Report: Obama Won't Seek to Raise Medicare Eligibility Age

I so hope this is true:

The plan includes no changes in Social Security and does not include an increase in the Medicare eligibility age, which the president had considered this summer.

If it's accurate, I'm withdrawing my pink slip to President Obama. I'll even thank him.

Update: Obama Deficit Plan Aimed at Democratic Base.

Stay tuned.

< The Emmys: Off to a Slow Start, Goes Downhill From There | Obama's Deficit Cutting Plan: No Raise in Medicare Eligibility Age >
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    If so he at least understands his base... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Addison on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:36:04 PM EST

    Please let the Commision fail (none / 0) (#3)
    by MKS on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:57:35 PM EST
    They can always undo the automatic cuts via later legislation.

    I think it is more than his base at (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:33:56 AM EST
    this time he is finally responding to, only a few rich independents want our government to shaft everyone but them at this point I think.  Independents want sanity, cutting Social Security and making it impossible for out of work 65 yr olds to have insurance coverage is insanity.

    Obama has earned his pink slip... (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:47:13 AM EST
    ...regardless of what he now says he wants to do with Medicare and Social Security. On those two programs, he put them out there and was willing to sacrifice them in exchange for...well...nothing. And just because he is whispering sweet nothings in our ears while in campaign mode does not mean that he will stick with what he says if he should be re-elected. But forget all that and Obama has still earned his pink slip.

    Renditions continue.

    Wars continue.

    Warrantless wiretapping continues.

    The expansion of the security state continues.

    The abuse of the state secrets doctrine not only continues but has been expanded.

    Torture continues. (Now we just get others to do it for us.)

    Indefinite detention without charge or trial is official policy.

    Austerity is official policy.

    "Targeted killings" (read "murders and assassinations") of people continue with absolutely no due process or oversight. Even citizens are not immune.

    The Bush tax cuts? Meddling with the foundations of Social Security through "temporary" (yeah, right) reductions in the payroll tax? Adopting Republican memes on taxes and economics? The atrocious health care "reform" which cements the utterly broken private, for-profit system into place and makes us all mandatory premium payers to inefficient health insurers who by law get to skim at least 20 percent off the top?

    Shall I go on?

    Pink slip? Oh hell yeah. As far as I am concerned, Obama is fired. It is my intent to work actively against him.

    For whom will you be working? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:54:46 AM EST
    No idea (none / 0) (#13)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:41:23 AM EST
    As of now, I expect to be working for the Kermit team in general.

    More ostrich-like behavior than kermit. (1.75 / 4) (#136)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:54:33 PM EST
    Ostrich? (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:56:33 PM EST
    That would be you and the other Obamacrats. Get your head out of...the ground.

    Fascinating. (none / 0) (#167)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:27:47 PM EST
    welll you may not work against him here (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:41:04 AM EST
    Or encourage people not to vote for a different candidate. This is a Democratic site.

    Don't intend to work against him here (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:43:17 AM EST
    But I find your comment funny in light of your previous Obama pink slip and all. I'm sorry to see you lapse back into the "this is a Democratic site" thing. Obama may wear the label, but Obama is no Democrat and I am astounded that you could even consider supporting him.

    Let me add one more bit... (5.00 / 7) (#16)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:01:22 AM EST
    ...and then I'll drop this line of response to your post.

    The idea that posting on a blog, any blog anywhere, constitutes "working for" or "working against" a candidate has always struck me as an idea that is not sound. Blogs have a self-selecting readership. People tend to read and participate in blogs that they already agree with, and tend to avoid reading blogs that they don't agree with. I doubt that so much as a single vote will be changed by anything I post here or anywhere else.

    Working for a candidate means getting out from behind a keyboard and off the net. It means face to face contact and canvasing. The training program that the Howard Dean campaign put together to drive that point home was called "Mousepads to Shoe Leather." I took that training program in Atlanta in the fall of 2003, but prior to that I had already been active in past Democratic campaigns dating back to being a fifteen year old volunteer putting out door hangers and signs for Jimmy Carter in 1976.

    I guess what I'm getting at was at the heart of the second paragraph of this post and reminiscent of an exchange I had with Duncan Black/Atrios back when he was still "Kurt Foster" posting at the late, great Salon Table Talk. Re-stated, blogs and message boards have readership that is self selecting. Posting opinions on those blogs and thinking that doing so constitutes actively working for a political cause is tantamount to delusion. It's the same issue that liberals tried to drive home concerning the 101st Fighting Keyboard Commandos and their "support" of the Iraq War. (They thought they were helping to win the war by calling out anyone who dissented. And I mean they really thought that. Probably still do.)

    Anyway, it's your blog. You own it and you pay for it. I respect that, and dang if I have any intention to begin disprespecting that now. But I am sad that you seem ready and willing to ignore the direction that Obama has this nation headed in, because I absolutely do not consider his course to be charted by anything like a Democratic compass.


    I am a bystander in the (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by the capstan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:35:12 AM EST
    next election--which will not have a smidgen of effect on the outcome, being in a red precinct in a red district in a red state.  Did the same in 2008.  To me it is a matter of personal integrity to not enable (vote for) a candidate I believe is wrong for the USA--or for liberal ideals.

    I left TL for months before on being told that it was necessary to support Obama or SFU (I do not recall the wording; if that's wrong, I apologize.)

    I trust that I will not have to leave again.  Frankly, the other sites I looked at before were a bit--cranky?  odd?  kooky?

    I suppose I shall continue to say I do not think Obama is a real Dem, and as I explain when asked why I do not vote for him, I recognize that he is not a Liberal.  I am.  Medicare and SS are why, widow of a mere professor who was unable to work and care for a disabled child, I have a comfortable lifestyle now.

    However, I am very aware of people (even the red ones here) who have suffered as liberal ideals have been discarded.  My good fortune does not negate the need for the FDR policies which were first enacted in the months after I was born.  However, I contract to tell no one else to vote for any particular candidate, if that helps.


    Here is what always puzzles me (none / 0) (#139)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:04:56 PM EST
    The idea of "real" as in Democrat...or Republican or conservative or religion or <you get the point, I'm sure.> I know and have known many Dems all my life...some I like & some I don't & some I even wonder from whence they came.  While I completely understand & agree with the central tenets surrounding the party's stated values respecting preserving & enhancing Social Security & Medicare, the question beyond that may be "how pure is pure?" Seriously, there is an edge.

    In this case, tho, where the combo proposals called the American Jobs Act & today's provposal for taxing millionaires/billionaires at the same rate as the middle class really do reflect shared values of the longtime Democratic Party, where is that "real" line?  Assuming that these proposals stand at the heart of where we go from here, is there anything in those proposals which suggest a non-real Dem?


    A "real Democrat" (none / 0) (#164)
    by sj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 11:03:28 AM EST
    would not have been comfortable in the Republican party of the 70s.

    Agree. No one that I know who (none / 0) (#168)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:40:14 PM EST
    considers himself/herself a Democrat was anywhere near comfortable with Nixon & the bombing of Cambodia & the gang of crooked plumbers that was was Watergate.

    I know which lines I stood on whether it was a picket-line supporting university food service workers at the outset or lines in the street against the war or later assistance to husband & sister on Carter's '76 national campaign staff (being federally employed during the latter, "assistance" was limited by the Hatch Act.) Etc. Where were you then?

    Wherever we were in the 70s, it closes in on 40 years later now.  I carry with me the Democratic values first learned from my Dad, experienced in the 70s, and reinforced throughout the years...until its synthesis today. Myself & others like me are proud to be as real a Dem as anyone is. Whether we agree with you or not, sj.


    You really thought that (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Towanda on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 01:15:18 PM EST
    the comment was about you?  Really?

    No, of course not. My response is (none / 0) (#171)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:08:22 PM EST
    by way of illustration.  Whether we acknowledge it or not, most of us react from personal experience. For example: Recently, you have very particularly pointed out the job situation & political prognosis in terms of a family member.  

    Should we not point out our own anecdotal experiences, it would seem that we could just cite books & philosophers (with acoompanying chapters or page numbers.) But then, since we have been talking about "real" Democrats, so much must be in the eye of the beholder. A bit subjective. (And for MT, who doesn't find charts too appealing...well, we could put the attributes on a chart or something :))


    This is also an attempt (none / 0) (#173)
    by sj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:14:32 PM EST
    at misdirection.  But I still see the man behind the curtain.

    Merely anecdotal response about the 70s (none / 0) (#174)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:31:09 PM EST
    Nothing else. No wizards, no pretend wizards.

    But you see (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by sj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:27:32 PM EST
    this is why I typically don't  respond to your questions about "what do I recommend" or "what do I want".  

    So often your responses to my comments have little or nothing to do with what I've actually written.  It's just some sort of anecdotal something or other or a trip down memory lane.  

    I don't enjoy that much.  


    But then, I have felt the same way (none / 0) (#176)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:40:00 PM EST
    about your responses, sj. We either talk past each other; or maybe its gamesmanship from both of us in some respects. You may think that I ignore or disregard what you say...yet, my feeling is that you look only to reinforce or make other points from what I say. It may be that is just where we are...because it may be difficult or next to impossible to convey sincerity in a polarized blog situation. I do know this: Your earlier long comment about what you felt about the movement away from the old Dem party and my response were both sincere.

    Whether you accept this or not, my comments are usually a statement of what I believe in short or long form. (The few exceptions on the philosophical or argument plane involve a few other individuals who appear to me to be gamesters.)


    Add to that (none / 0) (#177)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:47:09 PM EST
    A quick reaction to your earlier statement about "pandering" & Obama: I don't know...he may have done that, but that would make him a politician (as BTD might point out)...and, even assuming so, the real question is where do we go from here as a country...and, I think the Jobs proposal & the fair-share tax proposal make sense & set up clear lines of differences between the parties, something that many have called for over the years.

