Prescient Health Care Reform Cynics?

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I was struck by the irony last week of President Obama's remark below which he uttered during one of his pre-HCR passage rallies:

When the cynics warned that Medicare would lead to a government takeover of our entire health care system, and it didn't have much support in the polls, Democrats and Republicans refused to back down, and made sure that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.

The clear-eyed and honest leftists over at The Nation know that the adoption of Obama's version of health care reform is just the next step in an ongoing process:

Ultimately, our message must be that genuine reform begins, and only begins, with passage of the current legislation. It ends with achievement of the goal that should be our new battle cry: Medicare for All.

Mr. President, it turns out that the "cynics" were right all along.

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  1. Ultimately, our message must be that genuine reform begins, and only begins, with passage of the current legislation. It ends with achievement of the goal that should be our new battle cry: Medicare for AllChapter 11 for USA.

    Fixed

    1. Yes, because all of those other countries around the world with universal HC are totally bankrupt, fascist states.

      1. Continuing down this road may be an interesting test of how much the American juggernaut economy and technological advance were propping up the rest of the world.

        1. And just like the rest of your delusions, it wont bare any resemblance to reality, but who gives a shit what you tell yourself as you cry in your cup.

      2. See “Greece”. See also “US bears a hugely disproportionate share of NATO/global defense spending, which allows other countries to spend more on social welfare since Uncle Sugar will protect them.”

        Pay attention – it’s happening.

        1. Greece is not a typical example. It probably should never have been let into the EU. But I suspect you are right about the rest. It will be interesting to see how the test mentioned by PL plays out.

          1. Spain is teetering on the brink as well.

            1. Portugals Debt just got downgraded by Fitch this week also – And Britain is running deficits that are as large as ours right now.

            2. Don’t forget Portugal.

            3. You forgot Portugal.

        2. Agreed. I don’t think people realize that the US Navy is the tacit guarantor of the world’s ocean-going trade. How much stuff is shipped across the world’s oceans? What would this trade look like if the US didn’t tacitly preserve and protect the sea lanes? You’re welcome, rest-of-the-world.

          1. I don’t think people realize that the US Navy

            I do

        3. See also- America produces a great majority of new drugs and medical devices, saving other countries huge R&D costs.

      3. Someone put Dave’s comment into the memory project.

        I predict that soon enough, we will be able to point at it, laugh, and say

        “Yes, in fact they are bankrupt.”

        Of course, they have been more or less corporate-socialist, kleptocratic nomenklatura societies for decades. Whether you think that rates the word “fascist” is up to you.

        1. nomenklatura

          Mighty fancy word there for a Texas boy.

      4. I don’t know about fascist, definitely socialist. But yes they are all indeed uberf*cked… even Deutschland.

        Here are a few examples of current debt obligations as a percent of economic output, and those numbers skyrocket when you include unfunded liabilities (the second percent), i.e. promised pension benefits:

        Greece…… 116% 875%
        France…… 76% 549%
        Germany… 72% 418%
        UK………… 63% 442%
        Poland…… 50% 1550%
        US…………. 84% 500%

        The euro-eutopia of free* everything is finito santiago.

        *free is heavily qualified to mean “tax-you-to-death” via VAT, income, solidarity surcharge, and other killers.

        1. whats the source for those numbers? Thanks

          1. Eurostat (debt); calculations by Jagadeesh Gokhale, senior fellow at Cato, based on data from Eurostat (current and future obligations); US GAO; US Bureau of Economic Analysis (US figures)

        2. whats the source for those numbers? Thanks

        3. whats the source for those numbers? Thanks

      5. Yes, because all of those other countries around the world with universal HC are totally bankrupt, fascist states.

        Think they aren’t bankrupt? Wait until they find out what the dollar and the euro are really worth, hot shot.

  2. Mr. Bailey, don’t you ever refer to this idiot as “Mr. President” again.
    He is a fucking tool, who deserves no respect at all. Every time he opens his mouth, he takes a shit.

    1. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

      1. Meet the new boss!

    2. Ah, but he is Mr. Bailey’s President. He voted for him, after all.

      1. For for vote: The Republicans must be punished and punished hard.

        If you don’t whack a misbehaving political party over the nose with a rolled up newspaper from time to time, it will never get any better.

        On the other hand, like a lab hamster that never gets rewarded when he pushes the food dispenser bar — I may just give up pulling the lever on voting machines.

        1. If you don’t whack a misbehaving political party over the nose with a rolled up newspaper from time to time, it will never get any better.

