Since watching the Democrats the last couple of weeks has been like watching someone trying to commit suicide by driving their clown car off a cliff but running over their foot before they can get it out of the parking lot, I’m going to take Anne Laurie’s advice and not think about politics today.
I will note that since Virginia has reaffirmed her right to execute the severely mentally handicapped, I’d be worried if I were a tea partier.
For those of you that want the most incredible animal-adopting-other-animals pictures (almost made me cry, dammit!), check out this slideshow from MSNBC.
Ten political posts by 10am is my guess.
Ten political posts by 10am is my guess.
You’re only fooling yourself.
Make use of Civ V.
How do you peg our chances against LSU, John? I have to admit, I have zero idea about how good LSU is really this season, outside of the fact that they’re ranked. All I know is that we got some serious issues in the secondary right now, especially with Hogan suspended.
And a new broken record. What were you just saying before, John? Oh, and this surprises you? Virginia has spent the last year and a half or so decided that it just wasn’t batshit insane enough to make cohabitation illegal while still calling itself ‘Home for Lovers’.
I like that this morning’s headline was about executing a woman. Because the death penalty is fine and dandy until you kill a chick. Ugh.
You know, everybody here seems to think this tax vote would come out the way we want it to. The only reason to hold a vote is if there would be substantial unanimity among Democrats in favor of Obama’s tax plan.
Pretend you are Nancy Pelosi. You have made all the arguments made here to your caucus about how good the vote would be for messaging, drawing distictions, etc. You are told without equivocation that you will not only lose the vote, but you will lose at least 40 Democrats who will join with Republicans to kill the plan. Suppose you are Harry Reid and are told that you would not only get filibustered (we all know that) but that you would lose 8-10 Democratic Senators in the process. That would be a PR disaster to dwarf anything going on here. All that great Obama rhetoric about Republicans holding the middle class hostage, about Republican obstruction, evaporated in an instant. Ignominious public humiliation for Pelosi, Reid, Obama, et. al. Would you hold that vote? Only if you are a reckless fool.
Pitt sucks, politics suck, and I’m fucking exhausted after the week I’ve had at work. I slept through my alarm, was late as hell for work, and my desk is positively buried in paperwork and projects and whatnot.
Shitty week for me and for the entire country. Pet pics at the rate you usually post after one of your going Galt screeds would soothe me. Maybe.
@Punchy: That’s amazing. I love the tiny rhino and the ‘dad’ at the end.
It is so hard to live in VA sometimes.
your failure to clap with the appropriate enthusiasm has been noted.
consider this a warning.
Does political correctness or incorrectness count as politics, John? If not (or even if so), check out Cleavagegate, aka Katy Perry Does Sesame Street, wherein the producers of Sesame Street invite she of the whipped-cream-shooting breasts to do a duet with Elmo and scandal ensues.
and on the other side of that coin: DEMS FUEL THEIR SPENDING SPREE WITH MASSIVE TAX INCREASE IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION!!! OMZG!
You just made my morning a million times better.
@A: It was lovely to visit, but I’m not sure I could live there. On the other hand, the state needs people like you who don’t suck.
@Persia: I cant believe the dog/elk combo. And the cat/squirrel nursing combo. Just amazing.
@Punchy: Thanks for sharing. Those pictures are amazing, though what is the deal with all the squirrels?! Also, anyone else suspicious of that mama tiger’s motives re nursing those plump little piggies?
Well I realize you did not ask me but when you consider Baton Rouge on a Saturday night I think WVU +8 is a loser.
Okay, the fact that I am looking at Dan Onorato for Governor ads instead of any of the insane GOPer/Teabagger ads I’ve been subjected to here on BJ the last few weeks makes my day just a teeny tiny little bit better.
And awesome to see your brother Seth visiting here, pimping his new and totally gorgeous puppeh. If we didn’t already have two, I’d be heading over the border in a shot. Thankfully, Frank seems to be enthusiastic about making Ellie a part of his family.
DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.
I’m going no politics this Sunday as far as posts go. I don’t think we can have a no politics Friday, not this time of year.
This is a good question. It’s easy for us to attack the Congressional Dems (who at this point do look like fools). But it’d be nice to have some actual hard data—are they doing it because
(a) they’re pussies
(b) they get too much $ from the wealthy, or
(c) the vote would fail.
(c) isn’t enough to void (a)—you need to look at athe political consequences of the vote failing.
@Punchy: God, yes the elk. At least squirrels are small and similar in build! Thanks for posting that, it made me happy.
And I’m putting the marker down here and now. If the Democrats lose even one CD or Senate seat it is his fault.
Odie Hugh Manatee
@DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:
Good. Stupid seems to be a Monday through Friday thing when it comes to politics though the Sunday shows can raise eyebrows at times too. Saturday seems to be the day everyone takes off when it comes to politics, at least it seems quieter than other days.
I have plenty of other places I go if I am not in the mood for politics. I come here for the politics and while the pets are a nice bonus I don’t pay attention to much else here.
Looks like today is the day we uproot the pepper bushes. We’ll freeze the banana peppers, and most of the jalapenos. The bell peppers have been a disappointment. Small in size and rotting on the vine as they struggle to ripen. We may process the last batch of green tomato relish. Plenty of green tomatoes, even plenty of new blossoms but none of the new fruits are gaining much weight. There are a scant few that are ripe enough to try for a last pint of awesome sauce.
