Thursday Morning Open Thread

Very busy today for me.

Health summit ongoing. Have no idea what is happening.

Open thread.

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    A very sad story (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 12:36:19 PM EST
    One that, unfortunately, is becoming all too common.

    Blue collar workers hanging on by a thread

    Garden City -- They arrive at work at 7:25 a.m. and many of their cars are rusting buckets of crud. Except for the boss's. He drives a Volvo.

    Walk in the door at Schaefer Screw Products and there is the enemy -- the clock. The oil vapors and solvents are overwhelming. The yellow light is dispiriting. The workers don't want to be here. The liquor bottles in the weedy lot out back tell part of the story. The graffiti in the bathroom -- profanely denouncing "hard workers" -- tells the rest.

    The workers punch the clock at precisely 7:30 a.m., not a minute later since they would be docked 14 minutes and nobody in America works 14 minutes for free. A quiet resignation settles over them as the roar of the screw grinding machines rev up. Want it or not, they need to be here. After this place, there is no place. Not in today's America.

    This machine shop may be the next wobbling domino in the collapse of the American manufacturing sector and the struggles of its blue-collar workers. There are at least seven shops nearby that are available for lease.

    Schaefer Screw is in an industrial section of Garden City north of Ford Road, about two miles west of Detroit.

    My brother Bill Parker and his wife Kim work there. Bill, 35, made $70,000 shuffling subprime mortgages for Rock Financial in 2006. He used to wear suits and now he wears oily jeans making $8.50 an hour counting and cleaning screws. For Christmas, he got a $43.80 bonus and evicted from the house he wrote the mortgage on.

    "Dude, I was making more than that in high school," he said. Then he recited the new battle cry of a generation: "I'm just glad to be working."

    Schaefer Screw is a three-generation mom-and-pop shop dating back to 1946. By all rights it should have a "For Sale sign" in the window. Its jobs should be overseas in places like Guangzhou and Juarez and Bangalore, where the labor is cheap.

    Whats really sad... (5.00 / 10) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:00:30 PM EST
    is the honest work of manufacturing screws pays 8.50 an hour...while the "work" of shuffling mortgage papers pays 70k a year.  And the work of the big time grifter on Walkl St. pays 10 million a year plus.

    It is little wonder we're in the mess we're in...look at what we value.  Honest work is considered beneath us.


    What's not sad... (2.00 / 2) (#17)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:32:51 PM EST
    is that we still have freedom of opportunity in this country.  If the honest screw manufacturer wants to earn more money, he or she can go to school to become a mortgage paper shuffler (although I wouldn't suggest that these days) or to learn the administration side and become a manager at the screw manufacturing plant.  Or he or she could move to a location that pays better or has a lower cost of living.  Or he or she could start his or her own honest screw manufacturing business and keep all the profits.

    Honest work is not considered beneath us.  It is valued, but everything is valued on what someone is willing to pay for it (and what they can charge for the results).    


    True Dave... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:40:11 PM EST
    we all have the freedom and opportunity to become grifters ourselves and get it on the big scam...no argument with that.  And thats a good thing...I think:)

    I am curious to see where it ends...I mean I know we need screws and why we need screws...having a much harder time figuring out if and why we need credit default swaps and reverse double sub-prime mortgage whatchamacallits.


    So what's your point? (2.00 / 2) (#26)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:45:42 PM EST
    Obviously you're angry at something or someone.

    I didn't say anything about being a grifter or scamming anyone.  

    Look, if you want to complain about honest work only making you $8.50 and hour, then go ahead and complain and keep making your $8.50.  If you want to do something about it, find some honest work that pays more.  There are plenty of opportunities to better yourself and your station in life.  



    No. There. Aren't. (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:48:56 PM EST

    yea (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by CST on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:52:49 PM EST
    poor timing for a "you can be anything you want if you just work hard" rant.

    In this economic climate it's just not that simple.

    Also, to get a high paying job, you usually need a college degree.  I'm willing to bet a lot of these people don't have college degrees.  If you are above a certain age, I'm not sure it makes a whole lot of financial sense to go into serious debt to get a degree when you will only work for a few years.

    It's not that simple.  People made these choices a long time ago when things were a lot different.  Maybe they should have had better forsight, but I don't think anyone predicted the demise of manufacturing back then.  Why should they?  At the time it made perfect sense to go to work.


    Did you catch this? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:58:18 PM EST
    100-year-old earns BA, dies next day

    Was it Ann Landers or Dear Abby who stated:  go ahead and go to school despite your age.  Whether you do or not, you'll still be __ years old.


    Yes. There. Are. (none / 0) (#41)
    by oldpro on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:00:49 PM EST
    Still.  Isn't that the whole point of telling kids to stay in school, get a diploma/GED, go to college or trade school?

    I wouldn't split hairs over the definition of 'plenty' though.  Job losses and the economy have definitely reduced opportunity and there is 'plenty' of competition for every job opening.  All the more reason to take responsibility for changing from the life one has to the life one wants.  Waiting for it to 'happpen to you' isn't a serious strategy.


    There are not "plenty" of jobs (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:03:13 PM EST
    .. that was my point, and it's not splitting hairs.

    You misread me. I said that I (none / 0) (#87)
    by oldpro on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:28:00 PM EST
    personally wouldn't split hairs over 'plenty' of jobs.  Plenty, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and could be argued over forever by those who miss the main point and focus on parsong the words to deflect from dealing with the actual problems.

    I agree...no matter how it's defined, there aren't 'plenty' of jobs just now.  So...what's a jobseeker to do, hmmm?


    Good question... (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:39:28 PM EST
    "Whats a jobseeker to do?"

    Apparently, the advice from up high is get it on the grift while the grifting is still good, check your conscience at the door, f*ck future generations and the future of the great experiment.  And don't forget to pay your taxes in full or we'll send the men with guns.


    I am a little angry... (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:03:30 PM EST
    not at my station, I'm comfortable...a warm bed and something to eat everyday with some left over for fun.  I am a little perturbed by the new audacity of the grifters and their co-conspirators in government.  And what it means for the future of our country and world.  But just a little, it is what it is man...there is certainly little I can do about it without getting locked up.  This game's a lot older than you or me.

    I don't know if I have a point really, more an observation.  Doesn't it stike you as odd how this rigged market has assigned such disparate values to various jobs?  The ever widening income disparities?  That a blue collar craftsperson can barely support themselves much less a family, while Wall St. fatcats like the head grifter at Goldman Sachs makes enough for 100 families, especially when by all rights that company should be well into liquidation?


    Not particularly odd... (2.00 / 2) (#58)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:11:17 PM EST
    If someone can make millions on Wall St. without violating the law and going to jail, then good for him or her.  

    I'm not into the envy game: Knock down the other guy because he makes more than me (or 10 of me, or 100 of me).  

