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Blast From The Past

I hate to do this publicly, but I have to disagree with my colleague Kim. Yesterday, she posted a clip from Democratic Mark Penn on Chris Matthews' "Hardball," where he said that President Obama needs an event like the Oklahoma City bombing to "reconnect" with the American people. This has a lot of people upset and angered.

I find myself taking a slightly more analytical approach, and I think Penn was right -- and misunderstood.

The point he seemed to be making is that Obama has succumbed to the most common failings among leftists -- to think of "the masses" as "the masses," and not as individuals. He sees himself as somewhat above the fray, above the unwashed masses, the benevolent overseer who collects from all for the common good and hands out the largesse, making people grateful for their stipend from the benevolent government.

I disagree with one aspect of his premise; he says Obama needs to "reconnect." I don't recall him ever being really "connected;" he never presented himself as one of us, but as an idealized creation of ours come to save us from ourselves. There was always a touch of the exotic and distant about him.

Anyway, I think Penn's premise has some soundness to it. Yes, sometimes it takes some massive crisis to rally the nation to the president, and it can fundamentally transform a presidency.

Penn cited the Oklahoma City bombing as a turning point for President Clinton. I'm not quite sure I'd give that that much credit, but there are plenty of others.

The greatest, of course, has to be 9/11 and President George W. Bush. He wasn't much of a president at that point. He was still bruised from the disputed election that won him the office, the Democratically-controlled Congress was giving him huge pains in the ass, and he was coming across as pretty much a "caretaker" president in the mold of Gerald Ford. 9/11 changed that forever.

Other examples? Lyndon Johnson and the assassination of President Kennedy. Johnson had been an outsider to the Kennedy administration, an old-school pol more comfortable with smoke-filled rooms and back-room deals and all forms of corruption. But Kennedy's assassination put him front and center, and gave him the strength and courage to advance the civil rights movement -- even over the fierce resistance of his own Democratic party.

Pearl Harbor and FDR. The depression was getting worse, there was still tremendous resistance to getting drawn into another European war, and no one really thought of the Japanese as a threat -- or thought of them much at all. But the attack on Pearl Harbor basically saved FDR and this nation.

Teddy Roosevelt and the assassination of President McKinley. TR had been a major pain in the ass to the Republican establishment. He was given the vice-presidency to shut him up and lock him away from the reins of power. But the actions of one lone anarchist nut suddenly put him and his progressive agenda in the driver's seat, leading to a reshaping of the fabric of the entire nation.

Penn's thesis seems to be one I can cheerfully accept -- Obama needs a major event to salvage his presidency, to present him with an opportunity to rally the people to him and redefine himself and his administration.

The problem is, I don't know if he's capable of making that kind of change. I think he's entirely capable of "letting a crisis go to waste" and instead of latching on to such events to improve his positions, choosing to "double down on stupid" and continue on his current failing ways.

He's had several such chances to pivot and rally the people, and he's let them go to waste. The Gulf oil spill could have been one. The Fort Hood shootings were another. The failed terrorist attacks -- the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, and the recent package bombers -- could have been bloodless crises that served to turn things around.

The key here is that Obama is the one who needs these opportunities -- and the wisdom and courage to take them. The American people don't. It's not our job to find reasons to set aside our differences with him, but his job to present us with the reason to come to him.

Because -- and this is the point that a lot of leftists miss -- he's not our boss. We're his boss. We hired him, we pay him, and we can fire him. We are the ones who need to be satisfied. He has to find out what will please us, and demonstrate that not only does he understand it, but can and will provide it.

Right now, he's failing at that. We hired him based on impressive credentials and a dazzling interview, overlooking the flimsy resume' to show what he's done with his credentials and personality. We gave him a 48-month contract. Now we're seeing that he's not so great at actually performing the job we hired him for, and we've given him a very poor 24-month performance review. If he doesn't shape up and start producing, we'll likely fire him when his contract is up.

