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Friday Talking Points [297] -- Democrats Unveil 2014 Strategy

[ Posted Friday, March 28th, 2014 – 17:46 PDT ]

I spent most of my time (and my columns) this week on reviewing Betty Medsger's new book The Burglary (with both a two-part review of the book and an interview with the author), which meant I wasn't focusing as closely as I usually do on current politics. So let's rectify that immediately, starting with our weekly roundup of what's been going on outside of the literary world.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases where corporations are requiring certain women to wear a scarlet "A" on their uniforms... um, no wait... that can't be right... let me check my notes....

The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases (joking aside) are going to set a precedent, one way or another, on corporate "rights" versus the rights of actual citizens. The liberal women on the Supreme Court asked some very pointed questions about where, exactly, this would take us as a country; but it's looking like this is going to be one of those 5-4 decisions, so all eyes will be on Justice Kennedy, the assumed swing vote. There were many excellent articles written this week pointing out the possible ramifications of the cases, to which I added my own point of view for what to expect next in the courts, if Hobby Lobby wins.

Plans to reform the National Security Agency were introduced by both the White House and Congress this week, the culmination of President Obama calling for a quick review of N.S.A. spying a few months ago. None of this would ever have happened without Edward Snowden, of course, which led Glenn Greenwald to take a well-deserved victory lap, of sorts.

New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, released a report that totally exonerated him on the whole "Bridgegate" scandal, which was no surprise since he hired the law firm to write the report in the first place (using a cool million of the New Jersey taxpayers' dollars to pay for it). I'd like to propose that everyone immediately start calling this the "Nothing To See Here, Move Along..." report. It's only fitting, really.

[We have to issue a warning here, because our next paragraph is going to contain an ugly and derogatory slur. It has been intentionally included to show precisely how bigoted the person in question was. Consider yourselves warned.]

Fred Phelps, leader of a church which displayed its un-Christian bigotry for all to see (both on a website named for one of their favorite and most-hateful slogans -- "God Hates Fags" -- as well as on even-worse slogans on signs they held up at military funerals), died this week. One local gay rights organization showed how truly classy they were by staging a counter-demonstration to one of the church's, and holding up a banner stating: "Sorry for your loss." One might almost call it a parable about how Christian love is supposed to work, in fact. Meanwhile, the vice-mayor of Maricopa, Arizona, was the poster boy for how not to react to news of Phelps's death: by praising a satirical obituary for Phelps which ran in The Onion. Clueless about both Phelps and the fact that he was praising a fake news article, Ed Farrell at least had the intelligence to quickly back away from his position, offering up a sweeping condemnation of his own actions (as far as political apologies go, this is one of the best ones we've ever seen, to be fair): "I had no idea who this Phelps guy was, I had no idea about the publication The Onion.... I had no clue about this guy; he's an idiot. I can't believe that I posted what I posted... shame on me."

In Michigan, gay couples were allowed a brief window to get married, which hundreds quickly did. The window slammed shut almost immediately, though, which sets up an inherently unequal legal situation, much like Proposition 8 did in California.

In marijuana news, the National Cannabis Industry Association has hired a full-time lobbyist in Washington. Make all the "suits and ties" jokes you want, but this could be crucial to getting very specific changes made to federal law without reviving the Drug War hysteria over the issue. This could solve problems like the one faced right now by Utah. Utah just legalized a form of medical marijuana, but only for its citizens to possess it. With no way to legally acquire it, they could always go next door to Colorado (where it's legal), but then they'd be faced with a strange problem. It'd be legal (by state law) for them to own it in either Colorado or Utah, but it'd be illegal to transport across the border. Getting commonsense changes to federal laws to solve such problems may be a lot easier with a lobbyist working on them.

Let's see, what else? The Obamacare website has now signed up over six million people, four days before the deadline. Obama extended this deadline a few weeks, so hitting the original target of seven million may actually be within reach, now. Those millions, of course, aren't the only ones directly benefiting from Obamacare, as a quick look at this handy graph shows.

And, to close, House Republicans now say it's just too late to pass an extension of unemployment benefits. This, after they spent time this week trying to strip President Obama of the power to create National Monuments. Way to prioritize, guys....

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We have two Honorable Mention awards before we get to the main event this week. The first one goes to a Democrat who supported a Republican's bill in the House, because the bill is such a great idea that we do not care who proposed it. Democratic Representative Raul Ruiz joined Republican Paul Gosar in sponsoring legislation which would prohibit members of Congress flying -- on the taxpayers' dime -- in first class. Gosar introduced the bill, saying: "Members of Congress are servants of the people and should not be considered a privileged class." We could not agree more, and applaud Ruiz for supporting the effort.

