Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Give ‘Em Hell Obama

Yeah! The gloves are starting to come off. We’ve had months and months of bilge spewing out of the rightwing hateheads. The health sharks have spent hundreds of billions on lobbyists, sleazy attack ads, phony “reports” and Astroturf front groups.

Finally, the President of the United States is swinging back. In his weekly address, President Obama said:

“This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions. And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people. [...]

It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, “Take one of these, and call us in a decade.” Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.”

Here’s the video of Obama’s speech.



Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Strong words, Mr. President. Now let's see action!

October 17, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

What Lew said.

Obama keeps saying strong things, but then it seems the Dems let the GOP cut him off at the knees. If more of the Dems in Congress would just make up their mind to throw their support behind the president, maybe more would get done.

October 17, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Wow, Michelle must've laced his orange juice with some extract of kickbutt this morning. Way to go!

What I would like Obama to say, even if in a closed-door meeting with congressional Democrats and publicly for Republicans, goes like this:

"Ladies and gentlemen of Congress, I know very well the kind of lobbying pressure you're under. I know more than a few of you have accepted lots of money from the very business interests demanding we keep the status quo.

"Well, you do what you've got to do. But keep in mind, I intend to do what I've got to do. That includes making clear to voters in your states and districts who among you felt more loyalty to big-money interests and lobbyists than to the people.

"Now, maybe the voters who sent you to Congress will be OK with that. Maybe those of you running for re-election next year will do just fine, even if you vote against your constituents' interest about health care reform.

"What you have to decide is whether you really want to take that gamble."

That would be hardball.

October 17, 2009 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

The Dems. in Congress need to be speaking the same language, in the same tone and just trash their lies. We have to forget Fox fans, and hate radio followers, the Lisa's of the this world. Those people are entrenched, they can't change their minds, they won't change their minds, they are one book people, one message people. In your last post Lisa said "liberals were richer than conservatives" if that's true it means liberals pay most of the taxes.

October 18, 2009 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I'm rich? This is great news! Well, I'm off to travel the world on the backs of exploiting the workers.

As for health care, I still fully expect any bill to be a piece of shit. Prove me wrong, DC, prove me wrong.

October 18, 2009 at 4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the past two national elections, the people have overwhelmingly sent a message to the Democrats to get on up offen their butts and make this a better country, like it usedta be, afore them neocon jobs decided to rob the country of billions of dollars. Start actin' like a opposition party, Mr. President, or maybe we'll just start one of our own!

October 18, 2009 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Distributorcap said...

first of all obama needs to keep doing this time and time again -- and on a multitude of issues

second he needs to march nancy and harry into the white house and give each of them a new.......

third - he should be thanking alan grayson for waking the dead in congress.

October 18, 2009 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Tom, anyone who likes "Miller's Crossing" is okay in my book. We'd like to feature your posts on our new and expanded site at www.bestoftheblogs.com

We are a community of progressive bloggers. Within the past 30 days we had 68,000 visitors and 80,000 page views. We have had visit spikes numerous times around 10,000 and one that hit 23,000.

Let's explore the possibilities.

You can reach me at jhirishturf@gmail.com

October 18, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: True, strong words won't mean much unless there's some action backing them up.

Snave: I keep hoping Obama will quit buckling under every time the Republicans have another tantrum. I think Alan Grayson got everything started with that blunt speech he gave. Hopefully with Obama's speech, this will provide momentum for other Democrats to stand up and do what they have to do.

SW: "Extract of kickbutt" -- LOL. I hope she made enough for all the Democrats.

I like your speech. That's exactly what Obama should say to the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats.

Holte: You're right, every lie spewed out by Republicans needs to be met head-on with harsh truthful facts. First Grayson, now Obama; I hope some other Democrats will take a cue.

Randal: Ah, the life of us rich liberals. However, this caviar isn't up to its usual standards. I might have to have a word with room service. The Monte Carlo Hilton just isn't what it used to be...

Ron: Damn right, the message from voters was loud and clear. Any congressperson who doesn't hear it needs to be replaced.

Dcap: That's exactly what Obama needs to do, again and again. And this goes for all of the major issues he's dealing with -- health care reform, banking/finance reform, cap and trade.

Josh: Thanks. That site looks interesting. I'll send you an e-mail.

October 18, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

But will the rest of the party take the gloves off? This is what is needed!! There will be no improvement unless we get that swagger and fight in them also.

October 18, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ricardo: That's the question -- will the other Democrats take their gloves off? Hopefully Obama and Grayson have started a trend.

October 18, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Screw those insurance companies. I am putting my faith in government:


October 19, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

The WRAL blog post cites an actual news story by a journalist at KATU, Springfield, Ore. The blog post is written in such a way as to put the worst possible spin on the story. Spin to the point of being flat out misleading for those who don't follow the link and read the news story.

Way to go, troll.

Oregon health care officials are not trying to hustle a cancer patient into assisted suicide. The news story explains what the problem really is. The Oregon system was set up 15 years ago. More and better chemo therapies have come along since, but the state system hasn't kept up with the changes.

