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Flowers Confronts Obama in Denver

DCblogger's picture

[UPDATE Since readers have started discussing Obama's bullet-pointy prolegomena -- the "initial offer"MR SUBLIMINAL Translation: Roll me, please. -- to an actual health care plan, I'll leave this post sticky so readers can continue that discussion. --lambert]

Dr. Margaret Flowers Confronts President Obama Fillmore Auditorium, Denver Colorado February 18, 2010

Via Single Payer Action

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coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

I turn off his picture. Never hear his words.

So this video is shocking to me - to hear him lie - outright lie - and sound as if he's doing the people's business when everyone - EVERYONE - know that's bullshit. His excuse - partisianship. And people in that crown were cheering him!!!

NOPE. The "problem" is looking right at him whenever he passes a mirror and admires his mug.

How did this person get elected POTUS? This country is nuts.

This man should be run out of town on a rail. Everyone of us should be shouting LIAR LIAR LIAR at the top of our voices until someone realizes what an outlandish toon he really is.

Submitted by lambert on

Like when a singer shouts instead of singing. Very odd.

You always knew that whatever Bush was saying was a complete tissue of lies crafted by sociopaths. But at least the language was always crafted; it had a sort of seamless feel to it. This stuff was just cliched and bad. And with Bush, you always knew that slippery little scut was out to get you; it was right out front in the set of his shoulders and jaw ("Good country people are the salt of the earth.") Obama's more inward, and to my mind more creepy.

And the crowd cheering fiscal discipline. Wait 'til they find out, operationally, what that's like and who gets cut and who doesn't.

Submitted by jawbone on

Desmoinesdem posted about recent poll of Iowa voters at TL today; the numbers fully support calls for Medicare for All. Why, oh, why, oh why-O, why can't BO hear the voice of the people?

Research 2000 polled 600 Iowa likely voters last week for KCCI-TV. Health care numbers:

QUESTION: Do you favor or oppose the health care reform bill passed in December by the U.S. Senate?
ALL 36% 57% 7%
MEN 32% 61% 7%
WOMEN 40% 53% 7%

DEMOCRATS 62% 24% 14%

QUESTION: Would you favor or oppose the national government offering everyone the choice of buying into a government administered health insurance plan -- something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get -- that would compete with private health insurance plans?

ALL 61% 31% 8%

MEN 58% 33% 9%
WOMEN 64% 29% 7%

DEMOCRATS 87% 9% 4%
REPUBLICANS 32% 59% 9%
INDEPENDENTS 60% 29% 11%

(My bolding)

Note the almost total flip in numbers for those identifying as Independents! Dems are not going to get Repub support (well, not until they've had Medicare for All and start yelling that government should keep its hands off their Medicare for All, eh?), but we sure could get indies.

How obstinate will they be? Ah, obstinate as their fear of losing corporate donations makes them.

And imagine what people would think if there were leadership from the man in the WH?

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

refers to a public option that does not exist in legislation and never has.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

actually describes a Medicare (or medicare-like-program) buy-in: not what we mean around here when we talk about Medicare for All.

So the poster is not completely off the mark in describing it as a public option.

And I want to keep repeating: if it's an OPTION, it's not single-payer, and much of the economic benefit of single-payer comes from the reduction in complexity and overhead (and profit!) that comes from having only one.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

There he is, heels dug into the center, except there are grooves now burrowed into the dirt where the right have dragged the right and thus him and his center so far right he can't and won't hear the left. As if he ever could or would, campaign rhetoric notwithstanding.

Top 1% own 70% of America's wealth. And our Congress and Prez aren't about to ruffle their (one percenters') feathers on our behalf.

But God Bless Dr. Flowers, et al. ... earnest integrity certainly illuminates pacifying rhetorical bull shit. Obama had his "faux-bipartisan, keep the corporate daddies and THEIR dreams happy from the get-go" goal, and he lacks total moral imagination not to mention fiscal imagination ... mostly moral imagination ... to govern on behalf of the average struggling citizens.

Someone calls it "hopium". Still some loyal addicts out there. We really need to unite as progressives. We really need our legitimate anger not to be eclipsed by the irrational angry ones wound up to protect and distract from the raping corporatists. Anti-socialism as they invite fascism in the door.

As for affable Obama, he is committed to the worst kind of hypocrisy.

MoveThatBus's picture
Submitted by MoveThatBus on

So, his addicts don't want to hear the people who are trying their best to get the guy to push for legislation that makes sense for the country.

