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Friday Talking Points [298] -- "And Counting"

[ Posted Friday, April 4th, 2014 – 17:04 PDT ]

Today we're turning over the whole talking points section to the president, because he certainly deserves a victory lap after announcing this week that -- against all odds, and against all the slings and arrows of misfortune -- 7.1 million people signed up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

Because this will pre-empt our normal talking points, I'd like to point one thing out up front. Democrats, from this point on, should adopt a very simple technique to disarm Republican squabbles about Obamacare numbers. To every figure quoted for people gaining health insurance, Democrats should end with "...and counting." This is an easy miniature talking point to insert into any discussion of the numbers, using just two little words to point out a basic fact: these numbers are only going to grow over time. The deadline for signups was extended for just about everybody, so another two weeks of data will be announced later this month. After that, people will still be using the exchanges to buy insurance when their life situation changes (getting married, new job, whatever) outside of the open enrollment period. Which means the number will be even higher than 7.1 million by the start of the next open enrollment period later this year.

It's an easy way to make a big point. "The figure for signups is 7.1 million... and counting...." So every Democrat out on the campaign trail or on television should use these significant two words as often as possible when talking about Obamacare's numbers in the next few months.

OK, enough of that. Let's take an extremely quick look at the political news of the week, before we get to our awards and our special edition of the talking points. First, some Republican follies (since April Fool's Day fell during the past week, it's only appropriate). Fox News actually apologized for running a misleading graph in the days before the Obamacare number was announced. Will wonders never cease? Except, of course, I doubt they ran the graph again when Obama actually met the target of 7 million. Even so, "Fox News apologizes" isn't the normal sort of headline we're used to seeing.

Paul Ryan put out his budget, which truly deserves a full slate of talking points from Democrats sooner or later (we'll get to it in the coming weeks, never fear, there's plenty of time to do so). It's easy enough to criticize Ryan's budget. For instance, Ryan cuts Medicare by the same amount he demonized Obama for cutting, out on the campaign trail -- and that's just the most obvious thing to point out. But Ryan got some criticism from an unexpected direction, as Sarah Palin (remember her?) ripped into Ryan for not cutting enough and not cutting faster, and called his budget a "joke" and "the definition of insanity."

OK, since it's been four or five years, let's check in on the ongoing Republican effort to come up with a bill that would replace Obamacare, should they ever successfully repeal it. Here is John Boehner speaking about the progress of this effort: "The president can go out there and tout about all the people he's signed up. Our job is to show the American people we have better solutions, and we're working to build a consensus to do that. And when we have something to talk about, we'll show you."

Wow. When they have something, they'll show us. Not exactly confidence-building, is it? I guess we'll have to check back in another four or five years -- maybe they'll have a bill by then, eh?

Republican War On Women update: the Heritage Foundation held a fun seminar to explain how Republicans need to convince women that the thing they should really do is to get married. You just can't make this stuff up, folks. The whole story's hilarious, especially where the Heritage "lectures director" opens the session by addressing the audience (which was "small and mostly male, many of them apparently Heritage interns") with: "Wow. Where are all the ladies?" Where, indeed.

There are Republicans who understand the damage the whole War On Women is doing to their party, but they are few and far between. If this had been a slow week in political news, I might have mined a great Salon interview (with Oklahoma state representative Doug Cox) for talking points, because it is such an astounding viewpoint from a Republican, these days. Cox is a doctor (who has "delivered 800 babies") who knows what he's talking about on the subject of women, reproduction, abortion, and hard life choices people sometimes make. The whole interview is well worth reading, if only to prove that not every single Republican is a patriarchal throwback.

In news from the intelligence community, Dianne Feinstein's Senate committee voted in bipartisan fashion to approve public release of a summary of their classified report on torture. This would mean over 400 pages would be released out of the 6,300-page total report. It now goes to the C.I.A. for vetting, so we still won't be seeing it anytime soon, though. It was also revealed this week that the U.S. government has been running a social networking site in Cuba, to undermine the Castro government, for whatever that's worth.

Over in the House, Darrell Issa held yet another hearing on Benghazi, where the man in charge of the C.I.A. at the time (and who edited the infamous "talking points" document) was asked repeatedly if all the Republican conspiracy theories were true. Repeatedly, he forcefully shot down such nonsense. From a Washington Post article on the hearing:

"I never allowed politics to influence what I said or did -- never," he testified. "None of our actions were the result of political influence in the intelligence process -- none.... The White House did not make any substantive changes to the talking points, nor did they ask me to." He called the talking points -- which turned out to be wrong -- "the best available information at the time."

Did he have a conversation with anyone at the White House about the nature of the talking points?

"No, sir."

His thoughts on the false information Susan Rice gave on TV the Sunday after the attacks?

"What she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said."

How about the claims that somebody in the administration told the military not to assist on the night of the attack?

"I am aware of several requests by C.I.A. for military support that night, and those requests were honored and delivered."

Republicans, of course, went bonkers upon hearing this, insisting that their fantasy of political influence just had to be true. In the face of all evidence to the contrary, of course. Issa isn't done with Benghazi, though (Issa will never be done with Benghazi), so expect this sort of thing right up to the 2016 election.

Finally, in a normal week we'd make this the last talking point, just because it's funny. A Republican candidate has discovered that entering politics means your entire past will be scrutinized, even if you try to scrub it from the internet. Photos used to exist of this guy "burning books, aiming shotguns at dogs, dressed as a vampire, dressed as a demon, Satanic symbolism, chained and gagged," and one with the memorable title: "Put on my Rape Face." Follow the links in the article to see some of these (you can also see the guy dressed as The Flash in a photo that ran with the article). And feel free to write your own talking point, as it's pretty easy to do so with that kind of material to work with.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Before we get to the main award, there are many unsung heroes to congratulate on the last-minute push to get folks signed up on Obamacare. Martha Bergmark has a great article at Huffington Post which gives these folks the credit they certainly deserve. We'd like to add our own Honorable Mention to all of Obamacare's unsung heroes.

The obvious choice for this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award is none other than President Barack Obama. We can't tell, at this point in time, the absolute magnitude of his political victory quite yet, but his announcement this week that the program had actually exceeded the original signup estimate was nothing short of astounding. Nobody -- us included -- predicted such a fantastic finish, especially in the dark days of the website's woes. For two months, night after night the national news led with "Obamacare website still broken," which was one-third of the total signup period. Nobody -- nobody -- predicted that even with such a disastrous launch the program would still hit its target number for the first year.

That is impressive indeed. It allows Democrats to now pivot to highlighting the good news stories on Obamacare, rather than defending the website for the rest of the year. Obama took what amounted to a victory lap in the Rose Garden to announce the final number, which he well deserved (more on this in the talking points section below).

Obama was even feeling feisty enough to make a snide comment about Paul Ryan's budget (again, normally this would be its own talking point, but they've been pre-empted). Appearing in Ann Arbor after eating at Zingerman's, a local deli, Obama used a Ryan-budget-as-a-sandwich metaphor: "If they tried to sell this sandwich at Zingerman's, they'd have to call it the 'Stinkburger' or the 'Meanwich.' "

All around, a pretty good week for Obama. But, just for hitting that 7.1 million signup number alone, Barack Obama is without question the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Bravo, Mister President: 7.1 million. And counting.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We first have a (Dis-)Honorable Mention award, for James Moran, House member from Virginia, who is upset that Congress just denied themselves their yearly "cost of living adjustment" raise. For the past few years, Congress has not raised their pay, and according to Moran, the $174,000 salary they get is just not enough to live on. Hey, life's tough all around, pal.

But there was a state-level Democrat that absolutely took the cake this week in the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week category. Arizona state senator Olivia Cajero Bedford told her colleague, state senator Steve Gallardo -- who came out a few weeks ago and announced he was gay (see FTP 294, where we gave him an Honorable Mention) -- that he should "act more gay." Um, wait... what?

The whole story is downright bizarre, especially since Bedford was in the middle of trying to remove Gallardo from a leadership post. Here are the key quotes from the story:

"I'm fine with him being gay or not," Cajero Bedford said, before casting suspicion on why he was "hiding it."

Gallardo, who is running for Congress in Arizona's 7th District, told the Capitol Times he didn't understand "what the hell that has to do with anything."

Excellent response, we have to say. No matter the reason, this was simply a stupid thing to say for any politician, much less a Democrat. Which is why Olivia Cajero Bedford is, quite obviously, our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Contact Arizona Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford on her Senate contact page, to let her know what you think of her actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 298 (4/4/14)

As promised, we've got a special edition of the talking points today. These are all excerpts from Obama's speech in the Rose Garden where he officially announced: "despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces -- 7.1." You really can't fault him for repeating that number. I'd only add "and counting" (which is nothing more than a cheap way of returning to my titular theme this week, I fully admit).

