White House attacks "professional left" and "Canadian-style health care"

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Unionist
White House attacks "professional left" and "Canadian-style health care"

I coulda sworn Sarah Palin hadn't been inaugurated yet... Wrong again...

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/08/10/gibbs-left.html]Obama's press secretary slams 'professional left'[/url]

Quote:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has taken aim at the "professional left" for being unnecessarily harsh on U.S. President Barack Obama and pushing for a Canadian-style health-care system.

"They will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon," the normally affable Gibbs says in an explosive interview published Tuesday in the congressional newspaper The Hill. "That's not reality."

Those on the left who claim Obama as president isn't much different than George W. Bush, he added, "ought to be drug-tested."

Frankly, I'd prefer Sarah Palin.

 

genstrike

But I thought Obama was a wonderful progressive who was planning to bring in wonderful universal healthcare and turn the USA into the next Sweden, and he was only hampered by Republicans, Tea Partiers and banking interests.

trippie

Well I guess he'sjust telling everyone the truth.. Obama and his team are bourgeois capitalists.

Fidel

It's the same in Canada - governments are bought and paid for here, too.

George Victor

And some folks would commit the U.S. to a Palin presidency by making any Democrat unelectable.

The Republicans have taken on the new total objective of the neo-con...elimination of state involvement - guv'mint to the Great Unread - and are doing nicely with the kind of directionless, objective-free liberal support demonstrated hereabouts.  Gates realizes that you prepare the way for Conservative gains. 

Try moving your analysis into the Capitalism of the 21st Century...both for the U.S. and Canada. You allow Steve to laugh at your naivete. 

--------------------------------------------------------

But to complete the story as it appeared (again, the reality check):

 

"A recent attack from the liberal group Progressive Change Campaign Committee apparently angered Gibbs. Earlier this week, one of the group's founders, Adam Green, accused Obama of "caving without a fight" by dropping the public option during the bare-knuckled battle for health-care legislation earlier this year.

The White House, on the other hand, believes it's taken on several liberal causes without getting any credit. White House officials point to health-care reform, financial regulatory legislation, a fair-pay bill for women and Obama's move to end the war in Iraq, with combat operations concluding this month.

He's also nominated two female Supreme Court justices, including the first Hispanic.

"There's 101 things we've done," said Gibbs.

But in his later statement, Gibbs extended an olive branch to the left."

 

 

Ending with the timeless appeal :"We should all, me included, stop fighting each other and arguing about our differences on certain policies, and instead work together to make sure everyone knows what is at stake because we've come too far to turn back now."

But it does look like some union people in Canada will get their wish for a Palin in 2012 and the end to public institutions serving the public.

Unionist

George Victor wrote:

The White House, on the other hand, believes it's taken on several liberal causes without getting any credit. White House officials point to health-care reform,

I believe that's what the left attacked them for.

Quote:
... financial regulatory legislation

I believe that's another one the left attacked them for.

Quote:
a fair-pay bill for women

News to me. What's that about? They're going to send a bill to women?

Quote:
... and Obama's move to end the war in Iraq, with combat operations concluding this month.

Democratic presidents start wars, and Republican presidents end them. This pattern of the last 3/4 centuries is going to be broken by Obama? Obama, the Surge-General? Excuse me while I die laughing.

Quote:
He's also nominated two female Supreme Court justices, including the first Hispanic.

Heyyy!!! He forgot to mention the female Secretary of State! This is a triumph for women and minorities everywhere!!!!! WTF is the "professional left" whining about????

 

George Victor wrote:
But it does look like some union people in Canada will get their wish for a Palin in 2012 and the end to public institutions serving the public.

Ok, George, here's the deal. Say Palin wins in 2012. Let's predict the reactions:

George: He went too far, too fast, and he got flushed.

Unionist: Good riddance. Now maybe someone will start withdrawing troops from foreign lands and concentrating on dismantling the handful of domestic U.S. social institutions that exist. Good riddance.

 

 

absentia

A press secretary is supposed to defend his boss; that's his job, whatever he believes in his heart of hearts, whatever his boss believes. He says they've done 101 things, and names 5, of which 1 is lame, 2 is lame and late, 3 is occult, 4 is bogus - and vastly outweighed by escalation in Afghanistan - and 5 is irrelevant. So, he's exaggerating a bit. Maybe that's also part of his job?