          Sure, but when you vote against the guy who opposed Bush’s worst initiatives (and voted for Bush), well, the lesson you’re apparently teaching is that Medicare Part D, the highway bill, the farm bill, steel tariffs, Gitmo, waterboarding, Marriage Amendments, restricting stem cell research, making nice with Bob Jones University, and more spending is the way to be elected.

          The Republican who did all those things won. The Republican who was against, well, he lost.

          Way to teach a lesson, there. The lesson is– libertarianism is a loser. Looks like Obama took it to heart.

        2. Don’t blame the dispenser bar just because the food you got tasted like it smelled instead of like it was advertised.

        3. Why not vote for a thirdy party candidate that at least opposed all of Bush’s bad things, instead of a candidate that said that the problem with Bush was not enough spending and not enough nationalized health care?

          A surge in Libertarian support would at least be a message that libertarian votes are out there. You sent a message that we really wanted this health care bill– and we got it.

        4. Yes, but instead of voting for a libertarian or other third party candidate, the message you sent was that you wanted health care reform– and you got it.

          1. Good and hard.

  3. Either we abandon the long-honored Theory of Relativity, or we cease to believe that we can engage in continued accurate prediction of the future. Indeed, knowing the future raises a host of questions which cannot be answered under conventional assumptions unless one first projects an Observer outside of Time and, second, nullifies all movement. If you accept the Theory of Relativity, it can be shown that Time and the Observer must stand still in relationship to each or inaccuracies will intervene. This would seem to say that it is impossible to engage in accurate prediction of the future. How, then, do we explain the continued seeking after this visionary goal by respected scientists? How, then, do we explain Obama’Dib?

    1. I can just see Michelle, Emmanuel and Axelrod with Obama chained to the bed in the Lincoln bedroom overdosing him on spice trying to find out if Cap and Trade will pass this summer.

      1. I could see Obama being arrogant enough to try a spice overdose. Kwisatz Haderach? Ha! He’d fail the gom jabbar. Shit, he’d fail the Kareem Jabbar.

        1. Listen, ProL, I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

          1. Episiarch, of course, passed the Kareem Jabbar and knows the secrets of the Lew Alcindor.

        2. God we are living a real life Monty Python version of Dune. Can’t you just see Pelosi as a particularly depraved Bene Gesserit?

          1. Fair is fair: It’s a Harvard Lampoon version of Dune. Hey, that works on multiple levels, including the truth.

          2. Vernal slime, I’ll show YOU imprinting: think very LARGE gavel!

            1. And Palin is the “abomination”.

              1. Don’t blame me, I voted for the sandworm.

                1. At this point I would take the Harkonens.

                  1. Heart plugs for everyone!

                    1. Dammit, no movie references! Book only!

                    2. except that the movie was… better.

          3. Can’t you just see Pelosi as a particularly depraved Bene Gesserit?

            Nope. She’s definitely Tleilaxu.

            1. Can’t argue with that. Her face does seem to dance.

              1. Or rather, remain largely immobile.

    2. Obama’Dib

      Best nickname yet.

  4. That logo looks an awful lot like the jerseys they give hockey players who are practicing with a concussion.

  5. Mr. President, it turns out that the “cynics” were right all along.

    They usually are. It’s one of the reasons I knew we were in trouble when he was elected, since he took the time in his acceptance speech to blast cynics.

  6. I love how, to this asshole, all principled opposition is cyncism. Opposition that agrees with him, now those people are reasonable.

    1. Dude, it’s just getting started. Commence heavy drinking now, because you’re going to get bullshit propaganda overload from here until November.

      1. Maybe it is just early maybe it is just me, but for a second I thought that said “propaganda overlord”.

          1. I like the comment that describes the 2nd video as a glimpse of what the 3rd Reich would have become. The air-humping at 2:19 was fly, too.

    2. They like to turn this around, too.

      A friend said to me this weekend, “Someone can be for this and be neither cynical nor ignorant.”

      Seems to me that the ones who are in charge, can see the evidence of the folly of their ways, and admit openly that they’re doing it to consolidate their power despite the risks, are the cynics. Hard to see how you can be out of power and still be a cynic.

      1. A friend said to me this weekend, “Someone can be for this and be neither cynical nor ignorant.”

        I would agree. You can support ObamaCare because you are naive or just plain stupid.

        I’m not sure I would say that supporting it because it will enable your status as a social parasite isn’t cynical, though, so there’s that.

        1. Yeah, I was lumping them into the cynical part of my argument, for sure. And from what I have seen, there are quite a few of those types out there.

          Republic be damned, THROW ME SOME OF THAT BREAD!

  7. The flaw is calling doubters “cynics.” We’re skeptics. And it’s the only rational place to be, given the untold and unlimited lies we’re subjected to on practically a daily basis from Washington. And no, that’s not limited to the last year.

