Political Mythbusters: There Never Was A White House Deal To Kill The Public Option, Stop Lying!

There have been many lies circulated about President Obama over the last 3 years, but the one that seems to have poisoned the water from the beginning is the lie that President Obama struck a deal to keep the public option out of the final health care bill. It has formed the basis of the “caved” meme that people on the left, most of whom never supported Obama as a candidate, have used to feed their irrational hatred for our president.

The lie has taken on epic proportions as it’s morphed over the years. Recently, I’ve had liberal friends throw it in my face when I’ve shown my support for our very accomplished president. The lying has to stop!

The birth of the “public option” lie

The original source from which the lie was created, is an article that David Kirkpatrick wrote in the New York Times about the active role that President Obama was taking in crafting the health care law. There were two mentions of the “public option” in the entire article, one was in reference to what the Democrats in the house were pushing and the other contradicts the lie completely. Rep. Henry Waxman was quoted in the article.

The president has said he wants a public option to keep everybody honest. He hasn’t said he wants a co-op as a public option.”

You really can’t get any more clear than that, can you? In the article that is the source for the public option lie, there is a quote from a respected member of the House saying that the president wants a public option. And to be fair to the author, he never even implies that the public option was part of the deal.

The New York Times article also discusses how the White House was more hands-on with the Senate Finance Committee than with other congressional committees. What is implicit in this analysis is that the White House understood that, as with every piece of legislation the administration supported, it was the Senate that posed the biggest impediment to achieving comprehensive health care reform.

There was another quote from earlier in the article that many used as the basis for the lie. It is an explanation of the deal that caps the costs for hospitals.

Hospital industry lobbyists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House, say they negotiated their $155 billion in concessions with Mr. Baucus and the administration in tandem. House staff members were present, including for at least one White House meeting, but their role was peripheral, the lobbyists said.

Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private sector rates — or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

There is nothing in those two paragraphs that says anything about a deal on the public option, it is talking very specifically about costs to hospitals and reimbursement rates for patients on Medicare. The sentence “would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates — generally 80 percent of private rates…” is poorly worded and could easily be misinterpreted, especially by people searching for a reason to hate the President.

If you read David Kirkpatrick’s words carefully, you see that the deal was on reimbursement rates and how they wouldn’t be the 80% that Medicare generally pays, which was a sore spot for hospitals.

Here is another example of that same idea, worded slightly better, but with selective placement of quotation marks. Tom Daschle wasn’t happy with the authors characterization of his words and corrected it in an update.

Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

Once again, if you were to stop reading after the words “health plan”, you wouldn’t have gotten the entire meaning of the sentence. Experience tells me that the Obama-haters aren’t interested in the truth, only that which fits with their preconceived memes.

Tom Daschle sent a note to the author clarifying his comments and making it very clear that there was no deal on the public option.

“In describing some of the challenges to passage of the public option in the health reform bill, I did not mean to suggest in any way that the President was not committed to it. The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans. The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House. While I was disappointed that the public option was not included in the final legislation, the Affordable Care Act remains a tremendous achievement for the President and the nation.” (emphasis mine)

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The Professional “Whiny” Left Revealed!

If you haven’t gone to iTunes and subscribed to the Bubble Genius Bob and Chez Show podcast, you are missing out on the best political analysis around and a lot of great laughs. You can find them at their respective blogs, Bob Cesca’s Aweseome Blog! Go! and Deus Ex Malcontent where they consistently tell it like it is.

I personally look forward to the show like a little kid looks forward to candy.

A few weeks ago, they did a show called “Stop Whining”, which I highly recommend you listen to, after you subscribe to them on iTunes. But in case you prefer reading or are at work and can’t really listen, I took the time to transcribe a large portion of that show for your reading pleasure. I think it exposes the true motivations and agenda of those who have become known as the “Professional Left” or the name I prefer, “Firebaggers”.

As with anyone, I don’t agree with everything they say, but damn near everything in this portion of the show. The one thing I disagree on is the characterization of the blog post by Deaniac83 from The People’s View that was the impetus for a lot of the discussion. Deaniac83’s post about the debt ceiling deal, as I saw it, was about how that deal wasn’t as bad as it was being portrayed by many on the left. I didn’t perceive it as approving of the deal, but rather that the President made the best of a bad situation. Contrary to John Boehner’s characterization that he got 98% of what he wanted, when you look at the deal from a wider perspective, President Obama “ate his lunch”. They quickly move away from that subject and on to an incredibly insightful analysis of the “firebaggers” — who seem intent on helping the Republicans take down our Democratic President Barack Obama. Enjoy and share widely!