The second Honorable Mention goes to Vice President Joe Biden, for having a planet named after him (kind of). That's both "kind of a planet" and "kind of named after him," which is why Joe didn't outright win the MIDOTW for such a feat. The heavenly body in question is a "dwarf planet" (or a "trans-Neptunian object") and was given the designation 2012 VP 113 -- which led the discoverer to decide to use the name "Biden" for it, in the meantime (get it? "VP"?). But, alas, naming objects in the sky is a long process which weeds out all sorts of amusing names, as evidenced by the trans-Neptunian object which caused all the trouble in the first place, years ago (and, also, the downgrade of Pluto). Now named "Eris" (for, appropriately, the goddess of discord), this object was originally casually referred to by its discoverer as "Xena" (and, of course, when a moon was also discovered, it was whimsically named "Gabby"). What this all means is that Planet Biden (or Dwarf Planet Biden, perhaps) is not going to keep this name for long. But still, even for a short period, it's a pretty impressive thing to have a whole planet named for you, we have to admit.

But the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week was a man running for governor in Massachusetts. Currently the state's treasurer, Steve Grossman attended a political debate with other candidates and even though he passed a kidney stone during the 90-minute debate, he remained until the end. Frankly, we haven't heard of a similar feat of physical pain-ignoring in politics since we heard the story of Teddy Roosevelt getting shot in the chest by an assassin -- and then going ahead and giving a 90-minute campaign speech, while blood seeped into his shirt -- before he would allow his aides to take him to a hospital.

I guess the proper thing to say to Grossman is "Bully for you!" That's the only thing we can think of, because the story left us rather speechless. For his stamina and true grit, Steve Grossman is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman on his official contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

When politicians are accused of wrongdoing in court, they enter a sort of limbo. They have been accused, but have not defended themselves against the charges yet, and could be found innocent of wrongdoing. What they do in the meantime, however, should really depend on both the severity of the accusation as well as their own chances for acquittal. We have three such Democrats this week, who each handled things differently. The first two only deserve (Dis-)Honorable Mentions, at least until they have been convicted (or plead guilty) in a court of law. The last one, however, is a doozy.

Patrick Cannon, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, has only been on the job for six months. When he was arrested and accused this week of some pretty blatant bribery this week by the F.B.I. (who had run a sting operation, posing as real estate developers), he almost immediately resigned his office, so that the city could function in the meantime.

Up in Rhode Island, Gordon Fox, the speaker of the state house, was also the target of a raid, by federal and state cops. Nobody's said yet what this investigation covers, but Fox almost immediately resigned his leadership post and stated that he would not run for re-election. That's not quite as good as resigning from office altogether, but it's still one arguably-valid way of dealing with such an investigation.

Over in California, however, things have gotten completely out of control. Three (count them, three...) state senators are now facing legal problems of varying degrees. The latest arrested was state senator Leland Yee, who -- despite being a politician who supports gun control -- has been charged with being involved with international gunrunning. This is in addition to Ron Calderon, who has been indicted on bribery charges, and -- incredibly -- Roderick Wright, who has already been convicted of voter fraud and perjury.

Our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is the entire California Democratic state senate caucus, for allowing things to get this out of hand.

To understand why, a little background is necessary. California Democrats have a two-thirds "supermajority" in the state senate which allows them to completely ignore the Republicans in the chamber. But it's a thin edge, and losing any of these senators would have slipped them below the supermajority number. So they just put Calderon and Wright (when they were charged) on leave -- without suspending them or expelling them, but with their salaries fully paid-for in the meantime. OK, everyone's innocent until proven guilty, right? But the senate Democrats refused to expel Wright even after he had been convicted in a court of law. He hasn't been sentenced yet, true, but he's still already been found guilty. And he was still just "on leave," with full pay.

When Yee refused to step down (why should he if the other two didn't have to, after all), the California senate finally (and belatedly) acted, and today they suspended the three lawmakers -- still with pay, but at least now they can't cast votes. For the two who are awaiting trial, that might have been good enough, but Wright should have been flat-out expelled from the chamber, and his taxpayer salary should have been ended. Period.

So while Yee himself earns at least a (Dis-)Honorable Mention, the entire bunch of California senate Democrats are the winners of our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. When a politician has been accused, fairly tried, and convicted in a court of law, then there simply is no reason (other than crass politics) to not chuck him out of office. The time to do so for Wright has long since passed, in fact.

[Contact the California senate via the Democratic leader's contact page, to let him know what you think of their inaction.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 297 (3/28/14)

There was quite a bit of good news for Democratic fans this week, mostly in the realm of how they'll be running their campaigns this year. Much of this centers around Obamacare, which make sense because we're approaching the big deadline of the end of the first open enrollment period.

Democrats are going to need to play offense, not just on health care but on how the two parties differ when it comes to doing something for the middle class and for the working poor. Luckily, Democrats have all kinds of good ideas on this front, while Republicans are just (as usual) against everything.

Make this contrast! Drive it home! It's an election year, and it's time to saddle up and ride the bucking bronco of campaigning, folks. Here are a few ideas for how to do so.

 

1
   Six million... and counting

This is, obviously, where Democrats need to begin this week.

"The original Congressional Budget Office target for the first year of Obamacare signups was seven million people. After the disastrous first two months of the website's launch, this number was revised downward to six million. President Obama just announced that we've already hit that number, as six million Americans have now used the insurance exchanges to sign up for health insurance. In fact, considering the enormous spike in people using the website in the past week, and considering the grace period announced for anyone who hasn't completed their application, by the time the signup period closes, we may be very close to reaching the original seven million target. Obamacare is working for six million people... and counting."

 

2
   Republicans want to take affordable health care away from you

Two excellent ads were released this week which show how Democrats really should be fighting back on the Obamacare issue, against Republican candidates who are swearing to repeal Obamacare. In both West Virginia and Michigan, Democratic candidates are showing how to defend their position and put their opponent back on their heels.

"I see that one Democrat in West Virginia is pointing out in a campaign ad that if Republicans get elected and follow through on their 'repeal' promise, it will have real-world impacts on real people in their state. Repealing Obamacare, in West Virginia, means repealing benefits for black lung disease -- a rather large issue in this coal-mining state. In Michigan, another ad points out that Republicans want to allow insurance companies to charge women more for their health care. Democrats need to strongly make this case on the campaign trail -- repealing Obamacare means no treatment for diseased coal miners, and more expensive health care for women. That is what 'repeal' really means, on a very human level."

 

3
   Discharge!

This should truly be the battle cry for House Democrats, all year long. All together: "Discharge!"

"Nancy Pelosi has now filed what is called a 'discharge petition' in the House to try to move the stalled Senate comprehensive immigration bill. Because Republicans control the chamber, this is the only way Democrats have of putting every Republican on the record on immigration reform. If Pelosi and the Democrats can get less than two dozen Republicans to sign the petition, then the bill has to be allowed a vote on the House floor. Conversely, if a Republican legislator refuses to sign, that means they do not want immigration reform to happen, no matter what they tell their Latino constituents to the contrary. I fully support Pelosi, and would urge her to file more of these discharge petitions as the year goes by, because it is the only way to put Republicans on the record opposing things like hiking the minimum wage. Republicans are scared to vote, but Pelosi is forcing them to put up or shut up. More power to her."

 

4
   The yes-or-no vote it deserves

This one is a particular bugaboo of ours, since the phrase is so catchy (we actually prefer "an up-or-down vote" but that's just a matter of style). President Obama put out the following statement in response to Pelosi's announcement:

Republicans in the House have refused to allow meaningful immigration reform legislation to even come up for a vote. That’s why, today, I applaud the efforts of Democrats in the House to give immigration reform the yes-or-no vote it deserves. ... The only thing standing in the way is the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to catch up with the rest of the country. And I want to thank the leaders in Congress who are doing their part to move us forward.

 

5
   Vote! Vote! Vote!

Over in the Senate, Harry Reid can bring these things up for a vote, and really put Republicans on the record. This gives a gigantic preview of the Democratic campaign strategy in the Senate.

"Over in the Senate, Democrats are lining up ten issues they're going to force to a vote this year, in an effort to show the voters what their party stands for and what Republicans are blocking. This includes hiking the minimum wage, lowering interest rates on college loans, eliminating the pay gap between men and women, and the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would create tax credits for corporations to do precisely that -- bring jobs back home to America. Republicans will be put on the record opposing these issues, even though the American public overwhelmingly supports such ideas. As Michael Bennet of Colorado puts it: 'Just look at the polling on the minimum wage.' Republicans have no ideas for how to help working Americans, and they are actively blocking good ideas which should become law. The voters will see this, as the Senate brings these bills up for votes all year long, in fact."

 

6
   War On Women polling update

Being a court case, this one is not a direct shot at Republican candidates or officeholders, but instead a sort of metaphorical shot across their bow.

