seem to get is that because the majority of the nation doesn’t hold the Clintons in contempt the way he and the other Purchased Fellows do, every time he (and others of his ilk) make this comparison, he keeps reminding us about the way Bill never quit, never gave up, never stopped articulating his vision of what the party should be and how he was going to work to achieve that end. And that resulted in retaining the White House in 1996, and gaining back House seats in the next three elections – 1996, 1998, 2000.

Basically, we’re being held hostage by these guys whose fervent belief in Clinton’s betrayal of the party is resistant to any presentation of facts to the contrary or even that the working class seem to still like him in spite of all that the Stevensonians feel Clinton did to them.  Never let ugly facts get in the way of beautiful theories.  That’s not politics.  That’s religion.  It’s based on faith, not reason.

In the aftermath of the healthcare reform act, the benefits seem to be accruing for Republicans this election cycle.  Quelle Surprise.  Have you gotten your bennies package for next year yet?  There goes another whopping chunk of change.

It’s almost as if Obama *wanted* the Republicans to win.

In Senate races, it looks like in the aftermath of Christine O’Donnell’s primary win in Delaware, Pennsylvania voters are turning to Sestak.

And now for something completely different, Melvyn Bragg of  the In Our Time podcast on BBC4 discusses the legends and myths related to The Unicorn.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

And now, the lighter side of emotional self indulgent navel gazing:

100 Responses

  1. Obama keeps talking about “minor” modifications to Social Security – but I am sure that Him and I have very big differences as to what we view as minor – what, with me having that as my only income and he as a millionaire.
    As for wanting to lose, WSJ spits a big, shiny clue – in their headline of the post-election deals the two parties are already making

    • It’s worse than that. Reagan and Greenspan hiked up payroll taxes for us late babyboomers/Gen X’ers in the eighties specifically so we could save extra for our retirement. If we don’t get the money we already stashed away for our retirements, that will be the equivalent of a HUGE tax increase that we were saddled with and that the well off were able to avoid. To add insult to injury, the money was spent on stuff unrelated to social security.
      So, to recap, Reagan pushes the panic button, we all paid more for our retirement so that the very thing they are talking about now would NOT happen and instead, the money is used to pay for wars.
      Do I have that about right? Because, from where I sit, there are a whole lot of people my age who have been had and we are not amused.

      • You have that exactly right!

      • we all paid more for our retirement so that the very thing they are talking about now would NOT happen and instead, the money is used to pay for wars.

        YES! Why don’t they tell the truth, it was US that created the problem it was THEM taking what was not theirs! Remember Al Gore talking about the LOCK BOX FOR SOCIAL SECURITY…it was because when they spend to much they look towards the Social Security Fund to ballance the budget and that is wrong. Why not go after millionaires?

        • It wasn’t US.. OK I need coffee… I fell asleep waiting for someone to come back…

          • It was partly us since a majority of the public wanted the war to begin with. However, Congress and our leaders have done a crappy job explaining to the electorate about the hard and fast choices or for that matter even analyzing choices. We pay them six figures they could be more honest in their dealings with us. Instead because they’re scared of the word tax the can gets kicked down the road.

          • If people want WARS then they should buy WAR BONDS, and CONGRESS SHOULD GIVE UP THEIR RETIREMENT FOT FIGHT THE WARS!

            The FOURTH ESTATE NEEDS TO GET IN GEAR and start covering the issues and the impact that those in power have over us folks out here.

            Why don’t we have a WAR TAX since the darn WARS ARE GOING INTO DECADES?

        • We should revive that: “Social Security Lock Box”.

          Memo to Wall Street: “Don’t raid Our Social Security Lock Box to bail you out of your bad gambles.”

          • Yes, and make people aware of what needs to be addressed and ask these candidates to TAKE A PLEDGE TO KEEP THEIR GRUBBY LITTLE HANDS OFF SOCIAL SECURITY! Get the millionaires to pay for the WARS they want to continue for another decade…and mayber they can sign up to go fight them too!

