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Posts Tagged ‘Health Care Reform’

USAT/Gallup: Obama’s Disapproval hits 50% as 53% Say Dems Abused Power in Passing Obamacare

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

President Barack Obama may end up regretting his pursuit of comprehensive health care reform as his disapproval contiues to rise along with the public's disapproval of the now-passed Obamacare

As noted by Centristnet back over the weekend, President Barack Obama continues to sink in the eyes of the American people in the wake of the historic passage of Obamacare, with a brand new USA Today/Gallup released today showing Obama’s overall job approval underwater as only 47% approve while an all-time high of 50% of Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President:

Obama’s approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.

Such elevated levels of disapproval for President Obama remind some of the net-negative approval ratings of his predecessor, George W. Bush, that consumed the Bush Presidency as public concern over the Iraqi war mounted. Indeed, Obamacare may end up being Barack Obama’s Iraq should the public’s views on Obamacare not reverse themselves in the near future. Before long, many national congressional Democrats and state-level Democrats may begin to resent the OBama Administration for saddling them with such a massive, unpopular policy in the lead-up to the November 2010 elections.

For Obama, it is the public’s concern with his massive comprehensive health care plan known as Obamacare that is driving up his disapproval and causing the number of his supporters to shrink. While USA Today and Gallup, along with the remainder of the establishment media, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs and most other Democrats did push a very shaky and perhaps misleading one-day poll last week showing Obamacare improbably at 49% approval/41% disapproval, one week later this fresh, multi-day poll shows Obamacare as unpopular as ever at 50% disapproval. Several of the criticisms of the prior one-day Gallup poll are, ironically, reprinted today by USA Today in its release of the new Gallup numbers:

The poll of 1,033 adults, taken by land line and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.

Half call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% “a good thing.” That differs from a one-day USA TODAY poll taken March 22 — a day after the House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”

“Any one-day poll in the immediate aftermath of a major event is likely to be subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects,” says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, “the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story, and only a little bit by the Republicans’ rebuttal to that.”

The undeniable problem for Obama and the Democrat is that a two-thirds majority of the American public simply does not believe their talking points on health care reform, making any increase in popularity unlikely and further declines probable:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation’s health care system overall.

Finally, the coordinated campaign of Democrats and the establishment media to smear opponents of Obamacare as racist, terrorist extremists by highlighting post-Obamacare incidents of alleged violence, threats and slurs has apparently fizzled as well as 53% call Democratic tactics in ramming through Obamacare an “abuse of power” while most (49%) blame such abusive Democratic tactics as the cause of any alleged violence or threats:

There was a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods “an abuse of power;” 40% say they are appropriate.

And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill’s passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics’ harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are “a major reason” for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.

As the details of the still largely-unknown Obamacare package continue to dribble out, such as the fact that the ban on insurer denials of coverage to children with preexisting conditions will not take immediately as claimed by Obama but instead 2014 and the rolling announcements of first quarter losses taken by America’s blue chip companies because of Obamacare (as epitomized by AT&T’s one billion dollar loss), it is very possible that the popularity of Obamacare will decline even further, as “continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.”

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54% of Americans Say Repeal Obamacare as Key Dems Admit “Redistribution of Wealth” as Motive

Monday, March 29th, 2010

President Obama certainly scored a victory by obtaining the passage of Obamacare, but will the American public support the new massive law as key Democrats admit Obamacare is intended to redistribute wealth?

As the dust settles after the passage of the historic comprehensive health care reform package known as Obamacare, the American public appears to favor its immediate repeal as 54% support such a repeal while 42% oppose repeal:

One week after the House of Representatives passed the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, 54% of the nation’s likely voters still favor repealing the new law. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% oppose repeal.

Those figures are virtually unchanged from last week. They include 44% who Strongly Favor repeal and 34% who Strongly Oppose it.

Repeal is favored by 84% of Republicans and 59% of unaffiliated voters. Among white Democrats, 25% favor repeal, but only one percent (1%) of black Democrats share that view.

Americans also simply do not believe the Obama health care talking points, strongly repudiating the main claims made by Obama about the benefits of Obamacare by a wide margin:

Only 17% of all voters believe the plan will achieve one of its primary goals and reduce the cost of health care. Most (55%) believe it will have the opposite affect and increase the cost of care.

Forty-nine percent (49%) believe the new law will reduce the quality of care. Sixty percent (60%) believe it will increase the federal budget deficit. Those numbers are consistent with expectations before the bill was passed.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, notes that “the overriding tone of the data is that passage of the legislation has not changed anything. Those who opposed the bill before it passed now want to repeal it. Those who supported the legislation oppose repealing it.”

As noted by Scott Rasmussen above, little has changed regarding public opinion Obamacare since its passage, repudiating the media’s “conventional wisdom” that the Democrats would see a surge in public support after its passage. The ABC/Washington Post poll confirms Rasmussen’s findings that few Americans believe Obama’s health care talking points and that majority opposition continues that is “virtually identical to the pre-vote split” regarding Obamacare:

More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.

Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.

About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.

Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.

Considering these numbers, President Obama has a steep uphill climb to convince Americans that this broad claims that Obamacare will be a “historic” deficit reduction plan, that Americans can keep their doctor and plan if they like it, and that Obamacare will reduce costs and increase the quality of American health care. Key Democrats are not making the President’s job easier by explicitly stating that the true intent of Obamacare is to redistribute wealth in America, something that went unmentioned by Democrats prior to the passage of Obamacare.

Americans strongly oppose, by a 84%-14% margin, government policies that attempt to bring about wealth redistribution in the American economy

Indeed, such wealth redistribution policies are strongly rejected by Americans, with 84% rejecting that approach according to Gallup:

When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today’s consumer, Americans overwhelmingly — by 84% to 13% — prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.

First, Democratic Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that Obamacare is intended to redistribute wealth:

It seems Senator Max Baucus let slip the real purpose of health care reform efforts – the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Baucus said of the health care bill, “This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.” According to the influential Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “The last couple three years, the mal-distribution of income in American is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind.”