Bit blue today – my favorite internet radio station is going off the air this weekend. I’ve been using it to ward off the massive rays of stoopid emanating from all the political kabuki that’s been going on. Gonna have to power up my snark fu to compensate.
The only difference between a crack-whore and a member of Congress is the ethical superiority of the crack-whore.
I don’t want to get all Teabagger and revolutiony-type talk, but the only way the culture in DC is going to change is to clean the slate and start all over.
Hoping for more, better Democrats ain’t the cure. It’s like thinking a new steering wheel on the Titanic would have prevented poor Jack from freezing in that water.
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
@Michael Goetz: Why not make the Blue Dogs put up or shut up. Talk is cheap. Lets see if the Blue Dogs will back up their BS. On this issue, my guess is no.
Everyone remember law professor McWhiney, who couldn’t make ends meet on a mere $350K a year or so? Well, there was enough of a blowback on that story that the Chicago Tribune put it on their front page in today’s paper. And amazingly, the story basically comes out and calls him a whiner. Favorite quote, from some random guy that the reporter interviewed:
this is my take on the tax vote, and the midterms
it just doesn’t matter
Sounds fabulous, let’s do it! Um, er, what exactly are we doing? But I’m all in!
@Punchy: Incredible pictures. A nice way to start the morning.
Maybe the last couple of days if you’re of the opinion that a tax cut vote would’ve ended up positively, but in the last few weeks, Democrats;
1.) appointed Elizabeth Warren to an important position
2.) Bashed the Republican repeatedly on tax cuts
3.) Forced them to take unpopular stands on DADT and DISCLOSE Acts.
How are you gonna clean the slate of all the voters? Politics, and everything in D.C. is merely a funhouse mirror reflection of the electorate. People assert their right to be stupid, everyday, they choose the stupid option because they can, and they want to show you they can, how are you going to clean the slate again?
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
When haven’t they backed up their BS?
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle: You’re willing to risk a huge PR massacre on that guess? I bet the Blue Dogs would vote no en masse. You can whip a handful of members to get yourself over the line to 218, but there are some 50 Democratic members who have voiced objections to this. They would hang together.
Just to be clear, we are mad at Pelosi and Reid because Howard Dean recruited candidtes who were appropriate for their districts. When you pursue a 50 state strategy, some of those states are going to be Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc. How is the tax cut debate going in those areas?
But unless the Dems can show how that stuff affects jobs, jobs, jobs, they’re screwed. At least tax cuts would have meant money in people’s pockets, which is a good thing since people are hurting right now.
Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. And money in middle-class voters’ pockets. That’s what the Dems need to find a way to do. And they’ve bungled a huge opportunity with the tax cut vote.
Some of the same people who crapped all over Reid for the DADT vote are now furious that he’s not doing the same thing with the tax vote.
He got essentially all Democrats on DADT. Would he even get 50 for the tax vote? Without unanimity for the Ds, a tax vote would be less than worthless. It would be horribly damaging.
But it wouldn’t have been money in people’s pockets, because the money is ALREADY in people’s pockets. we’re not cutting taxes further, we’re, technically, keeping them from going up. No one would even notice before the election. A tax cut vote wouldn’t have given people jobs and wouldn’t have put money in people’s pocket, it would have opened up an argument, that seems to be beginning to resonate with Connecticut voters at the moment vis-a-vi Linda McMahon, that higher taxes on the rich = even less jobs.
So the sentiment that I’m getting here in this thread so far is ‘Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, Democrats are fucked every which way they try because everyone hates them, so why try?’.
Incidentally, I don’t think Obama and most Democrats would mind very much if all of the tax cuts expired on schedule. They, and we, have correctly railed against the cuts as a fiscal abomination for years. Even Obama’s proposal is hideously expensive at 3.3 trill. That 700 bill in savings over the Republican 4 trill plan sort of pales in the context of those two numbers.
But Dems can’t just come out and say let all the tax cuts expire. That really would be electoral cyanide. So the next best thing is to engineer a stalemate and try to blame Repubs for favoring the rich.
i think that’s the reality of the situation. the economy dominates, as always, and the Dems are on the wrong side of things. it really is a no-win situation.
personally, i think they’re playing things poorly. but even if they did everything i think they should, they’d still end up losing a lot of seats.
but i’d rather see them lose while fighting than with typical chaotic fecklessness.
Unfortunately, the issue here is that so far, the issue is not reading as ‘Republicans favoring the right’, but instead ‘Democrats tax and spend on America’. And part of this is because there has been absolutely no fucking fight to actually frame it properly. No small thanks to Blue Dogs who have been all too willing to cry ‘OBAMA SOSHULIZMS!!!!!!’ every single fucking time.
I think that pet pictures/videos are in order if Cole isn’t going to think about politics. More Tunch please!!
with this, i agree.
fiscally, we really need to let them expire, soon. i think an extension until the economy gets going again would be wise. but in the long term, they’re simply unaffordable.
or, we could keep the cuts and chop the DoD budget by half !
we’re spending $1.9 billion per day on the DoD right now.
someone should put that on a bumper sticker.
Let me offer a ray of hope here before Corner Stone comes on and starts mocking me again.
Democrats will NEVER win political debates, unless they’re running against disastrous Republican incumbents, and even then they’ll only barely win.