Bob Cesca (B)- I don’t watch Morning Joe anymore, but I can guarantee you that they were talking about this, concern trolling about it on Morning Joe over the last couple of days, because they love to do that. Oh look, the president’s losing his base…when, we’ve talked about here, it’s not really the base. The liberal blogosphere is not the base of the Democratic Party, certainly not the Obama campaign. And it never has been…we’ve always been fickle, we were divided during the primaries in 2008. A lot of people were very hesitant to jump onboard, once President Obama became the nominee. But regardless, here’s the story. Backing up on this..”The Obama administrations point person”…this if from the Huffinton Post, “The Obama campaign’s point person in New Mexico recently sent an email to supporters defending the President’s position on the debt deal and bashing the Nobel prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the quote

Chez Pazienza (C)- interject for a moment, the vital, vital outpost of New Mexico

B- That’s exactly right, ah…columnist Paul Krugman..

C – Defending the frontier

B- Right, the quote unquote “firebagger lefty blogosphere”, On the evening of August 1st. dunt, dunt, duh duh…cue the dubious music for this. “On the evening of Aug. 1, just after Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please.” He used the magic word twice. “”I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal,” Sandoval wrote in bold text.” Now, that was all he wrote and then it proceeded to include this blog post from a blog called The People’s View and the blog post went on to, ah, criticize Paul Krugman as being a political rookie, it used the word firebagger, you know, which is sort of the colloquialism combining Firedoglake and teabaggers, which I use that a lot, It’s, I think it’s appropriate.

C – It is actually.

B – He even used the ah…

C- I try really hard, actually, not to do too much of the adjusting names because I’ve always thought that it’s kind of childish when you do like the, you know, the Rethuglicans….(crosstalk)….but firebagger admittedly works and of course I can’t let myself off the hook for calling them teabaggers so uh..

B – Well you have to…

C – That’s a joke that makes it’s own gravy

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Stories You May Have Missed – Linky Goodness

Here is a boatload of links for your enjoyment. One more day of vacation for me, then it’s back to the grind.

And finally, here is a Youtube clip I came across that reminds me why only a damn fool would run against President Obama in a primary. And it is very revealing of the people who are now turning on the president, ones who never were supporters.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

Saturday Morning Reads

As usual, I’m posting links to stories that caught my eye over the last week that you may have missed.

I came across this one this morning at The Washington Monthly about the Huffington Post helping a lobbyist for big business spread his word.

And this is a MUST READ for anyone coming to this blog. Karoli lays out why President Obama deserves our support and takes on the people who like to call us Obots or Obamabots or whatever other childish name the adolescents on the internet like to use. Go READ NOW!

A congressmen from my great state of Michigan, Rep. Sander Levin, penned this opinion piece about why Republicans don’t give a shit about the jobless.

Republicans continue to sabotage the economy for their political gains. They want control again really bad and will go to great lengths. All the more reason why we need everyone helping to fight against them and elect Democrats.

Eclectablog has a lot of great stories about the assault on democracy in Michigan, go over there and get caught up. This is serious business, folks.

And contrary to all the crappy reporting going on, we are not at war with Libya and President Obama isn’t doing anything different than any other president. But of course, that doesn’t stop people from lying and exaggerating.

From our awesome commenter grantinhouston, a story about a lawsuit against the Emergency Manager law in Michigan.

And last but not least, you gotta love @vdaze for penning this new Urban Dictionary definition. “Gone Hamsher”

When Hamshers Attack – The AARP And Seniors Are Jane’s New Target (Updated)

I follow Jane Hamsher on Twitter so I can keep an eye on what she is up to in her quest to have monuments built to her and have her worshippers wiping her feet. She is the one leading the charge to primary President Obama, anyone who thinks she isn’t, needs to look into it a little more. Her irrational hatred for President Obama isn’t new, she had it during the primaries in 2008 and has never let it go. My personal theory is that she doesn’t respect President Obama because he is black, brilliant, charismatic and doesn’t give a shit what this person Jane Hamsher thinks. As I’ve tweeted several times, 99.99% of people in polls say “who the fuck is Jane Hamsher?” Unfortunately, the rapidly deteriorating MSNBC likes to trot her out every couple of days to spread her lies, that’s why I feel the need to expose the type of person she is and how she is a parasite on the liberal community and a very petty person.

One of the latest targets for her vitriol is the AARP. Apparently Jane doesn’t approve, in her infinite wisdom, of their ideas about Social Security and has begun one of her lie filled, propaganda campaigns…against the most powerful lobby in the US…nice plan Jane. It all stems from the AARP’s decision to belly up to the bar on the negotiations about Social Security and ideas for saving it. How has Jane been characterizing it?