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean then chipped in on Thursday March 25, 2010 by admitting that “this is a form of redistribution” and Obamacare is intended to cause wealth redistribution in the American economy because the economy is “like a machine. You always got to tune it right.” Of course, as the establishment media is well aware such explicit Democratic admissions that Obamacare is intended to tinker with the economy to bring about wealth redistribution would be damaging to Obamacare’s popularity, so the claims of Dean and Baucus have gone virtually unreported in the media. However, Americans continue to oppose the Obamacare package, as evidenced by today’s poll showing 54% favor its repeal.

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ABC/WaPo: Obamacare Remains Unpopular, Tea Party Favorable to Americans While Public Rejects Obama Talking Points by Large Margin

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

President Obama cannot like the new ABC/WaPo Poll that shows Obamacare remains unpopular and about 2/3 of Americans do not believe his health care talking points

In a final debunking of the spurious Gallup poll being used by the White House and establishment media to “prove” that Americans turned on a dime to now “support” Obamacare, ABC News and the Washington Post put out a new poll this morning which unequivocally evidences that Americans remain opposed to Obamacare:

In the days since President Obama signed the farthest-reaching piece of social welfare legislation in four decades, overall public opinion has changed little, with continuing broad public skepticism about the effects of the new law and more than a quarter of Americans seeing neither side as making a good-faith effort to cooperate on the issue.

Overall, 46 percent of those polled said they support the changes in the new law; 50 percent oppose them. That is virtually identical to the pre-vote split on the proposals and similar to the divide that has existed since last summer, when the country became sharply polarized over the president’s most ambitious domestic initiative.

The health-care debate galvanized the country to a remarkable extent. About a quarter of all adults say they tried to contact their elected representatives in Congress about health care in recent months, including nearly half of those who say they are “angry” about the changes. In general, opponents of the measure were more than twice as likely as supporters to say they had made the effort.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll found a full 50% of Americans oppose the Democratic health care reform package, while an astounding 40% of Americans “strongly oppose” Obamacare, which matches the all-time high found by this poll in “strong” opposition. The only change since the passage of the bill is a bit of a rally effect of Democrats, with strong support for Obamacare rising to 32%:
8. On another subject: overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

……………….——– Support ——–         ——— Oppose ——–               No
………..NET Strongly Somewhat ……..NET Somewhat Strongly ……opinion
3/26/10 46           32                    13              50            10                  40                4
2/8/10* 46           22                   25              49             11                  38                 5
1/15/10 44            22                   22              51             12                  39                 5
*2/8/10 and prior: “proposed changes…that are being developed by”

This polling will finally put to rest the untoward and fraudulent efforts of the Obama Administration and establishment media to use the outlier, one-day Gallup poll showing Americans approve of Obamacare by a 49%-40% margin as it will be difficult to credibly claim that one-day poll, which stands alone showing a major bounce in approval for Obamacare post-passage, is at all realistic. Another interesting tidbit from this morning’s poll is that Americans are more likely to vote for a Congressperson who opposes Obamacare than one who supports Obamacare by 6%-8% margin:

24. Say a candidate for Congress voted FOR the changes to the health care system recently enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration). Would that make you more likely to [support] that candidate for Congress, more likely to [oppose] that candidate, or wouldn’t it make much difference in your vote? (IF SUPPORT/OPPOSE) Are you much more likely to support/oppose that candidate or somewhat more?

………………..—- Support —-            —- Oppose —–               No        No
…………………..NET Much Smwt       NET Smwt Much          diff.     opinion
3/26/10                26      16          9               32         6           27               40              2
3/26/10 RV        27      17           9               35         5          29               36               2
1/15/10*              22      12          10             31          7          24               45               2
11/15/09             25      13          12             29         8         20               45                1

Separately, the poll is slightly skewed regarding party ID, showing the Democrats with a 10 point partisan ID edge, which is probably at least a few points over reality, and the largest gap reported by this poll since November, showing the GOP at just 24%, which is somewhat counter-intuitive as the GOP has gained steam in recent months by riding the public’s opposition to health care reform.

Nonetheless, even with that skew, this ABC News/Washington Post poll conclusively proves that the “conventional wisdom” of Democrats and the establishment media that Obamacare would magically transform into popular legislation upon passage was and is completely false.  Even the left-leaning WaPo’s writeup on the poll admits that opponents are much more intense than supporters.

Despite the best efforts of the establishment media and Democrats to smear the tea party as racists, extremists and terrorists, Americans view the tea party positively (41%-39%), an improvement from February 2010 (35%-40%) according to this poll.

It would be interesting to know what the partisan leanings of the 20% with “no opinion” on the tea party now are, to determine if the tea party has room to continue to grow in favorability or is reaching its peak.

Finally, this polling also conclusively proves that Americans believe President Obama is lying about the Obamacare legislation every time he speaks of it, with large majorities believing Obamacare will weaken Medicare (not strengthen it), increase the deficit (not “historically” reduce it), worsen the quality of care (not improve it) and finally that many will lose their present plan or doctor (not “if you like your plan, you can keep it”):

More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.

Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.

About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.

Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.

All told, it is clear from this ABC News/Washington Post poll, and all other post-Obamacare passage polls other than the spurious one-day Gallup poll hyped by the White House and media, that Americans simply aren’t buying what President Obama and the Democrats are selling regarding their massive new comprehensive health care reform plan. It will be interesting to see if these poll results change the “conventional wisdom” in Washington that continues to linger in the establishment media that Obamacare is somehow transformed into a popular piece of legislation because of its passage.

UPDATE: Ed at Hotair notes the depressing news for Democrats from this poll, even with the partisan ID skew, and the overwhelmingly negative ratings Obama receives on his next big focus: immigration.