      • I hope it keeps being pounded home. Congress took the money and now the same government wants to tear up those IOUs. That money was taken with the explicit promise the money would be there for future generations when they retire and now they want to renege because they used it to pay for things like wars and bailouts without explaining to the people that spending that money would mean undermining their future retirements.

        It’s the equivalent of someone borrowing a 20 to buy lunch. Then the borrower offering a bite of a sandwich and declaring that now the borrower and lender are even since the lender got a bite of that sandwich. Nevermind that the 20 was promised to be returned, folks are supposed to be grateful for that one bite.

      • Yes, you have it exactly right. The deal between Reagan and O’Neill was exactly to hike the payroll tax to pay for those facing retirement now. So most of have already paid for our parents’ Social Security, and our own as well. This is the money the Cat Food Commission wants to steal.

        • AMEN! The FOURTH ESTATE has betrayed the country, as we almost need to send the information to WikiLeaks to have the information (about how WE PAID ALREADY and ARE CONTINUING TO PAY) to get any coverage. I am tired of the GOP making us out to be some lazy bums, when the workers of America are the back bone of the economy.

          Also, people like Joe Miller irk me to no end when he belittle’s working folks for collecting unemployment insurance (which I understand his own family collected) and I think back to Reagan, who was belittling peope and said they should first rely on their family, then we all saw little Ronny Reagan standing in the unemployment line when his father was a millionaire (brother can you spare a dime, was more like Father can you spare a couple of thousands) and yet, the Republicans continue to belittle the working folks who are going through tough times.

  2. here’s a fun tweet from Brazile

    Your vote is your voice. Women are key in this election – and they have more at stake than ever – maintaining equal pay for equal work.

    I’ll reply about her asking us to stay home in 2008

  3. The United States has allowed the banks to gobble profits at the expense of the common good. Corporations have a clear advantage over people in our system. We’re out of balance with no solutions in sight. No wonder “57 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were more willing to take a chance this year on a candidate with little previous political experience.” Electing Obama was an example of forgoing accomplishments for promises.

    Voting used to be a patriotic act for me. Now it’s an act of flailing at a long shot for possibly making an iota of difference. I will cast a vote for Sestak and a few others. Hope dies hard.

  4. I just watched Obama’s interview on the Daily Show and it was horrible. I agree with RD that he was probably coached by his handlers to shut down Stewart if he tried to embarrass him. For goodness sake, it’s The Daily Show. If Obama can’t loosen up and joke, then he shouldn’t have went on the show. Obama was extremely uptight. I think he might have even been a bit nervous because otherwise he wouldn’t have take Stewart so seriously. It was like Obama was the third wheel who was the odd man out between Stewart’s jokes and the audience’s laughter. His appearance did not help anyone and only appealed to the most dedicated Obots (a dwindling breed), many of whom have little interest in getting out the vote unless it is for Obama.

    I recommend reading Yves Smith’s thoughts on the Daily Show interview: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/10/obama-no-longer-bothering-to-lie-credibly-claims-financial-crisis-cost-less-than-sl-crisis.html

    • I’m not an Obama fan but I’m gonna half heartedly defend him on this one. If he had joked there would have been even more comparisons to Bush and the wmd program joke type stuff. We live in serious times. In this instance I think he was attempting to reach out to the base who put him in office, particularly the young people demographic(I feel the same way about the stint on mythbusters.)

      That being said, he’s got to be completely clueless if he thinks the activists didn’t notice that he punted health care to Snowe and didn’t even try to bargain for what the base wanted or even what the constituency NEEDED to have. He’s got to be completely out of touch if he doesn’t see that people in the base are rightfully angry about programs like HAMP and the President’s continuous defense of “savvy businessmen” or “crooks”(that’s the term the rest of us know them as.)

      It’s beyond insanity to think you can ignore the plight and needs of the working class people, substitute some words and then all will be well. People aren’t THAT stupid. They want to see results.

      • I didn’t watch that show so I don’t know how the audience reacted to Jon Stewart. I do know that earlier in Obama’s presidency any time Jon made a joke about Obama the audience would turn ugly.