    1. Pro Lib — excellent point.
      “Cynicism” means “assuming the worst about people’s motives.”
      “Skepticism” means “questioning and critical.”
      Cynicism is NOT skepticism, and vice versa. Cynicism is lazy.

      1. But much more fun.

        1. and also more true.

      2. Cynic: A person who does not share your illusions. (- R.A. Heinlein, IIRC)

      3. So Obama’s the cynic.

        What a hypocrite.

        1. “Even altruism is driven by a self-centered need to do good things.”

          I disagree. It’s driven by compasion.

          1. How did this end up here? How odd.

      4. Cynicism is not lazy, it is efficient.

        Even altruism is driven by a self-centered need to do good things.

        You can always assume people are acting in their own interests regardless of what the say or write.

        1. ass / u / me

          1. Compasionate people are compasionate because if makes them feel good. Hence, they are following their self-interests.

            Not all self-interests are evil. But all human action is self-interested.

            1. “Compasionate people are compasionate because if makes them feel good”

              I’m gonna need a citation for this because I respectfully disagree.

              1. Describe for me on case in which this is not true to some degree?

                1. One case:

                  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,357671,00.html

                  But for the most part, I agree with you.

              2. Yeah, some people do it because they like to make themselves feel bad. But also some people like hooking, spanking during sex play, etc etc etc.

        2. “Cynicism is not lazy, it is efficient.”

          When it comes to politics, a hundred times so.

      5. When I stop getting the worse from other people’s motives, I’ll stop assuming.

      6. I thought cynicism was the principle that the only good is virtue, so there is no good in dealing with those who do not pursue only the purest virtue.

    2. If you’re not cynical about Obama by now, you’re a fucking retard.

      Of course, you were a fucking retard if you weren’t cynical about him in 2004, but that’s a whole nother discussion, yo.

      1. God damn, this needs to be said to my ex girlfriend so bad.

        1. Never say anything to an ex, dude. She’s dead to you. She never existed. Remember that.

    3. Well, of course, I’m both when it comes to politics, but that’s really just my skepticism moving towards an extreme. I’m a political solipsist.

  8. “Cynicism is lazy.”
    True. But I grow weary. Fuck it — I’m cynical.

  9. I’ve yet to hear a single-payer advocate explain what they would do when the government starts running out of resources to provide health care with. I would really like to.

    What do they think would be the mechanism to decide when to stop treating terminal cancer patients, or who should receive treatment first in a waiting list?

    1. I’ve seen more than a few people suggesting that “teabaggers” be denied health care. I suspect that’s not far from what the reality would be.

      1. Are you now supporting, or have you ever supported the Tea Party?

        1. Nah, I just went there to pick up chicks.

          And by chicks, I mean Ray Stevens.

      2. I’d be totally cool with having special, completely unregulated, insurance companies, that anyone can sign up for and be exempt from all other health care taxes and regulations.

        1. I agree.

          Except those who “opt out” of the state system would tend to be those who would qualify for lower premiums, which would mean that the cost per person covered under the state system would be relatively higher. That, in turn, would require the government to either raise taxes openly or cut back the coverage. It is much easier for the government to force everyone into the single payer system, effectively taxing those who would otherwise have lower premiums. (The coverage cuts will come later anyways.)

          1. Well, yeah.

            The thing is that it exposes the lie in the whole “Lets deny Republican health care!” nonsense. The fact is that the plan relies on FORCED PARTICIPATION to work.

            1. This also belies the idea of “just doing it to help poor people.”

              Plenty of smart people have floated the idea of a good-hearted rich liberal starting his own private charitable insurance plan to help the poor, if it’s such a pressing issue to give them insurance. VOILA! You solve your “problem” and don’t violate the rights of others who don’t agree with you.

              But then Congress isn’t as powerful, so that idea is a non-starter.

              It’s all about telling people what to do. It’s all about power. That’s it and that’s all.

              1. Isn’t that what Mother Teresa did? Except for the insurance and helping people part?

                1. Suffering helps one move closer to the Christ. As He suffered, so you should be glad to suffer.

              2. It’s like in the Letters to the Editor in the SF Chronicle this morning bitching that the $27M of her own money that Meg Whitman spent on her own campaigne would have been better spent on teachers’ salaries — making whitmann teh evil.

    2. I got a kick out of Sen Weiner on O’Reilly last not dodging the question “If people don’t buy insurance and don’t pay the fine, which goverment agency goes after them. All he could say was it was like getting a traffic ticket.

      What a piece of shit.

      1. The answer, of course, is the IRS, which makes referrals to DOJ when its time to go to court.

        Evading the fine by lying on your tax returns is a crime, of course.

