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The Affordable Care Act is not much of an “accomplishment”

The NYTimes says that Michelle Obama is going to give the first significant (I won’t call it major) speech of the convention tonight. In it, she will be giving her husband’s version of his performance evaluation.  I guess David Axelrod thinks this is smart because any attack on Obama’s record will look like an attack on Michelle.

Let’s just get that out of the way.  I don’t give a rat’s ass what Michelle is wearing.  I can’t stand her accent where it sounds like she has a thick glob of postnasal ooze in the back of her nasal cavity that she has to stopper off with a kegelesque constriction of her uvula.  Michelle Obama chose to give working women the finger when she voluntarily assumed the mantle of stay at home mommy and wife who doesn’t really have an opinion about anything because someone *might* accuse her of being angry, thereby reinforcing the negative cultural stereotypes that keep women from succeeding in the workplace.  No, I judge her by the standards of my local upper middle class suburban environment.  Personally, I find women like her booooooooring as all get out.  That’s as far as my personal feelings for Michelle go.  She has mass and she takes up space and that’s about it.

Now, let’s get on to her husband’s “accomplishments”.

If I were Obama and were to put together a set of SMART goals for my performance evaluation and rate them, it would go something like this (with most important goals at the top):

In the next four years I will:

Goal                                                                          Timeframe                            Accomplished

1.) Improve the economy

– Tighten regulations on the finance industry      2010                                           Partial

– Account for TARP funds                                           2009-2012                               No

– Let Bush Tax Cuts expire                                          2010                                          No

– Prosecute bankers who threaten economy          2010                                           No

– Implement fiscal stimulus plan                              2009                                           Partial (Inadequate)

– Implement jobs program                                          2009                                            No

– Break up dangerously underfunded banks          2010                                             No

– Implement HOLC for Homeowners                     2009                                            No

(Comments: all of the above would have helped to jumpstart the economy and keep funding to social security at a manageable level, while replenishing treasury through tax revenue.)

2.) Health Care Reform

– Launch study of best practices                                2009                                             No

– Propose model based on study                                2009                                              No

– Work with providers to reduce costs                     2009                                             No

– Propose public option for ins co cooperation      2009                                           No

– Prohibit rescission for pre-existing conditions   2009                                            Yes

– Implement individual mandate                               2014                                      Pending

– Subsidize unemployed health care                  2009-2011                                  Finished

– Assure abortion and contraceptive coverage       2009                                      No, partial

3.) End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by 2012

– Begin drawdown of troops in Iraq                       2009                                           Unclear

– Begin drawdown of troops in Afghanistan       2009                                           Unclear

(Comments: Like I said, my brother is serving in Afghanistan and he’s been there a year *starting* in 2011, sooooo, I’d really have to say no to the second item.)

4.) Protect Civil Liberties

– Reinstitute Habeas Corpus                                   2009                                              No

– Close Gitmo                                                               2010                                              No

– Bring enemy combatants to trial                         2010                                             No

– Dismantle DHS                                                       2009                                              No

– Remove DADT                                                         2009                                              2010, 2011

5.) Promote equality and non-discrimination

– Protect gay families from financial hardship  2012                                              No

– Protect LGBT individuals from discrimination 2009-2012                               Mixed

– Lift non-discrimination clause in gov contracts 2012                                         No

– Eliminate the Bush Conscience Rule                 2009                                            Partially

– Protect children of illegal immigrants              2009                                             Unclear

– Defend abortion rights                                          2009-2012                                  No

– Defend Reproductive rights                                 2009-2012                                   Partially

– Ensure non hostile work env for women         2009-2012                                   No

– Promote the Equal Rights Amendment            2009-2012                                   No

(Comments: most of these items were not on his list anyway and female staffers report that the Obama White House should be considered a hostile work environment for women.)

6.) Move towards energy independence

No real plans here

7.) Improve public infrastructure (no real plans)

– Propose public transportation systems         2009-2012

– Encourage use of bicycling where possible      ???