Tweets from the “Veal Pen” of Jane Hamsher

Fmr Obama Social Security adviser Eric Kingson: With AARP Supporting Social Security Cuts, Time to Burn My AARP Card:

As AARP Abandons Social Security, Firedoglake Refuses to Give Up the Fight

Why AARP’s Support for Social Security Cuts Matters

AARP has Been Talking for Months About Being Open to Social Security Cuts

Save Social Security, burn your AARP card:

Dear AARP: Enough With the Weasel Words. Will You or Won’t You?

Those tweets included links to blog posts that Jane has written that are just filled with lies and mischaracterizations like the following…

Much of the divergence of opinion hinges on what one makes of AARP’s attempts at damage control. After AARP’s policy director, John Rother, told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that they were open to cutting Social Security benefits, AARP issued a clarification supposedly “denying” that this was true. Or at least that’s how most people interpreted it. “Oh, don’t worry, that was a gaffe. AARP has clarified for the record that it’s not true.”

The Wall Street Journal apparently mischaracterized what was said to them and started this mess that Jane has waded into and shown her ignorance and vile tactics, against senior citizens, no less. The Wall Street Journal piece is behind a wall, but the AARP issued a statement reaffirming their support for Social Security and making clear that they do not support benefit cuts. How does Jane characterize it, “AARP issued a clarification supposedly “denying” that this was true.” Supposedly “denying” it was true? Jane, you ignorant…oh wait. They actually did deny it. Like Richard Pryor said, “Who you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes?” From the AARP…(emphasis mine)

AARP Has Not Changed Its Position on Social Security 

Reaffirms that program must be strengthened to maintain critical benefits

WASHINGTON – AARP CEO A. Barry Rand offered the following statement in response to inaccurate media stories on the association’s policy on Social Security:

“Let me be clear – AARP is as committed as we’ve ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthening it for future generations.  Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.

“First, we are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause.  Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit.  Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.


“Second, we have maintained for years – to our members, the media and elected officials – that long term solvency is key to protecting and strengthening Social Security for all generations, and we have urged elected officials in Washington to address the program’s long-term challenges in a way that’s fair for all generations.

“It has long been AARP’s policy that Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and that it is sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years.  It has also been a long held position that any changes would be phased in slowly, over time, and would not affect any current or near term beneficiaries

So because AARP wants to be a part of the negotiations that have already been going on without them, Jane has begun her campaign of lies to slander the organization, for what reason, I have no idea. I think her vitriol speaks for itself, really. This tweet is just crazy, “As AARP Abandons Social Security, Firedoglake Refuses to Give Up the Fight”. As you can see from the actual statement from the AARP, the last thing they are doing is abandoning Social Security and the fact that Jane would type that massive lie shows the type of person she is, the very worst kind of propagandist, playing on the fears of the elderly.

Another gem from Jane, “Save Social Security, burn your AARP card:”. She thinks that by burning their AARP cards, that they are going to somehow benefit from it? AARP is the most powerful lobbying group in the country by many accounts and as their website says all over it, they are committed to the program and are going to continue to fight for the people they represent. Jane’s blatant mischaracterization of their position as “abandoning” social security, when their entire mission revolves around strengthening such programs for the people they represent, is a complete fabrication. I’m still trying to figure out why Jane has taken this tact.

My hope is that she continues her downward spiral into irrelevancy and keeps revealing the type of vile person she is. I have written extensively about her because I truly think she is a parasite on the liberal community and is damaging our causes by her actions. I wonder if her reason isn’t to try to drive a wedge between the left (which MSNBC likes to trot Jane out to represent) and the AARP. Her attack on the AARP and senior citizens makes absolutely no sense, unless it is for political reasons. And lastly, I’m sure the fact that the CEO of AARP is black has nothing to do with it, at least I really hope it doesn’t, but with Jane’s “blackface incident” from years ago, I’m not cutting her any slack.

Update: Thanks to @snkscoyote on Twitter

Roll Call is reporting that the GOP has now targeted the AARP as the next supposed “liberal” group that they want to take down. They are some stupid motherfuckers, if you ask me. Hell yea, us Democrats will take the senior vote anyday. Thanks. But it raises an interesting point that Jane Hamsher and the Republicans are very coincidently targeting the same group at the same time. Hmmmmm, From Roll Call…

Republicans have launched an assault on AARP, which joins a growing list of groups supportive of the Democrats’ agenda that are being targeted by conservatives.

House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday released a report that accuses the influential senior citizens organization of having a conflict of interest because it will financially benefit from the health care overhaul that the group heavily lobbied for last year. AARP collects royalties from endorsing health insurance policies and other products.

Netroots Nation 2011 Attendees Support President Obama!