        Underpaying your stated taxes, and refusing to pay the fine with penalties and interest . . . I’m not sure if that ever turns into a criminal offense.

        1. Of course it’s the IRS, but no way he was going to actually say that in front of an audience of millions. O’Reilly asked him FIVE TIMES and each time he evaded the answer.

    3. You can bet there will be a question relating to the extent of your volunteer community service participation.

    4. What makes you think the government will ever run out of resources? Any progressive college student will tell you that it’s a simple matter to gut the military, identify rich people who have too much money, and companies that make too much profit. The government just takes that money and puts it to better use. It’s all really quite simple and obvious and has no negative side effects.

  10. Cynicism is lazy.

    No, it’s exasperated. Being right all the time is boring.

    1. It’s definitely tiresome.

      1. And depressing.

  11. I’m always confused by these calls for medicare for all. Medicare really isn’t very good insurance. It covers most things at an 80/20 cost share (but with a tiny deductible), with no out of pocket cap. So if you get really sick, you can end up in the dreaded medical bankruptcy that the democrats are always yammering about. One way to prevent that is to have private supplemental medigap policies, which can be quite expensive. Medicare advantage is another way, but the democrats say that’s evil because it’s run by private insurers.

    Instead of medicare, I’d much rather have a plan that put the first few thousand on me, and then paid 100% of my costs over that. That would help protect me from bankruptcy if I got really sick, which is what I want out of insurance. I can cover the day to day stuff on my own.

    1. I’d much rather have a plan that put the first few thousand on me, and then paid 100% of my costs over that.

      Especially if it were coupled with an option to put aside money into a tax-free account that got set aside for medical expenses. That would be awesome.

      1. Especially if it were coupled with an option to put aside money into a tax-free account that got set aside for medical expenses.

        Yes, we in the government would be more than happy to hold that money for you in a “lock box” or to invest it for you. 😉

      2. That’s my current plan. Do I get to keep it?

        1. Actually, no. The Democrats have declared high-deductible policies to be evil, and they are now outlawed.

  12. What happens when we depart from the principles of liberty? We “plunge into a labyrinth of difficulties from which there is no way out but by retreating.”

  13. it turns out that the “cynics” were right all along.

    Those fucking evil short-sellers, again. Enron would still be in business, if not for those damned cynics who think you have to bring in more money than you put out.

  14. Mr. President, it turns out that the “cynics” were right all along.

    Of course the cynics were right; what’s more, he knew they were right. Why in hell does anyone take the lying son of a bitch seriously anymore? He’s only going to say whatever is expedient for him at the time.

  15. It’s going to be surreal when U.S. politicians start going to India for transplants.

    1. I think it would be really interesting if reason did an issue on medical tourism in the post-Obamacare world.

      More and more, I’m giving up on trying to fix this country politically and just looking for ways to protect myself and my family from mass stupidity.

  16. I’ll tell you what’s pathetic. Check out the list of Reason writers voting for Obama. Real Libertarians, one and all. Sure, waterboarding is distasteful, especially when compared to sitting in front of your computer safe and sound getting your snark.

    So, Reasonoids, Bush was awful, right? And McCain would have been just as bad?

    I got the sniffles and a sore throat today. Which govt. office can help me?

    1. To be fair, the alternative was McCain and (shudder) Palin if the old fraud croaked. The best vote this time around was a non-vote.

      1. Proving once again that “libertarians” don’t really care about Davis-Bacon, free trade, agricultural subsidies, excessive highway spending, or Medicare Part D. They also didn’t really care about closing Gitmo or waterboarding.

        All those are just excuses to vote on the basis of personality and the same hot-button issues as the rest of the populace.

      2. McCain was, despite all his faults, of which there are many, the Presidential candidate with the most libertarian voting record in a generation, and probably for a generation hence. This despite his intellectual incoherence and lack of consistent philosophical grounding.

        Opposing a Federal Marriage Amendment? Libertarians don’t care about such things, because he’s old and cranky.

        1. his intellectual incoherence and lack of consistent philosophical grounding

          That’s some kind of endorsement.

          1. What, too cynical? I don’t expect politicians to be perfect. Expecting politicians to be perfect is stupid whether it makes you vote for them or never vote for them until one is perfect.

            1. Did you really say “perfect”? You don’t expect them to be “perfect”? How about just not being utterly corrupt, venal, self serving and evil? There is a light years wide chasm between perfect and what most politicians are.

              1. How about just not being utterly corrupt, venal, self serving and evil? There is a light years wide chasm between perfect and what most politicians are.