I usually present these speech excerpts in the order they appear in the speech, but today I moved two of them up to the front. I did this because these talking points are the most important -- because they are precisely what Democrats need to be doing right about now: touting Obamacare success stories. These stories are out there, and the people responsible for the Democratic midterm effort should be actively looking for them to run in political ads. It won't be hard to find these stories, they're popping up everywhere -- even in the unlikeliest places, like on Ted Cruz's Facebook page (he tried to troll for horror stories, and instead got a faceful of comments such as: "Without the ACA, my 21 year old autistic son would not have any insurance. Thank you President Obama." -- dang them intertubes!). Obama shows how to use these stories effectively -- something all Democrats should start doing immediately.

Other than moving the three personal stories to the front (there are two separate stories in the second talking point), the rest of this is presented in order. Obama's full speech transcript is well worth reading, especially if you have ever wanted to see what a full-throated defense of Obamacare really looks like. But here are the seven passages that caught my eye, prefaced by the reasons I think they're the best.

 

1
   The price of a year in college

Personalize it! Tell people's stories! Obama shows how easy it is to do this, and hopefully other Democrats will soon follow his lead.

Let me give you a sense of what this change has meant for millions of our fellow Americans. I'll just give you a few examples. Sean Casey, from Solana Beach, California, always made sure to cover his family on the private market. But pre-existing medical conditions meant his annual tab was over $30,000. The Affordable Care Act changed that. See, if you have a pre-existing condition, like being a cancer survivor, or if you suffer chronic pain from a tough job, or even if you've just been charged more for being a woman -- you can no longer be charged more than anybody else. So this year, the Casey family's premiums will fall from over $30,000 to under $9,000.

And I know this because Sean took the time to write me a letter. "These savings," he said, "will almost offset the cost of our daughter's first year in college. I'm a big believer in this legislation, and it has removed a lot of complexity and, frankly, fear from my life. Please keep fighting for the ACA." That's what Sean had to say.

 

2
   I felt like a human being again

Get these stories out there! Put a face to what Obamacare was designed to do!

Jeanne Goe is a bartender from Enola, Pennsylvania. Now, I think most folks are aware being a bartender, that's a job that usually doesn't offer health care. For years, Jeanne went uninsured or underinsured, often getting some health care through her local Planned Parenthood. In November, she bought a plan on the marketplace. In January, an illness sent her to the hospital. And because her new plan covered a CAT scan she wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford, her doctor discovered that she also had ovarian cancer -– and gave her a chance to beat it. So she wrote me a letter, too. She said it's going to be "a long tough road to kill this cancer, but I can walk that road knowing insurance isn't an issue. I won't be refused care. I hope to send a follow-up letter in a few months saying I am free and clear of this disease, but until then, I know I will be fighting just as you have been fighting for my life as a working American citizen."

And after her first wellness visit under her new insurance plan, Marla Morine, from Fort Collins, Colorado, shared with me what it meant to her. "After using my new insurance for the first time, you probably heard my sigh of relief from the White House. I felt like a human being again. I felt that I had value."

 

3
   Obamacare benefits people don't even realize

This has been sadly lacking up until now: reminding the public that even people who don't have to use the exchange to get insurance are still benefiting from Obamacare.

And in these first six months, we've taken a big step forward. And just as importantly, this law is bringing greater security to Americans who already have coverage. Because of the Affordable Care Act, 100 million Americans have gained free preventive care, like mammograms and contraceptive care, under their existing plans. Because of this law, nearly 8 million seniors have saved almost $10 billion on their medicine because we've closed a gaping hole in Medicare's prescription drug plan. We're closing the donut hole. And because of this law, a whole lot of families won't be driven into bankruptcy by a serious illness, because the Affordable Care Act prevents your insurer from placing dollar limits on the coverage they provide.

These are all benefits that have been taking place for a whole lot of families out there, many who don't realize that they've received these benefits. But the bottom line is this: Under this law, the share of Americans with insurance is up and the growth of health care costs is down, and that's good for our middle class and that's good for our fiscal future.

 

4
   A lot better

Obama, even while spiking the football, remains very realistic. The point about premium rises being the smallest in half a century is another good thing to point out, because it is something the media has completely taken a pass on reporting.

Now, that doesn't mean that all the problems in health care have been solved forever. Premiums are still rising for families who have insurance, whether you get it through your employer or you buy it on your own -- that's been true every year for decades. But, so far, those premiums have risen more slowly since the Affordable Care Act passed than at any time in the past 50 years. It's also true that, despite this law, millions of Americans remain uncovered in part because governors in some states for political reasons have deliberately refused to expand coverage under this law. But we're going to work on that. And we'll work to get more Americans covered with each passing year.

And while it remains true that you'll still have to change your coverage if you graduate from college or turn 26 years old or move or switch jobs, or have a child -- just like you did before the Affordable Care Act was passed -- you can now go to healthcare.gov and use it year-round to enroll when circumstances in your life change. So, no, the Affordable Care Act hasn't completely fixed our long-broken health care system, but this law has made our health care system a lot better -- a lot better.

 

5
   The Affordable Care Act is here to stay

These paragraphs were the meat of Obama's football-spike and end-zone dance. You've got to love that "Armageddon has not arrived." In fact, I could have separated this one passage into seven separate talking points, if the rest of Obama's speech didn't even exist.

That's part of what change looks like in a democracy. Change is hard. Fixing what's broken is hard. Overcoming skepticism and fear of something new is hard. A lot of times folks would prefer the devil they know to the devil they don't.

But this law is doing what it's supposed to do. It's working. It's helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I've got to admit, I don't get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance? Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans, and in the coming years it will help millions more.

I've said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.

 

6
   Some explaining to do

Obama then immediately pivots to showing Democrats how to really go on offense on the whole issue: challenge your opponent to explain why these people should not be helped to live their lives better.

And those who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it have to explain to the country why Jeanne should go back to being uninsured. They should explain why Sean and his family should go back to paying thousands and thousands of dollars more. They've got to explain why Marla doesn't deserve to feel like she's got value. They have to explain why we should go back to the days when seniors paid more for their prescriptions or women had to pay more than men for coverage, back to the days when Americans with pre-existing conditions were out of luck -- they could routinely be denied the economic security of health insurance -- because that's exactly what would happen if we repeal this law. Millions of people who now have health insurance would not have it. Seniors who have gotten discounts on their prescription drugs would have to pay more. Young people who were on their parents' plan would suddenly not have health insurance.

 

7
   No more healthcare bankruptcies!

I've always felt that this is the best talking point to explain why Obamacare was passed in the first place: so that people don't have to go bankrupt to pay a hospital bill. It's a basic concept, which is why Obama hit it at the end of his speech once again.

But today should remind us that the goal we set for ourselves -- that no American should go without the health care that they need; that no family should be bankrupt because somebody in that family gets sick, because no parent should have to be worried about whether they can afford treatment because they're worried that they don't want to have to burden their children; the idea that everybody in this country can get decent health care -- that goal is achievable.

-- Chris Weigant

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

 

56 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [298] -- "And Counting"”

  1. [1] 
    cbuslib wrote:

    Thanks for the terrific summary! Love your FTPs.

  2. [2] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Always well worth waiting for - this week more than usual from my point of view. It's been a rough week. My hard drive crashed on Monday morning and went in for repairs Monday afternoon. It was fixed by Thursday and I picked it up at about 1pm. However, I wasn't feeling very well - I thought my blood pressure was doing its occasional thing and taking a dive. Normally I'd lie down and sleep it off but I was more than an hour from home and only a very short walk from my doctor's surgery. The latter won out easily as I was feeling worse with every step. Though I didn't have an appointment, I didn't have to wait. Blood pressure and pulse were quickly succeeded by an ECG and the arrival of an ambulance. By 2pm I was in the Emergency Ward and sending their monitors crazy! My blood pressure had actually risen but it was my heart that was causing the problem. Basically, my atria were playing a rock ballad while my ventricles were working on a particularly complex Bach section. I may not be here now if it wasn't for everybody's prompt action.

    Incidentally, the hard drive repairs cost a good deal more than my health care this week. Oh and I left the hard drive at the doctors' surgery - a friend kindly picked it up for me yesterday but I didn't reconnect everything again until this morning. I've been a good little patient and resting!

    But the promise of new FTP today prompted reconnection this morning including the addition of a new keyboard and mouse which have been waiting in the wings for a couple of weeks or so. It feels good to be back!

    So now to Friday Talking Points [298]! I love those two little words "and counting" because you're right Chris, "these numbers are only going to grow over time". I am, however, disappointed to see that the next open enrollment doesn't begin until Nov 15. I was rather hoping it would be a month earlier than that. But who knows...

