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Why does Barack Obama want my friend to keep bleeding into her shoes?

divingCrossPromoThumb Oddly, or not, Obama support ranks with Olympic diving for degree of difficulty.

Or any kind of dive into any kind of tank you care to name.

But some Villagers can make it look easy. Let's watch one in action!

Universal health care is a big concern for me in this race. I expect the Democrats to deliver on it. There's a woman in my town who runs a small store -- she's the one who had to miss the caucus because she couldn't afford to close up for an afternoon -- who works like a dog, employs three people, used to be able to afford health insurance for herself and her employees, and now she can't.

So she's going naked.

Because she stands all day, she's got blood circulation problems, and sometimes she bleeds out into her shoes, standing there at the cash register. That's a pre-existing condition, so she's never going to be able to get back into the insurance system at a price she can afford. This country has thrown her away. She's also a lifelong Democrat.

I don't expect the Democrats to throw her away.

I expect the Democratic Party to deliver for her.

And that means I expect either Hillary or Obama to deliver for her. Well, Obama, not so much.

Awhile back, the observant Big Tent Democrat noted that Tennesse Bush Dog Jim Cooper, who helped scuttle universal health care, in 1993, was an Obama supporter. (Cooper, like Obama himself, has the David Brooks Good Teabagging Seal of Approval.) Today, Mike Lux at Open Left noticed that Cooper is actually Obama's point man on universal health care (if something so flaccid can be said to have a point).* I quote Mike's post almost in its entirety:

[T]here are still certain things that make me really, really nervous about Obama. At the top of that list is the health care debate, where I think he's just wrong about the importance of universality, and where he's employed Harry and Louise-style tactics to argue against Clinton's plan. My concerns shifted into overdrive, though, when I noticed that the Obama campaign is now using Rep. Jim Cooper as a spokesperson/surrogate on health care.

I was part of the Clinton White House team on the health care reform issue in 1993/94, and no Democrat did more to destroy our chances in that fight than Jim Cooper. We had laid down a marker very early that we thought universal coverage was the most essential element to getting a good package, saying we were to happy to negotiate over the details but that universality was our bottom line.

Cooper, a leader of conservative Dems on the health care issue, instead of working with us, came out early and said universality was unimportant, and came out with a bill that did almost nothing in terms of covering the uninsured. He quickly became the leading spokesman on the Dem side for the insurance industry position, and undercut us at every possible opportunity, basically ending any hopes we had for a unified Democratic Party position. I was never so delighted to see a Democrat lose as when he went down in the 1994 GOP tide.

Unfortunately, he came back, like a bad penny.
It is such a huge mistake [Mistake? What mistake? this is the plan! This is the big table!] for Obama to use a guy like this to defend their position on health care. The signal it sends to reporters, organizations, and activists like myself who know something about the old health care battles is that Obama truly doesn't care about comprehensive health care reform or universal coverage, and that the health care package you would propose if President would be a conservative, pro-insurance industry bill. The campaign ought to be trying to reassure folks who care about this issue, and using a guy like Cooper does just the opposite.

high_diveWell, why would the Obama campaign not be reassuring folks? It would be irresponsible not to speculate. Obama's said "Fuck the base" at every opportunity, and he's trying to win the Democratic nomination with a margin of victory derived from Republicans, and they like the idea of universal health care about as much as they like Social Security. So, I'd say believe the signal that Obama is sending. Just like we learned, through bitter experience, to believe Bush and the Republicans when they said what they said.

Now, to his credit--and I have a lot of respect for his work over the years--Matt Stoller front-paged what Mike Lux wrote. And here's his reaction to it, and his defense of Obama, which I find disappointing. To say the least. Read along with me, and I think that, with me, you'll give Stoller straight 6.0s as he gracefully heads toward the tank:

Starting Position (6.0!) Stoller's starting position is brilliant. He doesn't even bother to defend Obama's broken plan, or Cooper; he just redefines the problem away:

It could be a really bad sign, but it might actually be the right strategy on health care, considering the enormous amount of organizing being done outside of the Presidential contest - let health care reform come to the President, rather than driving it from the White House.

R-i-i-i-i-g-h-t. Obama has much more important things to do with his super oratorical powers and mad negotiating skills than preventing hard working people from dying in emergency rooms! What could we have been thinking?! And to think I thought that leaders, well, led, instead of making speeches or saying "look at my web site" when it comes to the detail. But it gets better:

The Approach (6.0!) And now, Stoller steps smartly to the edge of the platform:

So I'm left wondering and reading the tea leaves about what his priorities might be as President.