I found it is even more difficult to listen to his voice when unable to see him. He has absolutely no passion or conviction for the people he serves. Plouffe told him what buzz words to keep using so his audiences will get the impression he knows what he's talking about. And, we can be assured that someone is back home calling all those fat cat corporates not to's all just for show. (re-negotiating NAFTA hasn't been mentioned over the past 13 months, has it?)

michaelwb's picture
Submitted by michaelwb on

She was harshing their Hopium buzz.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Credit where credit is due.

Obama has the sad M.O. of treating moral, honest, experienced people as if they are not there. More profoundly insulting than actively disagreeing with them. And yet to those witnessing a sign of profound weakness and cowardice and this will more and more catch up with him. He was supposed to be the one who would be reasonable and accessible to all. Not say he is reasonable and accessible to all at the same time ignoring those legitimately calling him out! The more this goes on the more betrayal Obama heaps on us.

What the bad guys do. Ignoring the moral and the honest. Like the mainstream media, Bushco, all those working hard to pretend the oligarchs, the robber class, are our friends and anyone with a moral code is a fringe hysteric.

As for the denial of the pragmatic progressives ... it is heartbreaking and frustrating. They go after the messengers to protect their denial.

MoveThatBus's picture
Submitted by MoveThatBus on

he laughs at anyone who doesn't just accept what he says without question or argument. Remember the recent interview when he was asked if he was "punch drunk" because of the galling laughter he used in responding to questions about the stimulus, and bailing out of the auto industry?

People do NOT allow anyone to constantly mock and ridicule them. I'm thinking that uncontrolled habit of his is already biting him in the bum around the WH.

Submitted by Anne on

allowing themselves to be mocked, dismissed and ignored, but there is still a considerable contingent making exuses for why it's okay for Obama to abuse them - some of the reasons have left me speechless, even as I contemplate the implications.

I've come to loathe that "don't you want to be cool like me?" attitude he projects when someone questions him too pointedly; the problem is that too many people apparently do want to sit at the Cool Kids' Table, even if the only reason they've been allowed to be there is to be a source for mockery and derision.

I guess some people have never gotten over junior high school; I think Obama's one of them, unfortunately.

cripes's picture
Submitted by cripes on

Obama speaks in that whining, wheedling voice he has, pleading with his "base" how important it is to convene an anti-democratic fiscal "commission" all the while ignoring the only thing that will rein in medical (read insurance ripoff) costs...a universal medicare-style health care system.

What a jerk.

What a tool.

The only thing his crappy commission will do is slash social security and medicare to funnel more profits to the insurance thieves.

What an ass.

Margaret Flowers, OTOH, is a moral leader of the first order. I'm sending it to my doctor.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

according to this, Gillibrand is pulling a bait and switch the other way -- forget the PO and just go with Medicare for All. That may or may not be in line with other stuff she said, but it seems to me this is a positive bait and switch, not a negative one.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

why didin't she do something about it when she was appointed?
why didn't she support the Sander's amendment?

she is just jerking people around.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

but she may be finding her feet now.

Submitted by jawbone on


Oh, please, please, please....that's a pony I'll ride!

From the blogger DCB linked to:

...saying that the public option will be hard to enact through reconciliation – a parliamentary procedure that only requires fifty-one votes instead of sixty – given that reconciliation is strictly a budgetary procedure and is thus supposed to be used only for budgetary issues. Albeit “budgetary issues” is vague, the idea here is that reconciliation is supposed to be used only when the budget has changed and the Congress must adjust existing programs to fit the new budget.

With this in mind, Gillibrand sought to find a way around this, and stumbled on something that progressives have been saying all year long. Instead of enacting a brand new “public option” program, why don’t we instead adjust the current public program already in existence – Medicare – to our current budget, i.e., expand Medicare for everyone? If we did this, it could be done completely through reconciliation.

This pronouncement sent me throwing victory fist pumps through the air like Ari Gold. Unbeknownst to most on the right, we already live in a country that has “socialized medicine”: it’s called Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration. And unlike the health care that we all have, these programs – although they have problems in their own right – are vastly more popular, more efficient, and a lot cheaper than private insurance.

So the takeaway: Gillibrand was asked about the public option, and responded with Medicare for all.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

she is my Senator!

I think I'll email her today and encourage her to stay on that pony!

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

I just e-mailed her and pledged to donate to her, (and she's NOT my senator) IF she continues to push for Medicare for all. I think a large out-pouring of emails and calls could stiffen her spine, and also give her something to show the Dems just where they need to be. If this goes viral, could be a good show?
I also e-mailed the WH (I know, I know, but I love venting)

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

which I never do at work!

Dear Senator Gillibrand,

I understand that you recently suggested an expansion of Medicare via reconciliation.

