Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health care

Matt Taibbi has some words of gloom on the impending death of health care reform:

Who among us did not know this would happen? It’s been clear from the start that the Democrats would make a great show of doing something real, then they would fold prematurely, ram through some piece-of-shit bill with some incremental/worthless change in it, and then in the end blame everything on Max Baucus and Bill Nelson ...

If the Obama administration wanted to pass a real health care bill, they would do what George Bush and Tom DeLay did in the first six-odd years of this decade whenever they wanted to pass some nightmare piece of legislation (ie the Prescription Drug Bill or CAFTA): they would take the recalcitrant legislators blocking their path into a back room at the Capitol, and beat them with rubber hoses until they changed their minds.

The reason a real health-care bill is not going to get passed is simple: because nobody in Washington really wants it. There is insufficient political will to get it done. ... It won’t get done, because that’s not the way our government works. Our government doesn’t exist to protect voters from interests, it exists to protect interests from voters. ...

This whole business, it was a litmus test for whether or not we even have a functioning government. Here we had a political majority in congress and a popular president armed with oodles of political capital and backed by the overwhelming sentiment of perhaps 150 million Americans, and this government could not bring itself to offend ten thousand insurance men in order to pass a bill that addresses an urgent emergency.

Yep. Pretty much. For another glimpse into why health care reform is tanking, here's an illuminating Bill Moyers interview (courtesy of Digby) with former health care executive Wendell Potter.

This may not be an original observation, but one reason why the public has become tentative about the president's plan is that he's sending mixed signals.

On the one hand, Obama is saying health care reform is urgently needed. On the other hand, he's being vague about the details, because he's allowing those to be hammered out by Max Baucus and other corrupt goons in Congress. The reasons for Obama's decision to allow Congress to control the process are well-established, but the result right now is that Obama is in the position of saying, "This thing is incredibly important, and I need you to support it," and "I can't tell you what the thing is, exactly -- I'm letting other people handle that." Meanwhile, given the state of the economy and mounting deficits, Americans are susceptible to the argument, whether it's true or not, that health care reform is too expensive to take on right now.

Good times.

.: posted by hornswaggler 8:53 AM

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