Sunday, June 21, 2009

Last Call

Atrios on the Village:
For some reason, the Villagers think it's very important news each and every time a Republican criticizes Obama. Don't get me wrong, I certainly think it's appropriate for the press to present or even somewhat amplify the views of the minority party, provided those views have any merit or substance, but the coverage often treats the fact that they're unhappy with Obama as news in and of itself. It's weird.
Psst, Duncan, the Village has been in on The Plan now for quite some time.

The Village power to manufacture news, the news being that "Republicans are criticizing the President" is in and of itself newsworthy according to the Village only shows A) how much power the Village has, and B) that power is firmly in control of the folks in Washington who are fully vested in seeing Barack Obama fail miserably in his quest to actually change America.

It's the way the Beltway works. Obama is changing the power structure. People don't like that, in fact some of them will not tolerate it. Obama is a threat to these folks. They know he is a threat.

The more the Village as media referee keeps convincing people that the automatic gainsaying of anything the President says is newsworthy, important, and vital, the more power that gainsaying has, and the more people will go "Well, both the media and the Republicans hate X, ergo it must be a bad thing." Not because there's a logical argument there, but simply because they say so.

Palliative Care, Part 2

The Sunday shows were filled with people who did not come to praise the public health care option, but to bury it.
It's doubtful that President Barack Obama can garner enough votes to pass sweeping health care reform through Congress, a leading Senate Democrat says -- this despite a new poll that shows nearly three-quarters of Americans would support some form of government-run health care program.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday that cost was the primary problem with the plan. An initial estimate had pegged the Democrats' health-care reform packages at $1.6 trillion over 10 years; a watered-down version of the proposal, unveiled last week, would run about $1 trillion over 10 years.

Feinstein appears to be following a meme that has broken out among Washington insiders over the weekend. Sen . Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made similar remarks earlier Sunday on ABC's This Week, telling George Stephanopoulos that the cost of the health care package was "a death blow to a government-run health plan."

"The last thing in the world I think Democrats and Republicans are going to do at the end of the day is create a government-run healthcare system where you've got a bureaucrat standing in between the patient and the doctor," Graham said.

The same group of Senators that gave Bush a blank check for trillions over 7 years to fight an endless war of choice in Iraq are the same ones now worried about the cost of providing health insurance to 50 million Americans.

Which is more important, Iraq or covering the uninsured? Which one will save more American lives? We're told that the defense of freedom and democracy in the Middle East is a cost we all must bear...but not for helping the one out of six Americans who lack health insurance.

Those American lives aren't worth the cost.

Understanding The Neocon Position On Iran

There is only one acceptable outcome in Iran to the neocons and their wingnut blogger supporters: regime change. It doesn't matter how bloody it is or how many Iranians die to make it happen, anything that is not an active maneuver to bring down "the mad mullahs" is unacceptable to the neocons. A prime example of this mentality is "Cap'n Ed" Morrissey over at Hot Air.
But let’s say, for argument, that the mullahs suddenly got a hankering for Hope & Change and offered a sit-down between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Barack Obama. Why would we accept that offer and bolster Ahmadinejad’s prestige? How would that make the US look, sitting down publicly with a regime that bloodily suppressed peaceful demonstrations that demanded accountability for a stolen election? We would be an accessory to Iran’s oppression by giving the mullahcracy more credibility than its own people.

Is this “smart power”?

When neocons say "You can't possibly have a diplomatic relationship with Iran at this juncture" they mean "Why haven't you overthrown the regime yet?"

You see, Obama is an "accessory to Iran's oppression" if he leaves any diplomatic channels open. That kind of binary stupidity is what got us into Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, the neocons will attack Obama until he gives the green light for a strike on Iran. In that way, the neocons are even more belligerent and predictable than the Iranian regime.

The Will Of The People

Steve Benen checks out Sunday's NYTimes/CBS poll on health care reform.

An NBC/WSJ poll released the other day found that 76% of Americans believe it's either "extremely important" or "quite important" to "give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance."

The wording of that question was a little awkward, though. The results from the latest NYT poll are even more encouraging.

Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

Respondents were asked, "Would you favor or oppose the government's offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans?" It wasn't even close -- 72% supported the public option. Among Republicans, the ones who are supposed to find the very idea of a public plan so outrageous, 50% favor the same policy idea.

Even half of Republican voters want a public option, not to mention an overwhelming 87% of Democrats and 73% of independent voters. At what point do our elected representatives actually listen to the will of the people instead of the lobbyists who legally bribe them daily?

[UPDATE] Nate Silver crunches the numbers on the various public option support polls and finds that yes, America does want a public health care insurance option.

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