They Made Him Do It

I say this with all due respect to the President of the United States - the Progressive Block made President Obama plan to argue for the public option in his speech before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night:

I had a pretty spirited go around with White House Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs and the latest on this dilemma over the public option. The bottom line: Gibbs says the President will make the case for a public option in his speech to Congress on Wednesday but he won't issue a veto threat if it isn't in the final package.

Of course, this is only a first step. The President is clearly willing to jettison a robust public option if he can. The Progressive Block still needs to make the President do it through a House-Senate conference and the Villagers' insistence in beating up the DFHs (all 77% of the American People.) But this is a good first step.

Speaking for me only

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    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:42:39 AM EST
    Do you suppose that many of these folks noticed an otherwise unsolicited $5k in their campaign accounts?

    I would guess that all but the best fundraisers did.

    That means that those of us (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:46:59 AM EST
    who care about this issue must continue to put pressure on our current Congress members. I think it is also a good idea to pressure the Democratic candidates for Congress who are either challenging Republican incumbents or vying for open seats.


    The more I think about it (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:18:11 AM EST
    the more I think it is a good idea to start putting pressure on Robin Carnahan who will be vying for Bond's open seat here in MO.

    We are a real purple state and races are always close. A discouraged, disenfranchised base could definitely result in her losing a close race. This point needs to be made very clear to her.


    Public option and Ohio senate race (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Munibond on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:33:13 AM EST
    I think it is encouraging that both Democratic candidates for Voinovich's senate seat support the public option and have been vocal about it in recent weeks.  They are discussing it today on FDL.  Fisher, former attorney general and lieutenant governor, and Brunner, current secretary of state, competing over who is the stronger advocate for the public option.  Not bad.  Maybe one of them will go out on a limb and define public option as option to buy into Medicare.

    It is encouraging that both say (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    that they support a public option. I hope that the people participating in the discussions do two things.

    1 Have the candidates define in detail what they mean by a public option. Some public options are not worth the paper they are written on.

    2 Make it clear to the candidates that their fate in the general election might well depend on whether or not good legislation is passed. IOW dissing your base will result in a lower base turn out.


    My rep signed on with the Progs (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:17:30 AM EST
    and says she wants "a robust public option based on Medicare rates."  I haven't found much more than that.  So any sense of where that may land on the robust-o-meter, MOBlue? :-)  Btw, she also was a co-sponsor of the single-payer bill, which is good . . . but on the other hand, she is so enthusiastic a fan of Obama's that I wouldn't be surprised to put agreeing with him ahead of all else.

    For a public option to be viable, (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:49:05 AM EST
    IOW be able to survive, provide affordable rates and prosper, it would need to be able to use Medicare provider lists and Medicare rates. The next question would be how many people are able to access the program. Not enough people and/or comprised of too many sick people and the plan would also fail. I have mixed feelings about whether or not the best of the not so good plans can be expanded in conference or later to make it work. Some discretion is left to the Insurance Commissioner (not sure of the title) to expand the employer based eligibility after the second year of implementation. Then you have the variable of how many employers will drop coverage due to costs over the next few years. Recent research indicated that 20% of employers are considering dropping employee coverage if premiums continue to rise.

    I have heard Medicare rates +5 mentioned also. Haven't seen any analysis on this but I think that would also do the trick. In fact, it might be preferable if doctors in some areas are refusing to treat Medicare patients.


    Thanks -- I'll try to follow through (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Cream City on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    with my Congress rep's office on this, asking more specific questions, thanks to you.

    Btw, if it helps you in your state, I happen to know that this guy is a major advisor to your gov and some members of your delegation (esp. McCaskill, I'm told) on health care issues (and on Social Security issues).  His testimony to Congress in past, quotes in the NYT, and publications can be found on the toobz, I think, if it gives a sense of what they're thinking.  I gather that he is an incrementalist (say, like BTD below) in advising that a foot in the door is sufficient for now, not drawing the line in the sand at a public option, etc.