R-i-i-i-i-g-h-t. So, now that universal health care is off the table -- funny, I guess that makes the website the OFB kept telling me to go read the worthless p.o.s. I always said it was -- Stoller feels compelled to "guess" what Obama's going to do!

The Take-Off (6.0!) Two, maybe three days ago, universal health care was a pillar of Democratic policy, and common ground between the two candidates. And now, according to Stoller, for one candidate the policy has fucking crumbled into nothing. You might think that might give Stoller pause, maybe even make him rethink his support, maybe make him stop at the brink... But no! Stoller's in the air!

If I had to guess, I'd pick global warming.

The man can guess with the best of 'em! Would you look at those teabags leaves!

The Flight (6.0!) Stoller twists! He turns!

There's been a huge amount of youth organizing around global warming, so this problem fits into Obama's overall demographic base. It's also something of a creative class originated issue, coming first from the scientific/academic world and now being driven into the mainstream by scientists and young people [and old Al Gore].

The Entry (6.0!) And the smooth, smooth re-entry. Barely a ripple:

Health care as an issue, by contrast, was the one piece of the New Deal that FDR never completed.

So there you have it. Translation: Obama's base is young. They don't need universal health care. Yet. So if you do, Fuck off and die. And forget about Social Security, too, for the same reasons (though Stoller tactfully sweeps that issue away with "completed").

A magnificent dive by a great performer! The crowd goes wild! Because, now we're not arguing over mandates anymore. The issue is no longer implementation. Now, universal health care is off the table entirely. As Krugman says, "It looks like the dream is dying." Smart work, "progressives"! I'm proud of you.

Why does Barack Obama want my friend to keep bleeding into her shoes?

Why does Matt Stoller?

Forget the fucking website. Watch the talking points, watch the money, and especially watch the hires. Cooper is very, very, very bad news.

NOTE * For Lux, Obama's choice of Cooper set off the same tiny alarm bell that Obama's choice of Chicago School economic advisors set off for others.

NOTE Here are the five elements of a dive.

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Good thing these folks only take one dive at a time for Obama, otherwise they might hurt themselves. This dive nicely explains why Obama's lack of leadership on healthcare doesn't matter. Now, could we get a dive that explains why Obama's lack of leadership on the environment doesn't matter?

Perhaps Stoller could explain Obama's ties to Exelon (softening legislation to keep nuclear giant happy) and the $16,000 Exxon contributed to the Obama campaign (tied with Romney, although Clinton leads among oil & gas generally). Link - http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=335.

Oh, also there's his history of promoting coal interests (see http://www.grist.org/news/muck/2007/01/1...) and, in fact, his initial global warming plan was panned by a number of groups for its coal suck up. This is one area where he did cave to some pressure, at least a bit, "[a]fter being badgered by MoveOn and other progressives over the issue, he "clarified" his position by saying he would support liquefied coal only if it emitted 20 percent less carbon over its lifecycle than conventional fuels." See http://www.grist.org/feature/2007/07/30/...

And, of course, he voted for Dick Cheney's energy bill in 2005.

Obama doesn't have a terrible environmental record, it's perfectly good, but it's not one of leadership. There's simply no reason to believe he'd be some great green President. In fact, his history suggests the opposite, a pragmatist willing to compromise with important industries (coal, nuclear).

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I guess I should have begun to suspect something when Obama got the endorsement from the Soylent Green lobby.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Via, of all places, Entertainment Tonight, a you tube video of people fainting at Obama rallies - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwzVLP2NcqI

I'd be interested in hearing what folks think.

When I started watching it, I didn't think it was any big deal. He draws a lot of people, it gets hot, etc. Perfectly normal that someone would faint or get light headed. But as the video played, I was struck by the sameness of the event on each occasion. And then I decided that THAT was too cynical even for me and I needed to give the Obama folks the benefit of the doubt on this one because if he is the nominee, I have to vote for him.

Submitted by lambert on

That would be a tip-off.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

at least as far as I could see. Heh.

But they were always spotted by Obama, which struck me as, well, highly convenient.

Submitted by lambert on

No doubt because of the "God is in the White House" thing.

But somehow I hardly find that re-assuring. Field Negro has the same uneasy feeling:

Honestly, all the fainting at the "O" man's campaign stops bother me more than the accusations of plagiarism. Something about that shit is unsettling, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Or Sinatra, Valentino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Engelbert Humperdinck....

or charismatic possession by the Holy Ghost, with glossolalia to come.

