Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 21, 2011

OBAMA MAKES IT PLAIN AT FACEBOOK TOWNHALL.... President Obama, for whatever reason, hasn't done a lot of town-hall events in recent months, and that was probably a mistake. He's done two this week, and it's offered us a reminder that when the president steps away from a podium and has conversations with people, Obama's actually pretty good at this stuff.

In fact, free from a formal script, the president also seems more inclined to speak his mind in a less-guarded way.

President Obama on Wednesday opened a Western front in his war against House Republicans' budget, telling an appreciative audience at Facebook headquarters here that the plan is radical, short-sighted and would reduce annual federal deficits at the expense of the nation's poor and powerless.

In a town-hall-style forum with the 26-year-old Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, Mr. Obama seized on a question about the House-passed budget to mount a long, withering indictment. The questioner, an employee of the social networking company, noted that some news media accounts suggested that the sponsor of the Republican budget, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, is "bold and brave" for proposing the deep spending cuts.

"The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical," Mr. Obama said. "And I wouldn't call it particularly courageous." He added: "I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere. I think he's a patriot. I think he wants to solve a real problem, which is our long-term deficit. But I think that what he and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way."

"Nothing is easier," Mr. Obama said, "than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless and don't have lobbyists or don't have clout."

In case you're curious -- I know I was -- the president had not previously used the word "radical" when describing the Republican House budget plan. He'd been deeply critical, both in last week's speech and at the town-hall event in Virginia, but Obama was even more candid yesterday.

I mention this, not only because I like and agree with the accurate rhetoric, but also because it suggests the president has been unfazed by Republican and media criticism. For much of the last week, the message has been that Obama has been "too mean" in response to the GOP agenda, and should be more conciliatory to avoid hurting Republicans' feelings.

If yesterday was any indication, the president isn't especially concerned with conservative sensibilities. Indeed, referring specifically to the Ryan agenda, Obama added, "[W]hat his budget proposal does is not only hold income tax flat, he actually wants to further reduce taxes for the wealthy, further reduce taxes for corporations, not pay for those, and in order to make his numbers work, cut 70 percent out of our clean energy budget, cut 25 percent out of our education budget, cut transportation budgets by a third. I guess you could call that bold. I would call it shortsighted. "

If you missed yesterday's event, the transcript is well worth reading. Pay particular attention to Obama's talk about how the debt issue became a problem, his vision on immigration and energy, his reemphasis on protecting Medicare from far-right privatization efforts, and his calls for Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthy.

I don't know how much of the public sees events like these, and what kind of reach the message has, but the more the president participates in these discussions, the better.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Yup, he made it pretty plain.

I also like that he used the terms 'radical'a and 'shortsighted.'

Maybe he's back on track.
Now, let's see what he does.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 21, 2011 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

All true, and irrelevant. For today's low information voter, the trump card is Gas Prices, and its red-headed stepchild, Jobs.
-That any President can control them is also irrelevant.

Posted by: DAY on April 21, 2011 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ryan is sincerely ridiculous and a patriotic authoritarian fascist.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on April 21, 2011 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Ryan is a lemming of the rich. They have made him the Pied Piper charged to flute the poor and stupid off the cliff of, "Their Own Best Self Interests".

I think Lincoln now-a-days could have added to his famous retort: "You can fool all of the people all of the time" if you substitute the word "Republicans" for the word "people". Truly nauseating on many, many levels...

Posted by: Stevio on April 21, 2011 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Yep, Obama is back . . . in campaign mode. He'll spend the next year and a half convincing us that he truly understands the problems facing America -- though this time I bet he will go out of his way to avoid saying he'll do anything specific that people can point to later. Then after he's elected he'll work to make sure that nothing substantial is done about any of those problems

Every "reform" that Obama has proposed (or signed on to after the fact) has been nothing but tinkering on the edges while ensuring that the powerful players that are the real problems are left intact.

