Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

Conservative assassination attempt on the Dream.

Thinking of the Republican response to President Obama’s state of the Union address, think of a bullet in a revolver aimed straight at the temple of the American Dream. What happens when there are not enough progressives to knock the gun down? Why should democracy lovers listen to Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, when if she had her way $285 million in aid to Iowans and $495 million in aid to Mississippians through the department of education would not have been available, thwarting an opportunity to climb the ladder in America. She, like recent Mississippi U.S. Senatorial candidate, Chris McDaniel who came within a whisker of winning, favors abolishing the Department of Education. How’s that for economic development considering Ben Franklin’s assessment; education pays the best interest. And then there’s the Department’s anti-discrimination duties which considering the Republican party’s attraction to racist (See Steve Scalise and Chris McDaniel speaking engagements) reveals the true nature of the conservative attack on public education even on the state level (see MAEP in Mississippi), an anti-egalitarian attack which has been in the bloodline of conservatism for some time and has been a particular attraction for southern conservative whites since Nixon because of it’s extreme virulence for minorities. If the conservative bullets find their mark, democracy suffers and a Neo-Feudalism takes it place.

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▶ The Nine Most Terrifying Words – YouTube

 

Funny, how you only hear this when the group that they’re against is getting assistance. 

Nine most terrifying words?  Well, not so much in Mississippi these days.  Just look at the insurer-provider dispute in Mississippi. 

In the dispute between a big insurer and a hospital group in Mississippi how can you possibly be concerned with “the patients that Blue Cross insures and these hospitals serve” and refuse Medicaid expansion? How can you not see the connection? Absence of Medicaid expansion in Mississippi will drive up medical costs to Mississippians relative to other states. The cost of not getting preventative treatment and health maintenance drives the cost up for everyone by channeling impoverished people into the emergency rooms for more expensive care. That cost doesn’t just disappear but is passed on to other consumers through higher costs which they pay via higher premiums and higher co-pays and deductibles. Of course the insurance industry operating in Mississippi would move to cut out the more expensive hospitals; they have stock prices and shareholders to worry about. Conspicuous by their absence once again is the Mississippi Heritage Foundation doppelganger, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Where were the faux-limited government proponents advocating unfettered markets? It’s funny how you didn’t hear them complain about the governor issuing an order which “would have required Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi [a private entity] to resume paying in-network rates at Mississippi hospitals.” Not really when you realize that, despite what the Tea Party-types profess, they are in favor of limited government only if it doesn’t affect their comrades or people who lobby for laws that increase the corporate profits out of which their financial support comes. If Mississippi politicians can spend so much time and effort trying to make sure that the federal government keeps maintaining military installations and spending that produce a net inflow of federal dollars to Mississippi then it doesn’t make any sense to try and stop the federal government from helping Mississippi defray the state’s overall healthcare costs on the grounds that you don’t believe in government involvement in the free market. Channeling government spending into arguably unnecessary military spending or at best spending that is not efficient because of the economic impact to a given state, say Mississippi, is an admission that the government does create jobs and that it is desirable for the government to do so. Even Ronald Reagan acknowledged the military as an employment source and favored including the military in employment figures. And from a fiscal standpoint, pretending that expansion of Medicaid is detrimental to Mississippi’s budget is to bury one’s head in the sand.

The cost of medical care in Mississippi will not decrease because Medicaid is not expanded, the costs will actually rise faster because of the absence of the benefits of expansion. The truth is Mississippians’ insurance premiums will be higher than they would have been under expansion and the medical infrastructure will be more overwhelmed because Mississippi is refusing federal aid, in a move that befits a continuation of the secessionist impulse, an impulse which operates to the creation and maintenance of huge wealth gaps. And the crack, about Mississippians not looking for work because the government is providing healthcare, is a reflection of the neo-feudalist nature of some Mississippi politicians. They would rather have citizens tied to employers because of healthcare than to have them be truly free to start their own businesses, then to see a “thousand flowers bloom.” There is one report which “finds that up to nearly 1 million workers may voluntarily leave their jobs because of the new health care law.”