    As for your occasional notes about how I can be hopeful or optimistic, etc: 'Always been a half-glass full personality. It is who I am (probably genetically & strategically.) Not only did my Dad raise me to see the silver lining, it has typically been easy for me to do that...and, it makes life more meaningful for me. Maybe, its best to respect each others' personalities.


    It's not just TalkLeft readers (none / 0) (#88)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:08:07 PM EST
    and commenters who read comments here. They show up in Google and other search engines and are read by many who have never heard of TalkLeft. I won't have comments advocating for a specific non-Democratic candidate here. I haven't restricted criticism of Obama, but I draw the line at endorsement of Republicans. It's one thing to say you aren't going to vote for Obama (even I've threatened that), it's another to state support for a Republican candidate.

    Thank you for respecting my position.


    Does seem a bit hypocritical (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:05:06 AM EST
    I iwsh I could share the confidence Obama will not cut Medicare or raise eligibility age.  All he seems to be saying is he won;t do so without accopomanying tax increases.

    Once re-elected we will see more of the same, the elusive grand bargain will be pursued with renewed vigor.


    that should be (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:42:01 AM EST
    you may not encourage people to vote for a non-Democrat here. This is a democratic site.

    He'd have to go ... (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:18:55 AM EST
    a lot farther than words to win me back.

    And words, or actions, about deficit reduction do little for me under any conditions.  

    It's a false issue.

    And I flatly don't believe him about medicare.

    Past is prologue.  We know that Obama will do whatever the bankers, insurance companies or defense contractors want him to do.  And we know he has no compunction about breaking campaign promises.

    He broke almost all of them.  Medicare will be back on the table the minute he gets re-elected.

    It's still on the table--explicitly (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:33:00 AM EST
    Read what he said today, the same language as he was forecasted to use-- he refuses to cut Medicare unless taxes are raised on millionaires.

    Repeat, he has NOT taken it off the table.


    Well, there's some double-double speak here (none / 0) (#52)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:39:52 AM EST
    We all know that he knows that the Republicans will say no to a tax hike--even in exchange for cutting Medicare.

    Offering Medicare up (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:56:00 AM EST
    as a package with the expectation that the other parts of the proposal will be unacceptable and unaccepted is risky, if not disingenuous bargaining--or a recipe for subsequent caving.

    No, I don't think we know that (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:05:16 PM EST
    two words (none / 0) (#95)
    by CST on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:32:25 PM EST
    tea party.

    Two more words: house republicans

    We're not talking about the John McCains of the Republican party here.  I think the debt ceiling fiasco pretty much answered that question.


    Do we? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    Isn't his past rolling over and bipartisanship part of the problem we have with these Republicans who can now allow their insanity to reign supreme?  People are in crisis, using doublespeak will only anger them even more.  When people are hurting like this, you don't doublespeak them unless you want to be hated.

    I don't understand your question (none / 0) (#54)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:45:51 AM EST
    The Republicans will not agree to raise taxes on the rich, period.

    Just like they wouldn't (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:48:35 AM EST
    vote for unemployment extensions if they didn't get the Bush tax cuts extended?  Because I believe that was the first time in history that ever happened under such circumstances and I blame Obama 100% for how that all went down.  He either secretly wanted the Bush tax cuts extended too or he is the biggest coward to sit in the oval office in my lifetime.

    The unemployment benefits extension thing... (5.00 / 4) (#62)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:03:57 AM EST
    ...is a myth. In the fall of 2010, Republican leaders of both the senate and the house repeatedly said that when push came to shove, they would vote to extend unemployment even if the "middle class"* portion of the Bush tax cuts were preserved. After all, Republicans have unemployed people in their states too.

    *Middle class is in quotes because Obama and the Republicans were defining 250k of income, solidly in the top few percent, as "middle class." Also, be aware that as part of his "deal", Obama threw in a permanent reduction in the estate tax on top of extending the Bush tax cuts, and he threw it in without being asked. Republicans were openly saying that the president gave them even more than they asked for. And they were right. He did.


    Yes, he gave tax cuts (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:11:26 AM EST
    And then by January suddenly our balance sheet was a mess and now Medicare, Entitlements, Social Security must all be cut.

    How can we all trust this man?  How can we all not despise his doublespeak?


    Permanent reduction in the estate tax? (none / 0) (#87)
    by coast on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:06:10 PM EST
    Don't take this as a rebuttal of your stance on Obama, but the statement above is factually wrong.  The $5 million exemption and 35% rate only apply through 2012.  In 2013, the exemption and rate revert back to $1 million and 55% unless Congress passes another bill to change the current law.

    And so it is. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:38:09 PM EST
    No, not like that at all (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:11:16 AM EST
    They will never vote for this kind of tax increase, ever. Period.

    So fine (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:45:19 AM EST
    They will never vote for this kind of tax increase, ever. Period.
    Make vote against it then.  And make them vote against it again.  And then talk about what happens when they vote against.  And make them vote against it again.

    Instead they just say "oh, well..."

    Weak, stupid, corrupt.  

    That's all.  I started a big old paragraph about those three characteristics and how one or the other will dominate at any given point.  But does it matter?  I don't think so.

    Just weak, stupid and corrupt. Talking about our leaders, folks.  What does that say about us?


    I don't believe that (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:13:14 AM EST
    Not during times like these.  If they won't allow then please yes, campaign against them and allow the whole country to hate them and vote them out.  But is that who Obama is?  Is he willing to fight for what is right like that?  Does he really care about the people or only being President and whatever marvelous things will come his way after he is done with all of us?

    If you don't believe it then there's nothing to (none / 0) (#71)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:20:08 AM EST
    discuss. It's plainly obvious as a first principle.

    Oh the first principles of war (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:21:52 AM EST
    that I have seen put to bed and laid to rest :)  And this is war too.  Everything is subject to change whether it likes it or not, usually it doesn't like it.

    C'mon MT (none / 0) (#141)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:17:24 PM EST
    I'm assuring you wanted someone smart in the Oval Office. 'Looks like we have that.  If you think about the words used in the "fair share" proposal today, he has maneuvered the Repubs into a tricky, boxed-in situation.  Example: If Repubs push now to hurt/hinder Medicare beneficiaries, the nasty spotlight reinforces the Paul Ryan Medicare voucher system from last spring...& kiss a voting group good-bye; If the Repubs talk too loudly about "class warfare" during economic hardtimes and are seen to be coddling the m/bilionaires who didn't create jobes but created the economic downfall in 2007-08, they will fly openly into a strong headwind that has been picking up speed since Obama first interjected the issue last fall.

    Think about it. So many worried/fretted that Boehner seemed to be having Obama's lunch.  Well, the set-up today makes one wonder if Boehner et al got too soused to understand whether it was lunch, dinner or what.  Let's see it play out. Lots of twists & turns coming...so, all the Dems need to repeat the message of the jobs bill & the message of fair share in tax enhancement (This is not class warfare. It's math...etc.) again & again & again.


    I agree that he can have the Republicans (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:12:00 PM EST
    for lunch right now, but is the only benefit to come that he gets himself re-elected?  He turned out to be a huge liar concerning his first Presidential campaign promises and the public option and supporting labor.....I could go on and on.  We voted him in, and then he acted like a Republican.

    He could of had the Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:54:23 PM EST
    for lunch when they all voted for Paul Ryan's Medicare plan. He chose to continue to publicly pursue his "Grand Bargain" that included major cuts to domestic and safety net programs.

    Had he ceased his crusade to "fix" what he choses to call the "entitlement programs,' the entire Democratic Party could have had the Republicans for lunch rather than lose two special elections that they would have normally won. Instead he chose to continue to give the Republicans cover with his proposed benefit cuts. He continues to do so by proposing cuts to Medicare and Medicaid even now. The fact that these proposed cuts could have been worse does not mean that they are not pretty bad in of themselves. Once the details of these cuts become public knowledge, he will have once again given away the advantage that the Democratic Party could have had on the safety net programs.  



    I understand frustration, but (none / 0) (#154)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:06:58 PM EST
    ...in the interests of fairness beyond the tax standard proposal today, please consider (at your convenience, of course, & as the whole unfolds)each particular, distinct area and what is important to you. And, what each real live candidate would do with regard to each item.

    It sounds a bit boring, perhaps, to make a chart. But, sometimes the overlay can display via checks, graphs, bar codes in a more bland but analytical manner than our conflicted feelings can see in the midst of what we want vs. what we get & as both are intertwined with expectations.
    I've actually done this a number of years ago...it didn't bind me in, and it did help. For one thing, it allowed me to see that the person had done/led/channeled/saw achieved a number of things that I had forgotten because myself was focused on a certain anger with one aspect of his leadership. It cuts both ways of course...but, jotting the names in one column and the items in other columns by foreign & domestic policy causes reflection, whether it is Afghanistan, Lily Ledbetter, health insurance reform/health care reform, court appointments, stem cell research, DADT, jobs, mid-east policy (foreign policy in general & in particular), Iraq, consumer protection (incl credit card reform), minorities' issues & womens' issues & appointments. Those issues are off the top of my head.  

    What I find that this kind of review really does: It allows the person to assess privately & quietly what your own top priorities are during a stated timeframe...because, whether you weight a factor or not, it is all displayed in front of you.


    This economy is sunk (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:15:00 PM EST
    With everything that he has to say about it too, the remedies being chosen will only make a bad situation worse.  Make a chart?  I'm spending my time preparing for other things.

    Whether a "chart" or not, my intent (none / 0) (#166)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:24:36 PM EST
    is to focus not just on the aggregate and the feelings that might engender, but also to get beyond the emotive language (which, granted, we all need to feel & express...sometimes differently from time to time) and cast a beam on the specifics, the specific actions in each significant national area.