Health care "reform" leaves the insurance corporations running things while passing rules to prohibit them for screwing their customers too badly -- rules which will easily be nullified by the next Republican president. Wall Street "reform" left the too-big-to-fail finance giants even bigger and more likely to require another bailout in the future. Meanwhile the Wall Street executive who clearly broke laws or regulations go scott free. And Obama's energy/climate change proposals would ensure that the petroleum and coal industries remain dominant far into the future -- probably until Washington D.C. is covered by the rising ocean.

In short, whatever soaring rhetoric and combative language Obama uses now, I don't believe he means it.

I'll still vote for him. But it won't be because of anything he says. It will be because his opponent, whomever they are, will be so much worse.

Posted by: SteveT on April 21, 2011 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

...telling an appreciative audience at Facebook headquarters here that the plan is radical, short-sighted and would reduce annual federal deficits at the expense of the nation's poor and powerless.

The Times' reporter is incorrect, or lying, take your pick. Read the transcript. Nowhere does the President say that Ryan's plan would "reduce annual federal deficits" because it is simply not true. According to the CBO Ryan's radical tax cuts for the wealthy would actually lead to bigger deficits. This is a transparent attempt to make it sound as if the differences between the GOP plan and Obama's are only a matter of how we go about reducing the deficit, as if it's a given that Ryan's plan actually does that.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on April 21, 2011 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's all mouth and hasn't done anything and doesn't care about me and...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Posted by: chi res on April 21, 2011 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

In deference to prevailing popular dissemination one can see a reason for a genuflection towards the great standard bearers of the GOP . Limbaugh , Hannity (and company) , Savage , and congressional barkers . What list would be complete sans a certain semi solid contrarian who redefined persistence with a personal , incoherent quitting speech . That being done , I hope with no feelings beyond repair , there is just one little itty bitty thing that might need a little emphasis , or perhaps two . While politely , and accurately , referring to the radicals and their radical efforts would it be beyond the pale to collate these same radicals positions on important matters that while being hotly contested at those moments before becoming law , now passé or checked en passant ? Of course that would be the debate that was never sponsored in the life supporting light of day , but carried on as either a whisper campaign or its little weightless friend , fantasy , generously considered equal or beyond tawdry facts . WMD's and death panels are with us still , along with other towering nonsense such bold radicals support . These , oh so noble , and courageous standard bearers of corporate interest , defense investments carté blanche , farm subsidies for the wealthy , and the perennial favorite since time began in finally giving an even break for the wealthiest (in historical terms) who appear scandalized by the thought they live in a community .
You know ...

Posted by: FRP on April 21, 2011 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

People who say if you took away the profits of corporations you would put only a small a dent in the deficit mislead. Income of the Fortume 500 in 2010 was 9.7 TRILLION dollars or about 2/3s of the American economy. Their net income is are 4% of income (Right. Sure.) with the top ten companies accounting for $1.7 TRILLION of that. (go to the page doe the math)

The "profits" as reported by FORTUNE of the top 500 American companies in 2010 are $390 Billion, which includes income taxes, depreciation, and a whole slew of other deductions and accounting gimics can manipulate profits to suit management's needs.  Corporations pay taxes, in theory, except for General Electric which paid nothing, on income not profit.

IF corporations really paid 30% of their income to the federal Government whose budget $3.4 Trillion (including social security $0 .7 Trillion.)  that would be $2.9 Trillion in taxes. Thus, the rest of us would only have to pay. $0.5 Trillion in income taxes.

If you subtract social security the Federal Governemnt's budget is $2.7 Trillion. Obviously, since we are running a deficit some corporations are not paying their fair share.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on April 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's delivery needed work as this responses were a little dry and sorely needed the fiery rhetoric that got him elected. Having said that, seeing him take full advantage of the Ryan budget plan's insanity and stupidity is incredibly heartening, especially after witnessing the Dems snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on so many different occasions. MORE OF THIS PLEASE!

