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Fishing for a Comeback

By Dan Balz
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who spent part of his August break fishing out West, offered a wry response when asked earlier this week what the administration's plan is for health care. "Catch more fish," he e-mailed back.

Whether the tongue-in-cheek reply was designed to disguise changes underway inside the White House as President Obama and his team prepare for a fateful fall -- or a recommitment to the exceedingly patient approach that has marked the president's health care strategy -- won't be clear until Congress returns. But it's difficult for the White House team to argue that August was a successful month for the president.

In August, the legislative battle on Capitol Hill gave way a noisy public debate over health care waged sometimes angrily in town hall meetings from one corner of the country to the other. Obama's team would argue that the president and his allies have been able to rebut the worst of the inflammatory -- and false -- charges about the legislation pending in Congress.

That may be right: the fate of the legislation is not likely to turn on the issue of death panels. But in other ways, the month of August left the administration no better and perhaps worse off than they were when Congress left town.

The administration's wobbly rhetoric about the public option brought a backlash from liberal supporters of health care. They are now threatening to turn the fight for retaining a public option in the bill into a crusade. At a time when the president needs unity among his supporters, they are divided. How high a price will Obama have to pay to try to reunify the Democrats, and will he follow them or will they follow him?

The cause of bipartisanship moved into reverse during August, though not for anything Obama did or didn't do. In this case, two Republicans who the administration had hoped could be leaders in helping to work out a bipartisan bill unexpectedly turned harshly partisan in their rhetoric.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, sounded increasingly like a politician worried about inching away from his conservative base than a secure congressional leader anxious to solve one of the nation's biggest and most persistent problems -- the cost and availability of health care.

Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, another member of the Gang of Six on the Finance Committee, gave the Republican radio address on Saturday and sounded like someone spooked by the angriest of the town hall meetings. Rather than seeking consensus, he seemed more anxious to draw lines in the sand.

Grassley and Enzi have been under enormous pressure from Republican colleagues opposed to Obama's health care initiative as they have participated in Gang of Six discussions under the leadership of Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Their motives are now suspect and the president (and Baucus) will have to make a judgment call about the cost of trying to keep them at the table versus the cost of proceeding without them.

Obama has given Baucus a long leash through the summer, mindful that the executive and legislative branches are constitutionally separate. That strategy has come close to running its course. Baucus asked the White House to give him until Sept. 15 to produce something. Obama has let other deadlines slip. Can he afford to let this one slide without raising questions about his leadership?

Former Senate majority leader Bob Dole and former Democratic senator Bill Bradley weighed in with advice to the president over the weekend. Bradley said a grand bargain is still possible, but only if Obama is prepared to put tort reform on the table as an enticement to attract Republican support for universal coverage. Dole said Obama needs to take charge of the debate by laying out his real priorities, not stated in principles but specifics.

From both veteran legislators, the message was clear: Obama must be prepared to wager more of his dwindling political capital, risk bucking some of the interests in his own party, challenge Republicans to be more than a party of no -- and get the job done. Dole and Bradley were saying Obama must lead.

But August did nothing to strengthen Obama's standing with the public and prepare a return for the fall with enhanced influence. If anything, there was further erosion. Rhetoric alone can't do much about that for the time being, given all with which Obama is dealing (though many Democrats want to see a greater effort to capture the moral high ground in the debate, which they fear has been surrendered).

Progress and success are what he needs, even if in small doses.

The concern for Obama as Congress prepares to return is that lawmakers who are already looking ahead toward the 2010 midterm elections may be less willing to follow the president than they were six or eight months ago, when was seen as the transformational winner of a historical election riding a mandate for change.

For much of the year, White House officials have cautioned their Democratic allies on Capitol Hill that the party would rise or fall together, that failure was the worst possible outcome of the health care debate for what it would say about the Democrats' ability to govern. That remains a powerful motivator among Democrats and it is one reason to believe that, in the end, Congress will send some kind of health care bill to Obama for his signature.

But members of Congress and the president are now operating on conflicting political timetables. Obama doesn't have to worry about reelection until 2012, when the world could look quite different. Members of Congress have to face the voters in 14 months and already they are nervous about what they see. Once they start worrying mostly about their own survival, Obama's hold on them will be weakened.

Obama's self-confidence and patience are well understood. If he has been rattled by the summer setbacks, he won't show it. But this is not the campaign of 2008. His team of Hill veterans knows that successful legislating is tedious and often comes in small, hard-won victories that ultimately add up to bigger success. That has been and remains their focus. As Emanuel put it, they are casting out lines hoping to reel in more fish.

But if they hoped that August would significantly strengthen their hand for the long-awaited fall battles, they must be disappointed. The task looks as difficult today as it did when Congress left, if not more difficult. They could use some help. Whatever happened to that reset button that Secretary of State Clinton gave to the Russians?

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 1, 2009; 1:19 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

This Article is GENIUS!!! Dan, please contact us so that we can send you a FREE copy of the new movie: "Stock Shock." You will love this movie...and judging from your article, you could have Directed it!!!
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GENIUS!!!!

Posted by: DeniseHubbard | September 2, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This Article is GENIUS!!! Dan, please contact us so that we can send you a FREE copy of the new movie: "Stock Shock." You will love this movie...and judging from your article, you could have Directed it!!!
email to info@stockshockmovie.com They will have your name. Movie Trailer is at www.stockshockmovie.com. Also, the movie staff got a call from the White House! Here is that article out today:http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/white-house-curious-about-movie-stock-shock-114735.php

GENIUS!!!!

Posted by: DeniseHubbard | September 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Healthcare proposals requiring young people to purchase health insurance will significantly alter America’s spending priorities and its economy. In the past, young families purchased a home before they purchased health insurance. Health insurance will now take each young adult’s first dollar of earnings (after taxes). Less will remain for the purchase of a home, less for the purchase of a car, less for savings and less for their children’s college education. The requirement to purchase health insurance makes traditional American financial goals much harder to reach.

As a result, home ownership for many will be considerably delayed, purchasing a new car may be out of the question, and saving for college may be a thing of the past. Fewer homes will be built as young adults either rent or continue to live with their parents. Fewer homes built will translate into fewer appliances and less furniture manufactured. More than ever, we will become a nation driving ever-older used cars. A generation from now, foreign countries may find the US to be the best export market for their used cars – not new ones. As for a college education, that path to prosperity will be blocked for many more than it is today.

Posted by: frumious | September 2, 2009 4:29 AM | Report abuse

The irony is that the young, ill informed, idealist posters on this board (who likely voted for Obama) will be hurt the worst by Obama’s socialist agenda.

To start with they will immediately be forced to buy health insurance that they are very unlikely to use. The alternative, they become wards of the public plan as the US economy grids to a halt and they are unable to find a decent job. Entrepreneurs and investors likely determine that there is no longer a reasonable risk/reward profile for investing in their local economies, because the health care, tax and trade, and unionization burdens and mandates are too intrusive and expensive.

Maybe as these idealists gain a little more experience they will find job with a union or the government but taxes in their prime earning years likely become unbearable. Ultimately it is one of these, now older, frustrated liberal government workers, who finally determines that the promises that the liberals have made; the Social Security, the Medicare, the Union Pension and Health care, are all simply a house of cards…China will not lend us any more money to pay these obligations! The sad irony is that these workers will have dutifully fed the socialist machine for their entire life. They bought health insurance they did not need, paid higher taxes to ensure the baby boomers (and union auto workers at age 55) could retire comfortably. Worst of all they contributed almost 20% of their salary to the Social Security and Medicare system.

Now as they are ready to retire they realize that none of these social programs will be available for them, including a now bankrupt universal health care system. What meager savings they have accumulated has now been decimated by inflation and the quality of their retirement is in deep doubt.

I urge my Idealist friends to abandon the Socialist callings of Obama. We are only strong as a country when the individual is encouraged to take care of themselves. The Nanny state is a house of cards built on unfunded Liberal promises; that first bankrupt the individual of their own dignity; and ultimately bankrupts society as people are encouraged to take much more than they have contributed.

A solid step to address our health care challenges, and to begin fixing this country would be to demand that each individual contribute 10% of their salary to their own Personal Health Savings Account, with subsidies for the needy. This act alone would accomplish the lofty goals that Obama preaches, but which would in fact be thwarted by his policy proposals. Expanding Personal Health Savings Accounts would provide universal health care and cost containment, as the individual would then shop for the best deal and chooses how best to spend their own pot of money.

Posted by: ELFopportunity | September 2, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

"San Francisco's universal health care plan Healthy San Francisco was rated by 94% of the participants as being "satisfied"."

Well, sure. Most of the participants are illegal aliens, and this health care plan has bankrupted the city.

YES IT DID!

So ask the more relevant question, how well are the people *paying* for this program satisfied? I'm guessing it's a lot close to the single digits.

You see, when people get stuff for free *OF COURSE* they're satisfied. Who wouldn't be?

Your right to "free" health care ends precisely where it meets my wallet.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 1, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

DO NOT TAUNT PRINCE HUSSEIN OBAMA! DO NOT DEFY HIS ROYAL WISHES OR YOU WILL FEEL HIS WRATH!

do not take his benevolence for granted... or else!

Posted by: fred100012003 | September 1, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA signals Harry - "Low on Ganja" from Martha's vineyard ...

Obama Stated - "it's tough to come up with great plans like
- giving GM to the UAW after they wiped out GM
- Terminal Health Care for seniors to cover illegals
- huge energy tax called 'Cap and Trade'"

Channeling Bob Marley, Obama promised to come up with more great ideas, before Pelosi gives all the stimulus money to the Unions and her buddies including her husband.