But they could, and often do, win legislative debates. The one thing this Democratic Congress and this President is a good at is legislating. It mean compromising, or capitulating, whatever term you want to use for it, but because of them, children cannot be left uninsured, your insurance cannot drop you if you’re sick, free preventive care, more money for community health centers, a consumer protection agency, regulations on derivatives, small business tax credits, better access to and easier repay of student loans, more equal pay, LGBTs covered in hate crimes, etc. But no, they won’t win elections because of any of it. They can get middle class tax cuts passed if they compromise with a Republican or two and allow a temporary extension for the rich, but they won’t…which is fine, but it means they won’t win this legislation. Either way, they won’t win politically.
You try because you’ll win legislatively, but no, Democrats will never win politically.
So, no matter what we do, we’ve essentially squandered the best chance we’ve had in decades to actually do something (and I say ‘squandered’ only relative to the mountain of shit laid in our laps), because America pissed its pants and decided they hated Dems enough to literally go back to the same exact policies that got us into the mess in the first place, and oh, because Blacky Black Mooslin is president and that means America is terrorist wonderland all of a sudden and we need Republicans to protect us from Victory Mosques and Stalin stormtroopers.
God fucking dammit, this is the shit that had me begging Green Balloon Juice in the first place.
Yup, looks like a good day to go galt. The blog owner has gone full emo-fail, Nick is passing out the razor blades and the nihilist firebaggers are circling like a flock of buzzards to pick our bones.
Later Alligators .
@Michael Goetz: I am thinking that Reid and Pelosi know how their people would vote on the issue and that they don’t have the votes to do the middle class tax cut without the upper as well. If that is the case, it sucks, but it also makes sense to drop the issue. If all the Dems could be guaranteed to hang together on this, the fight might be worth it. If they can’t, a high profile blow out is not what is needed in the run up to the election. Does this mean the a certain number of Democrats suck/are idiots/are Republicans in drag/[insert derogatory phrase here]? Yes, it does, but it does not mean that all Dems are, nor does it mean that Reid and Pelosi are selling anyone out.
Sure, but you can’t deny that they get criticized even when they fight.
But it does seem to mean that we’re politically and (regardless of how Nick puts it) legislatively fucked, especially when the new Congress is sworn in, because we really have only 40 votes at most in the senate and maybe 160 votes if that in the House, and that no amount of leadership in the world will prevent Republicans running total roughshod on us and Blue Dogs gleefully shooting own goals just to spite the Dems.
I have a suggestion: Good Government Friday. Rather than focusing on the myriad ways that politics are fucking the country, how about one day a week focusing on the stuff they’re getting right which Fox News is hell bent and determined to make sure nobody in the country can focus on.
I’ve been rather enjoying reading about HCR at the government’s site: http://www.healthcare.gov/
There’s a timeline there for when various pieces get implemented (I didn’t realize some of the things that kicked in today.) And under implementation you can see what each state is doing with the federal grants designed for oversight of insurance rates. Here’s California’s. Some of it is pretty fluffy, but there’s a surprising amount there.
Kaiser Foundation also has a fair bit of information on HCR if you want an independent site. I’m looking closely now at a study of ratings of Medicare Advantage plans and it’s remarkably how much variation there is from state to state. It’s glaringly obvious how much influence state insurance commissioners and the legislature have when you see that half the states in the nation have effectively zero Medicare Advantage plans rated at 4 or 5 stars, while other states like California, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon (anyone detecting a trend) have 50%ish of enrollees in 4 star and 5 star plans. Bucking the trend is Idaho, also with strong programs (probably just Blue Cross of Idaho), and states like Vermont (what’s the deal Howard Dean?) with none.
With this kind of discrepancy nationally, and this in programs that are paid by federal dollars, it’s pretty clear why they had to deal with Medicare Advantage. In the reform bill, plans will be reimbursed differentially based on quality, rather than uniformly as in the past, and the surplus payments they had been receiving will be going away, replaced by a bonus system for good care performance.
@Kryptik: I have no answer to that right now. I think I will go for a run, do some cleaning, and prep for some upcoming depositions.
Just biding time for The Event. This fall on NBC.
Come on, she was hardly that. I’m against the death penalty in any case but a better argument would be to question why she had to die while the actual killers got life.
Another woman got the equivalent of the death penalty today, in a case that gets curiouser and curiouser the more you look at it.
And she for sure is not mentally handicapped.
Bad day for women who fight back.
Glad you asked.
I propose we work up a Number 6 on ’em. That’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course.
This should do it.
Just looked at healthcare.gov and found this:
This went into effect yesterday. My sister has been trapped in an otherwise crappy job with good health insurance because of her pre-existing condition. Hopefully this means she can start looking for a new gig.
3a. Immediately step all over your message:
@TJ: That was expected, but besides, I don’t think the political effect of forcing the GOP to block DADT was positive. It didn’t win them any happy LGBT voters who weren’t happy before. Hell, people here start talking about giving money to Republicans!
@TJ: Currently, DADT is the law of the land. The DOJ is obligated to defend it. See the discussion in the “Gee, Brain…” thread.
@TJ: Currently, DADT is the law of the land. The DOJ is obligated to defend it. See the discussion in the “Gee, Brain…” thread.
@TJ: Currently, DADT is the law of the land. The DOJ is obligated to defend it. See the discussion in the “Gee, Brain…” thread.
@Omnes Omnibus: God damn it. Sorry.
@R-Jud: Yes, job mobility is a HUGE desired outcome of HCR. I’m in the same boat – I’ve got 3 pre-existing conditions people at home and a great insurance plan. I make shit money, but swapping out that insurance has the potential to break us financially. Thankfully I like my job, but I certainly would like to have the money to take a vacation – haven’t had one in 4 years – I spend all my vacation time doing projects that we can’t afford to hire out.
that’s ok. At least with you one reads something sensible two or three times over. It would be a lot worse if that repeat post bug infected certain others who shall remain nameless.