                I didn’t say that McCain was utterly corrupt, venal, self-serving, and evil. I said that he was intellectually incoherent and lacked consistent philosophical grounding. He’s actually overly self-righteous in an attempt to avoid the appearance of corruption, like with campaign finance reform, but at least he considers the stimulus, the farm bill, and the highway bill all corrupt as well.

          2. Better than your criticism. Do you have any policy-based reason for voting against him? Philosophical incoherence and crankiness is the best argument against him, as far as I can see. Unless campaign finance reform is the most important thing to you, or you really hate the idea of government hearings on boxing and steroids in baseball.

            The only reason Reason people could say that they didn’t like McCain was “temperament” or a desire to punish Bush and the Republicans for things that McCain had mostly voted against.

            I’ve waited for two years to hear any sort of other libertarian argument against him.

      3. Agreed. If McCain had won, instead of “reforming” health care, the gubmit would have taken over baseball. And Sarah Palin would be one (irregular) heartbeat away from being Prez.

        1. Agreed. If McCain had won, instead of “reforming” health care, the gubmit would have taken over baseball. And Sarah Palin would be one (irregular) heartbeat away from being Prez Commissioner.

          FIFY

          1. As long as Condie gets the NFL!

        2. It’s gonna be hilarious when Obama leaves office and McCain is still alive.

          1. Not if the moment is marked by the words “I, John Sidney McCain, do solemly swear….”

    2. So, Reasonoids, Bush was awful, right?

      Yes

      And McCain would have been just as bad?

      Yes

      1. McCain would have been just as bad?

        Yes

        Why? Because the only issue that libertarians care about at all is campaign finance reform’s war on the First Amendment?

        Bush was bad for a lot of reasons, most of which were opposed by McCain.

        I guess libertarians really weren’t all that upset about spending under Bush, considering McCain’s votes on the farm bill, or the highway bills.

        1. Many false assumptions. Go back three steps.

          1. Then explain why McCain would have been as bad. We know it’s not because of Medicare Part D, the highway bill, the farm bill, steel tariffs, Gitmo, waterboarding, Marriage Amendments, restricting stem cell research, making nice with Bob Jones University, the auto bailouts, and more spending. All those things McCain voted against.

            Is it because of campaign finance reform and an unhealthy interest in sports figures not cheating? I can certainly grant that there things that McCain was as bad as Obama on.

        2. Why? Because the only issue that libertarians care about at all is campaign finance reform’s war on the First Amendment?

          If we ignore nation building in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, TARP, The War on Drugs, etc.

        3. So we’ll just ignore his support for nation building in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, TARP, the War on Drugs, etc.

          1. Those being things where he’s equal to Obama.

            We were discussing whether McCain would be “just as bad” or worse. Looks like we’ve come up with a long list of things where McCain was better than both Obama and Bush, a list of things where all three are equal, and two items, campaign finance reform and meddling in sports cheating, where he’s worse.

          2. Things where he’s the same as both Obama and Bush.

            Looks like we have a long list of areas where McCain is better than both, a list of things where he’s the same, and two things– campaign finance reform and meddling in sports– where he’s worse.

          3. I’m not saying there aren’t third party candidates that are better. People can vote for that, even though sadly not enough of the population is libertarian for a libertarian to win. I’m simply talking about major party candidates. There are plenty of areas where McCain was better than both Obama and Bush (or better than one and same as the other), some annoying areas of agreement between all three, and only a tiny number of areas where McCain was worse, like his interest in campaign finance reform and cheating in sports.

          4. I will concede that, pre-election, I would have accepted some of these answers, especially on drugs and Iraq. But Obama’s performance since just rules them out for a retrospective “would McCain have been as bad?” question.

      2. And McCain would have been just as bad?

        Yes

        And, even so, still better than Obama.

        1. McCain would have clearly been better than Bush. The one area where Bush was clearly better than McCain was in opposing campaign finance reform, where he folded. McCain on the other hand opposed Medicare Part D, the highway bill, the farm bill, steel tariffs, Gitmo, waterboarding, Marriage Amendments, restricting stem cell research, making nice with Bob Jones University, and the auto bailouts.

    3. If McCain had won, it would have shifted the GOP left on economics and right on national security.

      That would have been much worse for libertarians.
      The current climate has built an anti-government backlash of epic proportions.

      1. The current climate has built an anti-government backlash of epic proportions.

        The old “the worse the better” mantra, eh?

        It has a long history of making things, well, worse, you know.

        1. I’m reminded of those socialists that thought that Hitler’s victory, and, later on, the mullahs victory in Iran were just setting the stage for socialism. It’s a silly Marxist idea that never works.

      2. If McCain had won, it would have shifted the GOP left on economics and right on national security.

        Despite that McCain was right on economics and left on national security compared to Bush?