The one thing we can count on is that there will be more crises between now and then. There will be more opportunities for Obama to wake up and smell the coffee. He's just been handed yet another opportunity, with the "shellacking" he got last Tuesday. We can only hope that this one, which didn't actually involve Americans getting killed, will do what those others failed to do: to convince Obama he's doing it all wrong.

I fear it won't. I fear that Obama will continue to insist that the only problem is that we're just too stupid; we simply can't understand what he's saying, so he's going to keep on trying to explain to us what we just can't seem to grasp. He can't seem to conceive that there are a lot of us who do understand what he's selling -- and we're not interested in buying. That we comprehend his ideas, and reject them.

Then again, I could be wrong. President Obama can finally realize and accept that he's not infallible, that he's not a gift from God to the United States. He could find some way to be a successful president.

Please, let me be wrong.


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Comments (37)

Not only has Barry never co... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Not only has Barry never connected with the American people, but you are correct that he is not capable of doing so.

He holds the public in great disdain. He spends $10M on White House parties in the first year. He splurges on Weygu beef, sushi and caviar while the public stands in lines at food pantries. Now he trots off to a $1B field trip to India, reserving that nation's most expensive hotel (Yes, the whole damn thing, every room, meeting room etc), while Americans are seeing 17%+ real unemployment.

So lib political pundits are now wishing for a terrorist crisis(Yes this was nothing less than and expression of desire for 1000's of Americans to lose their lives for the sake of Barry's image).

That the pundits believe that obama would need such a horrific act to occur speaks volumes of how detached he is and how big of a crisis his supporters believe must happen in order for him to overcome his arrogance and disdain for the American people.

It seems to me that you are... (Below threshold)
Curt J.:

It seems to me that you are missing the point of the criticizm. Certainly presidents are transformed by unexpected crises, but the key thing about those you cite is that they were often not expected and never hoped for. None of those men looked to calamity as a way out of their problems. Even LBJ never said, or would have said: "Damn, my career is in trouble, wouldn't it be great if someone kills Jack."

That's the problem: Penn actually wants 1000's of people to suffer and die to save the political fortunes of a politician he favors. He -- like the man he admires -- is a sociopath. I'm a bit puzzled that this is not obvious to you.

"We hired him based on impr... (Below threshold)

"We hired him based on impressive credentials"


Barry can't "connect", his ego won't let him. As you point out, he's had several opportunities and blown them.

5,000 Americans could die in a terrorist attack and all we'd get from Barry is a pedantic speech on tolerance.

The number of KIA in Afghanistan continues to rise. Barry said "this is the battle we have to fight!". Has Barry taken time out from his golf game to meet with the families of these fallen soldiers?

Events are what you make of them. And Barry is woefully wanting.

You are correct. Obama has ... (Below threshold)

You are correct. Obama has already had unexpected events that could have enhanced his standing. You appropriately cite the Deepwater Horizon explosion and its aftermath as well as the Ft Hood shooting. I believe that based on his responses to these events Obama does not generate much trust to handle the unexpected. Penn's statement as well as the Kerrey proposal for a COO to assist Obama in governing are just two more in a long line of examples of the next person in line trying to make excuses for Obama's incompetence. Thank you but I don't think we need an even larger disaster to see if he finally gets it. Too risky. You know, if Obama had the self awareness of a mature, well-adjusted adult this incessant excuse making should at some point become a personal embarrassment for him.

Sorry to say aside from lig... (Below threshold)

Sorry to say aside from light speed impeachment we are stuck with dumbo for 2 more years.

If an Oklahoma event happens Sotero will blame the previous administration for it, then use it to stay in office. He's so damn arrogant.

Narcissist in Chief pretty ... (Below threshold)

Narcissist in Chief pretty much sums up why he is never going to be a Presidential President. Even Doonsbury's attempts to deflect attention by bringing back ol' invisible W can't distract from the 90 pound weakling in the Oval Office.

HE is the crisis.... (Below threshold)
David Spenced:

HE is the crisis.