    MO: (none / 0) (#28)
    by hairspray on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:26:41 PM EST
    Recently I read that "IOW be able to survive, provide affordable rates and prosper, it would need to be able to use Medicare provider lists and Medicare rates"  were given up by the WH.  Is that true?  

    The Senate HELP bill is definitely (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:59:36 PM EST
    not based on Medicare rates. IIRC the "Blue Dog" bill in the House is not either. Here is the last I've seen on the Senate HELP bill:

    Plays by the same rules: The public option would be one of the Gateway choices.  It would follow the same rules as private plans for defining benefits, protecting consumers, and setting premiums that are fair and based on local costs.  
    * Provider payments and participation:  

    o Negotiated rates within limits:  The payment rates paid by the public option would be no more than the local average private rates - but could be less.  The Secretary would negotiate these rates.

    o Input from Advisory Councils: Each State would create a Council of provider and consumers to recommend strategies for quality improvement and affordability.  States would share in the savings that result.  

    o Purely voluntary:  Health care providers would have the choice of participating in the public option; there would be no obligation to do so. link

    The Progressive Caucus(PC) is stating (letter to Obama) that a public option using Medicare provider lists and Medicare rates is their minimum requirement.

    I have been focused more on whether or not the WH is going to dump the public option than individual details. The only glimmer of hope I have for any legislation that will provide affordable health care is the position taken by the PC.


    my question is: If doctors are now (none / 0) (#45)
    by suzieg on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 01:22:42 AM EST
    refusing to accept Medicare patients  because of the lousy reimbursement rates, what's good about a Public Option plan which will use almost the same reimbursement rates? Unless doctors are required or forced to accept all Medicare and Public Option patients, then it will become nothing more than a sh***y HMO.

    Go MO (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:20:55 AM EST
    Why Do Progressives Have To Push (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by john horse on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:58:11 AM EST
    Obama to support the public option given that the public option is supposedly part of Obama's own plan?  I know that in politics you sometimes have to compromise in order to get things done but compromise isn't the same thing as capitulation.

    One of Hillary's criticism of Obama during the primaries was that he wasn't tough enough to get things done.  In response Obama said "You know that I have always believed that if you are tough you don't have to talk about it."   Fair enough, you don't need to talk tough to be tough but at some point you do need to show it.  Its time for Obama to quit letting the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats push him around.


    Why do progressives (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by Spamlet on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:01:10 AM EST
    have to push Obama to support the public option? Because Obama has floated so many trial balloons about dropping the public option. Ergo, the public option will not be part of Obama's plan unless he is pressured to retain it. His actions say as much.

    And because Obama (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:15:37 AM EST
    campaigned a public option doesn't mean he  really meant that :) He said that for the votes. It isn't nice and his strongest supporters during the primary fight are in shock right now....but the country must have this so we fight for it!  We fight for what we must have while Obama takes a large quanitity of his political capital and sets it on fire as if it were a pile of dotcom IPOs.  I don't get it, but he doesn't care if I do or not.

    Let's just hope the patient's immune system... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:19:28 AM EST
    .... doesn't reject the spinal transplant.

    Though a bad bill is worse than no bill, and the bill is quite likely to be bad.

    If it's bad (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:24:11 AM EST
    As MO Blue points out.....he might as well just nuke the hot seats in purple America.

    We'll See (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by SGITR on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:39:52 AM EST
    if this speech is a good first step. I have my doubts on just how helpful it will be.

    The effectiveness will depend on what he actually says. No matter how good a job he may do arguing for a public option if he qualifies it once again by saying it is preferable but not absolutely necessary then he is just talking out of both sides of his mouth AGAIN. Yesterdays news of his call to Progressives to protect Blue Dogs tells me he will be up there Smiling and Lying and saying things to Cover His A-SS. Mr. CYA  is good at attempting that. I think that is all this speech is - CYA.