I want you to know that you have my FERVENT support for this idea. I encourage you, as a potential supporter and donor, to fight for the full expansion of Medicare to all Americans, accompanied by the overturning of all "ovarian penalties" such as the Stupak/Nelson Amendments, or the Hyde Amendment which lent them "inspiration."

Our for-profit health insurance system is killing tens of thousands of Americans a year. Moreover, we are the only wealthy country which, unthinkably, does not guarantee health care to all of its citizens at birth. Why are we not addressing this humanitarian crisis in our own country? What are we waiting for? How many more Americans must die because the CEO of Wellpoint needs another yacht?

The solution is simple. Expand and improve our existing single-payer system (Medicare) so that everyone has access to it as a matter of course. The insurance industry and its “death panels” should be completely removed from the equation. No, the insurance industry is not too big to fail, but the American people are! Whatever proposal is put forth to create a single-payer system should specifically provide for the insurance company employees (not the high-level executives) who would lose their jobs.

There are several bills in Congress that would provide the basis for an expansion of Medicare; the most well-known, and the best-written, is John Conyers' HR 676. Why not speak up for this bill on Friday?

New York needs a Senator who favors Main Street over Wall Street and throws the insurance companies, not her constituents, under the bus. Can you be that Senator?

Thank you very much.

Submitted by lambert on

After a year, we get bullet points? Where's the detail?

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

"proposal" side by side with your very own personal copies of the Senate and House bills....and compare and contrast as you read. It doesn't seem to be a stand-alone proposal (what else is new?).

Pretty simple, if you ask me. All you need is a fast copy machine, lots of hands and twenty aides in the backroom with nothing to do.

Submitted by Anne on

the detail, that is.

Besides, this isn't meant to be actual legislation, but a tool to facilitate the discussion at the Big Summit on Thursday.


Yeah, this is what we get after a year - and it isn't getting better, it's getting worse. Contemplating the lost opportunity to do something truly transformational is just too painful.

I have nothing but contempt for Obama and the dangerously useless Democrats in Congress; if there is such a thing as karma, I hope I live long enough to see these people get theirs.

Submitted by jawbone on


BTD points to Young Ezra's take; Jeralyn weighs

Jane Hamsher posts that mandate penalty goes up from 2% to 2.5%, notes that it is extremely unpopular and even more so w/out PO.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I am going to wait for pnhp's analysis.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Re Gillibrand, I just volunteered for Jonathan Tasini for NY Senate. Am curious about Gillibrand's shift and where Schumer (shudder) stands. But Jonathan has been walking the walk for a while as far as I can see. Gonna hang with him.

I found the reference to "hopium". I attributed that to Sheehan above in this thread, but later I remembered Sheehan used the term "soft facsism" that intrigued me. Carolyn Baker used "hopium".

Jawbone, I never heard hopium used re codependency. Been around the 12 step network for years and thought I had heard all the clever and creative slogans and buzzwords. Glad I finally caught up to that one. It does fit. Thanks for link.

Here are some excerpts from Baker's article:

Your Disappointment In Obama Is Your Teaching Moment

By Carolyn Baker

January 29, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- It's the end of the affair, and the stale taste of limerence stays on your tongue. You were promised the sun, moon, and stars, and you desperately wanted to believe it was real, especially after the betrayal of your former relationship of eight years.


Then along came Mr. Wonderful with his irresistible smile and infectious inspiration. He wooed you with his charm, that smile, and his engaging discourse-so articulate by comparison with the unintelligible babbling you had put up with for eight years. He cared about you and your children. No longer were you alone; like Martin Luther King, he had a dream-a dream congruent with yours, and the passion you both shared for the dream was hypnotic and felt deeply spiritual. You actually thought that he was a messenger sent from another world to rescue you and take you out of the nightmare. He used transcendent terms like "hope", "change", "yes we can." And not only were you totally surrendered to his embrace, but you begged everyone else to do the same. He's our only hope, you told them and yourself. You could scarcely contain your ecstasy when they all chose him in the last hours of the eight years you had all excruciatingly endured.


But today, you ponder reflectively the past year, and what you have now come to understand is that the hero you married is a prisoner. You believed him when he told you he was free and at liberty to make the changes he proclaimed. You trusted him, committed yourself to him, and fought for him. And now you discover that he's betrayed you and that his actions really aren't that divergent from his predecessor's. In fact, he is a prisoner of the same forces that terrorized you for the previous eight years.

Some enablers are capable of changing their behavior and making saner choices. For example, those that have a magnetic attraction to prisoners might find themselves losing interest because they have discovered the deeper meaning of freedom-the ability to create with the support of others, authentic, meaningful responses that do not seduce one into the prison system itself.

