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Obama Finds the Lesson in His Midterm ‘Shellacking’

Posted on Nov 3, 2010

President Obama got philosophical at a Wednesday news conference as he reflected on the message Americans sent at Tuesday’s polls, as well as on the meaning of the “shellacking” he took when the results came in. “In the rush of activity sometimes we lose track of the ways that we connected with folks that got us here in the first place,” he admitted, referring to himself and other presidents before him, presumably, and not invoking the “royal we,” so calm down, Fox News.  —KA

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By rm, November 8, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why don’t you stop using the term “shellacking.” That is not what happened. What happened is low democrat turnout because Obama was a disappointment to the people who voted for him in 2008. So republicans squeaked by with a slim majority in the House. Obama’s party still controls the presidency and the Senate. There’s nothing the republicans can do other than block all legislation—which will show Americans exactly what they stand for.

Obama was not defeated in the last elections. Stop echoing right-wing hate radio like Limbag, Humpity, Bick, or Levine.

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By Lafayette, November 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment


tw: Insurers only need to spend 80% of the premium paid by you and by me directly or through our taxes on health care for you and for me.

The above may be facts of which most Americans are unaware:
* By law, the Federal government subsidizes the Health Insurance policies the corporations by to cover (in part) their cost. (It is the 2.2% located in the budget pie linked below.)
* And the part that is not covered, companies recuperate by factoring it into their prices; so we consumers pay for it ultimately.

The gross unfairness of this is that if your company does not have a private insurance policy, you pay for it anyway by means of your taxes.

Not to mention what the above, tantamount to Corporate Welfare, does to our budget deficit. (See budget pie here.)

Our public spending is not only bloated but badly spent. If the Replicants are so keen to lower the budget, why not start with Corporate Welfare?

Nope, can’t do that. The corporate lobbyists and BigMoney have already purchased the last election.

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By Lafayette, November 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment


A savings of 15% or more can be achieved through a government-administered plan like Medicare - for everyone. (And by the way, a CBS/New York Times poll in June 2009 showed that 72% of Americans favored this approach.)

Oh? So what happened?

Medicare is a Public Option HC-program very much like that which all EU countries have adopted—some beginning more than 50 years ago. There’s not a government on the Right, even in Britain, that would dare ax their National Health System. Because they’d be voted out of office in the next election. 

So, what is about Health Care that the Europeans seem to know, of which Americans remain oblivious. Easy answer: Health Care is an oligopoly market, meaning the Demand for services perpetually outstrips their Supply. So, Suppliers dictate the price. For such markets, therefore, it is best for the government to dictate prices that provide fair-costs to the patients and a fair-income to the practitioners.

Neither do they have as costly a health care insurance program. Why? Because the state mandates practitioner services pricing. It costs 27 dollars to consult my GP in France ... how much does it cost you?

The average American physician is earning more than $200K in the US (versus $60K in France)—which is only one reason why total HC costs in Europe are one-half that of the US; the highest of any modern country. (This statement is corroborated by OECD studies.)

The National Heath Systems are state-run (but there are private practitioners), is universal and single-payer, you select the physician of your choice, medical-records are electronically stored and transferable, pharmaceutical costs are also price-fixed by the state, etc., etc., etc.

No one has their house repossessed because they could not afford to pay for their chemotherapy. No child has ever been refused treatment, and a “pre-condition” was never an insurance loop-hole. 

Preventive care is funded adequately, because, unlike the US, Europe has understood that an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.

But, cogent as all the above argument would appear,  when presented to the American Congress by the gentleman who runs the OECD Health Care oversight program in 2008 they had no impact whatsoever.

And we all know the reason why. Because of the idiotic notion that Free Enterprise stimulates competition that always brings about the lowest cost. Except in oligopolistic markets, a caveat that no one cares to tell Americans.

America is in denial about health care. And after this recent legislation, the practitioners are laughing all the way to the bank ... and back.

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By the worm, November 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

The audacity of lying - so, it’s one day after the election. If Peter Orszag’s OpEd
reflects the administration’s ‘learning’, Id say the administration didnt learn

Today, the day after the election, the White House’s Director of Management
and Budget, Peter Orszag, in a NYTimes OpEd tells us:

“There are four ways to contain health care costs: by reducing payments to
providers and suppliers; by rationing services; by having consumers pay a
greater share; and by giving providers incentives to be more efficient.”

This is a flat out lie.

The non-reform of health care was/is essentially a windfall for insurers, with
hundreds of thousands of new “customers” (if a ‘mandated customer’ is a
“customer”), with premiums subsidized or paid for directly by taxpayers, and
with 20% of the premium available to insurers to use for what ever they want.

That’s right: Insurers only need to spend 80% of the premium paid by you and
by me directly or through our taxes on health care for you and for me. The rest
they can spend any way they want, including bonuses, sitting on Boards to raise
rates and decide who gets covered and who doesn’t, contributions to
‘sympathetic’ candidates – those who will let them keep even more of your and
my money.