While Penn's premise may be... (Below threshold)
jim m:

While Penn's premise may be that obama needs a disaster through which to connect to the American public, it is perhaps a measure of how disconnected he is from that public that people perceive the message that not only does he need such an event, but that he (or clearly at least his supporters) desires such an event.

That being said I think you are being too charitable, Jay. When someone who is a strong supporter says that "obama needs this to happen to save his presidency" that person is indeed saying that they want it to happen.

Look at the evidence:

1) He is an obama supporter
2) He wants obama to succeed as President and wants him reelected.
3) He says that what obama needs is for a huge tragedy to be inflicted upon the American public so obama can "reconnect" with them emotionally.

Given those circumstances the only reasonable conclusion is that he would want the thing to happen that he says obama needs to be successful. No amount of wishing it were otherwise changes that fact. The very fact that he would conceive of this thing is suggestive that he hopes it comes to pass.

Leave Barry alone guys, Lik... (Below threshold)

Leave Barry alone guys, Like I said on another thread, He's doing the best he can.

jim m:Just like an... (Below threshold)

jim m:

Just like another dim bulb of the intellectual elite effusing "just think what we could accomplish in one day if we were like China!"

Obama already had two such ... (Below threshold)

Obama already had two such events thrust at him and he failed miserably. The Fort Hood Muslim killing of unarmed soldiers and the BP oil spill. Both events proved his inability to lead. God help us if a huge casualty event takes place. ww

God help us cause Barry won... (Below threshold)

God help us cause Barry wont.

He's had several such ch... (Below threshold)

He's had several such chances to pivot and rally the people, and he's let them go to waste. The Gulf oil spill could have been one. The Fort Hood shootings were another. The failed terrorist attacks -- the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, and the recent package bombers -- could have been bloodless crises that served to turn things around.

So basically you fault Obama for not whipping up hysterical fear, taking pointless actions and issuing orders, making crises look bigger than they were, for political reasons. O-tayyyy.

We know that Bush was good at flailing around uselessly, having the threat level raised and starting pointless wars while letting Bin Laden escape, I guess that's your model of "leadership."

What I fault Obama for is not having some Wall Street fraudsters' heads on on some Federal prosecutors' pikes.

Obama gave them all a pass to commit massive securities frauds, for that he deserves defeat.

The problem is that the GOP will probably nominate someone worse, Sarah "nincompoop" Palin.

Gary Johnson in 2012!

The country is crumbling, w... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The country is crumbling, will only get worse and be further behind with the GOP in control of Congress and Republican sympathisers like Jay and smug fools like Penn look for a John Wayne/ George W. Bush character, to emerge from what Bush called several times the ' 9/11 opportunity, the opportunity which he used to invade Iraq, which led to a million casualties. Great? How did that turn out? and it cost the US three trillion dollars and contributed to our enormous national debt.
Baghdad is off the front pages (in the US) but the bloody reality continue long after Bush has gone.

It was among the fiercest assaults on the capital since the United States invaded in 2003, and one that tore across divisions of sect and class. The explosions -- devastating car bombs and roadside blasts -- struck the huge Shiite enclave of Sadr City, a Sunni mosque, public squares, a crowded restaurant in the north of Baghdad and middle-class shopping districts.

But as long as he got a spike in the polls, all those innocent deaths were worth it. I hope Obama doesn't play that game.

Steve,Federal defi... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Federal deficits:
1.4 Trillion last year 1.2 trillion this year. Compare that to 126 billion under Bush.

So what exactly are we falling behind on with he GOP? Are we falling behind in spending the country into poverty? Then by all means let's go! I have no interest in monetizing the debt like obama is doing. I have no interest in courting the risk of hyperinflation like obama is doing.

I will gladly forgo those things. I'm sorry that you feel that we are all missing out.

the opportunity wh... (Below threshold)
the opportunity which he used to invade Iraq, which led to a million casualties. Great? How did that turn out? and it cost the US three trillion dollars and contributed to our enormous national debt.