With the WaPo survey oversampling by at least five points and perhaps as much as seven, it’s not too surprising to see Obama get a 53/43 approval rating in this poll. It should dismay Democrats to see ObamaCare still losing ground even after the Post had to amp up the partisan gap four extra points from the last survey. The other issue approval ratings won’t be much comfort, either:

* Health care – underwater, 48/49
* Economy – seriously underwater, 45/52, with 40% strongly disapproving
* Budget deficit – 43/52

Interestingly, Obama’s worst issue by far is immigration. Only 33% approve of his handling of immigration issues, while 43% disapprove, 28% strongly so. Obama has expressed interest in taking on immigration with the ObamaCare fight mainly over, but these numbers suggest that he may want to wait until after the midterm elections.

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Facebook Group Started 3/15/2010 Opposing Obamacare Reaches 1,000,000 Fans

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

A Facebook Group Started Just 11 Days Ago To Oppose Obamacare Passed 1,000,000 Members This Evening

In a nod to the strange new world of online activism, Americans who oppose President Barack Obama’s health care reform package, known as Obamacare, formed a Facebook page entitled:

I bet we can find 1,000,000+ people who disapprove of the Health Care Bill

The page was started on March 15, 2010, and just 11 days later at approximately 11:45PM eastern time, the 1,000,000 person signed on as an opponent of Obamacare.   This kind of flash online activism by everyday Americans who oppose the massive government health care program just passed by Congress and the President could pose a major obstacle to Obama’s efforts to “sell” his health care package to the country in the next week with multiple rallies at various places in the United States.  Here’s how organizers described their page:

This Group was started on March 15, 2010 to send a substantial message to those in Washington who are not listening to their constituents.

The purpose of this Group is to serve as an outlet and organizational platform for those that believe in health care reform, but believe that such should be bipartisan, fiscally responsible, minimize role of government and be approved through a legislative process true to the intent of our Constitution. We welcome people of all party affiliations.

Since the bill was passed, this group has had phenomenal – record setting growth of 200-300 new members per minute. Our title says 1,000,000+ and we well expect millions to join us in this fight.

We will continue to serve as a basis for information, ideas and a platform to mobilize action to repeal this law. Our fight will remain focused, civilized and non violent and will continue until our goal is achieved.

Here is their brief message announcing the crossing of 1,000,000 Obamacare opponents signed up:

*********ALERT********
CONGRATULATIONS ON FIRST 1,000,000 at 11:45 PM Fri March 26, 2010.

The ability to add 100,000 people a day on average to a Facebook page animated solely by its opposition to the massive Obamacare package is an indication of the high level of grassroots energy in America that is presently mobilizing against the President’s signature initiative. Many Democrats and establishment media types have been claiming that Obamacare is rising in popularity with the public since its passage last weekend, but sites like this one provide some evidence of the opposite effect: a rising tide of activism objecting to the passage of the massive bill.

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Vindication: Felony Charges Against ACORN-killer James O’Keefe Dropped by Feds

Friday, March 26th, 2010

James O'Keefe, seen here with Hannah Giles, Became Famous by Exposing ACORN's Horrible Business Practices and Today Gained Vindication as All Felony Charges against him were dropped regarding his silly attempt to gain access to Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office to prove she was ignoring constituent phone calls regarding Obamacare

In a quiet filing late on a Friday afternoon, federal prosecutors dropped all felony charges against James O’Keefe and several other conservative activists who were charged originally with felonies for their silly attempt to prove that the Louisiana office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was not answering the phone calls of their constituents:

Federal prosecutors filed reduced charges Friday against conservative activist James O’Keefe and three others who were accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office.

The new charges are contained in a bill of information, which can only be filed with a defendant’s consent and typically signals a plea deal. The new filing charges videographer the four with entering a federal building under false pretenses, a misdemeanor. They had been arrested Jan. 25 on felony charges.

O’Keefe, a videographer famous for wearing a pimp costume in a stunt that embarrassed the ACORN community organizing group, has said the group was trying to investigate complaints that constituents calling Landrieu’s office couldn’t get through to criticize her support of a health care reform bill.

J. Garrison Jordan, a lawyer for another defendant, Robert Flanagan, said his client has “an agreement worked out with the government” but wouldn’t elaborate or confirm that the others also have reached a deal with prosecutors.

“I think it’s a fair resolution to the charges, and I’m happy with the agreement we’ve worked out,” he said.

The establishment media, led by NBC and its daytime host David Shuster, falsely claimed O’Keefe was engaged in a Watergate-style operation after his arrest:

All four men were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

It sounded like a Watergate-style operation, but federal officials have not yet said why the men wanted to interfere with Landrieu’s phones, whether they were successful, or even if the goal was political espionage.

O’Keefe himself at the time had this to say:

O’Keefe said, “The truth shall set me free,” as he left a suburban jail Tuesday with Basel and suspect Stan Dai, both 24. All declined to comment. “There will be a time for that,” Dai said.

Some particularly idiotic radical leftist commentary after the January 2010 O’Keefe arrest came from Michael Wolff, speaking darkly of “aggressive prosecutors” taking down Glenn Beck for his claimed sponsoring of the allegedly heinous crimes of O’Keefe:

There are the perpetrators, the four young men who attempted to get access to the telephone system of Mary Landrieu, the Democratic senator from Louisiana. Then there is whomever else can be connected to them, by cell phone records, text messages, or email.

These are the little fish. Somewhere, at some remove, with some level of foreknowledge—with enough deniability or not—are the big fish.

The Times’ front page piece yesterday, with the thumbnails of the four perps, says little—save that O’Keefe and company were right-wing hot dogs—but is full of anticipation. The Times knows well enough that a break-in, one full of theatrical verve, is unlikely to have happened in a vacuum. Indeed, the subtext of the Times piece is all about James O’Keefe’s impressive conservative network.

It’s a network full of high-profile mentors. After O’Keefe’s audacious bit of political theater exposing the haplessness or recklessness of some functionaries at the liberal group, Acorn—a popular bête noire among conservatives—he was immediately and enthusiastically taken up by the right-wing media.