@R. Porrofatto on April 21, 2011 at 8:46 AM: Excellent catch on the insertion of false beltway narrative which I took the trouble to verify for myself.

Posted by: Kiweagle on April 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe there are some on the left who (besides selling anti-Obama screeds) suffer from some sort of psychological problem of denial and are unable to deal with the reality of what America has become and actually is: A place where progressive ideas are routinely crushed beneath the weight of the corporate state and entrenched bigotry. But THAT reality is where president Obama must function.


And he has to bide his time. President Obama did not sell America to the cooperate oligarchy that has destroyed our democracy-- the Republicans did, the lobbyists did and above all the Supreme Court did. President Obama didn't bust the unions-- Reagan did. President Obama didn't declare war on women and minorities and immigration rights, gay rights and working men and women-- the Republicans and religious right did. President Obama did not create the permanent war economy of imperial gun-toting undereducated and over-armed America-- the Republicans did with the backing of American evangelicals (not to mention the neoconservative Israel lobby) who believe in God-ordained American "exceptionalism."


Trying to change any or all of this will take time. It will not be achieved by one man. And our best shot at changing anything at all is to be realistic about what one president can do.


The President's critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history.

http://frank-schaeffer.blogspot.com/2011/04/obama-is-now-and-will-be-great.html

Posted by: Ladyhawke on April 21, 2011 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical

Reactionary, reactionary, reactionary!

Posted by: martin on April 21, 2011 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Nice read today FRP! You've given us some great wit through poetry as prose over the past few years, but today's is image packed! I really enjoyed it!

While I've been prone to say "I have a life, I don't do Facebook," I do admit it is a whole lot friendlier than the water-cooler over there at FOX & FIENDS! Steve Doocy should really try to use a bit more polite diction when he smears others - he'd have at least a little chance to retire in peace! Ah, but I digress so early in the morning! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Every "reform" that Obama has proposed (or signed on to after the fact) has been nothing but tinkering on the edges while ensuring that the powerful players that are the real problems are left intact.

Health care "reform" leaves the insurance corporations running things while passing rules to prohibit them for screwing their customers too badly -- rules which will easily be nullified by the next Republican president.

Healt care reform outlaws the excesses of the insurance industry that hurt real people the most - i.e. denial of service because of pre-existing conditions, etc.

Health care reform also provides an estimated 30 million americans with free (through medicaid) or subsidized insurance, payed for by taxes on the rich.

The myth that this constitutes "tinkering around the edges" propagated by firebaggers pissed off by the failure of the senate to pass the public option, or some other symbolic pet pieve should be deeply offensive for anyone who realises that helping 30 million americans, who are mostly disenfrenchized, minority, poor and single parents is what being a true progressive is all about.

It is a line of argument that says that we should not have written the original constitution because it left slavery in place, we should not have fought the civil war because it eventually left jim crow in place, we should not have passed civil rights legislation because it did not bring real equality for all, we should not fight for the repeal of DADT or civil unions because we have still not delivered gay marriage rights.

In other words it is the refutation of the useful incrimental change for the better, making the perfect enemy of the good and thereby in the end alowing yourself to become an enemy of good by being a true believer in only perfect, now.

We will deliver a public option and anything else you wish for eventually, if we keep on pushing on focusing our energy on the goal - getting it passed.

Wall Street "reform" left the too-big-to-fail finance giants even bigger and more likely to require another bailout in the future. Meanwhile the Wall Street executive who clearly broke laws or regulations go scott free.

"Even bigger" and "more likely" through some action from Obama is false.

The finance reg bill delivered a consumer protection agency, a fund payed for by taxing the banks if another bailout should happen in the future, and more. Why is it not a good idea to require by law that the banks save money their own money to bail themselves out if they screw up again in the future?

And Obama's energy/climate change proposals would ensure that the petroleum and coal industries remain dominant far into the future -- probably until Washington D.C. is covered by the rising ocean.