Steve the CBO seems to disagree with you. In a recent report, the CBO estimates that the total cost of the Iraq War from 2003 to 2010 was $709 Billion. See page 15 of this report from the CBO.

By the way, according to the CBO the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (i.e. Obama's Stimulus Package) will cost $787 Billion.

The only thing worse then r... (Below threshold)

The only thing worse then responding to crickless is acknowledging the bigger fool that posted right before him.

I'm using projections or ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I'm using projections or guess estimates from The Three Trillion Dollar War: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Economist Linda Bilmes on the True Cost of the US Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

From a February NPR February 2008 interview:
Question: Joseph Stiglitz, how did you come up with that price tag, $3 trillion?


Well, the way you approach this problem is basically adding. You begin with the budgetary numbers. But what they claim as the cost of the Iraq war in the budget is not the full cost. There are the operational costs that everybody understands, but then there are costs hidden elsewhere in the defense budget. But then there are really some very big costs hidden elsewhere, like contractors that have been the subject of such concern. We pay their insurance through the Labor Department.

But the most important cost, budgetary cost, that we haven't talked about publicly, that haven't been talked about, are the costs of veterans--their disability, veterans' healthcare--that will total hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decades. This war has had a huge number of injuries, and that will mount, the cost of caring for them, disability. 39 percent of the people fighting, the 1.6 million who have already fought, and if we continue, it will of course be more than that, are estimated will be--wind up with some form of disability.

Then you go beyond that budgetary cost to the cost of the economy. For instance, when somebody gets disabled, the disability pay is just a fraction of what the loss to their family, to the income that they could have otherwise earned. And then you go beyond that to the macroeconomic cost--the fact that the war has been associated with an increasing price of oil. We're spending money on oil exports, Saudi Arabia, other oil-exporting countries. It's money that's not being spent here at home. There are a whole set of macroeconomic costs, which have depressed the economy. What's happened is, to offset those costs, the Federal Reserve has flooded the economy with liquidity, looked the other way when you needed tighter regulation, and that's what led to the housing bubble, the consumption boom. And we were living off of borrowed money. The war was totally financed by deficits. And eventually, a day of reckoning had to come, and now it's come.

Now Obama's larger deficit, particulary because of the Stimulus Package was in response to the recession and the lack of private demand for goods and services.
Bush will claim his deficits were in reponse part to the Clinton recession and 9/11 ,not the Bush tax cuts for the rich- and so it goes
Amazingly how the Pentagon can never lose. Hey as long as financial sacrifice is not part of the equation..the debt will accumulate. Even the tea party doesn't want to talk about medicare cuts, except to repeal them, social security-just a few tweaks at the edges and the pentagon is exempt- the chances are greater there will be more conflict if the GOP with the tea party rump get into power, certainly more sabre rattling and the financial consequences, with possibly, a war with Iran.

Steve you are quite conveni... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Steve you are quite conveniently conflating actual cost with opportunity cost. obama has spent trillions and plans to spend many more trillions of real money. You cite a study that inflated the cost of war by estimating what wounded and killed soldiers would have otherwise been able to contribute. This is not a cost in the sense that everyone else is using the word here. You are being dishonest in your argument, but that is nothing new really.

Yes there is an opportunity cost to a war. We forgo the opportunity for these men and women to live full productive lives. As a society we have chosen to invest in our government the authority to determine whether that opportunity cost is worth the conflicts we engage in. It doesn't always work out the way planned. But what would you have the nation do otherwise? Surrender to every enemy? My guess is that you would. But n reality you would agree with every conflict a dem got us into and disagree with every conflict a republican got us into.

"Bush will claim his defici... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Bush will claim his deficits were in reponse part to the Clinton recession and 9/11 ,not the Bush tax cuts for the rich- and so it goes
Amazingly how the Pentagon can never lose. Hey as long as financial sacrifice is not part of the equation..the debt will accumulate. "

Bush's deficits were the result of government greed (yes including the GOP) and not his tax cuts.

