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Friday Talking Points [281] -- As The Wedgie Turns

[ Posted Friday, November 8th, 2013 – 18:07 PST ]

Half a year ago, we decided it was time to coin a new political term. We did so in these pages, as a matter of fact, in our "Friday Talking Points [257]" column. But while the concept is indeed now being noticed more and more by others, our neologism doesn't seem to be catching on nearly as well. So we'll repeat the definition we gave it, back in May (once again helpfully pointing anyone who is not aware of the literal, non-political definition of "wedgie" to ask your local sixth-grader to explain and demonstrate, if necessary):

Wedgie: When a political party's "wedge" issue turns on them and instead of dividing the other party, begins to divide their own.

Usage: "Boy, the Republicans are really getting a giant wedgie on immigration, aren't they?"

This week, that example would have read: "Boy, the Republicans are really getting a giant wedgie on gay rights, aren't they?"

I speak, of course, of the Senate passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (or "ENDA") on a bipartisan vote of 64-32. That's pretty impressive, since it's a perfect 2-to-1 split. Ten Republicans voted for the bill, as well as every Democrat who voted. Astonishingly, when the floor debate happened, not a single Republican rose to speak against the bill, even though 32 of them voted "nay." Speaker of the House John Boehner is so far saying he's not in favor of the bill, meaning it likely won't be coming up for a vote any time soon.

Let's just deconstruct what is really going on for a moment, shall we?

Pretty much ever since gay rights became a national political issue (say, the 1980s or so), Republicans have been working overtime making political hay out of it. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Republicans were downright eager to put anti-gay ballot measures up for popular vote, and were outspoken (to put it mildly) in their scorn for advancing any gay rights whatsoever. It was a reliable Republican wedge issue of enormous proportions, in fact, for over two whole decades.

Now this wedge has turned. Not only is marriage equality now winning at the ballot box (as well as, this week, in both the Hawai'i and Illinois legislatures), but the public has finally gotten disgusted with the Republican position on the issue of gay rights. The younger the voter, the more this is true. Harry Reid summed this up brilliantly this week, explaining this generational shift in memorable fashion:

I have three adult grandchildren now, in addition to my adult children. For me to feel any different about [gay rights and ENDA in particular], they wouldn't be proud of their grandfather. It's just with my five children, it's a non-issue. But for my three adult grandchildren, it's a non-non-issue. They can't imagine why anyone gives a damn.

But the real turn of the wedge can be seen in the dog that didn't bark on the floors of Congress. When the Senate called for those who wanted to speak out against ENDA, not a single senator stood up to speak. Now that the bill has been handed off to the House, John Boehner will not even bring it up for debate. A Salon article pointed this out this week, ending with: "Yes, gay rights have officially become a wedge issue -- that Democrats leverage against Republicans."

In short, a political wedgie. Republicans are now scared to even bring the issue up, for the most part. That is a downright tectonic shift in their political platform. They're still just as anti-gay-rights, but they would prefer not to talk about it now -- because they are fully aware that it is now a losing issue for them (especially among young voters). This is after essentially creating the issue as wedge way back when, because Democrats used to shy away from even wanting to discuss such things.

There's a larger picture to see here, too. Democrats (especially in the Senate) have -- astonishingly, to some longtime political observers -- suddenly seemed to have learned a basic "Politics 101" lesson: in times of divided government, push your best issues hard and hold the votes and pass the bills that you can -- in order to embarrass the other side. This way, you force one of three possible outcomes, all of which are good for you and your party. Pushing the issue could force the other chamber of Congress to hold an open a debate on the merits and then a vote. This rarely happens, but it is a remote possibility. The second possibility is that you force the other party to capitulate, embrace your position, and pass the bill you want to see made into law. This is even rarer (at least, without an intervening election to goad such behavior). But even the third possible outcome is a good one -- you pass the bills you can, and then your party uses it as a rhetorical iron-studded club to beat the opposing party's candidates about the ears, in the upcoming election (and, being Washington, there's always an upcoming election for them to worry about).