Obama and the progressive dems pushed the cap and trade bill for as long as they controlled the senate. Then progressive voters didnt turn out in numbers in november 2010 and now any climate change legislation is dead on arrival in congress, because there are 70 new wingnut republicans in the house. Just like immigration reform is dead on arrival for much the same reason. Meanwhile Obama focuses on doing what he can through executive power and trying to get some small changes in the area of energy independence and probably broker a deal with green energy funding in exchange for nuclear funding and drilling permits.

Thats called adapting to political reality and getting the most done under current political realities.

The solution to this predicament is to go and vote for a (preferably progressive, if feasible) democrat in 2012 for president and congress.

This endless whining, and endless nirvana fallacies does nothing to advance progressive policy whatsoever. Well deserved celebration of our victories - however small and incremental - does, because they remind us that what we do does make a difference.

Posted by: Danny on April 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

@Ladyhawke: That's right, kick us dirty hippies! And have another cup of tea.

Posted by: zandru on April 21, 2011 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Lawrence O'Donnell began his excellent program, last evening, by juxtaposing the President's heartfelt comments with the flak Ryan picked up by voters in this Town Hall meeting. The elders in that Ryan meeting were very upset with his Medicare plans and the fact the wealthy were not going to be taxed. They did not respond well to his defense of how taxing would "hurt the small business owners". However, it was an interesting juxtaposition of beginning with the President, then, showing Ryan trying to scramble back home. O'Donnell, the far more intelligent version of Olbermann.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Danny said:
We will deliver a public option and anything else you wish for eventually, if we keep on pushing on focusing our energy on the goal - getting it passed.

There's just one tiny problem. They guy with the biggest microphone keeps saying that his health care reform was "just right" -- implying that no further work needs to be done. It's the same with Wall Street reform, energy reform and the economic stimulus -- there's no push that we need to do anything else.

Obama has said he admires how Reagan changed the political landscape. Reagan did that because he did more than propose what was "politically possible", he proposed the unthinkable. For example, when Reagan proposed eliminating the capital gains tax the media and political establishment's conventional wisdom said that the idea was ridiculous. And yet the capital gains tax keeps getting smaller and smaller, and will probably disappear as soon as Republicans recapture Congress.

Can you name one specific, long-term progressive proposal that Obama has made that is comparable?

Posted by: SteveT on April 21, 2011 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

First Obama always says that the ACA is 'a beginning,' to be improved on.

Second, I want to know why the New York Times this morning, putting an article on Ryan's town hall above Obama's facebook meeting, did not mention a single boo that Ryan evidently, and according to video received there from his own constituents on his tax and budget ideas?

Posted by: jjm on April 21, 2011 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

@STEVET: HOW YOU LIE LIE LIE LIE


"There's just one tiny problem. They guy with the biggest microphone keeps saying that his health care reform was "just right" -- implying that no further work needs to be done. It's the same with Wall Street reform, energy reform and the economic stimulus -- there's no push that we need to do anything else."

SAY WHAT????

In a post about the Facebook Townhall, the very townhall where Obama made numerous statements about THE CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT that needs to be done on some of the things he's passed, you lie and lie and lie that he's said those bills are just right. Even before this event Obama has consistently said that the bill isn't perfect. Not one time have I ever heard Obama said HCR was just right. So stop lying. Gah, its so easy to see where you get your talking points from.

Oh and I just remembered. At the Governor's ball Obama said the time period for states to waiver and implement their own plants was reduced. He also recently signed a bill that repealed that 1099 issue small business's complained about. So its obvious that he's opened to changing his bills.

Posted by: Alli on April 21, 2011 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

@SteveT

There's just one tiny problem. They guy with the biggest microphone keeps saying that his health care reform was "just right" -- implying that no further work needs to be done.

As far as I can tell, this is either a flat out lie or a deeply dishonest quote out of context. Anything I ever heard from Obama was always along the line that the bill is good, that it does a lot of good for americans who need relief, but it isn't perfect and it can and should be improved upon. Do your cheeks heat up a little and your nose grow slightly at times?