Let's look at revenues under Bush:

2001 - 1,991.4
2002 - 1,853.4
2003 - 1,782.5
2004 - 1,880.3
2005 - 2,153.9
2006 - 2,407.3
2007 - 2,568.2
2008 - 2,524.3

So revenue grew after the tax cuts. Who knew?

GDP growth rate before the tax cut 1.7% after 4.1%

S&P500 before -18.3% after 31.5%

Jobs gained/lost before -267,000 after 307,000

The fact is that spending increased from 18.4% of GDP to 20.2%. THAT is what drove the deficits, not the tax cuts.

Lastly, If the Bush tax cuts were "tax cuts for the rich" then please explain this:

The share paid by the top 20% of earners went up from 66.6% in 2000 to 67.1% in 2004, while the bottom 40%'s share dipped from 5.9% to 5.4%. So the Bush tax cuts actually made he rich pay MORE of the total Federal tax revenues not less. The Bush tax cuts actually made the poor pay LESS of the total Federal revenue not more.

So by all means screw the poor by "raising taxes on the rich". That's what the dems do best. Lie to the poor by telling them they are helping while blundering into uneducated policies that actually keep them poor and uneducated.

Certainly Vietnam was a Dem... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Certainly Vietnam was a Democratic war initiated by JFK and escalated by LBJ..though there were Awerican advisors going back to Eisenhower.. I was against Viietnam but I don't want to relive Iraq, it pains me..enough talk about it.

About Obama connecting, bringing up war may be relevant. Obama through his decision to launch a large number of drone attacks in Afghanistan (more than Bush) has resulted in over 600 innocent civilian casualties, including scores of children dying-manly through mistakes or overly aggreesive atacks on wedding parties and so on) so Obama in order to survive with that on his conscience, has to be a little disconnected, desensitized. If they have too much emotion, politicians like most people go to pieces. Look at Boehner the other night choking up or the dazed look in Bush, immediately after hearing about 9-11. Obama would be ripped to shreds by the right, if he did either of those things. You remember all that nonsense from Hillary about being calm during the 3:00am momment or Muskie 'crying in the snow' or the Dean howl.

If he wasn't a little detached, Obama would be suffering terribly about the childrens' deaths from the drone atacks which he personally authorized, so it may be apparent that he is not feeling the pain of Americans suffering through a 9.6% unemployment rate as opposed to let us say a more normal 7.6% unemployment rate. I recall he refused to issue one word of condolence to what was going in in Gaza..you know as a human being, as the President-elect again when hunderds of Gaza children suffered horrible deaths from the Israeli bombings. The GOP loved him for his detachment then.

Obama sees himself as succe... (Below threshold)

Obama sees himself as successful. He is in India now celebrating his rape of the U.S. treasury and ruin of health care to come. He has engineered the midterm fiasco for Dems in order to blame Republicans for the carnage coming in the next two years as a result of his economic policy. His appointed Czars and department heads will enact much of his marxist agenda without consent from Congress, who will be blamed for this too. All is going according to plan, I think.
Obama realize he is not GOD's gift to us and change? Don't hold your breath.

"hunderds of Gaza children ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"hunderds of Gaza children suffered horrible deaths from the Israeli bombings."

Huh? What bombings? Did I miss the strategic bombing of Gaza by Israel?

Steve, while you are indulging in your Antisemitism you might take some time to look at a map and discover that Gaza has a border with Egypt. Yes that is Egypt, who has sealed that border for their own protection to keep the terrorists out of their country and the same Egypt that prevent food and other aid from crossing that border. Don't bother exercising yourself to criticize Egypt in the same way that you do Israel and the US.

THe detachment in question here is obama's insensitivity to the plight of Americans who are seeing their careers and savings destroyed by his historically illiterate and economically ignorant policies. He clearly doesn't care about how Americans live with Michelle jetting off to Spain and himself spending a cool billion for one week in India.

American's suffering does not impinge upon his consciousness. His answer to them is that they simply haven't shared their wealth sufficiently. They need to have more "skin in the game". Nobody cares if he cares about people in Gaza or Afghanistan. In fact if he does care about them it would be a demonstration that he cares more for them than he does for the people of his own country.