    I really liked that you included this: "The point about premium rises being the smallest in half a century is another good thing to point out, because it is something the media has completely taken a pass on reporting."

    I also find it intriguing that the media are reporting 7.1 million people have signed up on the Obamacare exchanges rather than 7.1 million QHPs which is rather more than 7.1 million people. I checked with ACASignups.net and their graph (which also includes Medicaid and CHIP) is pushing the 19 million mark now - and that's with up to 6.83 million additional off-exchange QHPs not shown. Charles Gaba is also largely excluding March figures because they just aren't available yet. It will be interesting see what his figures are at the end of this month.

    But the really good news for Obamacare is the personal stories that are starting to break through. In the week before this one, I saw a dozen at least... and counting.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all are operating under one unproven premise.

    That the Administration, the Administration that has LIED about TrainWreckCare at every turn, is telling the truth now.

    That's it..

    Ya'all make the assumption that the Administration is being truthful, despite ALL the *facts* that prove otherwise..

    Weigantia, as a reality based forum is dying. It's being replaced by a spin-based echo chamber where facts are pariah and partisan spin is the new reality. Something I have fought tooth and nail to try and prevent. But it looks like it was simply inevitable..

    I am, however, disappointed to see that the next open enrollment doesn't begin until Nov 15.

    You don't have to worry about that. Obama has decreed that enrollment will never close.. All you have to do is check a little box that says you have had trouble logging onto the website and poof. You can get health insurance.

    So, if one doesn't have insurance, one can simply wait for a catastrophic illness or accident and THEN sign up for insurance and viola! Yer off the hook..

    THAT is the reality of TrainWreckCare...

    THAT is the fact of TrainWreckCare...

    But reality and facts no longer have a place here in Weigantia..

    'tis sad, 'tis true. 'tis true, 'tis sad...

    Enjoy the spin and the echo chamber.. I'm out..

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "But reality and facts no longer have a place here in Weigantia."

    HA!

    I'd be able to take that a tad more seriously Michale if you didn't get all of your "facts" from conservative talk radio, but sure bemoan away.

    In any event we've had several discussions that I found to be quite fun, no one' opinions changed, but then again this is the internet and frankly all we really engage in here is debate, it's about structure and argument. If you came here hoping that everyone would bow before the talking points of AM radio, I've got a bridge you'd be interested in.

    And also, the enrollment numbers ARE suspect, or at the very least incomplete. How many have paid? What is the demographic and age breakdown of the enrollees? Those are two pretty vital statistical questions that have not been answered. Regardless, Obamacare has done one thing, it set up its system, it weathered it's self inflicted glitches, and it got people health insurance. There is still lots to argue and debate here, but what you can't do is say that the government is incapable of reforming the systems that make up our society. Change has happened, for better (as I would see it) or worse ( as Michale would).

  5. [5] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Another point, I didn't just pull the conservative talk radio point out of thin air, for example, Miichale's point that the numbers are "impossibly" high has been a constant bit of refrain on my AM station. Yes I do check in on the conservatives, it's important to know what your political opponents are saying. Especially since it makes blasting giant gaping holes in their arguments soooooo much easier.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Didn't you just state a few days ago that horror stories from Obama outweigh good stories 100-to-1? What evidence do you have (not anecdotal, actual numbers) that this is a fact, and not spin?

    Also, it's hilarious to try to follow GOP reasoning at times, because it is so circular. How can Republicans try to make the two following points:

    (1) Obummercare stinks! It's a horrible law!

    (2) Obama is CHANGING THE LAW! That's horrible!

    I mean, if (1) is true, then how can (2) be a bad thing? I just can't follow the "logic" on that one, sorry.

    Better, more accurate numbers will appear in the next few months. We'll all have a chance to kick them around, to be sure.

    But the "X number of people were displaced somehow by Obamacare" is a one-time adjustment to the marketplace. However the "Y number of people who were helped by Obamacare" is the one that is "...and counting."

    So my guess is that Republicans are going to stop arguing about the numbers very soon in the near future. Because, over time, it's a losing argument.

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    cbuslib -

    Well, thank you for the kind words! Join us every week, same bat time, same bat channel...

    :-)

    Mopshell -

    I am sorry to hear about your bad week, but glad you're back. Although it was kind of rubbing salt in the US's wounds to say

    Incidentally, the hard drive repairs cost a good deal more than my health care this week.

    Heh. To our shame, to be sure.

    As for the open enrollment period, because this year was the first, it was mega-long (6 months). It will shrink for the next two years, I believe. Politically, it would have helped Obama to have the signups start before the election, because the rates will already have been announced by then.

    And that is an EXCELLENT point about people versus QHPs. Lots of them will be family plans.

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have listed the facts time and time again. My sources have been varied, mostly from LEFT Wing locations, including Daily Kos, for christ's sake!

    But ya'all simply don't care..

    Your entire basis for a "reliable" fact is, "does it paint the Obama Administration in a bad light"...

    If it does, then it is, in YA'ALLS mind, simply not a fact. It's dark right-wing talking point..

    Only the stuff that paints Obama in a good light are "facts"... Anything else is not a fact...

    It's an echo chamber here.. NOTHING that calls into question Obama's leadership is believed or accepted...

    Granted, it took me a while, but I finally figured out I am fighting a losing battle...

    Because it simply is impossible to fight political bigotry coupled with quasi-religious partisan fanaticism...

    As I said, even *I* recognize a losing battle when I see it...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "But ya'all simply don't care."

    But we do care Michale, we just disagree with you. You are just as committed to your point of view as I am to mine, and that's not a bad thing.

    As I said earlier, I don't think we are here to convince each other, because that ain't ever happening. We come here to debate, present our political opinions and justifications. And I do appreciate having a conservative point of view to bounce off of. Otherwise this place will REALLY become an echo chamber.

    So stick around :-P.

  10. [10] 
    DisabledDoc wrote:

    I think it's very important to point out what exactly Obamacare does, when talking to people (as per talking point 3). Study after study has shown that people may not approve of 'Obamacare', but a slightly higher percentage like the 'ACA', and when you list its features individually, large majorities approve of each of them.
    I think the objections of many conservatives come down, at base, to the belief that health care (and therefore the insurance that provides it) is not a right. Many progressives would not agree with that. My personal feeling is that it is not a right (such as free speech, for instance), but it is a social good, one which every other highly civilized nation has decided to provide to its citizens. Classing it as a right leads to such issues as providers not having a right to refuse to see a patient (which as a former provider I will protest -- I refused to see patients for various reasons).

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [8] -

    Hey now, let's unruffle some feathers here, OK?

    I give you a lot of credit for even appearing here so faithfully, when you know your way of thinking is going to be a very hard sell. Also, for not rubbing things in too much when dems/libs are down, for which we all (I'm speaking for the group, here) reciprocate by trying not to get too personal when our side is up.

    On Obamacare in particular, I give you credit (meant to respond to an earlier post by you, but didn't get to it) for even admitting that there are some good outcomes from Obamacare, and I will fully admit that there will also be some disruptions which simply wouldn't have happened if Obamacare hadn't.

    Even just that, right there, is more than most people on cable TV shouting matches... oh, excuse me, "news shows"... can manage to do.

    Kidding aside, even 100-1 is more than most are willing to admit, on either side.

    But you have to keep in mind, throughout this particular debate, the old adage (attributed to many) that "there are three types of lie: a lie, a damned lie... and statistics."

    Statistical battles are always an exercise in spin. But both sides are quoting "facts" -- they're just going to different sources for those facts. The result? A spin-fest, to be sure.

    But then, really, what ELSE are these Friday columns about?

    I tell you what... sit down, have a beer (I'll even buy you a sixer next Friday, how's that?), and remember that your sense of humor is what gets you through these debates.

    Usually works for me... that's all I'm sayin'...

    :-)

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    <As I said, even *I* recognize a losing battle when I see it...

    So, Michale, what EXACTLY does that mean?

    You're scarifying me ...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    YoYo,

    But we do care Michale, we just disagree with you.

    You don't get to disagree with facts. They exist and don't require your agreement... :D

    And it IS simply a matter of ya'all don't care..

    Example:

    Ya'all go on and on about the soul-lifting and heart-warming stories of people who feel so blessed and secure now that they have insurance.

    What about the MILLIONS of soul-wrecking and heart-wrenching stories of people who were perfectly happy with their insurance and now their lives are thrown into total chaos??

    Ya'all don't care...

    Democrats have to have their win..

    And if that means that MILLIONS of American's lives have to be thrown into chaos?? Well, so be it.

    Compassion is the hallmark of liberalism..

    Where's ya'alls compassion??

    It's given way to Party, uber alles

    This TrainWreckCare is simply a symptom of the larger Obama Derangement Syndrome that ya'all suffer from..