Posted by: ayrescayo | September 1, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you just change the name to the Obama Post?
Never seen so much whining, crying and rooting.
Meg must be spinning in her grave if she sees what has happened to a paper that once boasted slant but had ethics.
What will happen if the Chicago politics runs true to form and the admin has it's hands in the cookie jar?
Would someone please tell the Dem ops getting paid to blog it's really obvious,
can't you at least try to pretend another viewpoint has a right to be heard?
Who goes after the crooks? Drudge?

Posted by: Saladin3 | September 1, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Republican party leaders Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin not sure why their noisy townhalls failed to sway the public aganist Obama.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Polls are now official most people (61%) feel the rowdy townhalls confused more then helped.

Sarah Palin President 2012
Michelle Bachman Vice-President 2012

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

How to pay for a great single-payer and eliminate the criminals in the insurance business.

Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq post haste. Close down the CIA, since they are useless anyways. Then we close the intrusive big government operation called Homeland Security created by Bush the incompetent. It only serves to collect information on American citizens. That's it's sole task.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

YOU PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND HE CARES NOT THE POLITICS OF THE DAY HOUR OR MONTH,THE POTUS GOOB IS GOING TO HAVE THE CONGRESS LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO STUPIDER ER ER ER. YOU KNOW DOWN TO ROCK THE VOTE MENTALITY WHERE MOM AND DAD STILL PAY THE BILLS.

Posted by: jmounday | September 1, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

If Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Soros would just tell the truth about their healthcare plans, this might be a debate rather than a route.

But their stealth approach, complete with a 1,000+ page House bill... Has turned people off to even considering it.

To be sure, I think Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Soros would lose the debate, but at least people wouldn't think that they are being deceived.

Posted by: wilsan | September 1, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Medical providers double and triple bill City of San Francisco for services to the uninsured.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

OB makes Carter seem competent and W seem smart.

Posted by: Steve851 | September 1, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is despicable. Obama is not qualified to run a lemonade stand, let alone be president of the greatest nation on earth. He has chosen to surround himself with czars, that are by their own accounts are radical communists. He has filled his cabinet with bullies from Chicago, and is true and loyal to the union bosses. Jeremiah Jones was his pastor for twenty years. Bill Ayers his friend, and the list goes on and on. I was taught as a child that birds of a feather flock together. He may have enough votes go pass his health care bill, but he does not have the support of the American people. He has divided this country far more than anyone I have ever seen. I am disgusted with Washington. Along with millions of other American, we want our country back. I am so glad that many of our fathers, and grandfathers, are not here today to see the freedoms that they fought for, being taken away by this fraud. Obama has done more to damage race relations then anyone ever has. He has set African Americans back years. He may have won...but he will be the first and last black president. He had his chance, and millions voted for him as a sympathy vote, because he was black. He certainly showed us all how competent he is. Michelle, for the first time in my life...I am ashamed of my president and my country!

Posted by: Sallylou2 | September 1, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Change hurts sometime and it obvious that some in America have very difficult time with the fact that the majority of us decided to elect a Black President and an intelligent one at that. So let's try to break him down. Well, remember there is a universal law that will demonstrate to all that what you send out you get back. That means for all of you filled with hate it will come back and hit you right in the face. I wonder what is really making you anger because it is not health care. And that is the real reason this country is not moving ahead. May God Bless America and President Obama.

Posted by: swhite5 | September 1, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The Bush tax cuts need to be rolled back now. Not a moment to lose.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

San Francisco is a city headed towards bankruptcy:

'The city controller’s latest budget report, released Tuesday, said San Francisco is facing a projected deficit this fiscal year (2009) of $126.9 million — about $2 million more than an earlier “worst case scenario” deficit of $125 million forecast in October.'

Gee, I wonder what's bankrupting the city? Could it be the "healthy San Francisco" program? Read on: 'Healthy San Francisco began in July 2007 to offer care to the city's more than 60,000 uninsured residents - regardless of pre-existing conditions, immigration status or employment status. It has now covered about 75 percent of them at a cost of roughly $120 million a year, including city money, state grants, employer contributions and participants' fees.

As the health care debate continues to rage nationally, the Obama administration has looked at Healthy San Francisco as an example of a public plan that could be replicated.'

Repeat: "the Obama administration has looked at Healthy San Francisco as an example of a public plan that could be replicated."

Repeat: the 60,000 are illegal aliens, uninsured poor & homeless. Obama's plan would place everyone (except himself, unions, and federal workers) under a welfare health care program.

Repeat: SF's deficit: about $125 million. Cost of welfare health care: about $120 million.

The same 60,000 are normally walk-ins to city hospitals, where they already get free care.

Posted by: bob59 | September 1, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

One thing great about Obama is he has managed to keep that criminal Bush quiet!

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Grassley proposes "Death Homes" for the uninsured.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if the rightwing trash in our country, based in the South,people who will tell any lie, got what they wanted. I DON'T THINK SO.
Obama's the man.

Posted by: dudh | September 1, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The Public Option works.

San Francisco's universal health care plan Healthy San Francisco was rated by 94% of the participants as being "satisfied". This is according to a recent survey of 1,026 participants released by the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation.

YES WE CAN!

Posted by: losthorizon10 | September 1, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama will never, ever, sign off on REAL reform - tort reform. Because behind unions and George Soros, trial lawyers are the Democrats third biggest special interest. Obama knows whose boots to lick - all good Chicago sleazebag machine hacks know the art well.

Posted by: birvin9999 | September 1, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to get his Embassy in Kabul cleaned up! If he is going to make a comeback, he needs to establish some standards. Shocked that Hillary is allowing this!! VERY DISAPPOINTING IN THIS ADMINISTRATION!! SHAME SHAME!

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/09/animal-house-afghanistan

Posted by: wheeljc | September 1, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Pundits are having a ball with this. August was a recess month. It allowed screamers against health insurance reform to be heard, thanks to the MSM media who are dying to appear fair and balanced.

Nothing has been lost in the health isurance debate. The bills were being debated, publicly. There was a moment of weakness in the White House shortly before the Congressional recess. But it remains to be seen whether the Democrats are ready to throw in the towel. Evidence catered by Grassley and Enzi speaks to the opposite. The uglier the opponents the more determined the prponents, and the coat tails Blue Dogs will swing with the tide.

Posted by: Single_Payer | September 1, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The sum of liberal intelligence: Bush, Cheney, Haliburton, Iraq, Darfur, racist, fools, ignorance, lies, angry mobs, Nazis, swastikas, the CIA, hate, wingnuts, teabaggers & AstroTurf. Evil Big Corporate CEO's flying around in private jets (not 747s), anyone who makes a lot of money and doesn't support socialism.

Liberal intelligence means speaking in demonized picture words. The elitists have reduced their fawning followers to lap dogs.

If you want to laugh at a true idiot, just listen for the picture words.

Posted by: bob59 | September 1, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama was created,packaged and marketed by the left and the media to foist a socialist agenda on the American people. Finally, the voters are realizing that they were duped and that they had no idea that they were voting for a disciple of Saul Alinsky.The voters are understanding that the country faces a dismal future unless Obama's socialistic propensities are exposed and his plans thwarted to turn America into a European state.

Posted by: tsapp77 | September 1, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

If you are a blog person for Obama and not illegal, union, congress or government worker, you did not get exempt from this mess. Obama did not care enough to put one word in the bill to protect you. Shows how much the dictator cares for you...

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

All you liberal nitwits need to take a deep breath and stop your juvenile ranting about Republicans.

Everyone who opposes the leftist incompetent in the White House isn't a Republican or a racist.

Look at some of the anti American slugs that he has put in positions to influence the government.

Anthony "Van" Jones, his green jobs boy. Founder of the anti American organization STORM. Jones allied himself with muslims on 9/11.

Jeff Jones, co founder of the weather underground with criminal anti American William Ayers(the slug Obama really doesn't know). Jones is with the Appollo Alliance and helped write the stimulus pork package(guess where lots of that money is going). He is now helping New York spend it.

Mark Lloyd, a pro Chavez radical is now diversity official with the FCC and is running an attack on radio stations to abrogate their First Amendment rights.

All your little hateful comments illustrate that you dumbos don't have a clue what your messiah hero is doing to our country.

One day you will wake up and it will be too late.
Do some thinking on your own, instead of parroting the democrats' stupid hate mantra.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 1, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama,the affirmitve action shill.The election of '08 went according to plan.The wealthy elite pulled the wool over our eyes one more time.Even Oprah was conned.It was all a setup.Obama,the first and last black president.

Posted by: hyroller56 | September 1, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Universal health care is for all...Obama plans are to force some to take the health bill and some not--unions, congress, illegals and government workers. The have and have not.

This is totally against Martin Luther King, jr vision of one America for all...His my way or the hwyway has put hatred in many democrats hearts...VOTE the dictator out...

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Blue Dog Demos would have to be brain dead to ultimately vote against health care reform. They got cold feet back in 1994 and the Demos got slaughtered in the next election It wasn't liberals like Kennedy who paid the price, it was the moderate Blue Dogs. No party has ever lost an election because they passed reform legislation, even bad reforms like the prescription drug bill “W” got pushed through. Parties lose elections big because of failure to act (1994), unpopular wars (1952, 1968, 2006) and a bad economy (2008, 1992). Demos have a lot of things to worry about in 2010 and 2012, Afghanistan, the slow recovery of the economy, and the appearance of not being able to get things done. Passing health care reform isn't a risk. The fact that the GOP is going over the top trying to stop it should clue Demos in that the best chance of winning on the issue is to close their eyes and vote for reform.