In any case, it's a hell of a way to disprove that cult-like fervor isn't being stirred up. A Voice of Reason Award for the first Obama staffer to confront someone feeling the spirit, slap her and say, "snap out of it!"

kangeroo's picture
Submitted by kangeroo on

for this post, lambert. as usual, witty, incisive, meaningful, and satisfying.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

If by 'faint' you mean lose consciousness by repeatedly banging my head against the nearest concrete wall?

Er, actually now that I think about it, that sounds painful, how about if I fake passing out so that I could be carried off by cute firemen and not have to listen to him talk about all the terrists getting nucular secrets? Because, dude, I'd totally do that. Totally.

Submitted by lambert on

Because voters in TX, OH, and WI need to know!

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

This almost made me cry. Okay, not really, because I'm a cold-hearted bitch, but it's still a damned shame nobody is telling folks like Marica Tipton that Obama's already given up the fight to get her mother better healthcare. Instead, she still has Hope.

Responding to Obama's call was Marica Tipton, an administrator at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Tipton has a Ph.D., but her parents are struggling. Her mother was laid off by Master Lock when the company moved its assembly operations to Mexico. Shortly after losing her job, she was diagnosed with cancer. Obama had told a story about losing his mother to the disease at age 53 -- the same age as Tipton's mother.

"I can resonate with him because my mother's also battling cancer," Tipton told me. "She's doing really bad. She just had radiation. She's on Medicare, but that limits her ability to get quality care. The innovative treatments, they won't pay for."

Link - http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/0...

I can understand folks choosing Obama for non-healthcare reasons, but it hurts to see people choose him for healthcare.

And, of course, they might know about the weaknesses in Obama's plan or Obama might have been pressured not to cave on his UHC if some of the more progressive and liberal voices hadn't decided to keep quiet or worse, defend his weaker plan because he's more important than the policy goal.

I'll say this, if Obama wins and does what I expect him to do on healthcare - little to nothing - there are going to be some pissed people in the heartland.

Submitted by lambert on

How special. I'd prefer a plan that gave her mother treatment instead of caving to the insurance companies, but maybe that's just me.

So, there are going to be "some pissed off people in the heartland." Agreed. And that would matter why? Snort.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

is the clinical term for the fainting that's happening here, most likely. There are various causes, usually benign. In addition to political rallies, the same phenomenon happens with soldiers left too long at attention and a similar one to teenage girls in the presence of rock stars.

There are several causes, none of them fully understood. During prolonged standing, blood can pool in the legs and viscera; blood return to the heart can be diminished sufficiently to reduce cardiac output, to the point that blood flow to the brain is insufficient and unconsciousness follows.

Similarly, sitting too long followed by suddenly standing up can have the same effect, with the blood having pooled in the lower body and not available to sustain flow to the brain.

What is called vasovagal syncope has multiple possible causes including prolonged sitting or standing but it can also be triggered by excitement, fear or emotional shock. The vagus nerve is improperly stimulated and the resultant cardiac rhythm disturbance temporarily diminishes blood flow to the brain. The loss of consciousness appears to reboot the nerve’s signals, so the event is self-limiting.

In another manifestation a too-rapid heartbeat, tachycardia, can actually diminish cardiac output; it appears to be a hyperactive disorder of the sympathetic nervous system and may be significantly under-recognized because the subjects often fail to see the event as serious enough to seek treatment.

Most of these events are benign, but may also be the result of a significant underlying problem. Any loss of consciousness should be followed up by a doctor’s exam which would be much more likely if we had true universal health care. A thorough discussion is presented here.

Most of the people at political rallies are in front of the speaker where they can be seen, and usually the victim sways and reels with eyes rolled up just prior to falling over; as a speaker it will catch your eye. There is no fault in this fainting for either the victim or the object of attention, unlike the dive taken by immoral political operatives and apologists like the ones dissected by Lambert above. Mockery should be focused on the guilty; there are certainly plenty of them.

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

don't fix it.

In my best Walter Brennan voice: Why, there's billions of dollars in that pool! Don't go splashing about in it!

++++

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I can't stand the way "creative class" (i.e. highly educated, upper middle-class liberals) is being used, essentially, to bolster Obama voters at the expense of HRC voters (i.e. the working class) who, by contrast, are presented as nothing more than "low information voters." Mind you, the working/middle class bear the brunt of the bad economy and a horrid health care system.

How can we be complicit in not just failing to, at least, try but actually sabotage any chance for UHC? What makes the rationalizations not just callous, but bizarre is the fact we all know that UHC is a moral and political imperative as it would provide a bedrock for progressivism.