    Sure, we all face and live more important things than charts. Heck, we are living our lives.  Yet, in the midst of all the whirling intensities & activities that define, fulfill those lives, there may come a time for a personal--even analytical--evaluation of what we expect from our government, what things have been done in the past several years & what hasn't been done, what comparisons we would make, what steps should be taken next in that component of our lives represented by government.  No compunction, of course...'just saying that a methodology of evaluation (however one does that) can be helpful) if or when one chooses to use it.

    An aside: While it may sound goofy, my own make-up responds to the "big" things on the heart & the head level...essentially, I trust my intuition; but, it feels better if there is a factual comparison. Without trivializing decision processes in any way, the shorthand would be that old management horoscope known as Meyers-Briggs. Those of us who slide back & forth on the T or F "measurement" (ENFJ one day or ENTJ in a work setting) easily gravitate to "charts" to gird our feelings.


    Wish I could say I trust Obama (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:02:47 AM EST
    but I don;t.  Strikes me as election year posturing, which he has demonstrated he is good at.  The tax increase proposal on millionaires, jobs programs etc all get propsoed now when he knows it cannot pass.  I suspect one re-elected he will go back to protecting what Krugman desribes as the rentier class.  

    A post above details his horrific foreign, war and national security state policies which remain unchanged.

    No vote, $$ or time on his behalf from me.

    You don't believe him? (none / 0) (#82)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:48:18 AM EST
    Why don't you believe him when he states repeatedly that SS and MCR are on the table?  He states he wants to cut both just that this time he wants tax increases to go along with it.

    The only thing I would question is where he wants those tax increases.  I'm sure his BRFs can convince him that a flat tax will damage the economy further and he'll be glad to take that route instead of hurting the feefees of the parasitic class.


    If Europe reforms though (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:13:33 PM EST
    Their economies could eventually show up to kick our a$$ if we don't stop raping our people.

    Well (5.00 / 6) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:04:41 AM EST
    we shall see. When it's campaign season Obama makes all kinds of promises. He'll say anything to get your vote but when actually in office he could care less about you for the most part. I wouldn't be surprised to see him actually turn around and raise the Medicare age if reelected.

    He can't do that by himself (none / 0) (#90)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:13:01 PM EST
    Before worrying about 2013 and his second term, let's concentrate on the threat at our door now. If he sees a turnaround in his poll numbers attributed to taking the age raise off the table, he's more likely to stick to his guns on it with the Super Commission. If he sees it makes no difference, he's more likely to capitulate. I'm happy to give him this carrot instead of a stick and hope it does the trick.

    The threat at our door was put there (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:01:45 PM EST
    by Barack Obama - for reasons that probably have to do with how enamored he is with making history, he's been flogging this issue since at least 2007; that makes it harder for me to trust that he's not going to try to drag it over the threshold - or through an open window - once he has what he wants, which is four more years.  The change in message doesn't represent a change of heart, or a rejection of what he has previously espoused, it is political strategy designed to bump up his numbers and improve his chances for re-election.

    He's focusing on the bright shininess of the surface - the buzz words that people home in on - "eligibility age," (and "millionaire tax," too)  for example - and not explaining what increases in cost-sharing could mean to seniors, or how chaining Medicare or SS to the CPI could mean.  

    These kinds of details matter to the people who would be affected by them.

    I'm afraid that where you see your support as the carrot to get him to do what you want, I see the safety net as the football he will yank right out from under your nose as soon as he vanquishes his eventual opponent.

    In the meantime, should he not be elected, he has just laid the groundwork for the Republicans to pick up where he left off, on the basis that "even the Democratic former president was in favor of this."

    Honestly, Jeralyn, for someone who can slice and dice and take a laser to all manner of legal issues, can pull in precedent, context, and patterns of behavior, and who has, right here in comments, on a daily basis, some of the best analysis and links to more of it on economic and quality-of-life issues, it just kind of boggles my mind how little effort on Obama's part it takes to make you a believer.


    I think the issue with believing... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:32:07 PM EST
    ...can be found on the poster on the office wall of a fictional character on an old television show.

    People want to believe. So they do.


    Updated image for the current circumstance (none / 0) (#135)
    by Romberry on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:46:33 PM EST
    The UFO is gone. The O is in. See here.

    So, all Obama has to do is *say* the (5.00 / 10) (#25)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:08:46 AM EST
    right words, and all is well?  You don't even require him to back up his words with some kind of action?

    Wow.  Sorry to say that I think I've seen this play before.

    I can't tell you how or what to think, but I do have a suggestion: it might not be a bad idea to spend a little time looking at the big picture, you know, just to see if there might not be some kind of strategy going on that has to do with improving Obama's political fortune, not improving the lives of those he purports to want to govern.  We've seen that show before, too.

    It appears to me that Obama's getting the breathing room he needs to say what he's saying because there are members of Congress who are taking up the cause.  And given Obama's propensity to say one thing and do another, how could it possibly be that easy to fall under his spell again?  I guess what I don't understand is, why are you so willing to believe him?  What about Obama's track record would lead you to trust that the words of the campaign will translate to action consistent with those words, once he has what he wants?

    But, I digress...

    Keep in mind that there are other ways to affect benefit levels than just raising the age.  The way benefits are calculated, for one.  Shifting costs, for antother.  What good does it do seniors to come off private insurance at 65 if the "cost-sharing" Medicare requires of them is  burdensome?  

    Jeralyn, you say this is a Democratic site.  Fine, I get that.  It's your blog and it can be whatever you want or need it to be.  But, a note of caution, or food for thought, or something: I don't know how we ever get better candidates, nor do I know how we hold incumbents accountable, if we keep blindly supporting Democrats who only have to meet the very low standard of saying what we want to hear.  Especially when those we have favored with our votes have shown us time and again they don't feel obligated to follow through with action that is consistent with their words.

    I just keep thinking that I wish those who run or hold office as Democrats embodied one-tenth the traditional (as opposed to "New Democratic") Democratic ideals and philosophy and ideas that get expressed here in comments day after day after day; it is to those ideals that I believe we owe our commitment and support.

    The R's Are Saying 'No Way' toTax Increases... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:35:48 AM EST
     ... for the the wealthy, and Obama said he won't sign a bill that messes with Social Security, something has to give.

    I think the good news is all of this is will be played out before the election.

    For all the D's who are buying what Obama is selling I will quote GWB:

    There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.

    GWB has tin ears. (none / 0) (#92)
    by the capstan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:19:49 PM EST
    "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  Even Tennesseans get fooled twice sometimes.  (case in point: GWB)

    In this case (none / 0) (#36)
    by CST on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:57:13 AM EST
    the "action" that you want to see is actually in-action.

    To date, his "actions" have been to not raise the medicare or social security age.  The problem was his words and what he was saying about it.


    Thanks for foregrounding Medicare issue (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Coral on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:58:28 AM EST
    I can't believe how many progressive bloggers and Democratic politicians have either been silent, indifferent, or actually supportive about the proposed raise in age for Medicare.

    It is the ONE issue that will make me vote against a Democrat.

    The proposal is phrased in terms of cost savings, but it would actually raise costs for 65-66 year olds and leave millions without health insurance. Many would die.

    It is a cold-blooded proposal that says lives of older citizens (and poorer, including children if you include Medicaid) are less important than the deficit or the "pain" inflicted by a modest tax increase on the extremely wealthy.

    Yet, the costs of war are always framed in terms of protection of Americans. As are costs of defense system, contractors, etc.

    No one is saying, "Let's cut military spending so that we can protect more Americans by covering their health insurance and medical costs."

    Why don't they just get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and close bases in Germany and Japan?

    You would vote (none / 0) (#41)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:23:36 AM EST
    against a democrat (i) to vote for a republican who thinks medicare should go away or (ii) to vote for a third party candidate in a way that would assist an anti-medicare republican to in coming to power?

    I hear this frequently and I still don't see the logic.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand the frustration and anger and emotions which would cause one to think about such actions, but from a practical perspective, how does this action further your goal of giving medicare the best chance of survival?


    You hear lots of things frequently (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:30:27 AM EST
    Even things that people don't say.  Like your pretense that not voting for Obama automatically means voting for the Republican.  

    And you can pretzel twist yourself into making the claim that following Obama's lead and voting "Present" is the same thing as voting for the opposition.  Doesn't make it  true.

    I won't vote against my own interests.  Period.


    That (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:32:33 AM EST
    might be a worthwhile argument if Obama wasn't giving them 98% of what they want. So you're basically making the 2% argument. It just doesn't work for a lot of people.

    And it's another round of the "other guy is worse" which people are sick of hearing. They want something to vote FOR.


    The Logic... (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:57:23 AM EST
    ... is simple, maybe if we made politicians answer for their misdeeds we wouldn't have the current crop of greed oriented no-nothings running the country into the ground.

    A Democracy, such as ours, becomes dysfunctional when votes are secured regardless of performance.

    I will not vote to keep someone out of office, that is insanity, and only propagates the current dis-functionality of elected officials bowing down to BigMoney.  Why not, Obama's got all the ABG type votes anyways...

    Keep voting to win, it's working marvelous so far.  The fact that these Obama supporters can't see they are exact reflections of GWB supporters who voted to win, is simply mind-boggling.  

    Maybe if some of them would have held his A to the fire and voted on his performance, we wouldn't be in this mess.


    If I cannot affect (5.00 / 5) (#81)
    by the capstan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:48:16 AM EST
    the outcome of 'negotiations' in DC, I still have the option of retaining my personal integrity by staying out of the voting booth (absent the unlikely chance of finding a suitable green--or true liberal--candidate).  Integrity, my friend ABG, is a big deal to me--in myself or in the government itself.

    In any case (none / 0) (#50)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:36:21 AM EST
    I've given up on the next four years.  I have to take the long view and see how soon we can salvage any part of a once proud party.  

