04 February, 2009

And You Wonder Why the Left is Angry?

dday and I share a sentiment:
I think every post I write gets me angrier and angrier, so I may need to take a time out. But first:

Max Baucus spoke at the Academy Health National Policy Conference today. His first words were:

The 19th Century British philosopher Herbert Spencer wrote: “The preservation of health is a duty.”

I believe that this Congress has a duty to reform health care.

And he continued, "this morning, I’d like to spend some time talking about the potential obstacles we may face as we move forward – and the reasons why those barriers can be overcome." So his talk was a kind of analysis, setting out the barriers and how they can be surmounted.

The Washington Times watched that performance, listened to it, and wrote this.

A key Senate Democrat charged with overseeing his party's swift push for universal health care indicated on Tuesday that reform may have to wait until next year, as other priorities related to the economy and wars take precedent.

"Why might reform not happen this year? As is often the case, the new administration and the new Congress face competing priorities," said Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat and Senate Finance Committee chairman, at a health policy conference in Washington hosted by AcademyHealth and Health Affairs magazine. "These priorities compete for time on the agenda and attention in the press and in public."

"The president's dance card is indeed full," he added.
Seriously, shoot me in the face.
If you read nothing else today, pop an extra dose of blood pressure meds and go finish dday's post.

I've been getting steadily more steamed. A democracy is nominally run by its citizens. To make good decisions, you need good info. And this is the kind of codswallop we're fed. Anyone wonder why I get my news from the blogs rather than the MSM? I'm going to need that gun when dday's done with it.

I'd boycott the networks, but I don't watch teevee anymore anyway, so it's a rather empty gesture. I can't watch. Not even when Obama's on trying to correct all of the bullshit they've spewed:
But this is good stuff from the Prez. More like it, please:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Charlie, if you take a look at the bill, the fact is, there are no earmarks in this bill, which, by the way, some of the critics can't claim for legislation they've voted for over the last eight years. There's no earmarks in it. We've made sure that there aren't individual pork projects in there.

The criticisms have generally been around some policy initiatives that were placed in the bill that I think are actually good policy, but some people may say is not going to actually stimulate jobs quickly enough. I think that there's legitimate room for working through those issues over the next several weeks to make sure that we get the best possible bill. But here's the thing that I think we have to understand. The economy is in desperate straits. What I won't do is adopt the same economic theories that helped land us in the worst economy since the Great Depression. What I will do is work with anybody of good faith to make sure that we can come up with the best possible package to not only create jobs and provide support to families, but also to lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth.

CHARLES GIBSON: CBO says only 25 percent of this bill would get to people within a year. [Memo to Charlie: that's been debunked, you dumbshit. Don't make me come over there with the Smack-o-Matic 3000.] Republicans now say it needs to be more stimulative, there needs to be more money on infrastructure, there needs to be more tax cuts, there needs to be more help for homeowners, maybe even guaranteeing 4, 4.5 percent mortgages. [Memo to Charlie ctd.: Cons are saying all sorts of shit trying to excuse themselves for not voting for the stimulus, and you've already repeated it endlessly. Be a fucking reporter for once and note they were against help for homeowners way before they were for it, and just voted down more infrastructure spending. If you can't fact check, STFU.]

Would you accept those things?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, keep in mind, for example, some want to put more infrastructure in the bill, and they're also complaining that it doesn't spin out fast enough. In some cases, there are contradictions there. I mean, we may want to spend on a whole bunch of great infrastructure, but it may take seven or eight years to do it, in which case we're vulnerable for the criticism that it's not spinning out fast enough. I think that in a package of this sort, that has to go to Congress with 535 opinions, at least, then there's going to be some give and take.

What I've said is that any good idea thrown out there to improve this legislation I'm for. But I want to be absolutely clear here that the overwhelming bulk of the package is sound, is designed to put people back to work, help states that are in desperate straits, help families who are losing jobs and health care, and it's designed to make sure that we've got green energy jobs for the future. In fact, most of the programs that have been criticized as part of this package amount to less than one percent of the overall package. And it makes for good copy, but here's the thing -- we can't afford to play the usual politics at a time when the economy continues to worsen.
I wonder what it's going to take to get that through the Cons' thick skulls? We already paddled them soundly, not once but twice, at the polls. What more does it take to make them grow the fuck up and start acting like responsible adults? How, in fact, do you play ball with tantrum-throwing toddlers who take their ball and go home when they don't get their way?