    Let me ask you a question, for the millionth time..

    You have a President who has unilaterally ordered the execution of American citizens without ANY Due Process whatsoever.

    You have a President who has raised the level of Domestic Surveillance to unheard of and (until recently) unacceptable heights.

    How do ya'all justify your support of that POTUS in light of these two *facts*??

    Keep in mind that ya'alls arguments against those actions in the past have been MORAL arguments.. Arguments based on PRINCIPLE. Arguments based on a CIVILIZED code of conduct..

    Given that, how do ya'all justify throwing your morals, your principles and your civilized conduct out the window and support a President who has ordered the assassination of Americans w/o Due Process. Who has set up the LARGEST and MOST INVASIVE Domestic Surveillance apparatus in the HISTORY of the country??

    It's usually at this point during past debates that ya'all clam up, ignore the questions and simply don't respond.

    But I am getting sick and tired of winning debates by forfeit. Hence, my frustration of the last few comments...

    It's really no fun at all to have my facts lined up, my arguments primped and primed and ready to demolish the opposing team and then have that team simply walk off the field and forfeit..

    So, please. Do me the courtesy of at least addressing the question. If your arguments don't add up, if you simply can't reconcile your support of this President with his actions, then simply concede that Party Loyalty is more important than anything else..

    Look at it logically. If you accept a president who assassinates Americans w/o Due Process, who presides over the largest Domestic Surveillance system in history.... If you accept these things in your president....

    What WON'T you accept???

    Let me finish up where I started.. TrainWreckCare...

    Maryland signed up 60,000 people for TWC... Yet 73,000 Marylanders LOST their Health Insurance because of TWC...

    Oregonians by the tens of thousands, lost their health insurance to TWC... Do you know how many Oregonians signed up for TrainWreckCare?? ZERO... ZILCH... NADA.... NONE...

    Do you care??? Does ANYONE care??

    Or is it "Party, uber alles"??

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, Michale, what EXACTLY does that mean?

    What it means is that I am tired of winning debates by default or forfeit..

    I am tired of doing the research, lining up my facts, making my arguments, typing it all up, only to have the opposing team walk off the field...

    Debate and discussion and argument has given way to an echo chamber.

    No one wants to even HEAR about the negative side of Obama's presidency, let alone TALK about it, let alone (HORROR OF HORRORS!!) actually take a principled stand AGAINST it!!

    I am tired of being constantly and consistently told I am wrong w/o ANY evidence or facts to support such a claim and, when the facts so overwhelmingly pile up that it's one of ya'all that is wrong, poof.. Ya'all clam up and walk off the field...

    Did you know that (sans the Grand Poobah) not ONE SINGLE person, in over SIX YEARS, has EVER said, "Ya know Michale. Yer right. I was wrong and you were right."

    There are two possible conclusions one can make, based on that fact..

    1. I am ALWAYS wrong and ya'all are ALWAYS right.

    or

    2. No one here has conceded that they were wrong..

    I'll leave it to ya'all to determine which is the more logical and rational conclusion..

    That's what it all means, Liz...

    If there is simply NO HOPE of ever extracting an honest and earned concession, if there is simply NO HOPE of ever getting an actual win, as opposed to a win-by-forfeit, if there is simply NO HOPE of ever having a REAL and MEANINGFUL and HONEST debate on any given issue....

    If there is no hope, then doesn't it seem silly to participate at all??

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I tell you what... sit down, have a beer

    Had a swamped weekend, but I fully intend to take your advice..

    After all.. It's 6AM somewhere, right?? :D

    "Do you want a beer??"
    "It's seven o'clock in the morning!!"
    "SCOTCH!???"

    -Mr Mom

    :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh my God, Michale,

    I sure do hope that you are NOT operating under the illusion that you are winning here by forfeit or by default ... or by any such nonsense, so to speak.

    Because if you are, you need to be set straight on that. Let me know, okay!?

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    What are you saying, Liz?

    That I don't win by default/forfeit??

    Or that I don't win at all?? :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How shall I break this to you gently, Michale?

    I'm saying, because you don't win by default or forfeit, that you don't win at all.

    Clear as mud?

    While extremism in argumentation is your primary suit, I prefer a different kind of discussion.

    And, while you, from time to time, pleasantly surprise me with your views, I am sure you also would be surprised by the level of debate you might find here should you ever decide to alter your methods of argumentation. I would be far more willing to concede "victory" to salient points made with reasonable arguments without the extreme rhetoric, all the time.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would be far more willing to concede "victory" to salient points made with reasonable arguments without the extreme rhetoric, all the time.

    You have a President who has unilaterally ordered the execution of American citizens without ANY Due Process whatsoever.

    You have a President who has raised the level of Domestic Surveillance to unheard of and (until recently) unacceptable heights.

    How do ya'all justify your support of that POTUS in light of these two *facts*??

    Keep in mind that ya'alls arguments against those actions in the past have been MORAL arguments.. Arguments based on PRINCIPLE. Arguments based on a CIVILIZED code of conduct..

    Given that, how do ya'all justify throwing your morals, your principles and your civilized conduct out the window and support a President who has ordered the assassination of Americans w/o Due Process. Who has set up the LARGEST and MOST INVASIVE Domestic Surveillance apparatus in the HISTORY of the country??

    I await yours (or anyone's) response..

    The problem is NOT my "method" of argumentation. That is evidenced time and time again by the fact that, when there is GOOD news for Democrats (the recent use of Senate Nukes is one instance that comes to mind) ya'all don't have a problem with my argumentation method.

    The ONLY method that ya'all have a problem with is when I am right and ya'all are wrong..

    The above bold-faced question is but one such example..

    Ya'all simply won't respond if ya'all have to concede that I am right.

    And that *IS* a win by forfeit..

    Let me give you a perfect recent example..

    A few days ago, I commented that if GTA V had had the kind of release that TrainWreckCare had had, it never would have become popular. I was basing that more on common sense and a realistic outlook than anything else.

    Bashi called that into question and said I was wrong..

    I researched it and found out that Bashi was right and I was wrong..

    Now, did I walk off the field? Did I simply ignore any follow-up??

    No, I owned up to my mistake and conceded that Bashi was right and I was wrong..

    You simply will NOT find, since CW.COM has been in existence, an instance where that has occurred in reverse. Where, in a debate over Obama or Democrat policy, someone here was wrong and I was right and they publicly conceded the point.

    NOT.... ONE.... SINGLE.... TIME....

    That alone is a hint and a half that the dynamic here is a little scrooey...

    Up until now, it hasn't been a big deal.. I have been happy with the dynamic because I know that I have reality and the facts on my side...

    But this thing with TWC has thrown it all out of whack.. Call it the straw/camel thing..

    NO ONE wants to talk about the negative aspects of the Administration.. Before Obama, it was ALL negative aspects of the Administration..

    What's changed??

    A Democrat POTUS, that's what...

    All I am saying is that, if ya'all are proud Democrats and it's "Party, uber alles" then concede the point...

    It's not as if ya'all are fooling anyone but yourselves..

    To be fair (as I strive to each and every day) it's not uniform. You have become increasingly critical of the Democrats and Obama. There is another who has been consistently critical as well... And CW does call a spade a spade quite often as well..

    But that's it..

    Everyone else is content to whoop it up to real (or imagined) Democrat pluses and simply ignore any of the negatives of this Administration. It's simply chalked up to "faux scandals"... I mean, Harry Reid stood on the SENATE FLOOR and said that EVERY horror story or negative comment about TrainWreckCare was a lie. Was not true!

    And Weigantians en masse were going, "yea.. uh...hu... exactly... ditto..."

    THAT is an echo chamber, pure and simple...

    I had thought I could bring a little reality to the echo chamber...

    Apparently, it's a losing battle..

    But, it's not the destination. It's the journey... :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just to make sure things don't get TOO serious here... :D

    The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories.

    There were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved. But then the teacher realized, much to her dismay, that only Janie was left.

    "Janie, do you have a story to share?"

    "Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a flask of whiskey, her service .45 cal. automatic, and a survival knife."

    "She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops. She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, 'til the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands."

    ''Good Heavens," said the horrified teacher. "What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?"

    "Don't mess with Mommy when she's been drinking."

    :D

  21. [21] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Oh, the hysteria!

    For someone who rarely posts actual facts you certainly bandy that word about a lot. When you post a link, check at the top of the linked page. If it says OPINION there may or may not be be facts given but the point of the piece is not "fact".

    Bashi called that into question and said I was wrong..

    I researched it and found out that Bashi was right and I was wrong..

    Now, did I walk off the field? Did I simply ignore any follow-up??

    No, I owned up to my mistake and conceded that Bashi was right and I was wrong..