A savings of 15% or more can be achieved through a government-administered
plan like Medicare - for everyone. (And by the way, a CBS/New York Times poll
June 2009 showed that 72% of Americans favored this approach.)

The quickest and easiest and sane way to save is move to a single payer system.
Advocates for such a system were blocked from speaking by Senator Max
Baucus last year; but the facts are the facts.

When the President of the United States allows his White House Director of
Management and Budget to lie about such a fundamental reality, it reflects very
poorly on the President and his leadership.

President Obama does not need people working for him who lie to the
American people. Whether it’s “Heck of a Job Timmy” or Orszag, people are
tired of being lied to.

If President Obama does not have the courage to stop his own staff from lying
to the American people, he is no leader.

They’ve learned no lesson.

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By bluevistas, November 4, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

the thing is though, when I listen to Obama and his “getting” the election message, I just hear him veering to the R again, more “compromise with the Republicans”....

I just never hear him give credence to progressives and liberal values, as in “The lesson I got from this election is that progressives have worthwhile policy inititatives on the economy and job-creation”.

His movement seems to always be to the right, rather than the left.

Did he get our message?

I think not.

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By G.Anderson, November 3, 2010 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Politics, in this country has become a failure, it should be obvious that neigher party alone or together can provide a solution to our problems as a country. Nothing that they try will succeed.

Nor will Big Ben, dropping suit cases full of money from a helicopter over Washington, turn things around.

Two years after this country was decimated by several generations of political decisions from both political parties, it seems likely that we will return foolishly to those same policies again.

Those same political delusions from right, and left, have undone this country. And while it continues to wither away, they will be argued again, by the newly elected witless in congress and the senate.

We have taken our first step into the abyss, and there is nothing for the second and third step to stand on.

Falling we will grasp at straws, to no avail.

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By mdgr, November 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

A Meme for its Time:

Obama’s entire tenure has been predicated on some very venal and self-serving assumptions, but in having been the chief apologist for the Dems—whom I succinctly denote by the term Vichy, or party of collaborators—this was almost inevitable.

His is the endpoint of a typically “liberal” view, by which I mean to point to the very worst associations with that term as used by people like Chris Hedges.

As the link above shows, however, the bottom line is that much of the dead weight—for which Rahm Emanuel sold his soul—is essentially gone and the progressive caucus is virtually undiminished.

Now, I have a little proposal. It’s strategic, however, and as finely honed as a surgical scalpel.

As a hypothetical, what would it net the progressive cause if many of that same caucus publicly resigned their Democratic-Vichy-linked affiliation, especially now that President Obama has vowed to make nice with the Republican Party even more than her already has?

They have just been re-elected, so their election isn’t immediately at stake. If they resigned from the Democratic Party in the next few months and endorsed the creation of an emergent third party made up of lefties and indies, wouldn’t that suddenly give the new party a HUGE amount of gravitas and influence?

Not unlike the Tea Party, except for the money.

To coin a phrase, these defectors could assume the mantle of “thought leaders” over their Congressional delegation, unhampered by the Obama and the Dems.

They could also help articulate and channel the rage of the left, as well as the indies who simply didn’t vote or who voted Dem but felt slightly nauseous doing so.

It would be good for their egos, good for that third party (no longer marginal with many of the Progressive Caucus behind it) and good for the country.

It would be very, very bad for the remaining Democrats, but they’re known to be impotent anyway. I see a real possibility of that third party’s influence ascending in direct proportion to Vichy’s precipitous decline.

At this point, big money would begin to follow. The reason why is because of the threat of the Tea Party in 2012. That may please business in the short term—they’re generally greedy, true—but not every captain of industry is stupid.

Remember, it is to no one’s advantage (with the exception of Murdoch and the Koch Brothers) to give Palin or Secretary of Defense Limbaud the nuclear codes, and people like Bill Gates, Buffett and Soros know that all too well.

Strategically speaking, I believe that this can provide an “engine” through which we may be able to do what is necessary between now and 2012.

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By eir, November 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Yes, what were the ways in which he “connected with folks that got [him] here in the first place”?

Barack Obama: Operation Board Games For Slumlords

Evelyn Pringle who wrote this piece for “Dissident Voice” in 2008 says at the end of her investigative piece “A month ago, a friend of mine who knew I did not think Obama was qualified to be president, asked me what I would do if he was nominated. I replied that I would vote for him of course, what a dumb question. No more. After a month of research, I could no more support Barack Obama as the leader of this country than I could support another war profiteering Republican.

If he becomes the nominee, all the Democrats in America will be viewed by the rest of the world as either utterly stupid, or totally corrupt. Therefore, for the first time in my life, I have made a conscious decision to take a stand and not vote in a presidential election if the choice is Obama.”

How many people knew of this history that our blank screen of a president had, upon whom so many hopes of real change were projected?  Not many, huh?

Americans are not utterly stupid, nor totally corrupt, but the system, which includes the MSM which up until this point has nurtured and protected him, IS.

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