And what is it going to take to break the media of the habit of being stenographers for the Cons? Do we need to add a remedial training program to the stimulus that will send these fake journalists back to school so they can learn to be the real thing? I'm not even sure it's an educational issue - I think they know they're supposed to fact-check, but they're too addicted to Con bullshit to stop swallowing it. Which, I suppose, makes this more of a heath-care issue. We need to stage an intervention. Get those media clowns into detox, stat.

This is why the left seems so angry, folks. Ten metric tons of dumbfuckery dumped on one's head on an hourly basis while you have nothing but a dessert spoon to shovel it off with rather has that effect.


Mike at The Big Stick said...

Do we need to add a remedial training program to the stimulus that will send these fake journalists back to school so they can learn to be the real thing?

That wouldn't be any dumber an idea than the rest of the pork that Democrats have added.

- $75 million for smoking cessation programs.

- $200 million for Dep. of Defense to acquire alternative energy vehicles.

- $45 billion for recreational trail maintenance.

Maybe if you took the time to actually read the bill and quit drinking Nancy Pelosi's Kool Aid you would realize that what we need now is restraint and some serious review before we pass a bill that is so insanely out of control that even the French say it is reckless.

Here's a link to the bill. Do your homework for once instead of selective Googling:


Justin Hale said...

We need to make a decision as a nation that if a person is sick they can see a doctor, then reconstruct the health payment system around that principle. Applying the corporate insurance model to health care is a huge unnecessary scam.

Cujo359 said...

My first reaction to your objections Mike, is that you're quibbling over petty amounts of money when we're shoveling hundreds of billions into the banks and the same sorts of tax cuts that got us into this mess.

My second reaction is, what orifice did you pull that $45 billion number out of? The entire expenditure for the NPS is $1.8 billion. Maybe you should try some Googling instead of credulously reading conservative propaganda. Thanks to the neglect of the Bush years, they will need extra money. Trails are becoming impassible all over the country. Thanks to budget constraints at the state and local level, they are being neglected in local parks, too. Money is needed, and it's simple work that any healthy person can do. Why the hell not do it when we need to employ people?

If the smoking cessation programs help people quit smoking, I'm all for them. That kind of money is peanuts in a national program. It could easily translate into savings in medical bills and lost wages.

Do you have any idea how big the Pentagon budget is? 200 million wouldn't even be noticeable, even in their vehicle budget.

The clowns who voted to block that infrastructure amendment certainly don't care about money wasted on infrastructure projects. They sat around for four years and did nothing while tens of billions were being wasted in Iraq on infrastructure and other construction projects.

Mike at The Big Stick said...


Check out page 45 of the bill.

“$25,000,000 is for recreation maintenance, especially for rehabilitation of off-road vehicle routes, and $20,000,000 is for trail maintenance and restoration.”

Now you may think all of these measely little programs are peanuts, but they add up. Additionally, isn't this supposed to be a 'stimulus' bill? How does smoking cessation 'stimulate' the economy? do liberals even understand what the goal is of this bill?

The big problem is that there is so much CRAP tucked in this bill and liberals are pressing to hurry up and pass it before anyone notices it.

Make no mistake about it. This will be the Left's Iraq. Eventually they will push something through, still loaded down with junk like the programs i mentioned, and it will be their undoing if it fails.

Cujo359 said...

Jeebus H. Crispees, Mike, that's $45 million dollars! Six zeros is a million, not a billion.

Now, as for the rest of what you wrote, are you kidding me? All that stuff you wrote about, which will not be a complete waste of money by any stretch of the imagination, is less than 0.05 percent of the money we've already poured down the crapper to try to keep the banks afloat.

If you don't believe me, pull out your calculator and divide 0.32 by 700 and then multiply by 100.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

My apologies...yes, it's $45 million. Still crap.

$75 million to try and get people to stop smoking. Still crap.

Again, this is not a stimulus bill....it's a spending bill crammed full of Nancy Pelosi's liberal wish list.

Chris said...

Someone should try to explain to Mike at The Big Shit for Brains that the 2.5 billion going to our National Parks is as much for the creation of jobs through a program of public works as it is for long overdue improvements in the parks themselves, which has the added potential of providing more jobs and income by way of the thousands of private businesses which depend on recreaction as a source of revenue. To paraphrase my daughter, I wish the device which would allow me to reach out over the internet and give someone a wedgie would hurry up and get invented. Dana, could you pulleeze warm up the smack-o?

Mike at The Big Stick said...

Make-work programs are not a good way to spend the money. I mean, training a generation for important tasks like wood chopping and raking trails does sound like typical liberal logic, but how about giving them some skills that will last them beyond the Obama administration?

The formula for success isn't that complicated: wide-ranging tax breaks that help individuals, families and employers combined with investment in basic infrastructure. National Parks are not 'basic infrastructure'. Millions for alternative energy-fueled cars in the national fleet is not 'basic infrastructure'.