The right-wing media is an insular but curiously convivial group. It loves its fellow travelers. It loves other right-leaning attention seekers. This is a club for the ideologically pure who are media savvy. The Times piece sketches out some of these connections, including O’Keefe’s relationship with Andrew Breitbart, who is in turn connected to Matt Drudge.

The Times does not explicitly draw in Glenn Beck, but the Fox host has done as much as anyone to promote O’Keefe as an example of right-wing talent and personality. The day after the bust, Beck was hurriedly trying to disassociate himself.

Depending on the aggressiveness of the prosecutors involved, we will find out who O’Keefe and company were speaking to. We will find out who was urging O’Keefe on, who O’Keefe was bragging to, and how far up the media chain this really goes.

Obviously, leftwing hacks like NBC, Schuster, Michael Wolff and the NYT were completely wrong on this story.

All told, the massive establishment media focus on this case, and the ridiculous media claims that O’Keefe should be jailed for a decade and that his actions were comparable to Watergate, have been proven false. It appears that O’Keefe and the others involved will now plead guilty to a misdemeanour charge of entering a federal building under false pretenses. This plea deal is appropriate, as O’Keefe and the others were doing exactly that by pretending to be telephone company workers in furtherance of their silly scheme to prove Landrieu was intentionally ignoring constituent phone calls over Obamacare.

UPDATE: Hotair points out more of the prior false MSNBC reporting on O’Keefe, now fully debunked today:

Commenters are wondering in the Headlines thread when Edward R. Murrow’s rightful heir will apologize for calling this a new Watergate or ace reporter David Shuster will walk back his tweets to O’Keefe right after the story first broke in January that “a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it’s a felony d) you will go to prison.” (0 for 4!) Answer: Shuster already did, sort of, but I wouldn’t look for any more remorse than that from MSNBC. The new storyline, guaranteed, will be that O’Keefe got a break because one of the kids in his crew is the son of the acting U.S. Attorney for Western Louisiana. Never mind that there have already been recusals in the case to avoid any conflict of interest; the “corrupt wingnut” narrative shall not be denied. Long live “Watergate Jr.”!

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AT&T Announces 1 Billion Dollar Loss from Obamacare in 1Q 2010

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Today, AT&T announced that it would take a 1,000,000,000 loss in 1Q 2010 because of Obamacare while also indicating it will substantially alter its employee benefit plans

Gigantic telecommunications company AT&T announced just now that it will take a $1,000,000,000 loss in the first quarter of 2010 because of changes made to the health care laws by Obamacare. Additionally, AT&T noted that the benefits packages are subject to substantial alternation in the next few weeks. AT&T’s announcement, on the heels of similar announcements by Caterpillar, John Deere, AK Steel and other large American companies, is more evidence of the negative economic effects from Obamacare. Reuters broke the story a half hour ago:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Friday that it would record a $1 billion non-cash charge for the current quarter related to the new U.S. health care reform law signed by President Barack Obama this week.

AT&T’s charge appeared to be the largest in a series of charges announced by U.S. companies this week.

The operator, whose annual revenue is expected to be $124.1 billion this year, said the charge is the result of a provision in the law related to the tax treatment of Medicare subsidies.

As a result of the legislation, the company said it will be evaluating prospective changes to the health care benefits it offers.

AT&T’s announcement, and others that are sure to follow from America’s blue chip companies, appears to disprove the Democratic claims that Obamacare would create hundreds of thousands of jobs “almost immediately” after passage. Indeed, the corporate losses incurred already from Obamacare appear destined to reduce, not enhance, the ability of America’s companies to hire new employees.

Furthermore, AT&T’s statement that “as a result of the legislation, the company said it will be evaluating prospective changes to the health care benefits it offers” also disproves the oft-repeated Obama misrepresentation that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” after the passage of Obamacare. The tens of thousands of employees of AT&T are learning the hard way that sometimes Americans cannot trust the rhetorical claims of politicians about the policies they pursue.

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Dems Complete Nullification of Scott Brown’s Election Via “Unprecedented” Reconciliation Switch

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Senator Scott Brown (D-MA), who won a special election in late January 2010 on a platform of opposing Obamacare in the most liberal state in America, has seen his election nullified by Senate Democrats by the midstream switch to reconciliation

By a vote of 56-43, with three Democrats, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Sen. Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), joined by all 41 Republicans, failing to put the breaks on a large package of changes to the existing law known as Obamacare.   Every vote taken on Obamacare in the past few weeks has had the same character: bipartisan opposition failing to stop the remaining majority of Democrats from passing the legislation – hardly what the average American would expect on the signature legislation of President Obama, as the media-created Obama Brand is one of a “bipartisan” “pragmatic” “centrist” leader.   Indeed, the only thing bipartisan about the legislation is the opposition to it from centrist Democrats and the entire Republican Party.

Obama and the Democrats had tried to avoid making any changes to the House reconciliation package, but the Senate Parliamentarian ruled some parts of it out of order under reconciliation rules, forcing the Senate Democrats to make some changes and  sending the entire reconciliation Obamacare package back to the House for a final, final vote tonight.   The Dems and GOP House members are going back and forth with short speeches in the House now.

It looks like the House will vote shortly to bring the Obamacare legislating to a close:

The Senate approved a package of fixes to the health care reform law Thursday, drawing to a close the chamber’s year-long effort to overhaul the nation’s insurance system.

But the work isn’t done quite yet.

The bill passed 56 to 43, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding over the chamber. Senate Republicans forced a pair of changes to the reconciliation bill overnight, sending it back to the House for a final vote later Thursday.

Democrats believe the minor changes – to language regarding Pell Grants for low-income students – won’t derail House passage, meaning that Democrats are set to finally conclude the legislative struggle needed to make health reform a reality.