    As with most things in life we have at least 3 choices:  Be happy about it; Be miserable about it; or change it.  

    Some people want to complain about the other guy making so much money but they aren't willing to take the risks and try for themselves.  They prefer to complain.

    I prefer to change my lot, or change my attitue (and be happy with what I have).  

    But hey, whatever works for you guys...


    I hope you remember (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:21:07 PM EST
    well your own facile advice when it's your turn in the fire..we'll see how well you do it.

    Those are the times when the easy fortune cookie - bumpersticker platitudes (for other people) tend to fall by the wayside.


    Why do you assume I'm not in the fire? (2.00 / 3) (#143)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:21:58 PM EST
    I have followed this advice in the past and I'm sure I will have to in the future.  

    Geez, why do people here just want to mock and whine and be dismissive ?

    Ought to call the site "Left Whine"...


    Sounds like there's (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:32:38 PM EST
    plenty of whining to go around on all sides..

    Im sure yours has a higher, self-actualizing purpose though.


    why all the hate? (2.00 / 2) (#176)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:59:30 PM EST
    Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:04:42 PM EST
    Probably because it's an improvement over the moribund numbness of those who are so blithely cavalier about the hardships of others.

    Great. (2.00 / 1) (#190)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:32:56 PM EST
    But like I said to another poster, I don't care if you want to say such things about me on a discussion board.  I know you don't know the first thing about me.

    Isn't it intersting, though, that you apparently prefer to throw barbs at me rather than discuss the topic with any substance?  

    Have a nice night.  


    lol (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:45:19 PM EST
    As if you didnt have a clue that posting that warmed-over Atlas Shrugged palaver at a left-leaning site would elicit some passionate responces..

    What was the topic at hand again, that the economic and moral complexities of the present situation in this country can be reduced to couple of simplistic formulas that sound like they were picked up at an EST seminar?


    Dave, you don't come here often (none / 0) (#195)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:37:59 PM EST
    But it appears that you come here to antogonize  with simplistic bumber sticker slogans....That type of comment adds nothing to the conversation.

    It seems that convervatives are feeling their oates nowadays because they are going to "win" the midterms.  When the conservative cause is in the doldroms, not too many trolls pop up...


    Thats the problem man... (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:27:53 PM EST
    If someone can make millions on Wall St. without violating the law and going to jail, then good for him or her.

    On Wall St. thievery is legal...only on Main St. is it against the law...we got different rules for different fools, and nothing resembling a free market.

    I am very curious as to how well we would be served by a truly free market...but damned if I know, all we've ever had is a rigged one.  Look close and you can see the strings.  

    I'm not a wealth hater like some others...I could be a dishonest wealth hater...all I ask is you earn it honestly, which is a different animal than "legally".  There is honest work that is illegal (marijuana grower), and dishonest work that is legal (Wall St. grifter).  


    I'm into the reality game (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:52:30 PM EST
    If you really are this clueless about what is happening in the US economy today, I suspect you live in a very sheltered reality. As a business owner who sells into the domestic consumer market, I can't afford to be so clueless.

    Exactly how do you make your money?


    So, all those that are out of (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:11:30 PM EST
    work must be completely out-of-touch social misfits, since the solution to their difficulties is so simple and so obvious, eh Dave? Just find some honest work that pays more.

    And if in the meantime you run out of bread, eat cake.


    The pathetic oversimplification, (5.00 / 7) (#82)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:25:09 PM EST
    fact-denying, and deliberate irrationality of the right-wing 'everyone can equally pull themselves up by their bootstraps' argument is always fun. It reminds me of the rationality of the right-wing approach to science

    You gotta have boots first.... (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:28:07 PM EST
    I said nothing of the sort (1.00 / 2) (#151)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:27:23 PM EST
    I made an observation that the "honest worker" who didn't like $8.50 an hour had options.

    You want to say they're not easy, fine.  They may not be.  

    You want to make excuse after excuse after excuse for how The Man is keeping you down, sorry don't wanna hear it.  

    Like I said, have fun in your misery.    


    What are those options? (none / 0) (#197)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:40:21 PM EST
    What is REALLY sad is (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:55:59 PM EST
    the kind of overly simplistic thinking that makes reversing a downward-spiraling situation seem as easy as snpping one's fingers.  Wishful, magical thinking.

    Go to school (and pay for it how? On a minimum wage?  Bad credit = no loans)

    "Become" a manager (because he didn't think of applying for a management job to begin with, and it's just as easy as showing up in a suit and tie instead of a work uniform and "being" management)

    Move to a location that pays better (what if his wife has a job locally - does she have to quit her job and move, too, or does she just get to spend the extra money he earns on commuting?)

    Start his own business (this is hilarious.  He lost his house, has no credit, no assets, but he can get loans in this economic environment to start a business?)

    It pains me to say this, but in keeping with your claim that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, I would pay you exactly nothing for your mini-treatise on freedom of opportunity; I might even want you to pay me.


    Well then maybe you should just give up... (2.00 / 1) (#43)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:03:05 PM EST
    Look, you want to complain and blame others or "the system" for your lot in life, go ahead.  Enjoy your bubble of unhappiness.  

    I never said it was easy.  Yes, you might have to make hard choices.  But you're making the choices.    

    You prefer what?  Your unhappiness?  or that the "government" take care of you?  


    As for me... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:10:23 PM EST
    I'd prefer a free market over this rigged one...a free market where nobody or no outfit is too big to fail.  A place where if all else fails you could grow dope to make a living without risking arrest and asset seizure.

    I'm suggesting that platitudes (5.00 / 6) (#65)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:17:23 PM EST
    about opportunity and freedom do not pay people's bills and put food on the table.

    I wasn't blaming "the system," just acknowledging the fact of the economy in which we find ourselves - which, by the way, is where it is not because of the choices many of the unemployed made, but because of the choices the people they worked for made, and the failure/lack of oversight that put the ordinary, honest worker in an untenable situation.

    The honest worker didn't send millions of jobs overseas, didn't game the system to make trillions of dollars, didn't create the housing bubble, but now that many people are standing in the ruins of their lives because others did, you think that having freedom of opportunity means that opportunity always exists and people are just choosing not to take advantage of it.

    What will you tell me next - that you never promised me a rose garden?  

    Put it on a bumper sticker.  


    The core of the article (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:17:39 PM EST
    which I don't think my right wing friend read, is that the screws that use to be manufactured in the factory are now being manufactured in China.

    This started in 1995 with the WTO. Fifteen years later we can see the results.

    The question is this. How do we fix it?

    Giving the banks billion didn't fix it and giving business owners billions in tax rebates won't fix it. The former because it wasn't needed and the latter because no one hires someone for a tax rebate.