As many of you might have noticed, I haven’t been helping the firebagger organizers of Netroots Nation 2011 spread their anti-Obama bullshit. They purposely try to goad us real liberals into writing about them, they will take attention whether positive or negative. I’m sure you’ve read the many slanted stories from the compliant media about how NN11 has turned on the President. It’s funny how reality is so much different than what Jane Hamsher and John Aravosis would want you to believe. From Roll Call…

MINNEAPOLIS — Despite their grousing about the administration during the Netroots Nation conference, liberal activists and bloggers are relatively happy with President Barack Obama’s performance.

A straw poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 80 percent either approve or strongly approve of the president more than a year before voters head to the polls to decide whether he deserves a second term. The results broke down to 27 percent strongly approving of Obama and 53 percent approving “somewhat.” Thirteen percent said they “somewhat disapprove,” and 7 percent strongly disapprove of the president.

And I have to point out that the organizers of the conference are almost all anti-Obama in one way or another. Whether it’s about the wars the President was handed or the financial mess or the fact that Republicans are actually in our government and have the power to force the administration to compromise, these naive, petty folks are more concerned about their own egos than helping pass progressive legislation. Those approval numbers are even more impressive when you consider that this is supposed to be a disgruntled crowd. The President’s approval among Democrats nationwide goes into the high 80’s.

So I’m encouraged that the attendees of Netroots Nation 2011 support the President and progressive causes. I’ve thought for a long time that the haters like Hamsher, Greenwald and Aravosis do not represent a very large segment of the electorate. If you can stand to read the comments at their blogs, you’ll see a majority of Republican trolls, who seem to be their main readership these days. Is it any wonder they continue their trashing, they have to feed their right-wing readers. In case you were wondering what blogs tell it like it is, check out my “Blogs I love” to the right, those folks rock.

The Root Of The Problem With The Professional Left – Narcissism

The People’s View, one of my new favorite blogs, introduced a new blogger this weekend with a phenomenal post that explains the motivations behind many of the Obama-haters on the left who seem intent on undermining our democratic president and party. I highly recommend you go read the entire post. I’m pasting a couple of paragraphs I really liked, but go read the whole thing. It sheds a lot of light on this problem and gives great advice on how we as a party and individuals should deal with it. I learned a few things that I will attempt to apply on this blog. From Tien at The People’s View…

To satisfy a need on my part to understand the underlying psychology of people who claim they represent the Progressive Left but who have a singular focus of berating our Democratic President, I embarked on a small research project to learn why this happens.

It turns out the answer is fairly simple. The cause of this phenomenon is narcissism. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has quite an array of symptoms and behaviors that easily match those demonstrated by a host of pundits, professional demonstrators and keyboard warriors all claiming to represent the ‘base’ of the liberal population in this country.

Given a list of symptoms from any one source, the dominant symptom is a pathological need for attention that far surpasses that of ordinary people. Secondary symptoms include extreme envy of others or belief that others envy them; inability to recognize boundaries or experience empathy; hypersensitivity to insults and criticism; an over-inflated sense of self-importance; unrealistic expectations and a preoccupation with success and power.

Jane Hamsher Is A Petty Person Who Should Not Be Representing Liberals!

The incredible Shoq at Shoq Value has written extensively about Jane Hamsher, the woman who seems to be the leader of the hateful left these days. Her vitriol and irrational hatred for President Obama oozes from every pore of her body. When she appears on MSNBC, she can’t even look like a nice person anymore, the sneer on her face overwhelms any fake smile she tries to flash. In catching up on my Shoq reading, I came across this piece of “niceness” from ole Jane that in my opinion, shows precisely why she should be ignored, shunned and never put on television to represent anything but her petty self.  From Shoq Value

Her lowest moment, after the “GOP operative” ploy flopped, was her confusing a true story of me moving 1000 miles from Washington, to live nearer to my mother, who, approaching 84, lived alone in Florida. She characterized this as “living with your mother.”  Even if that were true, which it isn’t, or I’d be eating a lot better, no one was grasping why this 51 year old woman was casting aspersion on a desire to care for one’s aging parent. Had she no sense of proportion, if not decency? Was any criticism of her work so unbearable that it was worth unleashing such a comment, likely to achieve little beyond making her about 3 feet tall, even in the eyes of her most loyal supporters?  Was this the formidable “pro-left” leader,” as the media, and even the White House has called her? If so, the professional part was not in evidence this day.

Apparently, it was worth it to her, as she made no attempt to apologize or soften it before thousands of people. Her failure to do that was another sign that her judgment has been grossly overrated by a lot of people over the years. But then, it is that very same judgment that led me to post my criticism in the first place.  If she wasn’t considered an important voice on the left, I’d be giddy over someone making such an atomic asshat of themselves in public. But since she still does have that reputation in many quarters, I don’t think it helpful to progressivism that any leading liberal’s reputation be dashed to pieces in front of thousands—and potentially—even millions of people.