It's the same with Wall Street reform, energy reform and the economic stimulus -- there's no push that we need to do anything else.

It's not possible to pass any major progressive reform at the moment because progressives stayed home in '10 and alowed 70 wingnut teaparty republicans to hold the house hostage. That electoral outcome put the conservative agenda on the frontburner, because electoral outcomes have consequences.

Furthermore the progressive movement is now split because some fifth columners with Jane Hamsher leading the way choose to mobilize people that bought her Overton snakeoil against the democratic party instead of against conservatives and conservative policies. Once they start working for the movement again, by pushing support for the issues to the american public instead of treason and voter strikes, and we have democrats in majority in congress again, then further progress can once again be made.

Obama has said he admires how Reagan changed the political landscape. Reagan did that because he did more than propose what was "politically possible", he proposed the unthinkable. For example, when Reagan proposed eliminating the capital gains tax the media and political establishment's conventional wisdom said that the idea was ridiculous.

This is the deeply disingenious and dishonest Overton bullshit once again, from the powermad charlatan Hamsher and her sycophants. It is a major misreading of what lead to the eventual victories and hegemony of movement conservatism.

In the real world, the conservative movement began with grassroot activists - such as yourself - getting organised and starting to push conservative policies - not only within the republican party, but also (and crucially) to the american public. They were conservative christians outraged at rights for women and gays, and scared that christian hegemony was slipping away. They were southern whites - outraged and scared that they would be integrated on equal terms with people who had been their slaves and inferiors for lifetimes. Rich people and businessmen that felt they were paying to much taxes, that unions had to much power, that regulation got in the way of making easy money. And so on. So they formed Focus on the Family, the Cato foundation, the Heritage foundation, the National Review.

All through this process, there was a mainstream conservatism, far to the left of what is considered republican today, that compromised over and over. Presidents like Eisenhower and Nixon and Ford. There were one early presidential candidate that pioneered the modern conservative movement (even though he would probably be considered a Rhino sellout today). His name was Barry Goldwater and he lost the popular vote with 23%.

Now Reagan was surely the first movement conservative to get elected president. But if you don't realize that his most "unthinkable" advocacy was done before he successfully ran and got elected then you got to give me the number to your dealer.

Case in point: Reagan once agitated against social security and medicare as "socialist" programs. Once in office, he left them in place and in fact signed a deal to strengthen social security.

Case in point: Reagan lowered taxes (substantially) his first? second? year in office and raised them every year thereafter. Under the pressure from rising deficits.

In much the same way Obama made a big push in the beginning of his term to get substantial progressive legislation passed, and then made some minor compromises when political expedience required it. So I'd say he's studied and understood Reagans success and the reasons for it perfectly.

What that means is the fact the Reagan was no idiot, had he been he would never have been as successful as he was. You dont choose just any hill to die on when you're figurehead #1. IOW, he knew that there are some forms of advocacy that it's unwise for the president to pursue and better left for surrogates, interest groups and any ally with a platform to push.

There's a simple common sense reason for this: If the king goes down, the war is lost. If the president over-reaches and his advocacy is discredited and he loses the election as a result, then the blowback is fierce and the policies may stay discredited for a long time.

Some examples:

1) What did Mike Dukakis (and others) candidacies do w/r to "Tax and Spend liberal", death penalty policy etc? It made them third rail.

2) What did Jane Hamsher deliver for you in terms of "moving the Overton" window by tricking you to stay home 2010? It put the conservative agenda with deficits on the front burner because Hamsher et al had neither a gameplan nor the means to make the american public buy her prefered frame of interpretation of the election results. I.e. she was bullshiting you that the american people would take it as a strong confirmation of the need for a public option and progressive policies while in reality it was interpreted as a strong confirmation of the Tea Party speaking for frustrated independents that wanted something done about the deficit.