As you can see from the prose above from Politico,the establishment media is in a state of near orgasm over the imminent final passage of the Obamacare package, as the average left wing journalist is overjoyed to “finally conclude the legislative struggle needed to make health reform a reality.” That is actually fairly tame compared to the NYT, who declares just now that

The NYT, in a moment of candor, admits that the procedural trickery engaged in by Senate Democrats was successful in avoiding the will of the American people as embodied by the election of Senator Scott Brown (D-MA) in January 2010 on a platform of explicit opposition to Obamacare and a promise to be the “41st vote” to stop Obamacare in the Senate.

The Senate action appeared to be the penultimate step in a series of intricate legislation maneuvers that Democrats were forced to undertake after a Republican, Scott Brown, won a special Senate election in Massachusetts on Jan. 19, stripping Senate Democrats of the 60th vote that they needed to surmount Republican filibusters.

In a sane world, the “paper of record” in the United States would be troubled by Congress’s manipulation of its procedural rules to avoid the electoral will of the American people, but alas, the NYT has no such concerns, as in the very next paragraph the Times slips into its well-worn role as fawning Obama cheerleader, praising him for engineering the entire process of “intricate legislative maneuvers that the Democrats were forced to take” to subvert the will of the American people as expressed by the election of Scott Brown:

Many Democrats credited the president with having saved the legislation from the brink of collapse. He held a remarkable, day-long televised forum with Congressional leaders of both parties, lobbied for the overhaul in campaign-style rallies around the country, attacked abuses by private insurance companies, and repeatedly told the stories of everyday Americans who had suffered in the existing health system.

The Times appears to be a cheap date regarding the lavish praise it tosses out above for Obama, as everything they list as Obama’s “remarkable” actions are just standard, scripted political events that require little by way of unique or “unprecedented” skill sets to accomplish. It is odd for the “paper of record” to so explicitly celebrate the use of “intricate legislative maneuvers” and staged, scripted political events by DC officials to avoid the logical result of recent election results.

Indeed, the fact that the Democrats did indeed manage to make history by switching, midstream, from a bill passed via regular order to a reconciliation bill, would have merited a mention from the “paper of record”. However, the NYT fails to note this “unprecedented” legislative trickery by Obama and the Demcrats, but it was noted by ardently ideological leftist Lawrence O’Donnell.  The entire uncut O’Donnell appearance on Morning Joe on March 12, 2010 can be seen here.  O’Donnell notes the “unprecedented” nature of the Democrats’ plan to switch gears after Scott Brown’s Senate victory and pursue reconciliation to pass Obamacare:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Will Democrats get health care passed?

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: I’m going to say what I’ve said all along in my humble approach to this subject.  I, having worked on this kind of legislation on the Senate floor, trying to get it passed, and in committee.  I do not see how they can do this.  Now, and part of that is because it’s never been done before. And they have moved into a legislative territory that has never previously existed.  The Republicans have not been very smart about trying to describe this. It’s difficult to describe.  But this is unprecedented, using reconciliation this way. Because what they’ve done, is that they’ve abandoned a bill in mid-conference. The Senate passed a bill, the House passed a bill. They were in mid-conference negotiating this bill, in conference, and they said it’s going to be impossible for us to pass it now because of Scott Brown, so we’re going to abandon conferencing this bill and move over to another legislative vehicle, called reconciliation.  To handle something you’ve already been legislating another way, now, that’s never occurred before.

SCARBOROUGH: That’s never happened?

O’DONNELL: Never, never, never.

When the history books are written about the passage of Obamacare, perhaps this unprecedented legislative trickery, now completed, by Democrats to accomplish a nullification of the election of Scott Brown (R-MA) will garner more attention.  For now, the establishment media is sure to continue in near orgasm mode, with lavish praise for media hero Obama and his merry band of Democrats.

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American Communist Paper Praises Obama and Progressives For Passing Obamacare

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

President Barack Obama and the editors of the American communist newspaper People's World used simliar language to describe the great "victory" of the "people" obtained by the passage of Obamacare

In an editorial that the Obama Administration surely wishes had not been written, American communist newspaper People’s World issued a ringing endorsement of President Obama and the Democrats’ actions in muscling Obamacare through Congress over bipartisan opposition, with the editorial board of the communist newspaper claiming that the “enactment of this bill is an enormous victory for the broad progressive movement in our country” while oddly claiming that “almost every sector of American society” and “ordinary people from throughout the country applauded President Obama” and Pelosi for passing Obamacare. As President Obama has also claimed that the “people” were strongly in support of his health care policies and further he has been labeled a progressive, the praise of his actions by the People’s World editors is sure to stir some interest in tomorrow’s media cycle and conservative talk radio.

American communists apparently have a big problem with the tea party movement, which has a net positive rating (29%-23%, +8) with the general American public, while the Democrats (33%-48%, -15) and Republicans (33%-42%, -9) both have net negative ratings. For instance, despite the lack of any audio or video evidence of the racial slurs allegedly uttered by tea party protesters at Saturday’s 25,000-strong protest in DC, People’s World ridiculously compares the tea party to infamous and violent racist Bull Conner:


Beyond that, its passage is a major defeat for the far right – the Republican Party, sections of Corporate America, and their fascist-like tea party shock troops. The enactment of this bill is an enormous victory for the broad progressive movement in our country. It will give energy and enthusiasm to that movement as it mobilizes and builds for the struggles ahead to advance a pro-worker, pro-people agenda.

The fight isn’t over. The corporate-backed far right will continue to use racism, lies and anti-government conspiracy theories to try to scare and confuse people. We got some ugly glimpses of this just as Congress was on the eve of passing the health care bill.

Tea party protesters in Ohio yelled at and abused a man with Parkinson’s disease because he was courageous enough to show his support for health care reform. In Washington, others yelled racist and homophobic epithets at members of Congress.

Some call it the tea-partiers’ Bull Connor moment. Connor was the racist, pro-segregation “public safety” commissioner in Birmingham, Ala., who used dogs and fire hoses against African American children standing up against Jim Crow in the 1960s.