    Simply put we must start "Buy(ing) America" if we want manufacturing to return.

    And let me tell you this will he difficult. About four years ago I was involved with a start up. We desperately tried to manufacture in the US but the costs just made the product non-competitive.

    And the free traders will say that it was tariffs that really drove us into a world wide depression.

    Is that true? Well, it may have been true then, but is it true today? We export corn as ethanol at around $176 a gallon and import oil at $2.60 a gallon (gas).

    It's time to rethink the situation. What we're doing isn't working..... for us.


    On the whole, quite well stated (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:34:48 PM EST

    Give credit where credit is due.


    And neither does your whining.... (2.00 / 1) (#137)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:14:23 PM EST
    put food on the table.  I was suggesting you stop whining and start doing something to fix your plight.  You claim you're not blaming the system, but then you go ahead and blame everyone BUT the "honest worker".

    BooHoo the honest worker got screwed...

    By his boss, by failed/lack of oversight, by the  companies who sent jobs overseas, by system "gamers" who made lots of money, by whoever or whatever created the housing bubble, blah blah blah....

    You seem to be making a distinction between the poor innocent honest worker doing everything right and getting screwed vs. everyone else (all of whom are dishonest, greedy, rich, incompetent overseers, or grifters).  

    Like I said, feel free to be alone in your unhappiness.  Otherwise, you can DO something about it.  Guess what, you still have THAT choice.  Although I suspect you'll whine that it was taken away by the greedy bad guys too, or that its a crappy choice 'cause you might have to move, or its too hard/expensive/boring to go to school... blah blah blah...

    Or, like I said before, maybe you should just give up.

    You're clearly looking for someone else to fix your problems.  And you're whining because you don't think you had anything to do with the situation you're in, and you apparently don't think you have any chance of bettering yourself.

    Sad... just sad.


    Reading comprehension is (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:51:17 PM EST
    a skill the value of which cannot be discounted; if your skills were better, you would understand that I was not speaking about myself: if it matters, I am employed in a professional sector, well-compensated in comparison to many others, happily married, with two wonderful and employed adult children, we own a home on 6 acres and count our blessings every day that that is our situation.

    The person referenced in the article originally posted is not me; my biggest problem today is wondering how good/bad the commute home will be, what I'll make for dinner tonight, and if there is anything on TV tonight other than the Olympics, and whether the strong winds we are supposed to get tonight will make it all moot by taking out the power.

    Your only purpose here seems to be to push people's buttons, but the unintended byproduct of your little visit is to make many of us realize how glad we are that we don't have shriveled-up, Barbara Bush-sized hearts.

    Have a nice evening.


    My skills are fine thanks (none / 0) (#187)
    by DaveCal on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:27:27 PM EST
    I wasn't speaking of you in particular Anne, there have been several conversations going on here today.  "You" meant anyone with this approach/attitude.  I thought that would have been discernable, but if not, now you know.

    I don't think it helps the discussion, but if you want to surmise about "my only purpose here" and be dismissive of me, then go ahead.  I really don't care.  But what exactly would be the purpose of your "shriveled up, Barbara Bush-sized hearts" comment other than to try and push buttons?

    I was trying to make a point on a discussion blog.  If the commenters want to disagree, and have an opinion and want to engage in a discussion, then great.  If they want to turn personal rather than having a discussion, well that's fine too i guess.  I can simply navigate away to another site for awhile.

    I'm glad you don't have many big problems today.  I really am.  And don't worry about your barbs and snotty comments.  You saying things about me that aren't true doesn't bother me.  I know that you don't know the first thing about me.    

    You have a nice evening too.


    Right-wing trolls bore me (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by shoephone on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:35:43 PM EST

    Anne said "shriveled up, (none / 0) (#198)
    by MKS on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:42:56 PM EST
    Barbara Bush-sized hearts"?  Ha!  Very cool.

    I think the purpose of such comments is not to push (your) buttons--but to entertain.


    Economists will tell you that the kind of social (5.00 / 5) (#148)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:25:10 PM EST
    mobility you are talking about just doesn't exist in this country anymore. In fact, many people who were able to move from the working class or poor into the middle class are now experiencing downward mobility from the middle class to working class poverty. Plus, high unemployment rates, wage stagnation and decline, and the constantly escalating cost of education and training, and basics like housing, has increasingly meant that young people without inherited assets have had fewer and fewer avenues into the middle class or out of poverty.

    I'm someone who did work my way from working class clerical work to a corner office in the corporate world. And then, with my husband, started my own successful business. But I don't for one minute forget the fortunate circumstances (like low or free tuition in California's once unmatched system of higher education, low housing costs and entry level wages that easily covered, on one salary, the cost of decent housing,  transportation and basic living costs) that made it possible for me to attend school debt free and live independently (without worrying, for instance, about whether one of my multiple roommates would fail to make their share of the rent this month).

    Young people in similar circumstances today simply can't do what I did. The lucky ones start their economic lives with significant debt that limits their flexibility and ability to pursue risky opportunities (like starting a business) down the road. The unlucky ones are defeated by unstable housing, limited job opportunities, unstable employement, wages that don't cover basic living costs like housing and dependable transportation much less allow for investment in education, training, tools, etc.


    Mother Jones (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by waldenpond on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:14:20 PM EST
    Was trying to watch and read posts at some sites, but it's mostly sniping about Obama.  So I am catching the updates via David Corn.  Seems to be non-controversial and mostly talking points.  Nothing new although David was surprised that domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition in some states.

    The Early Daze, part 4 (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:22:51 PM EST
    Sweet... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:08:12 PM EST
    the saga continues!

    I guess you Obama haters (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:15:43 PM EST
    think Grassley just hit it out of the park with his "this the first time in history that the federal government is telling you to buy something"?

    am I right?

    It's an effective line, you'll have to (none / 0) (#68)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:18:58 PM EST
    admit. Do you think that's a softball? If so, let's see Obama hit it out of the park.

    its an idiotic lie (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:20:19 PM EST
    Well, that would be a helpful response (none / 0) (#77)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:23:06 PM EST
    Are you completely politically tone deaf?
    People are FURIOUS at the idea of being forced by the govt to buy private health insurance.

    ah (none / 0) (#81)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:24:33 PM EST
    so we are not concerned with policy.  only politics.

    the fact is thats the way it has to be if the problem is to be solved.


    Hmmm, how could we not (none / 0) (#85)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:27:43 PM EST
    be talking politics?? I don't understand your viewpoint.

    my "viewpoint" (none / 0) (#100)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:33:10 PM EST
    is that republicans are entitled to their own opinions.  not their own facts.  Obama is talking facts.

    of course this is political.  its also about policy.
    in spite of the republicans best efforts.


    Like the "fact" that the excise tax (none / 0) (#106)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:37:08 PM EST
    is great policy?