    My conclusion is that the soonest that can happen on a national level is 2016.  And that's only if Obama loses.

    For the next four years the nation loses.  No matter what.


    I wouldn't vote for a Republican (none / 0) (#91)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:17:24 PM EST
    ever, but yes, on that issue alone, I would not vote for Obama in 2012. I'd leave that space blank on the ballot while voting in the other races.

    Obama has to know there are consequences if he sells out millions of seniors by delaying Medicare when we've held up our end of the bargain and paid in our entire adult lives. He's gotten the message, now let's just hold him to it.

    The anger now should be directed at Republicans.


    Maintaining the Medicare eligibility age (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:26:40 AM EST
    is huge news for if additional Medicare cuts/reforms are needed, a change in age-eligibility is among the worst methods to do so.  However, the referenced link does suggest additional reductions in Medicare to the tune of $250 Billion. It might be wise to back-up and determine "if" additional Medicare cuts are needed at this time, and if so, what are the best ways to not just cut Medicare costs, but to address the underlying issue of rising health care costs.

    The premise of the dire straits of Medicare should be addressed taking into account both costs and hostile ideologies. As with Social Security where we are told that an emergency exits, although it is solvent for the next 75-years, with the first 27 being able to pay 100 percent of benefits and about 80 percent thereafter, so, too, is the need to look at the Medicare urgency.

    All of the "reforms" are rolled out over time, from change in eligibility-age to other blatant or more subtle cuts in benefits/co-pays. Even Paul Ryan's coupon plan would not kick-in for ll years from enactment. Now, we are told that we must act at this time, a time of economic/jobless crisis,  so that we can plan ahead- but just how realistic is such planning, and would we just be doing to Medicare what we have done to Social Security--over pay now so that we will have money in a disappearing sock later?  

    Upon open and public debate of the economics of Medicare that tests the premise for benefits reductions, then the best options may be considered. Moreover, Medicare has several components (Parts A, B, C & D) and different cost issues with each.   Health care costs are better addressed through the Medicare-induced efficiencies, generally, and the ACA  "savings" to be realized  as well as the previously ongoing pilot studies.   We do have time to look at Medicare in a studied manner, and one that establishes  the basic premise.

    Want to save real money and benefit (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:02:09 AM EST
    seniors rather than reduce their benefits?

    Negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare the same way prices are negotiated for the VA.

    Want to save some more money?

    Stop letting drug companies overcharge for "dual eligible" Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.

    The Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2011 (H.R. 2190) will eliminate a sweetheart deal for brand-name drug manufacturers that allows them to charge Medicare higher prices for millions of low-income enrollees in the Medicare Part D program.  Prior to 2006, the government received substantial rebates on drugs used by "dual eligible" Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.  However, beginning in 2006, the Republicans' Medicare Part D law eliminated these rebates, dramatically raising prices for the government and profits for manufacturers.  The Part D deal resulted in a substantial drug manufacturer windfall.  The bill eliminates the windfall and requires that manufacturers pay the rebates for dual eligible and low-income Part D enrollees, ensuring that taxpayers and the Medicare program do not overpay for Part D drugs. link  

    Two real "fixes" would save hundreds of billions of dollars and benefit seniors rather than harm them.

    Scrap Obama's back room deals with Pharma and save more than what could be saved by reducing benefits.


    Devil in the details? (none / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:15:38 AM EST
    As in the Medicaid program, drug manufacturers would be required to pay the difference between the average rebates they are paying to private Part D drug plans, and 23.1 percent of Average Manufacture Price (AMP).  They would be required to pay additional rebates if drug prices increase faster than the underlying inflation rate.

    Manufacturers would be required to participate in the rebate program in order for their drugs to be covered by Medicare Part D.

    Three things.

    This does not, if I understand it correctly, do anything to lower the cost of drugs to the user. It just gives part of the user's money to the government.

    It doesn't control the price, so all that will happen is that the manufacturer will just raise the price to cover what they will be giving the government.

    Do we really want manufacturers to take their latest drugs out of the system? That's just plain counterproductive.


    The latest drugs aren't in (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:20:13 AM EST
    most insurance systems.  Why should medicare patients be more special than the rest of us?  Just saying...if you want things you had better be willing to fight for them for everyone because being special just isn't cutting it anymore for those outside the special loop and we are getting very very ticked off and we are getting to the point that we will not fight for you if you won't fight for us.

    Most of the latest drugs are not in (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:28:53 AM EST
    the Medicare system either. Don't let Jim confuse the issue.

    Seems to depend on the efficacy of (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:35:10 PM EST
    the particular drug to treat the particular ailment.  And, whether there is a generic available.

    The newest, most expensive (none / 0) (#107)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:49:15 PM EST
    drugs do not have a generic equivalent available. The problem often arises when a particular drug has been approved for a particular type of cancer (example) but not for other types.

    A drug can actually be proven to work on a particular person (i.e. actually shrink tumor and improve quality of life) but if it has not received the seal of approval for the type of cancer that a person has they are generally sh!t out of luck even after going through all of the appeal processes.

    The per treatment cost for some of these drugs are normally over $10,000.


    In both private and in medicare (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:34:33 AM EST
    programs some new drugs are not in the pharmacy.

    In both cases there are appeal processes.

    BTW - In Medicare when your HCR changes your meds be ready to undergo a review and justification process.

    Special??? As in free???? Currently we pay, as husband and wife, about $10K for this "free" health care.

    And remember that I have time and again noted that Obamacare was done only to make money for the insurance companies and provide free care for his base.

    Also remember that I have called, time and again, for a single payer system based on the Medicare model for everyone.

    Fight for us? Why should you? I mean, after all, we only birthed you, fed you, clothed you, educated you and protected you.

    I see no inter-generation obligation there.



    Most Conservatives I know on (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:40:22 AM EST
    Medicare refuse to acknowledge that that is an Entitlement, they scream and root for the rest of us to die, to not be able to afford care, to not be Entitled to anything but death.  If all they have done is give birth to the rest of us so they can lord over us and be special and abandon us as human beings too, well that is par for their course.

    And sorry Jim, but I don't think you fight very hard for me.  I think you saying such things is doublespeak :)


    One more time, MT (none / 0) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:39:44 PM EST
    and please listen.

    I am not a conservative so telling me what most conservatives do or don't do is a waste of pixels.
    And your continuation of doing this either shows a lack of attention or a desire to just disagree.

    And making a big deal over some nutcase yelling something during a political debate after a question is just as useless as making a big deal over yelling about these nut cases.

    Unless, that is, you are willing to agree that the radicals rule both sides and that reasonable people are not involved on either side.

    My Father's generation and my generation brought you social security, medicare, minority civil rights and the war on poverty.

    So let me know when you catch up.


    Except the "nutcases" in the TP ... (5.00 / 0) (#117)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:36:30 PM EST
    ... are the norm.  The comments in the video you keep posting (repeatedly) were condemned by Common Cause.  The comments by Ron Paul and the Tea Party Crowd at the debate weren't condemned, because they actually believe in letting someone die if they have no medical insurance.  If they condemned the TP audience, they'd lose too many members.

    But claiming credit for what your generation (and your father's generation, too!) accomplished in terms of social programs is some pretty funny stuff ...

    BTW - You complain about being called a conservative, yet you call others "limousine liberals".

    Funny how that hypocrisy thing works, huh, Jim?


    Don't complain (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:36:44 PM EST
    Yman.... You are what you write.



    Really, Jim? (none / 0) (#137)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:55:11 PM EST
    I can point to many instances of you whining about being called (justifiably) a conservative, all the while calling others "limousine liberals", etc.

    Point to a single instance of me whining about the silly names (i.e. 'limousine liberal", etc.) you call me, other than to point out your hypocrisy.]


    OTOH - maybe it's a requirement to join your Tea Party.


    Limousine Liberal (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:12:12 PM EST
    is about as accurate as Cross-Burning Conservative, but when those geniuses Rush, or Hannity whip out a term of disdain that resonates with Jim, he likes to beat it to death.

    Oh you youngsters (none / 0) (#151)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:35:55 PM EST
    "Limousine Liberal" has been around longer than either Limbaugh or Hannity..

    Going to fast for you, again?



    just don't wear it out (none / 0) (#152)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:44:07 PM EST
    or you'll force me to mention that Repub proposal to replace waterboarding with teabagging if Perry gets elected.

    Every year since 1982... (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Dadler on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:27:27 AM EST
    ...the pharmaceutical industry has been the single most profitable in the nation, according to Fortune Magazine's rankings.  They are burdened by nothing but their own greed.  They are lightly taxed and receive government subsidies that never result in investment returns to the American people.  In short, the pharmaceutical industry is full of sh*t, and they are simply being dishonest in order to frame an issue to their advantage.  Public health should not be on the auction block.  But big pharma sees themselves as saviors and, therefore, above it all.  No matter that, again, huge government subsidies aid in R&D, and when that R&D pays off, it never includes profits to the American taxpaying investor.

    He seems to be (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Mike Pridmore on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    focusing on the payments that medicare makes.  Two points need to be made here,  First, medicare has been more efficient than private insurance for a number of reasons, notwithstanding the lies spread by Fox News.  (link) Here is one statement (link):

    It has been argued that, in part, Medicare's cost effectiveness arises from the fact that it does not need to expend funds on marketing and sales-functions that are obligatory for the success of competitive, private-sector health plans. Moreover, some argue that the competitive model for health insurance has not been successful. In a market-driven economy, the healthy can and will change health plans for savings of only a few dollars a month, while the sick must remain in their existing plan in order to retain their physicians. Such behaviors lead to asymmetric risk pools and cost inequities.

    This was all sobering news to a market-driven entrepreneur such as yours truly. However, given the perverse incentives that frequently drive behavior in health care, my take-home lesson is that there are examples in the success of Medicare we can apply to other sectors of our population.