On the subject of health care, he's defending the lame legislation which was difficult and expensive to achieve, on the grounds that they can't realistically expect anything better in present-day USA. Adding a note of sarcasm and hostility against the Canadian system and its advocates in order to shield himself from the Rabid Right. Ignoble, but hardly surprising. Nor would it surprise me to learn that this guy is burning out. It's a shitty job at the best of times, which these are not.

skdadl

As [URL=http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/08/11/helen-would-have-asked-abou... suggests, it's entirely possible that Gibbs's rant had something to do with shenanigans at Khadr's military commission that day. Can't have the press corpse asking Gibbs about a judge's ruling that evidence obtained by torturing a teenager is admissible in Obama's kangaroo courts, can we.

Or his decision that anyone who kills a U.S. soldier, even in the heat of battle, has committed a war crime. There's a new one in the law of war, otherwise known as the justice of the victor.

Fidel

I think the Obamites have been somewhat clever in their dismissal of Canadian style medicare for their purposes. Health insurance premiums have been handled by US employers and private insurers for a long time. If one reads James Galbraith, health spending in the US represents a significant part of their economy that has nothing to do with free market capitalism. Yes it's socialism for rich people and doesn't work nearly as efficiently to distribute health care services to as many citizens as possible, buy the privatized setup is a significant part of their economy.

And their economy is in such a mess today that it has been said that restructuring just this part of it toward Canadian style medicare would destroy too much of the overlap and redundancies built-in to the system and cause too many to be laid off in a time of recession. This is essentially what the unions in Ontario told Bob Rae during an ideologically driven recession in the early 1990s - that creation of public auto insurance would throw too many of their workers out of work in a time when jobs were lacking in Ontario and across Canada really.

I do think Obama's health care reforms are an important first step toward truly universal health care in the states at some point. It's a madhouse down that way. The tea partiers have worked hard at painting Obama as a Muslim Imam hyphen communist in opposition to meaningful health care reforms. They have not been so successful in propagandizing the American public into believing that bailouts for Wall Street is good for Main Street America though. Sarah Palin will inherit a lot of financial issues from dubya and Obama. Big changes are due in the US and around the western world over the next five to ten years or so. They have to spin their tires in the mud for a while first though.

genstrike

So, when is Obama going to fire Gibbs over this, just like they fired Shirley Sherrod?

Oh wait, Gibbs upset the left.  Never mind.

George Victor

quote: 

"Unionist: Good riddance. Now maybe someone will start withdrawing troops from foreign lands and concentrating on dismantling the handful of domestic U.S. social institutions that exist. Good riddance."

 

Good riddance to medicare, medicaid ,government managed social security and what's left of publicly funded education?

 

This, sadly, is where the mystical belief in an all-powerful president, free of the checks and balances of Congress and the courts leads you. Winner take all. Mainstreet is sure to rush out and buy that thinking. 

And there is obviously nothing forthcoming in the way of an explanation of how to bring an irrational political community on board.

Nice to have it made in the shade, free of responsibility.  But such thinking is also losing us our hardwon social institutions.  Tommy, who always chuckled at the choice of Tweedledee or Tweedledum, at the same time always had to fend off Humpty Dumpty on his left. And at a Vancouver convention in the 1970s he recognized the nature, if not the dimensions, of the new economic monster rising to the south.   But I don't think he could have guessed at the degree to which the new paradigm would be rejected by Canada's "progressive" forces in their scramble to retain the language and the intellectually comforting concepts of another age. Labour certainly doesn't want to rock the economic boat. It flees for job safety to the Flahertys. And there seems nothing coming forward to lead the way toward job growth.  That isn't even part of socialism's program any more.    But what armchair critics in other areas!   Small wonder Gibbs vented honest anger at the hypocrisy...which of course is greeted with juvenile laughter. 

skdadl

Oh, yes -- because it is so juvenile of us to disapprove of international kidnapping, secret detention, torture, assassination (including of U.S. citizens), and total surveillance, domestic and international -- I mean, you really have to be juvenile to object to those things, all of which Obama has approved publicly as Bush never dared to.

Bush didn't dare because there was a strong left opposition to him. Many of those people are now clinging to the eleventy-dimensional-chess-player theory about Obama, so they're just selling out one suffering body after another, domestically and internationally.

Fork that. The guy's an empty suit, the current front-man for the MIIC, and why should he worry?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

And why is Obama powerless to overturn any of these juvenile concerns, but the first right-wing pres who gets in will have no problem clearing house? If that's the case, why bother at all supporting this placeholder president when the inevitable is right around the corner regardless?

ETA. And anyone who has ever read skdadl knows she is no "Johnny One-note." That's a laughable personal attack, George. Knock it off.

George Victor

I still think that Tommy would find you a Johnny one-note.  And it is your laughter at concern for anything else that was alluded to in my post. C'mon, Gibbs anger was of the honest from the shoulder variety for dismissal of everything else. ...and by Gaia, you've just managed to do that again.  

George Victor

Catchfire wrote:

And why is Obama powerless to overturn any of these juvenile concerns, but the first right-wing pres who gets in will have no problem clearing house? If that's the case, why bother at all supporting this placeholder president when the inevitable is right around the corner regardless?

You also don't believe the left is losing out because of its inability to provide jobs and social security to the "average masses" Catch?   There's bugger-all inevitable, there's just a lack of support from those who don't and can't wade in to the battles that matter for John and Jane Doe.   There's not been one response to the invitation to do more than criticize in that regard...provide an outline of an alternative focus given the structural restraints of American political-economy.   And I don't see anyone taking up a book to try to understand what has changed and created this yawning chasm between their correctness and the real world.  

You see, the "right" is there side by side with John and Jane, onside as it were...as anyone taking the trouble to read the awful language of Bageant would understand.  Small wonder that he really, really dislikes liberals. 

josh

Figures that this administration, which plays a passive Gandhi to Republicans and teabaggers, manages to awaken itself from its slumber to suddently turn into Atilla the Hun against their own.

George Victor

The guffaws are even spilling over into other threads:

 

"Here's the statue back - had it assessed, not worth anything when melted down. As for the $1.4 million, sorry, that's already gone to charity."

Here was one of them:

Quote:The Central Asia Institute which works to spread education to girls who belong to the backward sections of Afghanistan and Pakistan will receive $100,000.

 

I'm nominating Obama for the position of Surge-General. Any seconders?"

 

 

The Central Asia institutue, of course, is Greg Mortenson's (Three Cups of Tea, Stones into Schools) and Mortenson, himself, is suspect, hereabouts, or working with/for the U.S.military forces in Afghanistan. But it's all grist for the humour mill. (and of course, it is too damned bad that the U.S.could not help Afghanistan and Pakistan build thousands of schools at about $25,000 a crack...if the villagers provide most of the labour).      That $25,000 also supplies a teacher to the village school for a year...along with the schoolhouse.

 

 

josh

 

The "left" bites back:

 

"In liberal intellectual circles, it is now common for Obama to be described as rudderless and politically expedient. Liberals said he retreated too early on a public option for health care, was too soft on big banks during financial reform and has continued too many of George W. Bush's national security policies.

 

. . . .

 

Alterman complained in an interview: "The vision of progressive values that was enunciated by this candidate [Obama] disappeared the day after Inauguration Day." This vision, he added, "would have provided much better context for a discussion of his policies - that's really missing."

 

 

 

 

 

. . . .

In an article in the current New Republic, writer John Judis hits Obama for ideological skittishness - noting the "fitful and sporadic" way he confronted Wall Street leaders and then seemed to retreat during the financial crisis.

 

Robert Borosage, president of the Institute for America's Future, a liberal policy shop, said Obama has been bold in trying to pursue a lot of big policy changes quickly. But he faulted him for trying to cut deals before drawing clear battle lines against conservatives and their ideas - looking for incremental changes instead of pushing for an elemental shift in the country's direction.

"From the beginning, if you listen to his description of why we're in this mess, he's chosen not to make it ideological or partisan" - running against Washington or the excesses of both parties rather than making a direct attack on the failures of Republican rule, Borosage said.