A troll is going to come and get you for that.
Yes and no.
I think they could win almost every single debate if they were not such pussies. If they simply came out and spoke clear, plain, Alan Graysonesque language they would win.
The messaging is not that hard. The Dems are just too scared and weak to talk tough.
And no. Even if they did use the correct message, our MSM is so useless that we could not be guaranteed of getting the message out as intended.
@R-Jud: Does the quoted part mean she would first have to go without insurance for at least 6 months?
Or am I misreading?
@Omnes Omnibus: @Michael Goetz: I think the evidence suggests that your views are correct, that the Democratic leadership is well aware that this issue _should be_ a winner, but that recalcitrant dissenters in the House and Senate won’t listen to reason, and thus that pushing the issue will only end up playing as a defeat as well as revealing disunity in the ranks.
Part of me wants to say that Pelosi should _still_ forge ahead with it, saying, fuck it, let the Blue Dogs go whimper for a while. But I can see why there’s also a benefit in keeping as many Dems, even the irritating ones, in place for the next session. I would really like to see her call their bluff. But if it really did cost them additional seats, that tradeoff would be grit-your-teeth difficult to calculate.
Agreed. Obama needed to be Secretariat shooting out of the gate from the get-go. I don’t feel he did this. He should have shot for the moon and settled for the upper atmosphere.
Instead, he aimed for the upper atmosphere and settled for the top of the Empire State Building. Every single position they took began as a weak compromise, then was weakened even further.
But hey, we got Lily Ledbetter Act..
Interesting take over at RBC:
1) Bring up the middle-class tax cut bill free-standing in the House. The Republicans would offer a “Motion to Recommit” to the Ways and Means Committee with instructions to include the tax cuts for the rich. With Blue Dog support, it would have won. No go.
2) Bring up the middle-class tax cut bill freestanding in the Senate. The Republicans would offer an amendment to include the tax cuts for the rich. It could have won: 41 Republicans plus Lieberman, Lincoln, Pryor, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Bayh, Hagan, Dorgan, Baucus, Conrad, and then maybe Bill Nelson, Webb, or Warner. Then where would you be?
3) Bring up the middle-class tax cut bill free-standing in the House under a “Suspension of the Rules,” which requires a two-thirds vote and is not subject to the Motion to Recommit. My favorite option, because theoretically, the Republicans would be in a bind. Either they would vote no, in which case they would have voted no on a tax cut, or they would have voted yes, in which case the Dems win and they tick off their base. BUT — they probably would have split, meaning that the Dems would not have not gotten a win AND the partisan difference would have been muddied.
I don’t, sorry, because of this;
Alan Grayson isn’t treated like a hero, he’s treated like a nut. Even if the Democratic Party united behind an Alan Grayson message, they would be present as dangerous lunatics.
Because they had better lawyers.
Yep. Yep. Yep. Great point. And
The Democrats could also pull the rug out from under the Republicans by pointing out how portability of health insurance provides an incentive for someone to look for a better job, or start a business.
Remember the 9/11 health benefits bill? Who won that? Not the Democrats.
@Corner Stone: From what I can tell you are correct though there may be some state plans that are less strict.
I am not disagreeing with you, but one reason the portrayal of Grayson as a nut sticks is that the rest of the party does not unite behind him
you’re assuming he would’ve gotten the upper atmosphere.
I just read somewhere — I totally can’t remember where — that Obama’s team has had to deal with a lot of Democrats who saw his election as a fluke rather than a “realignment” and who have held fast to DLC/Clinton-era conventional wisdom about liberal policy. So my sense is that the most significant compromises are between flanks of the Democratic party. And that’s what’s happening again: the people who want to go big are being hemmed in by the scaredy-cats. I’m not sure how you can avoid “weak compromise” in that environment, because you’ve got a lot of trouble keeping your _own_ side together, and then you hit Republican obstruction and have to woo a single vote here and a single vote there.
the GOP’s response would be: “after we repeal all the crappy parts of ObamaCare, the Health Care Reform we enact will have all the stuff people want – no more rescission, no more pre-existing limitations, portable plans, etc – and none of that complicated stuff that people don’t want!”
sure, the complicated stuff is the stuff that makes all the other stuff possible. but nobody is going to listen to the explanation of why that’s the case.
Maybe, but that’s the point, you’re never gonna get the entire party to unite behind one message, let alone one from a freshman Florida congressman whose going to lose, there isey always going to be one or two, so the media will always present those one or two as the “real” Democratic party and people still hypnotized by “moderateness” will rally behind that person. It would similar to the tea party as crazy and presenting Mike Castle as the “real” Republican Party. They don’t, they give all their attention to Christine O’Donnell, that’s how they empower the tea party.
If they paid attention to Grayson like they do O’Donnell and Palin, it would empower progressives, that’s why they don’t.
See, I don’t think they’re really all that worried about the optics of “voting no on a tax cut,” which is the essence of the clever plan to put them on the spot. I think they’re confident that voters know that they’re the tax-cuttin’est party of them all, so Democratic attack ads about Republicans voting no on a tax cut will be shrugged off: Republicans will just say, “The Democrat party was playing political games we had to stop. When we’re in power, trust us, you’ll get that tax cut.” If they can vote no on aid to 9/11 first responders with health problems, and get away with that with no repercussions, I think they can get away with just about anything.