"The Oregon Health Plan simply hasn't kept up with dramatic changes in chemotherapy, said Dr. David Fryefield of the Willamette Valley Cancer Center."

Even for those with advanced cancer, new chemotherapy drugs can extend life. Here's the crux of the matter:

"Yet the Oregon Health Plan only offers coverage for chemo that cures cancer - not if it can prolong a patient's life."

That's a policy matter that can and should be straightened out by state elected officials. I'm sure it will be, although fiscal woes because of the economic meltdown caused by conservative Republicans and their big-money backers on Wall Street and elsewhere will make paying for expensive drugs all the harder.

As it is, the cancer patient in question will receive the drug she needs because Genentech has agreed to give it to her.

I will also make clear the woman could've been denied a particular drug by the Oregon agency if it was considered experimental and too dangerous for clinical use outside of a carefully set up trial by researchers. We can argue about the ethical tradeoffs of denying a drug on that basis to someone who has no other chance for survival. (My inclination is that if the patient knows the dangers and still wants to try it, the patient should get that chance.) But the point is that protocols for these things are set up by people who know a great deal more about what they're doing than the average blogger with a political axe to grind.

If we should've learned anything from the Terry Schiavo affair, it's that bloggers, pressure groups, pols, religious fundamentalists and talk show hosts should be tuned out, while doctors, lawyers and ethicists should be paid attention to.

October 19, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

I just now checked out that post. Good rundown, SW, on the situation. Like you said, the KATU link goes into more detail than the blog post Lisa wanted us to see.

Yes, that's a tragic situation, one that happens hundreds of times every day with our corporate health sharks, er, I mean HMOs. Government-paid health care won't be perfect. Like that article said, Oregon's health plan was conceived in 1993 and it still needs to expand and improve.

I'm glad that woman's tragedy was alleviated when Genentech agreed to provide the drug for her free of charge.

And thank you Lisa for turning somebody's personal tragedy into a banner for your political views.

October 19, 2009 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Thanks, Tom. However, I just noticed that the last paragraph should start off:

"If we should've learned anything from the Terry Schiavo affair, it's that in these matters . . ."

October 19, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

First of all Terry Schiavo's parents asked the Supreme court to get involved.
2nd-Listening to all these "know it alls" in DC who are so much smarter than the rest of us and the "questionable" appointees with their "questionable" ideals I don't trust any of them to control something as personal as health care.
Did you know that Venezuela funds Honduras to orchestrate protests and government unrest.
Seems like we have similar orchestrators.
You can't force something on people that they don't want and it's not "AFP" orchestrating it,it's the Whitehouse creating it and the citizens pushing back without help from the insurance companies and the HMO's.
I guess you should go and talk to to some of your fellow citizens instead of using the same tactics Obama uses to diminish them.

October 20, 2009 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

We have a new "Decider" in chief now!
And he comes off as the smartest man in the room but he is a radical Left wing nut and frankly as long as he keeps pushing left, people will keep pushing right.
We need a president not a daddy.
Maybe he should have gotten some experience running things instead of protests or just spewing speeches before he took the job.

October 20, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Grasping her autographed copy of Tom DeLay's 8x10 glossy photo in one hand and pepper sprayer in the other, Lisa wrote: "all these 'know it alls' in DC who are so much smarter than the rest of us and the 'questionable' appointees with their 'questionable' ideals I don't trust any of them to control something as personal as health care."

Finally, something we agree on. You should be relieved to know that controlling your health care has nothing to do with seeing to it you and the rest of us can get affordable, reliable health care insurance.

Well, you'd be relieved if your health care was really your primary concern. If, as I suspect, politics is really your chief concern, you won't acknowledge the truth and will go right on pushing the GOP party line paranoia.

October 20, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Distributorcap said...

i hope her teabags have curative powers

"all these 'know it alls' in DC who are so much smarter than the rest of us and the 'questionable' appointees with their 'questionable' ideals I don't trust any of them to control something as personal as health care."

because the money grubbing greedyh insurance companies have done is SO MUCH BETTER - forget god, it should be In Aetna We Trust

if the GOP had thought up a public option - people like lisa would be all over it as the best thing since sliced teabags

October 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

oh please Disturbed Cap you just want it because Obama wants it.
Actually on the campaign trail he said affordable health insurance now is setting us up for single payer and you act like this is what he said all along. Next he'll tell you you have to volunteer 30 hours a week to something and you'll do it just to please your master.
Face it Obama is the smartest guy in the world and he knows what is best and there will be no dissent or you will be ostracized or calld a racist.

October 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Distributorcap said...

tom it is your blog
so i wont write what i think of lisa

but i am done -

October 21, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Distributorcap: Knock yourself out with Lisa. I told her when she first started commenting here that she might get told off bluntly, called names, etc. So don't hold back.

October 21, 2009 at 7:43 PM  

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