He said Obama has been willing to pursue big policies, but has focused too much on Washington deal-making at the expense of rallying a progressive coalition. "This combination of bold objectives and insider dealing, as opposed to outside mobilization politics ... I think confused everything," Borosage argued. "The right went after the bold objectives, and the left focused on the special deals."

 

. . . .

But political consultant and commentator Bob Shrum called the Gibbs episode "politically stupid" and "a train wreck." Shrum, a former speechwriter for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, said Obama needs to be rallying his most ardent supporters, not picking fights with them.

"I think he has to have the courage and smarts to do what Roosevelt and Reagan did, which is draw a real-life contrast: What does he stand for? What does the other side stand for?""

 

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41356.html

 

Unionist

Thanks, josh - and why don't we see you around more often? Whatsa matter, your arm hurts, you can't write?? Don't mind me, I'll just sit here in the dark and wait. Oy.

 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

 

Well I'd still take him ove the McCain/Palin ticket anyday...

As for Palin in 2012... on fuck no... 

PraetorianFour

I don't know much about health care. I always assumed Canada's was just better than the US because I hear Canadians critisize US health care all the time but I'm wondering now if the US health care system deserves some credit?

 

A woman I know discovered she had a medical problem. She works in Canada but lives in the states, commutes every day. She had an MRI scheduled a week after she learned of her condition. A month later her surgry was scheduled. It's going to be expensive, she was given some kind of payment plan but shes goign to get treated in under 2 months.

My brother scheduled an MRI last year and he was placed on a 6 month waiting period. He needed back surgry. After his MRI he was scheduled for his operation in 8 months- thats a long time to live in pain and I'm glad it's nothing that could worsen like cancer.

Paying for health care seems shitty but personally I think if it was me I would rather pay and get operated on in a month or two then have to wait around for a year or more before the problem is fixed.

 

I'm sure there is more to it than that but how she explained it it makes a lot of sense.  Of course that's not taking into consideration people who can't afford healthcare which is obviously a huge and very important thing.  I wish we could have the best of both worlds. Free health care with the speed and busniess approach of the US.

jrootham

The speed for people who can pay in the US is paid for by the people who die because they can't afford it.

If your brother had cancer he would have been much higher on the priority list.

milo204

i think this is just a great example of how democracy works in the US.   it's not the people that elected obama that have any rights to try and influence his policies, they are just supposed to be thankful for whatever crumbs obama throws at them and shut the hell up.

When they criticize his administrations actions thats seen as being unfair meddling in the dems business.

contrast that to someplace like bolivia where the voters actually CREATED the platform and policies that the government is carrying out.

democracy is in BIG trouble!

George Victor

Somebody here actually supports universal health care.  Breakthrough.  

 

quote: "democracy is in BIG trouble!" That can't be denied if "White House attacks 'professional left' and 'Canadian-style health care" were representative of public attitude. But it isn't, thank Gaia.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

Somebody here actually supports universal health care.  Breakthrough.  

 

Is there a large body of fresh water near you?

If so, go jump in it.

Jingles

Quote:
The Central Asia institutue, of course, is Greg Mortenson's (Three Cups of Tea, Stones into Schools) and Mortenson, himself, is suspect, hereabouts, or working with/for the U.S.military forces in Afghanistan. But it's all grist for the humour mill. (and of course, it is too damned bad that the U.S.could not help Afghanistan and Pakistan build thousands of schools at about $25,000 a crack...if the villagers provide most of the labour).      That $25,000 also supplies a teacher to the village school for a year...along with the schoolhouse.

You're really in love with that scumbag, aren't you? 

I'm glad you find the US rape of Afghanistan "grist for the humour mill"

He's more than "suspect". He is a former US soldier, works closely with the occupation, and his entire enterprise depends upon the Crusader armies for protection. He is the happy face propaganda of brutal colonial oppression. 

Not surprising you've been taken in by him. You do have quite a record of credulousness. After all, you think Obama is a progressive!
Once a sucker, always a sucker.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Jingles wrote:

You do have quite a record of credulousness.

 

That's pretty opinionated don't you think? Depending on your POV everyone here could say that about anyone here that disagrees with them...

George Victor

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Jingles wrote:

You do have quite a record of credulousness.

 

 

That's pretty opinionated don't you think? Depending on your POV everyone here could say that about anyone here that disagrees with them...