And yet the capital gains tax keeps getting smaller and smaller, and will probably disappear as soon as Republicans recapture Congress.

A temporary extension, as part of a compromise that also included a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits for hurting, long term unemployed americans and middle class tax relief. Passed one month after Hamsher had convinced you and others not to vote, thereby bringing 70 unhinged teaparty activists into the house by the apparent "will of the american people". If you don't like buying things that you need with things you resent, get your ass to the poll booth and dont listen to Jane Hamsher.

Wikipedia is your friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Relief,_Unemployment_Insurance_Reauthorization,_and_Job_Creation_Act_of_2010

Ignorance by reason of laziness is a turnoff.

Can you name one specific, long-term progressive proposal that Obama has made that is comparable?

Comparable to what, to the list of unsubstantiated and fraudulous complains that you proposed against better judgement? I don't think I'll bother.

But I'll reiterate what is wrote above: providing cheap or free health care insurance for 30 million poor, disenfrenchized, minority, working americans by taxing the rich is THE progressive piece of legislation passed in our lifetime.

Compare to Clintons wellfare reform and statements that "the era of big government is over". We should have primaried him right?

Too bad there weren't 60 senators willing to vote for a public option, so you could get to appreciate those other small acomplishments with a clean conscience....

Posted by: Danny on April 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Again, for the history-impaired, the public option only needed 50 votes plus Biden had it been proposed during reconciliation, and had Obama not given it away to the medical and insurance corporations during closed-door negotiations and afterwards fought against it at every turn.

Posted by: Tom Allen on April 21, 2011 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Watched the NBC Nightly News yesterday. Not a mention about the Facebook town hall.

Read Politico today. Not a single mention of Paul Ryan getting booed by his own constituents. This 2 days after running a story called "Outburst heard round the world" about Obama telling that Texas reporter to let him finish his answers during an interview.

Posted by: Sam on April 21, 2011 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

@Tom Allen

Again, for the history-impaired, the public option only needed 50 votes plus Biden had it been proposed during reconciliation

Sure, because Jane Hamsher Sponsored Improved History (c) is where we get to pretend that it would be self-evidently trivial to use the reconciliation process meant to be able to pass a federal budget without having to overcome filibusters each and every year, to pass the biggest piece of entitlement legislation in 50 years. Furthermore that it would be a good idea to have the ACA up for a vote of renewal every 5 years or so.

And obviously brilliant using reconciliation, opening the doors wide for republicans to repeal the ACA through reconciliation, to repeal Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security through reconciliation and god knows what else?

Because apparantly reconciliation was proven to be a filibusterproof way to pass anything, right?

Could it have been done in compliance with the rules of reconciliation and still keeping all the core parts of the ACA: not in any way obvious, senate democrats doesnt seem to have thought so at the time. Would it have been politically wise, or would it have been political suicide? Would there have been 50 democrats willing to vote for the ACA through reconciliation? Not very likely, if you ask me. But maybe you did a whip count at the time? Maybe Jane did?

But Janesaysso. Must be true. Definetely should be considered "history" then.

and had Obama not given it away to the medical and insurance corporations during closed-door negotiations and afterwards fought against it at every turn.

This is funny, because I have - like you apparently - actually read the "reporting" on FDL where this was peddled. Suffice to say that the "proof" for this actually happening is about as robust as the "proof" for space aliens, faked moonlandings and the shooter on the grassy knoll.

As I recall, it comes down to one indie journalist interviewing one anonymous pharma or insurance middle exec, that bring some second hand hearsay, but all republished on FDL with Jane's blessings so then suddenly it's proven!?

But let's make this easy on us both. You allege an extraordinary conspiracy where the president - OUR president - lied to us and made shady backroom deals. That requires extraordinary proof. Put up or shut up.

Posted by: Danny on April 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, kick us dirty hippies!

Maybe if you got out of the way...