They, the Crypto-Fascists, would rather the average citizen be constrained in such a way that they, average Mississippians, have to look up to and be beholding to corporate interest in a way that lets corporations place greater and greater controls on citizens. You see this manifested in things like Mississippi politicians’ (Crypto-Fascists’) participation in and defense of organizations like ALEC which brought Mississippi, through Joey Filingane, the photo ID law, which constricts democratic participation. The less-government, less-regulation crowd is actually an anti-democratic cabal which orchestrates the development and maintenance of monopolies. Anti-democratic forces don’t really believe that “[t]he antitrust laws reflect our society’s belief that competition enhances consumer welfare and promotes our economic and political freedoms.” They actually believe in tying people to employers in a slave or share-cropper fashion. With people so tied to an employer, how likely are they to vote in a way with which their employers disagree? This is a very real way in which something as simple as the denial of healthcare access UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY!!! Mississippi where sine qui non for political success is a simple as opposing anything related to Obama, it’s relatively easy, also given Mississippi’s neo-feudal, plantation-heritage (see flag vote)-loving past, to propose things which support plutocracy or oligarchy.

Additionally, on the subject of the rejection of democracy, widely-dispersed opportunity and equality, no one ever seems to even consider how the linkage of healthcare to existing businesses (getting insurance through your employer) may stifle competition by reducing the number of entrepreneurs thereby driving up consumer costs because of lack of competitors or of alternative products related to the inhibition of innovation. It is an intuitive design, this strategy of opposing the Affordable Care Act; forcing labor into existing businesses to obtain healthcare dovetails so nicely with right-to-work-for-less laws. Employers can reduce pay by offering insurance and reduce the number of competitors simultaneously. This is something which may be good for the existing employers but can’t be good for consumers or labor in the long run. The first order of business for CONservatives is to make certain that challenges to the existing economic kingpins are few or non-existent. Anything from unions to healthcare which threatens that imperative must be utterly crushed. When people like Dwayne Blaylock, president and CEO of River Oaks says “communities need protection and patients need access to the health care professionals of their choice,“ you have to wonder if they ever think about what repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act would mean for patient choice and for costs and consider that “[tlo the extent that insurance companies engage in anticompetitive collusion . . . then they appropriately [should] be subject to antitrust liability.]” But something tells me that being the CEO of a hospital means that his imperative, like the big insurers, is also something other than patient protection and universal access to any health care professionals much less the “professionals of their choice.” In this system patient choice is a sales tool which like patient protection is a means to an end. And in Mississippi because of resistance to things like Medicaid expansion, a physician, in many cases, doesn’t have to be concerned with first, doing no harm; sick people without access means that first, they do nothing at all.

Can you really keep your doctors if you like them? | Interviews | Fox News

This is how the Teabagger, RepubliCon, Crypto-Fascist distortion begins:

“ObamaCare requires all plans out there to meet a certain number of minimum requirements including that they provide for example, maternity care.” — MEGYN KELLY, HOST of the Kelly (that’s pronounced Kel-LIE)File

To attack the President using this falsehood, you must ignore the fact that plans sold before the bill (the Affordable Care Act) passed are not required to have the essential provisions that plans sold after passage must contain.

But once you establish the false premise the credibility attack is viable.

Then you can have your accomplice come in and say in response to your question

“So, was the president, you know, is his promise being kept?”

“No, Kelly, it’s not. I mean, President Obama said in 2009 if you want to keep your health insurance plan you can .” — EMILY (pronounced I’m – I – LIE) MILLER, SENIOR OPINION EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

So, to the people with the cancellation notices, what was your plan in 2009? Could it have been grandfathered in or did the insurance company change it so that it is no longer your 2009 plan?

Here is a possible answer:

“The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.”

But if they fell short but were sold before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the companies could have kept them in force. The law didn’t tell the insurance companies to cancel them. To the people with the cancellation notices, the government, President Obama, ObamaCare, the law didn’t take your policy away from you. President Obama actually said:

“If you like your plan, and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing,”

And here is the finisher:

“We’re not going to mess with it.” 