Hm. There’s a great line in True Grit, when Robert Duvall’s character tell the ingenue, “I don’t need a good lawyer, I need a good judge”. I quote from memory, but something like that. So:
So who was the bad judge?
What? Between the old tax cuts and stimulus related tax provisions, quite a number of people had larger refunds or smaller tax balances over the last two years. And with wage stagnation, rising prices and lowered quality of goods, many Americans have seen an absolute decline in their standard of living.
There are any number of good economic reasons for Obama to push for middle class tax cuts. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, he hasn’t gone far enough. The Republicans had no problems running up the deficit to wage wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democrats should be willing to risk some increase in deficits in order to help revive the economy.
God, I wish I could afford more alcohol. The next 2 years are going to be like one gigantic manic depressive breakdown.
A horrible story, all around, as they always are.
One of the killers committed suicide in prison, btw.
ETA: What do you mean by the “equivalent of the death penalty”?
@Michael Goetz: Hate agreeing with this too, but I do.
But dammit I hate agreeing with it because I still can’t help thinking what cleek said, I’d rather see them lose while fighting than with typical chaotic fecklessness.
This frustration reminds me of 2004 when it was so ever-lovin’ mother-fuckin’ obvious what needed to be done. (And I did what I could — letters, emails, phone calls to my congresspeople, money and my vote) And more than half this country couldn’t figure it out. And 4 years later, when it was sooooo fucking obvious what was going on, a majority of that half still couldn’t figure it out.
More than just the teatards. At least 27% of this nation ought to be worried, which comprises at least 2/3s of republicans. Assuming they have the mental faculties to grasp this. Which they don’t. So the point is kind of moot.
True enough, to an extent.
But Reagan was once thought of as a nut and an extremist. Yet he would now be too liberal for his own party.
At some point you just have to go all Clark Griswold and just go for it.
Also, that type of talk may be considered nutty in the MSM and to Broder and Bobo, but it would be a very loud dog-whistle to the base and many independents I think.
Because Reaganites took over the media.
Maybe to the base, but the base isn’t that big, and I don’t trust independents, they follow what ever narrative the media sets…and by media, keep in mind I don’t only mean the news…I mean generally, news, programs, etc.
RE: The Democrats could also pull the rug out from under the Republicans by pointing out how portability of health insurance provides an incentive for someone to look for a better job, or start a business.
There’s very little here that is complicated. People understand health care and insurance industry practices easily enough.
And as far as I see, the Republicans don’t have a plan, don’t offer a plan, and have nothing to offer that rises above the level of trading chickens for doctor visits. Or the admonition, “Don’t Get Sick.”
The Democrats should slam the GOP to the wall over health care. Pull out all the clips of Republicans in the past opposing Social Security and Medicare. The Democrats could offer a proposal which would let members of Congress opt out of any health care and dare the Republicans to sign on.
The Democrats could talk about how potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney used to be proud of the Massachusetts health care reform he helped back.
There is no reasons for the Democrats to keep showing such a weak hand over health care.
By the way, I really enjoyed a couple of clips featured on the Rachel Maddow Show, and shown on the White House web site, where a woman thanks Obama for in effect saving her life because of the health care provisions. Ah, here it is (Health Care Reform in Action).
and yet most people think Obama RAISED their taxes.
I agree, but the reason Republicans can do it is conventional wisdom is they’re fiscally responsible, so they don’t actually have to be and no one asks questions because…shut up, that’s why.
There’s a double standard, Democrats can’t get away with things Republicans can. I mean look at hecklers. Democrats take on hecklers, they’re called mean and out of touch. Chris Christie does it and he’s badass.
86 years for trying to shoot at an American soldier. In Afghanistan.
God bless Homeland.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
I’ll repeat a question I asked in another thread in the hopes of getting it answered; how is it that these “clowns” that are “weak and stupid”, a “gang that can’t shoot straight” filled with “idiots” who are bent on “suicide” managed to pass the stimulus, health care, finreg, and all those other things which you elsewhere have touted as great accomplishments?
See, nobody cares about this except for the woman and her family.
If we are speaking of messaging, we need to set the stage:
1. Health insurance is a ponzi scheme by billion-dollar corporations designed to separate you from your money.
2. Republicans don’t care about your health and could care less if you are sick and die.
3. Democrats want to fight the insurance companies (as if) and don’t want to die.
4. Democrats want YOU to have the decision over your health care and not the Republicans or greedy corporations.
So we have to set up the problem, set up the bad guy, then have the hero save the day.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
All of these listed, for the most part, follow the same pattern:
Each is so greatly compromised as to have very little real benefits once played out.
1. Healthcare, for example, while having some good things, helped the insurance companies more than the average person. Also, the public option was dropped before the stadium was even built. It was not even used as a bargaining chip. And it now appears that no democrats are campaigning on HCR.
2. Stimulus. See: Krugman, et al. Too little too late.
3. Finreg. (see #1) Again, some good things, but are they really transformative? Is it really going to set us on the path of recalibrating the power and strength of Wall Street, et al? Or is it more of a way of punting the problems down the road while not aggravating Wall Street too much.
For a little historical context: My recollection* is Bush and the Republicans asked for $1 trillion in tax cuts. They “settled” for $750 Billion, which was more than enough.
It seems the Dems don’t do this. They do the opposite.
*my numbers may be way off.