Posted by: dcwsano | September 1, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

If this was 160 yrs ago Obama would be in Africa capturing slave to sell the highest bidder. His true colors. He has deserted real Americans...Vote

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

????? Will obama have 'lunch' this month...

Posted by: UpAndOver | September 1, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh God you Obama haters are just disgusting ignorant fools. You cheer on a guy who sends trillions overseas to spread misery and death and you want to lynch a guy who wants to spend money on domestic priorities.

Why do you support universal health care for Iraqis but not for Americans?

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wheeljc | September 1, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"TW: How does 52.3% of "the people's vote" count as a mandate for anything? That is barely a majority of the voting populace. It may have been an electorial landslide, but not a "of the people" one.

Posted by: JWMeritt | September 1, 2009 4:08 PM"
---
Let's see, Bush supposedly won by a handful of votes in Florida in 2000 and uses it as a mandate to use reconciliation to give his tax cuts to the rich which we are ALL suffering from right now.

Did that bother you?

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Health care slavery IS what Obama is pushing on us. Obama's an elitist, he wants to control our lives. Obama looks down on the poor. If this was 160 years ago during slavery, Obama would've been selling his countrymen and women to slave traders. Obama's DeathCare will reduce the quality of health care for the poor. It'll reduce the quality of health care for the middle class. It won't make things better.

Posted by: bob59 | September 1, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is unfocused, divisive, indecisive, and derisive of the citizen base. He will accomplish nothing, and the investor class will sit out his presidency lest they get caught in his meddling.

Posted by: georgejones5 | September 1, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Do you see the logical fallacy in what you're saying now? And if those 4M people change their mind and Obama is out, will you blame racists and zealots? Or will you ignore the obvious?

You don't need to answer me. I'm just pointing out facts to you.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 1, 2009 7:11 PM
-----
That is providing the Republicans come up with a worthy opponent. Republicans numbers are so low I have to scrape my shoe to read them.

Do you see the fallacy in YOUR argument?

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The bill is flawed. The bill is a form of slavery. Some have to abide by the health bill and other folks don't--unions,government employees, and illegals.

This is opposite of Martin Luther King, jr. vision of a one America for all. Obama is bring back the have and have not mentality. A total racist president. He is doing it on purpose...A dictator...

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The GOP does not have the votes for a potty break. The democrats are rebelling against the health bill. Not enough votes to pass the bill will a majority democrats.

You need to read http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/blogs/ballotbox/2009/06/rural-democrats-rebel-against-obama.html for some truth...


Look at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=111th_Congress

Seat breakdown in congress 2009, excluding independents, independents usually vote democrat.

House seats - democrats 256, GOP 178

Senate seats - democrats 56, GOP 41

The democrats if voting together can pass any bill. They have the majority. Why does Obama want the GOP? Some of those democrats do care about Seniors and will not vote on flawed bill.

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama never ran as the democratic version of George Bush. ****He knew he'd have to make decisions that wouldn't be popular.++ Citizens ate candy for eight years and now they have to eat vegetables and some of them don't like it. Tough.
==================================
LOTS of presumptions in that statement and they are canted very wrong. He can make decisions the people want him to make, but when he wants to make them against the public will, he has to justify them. He can pretend he has a majority of the voters but that is getting very old fast. His election did not raise his standing to perfect or Godly.. merely CEO of the United States, and a democratic United States at that.

It is the function of Congress to pass bills which protect the nation, and helps the people. Helping individuals in those bills without them contributing to the majority will is NOT what Congress should be doing. We continue to read stories about the lobby groups. Why? THAT is getting very old also.

While all this jiggering is continuing, we see the House Versions of the bill have two significant loop holes that allow illegal aliens to gain entry to our Health Care System. THAT.. is a very good reason to wait until we have competent leadership in the House and Senate, and it doesn't appear we have either.

Yet more jiggering. One third of our medical bills go to pay for the outrageous malpractice suits and Obama has not done a thing about it. Is that some sort of Payola to the American Bar Association?

Yes indeedy folks... it IS time to wait for Health Care Reform. Maybe we could vote on competing plans in the next major Federal Election. Sort of pull the teeth on payola and lobby groups.

Posted by: joelwisch | September 1, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This has got to be the greatest mass of lies I have ever seen in a political argument. Not to even mention the great sum of character references and out and out defamation. The Republicans are so desperate that most of the lies will not hold up under examination.

Their shelf life is short.


The President has the upper hand. His majority can let his party direct the fight and he can wait for a vote if he needs to. It can come when he wants it.

It may not be easy, but given some level of Congressional management it can be done.

I would like to see a campaign of lies overturned.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | September 1, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see what Obama does to try and convince us UNAMERICAN, EVIL MONGERING, POLITICAL TERRORISTS that Obamacare won't bankrupt the nation and result in rationing for the old and sick. Refusing to answer questions and calling us nasty names wasn't exactly the best strategy in the world!

Posted by: valwayne | September 1, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

DO NOT TAUNT PRINCE HUSSEIN OBAMA! DO NOT DEFY HIS ROYAL WISHES OR YOU WILL FEEL HIS WRATH!

just kidding... he's kind of a tool after all.

Posted by: fred100012003 | September 1, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to push Eric Holder to come down hard on Cheney and Bush. Let the peons go and hold the planners responsible.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama should go along with Tort reform offering as a substitute for monetary awards criminal penalties up to life in prison and death penalty. That will keep the medical industry in-check.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is going to have to portray to the American people that he knows how to LISTEN TO THEM. He may have three dozen czars, but NO ONE ELECTED THEM.

He is going to have to admit that he needs to establish priorities, and those priorities need to be from the American people -- NOT FROM 1600 PA Ave.

He is also going to have to rein in his attorney general. If Mr. Holder continues on the path that he is on, President Obama will become one of the most divisive chief executives ever to occupy the White House.

The following is not going to be a step in the right direction for anyone.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32637380/ns/politics-the_new_york_times/

When President Obama first entered office, he had the backing of more folks -- even those who did not vote for him -- than JFK.
His decisions over the past seven months have not demonstrated his best judgement. He needs to start standing up, and accepting responsibility, and QUIT BLAMING GEORGE BUSH FOR ALL OF HIS OWN PROBLEMS. He is now losing credibility and confidence of the American people.

He can make a positive turn, but if he continues to make the same mistakes over and over, there is only one word for that --
S-----d

Posted by: wheeljc | September 1, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have proposed "Death Homes" for the uninsured. Chuck Grassley initiated the idea.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going down in flames. The townhall bullies have gained the upper hand. Obama was bullied and he cracked.

Time for Obama to show some stength of leadership and state he will veto any health care legislation that does not have a strong public option.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps, in the spirit of the comeback, President Obama could endorse a specific health care plan. But no, that would be too risky.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 1, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

alance wrote:

In the last 60 years, we have only had two decent presidents, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford. They both came to the presidency as vice presidents taking over the job as president. This does not speak well for our electoral process.

Truman had the courage to say no to General MacArthur who wanted to bomb China and replaced him and Ford got us out of Vietnam and pardoned Nixon. Both of these men gained stature because they exercised restraint and used good judgment.

Our political parties seem incapable of selecting capable people to become president. Obama is no exception and lacks the judgment to become a good president.

---

because to be president you have to be good at campaigning, not necessarily governing.

Posted by: Waffle1 | September 1, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"Affirmitive action weakens character.Obama is living proof."

People who say such things have no character. Just vanity.

Posted by: ffcaruso | September 1, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

These polls are a yo-yo. Obama, and the liberal base in Congress, can very easily make them go back up if he/they does the right thing at the right time. His biggest failure is not doing enought of anything, but it may also be his best strategy. The Repubicans are wearing out the floor with their repeated abstract and uncivil criticism. People get tire of the same old reruns.

Palin, and others, is like the boy who cried "wolf" one too many times.

If Obama and the Democrats start taking the active offensive, the Repubicans will have worn out their welcome on the media stage.

If they don't, they can't blame the Neocon liars. That's what they do.

Posted by: ffcaruso | September 1, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama never ran as the democratic version of George Bush. He knew he'd have to make decisions that wouldn't be popular. Citizens ate candy for eight years and now they have to eat vegetables and some of them don't like it. Tough.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 1, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, here's more superficial reporting from the Post!

Take this statement:

But August did nothing to strengthen Obama's standing with the public and prepare a return for the fall with enhanced influence. If anything, there was further erosion.

What is the authority for this? Balz' own personal beliefs? Who cares about them?

In fact, the momentum is swinging the other way. The support for the public option continues to grow and exert influence, even on "Blue Cross Democrats". Look at what the AFL-CIO did today, look at the AARP poll (70+ percent approve the public option), look at the way town halls are now full of health care reform supporters who have mobilized against the astroturf anti-reform efforts.

YES WE CAN!

Posted by: losthorizon10 | September 1, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ombudsman1
Anyway, here's some food for thought. Obama won the last election:
Obama - 66,882,230 - 53.4%
McCain - 58,343,671 - 46.5%
****************************************

You are living in the past. Here is some current Obama job approval numbers from Rasmussen who was the most accurate pollster from the 2008 election:

Approval Disapproval Spread
45 53 -8

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | September 1, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

In the last 60 years, we have only had two decent presidents, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford. They both came to the presidency as vice presidents taking over the job as president. This does not speak well for our electoral process.

Truman had the courage to say no to General MacArthur who wanted to bomb China and replaced him and Ford got us out of Vietnam and pardoned Nixon. Both of these men gained stature because they exercised restraint and used good judgment.

Our political parties seem incapable of selecting capable people to become president. Obama is no exception and lacks the judgment to become a good president.