    Honestly (none / 0) (#97)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:31:36 PM EST
    people are stupid- they basically think Health Insurance is good when they can get it, but don't support any regulations to make it more availible, want it high quality but howl about private rate hikes or public taxes- what the health care debate has driven home is that the general public can be deeply stupid about complex issues- there's a reason the public has turned against every health care plan introduced by every administration other than LBJs- the Health Care Industry is better at manipulating public opinion/debate than any politician since LBJ.

    thats exactly right (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:33:48 PM EST
    Obama is doing what needs to be done.

    So you don't think Obama is (none / 0) (#103)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:34:11 PM EST
    winning the argument?

    the point is (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:39:50 PM EST
    he is MAKING the argument.

    Haters? (none / 0) (#73)
    by nycstray on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:21:11 PM EST
    did I stutter? (3.50 / 2) (#76)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:22:38 PM EST
    Hard to tell (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by CST on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:28:14 PM EST
    when you're typing...

    I didnt stutter (none / 0) (#95)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:30:52 PM EST
    Obama is doing very well.
    I guess Orange is upset because he is not talking about the public option.

    So are they stupid too? (none / 0) (#114)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:47:07 PM EST
    Haters (none / 0) (#152)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:27:47 PM EST
    see post #140

    Dem commenters (none / 0) (#75)
    by waldenpond on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:21:22 PM EST
    agree with Repubs.... OBLAHMA SUX!!!!  (you think it's bad here, stay away from other sites)

    Guess so (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by star on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:31:10 PM EST
    since networks are zoning out and going back only for snippets...guess it is not going very well for their chosen one..
    It should never have come to this. with solid majority in senate and house,HC should have been done and passed into law long back.Public is not stupid enough to think repubs are responsible for the faliure of HCR. It should not have mattered what they thought if Dems and this president had acted with a spine. Thats what we voted em into office for . Taking cheap shots at Repubs is not doing much for me. It is so futile and too late in the game.

    The countless Dem failures on HCR (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:46:28 PM EST
    do not take away from the fact the the Republicans are worse on everything but the strategy, and have also been grossly dishonest from the beginning. If this session is solely an opportunity to point that out, it is fine with me, since Dems have been getting most of the bad press in the last 6 months (most of it deservedly).

    I'll watch it later and judge for myself about cheap shots, but if what you call cheap shots are merely answering the Republicans in kind, I'd say it's about dang time.


    Its not about repubs (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by star on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:49:28 PM EST
    point is not to say they are better at anything. but they should have been MADE irrelevant by strong actions instead of WORDS.

    Absolutely true (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:56:13 PM EST
    I know, I'm frustrated too.

    "their chosen one" (none / 0) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:39:07 PM EST
    good god.

    Mine too actually ;) (none / 0) (#115)
    by star on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:47:28 PM EST
    Did vote for him...
    Sorry am so frustrated with this whole exercise

    did you think (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:50:30 PM EST
    this would be easy?

    that he would just do it be decree or something?


    Could have been (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by star on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:59:30 PM EST
    Easier with the mandate he got only a year back, the country strongly rooting for him and solid majority in house and senate, Obama had a better shot at this    than any other president.

    I dont know what they are (none / 0) (#78)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:23:09 PM EST
    watching.  I guess facts are irrelevant.

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills sometimes (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by CST on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:26:43 PM EST
    Especially since you and gryfalcon are two of Obama's biggest defenders around here (and not just today).

    Talk about the twilight zone.  It's clearly not from any personal affinity for the guy.


    Isn't that funny? (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:18:22 PM EST
    I hate the guy, I think he's a fricking disaster.  Yet here, that makes me "one of his biggest defenders."

    You know why?  Because I for one get zippo that's either useful or satisfying out of ranting and raving on points that are simply factually incorrect.

    Oddly enough, I'm rather more attracted to reality-based critiques than to echo chamber pity parties.

    Is this health care summit thing going to get us anywhere Obama wants to go, never mind where I want to go with health care?  I dunno.  I rather doubt it, but that remains to be seen.

    But factually, Obama has been -- sorry if you don't want to hear it -- taking the lead in this in knocking down a lot of the fraudulent GOP talking points.  Does it make any difference?  I dunno.  Maybe, maybe not.

    He's doing a rather interesting thing here, which is trying to put his money where his mouth is on the idea of "bipartisanship" while not giving ground on key issues of fact about health care and the health insurance industry.

    To my knowledge, no president has ever tried anything like this before, and certainly not publicly.

    After 50 years of frustration, rage and disappointment over our political/governance structure in this country, I've pretty much emotionally detached from it-- most of the time.  So I find this an interesting experiment.

    I assume it will fail.  And then it will be interesting to see how long the O keeps trying this and when, and if, he gives up on it and has to find some new animating principle other than bipartisanship and comity.


    It will fail because Obama and the (none / 0) (#150)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:26:54 PM EST
    Democrats don't understand how to repeat a message. Republicans have millions of people convinced of all kinds of falsehoods, because they repeat them as often as possible.
    If Obama says "hey, you're wrong", why will that get any more traction than the countless other times Republicans have been corrected. He's imagining that he personally has special power to change people's minds. Yes, but only if he has a consistent, aggressive, anti-Republican message.
    It doesn't help that Obama has said over and over again that the Republicans have good ideas.

    I'm convinced that public (none / 0) (#189)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:31:59 PM EST
    opinion and "optics" are a secondary goal in this meeting, as they were in his back-and-forth with the House Gopers a few weeks ago.

    I think his main goal here is to genuinely shame/persuade a few of the very small number of semi-rational people among the Republicans to break ranks and begin to cooperate-- not to mention actually vote for something.

    His closing remarks were very clear.  He said if there appears to be some movement in the next few days towards cooperation on "the things we all agree on," he'll pursue that and work with it.  If not, he says, we have no choice but to go ahead with doing it via reconciliation.

    We'll see.


    "I hate the guy" (none / 0) (#156)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:30:44 PM EST
    we are on the same page.

    and I guess that flawless republican message machine must be responsible for President McCain.


    Good comment... (none / 0) (#157)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    I am not watching it because I'm at work.

    I guess this is a good forum for Obama to speak in, and what we have needed all this time is more open fact-based discussion about what is on the table in terms of healthcare.  It's just sad to me that this wasn't done months ago when the public option was still alive.  Knowing how well it polls, imagine how politically defining that conversation could have been.  Oh well.  Ugh.


    I know the feeling (2.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:29:56 PM EST
    talk "left"?

    yeah - want to talk HOLC some more? (none / 0) (#182)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:07:17 PM EST
    They don't (3.50 / 2) (#99)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:33:10 PM EST
    at this point there's a segment of commentors on here that would call it a plan to destroy Social Security if Obama himself cured cancer.