The you can-keep-your-doctor- you-can-keep-your-plan assertion was actually and remains a legitimate response to the government takeover lie that the Teabaggers, RepubliCons were throwing up to thwart any effort to break down the monopolistic healthcare industry and bend the cost curve, which shrinks healthcare insurance profits while actually puts more money into the pockets of consumers (see the part about premium returns if a certain percentage isn’t spent on healthcare-$1.5 billion overhead savings and insurance rebates to Americans since its implementation in 2011).

So when KELLY (Kel-LIE) says “If I want to pay less for a less great plan, isn’t that my right? I mean, what we are seeing now is that right has been taken away from hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Americans.”

She isn’t talking about herself paying less for a less great plan-a plan that turns out not to cover things that you thought it would(she makes $250,000 per year and is worth $5 million). No, for her and Michelle Bachmann and Michelle’s southern doppelganger Marsha Blackburn (concerned that people who want to buy insurance policies that are the equivalent of Fords are being forced to buy policies that are the equivalent of Ferraris) of Tennessee with their $174,000 per year salaries and government insurance, inadequate insurance is an academic discussion. I am sure there were people like them who lobbied on behalf of people who wanted to buy cars without seatbelts and complained about the cost of cars with seatbelts because, really, how many people are going to have an accident and really need a seatbelt? These people aren’t called CONservatives and RepubliCons for nothing. They know by their elections and campaign contributions that there is a self-flagellating, masochistic element within the American body politic, an element that seems to believe in purification through pain. There has been gold in dem dere hills!!! But if the recent RepubliCon orchestrated shutdown is any indication, even self-flagellation has its limits.  Even Utah which ousted Senator Bennett to elect a clown like Mike Lee may have learned a lesson about attacking a government which is for the people

Can you really keep your doctors if you like them? | Interviews | Fox News

Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, According to Standard & Poor’s | TIME.com

Way to burn $24 billion!!!  This cremation was brought to you, recently furloughed, anxiety-filled workers, by people who complained of the uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act.  This destruction was brought to you by the gang that is willing to economically destroy their own voters.  This gang is willing to inflict pain on their constituents, people who in 2014 will probably vote for them again, because their constituents are people who are willing to believe that Obama is a secret Moslem who was born in Kenya, easily abused people who equate belief with fact.  The exploitative, Tea Party-driven Representatives and Senators who were willing to sacrifice $24 billion in GDP in a gamble to get the President and the the Democrat-controlled Senate to kill a law that Teabaggers say is killing the economy are not hurt by what Republican Senator Richard Burr called “[t]he dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”  They will continue to receive access to excellent health care and $174,000 per year.  You have to wonder where will the Teabagger Representatives and Senators get their donations as they support policies which will deplete the resources of their voters whether furloughed workers or people who were hindered by the $24 billion GDP hit and the victims of off-shoring and outsourcing?  The answer is the same people who fund Heritage and Cato, the people who stand to gain the most from cheap labor and an eviscerated middle class, the people who stir antagonism for immigrants as a means of diverting attention from the off-shoring of profits and outsourcing of jobs.  You guessed it the RepubliCons who are longing for an opportunity to elect a President who can put another corporations-Scalia clone on the Supreme Court.  When you look at places like Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and other Red States where voters vote for people like Paul Ryan who propose to “slash spending for the poor”and “privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare”  you have to know that you are dealing with people who Noam Scheiber might refer to as “aspirationally rational people too dense to grasp the big picture,” a big picture which clearly shows that they are the tools of their own destruction. 

Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, According to Standard & Poor’s | TIME.com

Autopsy of a Stimulus Slander (“Rest of Story?”, Really?”)

Marco Rubio in the Republican Response to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address resurrected the Solyndra attack from last year’s Presidential election. Anticipating the resurrection of an attempt to attack the stimulus aka the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), I examine the guts of a letter-to-the-editor from December 2011, which are sure to be part of a RepubliZombie smorgasbord to come.

“Rest of Story” letter from 2011 (Critiqued)


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‘Rest of story’ on stimulus jobs | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com