@Mnemosyne: That is something I wonder about too. They all should have gotten the same penalty-after all in a murder for hire situation the killers were free to refuse and clearly were competent to do so.
I think most people accept that insurance companies are a problem, I don’t think they see the government as a better option.
I like this a lot. Seconded on the motion to have Good Government Fridays.
No one cares except the woman and her family. I guess that’s why Extreme Home Makeover is on it’s millionth schmaltzy season. Or why Nick Sparks writes such tearjerker inspirational novels-which I pass on, fully admit. Or why 9/11 is less about 9/11 and more about “9/11” with flags and weeping eagles and blingee and glitter crosses. Because people aren’t moved by personal stories that are heart wrenching.
Best thing I’ve read all day was a comment at GOS that said that by failing on the DADT repeal attempt, the Republicans were able to be poised for a Lincoln-esque moment, giving gays their rights and ensure that gays, who are often wealthy which means more sympathetic to Republican tenets, will be like southern blacks, consistent republican voters. Wrap your head around that if you will. The current crop and projected future crop of conservatives will be winning the gay vote over their strong stance for gay rights. Let’s just ignore how they all failed to show that strong stance in the vote we’re all upset at Democrats, who mostly voted for it, for.
As a progressive, I am now attempting to sell everyone to Reptiloids as lunch meat for a good ship, maps and some galactic credits.
I’ve got news for you, Cole. They can ALL be considered “severely mentally handicapped”. Where do you draw the line on THAT slippery slope? People with well-adjusted, nominal mental health do not, for example, slice the head off of their ex-wife with a steak knife. Anyone standing up for OJ on a mental health beef? No? Weird.
are ALL committed by people with impaired mental health.
Oh I think people are definitely moved by heart wrenching personal stories, but they don’t want to do a damn thing to help any of them.
Which page of the GOP’s Glorious 5-Year Plan was “Exterminate The Tards” on? And was it hard to sneak that one by the Messiah Palin, or did you buy her off with another shopping spree?
Oh Emo, that’s so true. Which is why Extreme Home Makeover has so many volunteers. And why Habitat for Humanity goes begging for workers. And why Oprah’s Angel Network failed after it’s inception. And why homeless shelters have not worked. Or clothing drives, or school car washes. Dammit, no one wants to help!
The problem with that theory is that most of the Teabaggers still hate, hate, hate gays and that will probably be true for quite a while yet. It would be dangerous for Republican politicians to pull such a stunt regardless of how little they personally care about DADT. For instance, in the case of same-sex marriage it is one thing for them to shrug their shoulders after a loss in court; it is quite another thing for them to vote for it explicitly.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
Your answer to my question would be that these were not truly great accomplishments, but half-assed ones. I don’t disagree with that, but it doesn’t resolve the messaging problem that John and the others are having.
Habitat for Humanity often begs for workers
Homeless shelters do often have to beg for help. Clothing drives around me have come up empty a few times. Soup kitchens have not opened on holidays because of lack of volunteers. Food pantries have been begging for food for the last few years.
I believe I expressed the thought that while this was a potential outcome if republicans gained power, it also had the same possibility as me sprouting wings and flying to the moon. I must be in a much better mood today.
Yet, people do donate time and effort to those causes. Maybe not consistently and right now, shelters and pantries are overburdened because the key groups that usually donate are now clients. Yet, donations do happen, which I can see from the permanently full barrel positioned just before the exit doors on my co-op. You’re presenting a black & white interpretation, I’m saying black & white is technically true, it just melds in the real world for many hues of grey.
This is also a shift in the debate. Do people care? Yes, they do and since this is an opinion war, that is important.
RE: …where a woman thanks Obama for in effect saving her life because of the health care provisions.
Not true. Not only do people care, but people with a brain can easily empathize. They can see themselves in the woman’s position. This, more than abstract arguments about health care, can help the Democrats in the upcoming elections.
Now, this is the kind of stuff that is pointless.
I don’t agree that health care reform helps the insurance companies. More, I. Don’t. Care. Looking back is a complete waste of time. I care about improving the health care reform legislation that is in place and protecting it from attacks by the Republicans and their tea party storm troopers.
Same with the stimulus. I have no idea what “too little, too late” is supposed to mean. The United States has not collapsed, turning us all into wards of the Chinese empire. Franklin Roosevelt didn’t come up with every response to the Depression in his first 100 days in office.
And the dirty little secret is that all of the money from the stimulus has not been spent, and much of what has been spent was absorbed by state and local governments to shore up their budgets. While this may be a good thing, it did not fulfill the promise of creating new jobs or stimulating the economy.
And as for financial reform, most people don’t give a rat’s ass about doing something “transformative” with respect to Wall Street. They want lower interest rates and fair practices. The other stuff may be important, but it has to be spelled out and presented in terms of concrete, practical policy.
Yes, some people do care, but the caring isn’t there like it used to be, and even then, America cares when it feels like caring. Asking people to help feed the hungry is one thing, you’ll get one reaction, asking them to pay a little more in taxes so the hungry can get a job and healthcare and not be hungry is another.
There is a sense of “that sucks, when I get around to it, I’ll help” I mean how sick are we that the only way we can get Americans to decide to share their wealth with children in impoverished nations is when it only costs them less than a pack of Juicy Fruit.
“For only 25 cents a day…ONLY 25 CENTS A DAY!”
And this was when the economy WAS good.
My money is on celticdragonchick, for the unconscionable use of the female possessive adjective.