Posted by: chi res on April 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

I know, you don't believe a president ever lies or makes backroom deals. Still, if you don't trust NYT reporter David Kilpatrick:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/health/policy/13health.html?_r=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/ny-times-reporter-confirm_b_500999.html

maybe you'll trust one of the Senators of the medical industry, Tom Daschle, from his book "Getting Things Done" :

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/10/05/daschle-interview/
Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

Posted by: Tom Allen on April 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

You want the hippies to get out of the way so you can move further right. Got it.

Posted by: Tom Allen on April 21, 2011 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

@Tom Allen

Whining, friendly fire, no substance - got it. Yeah, it's really about time for the McGovern, new left, indie hipster constituency of the democratic party to get with the program, or gtfo and watch from the sidelines while the rest of us bring teh progress. Nothing of value was lost.

Posted by: Danny on April 21, 2011 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

So continuing 2 wars, getting involved in a 3rd, signing a tax cut bill, hiring Jeffrey Immelt, hitting for donations again (remember that meeting out there in SFO a few years ago? No press was allowed, so Benen probably doesn't), keeping Guantanamo open, keeping Manning in jail and having a Sec of State who is fine with protestors being shot dead in the ME is now no problem due to a Facebook Townhall. Good to know...

Posted by: Lloyd on April 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

-You want the hippies to get out of the way so you can move further right. Got it-

You are already out of the way (and have been for years). Please see my above comment.

Posted by: Lloyd on April 21, 2011 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Your headline says Obama "took on" the GOP.

Since Obama is so well-educated, I expected to see him display some of that education by dissecting the Ryan plan.

So why didn't he?

Posted by: Chris on April 21, 2011 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Radical? Sure. Listen, Steve. You know this: Radical changes are coming. Either the major New Deal/Great Society social legislation (radical in 1933 and 1964, by the way) are going to be dismantled BECAUSE WE CAN'T AFFORD THEM ANYMORE, or we are going to institute confiscatory, 90 plus percent tax rates on many to create a perfectly, secure country, that will also inhibit innovation, entrepreneurship etc. Which one will voters choose? Based on our history, the second one. But that's ok, because according to you and Obama, only one side is "radical."

Posted by: senor on April 21, 2011 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

@Tom Allen

It would be prudent for me at this time to just ask you to quote the relevant parts from your links that you believe support your assertions.

It would be warranted for me to note that for your choice to just post the links and nothing more requires you to commit to nothing, not to any standard of evidence, not to disclosing who's statements you trust and who's statements you dont trust. Etc.

However, out of the goodness of my heart I read through the article you linked to. I wont do your homework for you one more time. This is the best I came up with from your NYTimes piece, in support of your assertions:

Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

On the other hand we have:

[Henry Waxman] added: “The president has said he wants a public option to keep everybody honest. He hasn’t said he wants a co-op as a public a co-op as a public option."

So as proof of Janes gospel you claim the witness of anonymous "hospital lobyists". Let's translate that: people who are payed by the HC industry to achieve the best legislative outcome for whoever pays them, by any means, including lying, said something under the cover of anonymity. Contradicting that we have the official statements by the democratic president and a democratic senator.

Why is it that you and Jane think we should trust the anonymous statements of HC industry lobbyists and assume bad faith and lying from democratic politicians? The best you got is "anonymous lobbyists" and that makes "history".

maybe you'll trust one of the Senators of the medical industry, Tom Daschle, from his book "Getting Things Done"

And the link to a interview (not from the book though) does indeed contain the statements by Daschle that you quote - it however being unclear whether he was quoted in or out of context. And you (crucially) fail to openly and transparently account for the fact that Daschle immediately issued a clarification / retraction:

Daschle, for his part, soon contacted Volsky to retract the claim.

"The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans," he said. "The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House."

So, it comes down to this: Do we trust the word of anonymous corporate lobbyists or do we trust the word of the president and Henry Waxman and Tom Daschle?