    That's a richly ironic comment, (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:36:34 PM EST
    given that Obama is on the way to gutting SS and Medicare with his new commission. Alan Simpson? Oh god.

    thats fantasy (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:38:23 PM EST
    Ok, now I know you are completely (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:46:08 PM EST
    out of touch.
    Appointing Simpson as co-chair seals the deal---there will be SS and Medicare cuts, in one form or another. Take that to the bank.

    This commission is not binding on Congress (none / 0) (#116)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:48:11 PM EST
    We are a long way from any legislative outcome.

    give it up (1.00 / 0) (#118)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:49:23 PM EST
    yeah, I'll save it for the (none / 0) (#128)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:57:51 PM EST
    bipartisan conversation on SS reform thread next February.

    the brainiacs here have it all figured out (none / 0) (#130)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:00:29 PM EST
    except that they are all over the map.
    one is concerned because the talking points are not right and another is concerned because the didnt just bigfoot along with no regard for politics.

    both are equally tipped.

    by the way.
    Obama just hit one out of the park.

    "would you feel the same way if you made 40,000 dollars a year?"



    Watching the last year in HCR unfold (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:12:32 PM EST
    it is pretty clear there is enough blame to go around. I wish everyone had done better.

    I've more or less given up on HCR, but I don't want the mess of it to color everything else and wash the Repubs in a rosy glow. Many Dems were not helpful, to say the least on HCR, but as a rule I don't want to lose sight of the real enemy on a lot of other fronts.


    ruffian (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:15:50 PM EST
    they are going to pass a bill.  it will end pre existing conditions and the ability of insurance companies to drop sick people.

    that alone is enough to celebrate.  I happen to think there may be some nice surprises to come but even if there isnt that is a huge win all by itself.

    its as simple as that.


    Well..... (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:25:07 PM EST
    I'll wait and see before I celebrate whatever gets passed.

    Age (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by waldenpond on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:32:22 PM EST
    I'm looking forward to being able to keep my 17 year old insured until 25 or 26.

    when does that kick in btw? n/t (none / 0) (#167)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:37:44 PM EST
    Enough with the pre-celebration-- (none / 0) (#144)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:22:47 PM EST
    please!!! I'm going to be sick.
    For months the cheerleaders have been congratulating Obama for ALREADY having bigger success than FDR, HST, LBH or WJC.
    When  a bill passes, go ahead and celebrate, if you want.
    I was just thinking though---the natural result of today's meeting would be further negotiations and a longer process, right? If Obama invites the GOP to the table only to stiff them tomorrow by passing a bill without their input, what's the point? Given how Obama has operated so far, I find it inconceivable that Obama wants a rush now.
    On the other hand, if Congress takes the ball and runs, great.

    please (2.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:23:47 PM EST
    be sick
    we will wait.

    Well, when you put it that way (none / 0) (#155)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:29:17 PM EST
    If Obama invites the GOP to the table only to stiff them tomorrow by passing a bill without their input, what's the point?

    I kind of like the sound of it. Let Dems be Lucy with the football for a change.


    sure, it would be nice. (none / 0) (#161)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:33:30 PM EST
    want to bet  on it happening?

    yes (none / 0) (#164)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:34:41 PM EST
    how much.
    a donation to a candidate or cause of the choice of the winner.

    all here are witnesses


    how about (none / 0) (#166)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:36:05 PM EST
    100 american dollars?

    the point is (none / 0) (#162)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:33:53 PM EST
    that is of course exactly what he will do.
    what he is doing today is removing a republican talking/whining point.

    I think the point (none / 0) (#165)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:35:56 PM EST
    is to say "your ideas are already in the bill" (as they are) and to say "the rest of your ideas suck and I'm not f*cking up the bill by putting them in."  Viola.  I hope that's the point anyway...

    I hope he said that (none / 0) (#168)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:41:13 PM EST
    There have already been a lot of Republican ideas incorporated. To pretend we are starting from scratch today, as McConnell wanted to, would be silly.

    If you have learned nothing in the last (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:12:52 PM EST
    two years, I would hope that you would have figured out that understanding Obama requires paying more attention to what he does, and less to what he says; however well he articulates and zings, look at the substance of what he is proposing and piggybacking onto, the commissions he is forming, and do not allow his mellifluous voice to seduce you into believing things that just aren't so.

    I am not cheerleading for the GOP, by any means; they are as bad as they have ever been - but you need to not be distracted by their awfulness into ignoring the truth of Obama's agenda, which is better verified by his actions, not his words.


    Of course I will do and have done just that (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:21:00 PM EST
    His voice has no magical power over me, believe me. If what he is doing on this day is refuting a few of the Republican lies, to me, that is doing something, not just talking.  

    I meant that as a reply to (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:33:28 PM EST
    Capt. Howdy, if that matters...

    Over and over again, Obama has said one thing and done just the opposite - so much so that I can only conclude that that's a feature, not a bug.

    Capt. Howdy believes that legislation that ends rescissions means that insurance companies will not find the loopholes that will let them keep doing it - maybe not with as much frequency, maybe calling it something else, maybe finding ways to raise premiums to force people out or force them into less comprehensive coverage - but do it they will.

    And he believes that one element is worth the negative effects of what this legislation, if passed, would have.

    Obama was against telecom immunity, and then he voted for it.  He was opposed to the Bush policies on state secrets, and then he incorporated and used those policies himself.  He was for single-payer, and then he wasn't.  He was for transparency, but never provided it, choosing the backroom deal, instead.  He was for accountability, and then he wasn't, choosing instead to use the cover of "looking forward" to not just allow the architects of a terrible policy off the hook, but to leave the possibilities open for his own administration.

    He may have called out the GOP on some elements, but what good is that - other than the optics - if, in the end, it doesn't result in better policy?


    To get better policy we have to persuade (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:59:20 PM EST
    more people. Optics and words are part of what persuade people that your policies are better, or at least that the other guy's policies are bad.

    I'm not at all convinced that whatever gets passed will be good. I tend to agree with you on that. I just know Republican arguments should be taken on and refuted at every chance.


    its not (none / 0) (#145)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:23:04 PM EST
    rocket science

    Seriously (none / 0) (#149)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:26:00 PM EST
    Hide and watch him try. (2.00 / 1) (#173)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:54:39 PM EST
    Even at Big Orange? Got a linkie (none / 0) (#80)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:23:44 PM EST
    or two?

    People (none / 0) (#184)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:08:42 PM EST
    like Grassley drive me nuts. Did they suddenly have massive amnesia about what Bush spent eight years doing? Of course, he doesnt but most of the Republicans I talk to around here are still stuck in the 80's and only want to talk about Reagan.