"For all the Republicans commenting on the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court, I'd like to point out some recent polling which may help them formulate their response, especially considering their ongoing problems with women voters. When women between the ages of 18 and 55 were polled, over two-thirds of them -- 68 percent -- disagreed with Hobby Lobby's position. And a whopping 84 percent agreed that such decisions as birth control, quote, should be a woman's personal decision, and her boss should not be able to interfere with it, unquote. To borrow the language used earlier this week by the co-chairs of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, Democrats believe in the long-standing constitutional principle that health care choices should be made between a woman and her doctor, and should not be subject to approval by politicians, bosses, religious leaders, or anyone else."

 

7
   Missing a lay-up

You almost have to feel sorry for Mitch McConnell, right in the middle of March Madness and all....

"I see that Mitch McConnell just put out a political ad where he was trying to say what a big home-state basketball fan he was, but the ad mistakenly showed not Kentucky, but rather Duke celebrating a victory. Basketball fans in the Bluegrass State, please take note, as Mitch McConnell misses an easy lay-up shot."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

31 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [297] -- Democrats Unveil 2014 Strategy”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    So, help me out here ... does having a planet named after him help or hurt Biden's chances in the 2016 presidential race?

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    I knew you'd like today's Biden news.

    :-)

    I still call them "Xena" and "Gabby," personally. Oh, and "Trans-Neptunian Objects" would be a GREAT name for a rock band, don't you think?

    Heh.

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    I've long since had breakfast, on my umpteenth coffee, miserable that my team lost in the T20 World Cup last night and frustrated that my favorite column has so far failed to appear in Huff Post - so I've tracked you down! At last, the worst of my woes have been alleviated by finding Friday Talking Points!

    So much to comment on this week!

    Hobby Lobby: I found a very interesting item this week regarding this case - basically, their case requires the court to decide whether a corporation has sincere religious beliefs that would be compromised by having its health plan cover the contraception that it has covered for years, long before the ACA (yes, true!), because it believes that contraception causes abortions, even when it has been proved that it doesn't.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-obamacare

    Unemployment extension: Yesterday I noted at least four Huff Post comments from Republican supporters bemoaning the further delay in unemployment benefits - two declared she was now a former Republican supporter; one that she was on the brink of becoming 'former' if Rand and Boehner both blocked the extension (interesting that she chose those two in particular) and the other two asking everyone to write to their local Republican member to urge them to support an extension. Time will tell if this is just steam or real smoke...

    Poor Steve Grossman! Yes he did deserve Most Impressive while the Californian Democrats deserve the collective dis-Honorable mention! Way to go to give the party a real bad rep, guys.

    Talking Points:
    1)Obamacare numbers: an interesting issue came to light 2-3 weeks ago regarding these figures. It seems that the pre-ACA number of some 40 million uninsured counts individuals. Okay, that seems reasonable. However, the new insured figures count policies which may have one or more people covered in the household, including all children below the age of 26. The Census Bureau reports that, dating from its most recent census, the number of people in households across the country averages out to 2.6. Therefore, a more accurate estimate of the number of people who are now covered should be multiplied by that average - 6 million x 2.6 = 15.6 million. With 10.5 million unable to be covered because their state refused the Medicaid expansion, this leaves some 13.9 million, some of which are covered by Medicaid in those states with the expansion program. Of course, the 6 million policy figure is still the most meaningful in terms of how well the program will do financially. Ain't statistics fun!

    2)Now this is clever ad-campaigning. I hope all other Democrats take note and follow their lead. I'm also wondering why there is yet to be a poll taken of those who have signed up for insurance since ACA was implemented. A poll of uninsured was published this week - so why not the insured? It's bound to discover a great many people who are very happy - figures the Democrats could really use.

    3)& 4) Yes I've been following the "Discharge!" story. I'm thinking that Obama set up the GOP nicely for this blow by urging Congress to deal with immigration reform and giving them plenty of time to do so before Pelosi dropped this in their laps. Great timing too - especially following on the heels of the US Hispanic Chamber of Congress meeting with Paul Ryan saying, "To me, it's not a question of if we fix our broken immigration laws, it's really a question of when." Pelosi is offering an opportunity for that "when" being sooner rather than later!

    5)Very clever move by Reid and the Senate Democrats! What's more, Pelosi can follow up each of their votes with her rallying cry of "Discharge!" - perfect synchronization of strategy.

    6)I saw this poll this week. Those positive figures will certainly have a bearing on public opinion of the HL case.

    7)In the wake of McConnelling comes the basketball flub - McConnell is having a rough time of it and it's funny!

    This is great! I'm so glad I thought to look for your blog and register. It's improved my Saturday enormously!

    I also have a blog and wrote recently about the Australian attitude to politics and compulsory voting. You can find it here if you care to:

    http://mopshelle.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/australiana-101-political-landscape.html

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I must say, I never thought Biden would have a planet named after him. Call me unimaginative.

    TNO, eh? I think I've seen that band! :)

    Seriously, this has reminded me of one my very favourite Canadian rock bands, PRISM; and, for your entertainment pleasure this evening, enjoy this version of Spaceship Superstar ...

    I'm pretty sure it would be a hit on Planet Biden, too. You know, I could get used to tapping that out ... :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSyYqD9v_wo

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Mopshell -

    First off, welcome to the site!

    Your first comment was held for moderation, but from now on you should be able to post comments and have them appear here instantly.

    As long as, that is, you don't post multiple links per comment -- multi-link comments are always held for moderation automatically, to cut down on comment spam.

    But you will notice (if my HuffPost comment doesn't get approved) that we have no word-counts here, so feel free to let us know what you think in full.

    As for my writings, this is indeed the place to find them. Oh, sure, I appear on HuffPost on a M/W/F schedule (and on other sites on other schedules), but getting featured is always hit or miss there. Here, you'll find a column every weekday, rain or shine.

    And, as an added bonus, our favorite conservative/contrarian commenter is about, in fact, to welcome you with a "welcome to the party" quote. Michale? That's your cue...

    Heh.

    AS for "former Republican voter" comments, I have been seeing them for the past five years or so, but as you mentioned, they do seem to be picking up in recent years. As the GOP moves further and further from the mainstream, more and more people are going to be abandoning them. Look for changes in the percentage of voters who identify themselves as "Republican" versus "independent," that's my barometer.

    AS for Ocare, check out that chart link in the article above, the stats are updated weekly, and he is the only one I've found who counts ALL the categories concerned. The real number to watch is the percentage of Americans covered vs. not insured. The uninsured percent has been dropping for months, and if it continues to do so, it will put the lie to GOP propaganda to the contrary.

    2) I've been wondering where all the "Obamacare helped me and my family" ads are... maybe they'll appear later in the election cycle, because there certainly are a lot of candidates for this type of advertising.

    5) Good point on the follow-through by Pelosi on the Senate issues. Just had to say that.

    7) I admit I wrote this before reading the second flub story. Poor McConnell... heh...

    I will check your blog out and try to decipher Ozzie politics, as your commentary here has been top-rate!

    :-)

    LizM -

    I just want to hear David Bowie work "Planet Biden" into a song, personally...

    :-)

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    To LizM -

    I'm going to be figuring out how to work Planet Biden into a Huff Post comment!

    Speaking of David Bowie - I always thought he sang "They're coming to take me away" but he didn't - someone called Napolean XIV sang it. Anyway, I thought it would be an excellent McConnelling song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnzHtm1jhL4&feature=kp&noredirect=1

    To CW -

    I actually sent an email to the DNC one day, maybe three weeks ago, to suggest that they commission a poll of post-ACA sign-ups only (it even included suggested questions to ask - I really thought about this... okay, it was admittedly about 3am at the time but even so...)with the last question asking them if they'd be prepared to volunteer to be in an ad. I never heard back from them :-(

    I'm thinking of writing them another suggesting a slogan this time - "Vote Democrat and put the U back in USA!" Yeah, I'm out to annoy them now!

    I hope you like the blog. It was originally written in 2011 I think and published in 2 or 3 different places online. I updated it recently for my new blog.

    PS Love the pussy cat!

    Mopshell (which is a family nickname from my childhood if anyone was wondering!)

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    So much to do.. :D

    This might be a several part'er.. Fair warning..

    Six million... and counting

    Six million SIGN UPs..

    It's a testament to the Obama Administration's incompetence that no one knows how many are actual insurance customers. How many have actually paid.

    It's likely that less than HALF of those are actually insured..

    Put another way.. If you have 20,000 people who have signed up for your party but NO ONE has RSVP'ed that they actually will be coming, you don't have squat...

    Republicans want to take affordable health care away from you

    Affordable?? Where?? I don't see ANY affordable health care anywhere...

    Let's face it, people. TrainWreckCare is a loser for Democrats in 2014...

    The special election in FL proved that beyond ANY doubt...

    Democrats CAN'T run on the idea that obamacare is great and wonderful. They would be laughed out of the state..

    Sink proved that Dems can't run on obamacare is flawed and it needs to be fixed.. Sink ran on THAT and lost. Not only that, but lost to a third-tier LOBBYIST, fer chreest's sake!! The ONLY thing lower than a Lobbyist on the scumbag scale is a politician...

    The ONLY way that Democrats have a chance in hell is to run on the GET RID OF TRAINWRECKCARE platform..

    Of course, Dems are too enslaved by their Party ideology to do that...

    Which is why 2014 will make 2010 look like a fun family picnic by comparison..

    As Obama himself said.

    Democrats are gonna get clobbered...

    The yes-or-no vote it deserves

    This is my biggest beef with Democrats... Well, an Republicans to..

    For god's sake, be consistent!!!

    If Dems want a UP OR DOWN VOTE then they should want it on EVERYTHING.. Not just the things that suit their agenda...

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Democratic Party

    War On Women polling update

    What does Bill Clinton say to Hillary after sex??

    "Be home in 20 minutes, dear."

    That takes care of the "War On Women" BS... :D

    Biden is really growing on me. Having a planet somewhat kinda named after him is pretty kewl, I must admit.. :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    MopShell,

    Well, well, well.. We have a new JEEP here in Weigantia... :D

    As you have been told...

    "Welcome to the party, PAL!!!!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    Don't worry. You stick around long enough, you get used to it. :D

    Welcome to Weigantia... :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    If anyone needs any further evidence that TrainWreckCare is dying, one just needs to look at the current polling*

    26% of Americans approve of obamacare. That is DOWN, WAY DOWN from 39%...

    Get it? Ya'all keep saying "obamacare is getting better and better" yet more and more Americans are saying it's getting worser and worser...

    That's what is so hilarious. Americans have NEVER approved of TrainWreckCare, NEVER wanted TWC, NOT ONE SINGLE TIME has EVER supported obamacare...

    And yet, ya'all STILL think it's a winner??

    What's the red line?? At what point do ya'all admit, "Yea, well, it's true. Michale was right all along. obamacare is a stinker..."

    I mean, honestly. Do Democrats need a ton of bricks to fall on their heads to realize, "Yea, maybe TrainWreckCare isn't all that"

    Michale

    *standard Poll Caveats apply

  10. [10] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    To Michale -

    Thank you for the welcome, Michale. Incidentally, what is a "JEEP"? I don't believe I've come across the term before.

    Ah yes, the PPACA, AKA ACA, AKA Obamacare.

    In recent polling:

    In favor of guaranteed issue - 70%

    In favor of Medicaid expansion - 74%

    In favor of eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for preventative services - 77%

    In favor of subsidy assistance to individuals - 77%

    In favor of closing the Medicare "donut-hole" - 79%

    In favor of extension of dependent coverage - 80%

    Furthermore, 59% want to either keep the law as it is or keep the law in place and work to improve it while only 18% want to repeal it and not replace it. As for Medicaid expansion, 40% didn't know this was an option in the ACA. Could it be that red states are deliberately not telling their constituents about this?

    Republicans have been doing a questionable job in their anti-Obamacare campaign since 42% don't know ACA is the law of the land, 12% believe Congress repealed the law and 7% think Obamacare was overturned by the Supreme Court! Given the range of the uninformed and misinformed, it's a wonder that there have been as many sign-ups as there have!

    Incidentally, 214,000 people have not paid premiums to date - a drop in the ocean really. And the 6+ million sign-ups are 6+ million QHPs, not individuals.

    :-)

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell

    JEEP = Just Entered Educational Processing

    An old military term.. :D

    In recent polling:

    You have just hit upon my entire beef with polls..

    Anyone can find any poll that supports ANY position they may want to put forth..

    That's why I have always maintained that polls are really quite useless..

    I simply use them to tweak the noses of Weigantians because they are all so fond of the polls that support their positions. :D

    The simple fact is, the American people don't have a problem with healthcare reform..

    They are simply on record as stating, over and over again for the last 4 years, that TWC/ACA is NOT their idea of reform.

    It doesn't bring health insurance to the masses of uninsured, as intended, and it doesn't bring down the costs of healthcare, as intended.

    By ANY litmus test used, obamacare is a complete and utter failure..

    The American people have spoken..

    Furthermore, 59% want to either keep the law as it is or keep the law in place and work to improve it while only 18% want to repeal it and not replace it.

    And yet, when that theory was put into actual practice (the FL Special Election) it went down in flames.

    A well known and well liked Democrat against a third tier LOBBYIST Republican. In an area that Obama won both times.

    And the Republican won. It's not rocket science to determine that it was the TWC/ACA stance that was the deciding factor..

    Democrats, if they want to stand a snowball's chance in hell of holding onto their jobs, will have to run on something else besides obamacare if they want to keep their jobs.

    Because all the evidence shows that TWC/ACA is a loser for them..

    Incidentally, 214,000 people have not paid premiums to date - a drop in the ocean really. And the 6+ million sign-ups are 6+ million QHPs, not individuals.

    I'de like to see your source for that. Because it's well documented that the back-end financials for the TrainWreckCare website aren't even in place yet.

    So, no one knows HOW many people have paid anything..

    Not saying you're wrong. Would just like to see the cite... :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats, if they want to stand a snowball's chance in hell of holding onto their jobs, will have to run on something else besides obamacare if they want to keep their jobs.

    "In the dictionary, under 'redundant' it says, 'see redundant'."
    -Robin Williams, LIVE AT THE MET

    :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Income equality???

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bj4rk8jIEAA2-wQ.jpg

    Obama don't care bout no stinkin' income equality!!

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    David, Bashi, et al...

    If you want to revisit a previous issue, there has been new information... :D

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2014/03/18/science-wins-over-politics/

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    And DOWN the website goes...

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/sites/all/files/images/obamacare.preview.jpg

    The utter incompetence of the Obama Administration is staggering....

    They KNEW that there was going to be a last minute surge...

    And they dropped the ball..

    AGAIN....

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    This Leland Yee thing looks ugly. Get him out of there. Shame on the California Dems! Good callout, CW.

    A friend of mine in SF posted something about how Ed Jew, a former district supervisor, commented at his trial that Yee taught him everything he knew.

    http://sfist.com/2014/03/26/senator_leland_yee_arrested.php

    -David

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    This Leland Yee thing looks ugly. Get him out of there. Shame on the California Dems! Good callout, CW.

    Yea, the Democratic Party sucks, don't it?? :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Yea, the Democratic Party sucks, don't it?? :D

    Lemme know when Chris Christie resigns :D

    -David

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seriously??

    The MOST Christie is guilty of is not knowing what his underlings were doing...

    Obama commits that "crime" on a DAILY basis and no one here says 'boo'... :D

    Jon Stewart says it best...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDfmUK833hc

    :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's face it. If not knowing what your staff is doing is the "ultimate" in incompetence (as one upstanding Weigantian has said) then Obama is the ULTIMATE in incompetent leaders many times over...

    I'm just sayin'... :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all like to talk about the GOP Civil War...

    Earlier this month, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas argued liberals had successfully purged so-called squishy moderates from the Democratic Party's ranks—even if those same lawmakers had helped the party retain conservative-leaning Senate and House seats. From the middle, the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way has become more outspoken in criticizing progressive leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for advocating an agenda that will compromise the party's ability to attract moderate voters.
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/preparing-for-rough-midterms-democratic-groups-already-blaming-each-other-20140330

    Well, things aren't all peachy keen wonderful in the Democratic Party either.. :D

    Thereby once again, solidifying my claim that there really ain't much difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party...

    Both stink...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Seriously?

    And herein lies a significant difference between liberals and conservatives.

    We're against corruption period.

    We don't make excuses. We don't spin. Get them out of there. Doesn't matter if they're Democrats or Republicans. Now as CW wrote, the Dem politicians in Sacramento think differently. But not those of us on the ground.

    Why defend Christie, Michale? Loyalty? To a corrupt schmuck like him? C'mon. The guy spent $2 million after Bridgegate on an investigation conducted by his own handpicked lawyer which everyone knew would find that Christie wasn't guilty because Christie paid for it. In other words, Chris Christie found Chris Christie innocent. Using $2 million of his own money. Isn't that pretty much the definition of corruption?

    Guy must be seriously worried though if he's spending that much money on pre-emptive whitewash. Any bets on whether it eventually comes out Christie ordered the closure?

    Now there's a bet I'd be willing to take.

    -David

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    We don't make excuses. We don't spin. Get them out of there. Doesn't matter if they're Democrats or Republicans. Now as CW wrote, the Dem politicians in Sacramento think differently. But not those of us on the ground.

    The difference is, when a Republican is corrupt, ya'all claim that it's indicative of the entire Party...

    When a Democrat is corrupt, it's a one off. It's an aberration. The Democratic Party is still pure as the driven snow..

    Why defend Christie, Michale?

    I am not defending Christie..

    I am asking why YA'ALL defend Obama when he is, by the specified litmus test, 20 times WORSE than Christie??

    THAT is the question ya'all never have an answer for..

    Guy must be seriously worried though if he's spending that much money on pre-emptive whitewash. Any bets on whether it eventually comes out Christie ordered the closure?

    Any bets on whether it eventually comes out that Obama ordered the IRS to go after conservatives?? That Obama ordered the DOJ to go after reporters??