– Invest in scientific research and public access 2009-2012                                Unclear

As Lambert says, “You can’t buff a turd”.  The people scoring this evaluation are not going to listen to excuses.  You wanna know why??  It’s because they’ve been subjected to this procedure at their own workplaces and they know that if you did a crappy job, it will be hard to hide it.  And if management wants to get rid of you, you could do everything right and still not escape the ax.  Of course, if you are a schmoozer who has been knifing your more productive colleagues and kissing the ass of the bonus class, you get a promotion.

That’s just the way it is.  Michelle could be tending her garden tonight for all of the difference her speech will make.

And Krugman’s argument that it could have been worse ignores the fact that half of the party was dragged, kicking and screaming to vote for a guy we didn’t think had the experience to handle the tidal wave of really bad mojo that was heading our way. We turned out to be right. We wanted the OTHER candidate.  You know, the one who did her homework and had all kinds of practical experience and a built in presidential mentor?

But instead of apologizing for screwing up and promising to address our problems, the  Democrats are saying, “Quitcherbitchin’, it could have been worse”. That is not a winning message to the 18000000 of us who are convinced that it could have been a lot better and that Barack Obama is not the best candidate the Democrats could be fielding right now.

The correct metaphor is the one that Katiebird came up with this morning.  The arsonists paid off the fire department to let the building burn to the ground.  They’re going to build something completely different in its place.

36 Responses

  1. All I can say is whatever dress she decides on, its designer better be an American.

    Oscar de la Renta. Humph.

    • The designer is Tracy Reese, a 100% American from way back.

      Unlike Ann Romney, who I’m sorry to say couldn’t be bothered with choosing an American designer for her dress for her speech to the RNC. Typical Republican.
      🙂

      • Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren are also American designers.
        But if Michelle wants to find clothes that fit her frame, she might want to do her shopping in the Netherlands where they actually care whether tall women look good in clothing.
        And anyway, who cares what Michelle is wearing? It’s what comes out of her mouth that counts.

        • And I’m not so sure it’s what comes out of her mouth during a formal speech that matters. Traditionally, Democrats make GREAT speeches.

          What we need is for them to start working the back rooms for policies that improve our lives. Using words effectively when there aren’t any TV Cameras as witness.

          • I don’t know about that Katirebird. I mean, have you read her speech? That’s not a great speech. That’s the sound of a Democrat who desperately doesn’t want you thinking about what went wrong in the past four years. It’s like, “shit happens. Vote for Barry!” There’s barely any acknowledgement that there’s a problem.
            Who is going to be fooled by this?
            BTW, have you seen last night’s DailyShow? I don’t think Jon Stewart is going to let them get away with it.

        • Her speech was mostly formulaic, designed to “humanize” her husband and encourage the Party organization to close ranks around him. But in the process, she provided a bit of real insight into the way her husband thinks about politics:

          I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” – he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above…he knows that we all love our country…and he’s always ready to listen to good ideas…he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets…

          And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here…and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once.

          But eventually we get there, we always do.

          We get there because of folks like my Dad…folks like Barack’s grandmother…men and women who said to themselves, “I may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but maybe my children will…maybe my grandchildren will.”

          Obama’s entire approach to governing flows from this perspective.

          • That’s what I hate about Obama as much as anything. That filthy post-partisanism. That Vichy Collaborationism. And the Black R@yce Card voters will love him for it. He will get 95% OR MORE of the Black R@yce Card vote.

        • As for the importance of what she wears, well, part of the job of being First Lady is serving a model. That aspect of the role is not likely to change any time soon. Appalling, I know, but there it is. So in that capacity, it’s actually relevant which designers you choose to showcase, and who you don’t

          • Er, serving AS a model, I should say. My bad.