    I would not be holding that up as some sort of moral victory. It was backhanded attempt to disengage when the point you were trying to make supported the opposite. The two launches were good comparisons. Maybe not Granny Smith to Granny Smith but certainly apples to apples. Just not the way you wanted them too. So by saying you were wrong, it was actually a apples to donuts comparison, has much less to do with admitting I was right and much more of weaseling out of that part of the argument.

    You have a President who has unilaterally ordered the execution of American citizens without ANY Due Process whatsoever.

    You have a President who has raised the level of Domestic Surveillance to unheard of and (until recently) unacceptable heights.

    Both are valid points and it is fun to debate them but just not with someone (you) who can only do so in the form of "you must hate Obama because:". Especially when you completely ignore the history of how the laws were enacted and how, when, and the timeline of the infrastructure being set up. In the case of domestic spying the NSA has kept up with technology, much of the stuff was started under bush and came to fruition under Obama. So, when you say:

    You have a President who has raised the level of Domestic Surveillance to unheard of and (until recently) unacceptable heights.

    Is technically wrong, unless you can point the specific programs he started by presidential pen. That he did not stop the programs and has benefited by them is definitely a valid complaint.

    Presidential assassinations is another interesting topic. But you word your argument in such a limited way as to maximize outrage and limit useful information. So the president can just assassinate anyone any time anywhere? Oh, the horror! Well, not really. He can assassinate American citizens who are leaders of organizations that we are at "war" with but only on foreign soil... Definitively an interesting debate but a far cry from your hysterical opening sentence.

    And then there is the 800lb gorilla in the room. Were you not arguing that the president should have these exact powers all through the Bush administration with many ridiculous Jack Ryan/"24" scenarios? So, are you for it or against it? And if you haven't changed your mind, why are you arguing we should hate Obama for something you have argued for over many years?

    Which brings us to the crux of the issue. That you are purely a contrarian. We can't criticize your politics because other than your draconian national security stand, your political beliefs seem more to do with the latest tempest in a tea pot going around the conservative political blogs rather than any beliefs actually held. It all comes down to liberals bad, all other politicians equally bad but not so much that they EVER get criticized. And any anti-liberal argument they come up with is gods truth. Big massive all encompassing yawn...

    As long as you can only debate issues in the form of: "you must hate Obama because:" I'll continue to mostly just nitpick your points. Don't like it? Don't make such sloppy points, and occasionally actually read a links you post...

    What it means is that I am tired of winning debates by default or forfeit..

    Sorry, but most of us have lives that do not allow for constant debate on a blog. Personally I just push until you get silly or resort to snippy one liners rather than backing up your argument and call victory. I have neither the time or desire to beat you in getting the last word in. That is purely a psychological problem that you yourself will have to deal with.

    I am tired of doing the research, lining up my facts, making my arguments, typing it all up, only to have the opposing team walk off the field...

    Well, maybe if you actually posted facts or even read the articles you post links to this would actually be meaningful. Try going for quality over quantity sometime. A lot faster to type up a concise well made argument that is not interspersed with a couple of pages hysteria...

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Both are valid points and it is fun to debate them but just not with someone (you) who can only do so in the form of "you must hate Obama because:".

    Perfect case in point.. It's all about evasion and nit-picking and outright obfuscation..

    No one said that anyone must HATE Obama..

    But when ya'all HATE Bush and then support a POTUS that does the EXACT same thing as Bush, only MORE so, guess what that's called...

    Hypocrisy...

    And then you try to COVER up that blatant hypocrisy by shifting the blame to my commenting style, that just adds a layer of wussification to the entire process..

    I actually had hope that we could get this entire issue out into the open and have a mature and honest debate on the issue..

    But the response is always the same.

    Michale is wrong and ya'all are right... Michale said 1 million instead of the accurate 1.2 million so his ENTIRE argument is wrong...

    The response is always the same. Ya'all claim my facts are wrong yet provide absolutely NOTHING to support the claim other than your word..

    And what is laughable about the entire thing is that, with ya'alls blatant and on-going hypocrisy and religious-esque mentality of PARTY, UBER ALLES, ya'all HONESTLY believe ya'alls word carries any weight...

    As per my usual, I'll concede when I was wrong..

    I was wrong to think that there is any chance of reasonable, logical and rational debate here anymore...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    And he's back! Rumors of death were greatly exaggerated.

    But as far as people losing their health insurance, we all knew (at the very least "I" knew) that changing the completely broken previous system was going to disrupt things. How much disruption is worth it? Keeping in mind that the pre-Obamacare health system was far from pretty and did have death panels (see the rainmaker for a visceral explanation of that)

    But that is the debate, not whether or not disruption was going to happen, becuase duh, new laws on what is an acceptable health care plan means not everything gets grandfathered in. As to the numbers, I haven't seen anything from you or anyone else that constitutes hard facts. So lets put this to weigantia, or even Chris himself.

    What are the actual statistics on the disruptions Obamacare has caused? We get some hard numbers and then we can talk about whether or not that was too high or what have you. All I'm asking for a is link, maybe some graphs, I bet kaiser health has one.

    As to the surveillance state, yah it's a problem. Again, duh. But it's impossible to view without context, and in that Both parties are equally guilty, hoooray Obama implicated liberals in that nonsense. But it's also not unreasonable to point out that the whole thing was CREATED under republican control, no one gets out of that one clean.

    As far as drone warfare, which is what your talking about also, I'm generally against it, but I can understand the temptation to try and solve the al-quaeda problem with remote controlled hellfire missles, I just don't think it's going to WORK.

    The real problem I have with all your assertions is a lack of context, you seem to believe all of these issues simply appeared in 2008, when in pretty much all cases they were created during the bush years and handed off.

    I fail to see how starting two wars on the credit card, tanking the economy, and creating huge revenue and inequality problems with the bush tax cuts makes Obama responsible for everything.

    Also what are the conservative solutions? We're stuck with Obamacare, an admittedly imperfect fix to an incredibly flawed system, in large part because Republicans have gone off into the deep end and refused to come up with anything to solve the problem.

  24. [24] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Perfect case in point.. It's all about evasion and nit-picking and outright obfuscation..

    No not really. You accuse Obama of raising level of Domestic Surveillance to unheard of and (until recently) unacceptable heights.

    From what I have read he inherited that from laws and initiatives that Bush put in place and it came to fruition during his administration. Bad, and I disagree with it to a certain extent but a big difference between that and your accusation that he set it all up.

    But when ya'all HATE Bush and then support a POTUS that does the EXACT same thing as Bush, only MORE so, guess what that's called...

    Hypocrisy...

    Ah, this old chestnut. I have asked for you to prove I said anything like I hate Bush before. Crickets still...

    And I would not go with the hypocrisy angle. When it comes to hypocrisy we all may be guilty but taken in the vein of he is with out sin may cast the first stone, you are the end of the line.

    I actually had hope that we could get this entire issue out into the open and have a mature and honest debate on the issue..

    Cut the hysteria and take a stand on it and maybe we will. Trying to paint every issue relative to how we should feel about Obama is about as far from "mature and honest debate" as you can get. Takes two to tango, dude.

    But the response is always the same.

    What? Read posted article, realize half way through that it actually doesn't support your point. Then Point that out. Just because I don't argue in your preconceived notion of how I am supposed does not make it a valid form. If you don't make sloppy arguments I have less to work with.

    And what is laughable about the entire thing is that, with ya'alls blatant and on-going hypocrisy and religious-esque mentality of PARTY, UBER ALLES, ya'all HONESTLY believe ya'alls word carries any weight...

    And your hysterical anti-left stand is in anyway different, how?

    As per my usual, I'll concede when I was wrong..

    It has happened but very rarely. Usually you just try to change the subject. A verbose version of the walking away from the argument that you accuse the rest of us of doing...

  25. [25] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Also, we don't don't concede, we just have other things to do, I find your insistence on having the last word to be impressive, but we do have lives outside of weigantia. Can't just rail at each other ALL day.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Also, we don't don't concede, we just have other things to do, I find your insistence on having the last word to be impressive, but we do have lives outside of weigantia. Can't just rail at each other ALL day.

    Sorry, but most of us have lives that do not allow for constant debate on a blog. Personally I just push until you get silly or resort to snippy one liners rather than backing up your argument and call victory. I have neither the time or desire to beat you in getting the last word in.

    It's funny.

    Ya'all seem to have PLENTY of time to trash-talk my facts, trash-talk my comments and trash-talk me personally..

    But when it comes time to admit ya'all are wrong??

    Ya'all run away.

    When it comes time to concede that I was right, ALL of the sudden, ya'all "just have other things to do" or "have lives that do not allow for constant debate on a blog."

    Isn't that funny how that always works that way??

    Like I said, win by forfeit..