        1. NB: I’m defining right on economics in terms of spending. If you define it as cutting taxes while not cutting spending, then, fine, I concede that.

        2. McCain supported the bailouts and wanted to give everyone mortgage principle reductions.

          1. McCain supported the bailouts and wanted to give everyone mortgage principle reductions.

            McCain supported one TARP bailout and opposed the auto bailout. Bush was in favor of all. How is McCain to the left of Bush on that one?

            Mortgage principal reductions are incredibly stupid, but at least more transparent than the hidden bailout of the buyer’s credit that we’ve had.

          2. Not saying McCain is perfect, just saying that he was indisputably better than both GWB and Obama. Sure, it’s a low bar.

      3. Libertarianism has been dealt a massive blow with Obamacare which is unlikely to be repealed. The state has undergone a gigantic expansion, and people old and young will be more dependent than ever. McCain would be screwing things up hideously, but not this badly.

        A few extra faces at an anti-big-government rally doesn’t soothe the despair one feels about what our elected reps have wrought.

        1. On the contrary. I would not be at all surprised if McCain had passed a very similar plan, individual mandate included, and it would not have aroused an ounce of opposition.

    4. Libertarians who voted for either Obama or McCain were playing the same stupid game: “well we’ll get a little libertarianism out of him”.

      Hah. Bullshit. The only thing you change (assuming your vote even has an effect; mine certainly wouldn’t have) is which part of the welfare-warfare state gets advanced in a given four year period. Then the next guy simply advances the other part.

      But hey, by all means, keep playing that three-card monte. You’re going to win the next hand, really!

      1. That’s an argument I can at least respect for being consistent, even though you’re not going to win by refusing to vote or voting third party, either.

        1. I don’t have any illusions about “winning”. Living according to principles isn’t about “winning”, anyway.

          And before you say that such a viewpoint isn’t practical, consider this: if I had voted for McCain, what would be different today? Not a fucking thing. What’s the practical effect of that?

          1. Oh, I agree with you there. Voting is irrational, unless you definite the psychic benefits of voting to be fairly high. I could argue about it with you, but I think you have a perfectly valid and consistent view.

            The people who argue that McCain was “just as bad” as Bush and Obama, I don’t think are consistent.

            1. I hear what you’re saying, but I think it depends partly on what a given person values. Not everybody puts the same weight on the same issues.

              I will grant you that many people who oppose a given candidate cannot really articulate why, and it’s fair to wonder if they clearly understand why they oppose him.

              1. I hear what you’re saying, but I think it depends partly on what a given person values. Not everybody puts the same weight on the same issues.

                OK, good. I freely concede that someone who really, really worries about Campaign Finance Reform more than other issues would dislike McCain, and ditto about government meddling in sports. I’ll give credit to gun rights people who don’t trust him as much as Bush.

                But for the most part, I don’t think people really know why they dislike McCain, other than temperament and personality.

    5. OK, first of all your premise that a whole bunch of reason staffers voted for Obama is flawed.

      There were like … two. A bunch of people on the list you are thinking of were occasional contributors to reason who never claimed to be libertarians.

      1. Actually, Peter Bagge, Ronald Bailey, Tim Cavanaugh (“All my life I’ve been waiting for a black president; Obama’s not monumentally unqualified, and his solid-if-boring book at least had some unkind words for teachers unions. Also my kids like him.”), Steve Chapman (“he shows an intelligence and temperament that suggest he will govern more pragmatically than ideologically”), Julian Sanchez, and staffer at the time Dave Wiegel, IIRC.

        The others were contributors, many of who do claim to be libertarians.

        1. Here’s one list with a link to the other list:

          https://reason.com/blog/2008/10…..ies-get-it

          * Peter Bagge said he might vote for Obama or Barr.
          * Steve Chapman was a writer for the Chicago Tribune at the time.
          * Dave Weigel stated that he was voting for Obama because Bob Barr wasn’t on the ballot and he knew his vote didn’t matter because the District of Columbia was going to Obama, anyway. He was effectively voting against the Republicans.
          * Julian Sanchez said he was not voting, but would vote for Obama if he lived in Virginia as a protest against the Republicans.

        2. Full disclosure: I voted for Obama for the same reason as Weigel. I knew my home state of California was going to Obama, so my vote didn’t matter, but I wanted to run up the total a little against the Republicans.

  17. “..getting your snark on.”

  18. Soon, Obama will stop referring to his opponents as cynics and start called them “sinics.”

  19. You know what I’m a little tired of, is the suggestion that calling someone a “socialist” somehow is yesterday’s slur.

    He’s effectively taken over managing the auto-industry, the financial industry and now healthcare. …Hugo Chavez wouldn’t have tried to take on much more.