    Sadly I think Mr. CYA is too smart to oversell it and we will just see an empty suit up there playing politics in public while he is making deals with the enemy under the cover of darkness.

    For me the writing is on the wall as to his overall intentions. He has spelled them out very clearly. My only hope for him helping the public option in his speech is for him to screw up and sell it harder than he really would like to before shrugging it off. At least then maybe the truth of just how important it is might be more clear to the public because up to now it has not been so.

    It is absolutely paramount that the public knows just how important the public option is so that they may fully understand and applaud The House Progressives for scraping any bill without the public option.

    Seems that there will be a lot (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:05:15 AM EST
    of activity on this the next week or so. Baucas is saying that President Snowe and the Finance Committee  might have have their insurance plan ready as early as next Saturday. Also, sources are saying that Obama might present his own plan sometime after his speech on Wednesday.

    The leaders of the Progressive Caucus have made some statements about why a public option is necessary which have been quoted in the papers. Would like to see them expand on those statements and go into more detail about why it is important. Senator Feingold put out a very good statement. The progressive members of Congress IMO are probably our only hope to get the truth out there. Would like to see them ramp up their efforts in that respect.


    I'm looking at the Finance Committee (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by SGITR on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    Bill to be a real letdown. Not a surprising letdown, but a letdown none the less.

    It's stunning that Obama is saying he will come up with something in the 11th hour. I'll believe it when I see it, and if I see it I probably won't like it as Obama has his 'tools' out this morning:

    As Obama prepares for a Wednesday night speech to Congress in a risky bid to salvage his top domestic priority, political adviser David Axelrod said a public plan is not the core issue in the health care debate. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs
    danced around a question about whether Obama would veto
    a bill without the public option.

    The president "believes the public option is a good tool," said Axelrod, who joined with Gibbs in a one-two punch on the Sunday talk shows. "It shouldn't define the whole health care debate, however."

    Wow speaking of tools!

    So Obama is going to talk to us Wednesday but yet has his tools out telling us the public option is just something to consider but isn't all that important. I think I will save myself the aggravation and not even watch the speech.

    The Progressive Caucus and Feingold need to get out there on TV and spell out the details.


    too much equivocation... (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:56:52 AM EST
    ...for me to be optimistic.  if he's not willing to veto it, he is announcing loudly and clearly "American people, I will not risk ANYthing for you."

    I just can't share BTD's sentiment that this is a good start.  Personally, we've had too many starts and stops to make this one seem meaningful.  And if he isn't going to hardsell what he KNOWS is the solution, well, that speaks for itself.  And, no, I don't think Obama is going to be pushed to do anything, because I think he realizes he came into office with a myth and that myth cannot be destroyed.  IOW, I think he really believes his schtick, that he has a serious personality flaw for the presidency.  And that isn't going to change.

    Hope I'm very wrong.

    I agree with most of what you said (none / 0) (#16)
    by sallywally on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:11:46 AM EST
    but I think the myth is being destroyed right now. It appears, though, that Obama doesn't know it yet.

    But now that there's a whole initiative for former supporters, campaign workers, donors, etc., to speak out, this may become more obvious (at least to everyone but him)....

    Of course, who knows what the wingnuts will make of that if it gets onto the pundit screens.


    In the sense that the CPC has influence ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 04:17:15 PM EST
    ... this is a good start.

    Isn't it a little late for a good start? (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:09:40 AM EST
    Just saying.

    And is "arguing for" public option meaningful without a veto threat? I'd say no.

    Let's be clear (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    You do not even want a "robust" public option because you think it is all a sham.

    I respect that view but it is important to understand that your evaluation of how this battle plays out is based on the premise that it is all a "sham" and not worth it, because you do not see this as moving us towards as single payer system.