Posted by: Danny on April 21, 2011 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

"So, it comes down to this: Do we trust the word of anonymous corporate lobbyists or do we trust the word of the president and Henry Waxman and Tom Daschle?"

None of the above.

Posted by: Lloyd on April 21, 2011 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

@Lloyd

If you can't bring yourself to assume good faith from your team leaders when the evidence is inconclusive, you'll never be a team player. I'm not saying you have to be a team player, just noting that republicans are - if anything - team players, and that means we're gonna play with one hand tied.

Life, love and politics are shock full of he said she said situations.

To quote Bob Dylan, back from his evangelical days:

"It may be the devil or it may be the lord but you gonna have to serve somebody".

Posted by: Lloyd on April 21, 2011 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Eerr. That one post about assuming good faith from democrats, sticking with your team, and the wisdom of Robert Zimmerman should have a "Danny" byline - not "Lloyd". Let's assume I screwed up when filling out the "name" form.

Posted by: Danny on April 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

He said these things and in this way two simple reasons... (1) read these comments... you love him again. Fire up his base. (2) He's scared. His plan involves raising taxes (people who make $250 aren't considered "rich") in the middle of what is still perceived to be a recession. Putting lipstick on the pis that is our economy is going to be tough enough, but Ryan's plan is hated by you but when it first came out it was considered pretty serious and now it is quickly being characterized so when the details come how you can stick your fingers in your ears an righteously shout "Radical!"

Fear. Pure and simple.

He needs to address the problem in a specific and responsible way... people would listen to him. This display is for the faithful but doesn't provide those who are out of work and hurt with anything but vague promises and unfinished ideas.

Posted by: MattinChicago on April 21, 2011 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I kinda like how you shred, Danny!

FDL use to be a bookmarked site for me to peruse every once and a while - sometimes ultra-liberals can write the darnedest things! But I too began to see a reticence toward realpolitik in Hamsher's writings. I began to think, where does she live to have such wants in light of the political reality President Obama has found himself facing?

I'm no liberal. Though I do accept that small d democracy has been born out of 18th century liberalism, and eventually has grown to encompass the struggle to bring human dignity and respect for one's fellow man to bear in a world of tradition regarding birthright, title, and continental ancestry; I do also recognize not everyone will share in such a view, and as such, Jane Hamsher has done no one in particular any good by discouraging people from going to the polls for any type of protest, be it ideological or for any other reason.

If you don't show up, you legitimately have nothing to complain about in any small d democracy!

Hey Jane, I bet you President Obama still loves you! Come on out and vote for him next time. I dare you! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 21, 2011 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Allen: You want the hippies to get out of the way so you can move further right. Got it.

I have no intention of going that direction, but your admission that you're set up to my right isn't surprising. There's way too many so-called progressives who would love to put democracy on pause in order to institute their "enlightened" agenda for the masses.

BTW, you're the one who wanted to be kicked. Hmm, "fascist masochist" has a certain ring to it.

Posted by: chi res on April 21, 2011 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

@SteveT.

Please tell me of any other President who has fulfilled his promises more than President Obama.

Posted by: nk007 on April 22, 2011 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

@Zandru, there you go playing the victim! It's o.k for you guys to constantly attack and demonize the President because you show little understanding of the way the political system works. Yet, when some one challenges your naivety you pull out the tired and idiotic claim that he/she is punching hippies!

Posted by: nk007 on April 22, 2011 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

@ Danny

You rock. I hear the talking points all the time from the firebaggers and the PL. "He" didn't close Gitmo. They never mention the EO's the President signed or the fact that Congress voted 90/6 NOT to approve funds to move the prisoners. They are on the public option like a dog gnawing on a bone.

It appears that don't care about the "little" people. Thanks to HCR my husband no longer has a cap on his insurance and my good friend who fought breast cancer in the 1990's can NOW get health insurance. Maybe that's tinkering to some, but for those of us out here in the REAL world it's significant.

Posted by: EnoughIsEnough on April 22, 2011 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly