Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Obama’s Reform Agenda: Batting .500

I’m only talking about the financial industry overhaul and health insurance reform, since those are the two main reform bills that have already been voted on.

Reining in Wall Street: a Base Hit! This bill still has to survive a Senate vote and that probably won’t be until next year. But the financial overhaul bill made it through the House. This bill creates a new agency to protect consumers from sleazy banking tactics. Republicans tried but failed to delete this new agency from the bill.

The bill also gives the government the authority to break up large “too big to fail” companies whose failure would take everybody else down with them.

And just today, Obama had some harsh words for the Wall Street Marie Antoinettes who’ve been lobbying (using OUR tax dollars!) against any kind of financial reform. He told those flaming douchebags to take their greed and contempt and shove it up their fuckin’ asses so hard it’ll get jammed in their throats. (I’m paraphrasing.)

He criticized banks that received trillion-dollar taxpayer handouts and are now “fighting tooth and nail with their lobbyists” to prevent financial reform. He said the economy is just now starting to recover from the “irresponsibility” of Wall Street firms that “gambled on risky loans and complex financial products” and almost took the whole country down with them when they lost. He said “It was, as some have put it, risk management without the management.”

Obama also told 60 Minutes (his interview is supposed to be broadcast tomorrow night): “The people on Wall Street still don't get it. ... They're still puzzled why it is that people are mad at the banks. Well, let's see. You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year ... in decades and you guys caused the problem.”

Meanwhile, in the continuing adventures of our watered-down health care “reform” bill: STEEERIKE THREEE!!!

I didn’t think you could water down something that’s already been diluted beyond recognition. But our prostitutes in the Senate — under strict orders from their johns in the insurance industry — managed to find a way.

Several days ago, when the Senate FINALLY came up with SOMETHING, I was relieved. Sure the bill was disappointing. It sucked. But after months of arguing and nitpicking about everything from abortion to death panels to the end of America's "Freedom!" — they finally agreed on something.

And then a mysterious amendment was “discovered” in the bill. Nobody knew how it got there. They were mystified. Shocked! Hidden in a section entitled “No Lifetime or Annual Limits” was an innocuous little sentence allowing insurance companies to place annual financial limits on a patient’s health care, as long as these limits are “not unreasonable.”

Aw heck, that shouldn’t be a problem. Insurance companies being unreasonable???

And the Senate prostitutes are all completely dumbfounded. “Huh. How’d that get in there?” Sort of like a bunch of 6th graders throwing spitballs and paper airplanes when the teacher’s back is turned. And when the teacher turns around, they’re all wide-eyed and “who, me?”

Except, these senators are grownups (chronologically at least) and they’re “earning” six-figure salaries, courtesy of OUR tax dollars.

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Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

It is clear to me that the system will have to collapse before anything meaningful changes. Stiglitz thinks that'll happen within 10 years at the present rate the greedy murderers are screwing us.

December 12, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

The biggest problem is that the Democrats are crappy negotiators.

They should have started as far to the left as can be imagined so that they can give away lots of concessions. For instance, the first version of the bill should have included:

The formation of a new paramilitary organization to administer free healthcare to everyone living on the North American continent.

The dissolving of all private health providing companies and the ceding of their assets to minority communities in the nations thirty largest cities.

All current healthcare workers, including those with jobs not directly related to care, like industry lawyers and janitors would be drafted into this organization for a mandatory term of 20 years.

All Americans would be obligated to a 12 hour a week workout led my a member of the Health Corps. Those who chose to waste potential workout time by attending church on sundays would be obligated to tithe and additional five percent of their income to the Health Corps.

Smoking, drinking and SUV's would be outlawed.

Having fat children would be punishable by a $50 a day fine until the child reached their target BMI.

Any person found to be male, White, college educated, and earning more than fifty thousand dollars annually would be forcibly expatriated to the Ukraine.

If we'd started from there, we might, and I mean might have been able to negotiate down to a strong public option.

December 12, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Are you kidding Tom that's just what the democrats would like all of the above you posted so they would have to start even further left than that.

December 12, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

lisa the overmedicated drooled,

Are you kidding Tom that's just what the democrats would like all of the above you posted so they would have to start even further left than that.

I'm trying to figure out how somebody as stupid as you are manages to use a keyboard. You must be doing voice-recognition software or something.

Today's corporatist dems are about as liberal as Nixon was, and probably just as honest. where do you come up with your ignorant bullshit?

December 12, 2009 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

he only medication I take is for blood pressure and it is only 80mg.
I guees because I wonder if Obam would let me ave it being I am borderline.
Over medicated,not.
But it's better than being over educated and under smart.

December 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: I hope not, but you might be right. As fucked up as everything is, starting over might be the only hope.

Thomas: That's probably what the Democrats should've done -- start out with something too far to the left and too far-reaching, and then "compromise" with a public option.

Either that, or just insert a Public Option or Single Payer amendment into a defense spending bill.

Or (and this is the least likely scenario), they could man up, grow some cojones and figure out that negotiating doesn't mean bringing a pocket knife to a gun fight, or wearing a "Kick Me" T-shirt.

Lisa: Jolly Roger is right. Both parties are up to their eyeballs in corporate "contributions" (it used to be called bribery). They're only as "liberal" as their puppetmasters allow them to be.

Oh, and you're right to be afraid of Obama's takeover of your health care. Be ve-r-r-r-y afraid. On page 1,938 of the health care bill, there's an amendment stating "No blood pressure medication for Lisa. She's white, conservative and borderline. She needs to be punished."