        • Didn’t watch it either. I figure they’ll be clips available with the highlights.

          I’ve been more interested in his meeting with the 5 bloggers from progressiveland and how they greeted what he had to say.

          I do find it interesting that he clearly believes that he can phone it in at the last minute in terms of his accomplishments. The man has much hubris.

      • I didn’t expect slapstick comedy, but it is possible to be both serious and charming. I’ve seen Bill and Hillary be both witty and wonkish with all types of interviewers from comedians to right-wing pundits. You are not supposed to show that the question got to you. And if a politician is confident in what they know and have accomplished, there is room to joke. I guess Obama couldn’t afford to do that since his administration is a total failure in every aspect. So when Stewart asked him serious questions about health care and broken campaign promises, there was no way he’d have a witty answer ready because he was too busy covering up his failure with lies and excuses.

        You can watch the entire interview at HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/obama-daily-show-jon-stewart-interview_n_775102.html
        or at http://www.thedailyshow.com/. It’s currently on the front page.

        • Another thing I’ve noticed in his interviews is that he uses the words “folks” and “stuff” a lot.

          • “And…” “That…” “Ummm….”

            His extemporanous speech is full of disfluencies. It’s difficult for me to listen to him.

            Of course, most will pay more attention to the noverbal aspects of the interview. He looked beaten down and peeved to me.

        • I didn’t watch the show, but both morning tv news and radio talk shows are making sure that everyone will hear that bit where BO says “Yes we can…but.”
          That was a no-strings attached gift to the GOP, right there.
          No wonder he relies on TOTUS.

          • And the line where he responded to Stewart’s question about Larry Summers (ie, why hire the guys who were part of the problem?).

            Obama praised Summers, and then said “heckuva job…..” Audience reacted.

            The One tried to suggest he said it on purpose (wink, plus “pun intended”) , but audience didn’t buy it.

        • Obama isn’t wonkish so I just don’t expect him to perform like Bill or Hill. However, he seems to border on clueless in interviews like these.

          The guy seems seriously perplexed that people aren’t admiring his crappily crafted insurance giveaway.

          I have to repeat my feelings that I had during the W regime. He’s either incompetent or corrupt and neither bodes well for our nation.

        • Dana Milbank has a pretty good review of the appearance of Obama on Daily Show last night.

          I’d agree with disenfranchisedvoter that it was pretty bad. Lost more points than he gained, imho.

    • Thanks for the link to Yves; I actually went back and read it, including comments.

      I think she nailed it: CREDIBILITY GAP.

      Yeah. Americans don’t trust him. Too many bamboozles and okey-dokes.

      Thanks again!

    • Two more reviews of it: catch the line about Summers doing a “heckuva job.”

      Jon Stewart, President Obama debate on ‘The Daily Show’

      On the Daily Show, Obama is the last laugh

      On Comedy Central, the joke was on President Obama Wednesday night.

      The president had come, on the eve of what will almost certainly be the loss of his governing majority, to plead his case before Jon Stewart, gatekeeper of the disillusioned left. But instead of displaying the sizzle that won him an army of youthful supporters two years ago, Obama had a Brownie moment.

      But, as in his MTV appearance a couple of weeks ago, Obama didn’t try to connect with his youthful audience. He was serious and defensive, pointing a finger at his host several times as he quarreled with the premise of a question.


      • Stewart, who struggled to suppress a laugh as Obama defended Summers, turned out to be an able inquisitor on behalf of aggrieved liberals. He spoke for the millions who had been led to believe that Obama was some sort of a messianic figure. Obama has only himself to blame for their letdown. By raising expectations impossibly high, playing the transformational figure to Hillary Clinton’s status-quo drone, he gave his followers an unrealistic hope.

        …”Is the difficulty,” Stewart asked, “that you have here the distance between what you ran on and what you delivered? You ran with such, if I may, audacity…. yet legislatively it has felt timid at times.”

        Stewart had found the sore point between Obama and his base — and Obama was irritable. “Jon, I love your show, but this is something where I have a profound disagreement with you,” he said.