 

Don't be hard on him, he's only trying to build on his record number of fatuous statements.

George Victor

That silly bugger Obama fails us yet again:

The NYTimes

August 23, 2010

U.S. Judge Rules Against Obama's Stem Cell Policy

 

By GARDINER HARRIS

 

WASHINGTON - A federal district judge on Monday blocked President Obama's 2009 executive order that expanded embryonic stem cell research, saying it violated a ban on federal money being used to destroy embryos.

The ruling came as a shock to scientists at the National Institutes of Health and at universities across the country, which had viewed the Obama administration's new policy and the grants provided under it as settled law. Scientists scrambled Monday evening to assess the ruling's immediate impact on their work.

"I have had to tell everyone in my lab that when they feed their cells tomorrow morning, they better use media that has not been funded by the federal government," said Dr. George Q. Daley, director of the stem cell transplantation program at Children's Hospital Boston, referring to food given to cells. "This ruling means an immediate disruption of dozens of labs doing this work since the Obama administration made its order."

In his ruling, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia wrote that his temporary injunction returned federal policy to the "status quo," but few officials, scientists or lawyers in the case were sure Monday night what that meant.

Dr. Daley was among those who said they believed that it meant that work financed under the new rules had to stop immediately; others said it meant that the health institutes had to use Bush administration rules for future grants.

George Victor

AFL-CIO president Richart Trumka speaking in Alaska two days ago, calling for solidarity...silly fellow:

 

"It's not pretty down in the Great Recession, in the worst national economy in 75 years -- 15 million Americans are out of work. Half of them have been unemployed for longer than six months. And as many as 26 million Americans are under-employed, working any job they can find for a fraction of what they once brought in.            

Eight percent unemployment in Alaska is not perfect, either, although I hear that your prognosis looks OK - modest job growth in the year to come.            

Yet we're not out of the woods, because America's middle class will rise or fall together, and we're under assault - we have been under assault for 30 years. We've been targeted, undercut, our rights eroded, our foundation chipped away. Even some people we trusted as friends and supported have turned their backs on us.            

That's why it's so important that we continue to stand together. We're stronger together. We can secure our futures together, for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren. "           

George Victor

A large crowd of racist Teapartiers is told it's all about God and 'Merica...from the NYTimes:

 

August 28, 2010

At Lincoln Memorial, a Call for Religious Rebirth

 

By KATE ZERNIKE, CARL HULSE AND BRIAN KNOWLTON

 

WASHINGTON - An enormous and impassioned crowd rallied at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this weekend, summoned by Glenn Beck, a conservative broadcaster who called for a religious rebirth in America at the site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech exactly 47 years earlier.

"Something that is beyond man is happening," Mr. Beck told the crowd, in what was part religious revival and part history lecture. "America today begins to turn back to God."

The rally organized by Mr. Beck, a Fox News broadcaster who has been sharply critical of President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, had been attacked as dishonoring the memory of Dr. King by being set on the anniversary of his speech. Despite Mr. Beck's protestations, his event and a much smaller and mainly black counter-rally seemed to underscore the country's racial and political fissures.

Critics have suggested that Mr. Beck was trying to energize conservatives for the midterm elections in November. Mainstream Republican leaders remain skittish about the group emerging on their right - and the influence it displayed in primary elections Tuesday - and had little to say about the Beck event.

But in an interview aired Sunday, Mr. Beck denied any political motivation - or political aspiration - and shrugged off conservatives' suggestions that his ability to mobilize so large a crowd made him presidential material.

"There's nothing we can do that will solve the problems that we have and keep the peace unless we solve it through God," he told "Fox News Sunday."

He also expressed regret for having asserted last year that Mr. Obama was a racist with a "deep-seated hatred for white people," a comment that many critics felt undercut Mr. Beck's assertion of racial tolerance.

"It was poorly said - I have a big fat mouth sometimes," Mr. Beck said.

 

Notice how the MSM can't call iit racist: 

"He also expressed regret for having asserted last year that Mr. Obama was a racist with a "deep-seated hatred for white people," a comment that many critics felt undercut Mr. Beck's assertion of racial tolerance." "Many critics felt..." Laughing