Just as the American people rejected the Bull Connor segregationists after seeing the fire-hosing of children in Birmingham, the American people will reject the vicious racism and hate-filled attacks of today’s Bull Connors.

After almost a year of lobbying, demonstrations, petitions, rallies, health care story collections, town hall meetings, this is a moment to savor a hard-fought victory. And it’s a moment to celebrate the persistence and tenacity of the people’s movement for progressive change – a good thing since there are many more battles ahead.

Even if the sensational, and unproven, allegations against the tea partiers regarding offensive slurs and conduct are true, that alleged conduct in no way compares to the truly horrific conduct of the likes of Bull Conner, notwithstanding the American communist newspaper’s odd claims above. People’s World’s claim that Obamacare’s passage is “a moment to celebrate the persistence and tenacity of the people’s movement for progressive change”, is uncomfortably close to the President’s own rhetoric in this email to supporters late Sunday night:

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we’ve faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right — and actually create the change we believe in.

The Communist American Newspaper People's Daily and President Barack Obama both claim the passage of Obamacare is a "victory" for the American people - despite the fact that 62% of Americans want the GOP to continue to fight Obamacare in the aftermath of the historic passage this week.

Both the communist editorial and Obama email point towards the great “victory” achieved by the “people” via the passage of Obamacare – despite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose Obamacare, and its passage was animated by vocal popular opposition in and around Congress, and little vocal support of any kind.  Considering these facts, it is certainly odd to hear both the President of the United States and the editors of one of America’s leading communist newspapers claim that Obamacare was just swept into law by popular demand – such claims simply to not match up with realty.

Indeed, opponents of Obamacare are very intense about their disapproval while supporters are mainly lukewarm, at best. This is proven, in part, by the fact that 62% of Americans want the GOP to continue to fight Obama and the Democrats regarding Obamacare – hardly a ringing endorsement by the American people.

Further, the American communist newspaper and Obama’s email also share the claim that the much remains to be done by the “people” in the near future. There is something disquieting about the President of the United States using similar metaphors and language to describe the passage of Obamacare as the editors of one of the leading American communist newspapers. Obama’s email on Tuesday, signing day, also refers to the great historical victory of the people:

As I’ve said many times, and as I know to be true, this astounding victory could not have been achieved without your tireless efforts.

So as we celebrate this great day, I want to invite you to add your name where it belongs: alongside mine as a co-signer of this historic legislation. Organizing for America will record the names of co-signers as a permanent commemoration of those who came together to make this moment possible — all of you who refused to give up until the dream of many generations for affordable, quality care for all Americans was finally fulfilled.

Please accept my thanks for your voice, for your courage, and for your indispensable partnership in the great work of creating change.

History, and I, are in your debt.

The People’s Daily’s claim that the tea parties are extremists was also echoed by the Obama Administration, as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel claimed the tea partiers are a “fringe group” and that the GOP leaders are “afraid of”:

I think The Republicans have a level of energy but inside that energy they have their own problem and fissures. They’re basically at the behest of a fringe group that’s taken control of their own party and their own leaders are scared of it.

Considering the editors of the American communist newspaper the People’s World use similar rhetoric as President Obama to describe the great “progressive” popular victory of the “people” in obtaining Obamacare passage, and further that Rahm Emanuel and People’s World share views regarding the tea party, centrists and independent Americans are left to wonder about what exactly the Democrats intended to accomplish with their 2407-page Obamacare package. Comments by Senior Dem. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) that the Democrats need time to prepare for the next few years to allow full enactment of Obamacare “to control the people” and VP Biden’s comment that via Obamacare “we’re going to control the insurance companies” add further concern and uncertainty for centrist and independent Americans assessing the newly-passed Obamacare package.  In sum, the fact that a leading American communist organization is praising the President of the United States for passing his signature initiative, Obamacare, is a bright red flag for the many Americans reviewing the Obamacare package this week.

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Hilarious: Senate Dems to Oppose GOP Obamacare Amendment To Ban Viagra for Sex Offenders

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the other Senate Democrats Plan to Oppose the GOP's Obamacare Amendment to Ban the Provision of Viagra for Sex Offenders

Yes, you read the headline right: Senate Democrats are so concerned about maintaining the exact language of the House reconciliation package for Obamacare that, as reported by Sam Stein of Huffpo, that Senate Dems will vote in lockstep against GOP Senator Tom Coburn’s amendment to ban the funding of viagra for sex offenders:

Democrats in the Senate say they are so committed to passing the House’s version of health care reconciliation fixes verbatim, that they are willing to vote against even the most alluring and unobjectionable of amendments — from legislation banning Viagra for sex offenders to language adding the long-elusive public option.

In what is the final act of the health care reform saga, the Senate on Tuesday began debating reconciliation fixes that the House of Representatives passed two days prior. The process includes a period of what could be unlimited amendments, during which it is widely expected that Republicans will try their best to get the legislation changed.

The idea is that by securing even a slight adjustment in the language, the Senate will have to send the bill back to the House of Representatives for reconsideration. Drawing out the process makes it more likely for it to be tripped up.

On Tuesday, the GOP put its strategy into action, with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okl.) introducing an amendment beyond agreeable. Titled “No Erectile Dysfunction Drugs To Sex Offenders” it would literally prohibit convicted child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders from getting erectile dysfunction medication from their health care providers.

While it will undoubtedly be difficult for Democrats to vote against the measure (one can conjure up the campaign ads already), the party plans to do just that.

“Democrats in the Senate are very unified that this is not going back to the House,” Sen. Wyden (D-Ore.) told the Huffington Post on Tuesday, minutes before the Coburn amendment was introduced.

The coming votes in the Senate on the GOP’s many amendments, including the attempt to ban the provision of viagra to sex offenders, are sure to provide some entertaining political theater and perhaps form the basis for a campaign ad or two against Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2010.