    From my perspective, the Progressive Block's actions are good and important in three ways: first, a robust public option (maybe even less than robust) is an important first step to reforming our health care system. Second, It clearly has been effective in galvanizing a significant portion of the Progressive Base and has been an effective banner for the Progressive Block. Third, the Progressive Block has forced its way to the negotiating table, and now is a key player in the debate.

    Will it work in the end? I do not know. But for the first time in a while, the Progressive Block appears to have an important voice in the debate.

    This is a first indicator manifesting this change. Will it continue? I do not know.

    But this is good in the short term and possibly the middle term from where I sit.

    I understand that from where you sit, it does not matter.


    maybe even less than robust (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by katiebird on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:49:58 AM EST
    It's a depressing thought.  

    But, whether they formally design a "trigger" (and I think we're in a "trigger" situation now) or not -- sooner or later we'll have hundreds of millions of people without health insurance.... There is after all only so much money a family can send to an insurance company for premiums before they actually can't do it any more.

    So if the numbers of uninsured keep rising AND there is a less-than-robust public option already in place THEN maybe we don't have to go through all this crap again.  AND maybe we don't have to wait another 15-19 years.

    Maybe that less-than-robust option could be expanded to something useful without all this hoo-ha.

    It's a pretty pathetic dream but, right this minute, it's all I've got.


    Since it doesn't kick in 'til 2013... (none / 0) (#37)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:08:11 PM EST
    ... I'd rather have the Democrats suffer immense pain in the midterms and deliver something better in 2011 -- that maybe Obama could actually run on in 2012 ;-) We might also shed a few Blue Dogs pour encourager les autres and emerge with a more focused party.

    Not that I understand the 11 dimensional thing, that is. But I'm very concerned that the urge to pass something, anything will lead to a bill that leaves the country worse off than before.


    I think if there is no public option (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:13:24 PM EST
    the camel's nose in my mind, then no bill is better than a bill.

    My response to the camel's nose, if any... (none / 0) (#41)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:47:42 PM EST
    is here.

    Actually, I'd prefer a modest bill that did away with rescission and pre-existing conditions. Period. That's better than no bill, for sure.


    I agree with everything you said (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:04:06 PM EST
    on how important the Progressive Block pushing back is in the short and middle term.

    I, also, believe that lambert reminding us that even the best plan offered is not that good is important so that we do not keep accepting less and less.


    The only way single payer (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    is ever going to happen in this country, has any remote chance of happening, is by gradual withering away of the private insurance industry.  Anybody who thinks the U.S. government is going to abolish the entire industry in one stroke and replace it with a government plan now, next year, next decade or 50 years from now, is smoking some very weird and self-deluding stuff, IMHO.

    Reasonably serious public option is the absolutely necessary first step in that withering away process.

    Obviously, shutting out even the discussion of single-payer right from the get-go was a gigantic mistake because it shifted the whole discussion way over to the right.  As BTD keeps hammering away -- and appears to be the only public voice who gets the concept -- it's insane to start negotiations somewhere in the middle and expect to end up in the middle.

    As a result, the entire HCR discussion has been and continues to be deeply dishonest on both sides.  The core issue is whether private, profit-making middlemen have any business being in health care to begin with or are just gigantic open mouths sucking vast amounts of money -- our money -- out of the health care equation and bringing literally zero benefit to it in return.

    If we do get that mythical "robust" public option in place, the door will automatically be open to actually starting to have that critical discussion.  IMO, the answer to the question above will then be increasingly, blindingly obvious.


    Amen!! (none / 0) (#29)
    by hairspray on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:33:18 PM EST
    I also hate to say this but, (none / 0) (#30)
    by hairspray on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:42:28 PM EST
    the dishonesty on the left is the fact that "fee for service" is going to remain the health care delivery care model.  Fee for service is what is bankrupting the country especially in the hands of profit making insurance plans. It is unsustainable. Medicare is a low administrative cost organization, but as long as the elderly population grows with their attendant health care problems we are going to have cost issues.  One way to improve the situation in the short run is to drop the eligiblity age down to 40 or so and draw in younger healthier and wealthier patients. The other way is to drive the for profits out of the system (and that will only happen slowly) and gradually change the delivery to a more preventative focused HMO model based on outcomes not on profits.