    It's also telling that ya'all get hysterical when I have a decimal point out of place, yet other Weigantians can spout complete and utter bullshit like, "Obama didn't lie" or "TrainWreckCare didn't cause any policies to be cancelled" and no one here says shit about it.

    Why is that??

    Because CW.COM has become nothing but an Obama-Love-In echo chamber..

    NOW, the ONLY debate around these parts is "Is Obama Super Duper Awesome Or Just Merely Super Awesome"

    THAT is what passes for intellectual debate around here in the here and now..

    I had thought it was just a phase. That once the facts sank in (Benghazi, Syria, TrainWreck Care, Assassinating Americans, NSA, Snowden, PRISM, ETC ETC) that ya'all would face reality as to the flaws of the Obama Administration.

    But, if anything, it's gotten worse. According to you people, Obama can walk on water. According to you people, Obama's ONLY faults are that he is just too nice, too easy on Republicans..

    And, dummy me.. I actually had it in my head that I could make a difference here. That I could actually bring a little reality to ya'alls Obama/Democrat driven fantasy world..

    Apparently, I was wrong..

    And frankly, I am sick and tired of trying..

    And he's back! Rumors of death were greatly exaggerated.

    "I'm not back!!"
    -Bill Paxton, TWISTER

    Just wanted it to be crystal clear on WHY I'm not back...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Ah ... Michale. Slow day at work?

    Seriously, though. Relax. Breathe deep. You're not at war. You're typing text on a screen. We're all friends here. If I was in Florida I'd suggest going for a beer and some trivia.

    Ok ... how about this ...

    ---

    2 scientists walk into a bar. The first scientist says "I'll have some H2O."

    The second scientist says "I'll have some H2O too."

    The second scientist dies.

    ---

    I don't know why this makes me laugh so hard. Probably because I'm a nerd.

    -David

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    That was seriously laugh-out-loud funny!

    Michale,

    Seriously, you can't possibly be serious!

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    2 scientists walk into a bar. The first scientist says "I'll have some H2O."

    The second scientist says "I'll have some H2O too."

    The second scientist dies.

    Now THAT was funny.. :D

    If I was in Florida I'd suggest going for a beer and some trivia.

    Unfortunately, I don't think this is a problem that can be solved with beer..

    "Beer. The cause of and solution to many of Life's problems"
    -Homer Simpson

    :D

    It's going to take a major attitude adjustment from the denizens of Weigantia or a MAJOR scandal from the Obama Administration..

    But considering that Obama's IRS was targeting political enemies of Obama's and Obama's DOJ was harassing reporters because of negative stories about Obama and Obama's military was assassinating American citizens on Obama's orders without ANY Due Process whatsoever......

    And not ONE SINGLE denizen of Weigantia rose up and objected to ANY of it!!!!

    Considering all that, I honestly and truly cannot think of ANYTHING that Obama could do that would cause ya'all to wake up and say:

    "Whoaa.. Wait a minute.. THIS is a bridge too far!!"

    I know, as much as ya'all would like to think it, *I* am not the problem here.. As I point out in my response to Liz below, *ANYONE* who says anything against Obama or his policies are told that they are wrong, that it's all in their head...

    So, obviously, the problem here isn't me..

    The problem here is the hypocritical and quasi-religious devotion shown to Obama..

    The facts are clear...

    Liz,

    Seriously, you can't possibly be serious!

    Sadly, I am..

    Obviously I am not gone..

    I mean, CW is too good a friend and too good a read to completely bail. So I'll be keeping abreast of his commentaries and will respond to questions/comments directed at me, as I am now. Ignoring that would simply be rude.. And I am not the rude one here. Well, at least not beyond what is normal for political discussions. :D

    But it's clear that, like the Left in general, the only opinions welcome around here are approved opinions. Liberals are ALL about diversity and ALL about differing opinions. As long as it's APPROVED diversity or APPROVED opinions... Anything else is attacked...

    Don't believe me???

    Check out LD's response to Good Tickle's comments on how TrainWreckCare screwed him over..

    GT stated how he was one of the MANY that got screwed over by TrainWreckCare..

    The response??

    "Sounds like your surgical costs are due to your indecision not ACA."

    and

    "I'm simply saying that your situation, though atypical, is like most other stories of "harm" in that the harm done to you may very well be more perceived than real."

    Get that??

    Basically, GT was told it's all HIS fault and that the "harm" from TrainWreckCare is all in his head..

    THAT is the EXACT attitude I am talking about..

    And, as you can see, it's not just me or my commenting "style"..

    ANYONE that says ANYTHING even remotely derogatory about Obama and/or his policies is told that they are wrong.

    Around here these days, ya gotta drink the koolaid and say what fine livery Obama wears or else you are set upon...

    And no one here thinks to call LD on his delusions because everyone else shares the same delusion. That Obama is perfect and the ONLY mistake Obama makes is not sticking it hard enough to those terrorist Republicans...

    So, yes.. I am serious..

    There is simply no reason to discuss anything because, no matter how many FACTS one lists, it will all come down to one thing..

    RULE NUMBER 1
    Obama is always right.

    RULE NUMBER 2
    If Obama is ever wrong, refer back to Rule Number 1.

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    *sigh*

    Ok, how about ...

    It's hard to explain things to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

    :)

    -David

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And yes, Michale, as with anything new there's going to be issues.

    There were issues when George W. Bush expanded Medicare.

    So to me it appears there's a couple options. There's probably more but here's a start:

    1) Scream about Obama and how horrible Obama is and how everyone is pro-Obama

    2) Talk about the issues and how to fix them

    -David

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    In order to have any useful discussion about health care solutions, can we agree on #2?

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. Entropy isn't what it used to be. Heheh

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    In order to have any useful discussion about health care solutions,

    That's just it.. No one here WANTS to have a "useful" discussion about ANYTHING that puts Obama or the Democrats in a bad light...

    Because, for ANY discussion to be "useful" it has to start from a point of REALITY..

    And ya'alls positions of "if you were inconvenienced by obamacare it's all your own fault" and "Any problems you think that exist in obamacare, it's all in your head" is simply NOT reality and is simply NOT conducive to ANY type of "useful" discussions...

    No one wants to talk about ANYTHING but how awesome Obama and the Democrats are and how evil the terrorist Republicans are...

    HOW can you get "useful" out of that attitude??

    Answer: You can't.

    When ya'all are ready to admit that SOMETIMES what Obama/Democrats do is NOT good for the country, THEN we might be able to have "useful" discussions..

    But until ya'all concede that Obama/Democrats MIGHT be part of the problem and not part of the solution, I can't see how ANY discussions can be "useful"...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Man down! Man down! quick someone call a Waaaambulance!

    Michale-

    I would almost take you seriously if you were not just as guilty of all your accusations. I've seen more criticism of Obama from the others here than you ever did of Bush. I've seen more criticism of Obama from the others here than you ever did of republicans in congress. It's like because some, ok many, on the left, and I don't think it ever mattered whether that included any of us, blamed Bush with sometimes quite hysterical language for what they disagreed with you have taken on some weird tit for tat crusade to get us to blame Obama for what you disagree with. You say you hate the political game but are more entrenched in it's methods than anyone here...

    As to your vaulted "research" and "facts" and I use those terms extremely loosely in this context, that seems to boil down to trawl conservative blogs for a good Obama blaming headline, read as few paragraphs as possible to get a good quote, then post it here as quickly as possible. Color me unimpressed.

    Now LD's ACA arguments have been masterfully entertaining. I sometimes wonder if he believes everything he says, but that matters little. He is using your exact tactics against you. The fact that it has gotten under your skin to this degree is beautifully hilarious to behold.

    I take back "hate" but all your arguments are generally not about the issues. I don't really think many of them even matter to you. It's all about getting us to place blame on Obama. Which is a far cry from "mature and honest debate" and solidly into supporting your own agenda.

    Obama's military was assassinating American citizens on Obama's orders without ANY Due Process whatsoever......

    Perfect example. There is a little more to the story than the one liner. I seem to remember you arguing for this kind of thing during the Bush administration. Are you for it or against it or does that not matter? Or is honest debate on the issue purely secondary to advancing your overriding Obama blaming agenda?

    Of course we are never going to blame Obama to the degree you wish. One, we disagree with most of your arguments, especially the ones that are countered by your own "facts". We are allowed to have differing opinions, right? But mainly you have put SO weight over the years into getting us to blame Obama and you are so good at pushing peoples buttons that when it pushes your buttons by not doing anything, really...well, why mess with a good thing.

  36. [36] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But until ya'all concede that Obama/Democrats MIGHT be part of the problem and not part of the solution, I can't see how ANY discussions can be "useful".

    You can't see how to have a conversation about health care without screaming about Obama?

    It's easy.

    You say something like, under the new health care law there's some provisions that incentivize employers to hire workers part-time only.