Posted by: alance | September 1, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Affirmitive action weakens character.Obama is living proof.

Posted by: hyroller56 | September 1, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"I take solace in the fact that the Republican party is essentially now a regional minority party that only appeals to religious zealots, low-income racists, and high-income, self-important morons who look down on others."

I'm reminded of Alex Baldwin in 2004 who swore if the country elected George Bush again he would leave the country.

But he's still here.

Anyway, here's some food for thought. Obama won the last election:

Obama - 66,882,230 - 53.4%
McCain - 58,343,671 - 46.5%

Study those number carefully, because what they mean is that if 4,269,276 people were to change their vote, Obama will be out of power in about 3 years.

Do you see the logical fallacy in what you're saying now? And if those 4M people change their mind and Obama is out, will you blame racists and zealots? Or will you ignore the obvious?

You don't need to answer me. I'm just pointing out facts to you.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 1, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I know - maybe he could host a dinner at the whitehouse in honor of the muslim holiday Ramadam?

That should really get Americans to pump up his poll numbers!

Posted by: Jaymand | September 1, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The real answer to health care reform is campaign finance reform. Government can finance the elections with limits, the PACs can keep their money and no politician is beholden to an interest group. Maybe then, instead of the private health insurers spending money on politicians they can cover more healthcare. Health is not something that should be profited from, the only entitiy that would not make a profit is the public. If you didn't have copays on the doctors visits or insurance premiums you could afford to pay a little extra in Medicare. You people who are against public option are myopic and need to have you eyes examined. On death panels, keep on talking about them, frankly the more I hear about them the more I think they are a good idea. Get out the Eversleep Marge its my time, said the 95 year old invalid.

Posted by: dcmotor | September 1, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

As an independent I've got to say that Michael Steel is REALLY good!

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"This is one more democrat who has taken a small margin electoral victory and attempted to define it as a sweeping mandate for change."
------
If you think a 365 to 173 electoral spread is a "small margin" then you really don't know much about the electoral process do you? It makes me think that you probably don't know much about anything else.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

How do you add 46 million new patients to a healthcare system where the number of doctors does not increase substantially as well? Will the nation's doctors be forced to take more patients than reasonable? Will they be forced to work longer hours?

The government needs to increase the number of physicians by paying for their education in return for working in government sponsored health facilities to repay that educational investment.

Otherwise we will all be standing in line to see the doctor, or worse, we will all be going to Emergency Rooms to seek treatment. Or, a bureaucrat decides who gets treatment and who does not.

Posted by: snowflower | September 1, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Whoops!

Steel's video is on youtube at-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqOdyyMcwJ0

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

It seems Michael Steele (RNC) strangled Obama's comback into a meltdown in this video.

If you's been paying for Medicare for years from your wages and want it protected then check out Michael Steel's video: "Senior's Bill of Rights".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?V=zqOdyyMcwJO

It's on youtube.com, this web site, and the Republican site.

I'm and independent and I love it. especially the line-

"No cuts in Medicare to pay for a new program. Zero."

You go Steele!

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

This analysis by Balz sounds long and intellectual but misses the main points, which are really rather simple:

(1) Americans aren't angry primarily because of "Death Panels," they're angry because Obama still hasn't explained how he's going to pay for this entitlement. All he's done is make promises... and so far all his promises have been worth dirt.

(2) Obama's "cool" and "patient" demeanor, no longer look cool and patient, they look like the diffidence of someone who is in way over his head and recent poll numbers show that a majority of independents are NO LONGER TRUSTING THIS MAN.

(3) Dems focus on Republican opposition, this article focuses on Grassley's skittishness (actually the man is laughing)... WHEN EVERYBODY AND THEIR GRANDMOTHER KNOWS THAT DEMS HAVE SUPERMAJORITIES IN CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE. Simply put, they don't need the GOP, so ALL THIS HASSLE AND TURMOIL IS WITHIN THE INCOMPETENT DEMOCRAT PARTY. simple no?

(4) Obama spouts promises (you won't lose your doctor, the deficit won't go up) BUT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO HARD SPECIFICS. How stupid is that? you want the American people to sign of on Trillions of dollars worth of overhaul ON YOUR SAY SO? When it comes to pocketbook issues people are not that stupid.

Simple, simple, simple,

THE PRESIDENT IS IN WAY OVER HIS HEAD AND MISCALCULATED HIS CULTLIKE EFFECT ON THIS COUNTRY. NOW HIM AND HIS ARROGANT PARTY ARE GOING TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND

Posted by: TonyV1 | September 1, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz (and others apparently) seem to have forgotten Obama's great ability to not just communicate, but to time his communications exquisitely. Balz writes this piece as though Obama sort of blindly stumbled into the White House like some sort of idiot savant. Remember the election? How he timed things for when the moment was right? Maybe it's not that he isn't leading, but he's allowing the GOP (through their constant nihilism and doomsaying) to build him an incredibly large stage from which to lead. Give it some thought - how about a prime time evening address to the nation, from the Capitol, in front of the whole Congress, where he just calls out all the BS that's been building for what it is, looks someone like Michele Bachmann in the face and essentially asks, "Michele, you really think Americans should slit their wrists over this, huh?" You think Bachmann looks like a kook to some people now...

If Obama fails on this, then I will indeed be very sad, but until then, I still remember how electrified I was during the election and I'm very much giving him the benefit of the doubt now.

Posted by: Halester2002 | September 1, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

As Barry attempts to control all facets of America, install an Unconstitutional Shadow Czar Govt, intentionally destroy America's economy and partner with elements that would do harm to America look for impeachment later during his first term. The America people will not tolerate an overthrow of America from within.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | September 1, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

What we're seeing is "The Great Awakening". Actually, I'm kinda' shocked it occurred this fast.

There is no comeback. We will have to suffer through 3.5 years of an ineffective, lame duck, one term president. At least we'll get the chance to ditch some of the house and senate in the interim!

Posted by: JackESpratt | September 1, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? Let the mf pay the maximum to the medical and pharmaceutical industries, and pay for the healthcare of the 40 odd million uninsured, too. You get what you deserve in life.

Posted by: dudh | September 1, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

'"Catch more fish," he e-mailed back.'

I didn't see that as 'tongue in cheek' - I see that as outright arrogance from one of obama's goonsquad members.

It's unbelievable the people o's appointing to run this country - each & everyone of them has an undesirable past.


Posted by: paredhead | September 1, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

YOU may think Obama needs a comback.

MY view is that he needs a GO-AWAY and, quite frankly, the sooner the better.

This is one more democrat who has taken a small margin electoral victory and attempted to define it as a sweeping mandate for change. He did, along with so many other of his acolytes, drink his home-brewed Kool-Aid.

Now he is contemplating drinking the hemlock which is the product of his making. He cannot get out of office and back to left-wing, marginalized, radical obscurity fast enough.

Posted by: jshaver001 | September 1, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

“The fate of the legislation is not likely to turn on the issue of death panels.” On the contrary, Ezekiel Emanuel’s writings are becoming familiar to millions, and his position is equivalent to that of setting up death panels. He is also at the White House and brother of Obama’s chief of staff. What are government panels that deny health care to those they deem dispensable if not death panels? Maybe an insurance company would also deny it, but you would be free to shop for another company. You are not free to shop for another country, except by leaving it, which may well be how many Americans will have to deal with Obamacare.

Posted by: gmdim | September 1, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Maddog says:

"Obama needs to jettison the Republicans and fast".

How do you jettison a group that has never been invited on board in the first place?!

Pelosi let Democrats in the House know that Republicans were to be excluded from planning health care reform.
Reid set up a bi-partisan group but only invited senators whom he expected would agree with the Democratic view of health care.

The Democratic Party views bi-partisanship as a circumstance where Republicans agree with their plan.

You are also wrong about your fundemental assertion that President Obama should exlcude the Republicans.
On the contrary he should exclude the looney left.

It's a little late but if he is to have long lasting health care reform that works he needs to bring in the Republicans to work with moderate Democrats.

There are plenty of moderate Democrats and Republicans who have enough votes to bring sensible health care reform to the USA.

If Obama and Democrats exclude Republicans then the reform will simply be repealed when the Republicans take over.
Right now that looks like it might well be in 2010.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Barry ACORN Soetoro's strategy is to lie, deceive, head fake and ignore the Constitution. His plan is to install a Shadow Govt of Marxists and Communists to implement his Radical agenda. Fortunately, as time goes on, more is being known about Barry and his flashy smile facade. It is just not his complete lack of leadership on health care that is causing his demise, it is the total package.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | September 1, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a radical and gave us enough signs of that during the campaign with revelations of who his long-time
associates were. Four days before election day he told us that he intended to "fundamentally transform" the United States. He gave no details but we now know what he meant. This is a critical time in our history. Obama's defenders in the media will attack the critics no holds barred. The principle hope we have is that Obama will continue to demonstrate how utterly incompetent he is.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 1, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone blaming the GOP are liars. You need to learn to count seats in both houses of congress. The rif is in the democratic party. The GOP is just an excuse. Obama is a liar blaming the GOP. He needs to go back to college to learn to count...

Look at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=111th_Congress

Seat breakdown in congress 2009, excluding independents, independents usually vote democrat.

House seats - democrats 256, GOP 178

Senate seats - democrats 56, GOP 41

The democrats if voting together can pass any bill. They have the majority. Why does Obama want the GOP? Some of those democrats do care about Seniors and will not vote on flawed bill.