Also I noticed that you avoided addressing the facts and data of my last post. Hard to deal with facts in your "reality based" community isn't it?

Government Revenues went u... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Government Revenues went up because there was so much borrowing, easy credit, cheap money issued by the Feds with low interest rates going round, it was a housing, construction and financial bubble that collapsed in 2008. Much of it was not real lasting growth, but creative accounting covering up losses on the books. -an updated Liar's poker- And the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs except for defense with inflated government contracts and subsidies, has put us in worse shape.

Over the past 10 years, the private sector has generated roughly 1.1 million additional jobs, or about 100K per year. The public sector created about 2.4 million jobs.

But even that gives the private sector too much credit. Remember that the private sector includes health care, social assistance, and education, all areas which receive a lot of government support.

Most of the industries which had positive job growth over the past ten years were in the HealthEdGov sector. In fact, financial job growth was nearly nonexistent once we take out the health insurers.

Conservatives love military Keynesian economics but not his General Theory.

Wea are getting far afield ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Wea are getting far afield but..."hunderds of Gaza children suffered horrible deaths from the Israeli bombings."

Huh? What bombings? Did I miss the strategic bombing of Gaza by Israel

Hundreds dead, injured in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue
I'm not anti semitic but i am anti killing innocent children, Don"t you recall the UN school shelter in which about 40 children were killed. Even the Israeli military later condemned its own actions..

Next thing you will be telling me CNN is antisemitic? Don't worry Obama's empathy doesn't extend to Gaza Palestianian kids

The whole of the recession ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The whole of the recession was not caused merely by the housing bubble. The automakers weren't going belly up because because there was easy credit for mortgages.

Government revenue went up because money was available for investment. Federal revenue went up under Reagan as well after he cut the top tax brackets. Are you telling me that easy credit (interest rates were significantly higher back then) was responsible for that revenue generation?

Federal revenue is not a function of tax rates. It is a function of economic growth. Increasing taxation can be a disincentive to economic growth and investment. Decreasing taxation can spur investment and growth. And yes, you can decrease taxes too far and get diminishing returns, however, since the US has the highest corporate tax rates in the world I don't think that we are in any danger of doing that anytime soon.

Obama is certainly far from... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Obama is certainly far from perfect, but remember John McCain's chief economic advisor, whom MCCain called "a economic genuis" Well. Gramm's response to the recession in the summer of 2008 when things were bad as well, was to suck it up Americans.

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession"

We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline".

What if Obama had said this? I expect Gramm is a tea partier now and in the GOP Hall of Fame as one if not the chief architect of Wall Street deregulation,when he was a senator from Texas (R).

US corporate tax rates with... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

US corporate tax rates with all the write offs are just a little above average for most western industrial countries aren't they?

a liberal blog's response , `The Gap Between Statutory and Real Corporate Tax Rates'

You can ignore the fact tha... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You can ignore the fact that our tax rates are discouraging investment and job creation in the US all you want it does not change the fact that our high tax rates are doing just that.

Libs like to play the class warfare card with taxes but in reality those taxes just hurt the employee and the consumer. Taxes reduce investment and thus reduce job creation and they are passed through to the consumer so corporate taxes amount to nothing more than an indirect tax on the public.

Yes there are ways to reduce your corporate tax burden, but your argument assumes that the same is not also possible in other countries.

And stop changing the subject. I pointed out that reducing taxes spurs economic growth. I pointed out that the Bush tax cuts actually resulted in the top 20% of wage earners paying MORE of Federal Revenues. I pointed out that the dem model of taxation actually increases the burdens on the poor while demagoguing the issue to make it look like they are helping the poor when they are really hurting them.