Republicans have been expertly wielding this political weapon for decades now. But for the first time in quite a while, Democrats are discovering the tactic on their own. The Senate has now passed -- in true bipartisan fashion, mind you -- a big bill on immigration reform and a big bill on non-discrimination for gay people in the workplace. The House is ignoring both. Salon pointed out (in a different article) that, in addition, "Democrats want bills pertaining to minority voting rights and equal pay for women on Boehner's desk before election season." To this list might be added a big raise in the minimum wage, which President Obama just explicitly endorsed.

The Republican Party's 2014 campaign strategy can be summed up in two words, really: "Obamacare bad." That's really all they've got left to work with. Democrats, on the other hand, are lining up a much better platform which sees a brighter future -- "This is what we'll do if you give us control of the House: immigration reform, equal workplace rights for all, protecting voting rights, equal pay for women, and a minimum wage hike."

This ain't exactly rocket science, folks. As mentioned, it's really just Politics 101. But for much too long, Democrats haven't really played this game very well. Increasing the pressure on John Boehner and the House Republicans is the smartest thing Democrats could do right now. Much to everyone's surprise, this appears to be exactly what they are doing right now. The delicious irony is how many of the things on that campaign platform list can be classified as wedgies -- issues that Republicans used in elections past to whip up the public in the opposite direction. Wedgies that are digging deeper and more painful each day, relentlessly dividing the two sagging, elephantine hemispheres of the Republican Party.

Well, OK, maybe that was a bit too graphic a metaphorical leap. We apologize for the mental image, really we do. Ahem. Let's just quickly move along to the awards, shall we?

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Both Senators Ted Kennedy and Jeff Merkley deserve at least Honorable Mention awards this week. Kennedy, for being the original champion of the ENDA legislation (he introduced the bill in 1994), and Merkley for stepping in when Kennedy asked him to (when Kennedy knew he wasn't going to live to see it passed). Both deserve praise for an effort that spanned two decades.

But we also had an election this week, even if it was an off-off-year contest with no overwhelming national implications (no matter what the inside-the-Beltway chattering class thought).

We have to say, New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio's win on Tuesday was beyond impressive. He won a whopping 73-to-24 percent victory over the sacrificial Republican candidate. That's almost a 50 percent margin!

De Blasio ran an unashamedly liberal class-conscious "two cities" campaign, and won big time. New Yorkers are tired of the Bloomberg era, and they made their feelings crystal clear. Progressivism won, liberalism won, and for racking up such an outsized victory margin, Bill de Blasio is the clear winner of this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Congratulations are definitely in order!

[Congratulate Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio via his campaign page (for now), to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

This doesn't qualify, being in another country, but it's at least worth mentioning that somewhere Marion Barry must be laughing long and hard. America's own original "crack-smokin' mayor," Barry can now be seen as a real trend-setter now. America's late-night comics turned their political attentions this week to our northern neighbor -- specifically, Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford. Ford has been the gift that keeps on giving, at least to the professional comics, all week long. No more really needs be said, to be honest.

Looking a little closer to home, though, the biggest disappointment this week was, strangely enough, also a victory on election night. Virginia voted Terry McAuliffe in as governor, but they obviously weren't very excited about doing so. McAuliffe was polling much higher than the 2.5 percentage points that he won by, and even though he ran a relentlessly lefty campaign, he almost lost the race to a fire-breathing Tea Partier. This election was supposed to put a nail in the coffin of Tea Partyism, giving Establishment Republicans leverage over the Tea Party by showing how ultra-Tea Party candidates fail badly at the polls.

Now, though, they can't really make that case. In the first place, the polls showed McAuliffe up by something like 6-to-9 points, which did not turn out to be the case Tuesday. Secondly, there was a third-party Libertarian challenger who garnered 6 points of the vote, meaning that McAuliffe fell short of the combined Libertarian and Republican vote totals.

All in all, a disappointment. While Democrats can celebrate taking Virginia's governorship, it would have been a much bigger celebration if a better Democratic candidate had crushed a Tea Party candidate by 10 or 15 points. That didn't happen. Which is why Terry McAuliffe -- while we still do congratulate him on his narrow win, mind you -- is our choice for Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. The good news is that there weren't any other disappointments in an election week -- to find a winner for MDDOTW, we had to consider someone who actually won his race. That's a good thing, in the larger-picture sense.

[Contact Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe on his campaign page (for now), to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 281 (11/8/13)

For the first time in a number of weeks, we're not going to have any Obamacare talking points. The subject has reached overload, and if any Democrat is asked, they should respond with something along the lines of:

"Obama apologized, the tech guy responsible is quickly retiring from his job, and now they're even blaming traffic problems on Obamacare. I mean, really, let's wait until the end of the month to see how things work out, OK?"

But we've got plenty of other things to address this week, especially since there was an election involved. So without further ado, let's get to the talking points of the week, designed for Democrats everywhere to freely use, from your workplace's water cooler to the interviews of politicians on Sunday morning.

 

1
   Tea Party losses

While it's easy to find opinions all over the map about "who won" and "trends" from Tuesday's election, there is one clear lesson to arise from it. If asked for election analysis, this needs to be pointed out.

"It's clear that whatever you think of the winners of this week's election, the losers are pretty obvious. The Tea Party ran their candidates -- pure Tea Partiers, mind you, not a hint of impurity to be found among them -- and they lost. They lost the races for governor and lieutenant governor in Virginia, and they lost against an Establishment Republican candidate in Alabama. So whether they were running against Democrats or against other Republicans, it was a clear loss all around for the Tea Party this year. Hopefully, more and more Republicans will figure out how poisonous Tea Partiers are to more and more voters across the country. But probably not before they lose some other big elections with the purest-of-the-pure Tea Party candidates, that's my guess."

 

2
   Republicans vote to condemn Republican votes

Sounds like a tongue-twister, but instead the literal truth. [Note: scroll down to number 4 if you follow the link, to see the reference.]

"Remember when Republicans taunted that John Kerry was 'for the bill before he was against it'? Well, just recently we had the spectacle of Republicans in the Senate voting to denounce the vote that they had just cast, almost immediately afterwards. To end the debt ceiling showdown, 27 Republican senators voted with Democrats to pass a bill. Then they turned around -- all 27 of them -- and voted for a resolution condemning the bill that they had just voted for. That's how terrified Republicans are of the Tea Party right now -- they're trying to provide political cover with this flip-flop, even though anyone with half a brain can see through such naked political gymnastics. One week, 27 Republicans vote for a bill, the next week, they vote their disapproval of themselves for voting for it. They've truly gone down a rabbit hole, folks."

 

3
   Rand Paul says...

This one is just too easy a shot. But it's also too tantalizing to pass up, really. Can be used by just about any Democrat, in response to just about any question. As long as your comedic timing is good enough to pull it off, that is.

"Well, as Rand Paul said... or, rather, as Rand Paul plagiarized someone else, who said... " [pause for laughter]

 

4
   Don't let up on ENDA

Democrats have to bring the pressure to John Boehner on ENDA. So far, they're doing a pretty good job (at least, on the Huffington Post blogs), from President Obama to Al Franken. But Harry Reid's been outdoing himself on the issue. In fact, we've got two (for the price of one!) comments from Reid to highlight this week. The first came in response to the Senate passing ENDA, where he absolutely dares Boehner not to take action:

I think the House is going to have to capitulate, if they have any hope of having a president that can be a viable candidate or they think they can elect some Republicans and they want to hang onto the House.

Pretty snarky, eh? But that wasn't the snarkiest thing from Reid this week. After Boehner predicted a flood of "frivolous lawsuits" if ENDA passed, Reid shot back on Twitter:

Speaker Boehner opposes ENDA for fear of frivolous lawsuits? He led a frivolous lawsuit defending DOMA that cost taxpayers over $2 million!

Give 'em hell, Harry!

 

5
   Seriously, though, it's about freedom and liberty

In a more serious vein, Senator Jeff Merkley proudly described what the win for ENDA really means.

Today's vote was a historic vote for equality and freedom. Deeply embedded in the Constitution are notions of freedom and liberty, and discrimination is the antithesis of those founding values. Everyone should have the right to work hard and earn a living. No one should be fired for who they are or who they love. The Senate said today in a strong bipartisan voice that discrimination is just plain wrong. We are one step closer to equality for our LGBT friends and family.

 

6
   Someone take the Cheetos away from Hickenlooper, please

Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado -- a man who made his fortune selling mind-altering drugs to adults (he was a mini beer baron) -- simply has got to put down the Cheetos metaphors.

"Democrats ignore the growing acceptance of marijuana use by the American electorate at their peril. We saw not only the first city on the East Coast to legalize recreational marijuana use in this week's election, we also saw Colorado pass a tax measure for its own legal recreational marijuana marketplace. Colorado's governor responded by once again joking about, quote, Cheetos and Goldfish, unquote, on Twitter. Sooner or later Democratic politicians need to realize that they should begin following where the people are clearly leading on responsible marijuana use by adults, and stop treating the whole issue as a big joke."

 

7
   Wedgies all around!

OK, this one's just purely selfish of me, I fully admit. I'm attempting to push the meme. Make it go viral. Or are there more up-to-date hip internet terms I should be using? Heh.

"Have you heard the new term for a wedge issue which turns against the party which created it? It's now a political 'wedgie' when the wedge turns ugly on you. Republicans scapegoating immigration to win votes? Now it's a wedgie the Democrats are using against them at the ballot box. Want another one? Republicans used the wedge of gay rights for years, but now all they've got left to show for it is a big old wedgie. And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving party, don't you think?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

39 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [281] -- As The Wedgie Turns”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Obama apologized, the tech guy responsible is quickly retiring from his job, and now they're even blaming traffic problems on Obamacare. I mean, really, let's wait until the end of the month to see how things work out, OK?"

    Fair enough..

    Let's wait til Thanksgiving.. Which is close enough to the end of the month to be a good jump off point...

    And how many quatloos do you want to wager that, if obamacare is STILL as bad or worse than it is right now, the Left in general (and Weigantians in particular) will STILL defend Obama and his train wreck??

    I am serious. Let's make a wager on that...

    If Weigantians are willing to put some REAL skin in the game, I'll hold my obamacare water until that time..

    Any takers???

    Oh and I am a new grampy today.. :D

    Grayson Michale Worley
    Born 1337hrs 8 Nov 2013. 7lbs 6oz...

    :D

    It's been a REALLY long day...

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Congratulations, Michale!

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I bet no quatloos unless the drill Thrall dictates the battle won't start until December 1st. [Image: throbbing brain, under the mini-dome of Triskelion]

    Heh.

    Oh, and my congratulations as well! Welcome to the the newest in Clan Michale (as Craig Ferguson might say...)!

    And tell him not to worry, by the time he needs it, the Obamacare website will be working. Heh. Couldn't resist....

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Congrats Michale!

  5. [5] 
    db wrote:

    Congratulations Michale.

    Can you please quit equating "Obamacare" the Law and healthcare.gov the web site?

    Because I will gladly take, "And how many quatloos do you want to wager that, if obamacare is STILL as bad or worse than it is right now, the Left in general (and Weigantians in particular) will STILL defend Obama and his train wreck??" for $25 to the local homeless shelter

    Except you've conflated problems with the web site & problems with the law. The web site problems are a technical issue.

    The "problems" with the Law seem to involve Fox "News" finding someone to condemn the law on screen; only to find the individual never applied/isn't impacted in the first place. Not that Fox offers retractions.

    So what exactly are you asking for? What exactly are the terms of the bet?

    CW,

    Cheap shot on promising not to rag Michale about the election results. As I saw it Michale was "righter" than you. McAuliffe won underwhelmingly in VA. A win is a win; but hardly the death throes of the Tea Party.

    The 2014 primary season will be interesting. Agree entirely

  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    congratulations michale!

    regarding cheetos, many of my students' favorite snacks are "hot" cheetos, or another similar food product called Taki, which is spicy and corny but doesn't have cheese.

    will the website work by december 1? maybe. by christmas? maybe. by new years? who knows. if it doesn't, that makes the republicans look smarter for suggesting a delay. but it also makes them look bad for using such extreme tactics when they could have had their way if they'd just been a bit more patient, a bit more cautious, a bit more... conservative?

    JL

  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    CW,

    perhaps i'll suggest the term wedgie to my 7th and 8th grade students. i'm sure they'll appreciate the humor, if not the irony.

    ;)
    JL

  8. [8] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Oh, wow nypoet22. You teach middle school (presumably in NY). I am so sorry. I did that for two years (in NY, 89-91). Ugh! I could not handle the age group one bit.

    More power to you if you can. This makes you an awesome human being!

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    thank you very much; i am pretty awesome at that. i think awesomeness is a prerequisite for citizenship in weigantia. :)

    i don't teach in NY at the moment, but I may soon depending on how things work out. yes, middle schoolers are challenging at times, but they're also exciting and fun. there's a reason everybody remembers what music they listened to in the seventh grade.

    JL

    JL

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx to all. While the birth of another grandchild (our 4th) is cause for celebration, it's also a reminder that we're getting older..

    Oh well. :D

    CW,

    I bet no quatloos unless the drill Thrall dictates the battle won't start until December 1st. [Image: throbbing brain, under the mini-dome of Triskelion]

    Fair enough, Provider. :D

    Dec 1st it is... I guess that will give us a lot of gristle to hash out that will serve the fundraiser quite well. :D

    And tell him not to worry, by the time he needs it, the Obamacare website will be working. Heh. Couldn't resist....

    I'll believe it when I see it! :D

    DB,

    Can you please quit equating "Obamacare" the Law and healthcare.gov the web site?

    No I can't, because obamacare IS the website...

    What is the primary function of obamacare??

    Is it to provide healthcare?

    No, that's the job of the hospitals and the doctors..

    Is it to pay for healthcare??

    No, that's the job of the insurance companies..

    Is it to enforce the penalties and collect the penalties?

    No, that's the job of the IRS..

    obamacare's sole function is to bring health insurance to the masses..

    That's it. That is it's sole function.

    And the ONLY way that obamacare does this is thru it's website.. The SOLE access to obamacare is thru the website..

    obamacare IS the website..

    Now, you'll say, "No, you can call and sign up for obamacare"...

    What happens when you call?? The operator that you talk to logs into the website and signs you up..

    Next, you'll try, "But you can mail in your application for obamacare"..

    And, when you mail in your application, the person who receives it will... wait for it... wait for it... will log into the obamacare website and enter in the information.

    obamacare is a website. That's the beginning and the end (how apropos :D) of obamacare.

    It's a website.

    Except you've conflated problems with the web site & problems with the law. The web site problems are a technical issue.

    True, but it's a difference that makes no difference.. And a difference that makes no difference IS no difference..

    The "problems" with the Law seem to involve Fox "News" finding someone to condemn the law on screen;

    Oh come on!

    You can't throw a dart at the United States without hitting HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS of people who condemn obamacare.

    FNC doesn't have to "find" anyone. You can read all about them all across the MSM..

    So what exactly are you asking for? What exactly are the terms of the bet?

    The stakes will have to be decided and agreed upon.. I kinda like the one where EVERYONE in Wegantia calls obamacare 'crapcare' if I win. :D

    As far as the determining factor. I would say that if, on Dec 1st, obamacare is the same train wreck it is now, than I "win"...

    Of course, the hard part of that will be determining obamacare train wreck-y-ness... :D

    but hardly the death throes of the Tea Party.

    Troo dat...

    JL,

    but it also makes them look bad for using such extreme tactics when they could have had their way if they'd just been a bit more patient,

    That's a double edged sword. It makes Democrats look bad for letting the country shut down over something that is going to be delayed anyways..

    Of course, the argument that "hind sight is always 20/20" IS a valid defense..

    But it's a valid defense for BOTH Partys as well..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Except you've conflated problems with the web site & problems with the law. The web site problems are a technical issue.

    Apparently, Obama doesn't think so..

    White House relying more on insurance carriers to help fix HealthCare.gov
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-relying-more-on-insurance-carriers-to-help-fix-healthcaregov/2013/11/09/ecfcc294-489b-11e3-a196-3544a03c2351_story.html

    Interesting point in that article..

    The Obama administration’s broader cooperation with insurers is a tacit acknowledgment that the federal insurance exchange — fraught with software and hardware flaws that have frustrated many Americans trying to buy coverage — might not be working smoothly by the target date of Nov. 30, according to several health experts familiar with the administration’s thinking.

    Looks like ya'all might want to think really hard on any wager we make?? :D

    Actually, I only want one thing..

    For ya'all to concede that obamacare is a train-wreck and that Obama royally scrooed the pooch....

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    The more I read, the more it seems that no one believes that Obama can get the website working by Dec 1st..

    And that pessimistic notion is coming from DEMOCRATS....

    Frankly, considering the tech involved and the huge code problems the website has, it'll be a miracle if obamacare.gov will ever be fixed..

    Based on what I know, it's better than even odds that the whole website will have to be thrown out and a complete redesign will have to be done..

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5350/10089497055_69ba47b210_o.png

    hehehehehe

    It's funny because it's true.... :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    akadjian wrote:

    CW-

    In John Boehner's district, the Tea Party nuts were defeated by incumbent Republicans who were trying to act as un-Tea Party as possible.

    They also passed a school levy ... in other words, a tax.

    The Republicans who are winning are tacking to the left. See also Chris Christie.

    This is a good sign for Democrats in general. It means we're winning the issues.

    The Republican Party's 2014 campaign strategy can be summed up in two words, really: "Obamacare bad."

    Which basically means if the team can fix the website and weather the PR storm, we're going to be in good shape for 2014.

    When you think about it, it's great that we're even having a national conversation around healthcare. Instead of war. Or a financial crisis.

    That's how far we've come. If I were the Dems, that would be my pitch for 2014/2016: how far we've come.

    -David

    p.s. Congrats, Michale! And Grayson is a great name btw.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which basically means if the team can fix the website and weather the PR storm, we're going to be in good shape for 2014.

    That's a pretty big IF, David...

    The word around the beltway is that it's unlikely, given the scope of the problem that obamacare will be fixed this year...

    If this turns out to be true, you can bet that it will be DEMOCRATS leading the charge to repeal obamacare..

    p.s. Congrats, Michale! And Grayson is a great name btw.

    Thanx... :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/11/usa-healthcare-enrollment-idUSL2N0IW0XX20131111?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssHealthcareNews&rpc=22

    Well, now we know how "good" obamacare is...

    THREE percent of target...

    Yea.. GOVERNMENT is the way to go, eh?

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    "No I can't, because obamacare IS the website..."

    Well, that's certainly news.

    I thought that Obamacare was designed to eliminate absurdities in the health insurance system, as it's done by, for example, eliminating lifetime benefit limits.

    I thought Obamacare was designed to hold down the cost of health care as it's done because 2012 had the slowest rate of per-capita increase in health care costs since 1970.

    I will leave it to others to point out your previous comments opposing much more than "Obamacare the website" & I will leave it to others to wade through your comments in the future to hold you to your "Obamacare is the website" dictum.

    But yes, the website healthcare.gov will be working better by 12/01/13

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought Obamacare was designed to hold down the cost of health care as it's done because 2012 had the slowest rate of per-capita increase in health care costs since 1970.

    And it's not even doing THAT well either.

    Except for the select few, health insurance costs are rising as high as 400%...

    So, there's another EPIC fail for ya..

    But yes, the website healthcare.gov will be working better by 12/01/13

    And what do you base that on?? Besides wishful thinking and political ideological enslavement, of course?

    There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support your claim.

    Yet there is plenty of empirical evidence to support the conclusion that obamacare will never be fixed...

    But hay, let's go with it.

    If obamacare is not fixed by 1 Dec, then you will subsequently, in all comments on the subject, refer to obamacare as 'crapcare'...

    Deal?? :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenhayward/2013/11/11/obamacare-will-be-repealed-well-in-advance-of-the-2014-elections/

    Doesn't bode well for Obama's "signature" legislation...

    What an embarrassment for Democrats and the Left in general...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303763804579183713385661566

    This is why Democrats will be leading the charge to repeal obamacare...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And Slick Willy throws down the gauntlet!!

    "So I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got."
    -President Bill Clinton

    Obama's GOT to be fuming about this.....

    Ya'all wanna talk a civil war within a Party??? :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:
  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/11/12/calif-insurance-commissioner-more-than-1m-californians-having-insurance-cancelled-due-to-obamacare/

    And the hits just keep on coming.....

    Com'on people!

    What's it going to take for you to admit that obamacare is a train wreck??

    Hell, forget the website..

    The MILLIONS of Americans who have had their health plans cancelled, despite an unequivocal promise from Obama is enough to label obamacare a complete and utter EPIC fail.....

    What's it going to take??

    Or are you saying that ya'all completely and unequivocally support obamacare regardless of how many Americans are screwed beyond belief......

    Obama uber alles...

    Is that it???

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    db [5] -

    Touché!

    Heh. But me-n-Michale have this thing where we pretend not to gloat too much, while simultaneously gloating all we think we can get away with. We're polite... in rubbing each other's face in the mud, that is. Heh heh. I'm sure he'd agree.

    nypoet22 -

    The whole "wedgie" idea came from the part of my brain which has never evolved past the 5th grade playground. You might tell your students that, for some, you just never grow out of fart jokes and "heh heh, he said Lake Titicaca" sorts of juvenile humor. You do learn to disguise it better as you get older, but there's a little Bart Simpson in us all, I think (at least in the males of the species...).

    So, please do share the term with them. See what they think. And give the guy smirking in the back row who is drawing cartoons in his book extra credit for having such insight....

    Heh.

    nypoet22 [9] -

    Well, OK, you brought the subject up, so here's my top ten groups from junior high (as we called it back then, for all the "middle school" whippersnappers today).

    * Jethro Tull
    * Led Zeppelin
    * Pink Floyd
    * Black Sabbath
    * Uriah Heep
    * Yes
    * Kansas
    * Mountain ("Nantucket Sleighride" in particular...)
    * Styx ("Grand Illusion" and before, mind you, none of that later nonsense...)
    * Jimi Hendrix

    Not a bad list, if I do say so. That's just off the top of my head, I would have to check my album collection (yes, you young'uns, I said album collection) to fill out the top 25.

    Anyone who sneers at Styx on that list has not ever heard their first two albums, I'd bet. They used to be as progressive (as we call it nowadays) as Yes. Do a search for the song "Madame Blue" if you don't believe me. To say nothing of "Krakatoa/Hallelujah Chorus"...

    Anyone else willing to post their list?

    Michale [10] -

    I'll address the website thing in tomorrow's (Wed) column.

    I'd be very interested to hear your 7th grade music list. Might Lynyrd Skynyrd be somewhere in there? I would put them in my top 25, personally, but I don't think they merited the top 10.

    Michale [12] -

    I don't know, I saw it as a positive sign that the White House is contacting 275K people (who previously had problems) this week to encourage them to try the website again. They wouldn't be doing that if things hadn't improved. As for a complete redesign, that is precisely what is happening now. Any time you hear "the whole website is being taken down for X hours in the dead of the night" what that means is that a major part got redesigned and is ready for testing and use. So we'll see.

    David [14] -

    The news the media's not reporting: a minimum wage hike won in New Jersey, with about the same vote as Christie. Democrats have taken heed, and are now planning on making a minimum wage hike a central part of their 2014 platform. Makes good sense, eh?

    Michale -

    General comment: if you can, post a photo in a comment of the new grandkid. If you have problems, send me the photo via email and I'll post it. I'm sure all the people here who you annoy on a regular basis will all go "Awww!" and cut you a little slack as a direct result.

    :-)

    Michale [18] -

    Actually, you're wrong and db is right. Healthcare costs (or "healthcare inflation") have been increasing slower than they have in decades. But db is going out on a limb by stating Obamacare is the reason, because a large part of it may be due to the collapse of the economy and the recession. Even economists aren't sure of the causes, yet.

    OK, that's enough for now. Like I said, new Obamcare/website column will post tomorrow, folks.

    -CW

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'd be very interested to hear your 7th grade music list. Might Lynyrd Skynyrd be somewhere in there? I would put them in my top 25, personally, but I don't think they merited the top 10.

    Oh, you don't want to hear my 7th grade music list..

    Barry Manilow tops the list and it goes down from there. :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:
  27. [27] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Anyone else willing to post their list?

    You listened to some cool music CW. I didn't even hear of Mountain until recently.

    Mine looks more like:

    1) Journey
    2) U2
    3) REM
    4) Men at Work
    5) REO Speedwagon
    6) Rush
    7) Duran Duran
    8) Foreigner

    And Slick Willy throws down the gauntlet!