Lastly, how sick was it when Obama blatantly lied about his plan being universal at the VA Democratic dinner?
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7hUngQ8-wLU

Submitted by lambert on

I added a link to my favorite Yes, Minister episode: Jobs for the Boys for that one. The translation is pretty easy.

I, too, used to be creative. Of course, the dot com bubble was a long time ago.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

you are very creative. let's all stop equating "being creative" with "being famous" or "being paid." you're also smart, frequently right, and brave enough to disagree with people who are more popular than you are, and brave enough to admit it when you're wrong.

creativity is only one of your many skillz, lb. don't be so hard on yourself. heh, you should've heard the tirade i got yesterday from an angry genXer on this subject. health care for the deserving indeed.

Submitted by lambert on

The "used to be" was bitter irony, CD. Since I decided I was totally fucked I've been far more creative than before...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

because i know sometimes you (like all good people) can get in the Downs about issues like this.

for the record: i think you're almost too harsh on stoller. i think that while he could've written a better essay about this, he would more or less agree with your main thrust. he can defend himself if he feels the need to, but in my experience i've not found him to be lacking in will when it comes to taking the progressive stance on health care. i'm fairly sure he is not happy about the Cooper/BHO cnx.

actually, i don't know if you'd like the tirade i heard; the person speaking to me was very angry with boomers. the short version goes like this: how dare you boomers blame the generation behind you for the lack of quality health care at affordable prices, now that you've reached retirement and really need it? politically speaking, boomers have had the most influence, money and power for a couple of decades now. although they are not alone to blame, my friend was arguing that they deserve the lion's share. he was most angry because someone told him that it's "up to you (younger folk) to make sure politicians fix the health care mess" in time to both 1)properly care for the second-greatest generation as it retires and 2)sacrifice anything else to pay for it, including the ability to attain wealth ourselves and the social programs we'll need that the boomers enjoyed coming up, but (allowed to be) destroyed once they achieved political power.

that's not an argument i want to have this morning, but it's a discussion that i would like to explore more. it's complicated when i think of people like you and your shopkeeper, who are technically 'boomers,' but not members of the Deserving Franchise Class.

Submitted by lambert on

but naturally it's been obfuscated by the likes of Obama endorser Andrew Sullivan.

In terms of health care, apparently the "every other civilized country plus it's cheaper" argument makes no headway. Sigh. I guess we're facing the consequences of the first generation raised completely on Conservative Movement propaganda treated as normative. Sigh. I don't know what we could have done, and at least we took a shot, with some success apparently, at racism and sexism.

In terms of Social Security, (1) I paid for my mother already; apparently your Gen Xer doesn't want to do that. And (2) I paid for myself already, because that's what the grand compromise between Reagan and O'Neill did, back in the 80s. It raised payroll taxes beyond what was necessary to fund the immediate needs of the program, exactly in order to prevent any "crisis." It's the biggest pile of money around, so naturally the Republicans want to loot it, but the only issue here is whether our elite political class will stick to the bargain it made. I'm guessing no, because they've betrayed us over and over again, but who knows? Maybe it will all come out right in the end.

As for Stoller: Yes, obviously I'm more than a little incandescent on this one. And I've learned a lot from him.

But that post.... Just a little bit too nimble for my taste, eh? Obama not going to lead on UHC? Oh, fine, let the unions handle it, it's all good, I'm guessing he's going to support global warming, and that's even more awsum. It's the worst sort of Phonebooth Theory argument, without a shred of evidence to back it up, and no sign of critical thinking at all. If throwing UHC over the side wouldn't convince somebody to express a teensy bit of criticism, what does it take? A dead girl or a live boy?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bystander's picture
Submitted by bystander on

To be fair to Stoller, it occurred to me, as I commented "no surprise," to Lux's post, that Cooper could be a demonstration of Obama's desire to "reach out to or reach past the obstructionists and bring everyone to the big table." I still think, when it comes to UHC, what you see with Obama is what you get. It's not his baby, never has been, won't be in the future. His Chicago School-ed economic advisors are too prone to look for private market solutions.

My dilemma is each candidate is a preferred candidate to me in separate spheres. I prefer Obama for foreign policy, and Clinton for domestic policy. IMHO, these are the areas for each candidate's relative strengths. On the domestic scene the "I will work very, very hard" is the perfect approach. In the foreign policy sphere, "hope, soaring rhetoric, and the big table" seems pitch perfect. I have only the recognition that there is no perfect candidate with which to console myself.