          • Um, no. Nobody gave a flying fig what Barbara Bush wore. Or Mamie Eisenhower or Bess Truman or Ladybird Johnson or Pat Nixon.
            A couple of weeks ago, some journalist in Africa asked Hillary about what designers she liked to wear and she said, “Would you ask a man that question?” I don’t think it’s important what women wear or look like. Women who came of age during the 60s-80s did not work hard and gain valuable experience so that someone could judge them on how they look. Maybe that’s reality to YOU but to every woman who has had a professional career, that kind of attitude is extremely offensive, especially in the last four years. We don’t get paid for looking good. We get paid for what we know and can do.

          • Um, no. Nobody gave a flying fig what Barbara Bush wore. Or Mamie Eisenhower or Bess Truman or Ladybird Johnson or Pat Nixon.

            This is a testable hypothesis.

            But from a brief Web search, it would seem that all of them had their own preferred clothing designer(s), and wanted to make their own particular signature fashion statement as First Lady. So somebody must have been paying attention to such things (high society? the top 20%? the foreign press?), otherwise, why bother? If noone else, the choice of designer is importance to the designers themselves, as well as their employees.

            HIllary Clinton was right to call out the journalist. Secretary of State (and any other Cabinet position) is a purely functional position. There’s no fashion, and little if any cultural, aspect to the job. Cabinet officers should be clean and neat in the performance of their public duties, nothing more. When she was First Lady, it was a different story. She had her own preferred designer, Randy Kemper, and because she was consciously trying to remake the role of First Lady, her fashion statement was correspondingly experimental. It drove the fashionistas crazy, occasionally to the point of rage, but the avant-garde always does.

            I don’t think it’s important what women wear or look like. Women who came of age during the 60s-80s did not work hard and gain valuable experience so that someone could judge them on how they look. Maybe that’s reality to YOU but to every woman who has had a professional career, that kind of attitude is extremely offensive, especially in the last four years. We don’t get paid for looking good. We get paid for what we know and can do.

            I’m interested in fashion because I’m interested in culture and art, and their place in society. Fashion is a form of artistic expression, no?

            Your claim about the opinion of women who came of age in the 1960’s-1980’s on fashion and appearance gave me pause. I’d have to think about that more, but provisionally, I would say that you’re on to something. Compared to women who came of age before 1960, and those who came of age after 1990, women who came of age in the 1960’s-1980’s do seem to place much less importance on fashion, and do not want attention drawn to their physical appearance. And not only in a work/professional setting, but in social settings as well. In both settings, it seems to be about know and do, not about look.

  2. The ACA may not be much of an achievement to you, but it’s a damned gravy train for the insurance companies.

    Mission Accomplished!

    • (snort) Ha!

    • Ha! . . indeed. BORomneycare (Baucus-Obama Romneycare) has indeed met its objectives if it is allowed to stand as written. And loyal upper-class servant Roberts pretzelled his logic as much as he had to in order to make sure that BORomneycare, esPECIally the Forced Mandate, was comPLETEly constitutional, thank you very much.

      Several years ago I remember reading a story in the Wall Street Journal about how a major life insurance company was trying to find some way to raise its premiums or something to make up for all the billions of dollars it was going to lose on its investments in all the Bad Securitized Debt paper . . . what Atrios referred to as The Big Shitpile but nicer people would call The Big Chumbucket. And it occurred to me that all the big so-called “health” insurance companies have potentially fatal and lethal exposure to The Big Chumbucket. The Forced Mandate premium streams as per BORomneycare are supposed to keep money coming into Big Insura to cover Big Insura’s losses on all that bad securitised paper. BORomneycare is a stealth-TARP for Big Insura sold under all kinds of false pretenses.

  3. Too bad you’re not there in Charlotte to give the score card to the audience.

  4. Arrg, the MO gushing this morning is just beyond words. Thank-you RD for telling the truth about her and her husband.

    If she is a symbol of feminism, we have all fallen down the rabbit hole.

    • Frankly, her opinions about her husband’s virtues are irrelevant. I’m not planning on marrying the guy. I’m trying to decide whether or not he gets to keep his job. So far, nobody’s given me a reason to re-elect him.