    House Rules adopts McDermott language ... (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:38:59 PM EST
    ... on interrogation & cruelty in Manager's Amendment to Intelligence bill (HR 2701)!

    (GOP cries foul, WH threatens veto, etc., etc.)

    I am pretty impressed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 12:39:43 PM EST
    with the O's performance so far

    Really? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:00:12 PM EST
    Every time I've looked in to see how it was going, some Republican has presented a long list of specific criticisms of features of the plan or, as in McCain's case, inflamatory talking points, and Obama's response has been some version of "let's stop the politicking" rather than a refutation of their criticisms or points. Lots of people seemed thrilled that he responded to McCain by saying the "election was over" but I cringed. It sounded arrogant, and it didn't address the truth of his accusations.

    Perhaps I've just been unfortunate in not catchng those times when he is actually refuting Republican talking points and criticisms, rather than just suggesting that those criticism are simply political. Everyone knows this event is political theater (and that he and fellow Dems are being no less political than their opponents). What the public wants and needs to know is if the Republican's criticisms are true.  


    You say "the election is over" (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:04:42 PM EST
    when you are insisting on something specific, which Obama is pointedly NOT doing.
    In the context of a bipartisan summit convened by Obama whose purpose is to elicit Republican ideas about HCR, the statement is stupid and tone deaf beyond belief.

    Both parties are serving the insurance (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:27:53 PM EST
    companies though by either killing the reform or slapping mandates on Americans to pay for junk insurance because any sort of regulation is already coming in so watered down it is pathetic and will not function.  I've heard many of the Republican arguments and some of those arguments cannot be answered and addressed because it exposes the Democrats complicitness in serving the insurance industry over serving the American people.

    This whole circus is only (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:31:04 PM EST
    designed to show that Obama cares. I'm sure the Congressional Democrats hate it, while the Republicans are in a no lose position.

    I simply couldnt disagree more (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:48:08 PM EST
    I think Obama is moping the floor with them.
    they look like fools.
    including Psychogeezer McCain.

    Having had the opportunity to (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:04:27 PM EST
    watch/listen to more this afternoon, all I can say is that you must be a very cheap date.

    He's still trying to agree with the Republicans, even if he occasionally appears to be pushing back here and there; letting a few zingers fly is not the same as advocating for Democratic policies.  He's defending his proposal, which is a product of right-leaning Democrats and concessions to industry and Republicans.

    You think he's setting up the Republicans, but what he's really doing here is setting us up.


    I know that is what you would like (2.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:05:47 PM EST
    but you are going to be disappointed.

    We don't know what the bill is, (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:17:43 PM EST
    or what process will be used to finalize it, and you're just ecstatic.
    We're on different planets.
    I'll say one thing: I'd bet money that the idea of another commenter that the Democrats are going to bounce off this meeting, with its showcasing of Republican instransigence, to come back next week and do whatever they want via reconciliation---that idea is pure fantasy.

    Question: did you think the (none / 0) (#35)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:55:12 PM EST
    Obama meeting with the GOP was a success for Obama?
    Is what's happening today similar?

    yes (none / 0) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:57:32 PM EST
    and yes

    Then I guess today's meeting (none / 0) (#40)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:00:32 PM EST
    will help the Democrats as much as Obama's session with the GOP did.
    I read almost the entire transcript of Obama's meeting with the GOP, and he was barely above lame. On  paper, he doesn't look like he can say anything except "my experts say.."
    HE can't EXPLAIN.
    He scolds and says "you're wrong".
    That didn't help a few weeks ago and it won't help today if that's what's happening.

    are you watching this? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:05:13 PM EST
    he is taking their idiotic arguments and knocking them down with facts.  one by one.

    I thought Obama's idea for the summit (none / 0) (#45)
    by ZtoA on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:03:15 PM EST
    was to 'share', and be bi-partisan, and work together. Not to mop the floors with each other in a bravura show of one-up-manship.

    I suppose a televised advertised staged summit like this one is mostly for show anyhow. I think of it as the top pro-wrestler TV program of politics. Entertainment and gottcha.


    I guess the WH thinks (none / 0) (#22)
    by ZtoA on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:40:26 PM EST
    that appearing as the consummate insider equals appearing 'presidential'.

    Appearances ARE important, but now that internet access has stressed appearance over substance things are a bit out of balance. One reason I like this site.


    It IS a sham (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:10:03 PM EST
    Dems going bck to a Dems-only reconcilation bill next week.

    After a brief period of consultation following the White House health reform summit, congressional Democrats plan to begin making the case next week for a massive, Democrats-only health care plan, party strategists told POLITICO.

    A Democratic official said the six-hour summit was expected to "give a face to gridlock, in the form of House and Senate Republicans."

    Democrats plan to begin rhetorical, and perhaps legislative, steps toward the Democrats-only, or reconciliation, process early next week, the strategists said.

    After the summit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid planned to take the temperature of their caucuses.

    "The point [of the summit] is to alter the political atmospherics, and it will take a day or two to sense if it succeeded," the official said.

    let me get this straight (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:17:07 PM EST
    you are complaining about this?

    No (none / 0) (#79)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:23:12 PM EST
    But the Dems are sweet and innocent in all this -and all this means is that all of this hullablaoo has been an incredibel waste of time.  If what they have is so good, they should have forced it through months ago instead of trying to play the game that the Republicans are bad.  

    Put up or shut up.


    it is not a wast of time. (3.50 / 4) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:26:33 PM EST
    and your republican talking points are tiresome.
    what he is doing is showing the country that the republicans are not in this game.

    and it is smart and it is working.


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:28:52 PM EST
    That's why the right blogs like it too - because Obama is destroying them.



    any instant polling yet? (none / 0) (#93)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:29:47 PM EST
    "instant polling" (none / 0) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:52:52 PM EST
    god help us

    You think this is an academic (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:28:55 PM EST
    exercise? Obama should already be changing peoples' minds.

    I think its more likely that (none / 0) (#91)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:28:59 PM EST
    Obama's DOJ will charge Cheney with war crimes.
    Remember, Dem sites were full of people who believed the entire Bush administration would be heading to prison and/or the Hague if Obama was elected.

    Yeah right.. and I've got (none / 0) (#74)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:21:22 PM EST
    an insurance plan for a family of four which costs $5,000/yr.
    So politico is a reliable source now?

    Except that McCain (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:33:37 PM EST
    wasn't offering suggestions, he was whining on and on and on about the process.

    McCain always whines and he's (none / 0) (#27)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:46:34 PM EST
    always praised for standing by his principles.
    He's a very effective whiner, so what does Obama gain by giving him a platform?

    The election (none / 0) (#50)
    by pfish on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:05:20 PM EST
    by my count, is 8 months away.  That's the one he needs to be more focused on.

    I have watched the whole thing (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:17:59 PM EST
    What specifics have Republicans given?  