        “My attitude is if we’re making progress, step by step, inch by inch, day by day,” Obama said, “that we are being true to the spirit of that campaign.”

        “You wouldn’t say you’d run this time as a pragmatist? It wouldn’t be, ‘Yes we can, given certain conditions?'”

        “I think what I would say is yes we can, but — ”

        Stewart, and the audience, laughed at the “but.”

        Obama didn’t laugh. “But it’s not going to happen overnight,” he finished.

        Try shouting that slogan at a campaign rally, dude.

        Good critique of a disastrous interview. The joke was most certainly on Obama. You could tell that Obama was uncomfortable, irritable, and at times outright pissed at Stewart for pointing out his faults over the last two years. Obama cannot take criticism well at all. The displeasure was clear on his face.

    • Good article by Yves. I highly recommend.

      There is no reason why those banks could not have been put into bankruptcy receivership and unwound in an orderly fashion. It would not have cost any more than we’ve already spent.

      Which is why I firmly believe that the reason they didn’t was that a) it would come to light how much fraud they’d committed, and b) it was an excuse to formalize an unholy govt/banking partnership and blur the lines between the two going forward.

      From zerohedge yesterday:

      As if there was any doubt before which way the arrow of control, and particularly causality, points in America’s financial system, the following stunner just released from Bloomberg confirms it once and for all. According to Rebecca Christie and Craig Torres, the New York Fed has issued a survey to Primary Dealers, which asks for suggestions on the size of QE2 as well as the time over which it would be completed. It also asks firms how often they anticipate the Fed will re-evaluate the program, and to estimate its ultimate size.


      This also means that the Primary Dealers of America, which include among them such hedge funds as Goldman Sachs, such mortgage frauds as Bank of America, such insolvent foreign banks as Deutsche, RBS, UBS and RBS, and such middle-market excuses for banks as Jefferies, are now in control of US monetary, and as we explain below fiscal, policy.


    • Maybe NotYourSweetie can tweet this to Donna Brazile to let her know, the problem is BIG! NO Single Payer, No Public Option and No Medicare Buy In had consequences for the people that they told they would usher in change for.

      Black voters ‘losing faith’ in Obama

      • Told you they were coming around. The promise land of 35% approval is still a bit far over the horizon, but its coming. And this is the sign of it. The black president is losing black support. Its like a waltz……


        Hillary 2012

      • That’s heartbreaking, really. It makes me so angry — these people had really pinned their hopes on him and he doesn’t give a d@mn.

        • It is, isn’t it? My heart just goes out to that community. It’s very much like Oakland and Richmond here, where I trained and work currently. He is not cutting it, which isn’t surprising to anyone who studied his rise to power, but to the people in the video, it looks like a very rude awakening.

          It is evil, imo, to build up hopes like he did and then do so much to destroy them. He has struck a blow to the faith of the people; I just hope it’s not a mortal blow.

  5. You can go with E. J. Dionne’s wishful thinking or with this article:
    Locally the republicans are animated while Democrats are in a doldrum thanks to Obama, Reid ans Pelosi not doing anything worth while for us.
    toomey will win the Harrisburg, York, Lancaster area of PA.

  6. The Sestak thing bothers me. I haven’t seen him refer to O’Donnell but I saw a Sestak ad that said, basically, that Toomey is radical and said that Palin is a good governor. (WTH? They are both GOP … how stupid do they think voters are?)

    Now I don’t like Toomey, but, I don’t like attacks that are basically “this guy is tied to booga booga scary woman.”

    I will probably still vote for Sestak, but it’s mainly out of faith in Big Dawg at this point.

  7. Regarding foreclosures – Wells Fargo finally admitted
    their flaws. This week they said 55,000 homes in 23 states have flaws, and that they were not going to halt any foreclosure sales.

    People are being ripped off left and right, and their reaction is going to show at the polls.

    • In our experience they went from a responsible bank to predatory in a very short time. It was bizarre what they tried to pull on us…..long prior to the crash.