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The Obama Brand: Tarnished by the Passage of Obamacare over Bipartisan Opposition and Special Interest Deals

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Has the Obama Brand Been Tarnished By the Ugly Partisan Process Surrounding the Passage of his Signature Initiative, Obamacare?

President Barack Obama and the Democrats deserve a night or two to celebrate their historic victory in ramming the Obamacare package through Congress against bipartisan opposition, although only Democrats voted for the bill last night (219) while both Democrats (34) and Republicans (all) opposed the bill. However, as the reality of passage sets in upon America, an analysis of the political effects upon the Obama Brand is an interesting subject to review. CentristNet takes on this subject as the establishment media is in full celebration mode, with absolutely no focus so far in any reporting about the meaning of the substantial Democratic defections in the House yesterday or the lack of a single Republican vote in Congress for the massive initiative that defines the Obama Administration.

President Barack Obama will sign the Senate bill, as passed by the House last night, into law sometime this week, making the Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback and unfair exclusion of only Florida residents from the cuts to Medicare Advantage the law of the land while also sanctioning a very flawed process that led a bipartisan coalition of legislators to oppose the Democrats-only bill.

President Obama ran for election in 2008 as a bipartisan, pragmatic problem solver and has frequently claimed in 2009 and 2010 that he is running his Presidency in an open, transparent and bipartisan manner while fighting the “special interests” on behalf of the American people. Now, centrist and independent Americans, as well as ideologues on both sides, are confronted with the example of the signature initiative of the Obama Presidency – health care reform – being passed in the most partisan fashion possible, with absolutely no Republican support and substantial Democratic opposition.  Indeed, 34 of the 253 voting House Democrats voted against the young President’s signature initiative – a not insignificant 13.4% of the House Democratic Caucus.

Considering this, one must now ponder the effect of this entire year-long process upon the Obama Brand – a brand that was built upon the idea of a post-partisan, cooperative governance that would end the untoward “ways of Washington” that so many Americans roundly reject. For instance, consider these sentiments from then-candidate Obama in his speech announcing his candidacy in January 2007:

We all made this journey for a reason. It’s humbling, but in my heart I know you didn’t come here just for me, you came here because you believe in what this country can be. In the face of war, you believe there can be peace. In the face of despair, you believe there can be hope. In the face of a politics that’s shut you out, that’s told you to settle, that’s divided us for too long, you believe we can be one people, reaching for what’s possible, building that more perfect union.

It was here we learned to disagree without being disagreeable — that it’s possible to compromise so long as you know those principles that can never be compromised; and that so long as we’re willing to listen to each other, we can assume the best in people instead of the worst.

I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness — a certain audacity — to this announcement. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.

What’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What’s stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics — the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.

And as people have looked away in disillusionment and frustration, we know what’s filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It’s time to turn the page.

It is quite jarring to read the words of candidate Obama listed above considering that President Obama just forced his massive health care plan, which fundamentally remakes nearly 20% of the American economy, through Congress without a single Republican vote – hardly an example of “building a working consensus” as he promised America on that chilly day in January 2007.    As jarring is the derisive 2007 talk about “special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play” as the President cut backroom deals with essentially every special interest group in the health care industry during the Obamacare process.  As the Obama Administration has spent an overwhelming majority of its political capital to date on health care reform, the fact that the only bipartisan aspect of the Obamacare package in the final analysis is the bipartisan opposition to its passage is certainly not what the country expected when Obama was ushered into office with 53% of the vote in November 2008.

A Laughing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is Seen Here after the House's 219-212 Passage of Obamacare Via Solely Democratic Votes With 34 Democrats and All Republicans joining in Bipartisan Opposition

Most Americans, including many centrists and independents, believed that Obama would work with Republicans on major issues like health care reform to produce centrist, bipartisan solutions.  This early public confidence in Obama’s potential to be a post-partisan, centrist leader is  shown by the incredible levels of approval Obama received early in his Presidency – upwards of 65-70% support.  Obama’s approval had fallen steadily since March 2009 into a range between 45-50% before the passage of Obamacare today, no doubt in part due to the ugly, partisan acrimony surrounding the health care reform effort.  Now that his signature initiative has passed, incredibly, without a single Republican vote in either the House or the Senate and 13.4% of House Democrats voting against it, America now knows that Obama has chosen a partisan path on the historic legislation that defines his Presidency.  Historically speaking, this exclusively partisan passage of a major domestic reform is unprecedented in American history, as both parties voted in favor of Social Security and Medicare, as well as the Civil Rights Act – yet only Democrats voted for Obamacare.

Obama, of course, has chosen to push a different narrative immediately after the House passage of the Senate bill – one that focuses on the allegedly centrist nature of his bill that just passed without a single Republican vote and garnered 34 Democratic no votes.   Obama gave a speech right after the House vote claiming that Obamacare proves “change in this country comes not from the top down, but from the bottom up” and that “tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party — it’s a victory for them. It’s a victory for the American people.  And it’s a victory for common sense.”    Obama here is clearly trying to take the focus off the fact that only Democrats voted for his bill, and he reinforces his point by stating that now America will have “a health care system that incorporates ideas from both parties.“  Oddly, Obama appears to see himself as apart from the American people, saying it is “a victory for them” as opposed to a victory for us.  Obama also tweeted out this:

Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party – it is a victory for the American people. Tonight, we answered the call of history.

Obama also sent out an email to the many millions on his “Organizing for America” list, which said in part:

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we’ve faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right — and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

In last night’s speech, tweets, and email, Obama is trying to take the focus off the fact that only Democrats voted for the signature initiative of this Presidency and avoid the subject of bipartisanship if possible, despite the fact that the Obama Brand is based in part on the image of Obama as a pragmatic bipartisan reformer. Both his speech and tweet make the claim that last night’s historic passage of Obamacare is “not a victory for any one party”, while the email to his campaign list removes this reference for obvious reasons. All three communications claim that the passage of the bill is a victory for the “American people” despite the fact that a majority of the American people oppose the bill in general and 64-73% of Americans would have preferred the President and Democrats either start over or start from scratch than do as they have now done in passing the present enormous, partisan bill. All told, it is clear that Obama will try to avoid any discussion of the lack of any semblance of bipartisanship in his signature initiative while also asserting that Obamacare “runs straight down the center of American political thought“, and it remains to be seen if that dog will hunt.