    Ah, dishonesty... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:55:08 PM EST
    As far as fee for service goes, Taiwan has both fee for service and single payer. Now, Taiwan is not without its own issues -- what system is -- but that fact alone is sufficient to disprove your contention that fee for service is the root of the problem.

    Oh Please!. Your whole contention is (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by hairspray on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 12:55:59 AM EST
    Taiwan has fee for service therefore case closed.  Fee for service rewards excessive consumption of resources.  This is not related to evidence based care or outcomes.  Your statement is simplistic.  

    Heh (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:15:55 PM EST
    Taiwan, dare I say it, is not the U.S.  The entire culture, not to mention economic history, is different.  France is not the U.S. either, nor is Britain.

    It really is necessary to grapple with reality, rather than cling to ignorant, simplistic equivalencies, unless you really neeed to be chronically PO'd about everything.


    And who said it was? (none / 0) (#42)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:49:27 PM EST
    Not me.

    If the argument is that fee for service is the root cause, then a prima facie case can be made that it is not, by supplying a counter-example, which I did.

    The rest of the comment comes from I don't know where -- your imagination, to take a guess.


    Do you read your own posts? (none / 0) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 06:28:46 AM EST
    "that fact alone is sufficient to disprove your contention that fee for service is the root of the problem."

    Yes. Do you read English? (none / 0) (#47)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 12:08:43 AM EST
    No prima facie case == sufficient to disprove.

    I guess you just want to be chronically POed. Pull the hair out of your * for a change, why doncha?


    Fee for service (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:19:27 PM EST
    is the other big drag on the system.  The structureal problems in U.S. health care providers are the other huge issue in rising health care costs.  But fee for service will have to be withered away, as well, because it's just way too ingrained in our whole U.S. way of looking at things to abolish overnight.

    I don't think "robust" is meaningful (none / 0) (#33)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:51:53 PM EST
    It's like everything else that has to do with the "public option": A marketing slogan.

    Now, if it could be shown to have 130 million enrollees, like the original Hacker plan before the "progressive bait and switch", perhaps. But nobody says that.

    If the health exchanges could be shown to work, perhaps. But the best example I've been given is RomneyCare, and that hasn't had the claimed benefits.

    I understand the advantages, from a process standpoint, of  having progressives with spines somewhat stiffer than wet noodles. But from an outcomes standpoint, I'm with Ian Welsh:

    Folks, you are being sold a bill of goods.  The people shilling for this version of the public option, whether politicians or others, are shilling for something that won't work (not that even a nominal public option is likely to be in the final bill).

    The best thing that can happen, at this point, is for nothing to be passed.  Because right now it looks most likely you are either going to be forced to buy insurance without an option to buy a government plan, or you're going to be forced to buy insurance with the possibility of buying government insurance that's no cheaper than private insurance, and which may not even be able to stay in business (it does have to succeed without any subsidies.)

    Forcing millions of people to buy junk insurance -- and paid for by taxing the people who do have insurance -- is, in my view, a stiff price to pay for allowing the progressive block to regain a modicum of self-respect.

    NOTE And if they really had spines, and really wanted to show they meant business, they'd coalesce behind HR676 anyhow -- even if only as negotiating tactic! Here's a helpful resolution, with WHEREAS's and everything:

       Proposed resolution for the Congressional Progressive Caucus

        WHEREAS the Congressional Progressive Caucus has evaluated the "public option" in HR 3200;

        WHEREAS the CPC has determined that the "public option" in HR 3200 is not "robust";

        WHEREAS HR 3200, therefore, is just another Massachusetts-style bailout for the health insurance industry;

        WHEREAS a Massachusetts-style debacle on a national scale will set back the movement for universal coverage under a single-payer system;

        WHEREAS the CPC has repeatedly put Democratic leaders on notice that they intend to vote against legislation with a weak "public option"; therefore be it

        RESOLVED that the Congressional Progressive Caucus members will instead support an amendment to HR 3200 that replaces HR 3200's language with that in HR 676, The United States National Health Care Act.