      It was like they were trying to steal houses in order to soften the blow of the later crash.

  8. Here’s a word cloud I made of Obama’s audience with the access bloggers, with a second word cloud of FDR’s first inaugural for comparison purposes.

    It’s revealing what shows up in Obama’s word cloud (“Republican”) vs. what doesn’t (Democrat), but it’s even more revealing what shows up in FDR’s speech that doesn’t show up in Obama’s (like “helped,” “national,” “leadership,” and “money”).

    Second FDR my sweet Aunt Fanny.

    • That reminds me. My 13yo had to do a research paper on Herbert Hoover. She is very thorough and I benefitted from her research and what I will say now is that I am ashamed that I used to compare BO to Hoover. Hoover was ineffective during the depression, paralyzed by the GOP philosophy of limited government, but he was in his private life a humanitarian and a hard worker. BO is no Hoover.

      • There are presidents who were crappy presidents but still really decent people. Then there are others.

  9. It burns me up that every time he is questioned on healthcare, he trots out this:

    “This notion that health care was timid – you’ve got 30 million people that will have health insurance because of this.”

    No, we won’t. We’ll have 30 million who will have a mandate to buy it or pay a fine, and many will have no wherewithal to actually do either. Which is not the same thing as HAVING it. There’s a difference.

    And we’ll also have hundreds of new alphabet-lettered boards and agencies and functionaries making it all as complicated as possible, and every time a problem comes up (and more will) you’ll just pile more exceptions and workarounds and cutouts on top of this already swiss-cheese plan.

    Gaaah!!! *runs around and pulls her hair out*

    You had the opportunity of a lifetime to prove that govt CAN do something simple and sane, by say, slowly expanding Medicare for all with means testing. And instead you used it to create something that is a caricature of every criticism ever aimed at giant wasteful bureaucracy and unworkable govt programs.

    Jesus Christ, it is too early for me to need a drink!

    • What’s the problem, here? You can just “check the website”!

      • The reason the health care fail burns me up so much is twofold.

        The first is that the program itself is not going to work, and people won’t get care.

        The second is that by doing this monstrosity, they have squandered the once-in-decades good will the People had to tentatively trust the govt to do something right.

        The first is not too hard to correct – you could get rid of this crap and do something that would actually work. But the second? That’s the stickler. The second is going to be a WALL of resistance for a long time to come. And I really don’t blame the people for that. It makes me sad, but I don’t blame them. You cannot simply DEMAND trust from the people. You have to earn it, show them you can do something that works, and then they let you do more. Once you screw that up, the very rational response is “leave me the fuck alone – we were better off before you started tinkering.”

        • That’s the real 11th dimensional chess right there.
          Remember how UHC was blocked when FL Hillary tried to get it through?
          I’m convinced the same actors who blocked it then saw the writing on the wall by 2002 and picked BO to block it now by delivering a travesty of health care “reform”.
          They knew the public was clamoring for health care and they made sure they would be in charge of it.

        • That’s very insightful–your last paragraph, WMCB. The idea of showing them you are competent, then they let you do more struck me as correct. Guess I’d never thought about it that way.

          That’s why a group like this is good–bringing up points in different ways and sharing ideas.

          • That’s what Bill did. He didn’t force. He convinced, and showed people in small concrete ways how it could work. And he showed them that govt didn’t have to be massive and intrusive to do good things.

            You can’t just expect people with jobs and families and worries to hand over their trust because you say so and have a good theory. Bill made people trust govt again.

      • “check the website” always works out so well.

        • Yeah, specially as that website is etched in stone and never changes. Promises made in 2008 will still be there in 2010 for all to see, yessiree. You can take that to the bank!

  10. I’m reading the NY Time Polls, pre election polls this morning.

    “If women choose Republicans over demoracts in the House races on Tuesday, it will be the first time they have done so since polls began tracking the breakdown in 1982.”……………another

    “Nearly 60% of Americans were optimistic about Mr. Obama (note the Mr. not President) next two years in office. Nearly 70% said the econnomic slump is temporary. Half said the economy was where they expected it to be at this point, and less than 10% blamed the current administration for the state of the economy, leaving the onus on former Pres. George
    W. Bush (note Pesident not Mr. Bush) and wall street.”