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Wait ! Next up is the 20 Million Illegal Aliens they'll shove down your throat !!!! And of course in return for their VOTES the Dems will supply health care , generations of Welfare , legal aid ,special education and allow Chain Migration ,that will bring ANOTHER 40-6- MILLION new Democrats to America !! REWARD PEOPLE FOR THEIR CRIMES- It's become the American way !

Posted by: catinhat83510496 | September 1, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Republicans think they are making headway based in the American center's dissatisfaction with the Obama agenda.

Nope. We still despise the party of bigots and idiots; the GOP will not be relevant on the American national political scene for a generation. Even as Obama screws up, the Cheney/Limbaugh/C Street/Fox News nuts are getting even more scary.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 1, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

All I have seen is mr change smiley face without substance. He trillion to fix the economy has failed if you live in the real world. He health bill divides American into two camps, the one that have to adhere to the bill and the ones that don't. UNIONS.

All I have seen him do is create hatred toward him and the democrats. But, we will deal with the hatred at the Polls in 2010 and 2012. Put Pelosi in her cage and harry reid on the street of vegas begging for a quick fix.

Harry said Kennedy did us some good dying. What an ass. I guess Kennedy was a waste to him alive.

VOTE

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The AFL-CIO, one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful allies, would like to assess a small tax — about a tenth of a percent — on every stock transaction.

Another lie from obozo and the democrat socialist party: not going to RAISE taxes on the middle class? How is that "change" working for you middle class people who voted for obozo the clown liar?

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | September 1, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't need a comeback, he needs a suitcase. This punk community organizer needs to get out of town and quit wrecking our country.

Posted by: get_it_right | September 1, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Gerst posts that he has-

"just come back from Europe" and that "Europeans expressed shock to him that "the United States refuses to provide universal health care to its citizens".

Sure they did Andrew, great multitudes of European people just knocking on your hotel door expressing shock all over the place. The French in particular always seek out Americans to talk to them.

The Unitd States does provide health care to its citizens and it's of such a quality that Europeans, rather than stand in line to knock on your hotel door, are flying to the U.S. to seek treatment.

Some 46 million people in the U.S. are not insured by the present system.
Many are people who are elligible for Medicare but choose not to apply because they're rich.
Many are people who choose not to spend their money on health care but instead to buy an LCD tv or season tickets to the NFL and then show up at the emergency room for treatment.
Some 16 million of the uninsured are illegal aliens.

The U.S. is really sorry if it offends you and the Europeans that hard-working Americans just don't want to pay for health insurance for the rich, the greedy, and illegal aliens.


Is our system perfect?
Good Lord no.

Two essential reforms:
1. Stop allowing drug companies to advertise on television.
Tobacco merchants are forbidden to advertise why should drug pushers be allowed to persuade the gullible that they are desperately in need of some new drug.
People who watch these commercials show up at their doctors and demand the drug they just saw glamorized on tv and the doctors comply because they're afraid of being sued which brings me to reform number two.

2. Tort reform. I realize that Democrats would lose most of their campaign funding but it's driving up the cost of health care.

Sure hope the Europeans like my suggestions.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Barry ACORN Soetoro's Shadow Czar Govt is staffed with Radicals, Marxists, Communists that are intent on overthrowing this Country. FACT.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | September 1, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Attention Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Roz Mazer, John Brennan, Jim Jones, Eric Holder, Robert Gates, Janet Napolitano, John Panetta, Robert Mueller:

HOW U.S. SPY OPS CENSOR WEB POLITICAL SPEECH

http://groups.poynter.org/members/blog_view.asp?id=190108&post=77511

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 1, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Your liberal tears taste so sweet....bye bye Obumbles.

Posted by: luca_20009 | September 1, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Republicans propose idea of "Death Homes" for the uninsured. Very ghastly.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

At this late date insuring all through Medicare is the best option. No out-of-pocket expenses, all are covered through the single payer system.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Come on Barack!!!!!

LEAD! Tell these hateful Republicans to join the USA or leave it.

We are the only Christian First-World Country without universal health coverage.

It is un-Christian and immoral to leave the poor without access to affordable healthcare.

Instruct America that Jesus would call for the government to aid the sick and the poor. Pick your scripture Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

Loving thy neighbor means charity through action. And if that requires taxation to heal the meek then that what it shall be.

The GOP--Tell them in their own terms and they will eventually et it or be shamed into it.

Posted by: professor70 | September 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

You right wing nutjobs never cease to amaze me. It's comical that the more unintelligent and ridiculous your arguments are, the more loudly you think you need to make them. Though I get frustrated sometimes that it seems generally impossible for any of you to actually use reason or logic to arrive at a conclusion, I take solace in the fact that the Republican party is essentially now a regional minority party that only appeals to religious zealots, low-income racists, and high-income, self-important morons who look down on others.

Posted by: diesel4 | September 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Coming from you BruceMcSpinmeister, I'll take that as a compliment.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 1, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

DouginMountVernon:

You can't possibly be that simple minded.

I suggest you read a biography of the master manipulator of Congress Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"worse" is a change. Do you want a change? And I do not believe that people voted for Obama (as many claimed) as AGAINST Bush.

BTW: How does 52.3% of "the people's vote" count as a mandate for anything? That is barely a majority of the voting populace. It may have been an electorial landslide, but not a "of the people" one.

Posted by: JWMeritt | September 1, 2009 4:08 PM

Yes, I want a change. Health care costs in this country have skyrocketed and it's not at all clear why. Health insurance companies reduce risk by removing those with pre-existing conditions, effectively denying care for millions. I don't blame them, it's business, but it does affect real people.

WRT the mandate/landslide/etc, it just doesn't matter. You either won or you didn't. In Bush's case, he didn't even win the popular vote, but in his first few months he was already spending like a drunken sailor.

Posted by: mikem1 | September 1, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

JWMerritt wrote:

"How does 52.3% of "the people's vote" count as a mandate for anything? That is barely a majority of the voting populace. It may have been an electorial landslide, but not a "of the people" one."

My, how quickly and selectively memories fade.....What, JW, you don't remember Bush Jr after winning 50.8% of the popular vote in 2004 claiming, "I've earned my political capital and now I'm going to spend it...."

Unbelievable hypocrisy. The only difference other than that Obama actually DID carry a greater percentage of the vote, is that he actually won a much larger electoral victory that if anything gives him FAR MORE "political capital" than Bush EVER earned, yet he seems reticent himself to ignore "ambush" Republicans whenever they go irrelevant (almost always) and dishonest, and he seems to want to coddle them despite the fact that they have absolutely no intention of doing anything for the country. No, they're playing politics.

So, please, tell me, why isn't Obama acting a bit more cocky and "go-it-alone" like Bush did, since he's actually earned it from the electorate?!

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 1, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Obama Needs a Comeback"?

How can he have a comeback when he keeps shooting himself in some very unfortunate places.

His shambles of a health plan, which raises the quality of health care by cutting Medicare by half a trillion dollars, has caused his popularity rating to plummet form the 72 to 46 and it's only just begun to roll down the hill.

His government is in serious difficulty with the voting public turning against him.

What is the Obama administration's brilliant solution for recovering from the messy pit into which they have thrown themselves?

Then announce that they will investigate the C.I.A.!!!

Clearly, these people failed Politics 101.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If the vicious right-wing demagogues and the insurance companies would just give Obama a chance, maybe he could get some critical health insurance reform passed in this country. Instead, they are going to try to deny every American the right to health care that they need. I just got back from Europe, where people there expressed shock to me that the United States, the most prosperous nation on the face of the Earth, refuses to provide universal health care to its citizens, unlike every European nation. What a sad testament to what is really going on here.

Posted by: andrewgerst@hotmail.com | September 1, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"worse" is a change. Do you want a change? And I do not believe that people voted for Obama (as many claimed) as AGAINST Bush.

BTW: How does 52.3% of "the people's vote" count as a mandate for anything? That is barely a majority of the voting populace. It may have been an electorial landslide, but not a "of the people" one.

Posted by: JWMeritt | September 1, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

You want to talk about "Dead Americans for Oil"?

Talk to Dick Cheney.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 1, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Obama never had a plan, he was counting on congress to come up with a plan. I don't know of anything that has worked that way in the past 60 years."

Apparently, you don't know squat about how the government works, "Skeptic"! It is NOT Obama's job to come up with every bit of legislation (ie plan) that Congress considers! FAR FROM IT! In fact, the President suggested the components that he wanted in the "plan" and asked Congress to deliver him such bills to consider....that is exactly what is happening, the way it ALWAYS works!!

CONGRESS WRITES BILLS. THE PRESIDENT SIGNS THEM INTO LAWS.

THE PRESIDENT CANNOT WRITE LAWS. He can offer an outline of what he wants to see in bills. CONGRESS WRITES BILLS.

This is the way it is, always has been, and always will be.

You are INCORRECT. Obama has done his job well, only he's trying to sound way too conciliatory notes to hell-bent and uncooperative Republicans who never had any intention whatsoever of shepherding any real change for the broken health care system of America.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 1, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"August did nothing to advance health care strategy."

Disagree.

What August gave us, toward the end, was time and patience. That allowed for facts to get into the debate and coverage, and for the first time, many Americans, perhaps the majority, learned what's at stake, the extent of the problem, and the various options without threat of gun violence, mob violence or just getting shouted down.

For this American, it was a productive third of the month.

Posted by: slats999 | September 1, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"Obama Needs a Comeback"?

He may need mouth to mouth recessitation if the uproar engulfing British politics over the Lockerbie bomber continues to edge twowards the White House.

It is clear today from documents released and leaked that Prime Minister Brown has not been telling the truth about his knowledge of, and responsibility for, the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

It seems it never was just an action of the government of Scotland but that the British government was a major party to the negotations and that a deal may have been worked out: Dead Americans for oil.