    Secondly, and most important, the problem is not just that Medicare costs need to be cut.  The problem is far more complex than what will fit on a bumper sticker, though that simplicity level seems to be popular with politicians and their underlings.  A lot of the problems might be solved if we went to a medicare for all approach.  Perhaps the closest thing to bumper sticker level simplicity is this nugget from Krugman and Wells (link):

    (T)he available evidence suggests that if the United States were to replace its current complex mix of health insurance systems with standardized, universal coverage, the savings would be so large that we could cover all those currently uninsured, yet end up spending less overall.

    One of the most informative studies is from the McKenzie Global Institute. ( full report pdf link, synthesis pdf link)

    MGI found that the overriding cause of high U.S. health care costs is the failure of the intermediation system -- payors, employers, and government -- to provide sufficient incentives to patients and consumers to be value-conscious in their demand decisions, and to regulate the necessary incentives to promote rational use by providers and suppliers.

    Status Update (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:19:31 AM EST
    Request: Obama should demand revenue increases

    Status: Done

    Request: Obama should not touch SS or medicare age eligibility

    Status: Done

    Request: Obama should make serious speeches and stump to sell a serious stimulus

    Status: Done

    Request: Obama should draw a line in the sand and say that he'd veto changes that don't include revenue increases

    Status: Done

    Request: Make every part of Obama's proposal pass without amendment or change by the GOP.

    Status: Don . . . hey wait a second, that's impossible.

    Request: Do the impossible.

    Status: Frustrated.

    Such a low bar you set (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:27:11 AM EST
    You can put your "done" check mark with just a few words of out his mouth.  

    Unless the GOP stops the poor, hapless, helpless, weak president from making your straw man stand upright.


    The point (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:26:02 PM EST
    is that all he can do right now is words.

    If you have a button he can push to eject congress from the constitution and give him a monarchy, please let us know where that is.

    Otherwise, what he can do is what he is doing.  If that isn't enough, I don't think you will ever be satisfied.


    I know... (none / 0) (#99)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:37:53 PM EST
    The point ... is that all he can do right now is words.

    The poor, poor, hapless, helpless, weak president... He's already said some important words so his work on those issues is clearly done.

    I repeat:  what a low bar you set for someone you say you admire.


    The question goes to you too then (none / 0) (#111)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:21:12 PM EST
    What should the president do this week if you disagree with what he's currently doing?

    If his path is wrong, the correct path should be easy to lay out for the next week or so.


    Force a vote (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    Make the Republicans vote against it.  Make everyone including himself stake out a position on the record.  (As a starting point, by the bye, not as the final step).

    Disband Catfood Commission II.  And stop talking about the deficit.

    That's this week.


    sj (1.00 / 1) (#128)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:23:57 PM EST
    1. "Make the Republicans vote against it.  Make everyone including himself stake out a position on the record.  (As a starting point, by the bye, not as the final step)."

    Obama has limited power to do this but he is trying to do just that.

    2. "Disband Catfood Commission II."

    Legally impossible. It is law.

    3. "And stop talking about the deficit."

    Impossible given 2.

    See what I mean about reasonable expectations?


    No, but I see what sj means ... (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:28:35 PM EST
    ... about setting the bar low ...

    What would you have the President (none / 0) (#142)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:30:08 PM EST
    do in the area oa jobs & economy today? What specific steps in those key areas, sj? (Recognizing that you & ABG are using "words" of difference here, the question about what actual steps can he do right now in this area? Not philosophy of the shoulda-woulda-coulda variety...but, apart from everyones' frustrations, what steps should he take?)

    Repeatedly asking the same question (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:41:06 PM EST
    is disingenuous whether it is you or ABG.  I respectfully refrain from addressing your question because I am not particularly interested in the perceptions of your cousin or your friend on the phone or your husband etc. etc... as to how they bolster your position or agree as how it is the best that can be done...

    Forgive me (none / 0) (#145)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:42:28 PM EST
    or your husband
    I more correctly should have said "spouse"

    Yep, sj, we both have the right to talk (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:50:02 PM EST
    ...including asking questions. Whether you want to respond or not, that is obviously your call. (But, guess what, I also get to think that you lambast without stating your own potential specific steps. The take-a-poke kind of criticism is easy.)

    If you think I haven't stated my own beliefs (none / 0) (#148)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:56:50 PM EST
    then you haven't been reading me.  And so after that potshot of yours (speaking of take-a-poke criticism) I'm really glad that I didn't bother addressing.

    Cute, but it doesn't answer (none / 0) (#155)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:17:57 PM EST
    what are legitimate questions. And, for me, there is always more there there when one who criticizes/complains/strenuously disagrees can at least suggest alternatives in action, people, on-the-ground present-day strategies. Without that, what can one do except say "Well, thats your position" ... because there is nothing suggested in the alternative.  (And, btw, the reason that I occasionally persist with some of your comments stems from my hunch that you do have some alternative steps at this time or preferable steps that you'd like to see. If I thought you were only blowing hot air, why would I respond at all!)

    That's fair (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by sj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:29:37 AM EST
    But the truth is what would give me reassurance is something that I know is unattainable.  O is taking the austerity road.  And it is clear to me that he intends to stay there.  No cuts to medicare "unless" ... when it should be no cuts to medicare period.  

    He talks about treating government finance as if it were a household budget.  A household budget that subsists on a cash only basis, at that.  There is debt that goes to dining out (or bailing out banks).  That is frivolous spending.  And then there is debt that goes to a home mortgage (or our nation's infrastructure) and that is investment.

    His world view in no way coincides with mine.  I know you don't like to hear it, but his views fit very comfortably with those of the Republicans I grew up with.  Back when the GOP was not crazy.  Back when in large part the Dems and R's agreed on the problems facing the nation, but disagreed on how to solve them.  

    Frankly speaking he is not my guy.  He's lost me, my trust and my vote forever.  I still believe in the Democratic party that I joined.  I still believe in those goals and ideals.  This is not that Democratic party.

    My best alternative is to take the long view.  The "short" term view is at least 4 years long.  There is at least one more presidential term with a President who in no way represents my interests.  No matter who wins.  And I am convinced that a Republican will follow Obama.  Either now or in four years.  So if Obama wins, I don't see respite from these policies for at least 8 years.  That is a bitter thing.

    In my dark hours I despair that I may not live to see a Presidential candidate that I can support from the present two major political parties and I'm not even that old.  Okay, I know I won't see one from the GOP.

    Obama had many opportunities over the last three years to win me over.  I wanted him to win me over.  I wanted to be wrong about what I saw in candidate Obama.  I still want him to prove me wrong.

    And yet here I am.

    There is nothing that he can say with truth and conviction and be true to himself that will have me swinging to his support.  I can suggest away, but to what end?  Who is out there to willing to act on suggestions of mine and others like me?  This administration never will.  I'm resigned to being the voice of one crying in the wilderness, speaking Truth as I see it.  Because that truth is important.


    sj:: I accept what you say; accept but disagree (none / 0) (#169)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 01:06:47 PM EST
    The above statement pulled at me. It is compelling in the sense that things have altered in our society since the New Deal. IMO, what FDR set in motion worked so well for the US for decades that many forgot how we got to, thru, and past the Depression. What may have happened is the post-war largesse may have made us fat, lazy, and forgetful. A variation on the taking-things-for-granted scene; the classic "I don't need anybodey" esp. government. The timing of the Reagan takeover & what that meant in terms of the next generation of me-ism cannot be understated. It seems to have culminated with the near-worship of "entrepreneurs" in the 90s...and then nicely found security & elevation during the early 2000s goal of "You too can invest in the stock market."

    Further, in a downward vein, the veneer of the conservative Reaganism rubbed off to show World Com $6K shower curtains & the Enron boys in the room. Everyone had been conditioned to want theirs...you could taste the greed...and, when it all came crashing down in 2007 & 2008, we got ours. It just wasn't what the Reaganauts told the country would happen.  Meanwhile, people in their individual wanting-to-get-theirs had turned from unions, saw government as a hindrance at best, and idolized almost the phony strength of brutal foreign adventures.  In short: The realities learned in the 30s had not only been forgotten (& revisionist history attempted) but people still seemed to focus on who would give them theirs...damn everyone else.

    Okay.  Saying all that, I'm optimistic. You see...the ugliness & warts of it all may not cause the upheaval that some would envision (whether they talk Versailles or not)...but, for a number of reasons, a lot of people are beginning to re-learn or learn anew.  Talk with people outside your circle. It is there, believe me. The people I've heard in recent months are edging away...they are definitely angry (but, most people don't live with deep anger for too long for a lot of reasons)...and people are now more ready for the positions espoused in the Jobs bill & in the fair-share tax proposal.  Y'see, imo, all that had happened since the 80s foreclosed that openness to a bigger role for government for a number of people taken in by the lure of the "entrepreneurial spirit."  Now, they know what Donald Trump & other conmen are...they are beginning to shift again...you can feel it...and, they are beginning to see President Obama as "trying" to make things better.  My hope is that he continues to do just that.


    This isn't about the electorate (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by sj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:10:10 PM EST
    This is about Obama.  I can see changes in the electorate for myself.  And I also see Obama appearing to pander to those obvious changes.  But the keywords are "appear" and "pander".  I don't have to look very far below the surface to confirm that I am not finding authenticity in O's statements but rather duplicity.  There are loopholes big enough to drive a tank through.  

    He isn't trying to make things better.  He's trying to appear as though he's trying to make things better.  And then when his leftish flank is sewn up he'll make yet another cynical pivot. I've seen this game from him before.  He's not that good at illusion and misdirection over the long haul.  I'm not sure that anybody is.  

    I cannot understand what sustains your hope.  It's just hope based on your hope.  It's a circular reference.


    A lot of "Dones" there (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Towanda on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:29:18 AM EST
    that are not done deals at all.