This particular affair is over. The "hopium" has worn off. It's time to choose whether you will pursue another affair with another prisoner or walk away from all forms of incarceration, theirs and yours. This is your teaching moment.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

But I'm pushing her anyway in my own small way, as a constituent. I currently have no plans to vote for anyone in the general in 2010, but I certainly can see the appeal of Tasini.

I had a wild thought recently - maybe he should run for Pres as an Indy or a Working Families Candidate. Evan Bayh and Lincoln Chafee are talking about a new "centrist" sure would be grand if a real lefty, who already has a political org and experience running campaigns, ran a third-party campaign for Prez.

Probably a nutty thought.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

re tasini... flannery o'connor was right ... "a good man [person!] is hard to find" .....

i am just now reading ALL the comments on this thread and I need to catch up on what is going down this week re Obama's plan!

Thanks for commenting ....

I am mourning the torture betrayal... deep breath...onto the health care betrayal chapter now...

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on


I was just thinking, it would be a shame to let that f*cking DNC get a hold of Tasini, should he win the Senate. I hate seeing them turn good liberals into jellyfish, and they seem to do it so easily and so uniformly. Even Paul Krugman has become a shill, er, shell, of his former self. All it took was one dinner at the White House!

Something more independent, like Governor or Mayor or even President, might be a better use of his temperament and liberal ideas.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I don't know if this is helpful to anyone, I had done an analysis of the Senate bill a while ago here in my blog. I used that to form a comment I posted on The Guardian a while back about why I felt passage of Senate bill was worse than NOTHING:

My serious issues with the Senate HCR bill and why nothing is better than its passage imho:

Depends on funding from middle class (House one more on rich), excise taxes on so-called Cadillac plans (really not fair to make them less comprehensive, union won in terms of lower salaries); penalty for those who can?t afford insurance, IRS monitoring this area of our lives (will citizens be held accountable but scummy insurance providers who are cronies of Obama and Congress, not so much monitored as citizens... unbelievable), pre-existing condition rights laughable since providers will raise premiums beyond possibility of actual care, fewer of the poor will be subsidized in senate bill than house, senate bill will put states in charge of ?exchanges? and there are horrifyingly cheap-skate states who will sacrifice the needs of their poorer citizens, -- national control would be far more just, all undocumented immigrants forbidden from participating which is inhumane to them, takes their money out of the risk pool which punishes member citizens, and makes them more susceptible to sickness and thus spreading sickness. Senate bill enables cross-state purchasing which means cut-throat programs will thrive, senate bill any state can forbid abortion coverage in ALL plans in the exchanges and disallows unions to have negotiation power on part of reproduction rights, senate bill protects the ridiculous anti-trust exemption afforded insurance corporations. Senate bill won?t start until 2014, 45,000 still dying each year from being under or uninsured. Senate bill expands Medicaid, but does it by draining some of Medicare unfortunately.

There are few provisions to make healthcare affordable, few provisions to prevent waste AND fraud, charges will be high based on age, policies will still be rescinded using accusations of fraud or intentional misrepresentation, companies will cherry pick new customers, companies can prevent patients from choosing own doctors and hospitals, companies can charge people as much as 4X more based on age or for failing wellness criteria such as blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol levels. Insurers will be able to set up shop in the most leniently monitoring states (as credit cards set up in Delaware).

And pork in the new bill at the eleventh hour extorted by the greedy senators?

Senator Landrieu got $100 million in extra Medicaid funding. Senator Ben Nelson was granted a complete exemption from Nebraska payments into enhanced Medicaid benefits. Senator Baucus won automatic Medicare eligibility for asbestos-exposed citizens of Libby, MT (after blocking expansion of Medicare everywhere else in America). Senator Ben Nelson added anti-abortion language into the final draft that will allow individual states to prohibit abortion coverage in all plans offered through the exchanges.Senators Baucus and Lieberman prevented a Medicare buy-in for those 55+, eliminating any trace of a cost-curbing Expanded Medicare or even public option sensibility in the Senate bill.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I forgot to expand that phrasing in my last sentence of the Guardian comment. Sorry. Mea culpa. You were right, it needs to be there... and you were right abuot the stake needed for its heart..... I wonder what Lucy and the football trojan pony of a public option ride we are now invited to. Sigh.

I feel like dealing with the trojan pony of a public option is like multiplying by zero. Everything will wind up being zero.

Obama needs to keep the one percenters happy. He can't take care of the citizens needs AT ALL until he inconveniences the oligarchs and he is not about to do that.

Excuse us, BO, while we refuse to be flim-flammed yet again.