      The country is full of nice men and women who had inspiring family stories and are great parents. Most of them would probably be lousy Presidents, too.

  5. The ACA will be great for America when fully implemented. No lifetime limits, must allow pre-existing conditions, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. You don’t know or care what you are ranting about, as long as it is negative about the Obamas or Dems. You are a common lying Repiglickin’ hypocrite. You and the Bush / Cheneys almost destroyed my nation. You belong to the party of hate and lies because you are wrong on all issues.

    Romney / Ryan will lose big time because they’ve got nothing. Get over it.

  6. About that you can’t buff a turd business. You can, you know, buff a coprolite. We’re just not giving the man enough time. Exactly as the Obots say.

    (How many more days to this election season? I’m losing it.)

    • Several decades ago I was taking a class called Quaternary Paleoecology, and one day during lecture, Professor Benninghof
      mentioned a cave somewhere in the West which had a deposit of dried
      ground sloth dung in it. Well, anyway, a part of the dung deposit had caught fire which showed why we needed an endangered feces law.
      This just brought that back to mind.

  7. “Michelle Obama chose to give working women the finger when she voluntarily assumed the mantle of stay at home mommy and wife who doesn’t really have an opinion about anything because someone *might* accuse her of being angry, thereby reinforcing the negative cultural stereotypes that keep women from succeeding in the workplace. No, I judge her by the standards of my local upper middle class suburban environment. Personally, I find women like her booooooooring as all get out. That’s as far as my personal feelings for Michelle go. She has mass and she takes up space and that’s about it.”

    Wow. I have felt very much in-line with you and your thoughts, but I am sure I won’t be able to tell you how insulting that was.

    I used to have an upper middle class suburban career that was an easy outcome of my MBA. And, then I had a child with a disability. I won’t bother to enumerate every financial and emotional sacrifice we have made to improve her life. I’ve spent the past 8 years being her case manager. I’ve taken her to every relevant therapy you could imagine, and her sisters grew up in waiting rooms. I managed to get her into a private school to assist and address her disability. I also have chaired the board of trustees for a special needs non-profit for the last 4 years. And I’ve raised 2 other children. But, I’m a “stay at home mommy” so now I’m “booooooooring as all get out.”

    I can’t imagine dismissing your life with such disrespect. We are not as alike as I once thought; and your caustic definition of choices different from your own certainly indicate you are not of the “upper middle class” to which you pretend.

    • YOUR situation is very different than Michelle’s. And No, I have no intention of apologizing. She is deliberately thumbing her nose at those of us who work for a living and her reasoning is suspect.

      Yes, stay at home moms are frequently booooooring as all get out to me. Sorry, that’s just the way I feel. I really don’t have much patience for women who use to stay at home motherhood to bludgeon other women over the heads with their smug sense of superiority. Your situation is different.

      • Well, thank you for that. But, I don’t like to think of myself as “different.” I used to work for profit, from a company that made a profit. Now, I work for free, for a non-profit that needs people with business skills. Either way, I’m working but society values one more than the other. But as anyone who is the parent of a child with autism can tell you, that undervalued, dis-respected free labor for the SN schools that exist is like gold. There aren’t enough schools like this, and if there were that would be proof that they don’t need me. Until more people give a damn about these children, I’ll be someone whose labor “doesn’t count” and be easily dismissed as a “stay-at-home mommy.” It smarts, believe me it smarts.

  8. The Oborg have become tiresome. None of them may touch my monkey.

    NOW IS THE TIME ON THE CONFLUENCE WHEN WE DANCE!

    • Did you mean to put a Sprockets video up? Because that looks suspiciously like amine.

      • I don’t see any alkyl- or aryl-substituted ammonia molecules there. :mrgreen:

        Besides, Universal, which owns NBC and hence SNL, clings to dinosaurian notions about keeping its “intellectual property” off YouTube, so I doubt I could have found a Sprockets video anyway.

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