    And I say something like, yeah, that doesn't seem right. We should change those incentives.

    See ... easy peasy.

    -David

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    You can't see how to have a conversation about health care without screaming about Obama?

    No. I am saying that we can't have a conversation about healthcare until you acknowledge reality.

    That what Democrats have done have made things worse, rather than better.

    The problem here is that you KNOW that things are worse. You KNOW that Democrats have frak'ed up royally. THAT is why you don't want to assign blame, why you want to move on...

    If it had been Republicans that had produced this abortion, ya'all would be ALL OVER assigning blame and pointing fingers and wanting to talk about it over and over and over and over again till the cows came home...

    Ya'all just LOVE to dissect each and every misstep that Republicans make..

    But when Democrats frak things up?? "Oh, come on.. Can't we just move past it and talk about fixing it??"

    Bashi,

    Perfect example. There is a little more to the story than the one liner. I seem to remember you arguing for this kind of thing during the Bush administration. Are you for it or against it or does that not matter? Or is honest debate on the issue purely secondary to advancing your overriding Obama blaming agenda?

    You epitomize EXACTLY what I am talking about. I have ALWAYS claimed that I don't have a problem with Obama's actions. I have ALWAYS applauded Obama for these very actions.

    My beef has always been why don't ya'all condemn those actions as loudly and as often as you did under Bush?

    THAT is the issue..

    I take back "hate" but all your arguments are generally not about the issues.

    Wow... Did you just admit you were wrong!!???

    "He can be taught!!"
    -Genie, ALLADIN

    Anyways, my arguments are ALWAYS about the issues. The problem is, like your "hate" mistake, you try to re-define what the issue is in a vain attempt to make my argument non-sequitor..

    As I have said MANY times, on MANY occasions, this particular issue has nothing to do with Obama's actions. I have said MANY times on MANY occasions that I approve of Obama's actions..

    This *ISSUE* has ALWAYS been, why do YA'ALL approve of those actions by remaining silent when, under Bush, ya'all were hysterically against those actions on a DAILY basis??

    This issue is ya'alls hypocrisy and your continued denial of your hypocrisy and your continued efforts to ignore said hypocrisy...

    I take that back.. One time LD did address it. He said there was no hypocrisy whatsoever.

    And, of course, he was allowed to get away with such complete and utter bullshit with not a single person challenging it.. Except me, of course...

    I get it, Bashi. For you, CW.COM is all about pushing buttons. It has no other purpose for you.

    But, you must allow that for others, like David and myself, the goal is good honest debates and discussions...

    The problem is that there is no common frame of reference because because, in YA'ALLs world, Obama and the Democrats do no wrong.

    And while that's a pleasant fantasy for ya'all, I am sure, some prefer reality..

    And, in the reality of the here and now, Obama and the Democrats have royally frak'ed up the country...

    But continue to push your buttons.. I am sure it gives you great satisfaction..

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Now LD's ACA arguments have been masterfully entertaining. I sometimes wonder if he believes everything he says,

    Well, color me surprised..

    I have always wondered the same thing. I have always written off LD as someone who has a religious-esque devotion to Obama. He gets so into it, so oblivious of reality that it HAS to be one of two things..

    Either I am right and LD has a quasi-religious fixation/devotion to Obama as his god..

    Or...

    He, like you, just likes to push buttons and doesn't really believe what he is saying...

    It's a possibility I hadn't considered..

    hhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The problem here is that you KNOW that things are worse.

    I know ...

    - Some 30 million people will now have access to healthcare who didn't before

    - Companies can't deny people for pre-existing conditions

    - Costs have gone down for most people (including me!)

    - It ends our broken system of emergency room care

    - Students up to age 25 can be covered under their parents policies

    - Can it be even better? Sure. But it's a huge step in the right direction.

    This is what I know. This is reality.

    What's the one word I haven't mentioned? Hint: It starts with 'O' and rhymes with mama.

    -David

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    - Some 30 million people will now have access to healthcare who didn't before

    And millions have had their policies cancelled even though they were PROMISED that this wouldn't happen..

    But no one here CARES about them because it's PARTY, uber alles

    With every response, you PROVE my point..

    Ignore all that bad.. Embrace the good... Blame it all on the Republicans and their racism and their terrorism...

    Like I said. Echo Chamber...

    You don't want "useful".. You just want someone to drink the koolaid with you..

    Sorry, that just ain't gonna be me...

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And millions have had their policies cancelled even though they were PROMISED that this wouldn't happen.

    You mean people have had their cut-rate policies upgraded?

    Because this is what actually happened once you take away all the hysteria.

    Blame it all on the Republicans and their racism and their terrorism.

    Now you're just making things up, Michale.

    Seriously.

    -David

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't get me wrong. I am sympathetic to ya'alls dilemma...

    Ya'all simply CAN'T be critical of Obama and his administration.

    For the first couple years of the current Administration, the Left created the mythos that ANY criticism of Obama and his administration was nothing more than racism.. No matter how logical and how rational and how factual-based the criticism was, the Left conspired to create the idea that it was all nothing more than racism. The Left even created fantasy "code words" that were nothing more than racism in disguise.

    NOW that Obama has been found wanting, now that Obama in some areas is more Bush/Cheney than Bush/Cheney, the Left CAN'T criticize Obama for fear of being labeled racists..

    So, I can appreciate ya'alls dilemma..

    I feel for ya... I really do...

    Ya'all have been hoisted by yer own Picard and now are stuck drinking the koolaid and commenting how awesome Obama is dressed...

    But I am under no such restrictions as I don't have a single iota of Party Ideology in me..

    I am not a slave to ya'alls mythos..

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    You mean people have had their cut-rate policies upgraded?

    As usual, you dodge the question...

    They LIKED their "cut rate policies"..

    And, as Americans, they had that right. They were promised that they could keep their policies if they liked them. PERIOD..

    Good Tickles LOVED his policy.. It was perfect for him.. Now, because he was lied to by Obama, he is scrooed..

    Address the facts, David. I dare you...

    Now you're just making things up, Michale.

    Oh come'on, David!!! Do you want me to post the WORD FOR WORD comments from Weigantians accusing Republicans of being terrorists!! Of being racists!!

    You know I can... The fact that you deny it is EXACTLY what the problem is here..

    Ya'all are so enslaved by your ideology, black is white, up is down, and we have always been at war with Eurasia..

    This is EXACTLY what I am talking about!

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Either I am right and LD has a quasi-religious fixation/devotion to Obama as his god..

    Or...

    He, like you, just likes to push buttons and doesn't really believe what he is saying...

    It's a possibility I hadn't considered..

    Oh, please. Give me a break. You have bulldogged so many debates over the years, facts be dammed. You are practically famous for it. LD was just following your style. Or at least seeming to.

    You epitomize EXACTLY what I am talking about. I have ALWAYS claimed that I don't have a problem with Obama's actions. I have ALWAYS applauded Obama for these very actions.

    My beef has always been why don't ya'all condemn those actions as loudly and as often as you did under Bush?

    So you admit it has nothing to do with the issue but purely tit for tat between administrations. Got it.

    I get it, Bashi. For you, CW.COM is all about pushing buttons. It has no other purpose for you.

    Ah, the refuse to read thing. I said we had to do nothing to push your buttons. As in not taking active action. Plus, who are you to talk. You are the button pushing master. I have witnessed it many times and allowed myself to get my buttons pushed beyond my better judgement a few...

    Look long and hard at the comments in "Patiently Crunching Obamacare's Numbers" column. Pretty reasoned debate. Figuring out what the number mean, how they will help or hurt Obama and the ACA. I don't see much worshiping of Obama there contrary to your hyperbole. No one comes to the conclusion you so desperately want but there is room between Obama is a god and gave us this bill (you are the only person on this site to say that kind of stuff by the way) and America is in ruins because of it...

    But I am under no such restrictions as I don't have a single iota of Party Ideology in me..

    But you do have a metric ton of anti-party ideology which turns out to be the same thing.

    Ya'all have been hoisted by yer own Picard and now are stuck drinking the koolaid and commenting how awesome Obama is dressed...

    And now we come to the real reason. I think the opposite is true. The ACA number are starting to look good and in some unexpected places. The stock market is back. Housing prices are on the rise. The economy is coming back, down right booming around here. Your tales of doom and gloom are just not happening. The numbers prove who really has the blinders on around here.

    Oh come'on, David!!! Do you want me to post the WORD FOR WORD comments from Weigantians accusing Republicans of being terrorists!! Of being racists!!

    Are you going to post all the times you accused Democrats and the left of being terrorists and racists for balance? Quite a few of those if memory serves.

    You are so enslaved by your ideology, white is black, down is up, and we have always been at war with Eastasia..