    Instead, a lot of "just words" so far.

    You really can't delineate the difference between speeches and actions?  You really think that we can't do so?  

    Sure, the voting public hasn't taken action yet, either.  But we can't do so until next year.  Obama has had three years, and what you've got is a list of alleged accomplishments including a lot that hasn't been accomplished yet.  That works when the guy is running for the first time.  It doesn't work for an incumbent.  Try again.


    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:49:08 AM EST
    All of those "dones" are just election year posturing.

    "Doing" those things when he KNOWS they won't pass doesn't work.


    Towanda (none / 0) (#94)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:29:51 PM EST
    I am talking about right here. Right now.

    If we are talking about what Obama can do with the facts on the ground TODAY, what else do you want him to do.  He proposed a decent second stimulus. An increase on taxes on the wealthy, a continuation of unemployment benefits and a budget that assumes and will force the end to the wars.

    Put the past aside for a second.  Today, September 18, 2011, he seems to be doing and saying what you want him to do and to say.

    I get that you wish that he had done everything you wanted before, but he can't change that. no one can.  He seems to be doing what you want him to do now and given that the nature of your comments about his current performance should change.

    If you were being fair that is.


    "seems" being the operative word (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:42:01 PM EST
    He seems to be doing what you want him to do now

    Ridiculous. You do not address (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Towanda on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:42:28 PM EST
    the point of my comment, which could be considered "unfair" of you.  But it's just par for the course with you.

    You want us to settle for more speeches.  

    I want those backed up with action.  The way that good presidents get action from Congress, the way that politics is done, the reason that we were told that he picked Joe Biden (because Obama did not have the experience in Congress), etc.

    If I see serious action to try to get these things "done," then okay.  But to create a list that equates speeches with action is ridiculous and only reveals that you are naive . . . or something else.  

    And now you attempt to distract from the point again.  That, you have done so often here that it is nothing other than the something else.


    I'm going try that logic in my own life (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by jbindc on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:13:11 PM EST
    Pay bills: Done

    Put money in savings: Done

    Wash clothes: Done

    Get car fixed:  Done

    Clean bathroom: Done

    Exercise 4 times a week:  Done

    Floss: Done

    Read "War and Peace": Done

    whew! I feel better since all my chores are dobe and my goals are accomplished just because I said they were!


    Thanks, I needed a chuckle (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Towanda on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:16:28 PM EST
    today.  Gosh, and it turns out that wishin' and hopin' and list-makin' and just sayin' so is doin', so I'm all done today, too!

    Sigh.  If only.


    I listed (none / 0) (#129)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:26:20 PM EST
    the realistic objectives.

    If your objectives are "world peace:" and "eliminating suffering everywhere" then you've got a point.

    The objectives I listed were those set forth for Obama weeks ago as being realistic and fair by many here, acknowledging that he can't pass legislation by himself.

    I assume your objectives are "make unemployment 5%" or something like that, but here in the real world there are a few steps we need to take to get to that point.


    You make many assumptions (5.00 / 4) (#133)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:35:22 PM EST
    If your objectives are "world peace:" and "eliminating suffering everywhere" then you've got a point.

    I assume your objectives are "make unemployment 5%" or something like that, but here in the real world there are a few steps we need to take to get to that point.

    Most constructed of straw.  How about we start with unemployment "in the 7s"?  A few months ago, you were predicting the same along with a "substantially" improved economy by the end of this year.  I guess now those have fallen off the "realistic" list.

    Funny how that works.


    What action? (none / 0) (#113)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:22:03 PM EST
    What action are you talking about that you want him to take?

    Jeez. Reread (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Towanda on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:25:14 PM EST
    and see if you can find the paragraphs in which I spell out the actions that I want to see.

    And then stop this nonsense.  You waste our time with this constant game of requiring that we repeat ourselves to you.  You cannot possibly have the hotshot job that you claim to have, if you cannot grasp points made the first time for you.


    Those are not actions (none / 0) (#130)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:27:45 PM EST
    That's my whole point.  

    It doesn't matter if anyone lays it out for you (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:42:00 PM EST
    On the next thread you'll act as though none of us had ever "spoken".  Heck, you're doing that on THIS thread.  You just make me tired.  And more than a little disgusted.

    Now I'll go back to ignoring you for the next few days/weeks.


    A little laugh from me, ABG (none / 0) (#143)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:38:02 PM EST
    In glancing through this, I thought that it all felt like a marital argument. Kinda like this: Okay, dear, I agree that we've had some issues/things weren't right/I did some wrong-headed things, but I'm here to say now that I want us to move ahead...do things a bit more like you say you've wanted, and.... But, spouse interjects: When you did x during y-event two years ago, I should have walked out then/should have told you that you were destroying us/should have recognized what a mess this is. First spouse: Let's start from today...let's take it one step at a time.  To which other spouse has a few options: (A) No or (B) I want something more than these words or (C) I'll think about it or (D) I'm still fuming or--hopefully--(E) Let's try again, yes.

    Really. That trust issue thing...a tough one sometimes.


    Or, maybe ... (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:51:19 PM EST
    First spouse:  "I know this is the sixth/seventh/eighth time I've been caught 'straying', but now I want a fresh start.  I know I've broken a lot of promises over the past couple of years, but I'm going to be faithful here on out.  Oh, ...

    ... and the beatings will stop, too."


    Ha--you got me (none / 0) (#156)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:23:55 PM EST
    Somehow I was thinking of more mundane marital or relationship disputes--the kinds we all see in long term relationships. But, if you're really thinking abuse circumstances (sexual, violence, other addictions), well....  'Must need to stretch my imagination in what the WH really meant :)

    Obama talked about a millionaires tax (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:08:15 AM EST
    the so called Buffet rule:  Done

    Included a millionaires tax the so called Buffet rule in deficit reduction proposal: No. It was just a sound bite. More rhetoric to confuse talk with real action.

    When Obama actually goes beyond talk to action get back to me.  


    One more point on actions vs words (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    In Nov. 2010, Senator Schumer was actively making Republicans extremely uncomfortable by pursuing a tax on millionaires and billionaires. Obama shut Schumer down and personally negotiated tax cuts which were even more generous to the mega rich than the Bush tax cuts.

    Obama campaigned on rolling back the Bush tax cuts. Of course, he didn't define rolling them back as giving the super rich even bigger tax breaks. Actions vs words.



    Let's talk about the (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:48:37 PM EST
    cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that are in the proposal that Obama is actually proposing.


    ...higher Part B premiums for wealthier seniors.

    Also of note are increases in cost-sharing under some very limited circumstances. This is actually something conservatives should like, at least in theory, since it's arguably a version of what they call "consumer-directed care," albeit in a very small dose. In a nutshell, seniors would have to pay slightly higher out-of-pocket costs for home health care and Part B services, plus they'd have to pay a surcharge on their premiums if their Medigap policies have "first-dollar" coverage (in other words, fi their Medigap policies don't have any cost-sharing). The hope is that exposing seniors to incrementally higher out-of-pocket costs would make them a little more wary of using services that might not be necessary.


    The administration would also modify the scheme for financing Medicaid, calling upon states to kick in a bit more money. The danger of the "blended rate," as it's known, is that states would react by weakening the program. It's the reason Medicaid advocates (like yours truly) were none too happy when this appeared in a previous administration proposals. But this latest version is much smaller, accounting for just $15 billion in savings - an amount that seems unlikely to do much damage.

    These cuts, which are bad enough, are just Obama's starting position.

    BTW, I didn't see Obama highlighting these benefit changes in his speech today. Words sounded good. Actual actions harmful to the poor and seniors.


    Who do you only go half way? (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:05:52 AM EST
    Request: Obama should not touch SS or medicare age eligibility

    Status: Done

    Why not this?

    Obama should take $500 billion from Medicare to insure the implementation of what will be called "benefit review panels" by the politicians but will be known as "death panels" by the elderly.

    Status: Done


    Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid (none / 0) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:11:08 PM EST
    per link:

    The plan does shift some additional costs to beneficiaries, but those changes would not start until 2017, and administration officials made clear as well that Obama would veto any Medicare cuts that aren't paired with tax increases on upper-income people.

    The president's plan also called for cuts of $72 billion over ten years from Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income people and the severely disabled. States, hospitals and advocates for the poor are expected to resist those.

    Not raising the Medicare age is good. Still, (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:17:01 AM EST
     again I must ask, in what world is making Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or Jamie Dimon pay a little more in taxes equal to making a senior on a fixed income pay larger Medicare premiums and co-pays and deductibles?

    And cuts to Medicaid? Is that the same Medicaid that is supposed to be expanded as part of ObamaCare? You know, the expansion that so many insisted was the reason to support Obama's sorely lacking health insurance plan?

    This is not shared sacrifice. This is kabuki.


    Kabuki and jedi mind tricks (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by Towanda on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:51:52 AM EST
    and I don't trust it a bit.  This is just the speech.  As we know all too well now, watch the actions to come.

    The real entitlements (5.00 / 7) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:26:47 AM EST
    and the people who are actually sucking on the government's teats.

    Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced a bill that would require lawmakers to wait until the age of 66 to collect their pension, forcing legislators to live like the rest of the population. Currently, lawmakers can retire as early as 50 with a full pension while most Americans must wait until age 66 to receive Social Security. Brown said he introduced his Shared Retirement Sacrifice Act of 2011 out of a belief that his colleagues shouldn't receive a pension "any earlier than a Social Security beneficiary should get theirs." link

    Would be willing to bet that the people up in D.C. who want to cut the benefits that we actually paid for decades, would not be willing to accept cuts to their taxpayer funded benefits.


    Willing to Bet ?? (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:38:42 AM EST
    ... that's a lock if I ever saw one.

    Where is the press kicking up some publicity on this extremely telling bill ?  Nowhere because their overlords don't want their minions being treated like us surfs, it might actually effect future legislation in our favor.