You address none of that. You do not address the issue of economic investment. You shrug off the issue of corporate tax rates despite the fact that companies are fleeing our shores and investing overseas.

jim m you should convince ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

jim m you should convince economists of this not me. Obama seems to use I agree a ludicrous figure for the revenue lost- but economists seem to think the US will lose a considerable amount of tax revenue for the next ten years, and the rich don't put their savings proportionally back in the economy. -they salt most of it way= I'm going home soon so I finished looking up authorities, studiesm but this a key question, obviously. I believe our politicians are going to punt on this topic of the Bush tax cuts for another year. I suppose if I were rich i would be more concerned.

I agree British 60-80ish % type tax rates are ridiculous and there seems a lot of vested class interests on both sides of the debate but financial sector bonuses are so high and widespread the rich,in general, unless they have very poor accountants are doing very well. Bush tax cuts or not!

Small business owners under pre or post obama healthcare plan benefits should get a lot of relief, even big busineeses, why should they being bearing the healthcare insurance costs of people they are offering jobs too-never made sense to me which is why I'm in favor of a basic but not rich program of medicaid for everyone, including the undeserving or undeserving poor.there should be no need to register for it.

"Small business owners unde... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Small business owners under pre or post obama healthcare plan benefits should get a lot of relief, "

How so? Because it will be cheaper to drop health coverage and push people on a crappy nationalized plan? That sucks. National health care has produced poorer patient outcomes in every nation it has been tried. In Britain they decry their system as "third world". That is the health care libs want for everyone. It is the same healthcare that cost Liam Neeson's wife her life. Nameless bureaucrats decided that helicopters were not as efficient as airplanes on a per mile basis so there was no helicopter to take her to someplace to get proper treatment. But anyone could have figured out that helicopters make shorter trips and since most fuel is used in takeoff and landing the per mile fuel usage would be greater. But the benefit of a helicopter is far greater.

Nationalized healthcare sucks. Period. No nation has ever found a perfect system, but in the US people can still get treated even without insurance. Few people with serious illnesses do not get treated. Cancer survival for diseases like prostate cancer actually exceeds the rate of insurance coverage.

And while you are promoting medicaid, obama is cutting its budget to the core. Medicaid pays less than 50 cents on the dollar for care. Many urban hospitals have put their ER's on permanent bypass to avoid getting patients via ambulance because they cannot afford to treat them. Hospitals are going out of business because medicare and medicaid do not cover the actual costs.

What libs like you need to realize is that when obama says he's going to reduce the cost of healthcare he is really saying that he is going to pay less for it. He is doing absolutely nothing to reduce costs. He is creating a recipe for reduced care and reduced quality and reduced access. He is expecting to pay less and get the same or at least he is teaching the public to expect that. And if you expect the economy to recover when he has taken 1/6th of it and promised to shrink it I think you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Hundreds dead, injured i... (Below threshold)

Hundreds dead, injured in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue
I'm not anti semitic but i am anti killing innocent children, Don"t you recall the UN school shelter in which about 40 children were killed. Even the Israeli military later condemned its own actions..

Then, perhaps, the Palestinians shouldn't put their military targets so near things like schools, hospitals, private homes, and the like.

Go read your Geneva Conventions, Steve. Protected sites lose their protection when they are militarized -- such as when the Palestinians set up a mortar literally feet from a school. From that point, any and all casualties that ensue are NOT the responsibility of the attacker.

Folks, sorry to play along with Steve's "hey, look over there" game, but certain... inaccuracies and misstatements need to be addressed.


Folks, sorry to pl... (Below threshold)
Folks, sorry to play along with Steve's "hey, look over there" game, but certain... inaccuracies and misstatements need to be addressed.

Where to begin and where to end?

Jay, you are always towing... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, you are always towing the police/ military line whether British, American, or Israeli? Aren't you sceptical by now of their pr releases and official aims? I prefer to look at the evidence on the ground. And like many others, I believe, the Israeli IDF deliberately targeted GAZA civilians :schools, hospitals. clinics.