The odious special interest deals and pork in the Senate bill that was passed on Christmas Eve by the Senate, and last night by the House, will now all become the law of the land upon Obama’s planned signature early this week. While Obama and the Democrats will attempt to ram through a new bill to make changes to Obamacare though the Senate, the hard reality of the situation is that President Obama will sanction and endorse each and every backroom deal and pork handout in the Senate bill when he affixes his signature to it. The Senate may never pass the “fixes” Obama wants to the bill, “fixes” that were made necessary by the untoward deal cutting to obtain the Christmas Eve Senate passage of Obamacare from the sixty Democratic Senators who voted for it, such as the Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase and ridiculous provisions that allow Florida residents to retain Medicare Advantage benefits while all other states’ residents lose same.

The Backroom, Pork-Laden Deals Between President Barack Obama and Nearly Every Special Interest Group in the Health Care Industry Have Dented the Obama Brand

Additionally, the President referred to his fighting the “special interests” in his comments last night, as well as in his 2007 campaign kickoff speech and at many points in between, and the image of Obama as a tireless fighter of “special interests” in Washington is a critical component of the Obama Brand.   Here as well, the Obama Brand has taken a hit during the Obamacare process as Obama himself has made backroom deals with the large drug companies (“Big Pharma”), American Medical Association, the hospitals, the AARP, the unions, and even some insurance companies as the past year of as the process has unfolded.

Regardless, in the days to come, expect Obama and the Democrats to attack the Republicans for “delaying” the “fixes” to the bill the Democrats themselves assembled and passed through the Senate on Christmas Eve. For instance, Obama also had this to say last night:

“On Tuesday, the Senate will take up revisions to this legislation that the House has embraced and these are revisions that have strengthened this law and removed provisions that have no place it in. Some have predicted another siege of parliamentary maneuvering in order to delay adoption of these improvements. I hope that’s not the case. It’s time to bring this debate to a close and bring in the hard work of implementing this reform properly on behalf of the American people.”

President Barack Obama, here with VP Joe Biden, on December 24, 2009 Praising the Senate Obamacare Bill's Passage

Here Obama is already staking out the high ground in the next phase of the Obamacare legislative battle, asserting that the changes that are to pass via reconciliation will remove “provisions that have no place” in the legislation. However, Obama himself is set to sign that very legislation early this week, and Obama had nothing at all to say about “provisions that have no place” in the bill in his December 24, 2009 statement after the Senate passage of Obamacare, calling it a “tremendous step forward” as he “hailed Senate passage“.

It appears that Obama and the Democrats will attempt to demagogue the GOP for stalling the Democratic attempt to push through changes to Obamacare via reconciliation in Senate by claiming the GOP is stopping the Democrats from fixing the very fraudulent deals the Democrats themselves made in order to obtain the initial Senate passage of the bill. As with Obama’s attempt to frame Obamacare as a bipartisan piece of legislation despite the fact that only Democrats voted for it and 13.4% of the House Democratic Caucus joined a unified GOP in opposing it, it remains to be seen if this dog will hunt as well.

Indeed, the entire, high profile “sausage-making” process over the past year or so surrounding the passage of the President’s signature initiative, Obamacare, demonstrates all of the untoward “ways of Washington” that candidate Barack Obama condemned in 2007-8, and President Obama has condemned in 2009 and 2010. Indeed, last night Obama condemned the very bill he will sign this week as having “provisions that have no place” in it.  Further, the background story of the strong arming done by Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the past few weeks of reluctant House Democrats is sure to be more fully reported in the days to come, and such details are also destructive of the Obama Brand.

All told, the Obama Brand of pragmatic bipartisanship has been seriously dented by the facts surrounding the passage of his Presidency’s signature initiative, and the next few weeks could bring more highlighting of the odious parts of the bill as the battle over Senate reconciliation heats up next week. Few, if any, Americans who voted for President Obama in November 2008 could have forseen that he would end up forcing comprehensive health care reform through Congress with only Democratic votes over bipartisan opposition via an ugly backroom deal laden process, and those facts could indeed change the way many Americans view the young President. Finally, then-candidate Obama’s words in 2007 about the need to avoid “slash and burn” politics and how American cannot “pass universal health care with a 50-plus-one strategy” are especially jarring considering the process that has now ended in the wholly partisan passage of his signature initiative:

Obama was talking about the differences between himself and his then-opponent in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton.

“I think it is legitimate at this point for me to explain very clearly to the American people why I think I will be a better president than Hillary Clinton, and to draw contrasts,” Obama said.

“But that’s very different from this sort of slash-and-burn politics that I think we’ve become accustomed to. Look, part of the reason I’m running is not just to be president, it’s to get things done. And what I believe that means is we’ve got to break out of what I call, sort of, the 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics. Which is, you have nasty primaries where everybody’s disheartened. Then you divide the country 45 percent on one side, 45 percent on the other, 10 percent in the middle — all of them apparently live in Florida and Ohio — and battle it out. And maybe you eke out a victory of 50-plus-one, but you can’t govern. I mean, you get Air Force One, there are a lot of nice perks to being president, but you can’t deliver on health care. We’re not going to pass universal health care with a 50-plus-one strategy. We’re not going to have a serious bold energy policy of the sort I proposed yesterday unless you build a working majority. And part of the task of building that working majority is to get people to believe in our government, that it can work, that it’s based on common sense, that it’s not just sort of scoring political points.

The interviewer then asked, “So is your answer to ‘Why I will be a better president than Hillary Clinton,’ is your answer that she’ll be a 50-plus-one president and you won’t?”

“Yes,” Obama said.

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