So, Mr. Cole, what time is the singing of “Happy Birthday” in honor of Mean Joe Greene, who turns 64 today?
You are taking me too literally. Of course people care, but it does not motivate people to action. I think many of us prefer to fight against something (unfortunately) than for something. Until we can make the message about the evil of the insurance companies and Republicans, we continue to lose. Death panels was effective for a lot of low-information voters.
Does anyone remember the Presidential debate where that guy got up ( I think a union worker or something) and I think he asked a very poignant question either about losing his job or his health care.
I can remember one of the gasbags, maybe Matthews, making a comment and I paraphrase “Does this transform the debate and change the entire dynamic?” And perhaps it was Olbermann who answered, “Yes!”
Well, no. Not so much.
Look, mostly I am in agreement with your comments. But in this, you are off track looking at absolutes and judgments. “they don’t care like they used to” and “they care when they feel like it”
Kinda useless. Who cares if the advertisers set a dollar value to show how little it took to help another person? It often helps open someone’s eyes that things you don’t care about spending can mean life or death another. You want to be down on Americans et al? Go for it. Obviously, you’re committed to this world view. The stories on healthcare.gov mean something to people who need simple, real world approaches to get what the changes mean to them. And people hate taxes because they’ve been conditioned to. But they care when they see obvious inequality and injustice-even though that is conditional.
Yup, there is, and among other things it’s called having Edolphus Towns as chair of the House Oversight and government Reform Committee instead of Darrell Issa. That should be sufficient motivation for each and every one of you to do whatever you can to help the Dems maintain control of the House.
I just don’t see it. Unless it’s them who is not treated equality, or someone from their race/gender/ethnicity/etc. I’ve seen far too many “oh that sucks” or “they did something to deserve it” reactions.
Yeah, people love to be manipulated, no doubt about that.
But does it motivate a majority electorate to go out and demand affordable housing for the less-fortunate? Or demand government programs to help out families who have special-needs children with their housing?
I suggest no, it does not. But if you set the messaging that insurance companies along with Republicans are screwing ALL of us, then you may get somewhere.
Exactly. That’s because this has not been presented to the public as a better option. Obama took the public option off the table before the debate even began.
Most Americans don’t understand they systems in Canada or France or England. Of course the MSM is about as worthless and counter-productive on this issue as they were on Iraq.
RE: Not true. Not only do people care, but people with a brain can easily empathize.
OK. I see your point. But it’s still all about the economy. I think that people will rally if the Democrats clearly explain what they have done and what they can do for them in the future.
Even attacks against the Republicans have to be focused.
Nobody cares about the insurance companies except in the context of health care, and specific industry practices.
By the way, stuff about “low information voters” is good for snark, but not much else. And the tea party eruption indicates that there are people who are motivated by fear and ignorance. They don’t care about facts.
But in any case, the Democrats have some work to do if they expect to maintain control of the Congress.
How ’bout a few rousing choruses of “When I’m 64?”
That’s not true, Obama discussed the public option for months before it died. He made a case for it during the campaign too. They did present the government as a better option, and it was fairly popular, but the votes in the Senate just weren’t there and there wasn’t a large enough movement to successfully pressure enough Senators to vote yes. Republicans didn’t care and the public option wasn’t even popular in Nebraska, so Ben Nelson wasn’t coming around.
If we’re ever going to get somewhere, they’re the ones who are going to have to explain it, not Obama, not us, not me. They’re the ones who are going to have to tell the truth about those system and analyze how it would work here, and if it will. Until then, yeah, we’ll always lose on those debates. It’s the MEDIA’s job to inform the low-informed voter.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.): I feel your frustration. I too have a question I’ve been trying to get answered for the last few days, and no one has come up with a significant answer. So, I’ll ask it again:
“How in the world you gonna stop Ochocinco? How in the world you gonna stop T.O.? How in the world you gonna stop this duo?”
To illustrate my point, check out the latest post here regarding Ted Henderson (the “I can’t afford anything after my private schools and maid BS” Guy) quitting his blogging gig after receiving a lot of hateful e-mails that evidently brought his family into it.
People just love to attack the perceived “bad guy”.
So now we have Ted Henderson to fight against to cause and effective change in how people perceive the economy. It sets up the problem with the bad guy, which is not really Ted Henderson, but that while they are concerned with private schools, the rest of us are concerned with maintaining (or finding) a job and being able to afford the next doctors visit.
@Nick: Honestly, it depends on who you are trying to reach. It’s a message that will reach women more than men, and the Dems desperately need women to turn out this election.
This would not motivate me to vote. Especially since Henderson isn’t running for anything.
Also, I think that turning stuff into “my problems are real but your’s are trivial” squabbles are less than you think. It’s funny. Obama is often most effective when he connects with “we’ve all got problems and we must all find solutions together,” and yet the conventional wisdom insists on the value in demonizing some person or group. You know, like how the GOP does with gays and Muslims.
probably true and that would enough to get us the 50.1% we need to win and hold power, but all that does is keep the current stalemate in place and not build a different society and different electorate.
If we’re talking about doing what we need to just win this year, then I agree.
So imagine this from a Democrat:
So you got these rich folk, now remember, they have gotten richer the past few years while most of you make less, well they are complaining about not being able to afford a trip to the Hamptons and their private schools while you’re lucky to get to the movies once a month while your schools crumble.
And even though they mostly pay less in a percentage of their taxes than you, they want MORE tax cuts so your schools and children will continue to suffer. Meanwhile they continue to laugh at you all the way to the bank.
