Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

Oh, crap!. No, wait, Oh WOW! No, wait, Oh crap….

June 28, 2012

CNN reported initially that the court had struck the mandate provisions.

The mandate provision was a large part of what made the Affordable Care Act actually affordable for everyone, and made the prospect of covering anyone regardless of their existing health problems palatable to insurance companies.

But then CNN issued a correction, stating that Roberts voted with the 5-4 majority to uphold the mandate (as well as the other provisions).   Wow!  I still don’t believe it!

But then the “Oh crap” moment settled back in…

First, the ACA (or ObamaCare, if you prefer), is and was the Conservative solution to the health care crisis – give the insurance companies a LOT of money and keep them profitable, rather than chasing the moneychangers from the temple and providing inexpensive healthcare by doing it without a profit margin (horrors!) by choosing a single payer system  ( has a terrific write-up of the conservative pedigree of ObamaCare).  Not the best solution to the problem, the Conservative solution (because the pragmatic Obama thought that would be his best shot at getting something passed… little did he realize how deeply the hatred for him would cause the conservatives to back away from their own plan and vilify it as worse than communism.  Communism! Radical Islamic Communism!  Ahhhh!  Hair on fire!).  So, yay, we’ve managed to preserve a watered-down half-solution giveaway to big business.  Yay for us!

Second, yes, their hair is now totally on fire.  The Tea Party (with their imaginary friends and dainty little plastic pink teacups) are going to be spinning themselves into a frenzy to get rid of Obama so they can overturn the law.  Obama, on the other hand, is drawing lukewarm support because his pragmatism has caused him to give away the cow for some “magic beans”… and since this isn’t a fairy tale, the beans aren’t magic.  The Conservatives will never love Obama, they will never like him, and they will never accept anything he does as anything other than utter Radical Islamic Communism, even when what he is doing is the Conservatives’ own plan, lock, stock and barrel.  He is Obama, he is the ENEMY and no amount of compromise will ever satisfy them.  The Liberals aren’t so hot for him either, because Obama isn’t actually very Liberal (“public opinion [is against the ACA] by roughly 15%, although 15% of the people who oppose it do so because they want a Canadian-style single-payer system”).  So yay, we just got handed a much more difficult election.  Yay for us!


One Clue Short Of Having A Clue

May 19, 2012


From the local paper:

Dear editor,

Yesterday I received a mailer from Commissioner Lisa Birkman’s opponent, comparing her to President Barack Obama. At first I thought it was a joke, until I read both sides.

While our liberal, socialist-leaning president has decided that government spending is the answer to everything, Commissioner Birkman has been a conservative steward of our tax dollars.

Sure, our county has the “highest per-capita debt in all of Texas.” But that is because we, the residents, decided to address our quality of life by voting for road bonds to ease our traffic problems.

Look all over Precinct 1 and you see road construction going on, to ease our traffic problems. Imagine what traffic would be like in five years, without the improvements.

Maybe Commissioner Birkman’s opponent doesn’t drive. I do, and I appreciate Commissioner Birkman’s efforts, and ask the voters of Pct. 1 to elect her to another term.

Charlie Culpepper, Round Rock

Amazing.  Simply astounding.

This guy has not even the first clue about the irony of what he is saying.

Did he even read what he wrote?

He blasts the government for spending money… except when the money benefits him personally (even when it is a grotesquely obscene amount of money, to put words in Birkman’s opponent’s mouth), well, then it is OK.  More than OK, it is conservative stewardship.

This is what bothers me so much about the Tea Party movement, and conservatives in general. 

Government spending is bad, BAD.  Well, unless it benefits me, then it is OK.  Rank hypocrisy.

Or, almost as bad but much more rare, they are consistent in their beliefs, and ALL government spending is bad, and it doesn’t matter if the spending is totally needed in order to take care of our civic responsibilities, or to provide needed services like roads and schools.  They will cut off their own noses just to spite their faces, just as long as it cuts your nose off too.  Thanks, but no, I’ll keep my nose.

And apparently this guy used to be a mayor.  (Thankfully, at least it is “used to be”!)

The Choice

May 17, 2012

A lot of progressives don’t like Obama, or at the very least, are very critical of him.

I know this, because I am one of them.

The Sins of Obama:

  • Taking a conservative stance and approving an expansion of offshore oil drilling in the weeks leading up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Taking a conservative stance and approving an expansion of nuclear power in the weeks leading up to the japanese tsunami and the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster.
  • Taking a conservative stance and nominating some of the architects and enablers of the economic collapse to high government posts because their “business acumen” has some sort of perceived value.
  • Taking a conservative stance and watering down much-needed reforms, especially by starting the compromise process at the reasonable compromise position, and then compromising further from there.
  • In specific, taking a conservative stance and watering down the recovery package with unneeded, ineffective and non-stimulative tax cuts, giving he Republicans ammunition for their “See, stimulus doesn’t work” argument.
  • I distrust the postponement of the keystone XL pipeline decision until after the election.  Either be for it, or be against it, and stand up for what you believe.
  • Paying for a social security tax reduction with funds from general revenue.  Social Security should be self-funding.  While increasing take-home pay is a good idea during an economic downturn, it should be done by other means, like raising the ceiling from $110,100 to something less arbitrary and less regressive, like $∞.  Taking the money out of general revenue just feeds into the (bogus) conservative storyline about how Social Security is insolvent and busting the budget.

What He’s Getting Right:

  • Obama’s recent “evolution” of his views regarding same-sex marriage, while not a personally relevant issue for me, is a welcome, if somewhat belated, development.
  • His stance on tax fairness is very welcome.
  • The parts of the healthcare law that have taken effect have been a boost to the financial security of everyone.
  • Heck, the fact that he got a healthcare law passed at all is a big achievement.
  • withdrawal from the quagmire (the Vietnamese word for “Iraq”)
  • While the efforts seem anemic, the nation is generally headed in the right direction, finally.
  • And the most important thing of all…

Here is what it boils down to.  The alternative is strongly in favor of the things that Obama is sorta doing wrong, and is absolutely against any of the things he is doing right.  In short, he’s not Mitt Romney.

If Obama is pushing rather anemically toward where things ought to be, Romney would drive full-speed in the other direction.    Yes, Mitt isn’t Santorum/Goodhair/Bachmann/NeinNeinNein, any of whom would not only drive full speed in the wrong direction but do so after strapping rockets on the national economy to make it go in the wrong direction further and faster.  Remember that it is the Republicans and their enablers who got us into this mess, and whose regressive policies and stalling tactics that have slowed the recovery to a fraction of what it should have been.

If you are not in the 1%, is one man’s (non-legally binding) endorsement of  icky gay stuff really that much more important than preventing the return of the reverse-“Robin Hood” policies that have made the last decade so difficult for you?

If you are a member of a minority whose religious or cultural heritage is opposed to the idea of  homosexuality or to the description of the recognition of the permanent relationship between consenting adults as a “marriage”, is it really so important to side with people who (completely aside from the nearly open bigotry and hostility toward you just because of your heritage, language and/or skin color) offer policies that will only make your life more difficult?

Yes, a ringing endorsement from Me – vote for Obama because the other guy is a lot worse, and letting the other guy win would just bring back the bad old days that we haven’t really even recovered from yet.

Yes, I worry that his reelection will enable more of his conservative mistakes.  But I think that it is more important that the election repudiate ideas espoused by Faux News, and help people realize that the nation is not as conservative as Faux News would have us believe, and allow more time to make more progress.

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