    NOTE I don't really think "health insurance reform" is a sham -- I think it's a reward for rent-seeking behavior by large financial institutions. That's the common factor between bailing out the banks, and bailing out the insurance companies with the mandate.)


    We disagree (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:53:57 PM EST
    as you know. I am a camel's nose in the tent person.

    Sure! (none / 0) (#36)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:03:47 PM EST
    I'm restating for the benefit of folks who may not have seen this discussion before.

    * * *

    Nothing I've seen says that the public option will have any of the benefits claimed (and how could it -- to this day there is no coherent definition of what it is). So from my standpoint, public option advocates are talking at least three gambles:

    (1) that there will be enough enrollees for the program to, if not work, at least be seen not to fail;

    (2) that the contractors who will be hired to administer it will "play fair";

    (3) that in the case of failure, the well will not be poisoned for real reform (single payer) in the future.

    I see no evidence for #1 (and as above, how could there be).

    I see no evidence for #2 (and the experience in Maine, with Dirigo, points the other way).

    #3 seems to me quite likely.

    Or, to revert to the camel:

    1. I like my camels, noses and all, to be real, and not imaginary;

    2. I like my camels, noses and all, to be really camels, and not skunks or weasels.

    3. If I let what I think is a camel get its nose under my tent, and it turns out to be a skunk or a weasel, then I'm going to be very cautious about letting anything like a camel get its nose under my tent again.

    It was never sold in a way (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by NYShooter on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 01:49:52 PM EST
    that enough people undestood it, or got passionately behind it.

    Yes, it's a moral imperative, to come up to the rest of the civilized world, and provide health care for all. But it's also an economic imperative, as it's the single, biggest reason our country is heading for insolvency.

    The public has just seen what morality the bank "masters" are made of. Do they think the insurance companies, HMO's, and Wall Street gamblers are of different character?

    If we had a President who wanted it, we would have it. Not just "robust" public option either, but something much closer to single payer.
    Just ask the almost 20 million unemployed, and more millions who have lost their homes, and even more without insurance.

    Scream it from the rooftop: The rest of the world has better health care, at less than half the price. Show'm who's getting fat and rich off of us, and it's not the doctors and nurses. It's the guys running the "protection" racket, peeling fifty cents out of every dollar we spend for health care, for their 12,000 sq. ft. homes, and numbered off shore accounts.

    Craps, a first year media student could get the public into a white fever over this rape!

    But, like I said, the President has got to want it. I wasn't fooled by him in the primaries, and I'm not fooled by him now.

    Healthcare and War (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by norris morris on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:05:10 PM EST
    There won't be a public option as I see Obama's vague behavior, evasive meetings with big pharma and insurance, and throwing this debate into the fray looking for cover in order to reconcilliate.

    Forget whatever he says as I believe we'll wind up with a highly compromised checkerboard.

    As for Afghanistan, it's a loser and whoever is advising Obama is not diminishing his aloofness and lack of experience. As a long time democrat I'm furious that he's compromised the debate and allowed republicans to walk all over us. Move over Axelrod and Rahm.

    I said this in another thread (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by s5 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:19:23 PM EST
    If we get a public option because progressives in the House held the line, that's the best possible outcome. We're not going to have a lifetime of progressive legislation without the rise of progressive legislators as a legitimate political force.

    I am very afraid (none / 0) (#23)
    by kmblue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:58:55 AM EST
    that Obama will make a speech that is not passionate and not clear.
    If he rambles about while constantly trying to cover every possible base, we're dead.
    Simple and clear.
    I'm afraid that's too much to hope for.