    How come people aren’t blaming the banks?

    I also noted how the polls use the terms “less affluent, disadvantaged” rather than unemployed and underemployed, sub poverty class. Are they not sure
    how to group the working poor?

    I am reminded of the woman who recently was on the front page of SF paper, saying that child care was cut,
    and that she now has to quit working to care for her children…..I think it is going to be these women who
    will are going to the polls, and rightfully pissed off.

    • Here’s the data that blew me away from that NYT Poll :

      GOP gains 11 points among women in the last month.

      And that’s not from a rightwing source, Dak.

      Women GET it, in terms of household budgets , higher costs for premiums, higher costs in co-pays and deductibles, higher gas & food prices.

      11 points, in one month.

      Heckuva job, Obie.

      • I wonder if some of that is the sexism finally backfiring.

        • One can hope.

        • I wouldn’t be surprised. From the NYT:

          In the case of women — a traditionally Democratic-leaning group that the White House has been courting actively in recent weeks — the shift toward the Republicans was marked in the latest poll, especially when compared with their stated preferences in the last Times/CBS poll, in mid-September.

          Gee, the gender gap was still in the Dems favor until they sent The One out to start talking to those pesky wimminz to herd them in line. Wonder why that is. Could it be that “STFU, you have nowhere else to go and the R’s are slightly scarier than we are” is not a motivating message?


          • You ARE batting your eyelashes while you type, right?

            (definite snark—hell, I didn’t even bat my eyelashes in high school. lol )

      • It’d be cognitive if it weren’t for the fact that the GOP offers nothing in terms of improving women’s household budgets and are partially responsible for those higher premiums, co pays and deductibles. Let’s not play pretend that the GOP would have offered comprehensive coverage and that the plan offered isn’t the Heritage plan offered up when Clinton was attempting to get universal coverage.

        Women are basically rejecting the democrats and in a default world that means embracing their opposition.

        • I think that while there are party faithful on both sides, there is a vast swath of this country, women included, who are protest voting left and right.

          This is just my gut feeling, but there is a sense out there of a lot of people rejecting being herded into the respective party machine camps, and they are screaming; “GIVE US OTHER OPTIONS, BECAUSE WE ARE SICK OF THESE TWO” I get a sense that apart from the true red/blue locksteppers, people are rebelling against the whole restrictive paradigm of the two parties controlling the political discussion in this country to an approved spectrum that feeds the comfy status quo of R’s and D’s. Some of them are rebelling in a direction I don’t agree with (and some aren’t), but it doesn’t make the rebellion any less real.

          • You are so right, WMCB. My vote for governor went to the Republican who probably doesn’t have a chance. That’s my protest vote. I did vote for the Democrat who is running for Congress, but she doesn’t have a chance to defeat the incumbent. The rest of my votes went to people in other parties. To me the incumbents for both parties represent the ruling class, and I see no difference. The middle class is dying, and nobody is offering any solutions. I want universal health care and free public education through college.

        • The Republicans would have offered no plan at all. That would certainly be better than what the Democrats have offered.

          Because of Obama, I may very well drop insurance altogether. I can’t afford his “improvements” (which BTW, aren’t improvements because the insurance companies are cutting benefits in every area that they aren’t mandated to increase, while premiums still increase).

          In my state, the Democrats and Republicans have made it impossible to vote for 3rd parties because of their “top two” primary. Thus, if the Democrats are in power, I vote Republican.

          It. really. doesn’t. matter. who is in power. The sooner old-school Democrats realize that, the better. One plays lip service. So what?

          • Amen, Teresa.

            I can’t AFFORD Obama’s gestures to “help me.”

            Shoulda bought insurance/pharmaceutical stocks for a sure thing years ago. LOL

          • Yeah, I agree.