The documents released appear to clearly show that Brown was in touch with Libya for some time and played a prominent part in negotions.

It is also being alleged that the White House had knowledge of Brown releasing the Lockerbie bomber and why.
It would appear that President Obama's outrage may have been feigned.

At this point the White House is declining to release the pertinent documents concerning contacts they had with the Scottish and U.K. government.

How long before the U.S. governments contacts with the U.K. are leaked?

If the U.S. had a press it would be investigated by some American seeking a coup.

Since we don't have journalist in the U.S. anymore we'll have to wait for British newspapers like the Daily Telegraph to tell us what happened.

Then the health care debate will seem irrelevant.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an America hater.

His wife disparaged our great country, and both of them attended an America hating church lead by "Rev." Wright for 20 years.

Now that he's in power and has Congress in his pocket, Obama's turning up the hate and demonizing seniors, the disabled, blue dog Democrats, Republicans, Independents, conservatives, grass-roots protesters...and most recently used children at Ted Kennedy's funeral to pimp his political agenda.

Now we know what Obama meant by "change". Now we know why Obama's closest advisers are Communists, people who support dictators and terrorists. The "change" Obama plans for us sure as "H" isn't what we were thinking.

We wanted a return of wealth, jobs and prosperity. Not Obama's welfare, state control over our lives and poverty.

Posted by: bob59 | September 1, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

As Dick Morris stated in an interview, President Obama is a "charisma" politician instead of someone who is knowledgeable about issues...He doesn't know much about the health care bill that he pushing so hard for. He is inept about these important health care policies that this administration is trying to thrust down everyone's throats. These policies will severely affect the geriatric population with $622 billion dollars cut from Medicare and Medicaid....

Posted by: Rhonda5 | September 1, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

RevolutionNow,

I find your post seriously illuminating....when you read your passage about "limitations" what is being referenced is the out of pocket costs that will be assessed to any family on the public option. This is not rationing, not even close, it's a protection for consumers from overly large out-of-pocket expenses!

HILARIOUS! Good for you for looking up the language of the bill yourself, but I wish you were able to realize what the bill is actually saying. Although I mean no offense, if you were able to tune into and listen to a REAL policy debate in the media (which you cannot because rags like the Post don't give a crap about it, they only care about preaching demise and shambles of whatever doesn't suit their corporate friends), you would know this much more clearly.

And a tip, you might want to ignore emails from "conservative" groups (unless of course there are any out there with a modicum of intellectual honesty). Clearly this conservative group is dealing in fright and misinformation, as most of them do this day and age.

When people realize what they are getting after this bill goes into effect, and they remember (or are reminded) that not a SINGLE Republican voiced support and did nothing but lie and attempt to stop it, my how the conventional wisdom is going to change.

Cost is exactly why this must be done, done now, and done with a public option that introduces COMPETITION to the private sector!

And that doesn't even begin the moral arguments....

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 1, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to jettison the Republicans and fast. But I don't think he has the testes to do it.

The he needs to committ to veto any health legislation that does not have a strong public option. Again, I don't think he has got the testes to it.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

There has been much discussion and misinformation on how much to provide universal coverage and to add the uninsured to the insurance rolls.

I personally don't know how much it will cost but I can tell you that you already pay for the care of the uninsured. The cost built in to the system via hospital charges and insurance rates. You just don't get much for your enormous investment.

The poor forgo basic primary care because they are uninsurable or because of cost reasons and then show up at my Emergency Department deathly ill.

We treat them like we would anybody. It cost everybody a fortune. We spend a mountain of money on health care as a country but we get less for it than any country of earth.

Primary Care via Emergency Department is the most costliest and least efficient system for health care imaginable. But for many it's all they've got.

We need a insurance system that accepts everybody, offers affordable rates, emphasizes Primary Care and that has a low overhead.

Sound impossible? It sounds like Medicare to me.

Make my choice, "Medicare For All," please.

Posted by: cfeher | September 1, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that most of the critics of health care reform are Obama-haters, ideologues, and right-wing extremists, and bad-loser republicans."

This seems to be the prevailing wisdom of the last few supporters here.

I remember watching a movie called "The Bunker". It was about the last days of WW 2 when the armies are surrounding the embattled leader of Germany. And some people are being honest and telling him that "it is lost". Others though, and telling the leader that "Victory is almost here" etc etc.

The leader at first listened to the "yes men", but near the end, it became clear that it really was lost.

Health Care reform was over before it started because Obama is high on rhetoric, but low on actually proposing something. Somebody here pointed out the elephant in the room... Obama never had a plan, he was counting on congress to come up with a plan. I don't know of anything that has worked that way in the past 60 years.

Congress debates, criticizes and votes. It doesn't "come up with a plan". That was Obama's job. But that's hard and requires work. I think he's too busy yapping about the plan to make a plan.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | September 1, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

As a independent analyst I'd say the Republicans, with nothing but non-sense, have put an end to health care reform. Meanwhile, Obama's base support is crumbling.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans want to fund universal health care for the citizens of Iraq but not the United States?

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

A comback? I'll take the words of Rambo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXDSNaoTqOg

It's Over Barrack! It's over!

Posted by: Skeptic1 | September 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama demonstrates less leadership than any president in memory and certainly less leadership than Bush, Clinton, Bush SR, and Reagan.

The man never had a health plan to start with he just gave a Christmas list to Pelosi and Reid and told them to get on with it.
He wanted Congress to write the plan!
535 self-serving politicians!
Somewhere LBJ is laughing himself silly.

To this date there IS no plan just a jumbled House scenario of over a thousand words that even Democrats don't like.

Despite this realty, President Obama tours the country calling people who oppose Pelosi's vision immoral.
He is actually agitating for the passage of a law which is an incomprehensible mess and which only an outraged public has read and clearly abhores.

Obama says his plan will not reduce the qualtity of health care and yet it BEGINS by cutting Medicare by half a trillion dollars.
In addition, he constantly makes statements that can even charitably be called outright falsehoods.

Democrats don't appear to have the vaguest inkling of what they have done to themselves.

People over fifty no longer think of them as the party that created and consistently defended Medicare.
They are now the party that wants to lower the quality of Medicare healthcare by cutting it by half a trillion dollars.

Pathetic.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | September 1, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

People blaming the GOP are liars. Count the seats in congress and see the truth.

Look at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=111th_Congress

Seat breakdown in congress 2009, excluding independents, independents usually vote democrat.

House seats - democrats 256, GOP 178

Senate seats - democrats 56, GOP 41

The democrats if voting together can pass any bill. They have the majority. Why does Obama want the GOP? Some of those democrats do care about Seniors and will not vote on flawed bill.

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The easiest way to get healthcare reform is to switch all politicians and federal workers healthcare to the worst HMO out there via executive order. It would also save us taxpayers a ton of money. Plus politicians are easily replaceable.

Posted by: imaginaryfriend2 | September 1, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama believes his own propoganda and therefore is living in a fantasy-land. He needs to get rid of the 37 Czars, the Communist-ideologue freaks like Jones and Holdren. The angry ballerina Emmanuel isn't making any friends either.

Posted by: pgr88 | September 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

This column is utter B*lls**t!! Dan Balz, you've lost me. Obama is on the verge of passing health care insurance reform, and that is the truth that is evident in listening to what is REALLY happening out here in the REAL world. The headline and the teaser line on the front page of the Post web site are despicable, and AS USUAL, the Post is COMPLETELY MISSING the real story!!!

It's just unbelievable to see the demise of a once great institution of the Post into a rag for various interests, interests that they then SELL access to in exclusive DC receptions.

This rag makes me want to vomit now.

We are going to pass health care insurance reform (WE THE PEOPLE) because we know it's needed, it's right, and it's going to work.

The Post clearly has no interest in covering the truth.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | September 1, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama has created a hatred in the hearts of democratic ranks. Messing with health care, is messing with families. Do not mess with our money or family...we get ill...

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that most of the critics of health care reform are Obama-haters, ideologues, and right-wing extremists, and bad-loser republicans.

There are very few blog posts or media quotes that actually quote lines in the legislative proposals and analyze them honestly with legitimate grievances.

Posted by: ffcaruso | September 1, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President, you must stop playing footsie with the Right. They are not concerned about the United States or our people.

Its time for you to yell "ENOUGH" ...!& get to work walking and chewing that gum...!

Posted by: LeeMentley | September 1, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how anyone can question the motives or lackings of the Antichrist!

Posted by: GordonShumway | September 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama is losing his base. Just enough so the house and senate could change hands in 2010. If Obama thinks his base will show up at the polls simply becuase he is a democrat he is a major dysfunction.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

American troops are dying in Afghanistan, the economy is still teetering on the edge, half of his appointed positions are unfilled, and his health care proposals are going down in flames......so Obama goes on vacation to Martha's Vineyard, a wealthy person's haven. It reminds of me of when Bush 41 was looking at his watch during one of his debates with Clinton. You wonder if the guy thinks he has something better to do than attend to the business at hand. Bush 41 didn't have "the vision thing" and I don't think Obama has it, either, unless its about how much money he's going to make serving on corporate boards, speaking, and writing his memoirs after his one term in office.

Posted by: Bob22003 | September 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama's efforts? I didn't see much in the way of efforts in August by anyone except the howling at the moon, heat crazed birther/deather/teabagger/secessionist political lynch-mobs.

The only effort I saw by President Obama this summer was to bend over backwards to try and make the republicans happy. My advice: He needs to make the people who voted for him happy, not the people who hate him.

