Wednesday, April 4, 2012

One more accomplishment for the President to brag about... (VIDEO)

He signed the STOCK act, I'm guessing Mittens is in favor of repeal??

The President's Barnburner of a speech in front of the Associated Press Editors (VIDEO)

Too bad the Associated Press, apparently, declined to listen to any part of it (via TPM):

One of the key moments of President Obama’s Tuesday speech before an Associated Press luncheon came at the end, when he urged reporters not to cast partisan disagreements about the key issues of the day — health care, the environment, the role of the federal government — as a product of equal intransigence on both sides. Republicans, he noted, have abandoned their previous support for Obama initiatives — from transportation funding, to cap and trade, to the health care reforms that comprise ‘Obamacare’ — many of which emerged as conservative alternatives to more liberal policies.

His hosts weren’t listening — and as a result they’ve made Obama’s points about Republicans and the media for him.
“[I]f Republicans have moved to the right on health care, it’s also true that Obama has moved to the left,” reads an AP wrap on the Obama speech. “He strenuously opposed a mandate forcing people to obtain health insurance until he won office and changed his mind.”

It’s true that Obama campaigned against an individual mandate in 2008, only to embrace it — however reluctantly — after he became president. But to say that constitutes a move to the left betrays a lack of understanding about the origins and purpose of the individual mandate, and of Obama’s broader evolution on health care reform.

In the early aughts, as a member of the Illinois state Senate, Obama strongly supported a single-payer health care system.

Over the years, that position became more tempered by political realities, and by the 2008 Democratic primary, he had embraced the basic framework of what eventually became “Obamacare,” with two glaring exceptions: He supported a public option, and he opposed an individual mandate — the latter of which was crucial to the success of “Romneycare” in Massachusetts.

Obama was criticized by a mix of liberal and conservative technocrats and industry stakeholders for opposing the mandate. By embracing it as president, while dropping the public option, he was arguably moving further right still from his past support for single-payer. As Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — then the top Republican on the committee that drafted the health care law — said before health care reform turned toxic on the right, “I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates.”

As Obama lurched toward Massachusetts’ plan as a potential framework for bipartisan consensus, Republicans quickly abandoned the pretense of supporting the principle of universal health care of any kind.

Steve Pearlstein: Why we should tell Corporate America to drop dead...

From Eat your broccoli, Justice Scalia, published on March 31st:

My first thought on perusing the briefs filed in the combined cases was to notice what wasn’t there: any involvement on the part of Corporate America.

For the past 20 years, big business has complained endlessly about escalating health-care premiums, which they correctly blamed on “cost-shifting,” including paying indirectly for the free care provided to the workers at firms that did not provide health benefits. They wanted an end to fee-for-service medicine that rewarded doctors for providing more care than necessary. Some even talked of reforms that would begin to move the country away from an employer-based insurance system.

Yet despite the fact that “Obamacare” did all of those things and more, there was not a single brief in support of the law from an organization representing big business.

Small businesses have spent the past two decades complaining that the reason they don’t offer coverage is that it’s too expensive because they don’t get the large-group and community rating advantage. So how did the National Federation of Independent Businesses respond to a law that assured small businesses the benefits of large-group purchasing and community rating and threw in billions of dollars in subsidies to boot? It signed up as one of the named plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the new law.

It’s hard to know what the business community will demand if the Supreme Court overturns the health-care law. At that point, however, it will hardly matter, since they will have lost all political credibility on the issue, particularly with the Obama White House and anyone who happens to be a Democrat.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Just getting warmed up... (VIDEO)

The President launched this ad today, pissing off Mittens:

And Priorities USA came out with this ad on March 30:

I don't think they're coordinating, but they sure as heck are thinking the same.