    To be perfectly honest, the perks our politicians receive are so grand, they shouldn't receive anything, not a dime from taxpayers.  We obviously can't stop the corporate gravy train, the least we can do is not pay to be bamboozled.  Like Obama, Boehner, or McConnell are going to sweat their pensions.  Just typing it made me laugh.

    They want to change SS, let me opt out and give me a refund w/ interest.  Otherwise quite calling it a name that infers I am getting something for nothing.  It's is a government obligation that was paid for by yours truly, not a GD entitlement.

    BigOil get's entitlements, we get government ran annuities that we are forced to fund.  Many of which never pay out due to tens of millions dieing before 65 who paid in.  Why should we have to suffer for their inability to budget trillions of dollars.  If anything, their salaries should be the first on the block when cash is needed.  After all, they are the ones who put this country right where it is, I didn't ask for a GD reduction of taxes during 2 wars.

    All I do is work my A off saving some funds so I can retire comfortably, and they financed trillions to pay for S I didn't ask for, yet I am the one to ultimately pay while they rake in millions and live a life of luxury.


    Actually Social Security (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:52:06 AM EST
    is not for retirement. It is insurance and a base for retirement. So when you get that refund, expect to have the insurance premiums deducted.

    And Social Security is not an annuity. With an annuity you can select the payback time frame and designate who gets what if you die with money left in the annuity.

    Will you get anything back? Should we change the way we let Congress line their own pockets?

    Probably not and H yes!


    Really ? (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:39:33 PM EST
    Give me the refund, and no you can't have the insurance premiums, my retirement doesn't involve these United States.

    I know it's not an annuity, an annuity needs principle, we pay the generation in retirement, because principle in this country is non-existent.  But like an annuity, you do pass along the benefits sometimes, kids and spouces in certain situations.  Also you collect if you are disabled.

    There is no time line, an annuity last for infinity, it is return alone, generally interrest, so it lasts forever so long as the principle is never touched and the ROR is greater than zero.  

    So give me back my $$$, and I will gladly find myself a nation that doesn't hate it's elderly citizens.


    I suppose the poor and their (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by the capstan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:56:45 AM EST
    children will just die off and solve the problem.  In my state of SC, it is d-n sure the state will be in no hurry to beef up what's left.  I have a severely mentally disabled daughter.  If she had to live at home, at (in October) 79, I'd make a pretty poor caretaker.  And, no, even with state pension and SS, I can't come up with $12000 a year beyond her generous SS check from her dad to help fund the house she and 3 others live in and the 2 or 3 aides per day to staff it.

    Reading the letters (none / 0) (#4)
    by Madeline on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:57:49 PM EST
    that accompany the NYT  articles that state anything about his poll numbers, there are very few Democrats that say they are voting for him again. In fact, some of the letters are brutal. Maybe the base has made a difference.

    Of course he wants to get reelected and he has to know by now that he is in trouble. Maybe since independents have left him too, he now loves him some progressives.

    Apparently, he is (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:21:06 AM EST
    concerned about his Democratic base. As one analyst at Brookings says:

    Obama needs to steady core supporters.

    "If you get into an election year and you are still trying to reassure your base, you're in a really tough spot," said William Galston, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington. "If the president starts a big controversy about Medicare benefits (now), then that could very well be the straw that breaks the base's back," said Galston.

    This sounds good (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:44:41 AM EST
    but I'm not quite as reassured:
    Obama will vow to veto any cuts proposed for the government-run Medicare health program for the elderly unless Congress agrees to raise taxes on companies and the wealthy.

    I find that "unless" to be problematic.  It reads to me like he's still trying to find a way to make those cuts to Medicare.  In any case, it provides wiggle room I'm not comfortable giving him.

    But I am staying tuned.


    Yeah - what if the GOP calls his bluff and (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:00:31 AM EST
    agrees to some modest tax hikes? Will he go for raising the Medicare age then?

    if there is one thing we know (none / 0) (#38)
    by CST on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:01:43 AM EST
    it's that the GOP won't agree to modest tax hikes.

    In a way, there is an upside to knowing Norquist has them all in his hand.  Because you know they won't call this bluff.

    Certainly not the house republicans.  There is some reliability in their certifiable craziness.


    On no. This is brilliant 11-dem. chess (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:17:10 AM EST
    and excellent example of Br'er Rabbit (not sure if the latter is currently PC).  

    Hoo-hah re: The B'rer Rabbit thing (none / 0) (#157)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:31:56 PM EST
    'Don't know if about the PC aspect either. But, in the past few weeks, I've been talking about B'rer Rabbit & Fox & the Briar Patch as it relates to whether voting on the whole Jobs package has any different effect than voting on each HIGHLY POPULAR component of said package.  When Cong. Pelosi said the morning after the jobs speech that it was so important to vote on the whole thing at the same time & certainly not one-by-one, there came the lightbulb shining "Please don't throw me in that briar patch...whatever you do." Because if Nancy Pelosi asked the Republicans not to do something, it could only guarantee that they would do the opposite. Good ole' B. Rabbit.

    What if the GOP agrees to tax hikes (none / 0) (#96)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:35:03 PM EST
    For real?  You think that the most likely outcome is the GOP caving on their core point just to force Obama to raise the medicare age.

    You are going to great lengths to create a scenario in which obama does the wrong thing.

    More likely: Obama promises his dream list, requires tax increases, and he knows that it's never going to happen because the GOP will never raise taxes.

    It does absolutely nothing, but it makes liberals feel like he's "taking a stand" or "being tough" or whatever catch phrase is used to mean a "real liberal".

    Bottom line: The GOP is the issue, not Obama. They don't get the attention and blame around here that they deserve.


    Bargaining chip (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:27:43 AM EST
    nothing more, nothing less.  Seems the O is finally taking BTD's advice on bargaining, except that he's telling the GOPers what he's willing to trade for cuts to "entitlements."

    Ding (none / 0) (#98)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:36:59 PM EST
    I think this is exactly right.  He's bargaining the way that many here wanted him to.

    But those folks seem to have now raised the bar of success to "not only does he have to bargain in a certain way, he has to win or he's a failure or a conservative".

    That's where I put my "get the f*&^! out of here" hat on, and start calling BS.


    I think you are one of the very few (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:27:39 PM EST
    here that support Obama bargaining away safety net benefits. So no, Obama is not bargaining the way we want him to do at all.

    Still trying to prop up (none / 0) (#102)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:39:58 PM EST
    your straw man, I see.

    Yeh. Speechifying = bargaining? (none / 0) (#105)
    by Towanda on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:43:41 PM EST

    Let's see some serious politicking with Congress.


    That's what this is (none / 0) (#110)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:19:23 PM EST
    He wants a bill with no changes. You fight that battle in the public eye through speeches and stumping.  This is how you play this particular game.  If I am not mistaken, when he was making concessions and cutting deals outside of the public eye, that was blasted.

    Can someone explain to me in layman's terms what he is supposed to be doing that he is currently not doing.  Not ephemeral "fight harder" but on a day to day basis:

    what are you suggesting that he do this week? More speeches? Meetings with congressional leaders? What?


    ABG: You are making good points. (none / 0) (#158)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:38:57 PM EST
    What seems to be going on is that the reality has shifted, and some people may need time to absorb. That is my guess.  Those that are against whatever Obama suggests or does will not change & will not be convinced in any way. That is glaringly obvious. Others are open...the language in those comments tends to indicate a watchfulness, a wariness, a waiting to see, a skepticism without a total rejecting cynicism. That is my take, in any event.

    christine (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:37:32 PM EST
    It is a true statement that I was against cutting the safety net benefits when Obama first proposed cutting them and I continue to be against the benefit cuts to Medicaid and Medicare that Obama is currently proposing. I do not see the average person cheering Obama's idea of making seniors pay additional out of pocket expenses before any coverage kicks in or reducing the amount that states receive for Medicaid. Just to provide you with what others think of the changes that Obama plans for Medicare:

    The plan got a cool reception from AARP, the influential lobby for older Americans, although the group praised the president for not trying to raise the eligibility age for Medicare.

    "AARP urges Congress to first cut waste and close tax loopholes instead of taking away the benefits Americans have earned after decades of working hard and paying into the system," AARP Vice President Nancy LeaMond wrote in a statement. "The president and Congress should be thinking of ways to restore middle class prosperity, not weaken it through cuts to benefits. It is neither balanced nor fair to ask seniors, whose incomes average less than $20,000, to contribute even more for their health care."

    Nope, no cheers for the changes that Obama proposes there either.


    More truth here than you intended, I think (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by sj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:35:14 AM EST
    What seems to be going on is that the reality has shifted, and some people may need time to absorb.

    But who are those who have not absorbed that new reality and its implications?  That's the question.


    Indeed. You are so quick witted. (none / 0) (#165)
    by christinep on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:06:19 PM EST
    I think people are very angry (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:39:16 AM EST
    at this President and God knows they have a right to be.  If they believe he will fight for him now, they will come to vote for him. I hope he knows that in this economy and under these crisis conditions he must keep his promises to the people too or they will hate him, history will not be kind to him.  He will be the new Hoover if he doesn't get with the program.

    I am grateful that he is finally giving the Democratic party something to run on.  We had nothing before all this.


    Talking points vs reality (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:08:51 AM EST
    Much was made yesterday of the so called Buffett Rule which taxed millionaires. Per administration officials it was thrown there because it sounded nice but will not be included in the actual proposal.

    Administration officials said Sunday night that they were not including any revenue from the Buffett Rule in Mr. Obama's overall $3 trillion proposal, adding that it was more of a guiding principle the president will adopt as budget negotiations with Congress advance. link

    Taxing millionaires is not really included in his proposal but it does really include $580 billion in adjustments to health and entitlement programs, including $248 billion to Medicare and $72 billion to Medicaid.