Hopefully, with the cooler weather, a reorientation to reality on this planet and sanity will return. But, I doubt it. There seems to be a vocal but small minority out there that refuses to see a blue sky as blue or a lie as a lie.

And I find the reporting in the WaPo to be contributing to this problem and not solving it.

Posted by: cfeher | September 1, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The hidden cookie monster in the bill is TAX increases, HIGHER premium and CONTROLLING treament options to pay for it...You can not add 40+ without a cost. How many can buy a car without paying?

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Fact finding, research and statistical analyses are needed to get an accurate reading on the costs of health care. The payer sources need to be identified to determine spending per person for medical services by type. Major sources are Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance companies by premium rates and type of medical services in terms of outpatient and inpatient and treatment categories, diagnosis and procedures. Public and private health insurers and payers have data bases to access the statistical data.

Before lawmakers draft legislation on health care, they should study the statistical analyses and summarize the findings for the American public. For example, show an estimate of medical services costs for the 46 million uninsured. By age category 18-22 years, medical expenses will average $2,780 per person for 6.5 million people in this age range per year.

Obama-Rahm with out tongue-in-cheek, tell your Democrat lawmakers to go back to the drawing board and start over on health care legislation with prerequisite information required to develop a blue print. Discard the patch work monstrosities on the legislative books and modify health care appropriate for the health needs of U.S. citizens. Make the development of your new health plan transparent to the American people with daily informative news articles.

Posted by: klausdmk | September 1, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

We understand that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton both had discussions with the Scottish Government concerning the release of the Lockerbie terrorists that brought down our passenger aircraft over Scotland. The US Embassy in Scotland will not release details of the documents they have. The most transparent Administration in US History must release this information. Eric Holder needs to get on this and away from his political witchhunt with the CIA

Posted by: Mindboggle | September 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

bluelagoon21 wrote:

"Obama is wrong, very wrong. He thinks we voted for him because his charisma and not for the changes he promised to deliver when elected. So far he tried to please conservatives and failed. He retained Republicans in his cabinet, Gates, Geithner and hire others and planed to do more. He extended secret service for Cheney and Bush daughters. These very rich people can afford their own security, why we have to pay for it? Why he postponed the transportation bill for 16 months? Fixing our transportation infrastructure is urgent a vital and could have generated tons of new jobs and alleviate gridlock.If we wanted a Republican pro corporate agenda we would have voted for McCain and Palin. If this president doesn't turn a 180 degree turn very quick he is done. And believe me I'm not happy in saying this."

bluelagoon21 is 100 percent correct. While the media is portraying this slip in the polls as if his support is eroding among independents or Republicans, it is not. The President has lost between 10 and 13 points in approval in the last month from his base, young people, African Americans and Liberals. These people are fed up with appeasing the Republicans and these are the margin of victory in all of the close house races and senate races and for the president. It is a real shame that the president and the "blue dogs" cannot get this. While this whole "postpartisan" dream is great, if you have a very partisan Republican party--it is impossible. So, my advice to the Obama administration and the "blue dogs" would be listen to your base because if they don't turn out for you, then you can all kiss your jobs goodbye.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | September 1, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

There is no way the GOP is stoping this bill...Obama and the others blaming the GOP need to learn to count seats in congress.

Look at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=111th_Congress

Seat breakdown in congress 2009, excluding independents, independents usually vote democrat.

House seats - democrats 256, GOP 178

Senate seats - democrats 56, GOP 41

The democrats if voting together can pass any bill. They have the majority. Why does Obama want the GOP? Some of those democrats do care about Seniors and will not vote on flawed bill.

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama has set a record for the fastest FAILED PRESIDENCY in U.S. History. His acceleration of a government takeover of America, in direct opposition to the principles the country was founded on is a disaster.

I hope he is a one-termer.

Posted by: JuicyJuice | September 1, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Democrats need to get some balls and stop all of this bipartisan nonsense. Republicans don't know the meaning of the word and arguing for bipartisanship with them is like arguing with a rock. They might as well do what the people elected them to do with or without these idiot Republicans. If they don't then they deserve to lose power.

Posted by: PepperDr | September 1, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

He wants a come back, fix the economy first. In the real world forclosures are still rapid, unemployment is on the rise, Forloughs are the new word in town...

His exclusion of union democrats, and governemt workers shows favortism. We need a health plan for all citizens. Or is the bill for republicans only? The bill is open for intrepretation...

Posted by: billisnice | September 1, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama is wrong, very wrong. He thinks we voted for him because his charisma and not for the changes he promised to deliver when elected. So far he tried to please conservatives and failed. He retained Republicans in his cabinet, Gates, Geithner and hire others and planed to do more. He extended secret service for Cheney and Bush daughters. These very rich people can afford their own security, why we have to pay for it? Why he postponed the transportation bill for 16 months? Fixing our transportation infrastructure is urgent a vital and could have generated tons of new jobs and alleviate gridlock.If we wanted a Republican pro corporate agenda we would have voted for McCain and Palin. If this president doesn't turn a 180 degree turn very quick he is done. And believe me I'm not happy in saying this.

Posted by: bluelagoon21 | September 1, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually it is the so-called mainstream media that needs a comeback. By giving voice and not challenging the most ridiculous of lies as it relates to health care media has this country has become a laughing stock. Media has given voice to insurance industry funded front groups who organize idiots, feed them bold-faced lies, rile up the insane asylum and then sit back and wonder why there is so much confusion. This is a joke. There is a reason why journalism is in the Constitution and it is not too make profits or turn public policy into the Jerry Springer show.

Posted by: Dessalines | September 1, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

What a mess. What an ugly, trough after the rain mess this is. Here was a golden opportunity to actually help Americans. And Obama blew it. I am not taking either political side in this. His ability to lead, is extremely questionable. I never thought he was qualified to run this country, but at least I had hoped. All hope is gone.

This entire debacle began in failure. Obama failed to show the American people exactly what they were going to get with the new health care plan. All we heard was rhetoric. I perused the bill. I did not read it all. I need someone to explain it to me. Not necessarily the line items, but the ramifications of the line items.

One needs a database to cross reference when reading this bloated bill.

I have a gut that I may have been lied to by congressmen regarding specifics of the bill. For example, today I received a letter from a conservative group, of which I am a part, written by a physician less than enamored with the current bill. He states dramatically that:

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!

Um, that is not what my copy of the bill states at all: Mine states:

4 (A) ANNUAL LIMITATION.—The cost-shar
5 ing incurred under the essential benefits pack
6 age with respect to an individual (or family) for
7 a year does not exceed the applicable level spec
8 ified in subparagraph (B).
9 (B) APPLICABLE LEVEL.—The applicable
10 level specified in this subparagraph for Y1 is
11 $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a
12 family. Such levels shall be increased (rounded
13 to the nearest $100) for each subsequent year
14 by the annual percentage increase in the Con
15 sumer Price Index (United States city average)
16 applicable to such year.

Of course, I have no idea what annual limitations this is referring to.

Regardless, I have been lied to. And I feel I have been lied to by the liberals and conservatives. We, the people are under attack here. We are being manipulated by both parties.

Boy oh boy oh boy. Politics.

Posted by: RevolutionNow | September 1, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

This just in: July unemployment is at 9.7%!

Where are the priorities! People have to work! perhaps the Obama administration is so bent on prideful pursuits that they have forgotten about the unemployed.

Where is the outrage?

Posted by: primegrop | September 1, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

When are the Washington politici going to realize that the "discussions" on Heaalth Care are more aboiut trust, or lack of trust, than anything else. After too much histrionics about Health Care "Reform" I decided to dig out my copy of "Culture Matters" - a compendium by Harrison & Huntington. Sure enough I found my answer in the discussion about "social capital and distrust" in the chapter "Social Capital" authored by Francis Fukuyama. This discussion introduces that social capital is produced by norms that include "truth telling, meeting obligations, and reciprocity". The chapter discusses " the "positive radius of trust" that must be built "outside their membership". I believe that Obama has squandered all the "social capital" he earned via election and has taken too many conflicting positions and made too many conflicting statements to build the "positive radius of trust". And here is why I now feel that way. At first I was hopeful because he said all the right things. Then I became convinced that he was a "motivational speaker" who made everybody feel good. Then I agreed with Rev. Wright that he was just another politician. Then I became convinced that he was no more than a community organizer telling his current audience what they wanted to hear. I came to feel that "training" is what has caused so much confusion because he changes messages for every audience. But now after watching foreign politicians (Scots, French) and other democrats (Atty. General Holder, Pelosi) ignore his attempts at "leadership", I believe he is nothing but a pawn of the democratic hierarchy. This group has decided to let him have his propaganda successes but continue to try to implement their socialist goals.

Posted by: fcrucian | September 1, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

FALL? DID YOU SAY FALL? When hell freezes over? I would say don't hold you breath on that one. Some would like to hear that-but, no I do not think so. I pray Barack slaps it in your faces big time.

The Insurance companies are pushing the fall thing and some journalist who get paid to say and write negative crap. You know Barack may be tired but, he is not about to back down from a fight.

And Scar1 will never back down from holding this admistration up or getting down and dirty in the fight.

Fall? Kiss our grits!! Would say "ya Moma" but, the joke would go over you head.
I know-bad Scar1. Take it back: The only fall will be those who lack healthcare and even those who have it now but, when jobs disappear will be in the line with the rest of us-even some journalist-ha!!

Posted by: Scar1 | September 1, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My problem with obama last November is the same that I have with him now, except now my fears have been confirmed. He believes that we progress through the power of the will.
We can have a better economy through willpower.
We can win in Afghanistanc, through willpower.
We can have universal health care through willpower.
We can have...., through willpower.
I thought that we were ending the pseudoscience process of govt that bush gave us, but here it is in the liberal format.
Same nonsense, same results.