    That's always been the funny thing, flip it around and it works just as well. You are truly what you argue against...

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    So you admit it has nothing to do with the issue but purely tit for tat between administrations. Got it.

    No, I admit that the issue is ya'alls blatant hypocrisy and the fact that ya'all won't even concede it when it's so plainly and painfully obvious to anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together..

    Simply concede the point that you give Obama a pass because of the '-D' after his name and you won't hear another peep from me about it..

    But you do have a metric ton of anti-party ideology which turns out to be the same thing.

    Yer absolutely right!!! You called it dead on ballz accurate..

    I do have 20 metric tons of anti-Party ideology..

    At least you concede that.. That's something..

    Whether it amounts to the same thing or not, I give you that there is an argument to be made for that..

    And, unlike you who sits on his high throne and decrees who may or may not make arguments, I am more than happy to have you attempt to make that argument..

    Are you going to post all the times you accused Democrats and the left of being terrorists and racists for balance? Quite a few of those if memory serves.

    If there were any, I would..

    But I have never accused Democrats of being terrorists. The fact that Democrats goals and Al Qaeda's goals were the same during the Bush years is one thing. I have said that the facts clearly show that... But that is not calling Democrats terrorists.

    As to racists, I simply pointed out the FACT that the Democratic Party was the Party of the KKK. And it was..

    And now we come to the real reason. I think the opposite is true. The ACA number are starting to look good and in some unexpected places. The stock market is back. Housing prices are on the rise. The economy is coming back, down right booming around here. Your tales of doom and gloom are just not happening. The numbers prove who really has the blinders on around here.

    ANd yet, polls show that TrainWreckCare's popularity has PLUMMETED instead of rising..

    But, once again, you prove my point.

    You simply ignore ALL the bad, all the facts of how bad off Americans are and just concentrate on the good...

    This USED to be a reality based forum..

    Ya'all have shown time and time again that this is no longer the case...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    The stock market is back.

    Really???

    Stocks take another tumble; Nasdaq skids triple digits; eBay heads lower
    Stocks slide on Wall Street; Volatile biotechnology sector takes another plunge; eBay down

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stocks-another-tumble-ebay-heads-152811279--finance.html

    Once again, you prove my point..

    Ya'alls constant PollyAnna outlook simply and utterly denies the reality of the here and now..

    Don't tell me, let me guess...

    Democrats will keep the Senate, and they will regain control of the House, right???

    What color IS the sky on yer planet???

    Don't tell me, let me guess again.. Obama Blue, right??

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And, unlike you who sits on his high throne and decrees who may or may not make arguments, I am more than happy to have you attempt to make that argument..

    Ooh, a massive, steaming pile of hyperbole that...

    has there been a single anti-Obama conservative bandwagon you have not jumped on? Outside of religion has there been a single conservative talking point you have missed espousing? Looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck. Just because you are not a card carrying member of the duck party does not preclude you from being a duck...

    ANd yet, polls show that TrainWreckCare's popularity has PLUMMETED instead of rising..

    Interesting that you fail to mention that those polled also do not favor repealing the law. Interesting that you fail to mention that most of the individual elements in the law are actually quite popular. What happened to "reality based"?

    [46] Wow. Now that is just desperate. The DOW on Obama's inauguration? The DOW on Obama's second inauguration? The DOW today?

    Keep on bulldoggin' dude, facts be dammed!

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Keep on bulldoggin' dude, facts be dammed!

    You have been blatantly wrong three different times in this commentary alone, Bashi..

    Are you SURE you want to be going all on about "FACTS"?? When you have demonstrated time and time and time again that you have NONE...???

    Interesting that you fail to mention that those polled also do not favor repealing the law.

    Because there hasn't been ANY discussion about repeal...

    Once again, you change the subject and say, "See!!! Yer wrong!!!"...

    No one has mentioned repeal. The question, the issue is, "is trainwreckcare good for this country"...

    Apparently, only 26% of Americans think that it is...

    TrainWreckCare has NEVER enjoyed ANY majority support...

    EVER....

    You're wrong, Bashi... Lick your wounds and try again....

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, please. Give me a break. You have bulldogged so many debates over the years, facts be dammed. You are practically famous for it. LD was just following your style. Or at least seeming to.

    So, why aren't you harassing him?? Why aren't you calling him on it, pushing HIS buttons like you so enjoy pushing mine??

    Because you agree with his ideology, so he gets a pass..

    Thank you, once again, for proving EXACTLY what I have been saying..

    Ya'all are slaves to your ideology, reality and facts be damned...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stocks derailed by high-flyers; worst day since 2011 for Nasdaq
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101572409

    Yea, everything is peachy-keen wonderful...

    Democrats are SURE to keep the Senate and will likely re-take the House...

    TrainWreckCare enjoys 95% approval rating by the American people and Obama's approval rating isn't underwater, it's in the high 80s...

    We are at war with East Asia. We have always been at war with East Asia.

    :^/

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You have been blatantly wrong three different times in this commentary alone, Bashi..

    Nope. Sorry due, not true.

    You're wrong, Bashi... Lick your wounds and try again....

    Yawn. I'm not the one hysterically calling out that no one will give me validation on this site and threatening to no longer participate...

    Once again, you change the subject and say, "See!!! Yer wrong!!!"...

    Right after YOU changed the subject and did the same thing. Nice try.

    So, why aren't you harassing him?? Why aren't you calling him on it, pushing HIS buttons like you so enjoy pushing mine??

    Because you agree with his ideology, so he gets a pass..

    Low hanging fruit. All I have to do is follow a link you post and much of the time deep in the article will be something that completely disagrees with your point. You know that it's 100% preventable on your end, right? Just read the article before you post. I know, I know, never going to happen...

    Yea, everything is peachy-keen wonderful...

    Just figured out today that stocks fluctuate? Still does not change the point I made that you have not responded to: The DOW on Obama's inauguration? The DOW on Obama's second inauguration? The DOW today?

    Hint: the first is in the high 7,000's, the last, even with your two posts of inaccurate doom and gloom is north of 16,000...

  52. [52] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Wow, you guys are still at it on the Friday article?

    Michale -

    I invite you to move on to Monday's article, because it was specifically written for you, in a way. I wrote it to examine what the facts (and the "facts") are on the Obamacare numbers. In it, I focused in on many of the points you've recently made about it, so I think you'll find it is of interest:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2014/04/07/patiently-crunching-obamacares-numbers/

    -CW

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Nope. Sorry due, not true.

    Right after YOU changed the subject and did the same thing. Nice try.

    As usual. You make a claim yet you provide absolutely NO substantiation..

    Once again, you epitomize the exact problem that I describe..

    Low hanging fruit.

    It's still fruit.. The fact that you make it so easy is your problem, not mine..

    All I have to do is follow a link you post and much of the time deep in the article will be something that completely disagrees with your point.

    Well, DUH!!!! That's what reporters do... More often than not, they give different sides of of a particular issue.

    The problem is, you latch onto that one small inconsequential side point and think it's the entire point of the article..

    For example, let's say I post an article about a hurricane that ravaged South Florida and say how sad it was that such a disaster hit. In the article, the reporter mentions how it started off as a nice and sunny day..

    YOU come back and refute my claim that it's sad that a disaster hit and say, "See, it says right there in the link you posted that it was a nice and sunny day!!!"

    THAT is how you "debate". You scour each and every link and look for a minor unrelated/unimportant/non-sequitor detail and use that to TRY and refute my entire position. It's the same thing as when I make a mistake on a decimal point and you use that minor typo as your entire basis for negating my entire point.

    It's ridiculous and it's childish..

    But, once again, you prove the entire point of this comment thread..

    You simply CAN'T admit that I am right and you are wrong...

    CW,

    I invite you to move on to Monday's article, because it was specifically written for you, in a way. I wrote it to examine what the facts (and the "facts") are on the Obamacare numbers. In it, I focused in on many of the points you've recently made about it, so I think you'll find it is of interest:

    I read it. It's a great commentary, as always...

    I also read the comments. The glowing consensus is that, with TrainWreckCare, there are no losers, just winners.. And if someone points out that they are, indeed, a loser; that they WERE indeed harmed by TrainWreckCare, they are told it's all their own fault or that any harm is "all in their head"..

    It's simply impossible to address such deep seated and wholly inaccurate delusions.. Gods know I have tried.... :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Post, demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

    The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

    The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-thought-police-on-patrol/2014/04/10/2608a8b2-c0df-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_print.html

    Apparently, it's not just me who has noticed this new tactic from the Left nor is it just happening here in Weigantia....

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced."
    C. Krauthammer

    ... defenestration. Seriously?

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Krauthammer likes to use big words. I scratched my head at that too.. :D

    But there is no denying the wisdom of what he is saying.

    The facts are all around...

    Michale

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