What is clear here is that Pelosi and Reid and their more liberal colleagues have chosen to take this opportunity to get funding for every program they ever dreamed of. They loaded the stimulus bill with billions in special interest dollars that will have little or no economic impact, but DO give a handout to important voting blocks. I think their hopes are that the rest of Congress will eventually get tired of trying to carve out all the waste and just pass the thing. Liberals like Dana who rant nightly about the dire emergency of getting this passed now either share Pelosi and Reid's goals of sneaking in pork or just don't care.

There is already wide-ranging reports on the wasteful way the TARP money was spent and that was to a handful of institutions compared with the grab-bag of programs the current stimulus bill hopes to fund.

Cujo359 said...

You're complaining about the national parks budget? Their budget has been savaged in the last eight years and they're barely able to operate. As another commenter noted, there's plenty of economic benefit to having good parks.

Oh, P.S., the Republicans blocked spending on more infrastructure.

You're obviously not too good with numbers, Mike, so I've drawn a picture for you.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

The liberal humor is hilarious. Meanwhile it's still a make-work project Cujo. It has no business being in this bill, along with a lot of other pork.

President Obama wanted a streamlined bill. He mentioned it more than once before the election and afterwards. Pelosi loaded it up with special interest junk. Libs think a little graff, a little corruption, a little pork should just be the spoils of victory in November. Rather than pointing the finger at Republicans, maybe, just maybe, you could point it at the party that actually derailed the process.

And Republicans are blocking the infrastructure spending until cuts are made in other parts of the bill. They are nasically saying, "be responsible, spend the money on things we need, and get rid of the pork." Apparently you think it's problematic to ask Democrats to choose substance over special interests. Why make choices when you can have both, right? I guess you want to have your pork and eat it too.

Cujo359 said...

Mike, pull out your calculator again. Divide 0.320 by 30. Multiply by 100. That number, which is a little bigger than one, is the percent of the proposed infrastructure increase covered by all the things you mentioned. Your assertion that the GOP was waiting for this so-called pork to be eliminated before adding infrastructure is farcical.

That's particularly true when they're the ones who insisted on useless tax cuts that dwarf either of those numbers.

At least, it would be farcical if their constituency weren't completely innumerate.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

Then why don't Democrats just man-up and pass the bill? They have the votes. Is it because they are terrified it will flop and they want the GOP to share the albatross with them in 2010? They sure don't seem that confident in their work.

Cujo359 said...

There's this issue called cloture, Mike. They need to get 60 votes to close debate on the bill. That's how the Republicans have been obstructing nearly everything Democrats have tried to do (precious little as that actually was) last session, and they're doing it again now.

This is why we rant about Harry Reid. He's just let this go on at unprecedented level without bringing it to peoples' attention or obstructing things Republicans want in turn.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

As events last night showed us, it took very little in additional cuts to get both senators from Maine on board as well as Spector, who is often a dependable Democratic vote. Reid was trying to hold out because the longer they waited, the worst they thought the GOP would look.

Of course, they failed though because public opinion polls show support for the bill rapidly falling. If/when it fails, Democrats will know what George Bush felt like in 2006.

Cujo359 said...

$140 billion, most of it in the job-creating portion of the bill, is a "small cut". Once again, you need to do some recalculation. Those raving assholes cut about a third of the job-creating potential from the bill in one fell swoop.

jim said...

Mike - if it wasn't for CUJO your blog would be worthless. At least we've learned something from him.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

$140 billion? Really? Because the analysis I read this morning puts it at $83 billion.


Here are the details:

Agriculture $600,000,000.00
Commerce, justice $3,659,000,000.00
Energy and Water $1,100,000,000.00
Financial Services $3,800,000,000.00
Homeland Security $386,500,000.00
Interior $540,000,000.00
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education & Related Agencies $29,000,000,000.00
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund $40,000,000,000.00
State, Foreign Operations $429,000,000.00
Transportation, HUD $3,500,000,000.00

You will notice $16 billion for school construction was cut. Also $40 billion for the state stabilization fund. Now i realize you see this as 'stimulus' and 'job creation' but it's only temporary. Once the schools are built, where do all those workers go? What skills did you equip them with?

The state bailout has been criticized because there is little oversight. I believe it was President Obama himself who raised the possibility of making these loans instead of grants because loans could come with strings and if the states complied the feds could forgive the loans. Grants will lead to widespread corruption and waste, which seems to be perfectly acceptable to the Left.

All told, the price tag of this bill is still higher than the plan that came out of the House. You seem to have your votes. Be happy.