    You can say he had to, that Obama was confronted with a number of crises and he had to respond, but that’s what Hugo Chavez always says too…

    Government takeovers aren’t government takeovers just because of the situation the economy was in when the industry was taken over…

    And “socialism” is still a dirty word as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t want me to call you a socialist, don’t be a socialist. Stop taking over industries and using the government to run them.

    1. I said something like this in earlier thread. This is socialism by any rational measure. Call it neo-socialism if you like, but several industries are basically under the control of the government. With more to come. And the spending levels hint towards a (more) massive redistribution of the wealth to come.

      I suppose you could also call it fascism, but I don’t want to offend our Italian readers.

      1. “With more to come.”

        The student loan Industry has annual revenues of $7B.

        1. The former industry?

    2. I’ve read online admitted socialists saying it isn’t socialism because it’s not what they want. Evidently if you don’t actually call it socialism they don’t think it is, but if it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and floats like a duck, it probably isn’t a witch.

  20. Don’t worry, folks, I’ll take care of everything.

    1. Outstanding.

    2. Alfred E. Neuman is my favorite nihilist.

      1. That must be exhausting.

  21. So how does Bill Clinton feel about Obama accomplishing that which he failed to do?

    And how does Hillary feel when hearing that Pelosi is the most powerful woman in US history?

    1. I’m wondering what Hillary is thinking right now about 2012. So far, things are working out OK for her to run. Obama is certainly going to be challengable unless things change pretty significantly.

      The only downside right now for her is that State has been a clown show since Obama and Hillary took over. She needs a big diplomatic win to really set up a run, but I don’t see any of those on the horizon.

      1. So as an advocate of holding gold, what do you make of this?

        King Dollar Is a Game Changer

        March 25, 2010 10:53 AM
        By Larry Kudlow
        The biggest story out there right now has got to be the re-emergence of King Dollar. This could be a major game changer for both Wall Street and Washington. All the dollar bears from the beginning of this year, and all the gold bulls, have been completely and utterly wrong.

        Now, why is this? Is it Fed head Ben Bernanke’s monetary restraint? Nope. Is it Tim Geithner’s spirited dollar defense? Nope. It’s Greece, Portugal, Italy, and the sinking euro, which has dropped 12 percent from early December. And there’s no end in sight.

        Unsurprisingly, the broad dollar DXY index is up 10 percent, reversing a 17-percent drop from March to November of last year. Gold, meanwhile, is off 12 percent.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/kudlows-money-politics

        1. I’m no expert, but this is entirely independent from there being more dollars in circulation in the US than value in the US, is it not?

        2. All the dollar bears from the beginning of this year, and all the gold bulls, have been completely and utterly wrong.

          This year’s dollar strength is more a matter of euro weakness than anything else. Look at the longer trends (dollar down), the forces driving them, and tell me those forces have dissipated and the dollar is in for a prolonged bull run. I don’t think so.

          As for gold bulls being wrong, again, this is an awfully strong conclusion to draw from 3-4 months of trading. Again, look at the longer trend (gold up), etc.

          I’m actually holding off on more gold (I only hold physical gold – gold is savings, not an investment, IMO), as I think there may be more correction in the gold market this year. In the medium and longer run, though? Dollar down, gold up.

        3. When you are over your head in debt, it doesn’t really matter how many are deeper in than you.

          An outright collapse in the Euro could trigger a general flight from ALL paper currencies. (Likely followed by a world-wide ban on private gold holdings.*)

          *Won’t work, but it will add to the chaos.

      2. Agreed RC. I don’t see her mad diplomatic skills regarding the Isreali/Palestinian conflict.

        And Iran is a major powder keg waiting to be lit.

        Her incessant finger-wagging schoolmarm approach leaves a lot to be desired.

        1. She completely fucked up the Honduran constitutional crisis at the beginning. We finally came around to admitting it wasn’t a coup, but damn, you’d think those foreign policy whizzes at State could have seen that from the get go.

      3. Come now – when was the last successful primary run against an incumbent President?

        Andrew Johnson, maybe? (the loser, that is).

        1. When did LBJ decide not to run again? Wasn’t there at least talk of primary challenges before he announced that?

          1. McGovern had already done a number on him in New Hampshire* before LBJ decided to walk. Robert Kennedy was preparing to enter.

            Due to the actual delegate structure, LBJ was still favored to win the nomination, but he decided to “pull the plug” as a bruising intra-party fight would likely have made re-election impossible.

            *IIRC, McGovern did not actually win New Hampshire, but he came so close that LBJ was perceived as vulnerable.