Posted by: familynet | September 1, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

While the President is looking for a comeback, a logical question might be asked: WHAT IS HE DOING FOR AMERICA TO DESERVE A COMEBACK????

180 innocent Americans died on the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing. That is out of a total of 270 passengers and crew. Should our staunchest ally have at least considered their actions with President Obama, prior to working a deal with Libya? DO they have no respect for President Obama? Have his trips to Europe to 'change the image of the US, had ZERO EFFECT?

At what point in time will some serious journalists ask our own State Department the following questions?

*What actions has the State Department taken now that the ‘deed has been done’ to release a convicted terrorist?

*Are we not setting ourselves up for being perceived as weak on terrorists given the Administration’s actions at Gitmo; DOJ’s actions with the CIA; and now the UK’s actions with a jailed terrorist?

*What communications has President Obama had with the UK Prime Minister? Do you no think that the families of the 180 victims have a right to know?

*What is the Administration’s position on the highly visible celebrations in Libya of the terrorist’s release? Has any action been taken?

Posted by: wheeljc | September 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the leader of the haters.

They are the looney left, the Socialists posing as Democrats. The haters demonize opponents by calling them ignorant, Astroturf, angry mobs, and Nazis. They attack people's character for the sole reason of disagreement. There's no point trying to rationally reason with the haters. We've tried it. It doesn't work. They live to hate. Their leaders are empty suits, the followers are empty headed.

Americans are sick and tired of the haters.

To all the haters, Please don't come back. GO AWAY!

GET OUT of our lives!

Posted by: bob59 | September 1, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

blue21, the problem is he needs to do a 180, not a 360. And yes, a single payer system is the only way we can afford excellent health care in a country this size and, sadly, this sick.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 1, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

". Character--Americans have become DISGUSTED with Obama's character as displayed in the Gates Bigotry"
Posted by: JaxMax "
----
First of all you ignoramus, a person cannot be arrested for verbally abusing a police officer in the state of Massachusetts, SEVERAL court cases have established and upheld this precedent.

Secondly, the police report was either intentionally altered or mistakenly filled out to profile the "perpetrators" as being black when the 911 call tapes prove they were identified as being Hispanic by the caller.

So in that way "The Cambridge Police Department" acted stupidly I think it is pretty safe to say.

The only bigotry is on the part of the arresting officer and people like you who probably hated Obama from the get-go.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It's because he's being too timid.

Just institute single payer national health care with no exclusions, so that all claims are funneled thru one national clearing house, giving small doctors the ability to compete with large medical firms.

Then, as the public option, allow anyone aged 29 or less to join the public option plan for $50 a month - but require every US citizen to have mandatory health coverage.

Problem solved.

ACTIONS speak louder than words.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 1, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is wrong, very wrong. He thinks we voted for him because his charisma and not for the changes he promised to deliver when elected. So far he tried to please conservatives and failed. He retained republicans in his cabinet, Gates, Geithner and hire others and planed to do more. I we wanted a republican agenda we would have voted for McCain. If this president doesn't turn a 360 degree turn very quick he is done. And believe me I'm not happy in saying this.

Posted by: bluelagoon21 | September 1, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There already are a variety of public options, including the cost of all the uninsured care being borne by the public.
In other words, insuring everybody will not lower costs. Only changing the way people are insured, the system's core business model, will lower costs - this by eliminating the perverse incentives of the current model.

But since the industry has spiked any further talk of reforms that would fundamentally change how providers are paid and for what - Democrats are promising to retain the status quo and reform health care at the same time. The Republicans of course, are promising nothing but to fight Obama, reactionary zealots are all that is left in that party.

So Obama needs an exit strategy, he will declare victory and retreat. China, which Cramer named the world's most dominant capitalist country last night, will be asked to finance the most inefficient health care system in the developed world.

Service economy, manufacturing, consumer goods? No, America's future will focus on its ever growing health care industry, a health care economy.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

real health care reform is finished.

at most obama will be able to get half measures through budget reconcilitation at the cost of removing all doubt that he every bit aa dismissive of dissent as bush and co. clearly, not a good deal. yet, democrats have subscribed to the "we must pass something" line of thinking, which only makes sense from the point of view of politics, not public policy, so they will take a losing deal if they can get it--even then, a big if.

considering we have two trillion dollars less than we thought a month ago and obama claims we have the money to pay for a one trillion dollar health care spending bill.

Posted by: dummypants | September 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON DC--AN INTEGRITY DESERT

so, many in DC will miss 3 fundamental facts about Obama's implosion:

1. Decoupling with the economy--Obama's approval ratings are sinking even among those with a positive economic outlook--Obama's approval is becoming decoupled from an economic recovery, but not from an economic depression

2. Character--Americans have become DISGUSTED with Obama's character as displayed in the Gates Bigotry and ObamaCare. And you only spend character ONCE.

3. Long term unemployed--and their FRIENDS AND FAMILY are going to SINK Obama.

And the decline will be geometric not linear.

Posted by: JaxMax | September 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Well, lessee...

He's already thrown trillion$ of printed money into the economy, increased taxes, and now he's about to do more?

God help us all.

Posted by: tjhall1 "
-----------
Seems to be a problem only since November, before that everything was peachy right?

BTW: Obama has not raised anyones taxes, in fact he gave the middle class the largest tax-break in the last 40 years which amounted to 1/3 of the stimulus program.

So tell me again, how is giving a tax break as part of a stimulus program "raising taxes" and "throwing a trillion dollars of printed money into the economy"?

You may also want to check out this link regarding the stimulus program's effects on the economy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/ousivMolt/idUSTRE57O5V720090825

God help us...from people like you.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The status quo is unacceptable. Everyone knows it. The anti-government extremists have shown their hand. Anything they say just sounds like more, demented Obama-hating. There will be patient work done bringing those willing to work on insurance reform together. When Obama has the numbers and a plan he can take to the country he will. By then, the Angry Right will be spent, the Party of No will be predictably ignored and we'll have a single payer, public option that brings health insurance to the millions of Americans who are at risk.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 1, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it but I'm happy to see that with our government so one-sided to the left, that the people see that without a balance, our government will fail.

Congress will look much differently in 2010 and thank goodness. The problem isn't necessarily Obama but it's the Democratic leadership in Congress, many of whom are heavily responsible for our current economic situation. They see that they have an inexperienced lackey at the help of the executive branch and they aim to take advantage.

Too bad for them that the public isn't as stupid as their little peabrains thought.

Posted by: RobParker | September 1, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I love watching liberal media writers wringing their collective hands over Obama's crashing poll numbers. I can see why they are so upset, they spent so much effort getting him elected and all.

Sorry Balz, people have learned that you can't trust Obama or the media. That makes a comeback very unlikely.

Posted by: robtr | September 1, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@LarryG62 - Substitute "Obama" with "Private Health Insurance" or "Republicans" and you've just about got it right.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Thus far when the going got tough Obama took, like Bush, a vacation. He is gone this weekend as well. Like Clinton, Obama has grasped the perks of office real fast.
No health care by Christmas no second term. If that happens watch the 'loyalist' take off for new jobs.

Posted by: KBlit | September 1, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Rahm Emanuel is fine!


Posted by: lindalovejones | September 1, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Sound like the wisea$s slug Emanuel.

Obama can't make a comeback without
telling even more lies about his plans.
The dodo just can't seem to get it. Borrowing and spending got us into this mess and the dolt just keeps having his cabal of incompetents continue the stupid practice.

As for health care, his idea to create a bumbling Kremlin liek bureaucracy, is about as mindless as he is.

Who needs to have some dimwit bureaucrat deciding what reasonable services are? Or, reasonable costs?

We don't need to have the goons in the IRS poring over our personal and financial information, so they can enforce big brother's rules.

Obama is nothing but a joke, a bad, bad joke.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 1, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

THE HYBRID OPTION

States can have their own Public Option, as some already do, like Vermont, but we need a "back-up" Federal public option program, for everybody not covered adequately by State Plans, and for funding and maintaining federal standards.

It is a better idea to keep a State public option paradigm, because many good States have good plans and an infrastructure (it would be a waste to just throw it away.)

Such a plan would disarm the republican charge of Obama's health plan as a giant federal government "take-over" - also people feel they have more control over their State government plans. This does wonders for the trust and "comfort" factor, as people are familiar with their own State systems. For instance, citizens of Mississippi would be more likely to believe elective abortions are not covered under their own State Public Option Plan.

However, we still very much need the existence of a Federal Public Option, in addition to State Programs for several reasons:

(1) to insure the States keep their public health plans

(2) to act as a standards establisher and enforcer

(3) to act as a backup for the people in States with no public health plan, or for people in States that have public option plans that don't meet the Federal Public Option coverage standard, and have therefore not received federal funding.

(4) as a funding mechanism and fiscal template for the State plans

(5) as a public plan for people with no State residency or other special extenuating circumstances. The Federal public option can also cover the DC citizens.

Posted by: ffcaruso | September 1, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, lessee...

He's already thrown trillion$ of printed money into the economy, increased taxes, and now he's about to do more?

God help us all.

Posted by: tjhall1 | September 1, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Every day it becomes painfully more obvious that Obama isn't any different that bush- just another corporate president guaranteeig his family will be the among the richest in decades to come

Posted by: newagent99 | September 1, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

GIVE AMERICA'S I8NSURANCE INDUSTRY A COMPETITOR!

GIVE US THE PUBLIC OPTION NOW!!!

Posted by: onestring | September 1, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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