No matter which of them gets the nomination, should that nomination lead to the presidency, there will be advances in some areas, and others will languish. It pains me to think that if Obama takes it the whole distance, there are people who will assuredly die from a lack of health care they to which they ought to be entitled. The trade-off will likely be a lessening of the tensions we face in the middle east and improved relations with the rest of the world.

I have asked myself if there wasn't a logical order of ascendancy for these two good front runners? And, if there were, which of them should go first? In fairness, I can argue it either way. My only regret is, temperamentally, neither candidate seems predisposed to take a second run at it in 8+ years. The consolation prize is while either domestic policy or foreign relations will languish, each sphere will not be made worse off. It may not improve, but it probably won't regress. It will be up to the candidate who wins in 2012 to carry the languishing sphere forward. That assumes, of course, that one of them is elected for two successive terms, and a progressive Democratic candidate wins in '12.

The most important thing is John McCain not take the presidency.

Submitted by lambert on

One may well prefer Obama for foreign policy, but as President after President has discovered, that is the arena where he has the most "power" under the Constitutional system, but also the least "power" to influence those pesky events as far as actual outcomes go. (And I think Iraq is such a Clusterfuck, and what's going on there has been so concealed from us, that we have no idea what either candidate will do once in office.)

It's domestic policy where a President has the ability to really make a difference in people's lives, which is what UHC and at least not handing Social Security over to the Shock Doctrine folks would do.

So, to me, the scales don't balance evenly between domestic and foreign; domestic weighs more heavily, and should.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Of all the twists and turns exercised by Stoller, that's not diving - it's acrobatics circus artists would be proud of, one really was touching. Climate change, so he says, is a young people's initiated issue. What? Why? Since when? I guess Obama is God/magician as well.

Health care, we found out, is for the old or the occasional unfortunate, f**k him/her, young person. So why should we care. After all they don't vote for us. Obama reminds us of Jim Baker, Bush I Secretary of State, who said about the Jews: fuck them they don't vote for us.

Stoller implies that we shouldn't mind how contradictory to Democratic principles Obama seems to be when viewed through his insane supporters. Actually I do mind, I don't want to vote for a right winger; I don't want him in the White House; I don't want him in any shape or form.

bystander's picture
Submitted by bystander on

As we've seen, one country's foreign policy can become another country's domestic circumstance (eg; US and Iraq). I can't quite bring myself to say domestic circumstances in the US are more important than the domestic circumstances in Iraq. [I get close because I'm probably an isolationist at heart, but my moral sentiments keep me just back from that edge.] One million dead is a lot of dead people. An infrastructure reduced to rubble generates neither electricity nor potable water. And, we did that to them.

You are correct, lambert, when you note none of the candidates has a handle of the circumstances in Iraq now, nor can they predict what those circumstances will look like in January. And, it's on this point I can pivot either way in arguing whether one or the other of the candidates might be best. You are also correct when you note that a president is constrained in influencing international events. Still, they're not fully powerless, either.

I concede that I share your perspective on deals which can be done, our own domestic scene may be most easily influenced. But even if my preferred candidate (John Edwards) had won all the way through the general, UHC wouldn't have been assured. I grant that I think Clinton will give it a good go (and Obama seems ambivalent about even trying), but she might be no more successful in this round than the last. I will also concede that of all the candidates I could imagine, now or in the future, few understand what making UHC a reality better than Clinton. If she isn't elected it will be an opportunity that is lost. I don't know for how long, but I admit it might not happen in my lifetime.

Doubtless you've noticed, I'm having trouble finding a point of equivalence for these candidates. I can't make them comparable - ergo, my own deep ambivalence about them both.

Submitted by lambert on

... who's going to give it a go! This really is a life and death issue for many.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

know about *all* of them, not just BHO or HRC.

universal health care is cheaper, would create more jobs than it destroys, increase our productivity, extend our nation's power in the world by having more healthy and long lived citizens who can contribute...there are so many fucking good reasons for it they are hard to quickly list. did i mention cheaper?

but if you can bring yourself to think about something other than money for a nanosecond, you have no choice but to perceive the moral imperative. what was the number? i posted on it, or sarah, some time ago- americans needless die by the hundreds of thousands each year, all because health care isn't available to them. is it fair for me to call our politicians murderers? i think so, for this and many other reasons.

meanwhile, our best and brightest defend the people who kill us, because it's important to keep insurance companies at the table. oh i miss edwards. what happens when we bring these people to the table, he asked. too bad no one seems to have heard him.

Submitted by lambert on

What's wrong with you, CD? Aren't you willing to sacrifice for the greater good?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Off thread to a poster above but I will bring it back.