    LOL. On this, Clinton is just being smart. He is emphasizing "fix" Obamacare.

    If I were Dems, I'd pick up this mantle as much as possible.

    Think of how good it would be if Dems and Republicans worked together to fix Obamacare?

    Because let's be honest, Republicans are pretty good at bitching about it, but how are they working to fix things?

    -David

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Here's an example of the Republican alternative to Obamacare:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/12/1254979/-Palin-Asked-for-Her-Alternative-to-ACA-She-NAILS-It?detail=email

    Why.I'd.Keep.Asking

    -David

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    LOL. On this, Clinton is just being smart. He is emphasizing "fix" Obamacare.

    You can't "fix" obamacare and allow those millions of Americans to keep their less expensive plans.

    obamacare will only work if those millions are forced to pay for the more expensive plans that have a ton of things that are not needed...

    If I were Dems, I'd pick up this mantle as much as possible.

    They already are. Dems are getting behind the GOP plans to make sure those people can keep their plans..

    But I doubt Obama will let that happen. As I said, obamacare will only work if those millions are forced to pay for more expensive plans..

    Because let's be honest, Republicans are pretty good at bitching about it, but how are they working to fix things?

    Apparently pretty good as long as Democrats are not obstructionist...

    The Counter Terrorism issue is a perfect example..

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/12/1254979/-Palin-Asked-for-Her-Alternative-to-ACA-She-NAILS-It?detail=email

    Look, if ya'all are going to keep posting crap from DailyKos and HuffPo as if it were gospel, then I am going to insist ya'all quite ridiculing cites from Drudge and Breitbart... :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    “When I visited healthcare.gov on October first 1, that was the worst piece of software I’ve ever experienced in my life. It had nothing to do with too many users. It couldn’t serve one user.”
    -Luke Chung
    Founder and CEO FMS.

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/11/13/No-Hope-Left-Obamacare-s-Website-Techies-Say#sthash.gMOreILp.dpuf

    obamacare won't be fixed by 1 Dec...

    It's really that simple...

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    “I have contended all along that this is not that difficult of a project. It doesn’t provide health care, it doesn’t even provide insurance. It’s just a form to apply for a subsidy to get health insurance. It’s automating a paper form. It shouldn’t be that hard.”
    -Luke Chung

    Gee, doesn't THAT sound familiar....

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lemme ask ya'all something.

    Do you agree with Republicans, some Democrats and President Clinton that Obama should keep his promise to the American people and let people who like their plans, stay with their plans???

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD6zD5Reg6E

    obamacare is toast..

    The only question is will Obama go down with his sinking "signature legislation"??

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/medicaid-for-al-qaeda-obamacare-flaw-allows-anyone-on-earth-to-fraudulently-enroll-through-healthcare-gov/

    And the hits just keep on coming...

    Pelosi was right.

    We HAD to pass obamacare to find out what was in it..

    Because gods know it would NEVER have passed if people knew beforehand what was ACTUALLY in it!!!

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, the scores are in...

    Team obamacare:

    100,000 signups (not all paid)

    5 million cancellations...

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/11/12/the-obamacare-exchange-scorecard-around-100000-enrollees-and-five-million-cancellations/

    I think "train wreck" is putting it nicely....

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I had a girlfriend who was way into Barry Manilow. Didn't work out.

    Heh. [That's the politest comment I could think of, mind you.]

    David -

    No Peter Gabriel? No Talking Heads? Top 25 maybe?

    :-)

    Do yourself a favor and listen to the version of "Nantucket Sleighride" from the live Mountain album (1972? I think...). It's 17.5 minutes long, and it is awesome. Leslie West rocks.

    -CW

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Ten groups on my 7th grade playlist, in no particular order:

    Beastie Boys
    Michael Jackson
    Madonna
    The Bangles
    U2
    The Who
    Suzanne Vega
    Genesis
    Bon Jovi
    Bruce Springsteen

    Honorable mention to chris de burgh and weird al

    JL

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and oh my god, that's not even getting into the soundtracks from the lost boys and dirty dancing, both of which came out that same year.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    I had a girlfriend who was way into Barry Manilow. Didn't work out.

    Heh. [That's the politest comment I could think of, mind you.]

    No doubt.. :D

    Michale

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