There is, however, no shortage of evidence available that points to rather different Israeli aims.(not just military) Estimates for the proportion of civilian deaths among the 1,360 Palestinians killed range from more than half to two-thirds. Politicians, diplomats and journalists are by and large shying away from the obvious, namely that Israel has been deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians and the very infrastructure of normal life, in order to - in the best colonial style - teach the natives a lesson.
Without a peep from Obama and a nod and wink from Bush and Rice. Of course, there was little if no any comment on the Goldstone Report in the US,-why is that? quite a lot in Britain. Israel wouldn't cooperate, but it was given extensive attention and debate pro and con.

Jim m..in <a href="http://a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jim m..in the debate about Natasha Richardson's untimely death. She made a mistake in not going to the local hospital immediately...She waited until she wasn't feeling well. She refused to take a ambulance until it was too late. Whether a medical-helicopter would have saved her is questionable?

Yes healthcare is expensive. The issue is so complicated with all sorts of unintended consequences it should be opened up, again.

Steve, your problem here is... (Below threshold)

Steve, your problem here is you've bought into a level of falsehoods at such a fundamental level, you don't even realize it. And you keep repeating those lies without realizing you're spreading lies.

Note that I'm not calling you a liar. Unlike your former colleague, I recognize that a key component of lying is knowing that you're speaking falsehoods. And I don't think you are doing that here.

Here are four questions that will crystallize the problem here:

1) What is a Palestinian "civilian?"

B) What is an Israeli "civilian?"

III) What is a Palestinian "combatant?"

d) What is an Israeli "combatant?"

The narrative you've bought in to defines pretty much every single Palestinian as a "civilian," as they don't tend to wear distinctive uniforms and belong to an organized military force. Conversely, since Israel has pretty much universal conscription, every Israeli is a member of the military -- past, present, or future.

So you end up with a situation where every single Palestinian killed is a "civilian," while every single Israeli is a legitimate target.

That's an utterly immoral and intolerable perception, and it seems to be one you've bought into.

Screw the definitions of "civilians" when you look at Palestinian casualties, and look at the demographics. If Israel was just going after civilians as we define them, you'd see a fairly even distribution among ages and sexes. Instead, the numbers of males ages 18-39 is so grossly disproportionate that it can not be a coincidence.

Plus, if you look at the video in my other article, you'll see Palestinians deliberately using children to carry out their attacks, while adults stand around and film it. They sent children armed with stones charging into moving cars that have no time to stop or dodge them, guaranteeing the children will be hit -- just to get propaganda videos.

Now, of course, had those children been killed, they'd have been listed as "innocent victims" of Israeli aggression. More children killed by the Jews.

Here's where I stand, Steve: against people who send children armed with rocks to attack speeding cars and deliberately get run down. Against those who send suicide bombers into gatherings of civilians.

Feel free to join me. Or stand with the inhuman monsters who hate Israel and America and England more than they love their children.


Jay, I didn't join the othe... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, I didn't join the other thread, because if I was settler being stoned I would get the hell out of there as quickly as possible too, and he did stop for a moment after he struck the boy, just before he was going to get stoned, self-defense. I don't know about enlisting children armed with stones, normally they are youths.

The militant mainly Hamas insurgents can hardly wear uniforms. Isn't Gaza forbidden to have a army so it is asymmetrical warfare; that is a given. It is the same dilemma in Iraq and Afghanistan and roughly the same debate using waterboarding and torture. If a CIA operative plain clothes is captured by enemy do we talk about Geneva Conventions? Seems to me, CIA operatives, guerillas, even terrorists are prisoners of war and should be afforded some protection.
Sure there is a lot of Palestinian hate, but much of that is affecting the IDF. Because it is conscription, there is quite a mixture of reactions in the brigades of the IDF and their controversal campaign in Gaza. As in Vietnam with conscription /the draft, some soldiers are coming forward mostly anonymously-no John Kerrys here, Breaking the Silence'. I'm not talking about blanket bombing, but I am talking more than just fog of war casualties.

Suicide bombings (the intifada,) are despicable, no wonder they have been stopped, so maybe there is glimmer of hope one day that both sides can improve?






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