    After much ado about nothing (Buffett Rule), many people will think that Obama did actually include that tax hike in his proposal when he will not.

    Also regardless of how much pain the cost shifting may cause people on Medicare let alone the effects of reducing Medicaid, many people will just be grateful that Obama did not include raising the age for Medicare in this proposal.    


    Oh God (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:30:26 AM EST
    Well, if he isn't flat out promising to do it it won't be done.  We know that with Obama, that is how he rolls.  He threw that out there and waited for the Republicans to say that the rich need to be taxed less than secretaries so the whole country could instantly hate them in this crisid.  And they did, it is working like a charm.  But it's just bull$hit huh?  CNN is completely missing that fact every half an hour.  They are saying this is what the President wants...period. If he wanted it, it would be included.  Sort of like public option all over again.

    This isn't governance, it's campaign politics. (5.00 / 9) (#33)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:58:34 AM EST
    Glenn Greenwald points us to Matt Taibbi, who has an excellent article up at Rolling Stone that addresses Obama's believability:

    Feigning progressive leanings for political gain is Obama's modus operandi; as Matt Taibbi recently put it in explaining why he no longer listens to Obama's speeches:

    I remember following Obama on the campaign trail and hearing all sorts of promises before union-heavy crowds. He said he would raise the minimum wage every year; he said he would fight free-trade agreements. He also talked about repealing the Bush tax cuts and ending tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.

    It's not just that he hasn't done those things. The more important thing is that the people he's surrounded himself with are not labor people, but stooges from Wall Street. Barack Obama has as his chief of staff a former top-ranking executive from one of the most grossly corrupt mega-companies on earth, JP Morgan Chase. He sees Bill Daley in his own office every day, yet when it comes time to talk abut labor issues, he has to go out and make selected visits twice a year or whatever to the Richard Trumkas of the world.

    Listening to Obama talk about jobs and shared prosperity yesterday reminded me that we are back in campaign mode and Barack Obama has started doing again what he does best -- play the part of a progressive. He's good at it. It sounds like he has a natural affinity for union workers and ordinary people when he makes these speeches. But his policies are crafted by representatives of corporate/financial America, who happen to entirely make up his inner circle.

    ...But whatever else is true, none of this ["this" being all the talk about millionaire taxes] presages an actual change in how the government functions or, especially, on whose behalf it labors.  That's precisely why he feels free to advocate such things without alienating his funding base.  It's still the government of Tim Geithner and his bosses/owners; election season (combined with rising elite fear of social unrest) just requires a bit more pretense to obscure that fact.

    No kidding.

    And this has just as much application to the whole discussion about the safety net.  After months of those programs being overtly on the table, suddenly Social Security and the eligibility age for Medicare have been taken off?  Because Obama doesn't believe in what he's been saying, either himself or through spokespeople or leaks?

    Or because he sees how badly Rick Perry's been polling on Social Security, and sees that he's going to suffer the same fate if he doesn't change the message?  And that's the important part to pay attention to here - the 180 on the message: this is about getting re-elected.  I don't know how anyone who's been paying attention to how Obama operates can believe that all the things he's taking off the table now aren't going to make a reappearance as soon as possible should he be re-elected.  

    That Obama's able to suck people back into the fold is just proof to me of how desperate people are for a president who truly embodies what most of us believe Democrats are supposed to embody.

    How the Obama campaign people must be laughing at how easy it is.


    I would vote for him and I would (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:58:41 AM EST
    be noticeably supportive if I thought that for him there had been a learning curve that had been involved in all this.  I'm willing to give him every benefit of the doubt that he never really meant to stomp us into the ground for his own gain.  But it doesn't seem to matter to him, he is at this point on the record as being a shameless campaign liar who doesn't really want to learn anything from anyone, or reform and or change his ways, or ever have been wrong.  Reminds me that other jerk I got rid of not too long ago who burnt this country literally to the ground and now can't figure out why he is so hated.

    I am not interested in holding grudges, I'm interested in the real solutions for the people...not business...the people.  There will never be any businesses without healthy people, and government should only ever exist for the health of the people.  If he can't GET THAT I want him gone.


    does this go beyond 2012 (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:59:18 AM EST
    or just up to? being lazy and not reading the link here, as he's not been too trustworthy on the left so far . . . I trust this as much as I trust him not wanting to be re-elected . . . . .

    People are still so upset with him (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:54:53 AM EST
    That much seems obvious.  How is he going to shore that up?

    If I had the president's ear, this is what (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:54:44 AM EST
    I would tell him.

    First and foremost: Do whatever he can do at the executive level to create real jobs and accurately promote those actions. No spin - just real jobs that put people back to work.

    Replace words with visible actions. Stop saying one thing and doing another. People don't trust you now. Don't make it worse with weasel words.  

    Get off of his deficit kick. Do not pivot back to deficits under penalty of political death. Let the Cat Food CommissionII die in gridlock. Shut down and get Democratic members of the Gang of 6 and the Gang of 36 off of their deficit kick and on to a populist agenda. And yes, I think he can really do that.  

    Never, ever say the word entitlements again. The only time I want to hear him mention fixing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits is if he is championing raising benefits in these programs.

    Actually let the Obama/Bush tax cuts expire as promised.

    Just a few

    Start reversing the Bush/Obama assault on civil liberties.    


    That's music to MY ears (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:22:20 AM EST
    But if you had the chance to say that to Obama I expect the music he would hear would be "la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, I can't HEAR you..."

    "Entitlement reform" (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:34:14 AM EST
    is the ultimate Orwellian language.

    Missouri Blue Our own Congressman Rev. (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by mogal on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:51:29 AM EST
    Emanuel Cleaver said "Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus "probably would be marching on the White House" if Obama were not president. Love that guy - he tells it like it is.

    I will be impressed (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:08:47 PM EST
    when Rep. Cleaver and the "Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus" actually march on the White House to demand help for their constituents instead of giving Obama a "bye."

    I don't think he can rebuild any enthusiasm (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:22:55 AM EST
    He will just have to hope for a bad GOP candidate. They seem very obliging in that regard, if in nothing else.

    Well, they are already saying that (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:31:53 AM EST
    secretaries must pay more in taxes than millionaires.

    That's (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 08:52:37 AM EST
    pretty much the crux of it. Obama is hoping for the GOP equivalent of Alan Keyes to run against. Fact of the matter is, the GOP just might be stupid enough to run Ponzi Perry for President.

    Well (none / 0) (#55)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:47:39 AM EST
    instead of raising the eligibility age, he's  cutting provider payments.

    My MIL contracted endometrial cancer.  About halfway thru her treatment she signed up for Medicare...her doctor dropped her.  She had to find another one.

    Cutting provider payments is NO better than raising the eligibility age.  In fact it may be worse.

    I just had a friend (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:20:01 AM EST
    with heart problems have the same thing happen.

    .... Just what we need.... stress on a heart patient...


    Yes, and cutting provider (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by KeysDan on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:29:59 AM EST
    payments is how Medicare will be affected if Cat Food II fails or its work fails to be adopted by Congress.  And, the possibility of provider cuts through the automatic across the board cuts has given rise to the American Hospital Association's support of changing eligibility age.  All of which will bring lobbying from different perspectives--with the possibility of age eligibility re-emergence--something that just could not be prevented to get "balance" in deficit reduction.

    He's not proposing cutting all provider payments (none / 0) (#106)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:43:45 PM EST
    He's proposing starting value-based payments which Congress has already approved for 2015 in the health care Act two years early. Doctors don't like it, particularly those in imaging, but it's nowhere near as bad as raising the eligibility age.

    Here's what he is proposing.


    to everyone here (none / 0) (#108)
    by CST on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:55:42 PM EST
    who is looking for more than "just words" on medicare - what exactly are you actually looking for?

    I get that a lot of people don't trust Obama, and you have your reasons.

    But what "action" can he take to indicate that he is not going to raise the medicare age?  How does one actively not do something?  It makes no sense.

    If we are suspose to rely on his words (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:27:53 PM EST
    he could quit using weasel words.

    Stating clearly and without any qualifiers that he will veto any cuts to the safety net programs would be a good first step. There was no veto threat to protect Medicare and Social Security benefits.

    In fact,  in his only veto threat Obama made it clear he would accept Medicare benefit cuts if they were accompanied by new tax revenue from the rich by saying, "I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share." link

    I could drive an eighteen wheeler through all the loopholes in his statement.

    He could also stop doing B.S. promotions like the millionaire tax (Buffett Rule) which he played up big but kinda failed to actually put into the numbers.

    In his speech today he is also still promoting lowering the marginal tax rates under the guise of tax reform. Hard to buy that he is actually going to raise taxes on the rich when in the same breath he is pushing to significantly lower the marginal tax rates for corporations and the mega rich.    

    Stay off the deficit kick and stay on job promotion. Twist some conservative Dems arms in Congress, especially in the Senate, for a change.

    While I'm not sure how far these things would go with me, they would at least take away some of the basis for my arguments for why others should not trust what he is saying.  


    twist arms in the senate (none / 0) (#120)
    by CST on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    to what avail?  We don't have the house.  If you mean turn back the clock, that's fine but just say that.

    Other than that what you're saying is you want better words.  I can get that.  But it's not really an action either.


    Not what I said (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:54:55 PM EST
    but I have withdrawn that comment entirely. The words and the actual proposals don't match even today.

    Oy (none / 0) (#122)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:50:20 PM EST
    Scratch everything that I wrote in (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:52:57 PM EST
    comment 115. After seeing the actual benefit cuts to Medicare and Medicaid he has proposed, Obama has no credibility at all.  

    An advocate (none / 0) (#112)
    by sj on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:21:51 PM EST
    There is a big difference between being an advocate and making a kinda/sorta statement and letting spokesman indicate a direction.