    That's the point ya'all never seem to grasp.

    IT WORKS BOTH WAYS...

    Ya'all won't admit that. Ya'all simply go after the Right and excuse the Left...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Any bets on whether it eventually comes out that Obama ordered the IRS to go after conservatives?? That Obama ordered the DOJ to go after reporters?

    Sure. I'd be willing to bet against either.

    What's the bet?

    -David

    p.s. Is this an April Fool Day joke?

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s.s. Why do you keep defending Christie? What's so hard about admitting the guy is corrupt?

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    p.s.s. Why do you keep defending Christie? What's so hard about admitting the guy is corrupt?

    There you go again..

    I am not defending Christie.. He's a politician. OF COURSE he's corrupt!!

    I am asking why YOU keep defending Obama when the evidence is overwhelming that he is violating SO MANY tenets of Democratic Party "faith"??

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    akadjian wrote:

    There you go again.

    Ok, Ronald Reagan ... :)

    I am not defending Christie.. He's a politician. OF COURSE he's corrupt!

    Well, I'm glad you're not defending Christie. I will withhold my judgment on other politicians until there is sufficient evidence.

    BTW, didn't you just accuse liberals (w/o any evidence I might add) a couple comments ago of characterizing the entire Republican Party as corrupt because of the actions of one individual?

    Now you're doing it for all politicians?

    A little consistency puh-leez ...

    I am asking why YOU keep defending Obama when the evidence is overwhelming that he is violating SO MANY tenets of Democratic Party "faith"?

    Honestly, it's never about Obama until you make it about Obama, Michale. You bring him into every conversation and attack him.

    You seem obsessed with the guy. Sorry you hate him so much. Or is it because you want people to vote Republican?

    I'll defend Obama when he warrants defending.

    -David

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW, what about that bet?

    So far you haven't taken me up on any offers. I'll even wear a Chris Christie shirt.

    Do you need a "Ready for Hillary" shirt? :)

    -David

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, I'm glad you're not defending Christie. I will withhold my judgment on other politicians until there is sufficient evidence.

    ALL politicians are corrupt..

    It's a job requirement... :D

    BTW, didn't you just accuse liberals (w/o any evidence I might add) a couple comments ago of characterizing the entire Republican Party as corrupt because of the actions of one individual?

    No... I accused YA'LL of characterizing the entire Republican Party as corrupt because of the actions of an individual..

    And I have PLENTY of evidence to back up the claim. :D

    Honestly, it's never about Obama until you make it about Obama, Michale. You bring him into every conversation and attack him.

    That's because it is the best argument.. Of COURSE I am going to continue to bring him up..

    Ya'all have never successfully disputed the claim.. :D

    Now, if you just want to concede the point, then I won't have any argument, now would I?? :D

    I'll defend Obama when he warrants defending.

    But you NEVER condemn him when he warrants condemnation..

    THAT is my entire point...

    BTW, what about that bet?

    Which bet???

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But you NEVER condemn him when he warrants condemnation.

    Sure I have. I disagree with him on many issues. I condemn him for continued drone strikes. I've fought against his fast track on the TPP deal. I believed he should have implemented single payer or at least the public option.

    I think what you're really saying is I don't say what you want me to say.

    And why would I? I'd have to obsess about Obama day and night ranting constantly and blaming him for when the sun comes up in the morning and when it sets at night.

    There's better things to do my friend.

    Which bet?

    Your choice.

    1) Chris Christie ordering the bridge closure. (I think this will be proven.)
    2) Obama ordering the IRS to target the Tea Party. (No connection will be found.)
    3) Obama ordering the DOJ to target Fox News. (No connection will be found.)

    Pick and we can figure out the details!

    -David

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sure I have.

    Christie was condemned for not knowing what his underlings were doing with regards to the lane closures..

    Did you condemn Obama for the EXACT same thing, several times over??

    No...

    1) Chris Christie ordering the bridge closure. (I think this will be proven.)
    2) Obama ordering the IRS to target the Tea Party. (No connection will be found.)
    3) Obama ordering the DOJ to target Fox News. (No connection will be found.)

    The problem is there is already a PLETHORA of connections that strongly suggest that Obama knew of and/or ordered the IRS and the DOJ...

    You simply refuse to accept the evidence..

    Which is why a bet like that won't work..

    Even our SCOTUS bet was equivocal...

    This would be a nightmare because we would never agree on what the definition of "is" is...

    Your outlook is tainted by your ideology..

    I have no ideology save that of common sense..

    So, I doubt it would work..

    Michale

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