            The top two primary *seemed* like a good way to let everyone participate in the primary without having to be linked to a party, but it has worked out to where everyone is FORCED to vote D or R – there might have been a independent or green that made it onto the ballot for “dog catcher”.

          • The heck they wouldn’t have. There is no way in God’s green Earth that the health care crisis could be continued to be ignored. Not without consequences to Medicare and Medicaid (which cover a good portion of government spending)They were going to offer plans. They did offer plans. The plans consisted of tort reform and Health Savings Accounts. Additionally they were amenable to cutting Medicaid.

            This idea that they were just going to blithely sit by and do nothing while areas of the budget grew exponentially flies in the face of history.

        • Not really. Women have finally realized that until they say GET OUT, the abusive spouse/president who takes them for granted will continue to do so.

          It’s very freeing, actually. Just rare back and scream Bite Me or Get Out of My Head!!

          You can do it.

          • I don’t need advice thankyouverymuch.

            I won’t be running out of the hands of an abusive spouse into the hands of an axe murderer.

          • Your vote is your vote, cwaltz.

            Mine is mine, thank you very much.

  11. wikileaks FOX news editorial calls for WikiLeaks staff to be assassinated | Rawstory http://bit.ly/dtfAY6

    So, when did FOX NEWS become an Assissination NEWS SQUAD?

    Take Action as if they assassinate the WikiLeaks staff, then WHO is NEXT!?!

  12. D’oh, I sure am glad we included those tax cuts to businesses in the stimulus.


    I hope the geniuses suggesting that we give MORE tax cuts or extend the cuts on the top are reading the news today.

  13. RD, I thought of you when I saw this article… in case any of those laid off scientists you know are willing to relocate. Also property taxes here not as bad as NJ in most towns.

    Novartis doubles plan for Cambridge, Swiss drug company to hire up to 300 more http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2010/10/27/novartis_doubles_plan_for_cambridge/?page=full

  14. I’m always amazed that politicians think they can ‘handle’ Jon Stewart. I’ve heard Stewart speak alot about government and he is very well read and quick. obama, imo, believes he can 11th dimensional chess anyone and he can’t. He’s all rhetoric and no substance. Just wish Stewart and others had seen this when we did.

    • I think Bill does okay against him. Hillary would also do okay.

      It’s just the the brilliant scholar Obama, really isn’t a brilliant scholar….of course, when your arguments are either disingenuous or lies, it’s tough arguing with anyone who has facts and reality on their side.

  15. Just got an email from Al Franken titled “Donor Fatigue” asking to send $$ to Patty Murray. Usually I just delete, but I couldn’t resist responding today. Here it is….

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… you’ve got to be kidding! After all the money I’ve donated to Democratic candidates in 2004, 2006 and 2008 has gone to waste, you don’;t think I’m going to bother throwing good money after bad, do you? The Democratic party is now a disgrace to all the ideals it ever held. I got ZERO back on my investment in you, so in the future if you guys want money, you’ll have to get it from the lobbyists and corporations, whose interests are obviously more important to the Democratic Party (and the Repubs as well) than we citizens.

    “A pox on both your houses!” I no longer care which party governs as you have become indistinguishable except for a few cosmetic cultural issues.

    • Good reply to Franken. I had a call, wanted 15 seconds of my time, and very small donation of $5.00.
      I told him I worked in the cottonfields and couldn’t afford it. Do you know he asked me if I was married, and could he speak to my husband……….I told him my husband is sitting on a sofa out on the porch with a bottle of BUD. He hung up on me, hung up.

    • Honk!

    • If you could see all the ads in Washington State you’d wonder why Murry needs MORE? money.

      She’s flush with cash.

  16. Nice rant!! I noticed in Yves piece that he noted how with Obama everything is PR–actually linked to a piece on it. The problem is that he got away with it in the campaign and, I guess, assumes we fell for it once and will again.

  17. When the taxpayers can loose 40 billion dollars on the AIG bailout, obviously there should be a few billion for Social Security funding. No?

  18. In Our Times with Melvyn Bragg is my favorite Podcast. Thanks for highlighting it.

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