Obama has a foreign policy? Based on what, childhood memories? His idea of foreign policy experience is buying a pirogue in Portage Park.

He's 46 years old, educated, intelligent and affluent, yet the only time he's been out of the country as an adult was a single trip to London. Even while setting up this run for president he didn't take time to roam around and shake some hands overseas, so he could at least claim to have some exposure and knowledge.

Why, I wonder? Is it that he's afraid to be anywhere unfamiliar? Does he have some closet xenophobia he's been hiding? Difficult to understand how this day and age someone would run for president but never have even visited abroad. He hasn't even been to Canada or Mexico, for heaven's sakes. Foreign policy based on what? Books, and what other people tell him?

On thread.

The policy on health care in this country is the same as our economic policy, the Godly are taken care of - by God - and those who are not taken care of are clearly not worthy; if they were God-fearing people, God would bless them. And it is not given to us to understand the wisdom or the plans of God, whatever He chooses to do is for the best, even if we as mere mortals cannot see it.

Trust in the Lord and your elected leaders and all will be well, little person, and Oh, by the way, 10% of your income into the collection plate please and another 35% for taxes and don't expect much for that but do know that God and George Bush love you and are here to protect you. Details like how to pay for health care and food and housing and education, better get on your knees and pray, and if you don't stop sinning you're going to get smote.

You thought Job was a story about the olden days, didn't you?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

The Gen-X rant doesn't surprse me, CD. I'm a Gen-Xer and there are a lot of grievances to be stoked against baby boomers, which I think center on economic resentment and lingering childhood anger over divorce. The interesting thing to me is how Obama has stoked this resentment despite being a boomer himself and while he's also sought to benefit from and used many of the symbols of that generation for his benefit. It's been a brilliant play so far, IMO.

Gen-Xers have a very complicated relationship with Baby Boom culture and history. On the one hand, many of us resent the hell out of it, of the fact that our youth was so often overwhelmed with the images and culture of their youth (Douglas Coupland called it "legislated nostalgia" - to force a body of people to have memories they do not actually own). And, yet, because we were overwhelmed by it, there is almost a feeling that it is ours even though it isn't. Thus, the ability of Obama to appropriate men like JFK and MLK even as he rejects the "excesses of the 60s and 70s."

It's actually quite brilliant. At least until he gets to the general election and needs those older voters to come out and vote for him. Then, it has the capacity to majorly backfire.

Submitted by lambert on

... on Social Security and UHC. If UHC doesn't happen, there's not going to be a great deal of Unity. And if Social Security gets looted ... Well ...

Oh, and sorry for all the old Boomer YouTubes I put up. All I can say is that most of them aren't played on ClearChannel. (Incidentally, I'm a late Boomer. The real Boomers, they're the ones that used up all the good acid. We got nothing!)

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Even while setting up this run for president he didn’t take time to roam around and shake some hands overseas, so he could at least claim to have some exposure and knowledge.
Why, I wonder? Is it that he’s afraid to be anywhere unfamiliar? Does he have some closet xenophobia he’s been hiding? Difficult to understand how this day and age someone would run for president but never have even visited abroad. He hasn’t even been to Canada or Mexico, for heaven’s sakes.

is just damn scary.

He's got those mysterious backers with all that money.
He's got a "centrist" appeal.
He's got a devil-may-care way with how it's all really going to work.
He's playing to the Christian base.

Gak.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

but still, the guy is just so odd about some things and this is one of them. Lambert is correct, domestic issues need to be dominant but still, there are all those other people; doing nothing is not an option and all we need is another learning curve. I think this is strange not just from the standpoint of being incurious but also strategically; McCain is going to beat him over the head with it. Very odd.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Couldn't find a Great Society version but the Airplane did a better job anyway. Gracie, Gracie; if ever there was an argument for the relative safety of psychedelics over alcohol...

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

¡No sé nada sobre una Prohibición de Xan - pero pienso que no es nada bueno para nada o nadie, prevenir la discusión!¡Qué regla tan putrefacta, apestosa! ¿Qué este, el vecino es el equivalente de la Ley de Godwin? ¿Y cómo es que nadie me dijo? ¿De qué las cosas prohíbe este nos paran de hablar? Soy Tejano, compadre, y soy Tejano muy fuerte y muy formal y muy fea.

¡Ya me creo que puedo hablar de cualquier cosa a la que quiero!

Tell *me* I can't compare politicians -- ay, que malo!