December 13, 2009 at 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

Thomas - Damn, you're a hard ass! I like it, and I wish too they had started with pie in the sky before starting with street level, then negotiating downwards.

December 13, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

lisa the drooling demented dolt scratched,

the only medication I take is for blood pressure and it is only 80mg.

In that case, you should be all for health reform, because it's clear you are in bad need of some medication that'll allow you to escape the persecution of your delusions.

December 13, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Thomas said what I have been thinking for months, all this bipartisan crap, lets meet in the middle BS, all that happens is nothing.

December 13, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I dunno, killing America in order to "save it" seems more like what the Republicans have been trying to do for the last few decades...

December 13, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Back when the Republicans were in control they rammed a lot of legislation through Congress using 9/11 as a dropcloth and accusing the Democratic Party of being obstructionist when they didn't comply. Stop trying to appease the other side of the aisle and work harder for the majority of Americans who voted you into office in the first place.

December 13, 2009 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: Maybe the Democrats have learned a lesson for future Senate showdowns. Riiight.

Holte: Yup, it's ridiculous, all this striving for bipartisanship. It takes two to be bipartisan, and the Republicans have done nothing but sabotage everything. Fuck 'em.

Snave: The continuing health care crisis, financial crisis, being basically owned by China -- I don't want the country to collapse but unless some changes get made quickly, it could happen. I hope not, of course.

Lew: It's way past time to use the Republicans' tried-and-true tactics against them. Not for vengeance (well, partly) but because this seems to be the only way to get things done in Congress.

December 13, 2009 at 8:00 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom, your sentence that ends ("I'm paraphrasing") was the absolute best laugh of the day. Thanks for that; I needed a good laugh.

Thomas wrote: "The biggest problem is that the Democrats are crappy negotiators."

True, but what they lack as negotiators they more than make up for by being excellent doormats.

That said, Thomas is exactly right about how this thing should've been approached from the outset. Obama, his wife, his Cabinet members and congressional Democrats should've been all over the media and all over the country, all on the same page, talking up the need for and benefits of a single-payer system, for months. Every speech, every press conference, interview or public appearance of any kind should've been turned into a platform for pounding out that message.

Think of it as a "shock and awe" initial assault, to get the public really on board and fired up, and shove the opposition back a few paces.

Democrats should've fought for a single-payer system right through to summer. And then, and only if the other side were to show some real interest in real compromise, they should've been willing to talk about a public option that would be open to everyone.

It's been said many times, and it remains true: Democrats have the damnedest talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Right now, I think we need a nationwide grass-roots drive to convince Harry Reid to quit selling out the whole concept of health care reform, junk Baucus' crapola, go with the House bill completely and use reconciliation. Either that or he'd better get himself a new continent to live on, because his life won't be worth living on this one.

December 13, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

No blood pressure medication for Lisa. She's white, conservative and borderline. She needs to be punished."

Okay I'll give you that one Thomas although the concern I have isn't my color it's my country and it's ridiculous spnding.

December 14, 2009 at 6:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Thanks. And I agree that Obama and his cabinet and Congress should have been pushing and haranguing on the health issue relentlessly. That's what Bush and Cheney did for a full year prior to the Iraqi invasion, and it worked. Sometimes that tactic is necessary.

Good advice for Reid, if only he'll take it.

Lisa: So you're concerned for your country and all that ridiculous spending; but you're OK with the trillions we've spent on Iraq, Afghanistan, the war on drugs and the Patriot Act. OK then...

BTW, Tom Harper and Thomas are two different people. It looks like you're getting us mixed up.

December 14, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

you know Tom spending more isn't the answer and you know darn well this president is putting us into more debt than Bush as a matter of fact alot more and where are we today?
Walks on Water gives himself a B+
Is this guy full of himself or what?
Stop justifying anything Obama does by blaming Bush. This is his economy now and he said he will take responsibility for it. Well the American people are waiting for the so called "hope" and "change" he promised and those of us who know anything know what those are buzz words for. It looks like 61% now see all the lies and radicals he surrounds himself with.
Just because the media and a handful of people follow him religiously doesn't mean the majority of America does.
My Ultimate Public Option will be Nov 2, 2010.

December 15, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Um Lisa, Nov 2 2010 is a mid term. You think the reps will get that much of an advantage? If so, you are NOT paying attention. The reps are hated even more than the dems right now. Good luck with that though.

December 15, 2009 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

hey are hated by a few handful and the media Jess. I guess you haven't been paying atention to the "real" pulse of the nation.
I know it's a midterm and a chance to get more seats and keep the reigns on Obama before he totally brings our economy to it's knees. You know like they had to reign in Clinton.

December 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: You mean you were able to translate Lisa's comment? I was trying to think of an answer but I couldn't figure out what that rambling run-on sentence meant.

Lisa: The "pulse of the nation" -- LOL. You're referring to Fox News and WorldNetDaily, right?

December 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Lisa, the Foxness monster is not news and the people paying attention there, are the same people that think paste eating is a good thing. Oh and last time I checked dems only have about 10 seats that are really vulnerable and as of now the reps have about 12-13. Which means, reps would have to carry away a metric shitload of seats to come anywhere close to anything resembling a majority. Like I said before, and I mean this, good luck with that.

Tom, I had my niece all day today to let her mom and dad go get her and her brothers holiday gifts. She's 4 so I was almost able to catch what our dear Lisa said.

December 15, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa said

"You know like they had to reign in Clinton."

You mean Clinton, that bastard that gave us the Huge Surplus you fiscal Conservatives pissed away by the end of GW's first term?


December 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM  

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