    Here's a talking point Coburn (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:22:19 PM EST
    made which CNN displayed several times.
    He said that 7% of costs are waste.
    Later he said that 1 dollar in 3 is wasted (not sure of the context for either statement, because the sound was off).
    Those are impressive numbers. Did the Dems refute them?

    No (none / 0) (#32)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:50:46 PM EST
    That was Obama's point.  All those points are in both the House and Senate versions.

    Then you've tuned in (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:37:24 PM EST
    at inopportune times.  He's gone after a number of the worst Republican "misrepresentations," but he's largely ignored the process whines, which was the sum total of McCain's rant, for instance, because that's not what this is supposed to be about and there's no point doing this at all (which I grant there may not be) if it's allowed to degenerate into "Did so," "Did not," "Did so too" on process.

    Have the networks reported that (none / 0) (#23)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:42:39 PM EST
    Obama corrected Republican mistakes, or are they in the typical mode of not reporting truth or falsity.

    there is fact checking going on (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:52:43 PM EST
    all over.  and the republicans are not doing well.

    Heh (none / 0) (#39)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:58:48 PM EST
    you might want to check around (none / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:07:15 PM EST
    before getting carried away with the "heh"ing

    Heh (none / 0) (#63)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:16:38 PM EST
    I was thinking of our exchange last week.

    Totally agree with you (4.00 / 3) (#7)
    by star on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:09:39 PM EST
    He did sound arrogant and I have not heard much in terms of substance when refuting the opposing points of views.
    Telling Eric cantor NOT to display the 2400 pages of the bill was so so childish.. If the bill is 2400 pages long as it is, and if you think it is so for a reason, then state that instead of sounding condescending like he always does..
    This whole thing is a futile excersice and political theater. WH's latest plan to make 'O' LOOK presidential. they do not care much about him actually BEING presidential..

    I wish Obama would just say (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:02:54 PM EST
    "Representative Cantor, you are paid a lot of money to make decisions about America's legislation. If this bill is too long for you or your staffers to read, or if it's too complex for you to understand, perhaps someone else should have your job."

    Republicans have gotten away with playing up to stupid people for too long.


    If he said that (3.80 / 5) (#136)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:13:52 PM EST
    people here would say he was sounding like an arrogant, out-of-touch, academic elitist again: "which just shows how clueless and out-of-touch he is..this wont play well with..blah blah"

    Put him in a wig and a pantsuit and he'd be kicking as* right now.


    That would have been a good line (none / 0) (#47)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:04:22 PM EST
    Sounds like Obama is in preachy, pissy professor mode, which doesn't play well with the public.
    We'll see.

    Oooh (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:07:06 PM EST
    I wish I could give you a 10 for that comment! he really should say that. I'm sick of the GOP whining about the length of things like children whine when they get too much homework.

    even that is not the point (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:08:14 PM EST
    what Obama said is exactly the point.  THAT is the kind of crap that is used to prevent an actual conversation.

    the answer was perfect.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:11:20 PM EST
    but if the above post is true where he just told him not to display it then that doesn't seem very effective. IMO it sounds like Obama is afraid of everybody seeing how large the bill actually is i.e. he agrees with Cantor that the size is a problem.

    Im sorry (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:14:38 PM EST
    thats not what he said.
    he said its a stupid distraction.  and it is.

    but, Capt. Howdy, we know it's a stupid (none / 0) (#163)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:33:55 PM EST
    distraction. Obama doesn't have to point that out. He has to do more than say the Republicans are just playing politics. He has to say that their ideas are wrong and will not provide the American people with what they want and need from health care reform!!!

    he did say that (none / 0) (#170)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:45:44 PM EST
    the distraction comment was later.  and dont assume everyone knows that.

    His tie was presidential (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:17:27 PM EST
    I wouldn't be surprised if his tie cost more than the other ties in the room combined. It was very nice, and the light  blue was perfect for him.

    Excuse me. Cream City occupies the (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:35:10 PM EST
    field her re assessing Obama's attire.

    I'd like to know if she agrees (none / 0) (#24)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:43:31 PM EST
    with me on the price. Everyone else's tie looked off the rack--probably under $50. Obama's cost hundreds.
    Coburn's orange tie was frightening.

    what he said to Cantor (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:49:13 PM EST
    was the best line so far.
    it is absolutely true.  every word.  bill are long.
    I am shocked.
    what is your point?

    Haven't been able to watch (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:17:40 PM EST
    How about the other Dems? Are they saying much, or is O doing the heavy lifting?

    it all Obama (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:19:35 PM EST
    since I have been listening.  and he is doing the job.
    Joe spoke for a couple of minutes.

    which is fine with me.  he is best at this and he should be doing the talking.


    Becerra was great...laid it on the line (none / 0) (#69)
    by oldpro on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:19:07 PM EST
    about "do we believe the CBO or NOT?!?"  Called them "the referee on the field."

    Can you be specific? (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    I saw some of CNN"s coverage with the sound off. The Republicans looked quite happy to me.

    happy? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:50:03 PM EST
    I dont know if they look happy.
    they may because they are fools.  they should not be happy.
    they are looking like complete idiots.

    they are always happy when they get (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    to get their talking points out there, and crazy enough to think they are good talking points.

    I can't deal with the health summit (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:21:46 PM EST
    It has been draining to deal with the scamming of the insurance companies and following all this closely.  Taking a very very backseat today.  I ordered a bunch of painting books from Amazon.  Painting on the house always makes me feel better and I have a couple of pieces of used furniture to apply some creative painting to so two books were specifically on painted furniture.

    Which books? (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by shoephone on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:45:06 PM EST
    I used to do a lot of decorative work, but when I started there were only a few books on the subject, and so we all just glommed onto the Isabel O'Neill book, which was considered the "faux-finish bible." It was mostly oil finishes in those days, though.

    Hope you are having fun with it, anyhow. It's gratifying to transform something like that.


    That makes two of us... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:25:56 PM EST
    maybe the big strategy is to talk us all to death.

    Like I've said from day one, I really don't care, just don't make things any worse.  I know if I ever got really sick I'm totally screwed...just like every other person without 6 or 7 figures laying around.


    "maybe the big strategy.... (none / 0) (#183)
    by desertswine on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:07:38 PM EST
    is to talk us all to death..."

    Yeah, its just a dance anyway. Look at how fast I can dance!


    I guess (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 01:45:26 PM EST
    you can say "talk left" has officially "made it" when the blog starts attracting ditto monkeys and their talking points.

    are we paying enough attention (none / 0) (#92)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:29:13 PM EST
    to see that every word coming out of Boners mouth and every other republicans mouth could have and would have been said about social security and medicare.

    now Boner is talking about abortion.  that is how you know they are desperate.