And trust me, if that's too "foreign" for you, Obama Fans, your candidate is going to get chewed up and spit out in little bitty teeny tiny pieces WAY before January. It ain't gonna be Hillary doin' it, either -- it'll be the jefes de calles de barrios y los coyotes y los gentes.

Incurious? Maybe that's fixable.
Growing up in Hawaii might've seemed adequate to answer any concerns about, say, diversity of outlook; the land of "brudda" rocks in its own way, and for that I say to the FSM, "mahalo, kahuna!"

But I don't live in Hawaii, and neither, now, does Barack Obama. I'm 48 years old and I live in Texas, which by the grace of the occasional rain is not del norte districto de Tejas y Coahuila -- although if you're looking for the "river that runs through it" nowadays, most of its water's irrigating New Mexico.

But the border goes from Florida to California, and Spanish (not necessarily a homogeneous language, and certainly not homogeneously Tex-Mex Spanish) is a survival skill starting in Baja Colorado nowadays.

Not to mention that *other* border -- the one with Canada.

I kinda think he probably hasn't been to The Rez either, bringiton; with the Presidents Bush pere et fils, eh -- they might've been afraid to go (not without, perhaps, some smidgen of justifiability in their paranoia, although pere at least had an honorable discharge from the Navy and might've expected a little courtesy from fellow veterans -- remind me sometime to show you the statistics on how many First Nations members serve in the US military; or not, because that's damn depressing to contemplate too).

But you know what? A Democrat needs to see, firsthand, what life's like in the barrio and on the bayou and in a colonia, on the Rez and where the Federal Flood buried New Orleans' neighborhoods, as well as on Capitol Hill. A real Democrat needs to know that it's not all flash and bling we're fighting for -- it's justice and a fair deal for us all.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

let me count the ways.

/wipes tear/

for some of us, this is a sacred kiddie memory, ya dig? before video, when the little children didn't know about "being that way," and all we lil'uns understood was the White Knight and the Red Queen, and talking backwards. some have Legos, some have Lassie, some have Transformers. but to me, this is mother's milk. sweet, contrasting, developing context. how it hurts.

but you know, nice comment and all that.

bystander's picture
Submitted by bystander on

... adds ballast to your argument.

3rd graph:

Cooper was, from the beginning, an enemy of reform, not a constructive participant seeking compromise. He did not survey the assembled bills and try and forge a deal. Rather, he did everything he could to undermine the Clinton plan, and played a key role in destroying its chances by shattering the Democratic legislative strategy ("Thwarted on the Republican side of the aisle, Dingell turns back to his Democrats -- and once again finds Jim Cooper standing in his way.") and peeling off Blue Dogs and business. Without even the pretense of party unity, there was never the underlying foundation to force negotiations among the key players -- [...] Cooper should be remembered not for trying to cut a deal, but for undermining the conditions and legislation that would've allowed a deal to have been cut. He was out for his campaign contributors and, as a read of The System makes clear, his own glory. He wanted to be the dealmaker of health care. He wanted it so bad that he killed the damn thing.

Submitted by lambert on

And we're crapping around with plagiarism why?

47 million people in the same position as my friend, and we can't leverage that somehow? In the same way that Obama could have changed everything on FISA, and chose not to, Hillary could change the whole game... Somehow...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

that separartes you, and me. and me, and the OFB. and them and us, and me and my brother*. discord, it defines us and limits us. and affords them control.

no amount of writing will make you say anything other than, "is she high?" so i won't try. Grace, Robert, they are the same to us, as we are different and alike. and..."traitors."

*not repeating the bad joke my dad told me from his CC days re: not white people. i'm so glad we're beyond that.

sane unaffiliated voter's picture
Submitted by sane unaffiliat... on

Congratulations to all the Obama supporters! The democrats of Wisconsin deserve a lot of credit for getting this one right. CNN's exit poll had people who cited electability as a key factor sided with Obama 63 to 37 percent. Says a lot. We deserve more from our politicians in this country. Obama will deliver more and then some. McCain is scared of Barack. He wants to face Clinton.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Sorry about that, babe, but hey; someone had to do it.

Suppose I could act like the last 40 years should no longer be mentioned, understand that's a popular stance in some quarters these days.

Funny thing, or not; Slick wrote the song after a knock-down drag-out with her folks over drug use, acid and grass. Way back then, before you were a zygote, the generational conflicts over drugs were between alcohol and tranks for the old folks, which were of course OK, and the evil new ones like pot - a nigra drug that would take you straight to heroin and the gutter - and acid, which was a degenerate hippie/commie plot to rot the brains of a whole generation. Grace's point was how can you read stories to your children about taking pills and mushrooms that distort reality in fun and exciting ways, and then condemn them when they take drugs that actually act that way? She thought it was just a fun way to goad her parents, never expected it to be at all popular.