            1. Basically right, but you mean Eugene McCarthy, not George McGovern.

              There weren’t that many primaries in those days, and it was still in the age when “favorite sons” would win them, like in Ohio that year.

              Still no real precedent for forcing out a sitting president of one’s own party and winning, though.

              1. Reagan did a number on Ford in 1976. Ronnie probably would have won if he had beaten Ford at the GOP convention as he wouldn’t have had to wear the Nixon pardon.

            2. “McGovern had already done a number on him in New Hampshire* before LBJ decided to walk. Robert Kennedy was preparing to enter”

              So LBJ had BOTH Kennedys shot?

          2. He decided not to run after the New Hampshire primary. He actually won that primary, 49% to 42% over Eugene McCarthy, but the closeness of the result caused him to pull out.

            It also depends on what you mean by “successful.” The Pat Buchanan challenge in 1992 arguably weakened Bush Sr. and encouraged Perot to run.

            1. *Face Palm*

              McCarthy, not McGovern.

              Thanks for the correction.

    2. She sits, she watches, and she licks her paws.

  22. Quinnipiac: Health-Care Passage Moves Obama’s Approval From 46 . . . to 45

  23. Mr. President, it turns out that the “cynics” were right all along.

    When it comes to government, we usually almost always are.

  24. The sad fact is, Obama and the progressives are in power and may stay in power for a long time as the number of Americans who benefit from the government through either employement or entitlement grows.

    From CBSnews.com:

    “An astonishing 43.4 percent of Americans now pay zero or negative federal income taxes. The number of single or jointly-filing “taxpayers” – the word must be applied sparingly – who pay no taxes or receive government handouts has reached 65.6 million, out of a total of 151 million.”

    Throw that in with the ability to fool many with their “caring” policies that the ignorant never question and/or the fact that progressives pretty much run the music/Hollywood scene thereby again indoctrinating those that are most easily influenced and you have a recipe for long-term dominance.

    “We’ll take care of your house, health, food, education, and employment…why would you not vote for us?”

    “And those that disagree, they hate you…”

    1. yep, because those 43.4% have access to 0.005 percent of the money. Kind of difficult to pay it if you dont got it.

  25. As a side note. Just remember it’s not government run health care. It’s politician run health care.

    1. Well, it certainly isn’t universal. “Political health care” seems both more accurate and marketable for our side.

  26. Hey, I hear Sarah Palin would have been only ONE HEARTBEAT away from the Presidency. That’s some scary scary stuff.

    Oh, speaking of One Heartbeat, the IRS just called. They wanna know why your Blood Pressure is 178 over 101 and they also have some questions about that $250 deduction for ‘daily teeth brushing.’ The limit is only $175, unless of course you get a waiver from your Department of Good Hygiene.

    I almost forgot. Palin’s accent. Yuckkk!

    1. Well, if you need to be scared:

      Joe Biden is only ONE HEARTBEAT away from the presidency.

      1. Not if my aim is right.

  27. If you really want to reform healthcare, how about passing a law that says if a medication isn’t over-the-counter you can’t advertise it on TV.

    Everytime I see one of those prescription med adverts on TV, I wonder how much that is jacking up the pill cost.

    Dozens of spots per day adds up to a chunk of money!

    Plus, it’s like trying to encourage self-medication.

    The pill pushers have already seen your doctor – and kickback jokes aside – already know what works best for a particular patient.

    Give me the generic if it does everything the name brand does…

  28. It was a lot of fun watching these idiotic Republicans “warning” the Democrats that the passage of health care reform will cost them dearly at the polls in November. It’s going to cost someone dearly, alright, but it won’t be the Dems. Former Bush 43 speechwriter Davin Frum put it perfectly yesterday when he said that it was the Republicans ? not Barack Obama ? who had met their “Waterloo”. The historical rule of politics, that an incumbent president’s party always loses ground in the midterm elections, will go out the window come November. They will be unable to win without the help of the moderates. At this moment the moderates are abandoning this sinking ship en masse. The extremism of people like Michele Bachmann and John Beohner is starting to scare the hell out of them. Gee, I wonder why!

    Then there is the sticky situation of the Tea Party. By this late point it must be obvious to even the casual observer that this is an organization comprised of morons. It was formed as a protest movement against high taxes ? immediately after President Obama passed the largest middle class tax cut in American history. There’s no denying it, these are not the brightest people on the planet. Their overt racism notwithstanding, they sure are funny! One self identified Tea Partier called into C-SPAN’s Washington Journal the other day asking the moderator where she could write to her congressman. When host Greta Brawner asked this idiotic woman what her congressman’s name was, she replied (I assume with a straight face) “He’s a Democrat. I don’t know his name.” Ya gotta love ’em! Ya just gotta!

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

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