We want to change this so your schools get better. So your kids have a chance. So you have a chance…
We can probably exclude most people who visit this site from the general public.
Yes, candidate Obama did speak of it; he ran on it. Preznit Obama? Not so much. As far as the votes, read this:
Sort of OT but it occurred to me as I was trying to digest this morning’s dose of liberal meltdown that Freud would have a field day with the dominant political memes of our two party system.
On the one side, as has often been noted, we have the conservatives and their need for strong, authoritative, father figures (whether Dad knows what he is doing is completely beside the point, as long as he sounds tough doing it).
On the other side we have the liberals and their visceral hatred for the authoritarian figures worshiped by the right. But wait! The liberals also hate persons of authority on THEIR OWN SIDE and spend equal amounts of energy vilifying their leaders as well as the other guy’s leaders. In fact, is sounds to me like a lot of the animus that pours out of some posters, particularly expressing anger than their daddy isn’t beating the other guy’s daddy to a complete pulp, is a sure sign that liberal daddy is weak, corrupt and incompetent. Then comes an election and begins the hand wringing and hair pulling at the expense of party unity that would actually allow further progress to happen.
This isn’t a call for goose-stepping conformity, but it is a thought experiment that might help some people recognize patterns in their own behavior that are less influenced by the facts and more influenced by personal attitudes.
I also think that one reason Obama gets so much flack is that he is one of the most mature, focused, and even handed politicians I have ever seen in my life. That level-headedness gets called apathy, indifference, and sometimes collusion with dark forces or whatever. But the fact that he doesn’t play the daddy game infuriates people on both sides.
No, it’s that most people are lazy. Even people who are passionate about health care reform. They fall back on what they like or heard once or whatever they get from their preferred news sources. But comparisons are easily at hand, especially with the google and the Wiki.
One of the better op-ed pieces on the French Health care was in the Boston Globe back in 2007. There was even a nice bit that talked about the French’s disdain for the British system.
BBC news has copious information about the British NHS system.
Jonathan Cohn did a good piece on healthcare in France and the Netherlands in 2009 which also appeared in the Globe.
Yeah, some of the mainstream media is bad. But this is really not an acceptable excuse when anyone who is truly interested can quickly find useful information with a few mouse clicks. Do people really still expect to be spoonfed information anymore?
Maybe you run around with a better class of people than I do, but it is fair to say that 99% of my friends and family have ZERO idea about other health care systems. The extent of what they do know is that the others are not as good or socialist in nature.
And I don’t mean to imply that my friends and family are right-wing morons (although some are) but they simply don’t watch news but watch Extreme Makeover or Dancing With the Stars.
All they know is what is filtered down to them. One way to change what is filtered is to have the President come out forcefully to say there is a better way.
Bush did this with Social Security: IT”S BROKE*! Now most people believe it is broke.
*I realize the effort to destroy SS has been ongoing before Bush, but remember the infamous (albeit idiotic) footage of Bush stooping over the filing cabinet exposing all of those SS ‘iou’s’?
We don’t have this with Obama, not at all.
BS. If he played any kind of game re “daddy,” and dissed liberals like me all, the time, I wouldn’t care, if he didn’t do stupid things like pour more resources into Afghanistan and hand more money to the banksters and their bondholders.
Yeah, God forbid anyone should attempt to set up a quasi-rational system of health care; let’s just let the docs do any wasteful, harmful thing they want to, as long as the deluded patients think it’s a good idea.
for Mr. Cole:
Here’s link to Style Weekly (Richmond VA alternative newspaper) story on parallels between Theresa Lewis execution last night and that of only previous woman executed in the Commonwealth (Virginia Christian — yes, what a name — in 1912).
Have not read it, but author, Melissa Scott Sinclair, is a gifted reporter.
Apologies that link is so long; didn’t know how to truncate.
Is he going to say this on Dancing With the Stars, because I don’t see how else it can get filtered to them if they don’t watch the news?
That’s wrong, he talked about it June, July and August 2009 and in his speech in September 2009.
Obama has said stuff very similar, almost verbatem to this
Schools are not a good example, schools are funded through property taxes, which here in New York are astronomical, even for the rich. A family making $250,000 living on Long Island probably pays somewhere in the neighborhood of $15k-$20k in property taxes, depending on where they live. A lot of them are moving back to the city because the property taxes are so high. It’s why I suspect the Bush tax cuts are fairly popular here.
@Nick: He may have talked about it, repeatedly, but he didn’t really mean it. You can tell by the look in his eyes and the tone of his voice and the anonymous quotes of staffers.
Have you tried somafm.com?
But obviously, some of these people (including people I know) would not any mainstream media story about health care, even if it were read by a sexy dancer or was the Super Bowl Halftime show.
Sadly, some people form half-assed views that pleasingly conform to their political views, and then say to themselves “I trust the Democrats or the Republicans or my union or whoever, and as long as whatever they do doesn’t cost me too much and doesn’t require that I think or make a decision, then OK Fine.
So it’s a continual battle to get people to listen or to pay attention. That’s just the way it is. But I’ve even seen posters come here and say “I don’t have time to look for anything or to read a paper or search out the link, but can someone tell me about such-and-so?” The only saving grace to this is that there are posters who have done their homework and provide useful responses. It is a testament to the quality and the thoughtfulness and the helpfulness, but still it gives you a little pause.
@Ruckus: Hadn’t heard of them, will give them a shot, thanks.