I promise to not crush any more of your illusions for - oh - 24 hours. :-+

Submitted by lambert on

Who are, I am sure, going to end up having more influence in an Obama administration than they ever dreamed possible.

Sure, I'd rather have Obama than a sociopath, and Obama doesn't torture small animals.

But I didn't expect to have to spend my time gearing up so a Democrat doesn't Fuck me on Social Security and sell us down the river to the insurance companies on UHC, but there you go. It's never easy.

Ah well. It was always about the Overton Window. Still is.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

That's why Wisconsin chose Obama?

I love it when the media declares someone unelectable and that fact makes them unelectable because people won't vote for someone who is unelectable. And, of course, the media has always had the best interests of Democrats, liberals, and the country in mind when it makes such pronouncements.

And no worries, lambert, about the Boomer videos, I don't watch them anyway. I prefer my own nostalgia, dude, but I have no problem with you enjoying yours. And quit complaining about the lack of good acid, we got AIDS and mandatory minimums. Even bad acid was surely better than that.

Now, whether that righteous Boomer Hillary Clinton will win out over that Gen-X poser (but actual Boomer) Obama, I can only say that in some ways losing tonight was her best hope. Because the media is never going to let her win this nomination, so he's going to have to lose it. And perhaps if the media believes Clinton can't win, then it will start it's campaign to make Obama lose, which could - of course - lead to a Clinton victory on March 4 and beyond.

As for UHC, Hillary has two debates to make her case. But the problem is all the Obama enablers who are helping him blur the lines here, letting him skate claiming there's no difference. They're doing the same thing in reverse on NAFTA and trade, letting him claim some big difference, when there isn't any. The one guy who could be a somewhat honest broker in all this, who might be able to cut through the bullshit is John Edwards, but looks like he's sitting this one out.

Submitted by lambert on

I remember reading a tiny little story in the Times about Kaposi sarcoma in the mid-1970s, when I was... younger than I am now. AIDS has been with all of us for a long time. If I understand what you're saying.

Yes, it's interesting that both Edwards and Gore aren't jumping either way.

If I were Hillary, I wouldn't give up. Why would I? I hope she doesn't.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I agree Hillary should not give up, it's still close and things could change on the dime with a gaffe here, a debate there.

And I think she sees in Obama what we see and it scares her, too. I also suspect it pisses her off. Not because she feels entitled, but because she does have experience, she has staked out generally more liberal domestic policies, she is a fighter. And yet, nobody cares. They'd rather listen to some recycled speech about Hope and Unity.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

So dislike being wrong. Only thing worse is being caught at it by someone else, so I want to correct the record here myself.

Earlier I wrote that Obama has not traveled outside the US other than a visit to London. I did this based on two references I had collected that appeared to independently confirm one another; I believe now that one was based on the other, without attribution. The second reference was based on a December 17, 200 article in the Times of London and seemed to be thorough, enough so that I did not check the Times article directly. That was a sloppy mistake. Further, the Times article itself - 'Stay-at-home' Barack Obama comes under fire for a lack of foreign experience - is misleading in as much as it does not mention all of Obama’s international trips.

To set the record straight, I have searched the Internet using a variety of search engines and read several score of articles and reports. Here then is a summary that I believe to be accurate:

August 2005: Official visit to Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan with a one-day stopover in London.
January 2006: Official visit to Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian West Bank.
August 2006: Official visit to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad.
Additionally, two private trips to Kenya prior to election to the US Senate, the first in 1987.

While Obama has traveled internationally, they have genrally been whirlwind trips; he has not spent significant time anywhere other than Kenya. Most importantly, he has spent no time at all in Canada, Mexico or any part of Latin America, and only one day in all of Western Europe.

This has not escaped the notice of some US allies; Britain’s Minister for Europe, Denis MacShane, has complained that Obama’s comments on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and military action in Pakistan are “troubling” and says “A lot of people are concerned that international policy is not his strongest suit, just as it was not with George Bush in 2000.” Spoken at the ministerial level, “a lot of people” indicates the British government. Let us all hope Obama will be a quicker study.

My apologies to the Corrente community for introducing information that was incorrect. Please be assured that I will do my best to be accurate in the future. If anyone has repeated my misinformation, I am sorry for misleading you and would appreciate it if you would make the necessary corrections.

Turlock