    Abortion is a great issue for them. (none / 0) (#98)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:32:10 PM EST
    Of course they will mention it! Just because you disagree with them and think they are FOS doesn't make other people feel the same way.

    I didnt say it wasnt (none / 0) (#105)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:36:40 PM EST
    I said it is what they bring up when they are desperate.

    Psychogeezer should be good.


    Calling it desperation to use one (none / 0) (#107)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:38:14 PM EST
    of their best wedge issues? Okaaay.

    are you concerned at all (none / 0) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:48:50 PM EST
    with the actual policy of this discussion or is it simply all political sound bites for you?

    A meeting like this is designed to (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:54:38 PM EST
    let soundbites compete---duh.
    It looks like Obama has convinced you of things which you already believed. Did he convince anyone else. THAT is what matters, and what you don't seem to get.

    And, btw, I know the Republicans (none / 0) (#124)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:56:03 PM EST
    came with lots of  soundbites prepared. Did the Democrats? I hope Obama's lame-o response to Cantor wasn't scripted.

    I think I need to stop responding to you (none / 0) (#127)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:57:06 PM EST
    I am starting to feel like I need a shower.

    have a nice day.


    Hope the shower wakes you up. (3.50 / 2) (#131)
    by observed on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:00:41 PM EST
    Cheerleading is tiring.

    Hold the presses... (none / 0) (#122)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:53:17 PM EST
    I thought Boner was missing in action since last Thursday...they found him at the healthcare comedy hour?

    Excuse the comic relief:)


    the comedy relief (none / 0) (#125)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 02:56:08 PM EST
    is talking now.

    Can you narrow it down? (none / 0) (#132)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:06:26 PM EST
    That could be anyone in attendance:)

    the "doctor" (none / 0) (#135)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:13:14 PM EST
    who made the point that catastrophic health care users are the "model" and use health care most "efficiently"

    That is funny... (5.00 / 3) (#153)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:27:54 PM EST
    imagine a mechanic saying "don't get an oil change, too inefficient, wait for your engine to crap out and then take the bus."

    Expand coverage & lower costs (none / 0) (#141)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:19:17 PM EST
    Chuck Grassley said that for the first time in America's history, this country is going to force people to buy something. Well that's not really true, we're forced to buy car insurance but only if we drive a car on public roads. The truth behind his nonsense is that many people will be angry about having to buy health insurance, especially because their costs will fund healthcare welfare for many who deliberately impoverish themselves and for non-citizens. That's why the Individual Mandate will backfire for the Democrats.

    The bill has $500 billion of Medicare cuts, which will again cause a negative backlash against our Dem Party. In the midst of a dangerous economic crisis with likely failure of Social Security and Medicare, this creates a new entitlement program that could bankrupt our country. And any agreements set up while Dems are in the majority would easily be disassembled by the next Republican Administration and Congress.

    We need a solution that works for people, and gives our Party popular support. It's the mandates and the welfare healthcare that will backfire.

    1. Insurance reforms, including purchasing across state lines
    2. Reduce prescription prices
    3. Create the exchange and find ways to get Medicaid recipients into it
    4. Medical malpractice limits (tort reform)
    5. Put Congress into the same public system
    6. Medicare expansion, at cost - If we give people the option to BUY Medicare, it would certainly cost less than insurance coverage. The individual and business cost reductions would be wildly popular, and the wingers can't call it socialism because people can still opt to buy insurance coverage through for-profit companies. We would not have complete universal coverage, but we could increase funding for Medicaid and small business health coverage separate from this reform. First we need to fix the major problem with Medicaid, which is that too many people use it as perpetual welfare. Tying together cost reductions and welfare will sink our Party.

    charlie is on (none / 0) (#169)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:44:05 PM EST
    finally.  this could be good.

    man (none / 0) (#174)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 03:55:50 PM EST
    if you dont know why it was a good idea for Obama to do most of the talking try listening to Nancy for 5 minutes.

    Being concerned about this "summit" has (none / 0) (#177)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:03:16 PM EST
    nothing to do with "hating" Obama. I'll admit, I've always doubted the wisdom of giving the Republicans this platform. And what I've seen so far convinced me I was wrong.

    When an exchange like the one between McCain and Obama is being celebrated on BOTH liberal and conservative blogs, its hard to believe anything useful is being accomplished.

    its usefull (none / 0) (#180)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:06:20 PM EST
    because the democrats are FINALLY engaging in the debate.  they have not until now.  THAT is a good thing.  the publics perception of this has been shaped by republican lies.  no wonder its not popular.  

    here is what republicans are really afraid of.  that it will pass.  because they know when it does people will like it.

    the honest ones have admitted that.  


    That should be "hasn't" convinced (none / 0) (#179)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:04:44 PM EST
    me I was wrong. I apologize again for being the worst self-editor of Talk Left.

    oddly (none / 0) (#181)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:07:06 PM EST
    I knew what you meant and ignored the typeo.

    I am disappointed (none / 0) (#185)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:13:30 PM EST
    that someone didnt tell the story I heard last night (and maybe they did I have not heard it all) about the parents who were told by their insurance company that their newborns cleft palate was a pre existing condition and would not pay for fixing it.

    It seems (none / 0) (#191)
    by nycstray on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:33:25 PM EST
    just being born makes you a pre-existing condition these days . . .

    were they able to get the newborn fixed up in the end? That's just horrible.


    no (none / 0) (#193)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:35:20 PM EST
    I dont think so.
    that is why they were talking to whatever dem told the story.
    I cant remember who it was

    d*mn, (none / 0) (#199)
    by nycstray on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:43:21 PM EST
    that's seriously messed up. What do you want to bet they also get a premium hike tossed in . . . .

    I think its one of the worst (none / 0) (#200)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:44:32 PM EST
    stories I have heard.  that is why I expected to hear it today.

    ah (none / 0) (#203)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:46:39 PM EST
    Harry Reid highlights Reno businessman, father at health summit

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered a sobering story of a Reno businessman, Jesus Gutierrez, a restaurant owner, who faced $90,000 in medical bills after his baby girl was born with a cleft palate and his insurance company denied her surgeries, saying she had a pre-existing condition.

    the gop is winning, wait . . . (none / 0) (#186)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:24:38 PM EST
    POLITICO's Glenn Thrush:

    Eric Cantor's spokesman Brad Daysping, a hockey fan/player, sees MSNBC's programming switch as a harbinger of GOP victory...

    BDayspring You know GOP is winning #hcsummit now.... MSNBC has switched coverage to women's hockey. #hcr #ocra #handsoff #gop #tcot

    UPDATE: A reader makes a good point: MSNBC announced before the summit even started that it would be switching to the Olympics at 2 p.m.

    allegorical bypartisanship (none / 0) (#188)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 04:31:51 PM EST