September 7, 2012

Obama didn't "fall flat." He went low key on purpose. Here's the reason.

Politico is all "Obama fell flat."
A surprisingly long parade of Democrats and media commentators who didn’t think much of the speech described it less as a failure than a fizzle—an oddly missed opportunity to frame his presidency or the nation’s choice in a fresh or inspirational light.
Blah blah blah. But here's Howard Kurtz with the response Pee-Wee Herman made famous: I meant to do that.



Kurtz says Obama's speech was the result of careful focus-group testing.
Strategists felt they were in a box, unable to meet the twin goals of style and substance at once. To be sure, Obama wanted to excite the party’s liberal base. But his brain trust was convinced that they would have gotten killed by going with a red-meat speech that simply bashed Republicans without detailing what Obama would do in the next four years....
Dial-twisting focus-groupers, strategists-in-a-box, a brain trust. Where is the man himself, the candidate, the President? I don't see the excuse here, Howie. It's like you're saying he is the empty chair.

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
yashu said...

As I mentioned in the Bain vampire post comments, here's an example where Chapulín Colorado phrases come in handy.

"Lo hice intencionalmente, para..." ("I did it intentionally, to...")- to justify a dumb action, for example: "I did it intentionally to calculate the resistance of the wall", after walking straight into it.

"Todos mis movimientos están fríamente calculados" ("All my movements are coldly calculated") – his explanation for falling on his face, breaking something valuable, etc. May be spoken stand-alone, but always follows the previous quote.

Hagar said...

OK then. So, what is it that he wants to do in the next four years?

Hagar said...

OK then. So, what is it that he wants to do in the next four years?

Danno said...

An empty suit draped across an empty chair. Taking up time and space, and wasting our precious air supply.

Joe said...

After all the stories that Obama thinks himself the smartest man in the room, suddenly he listens to his brain trust?

Not a chance. This was all Obama.

Rose said...

What Joe said. This was ALL Obama, and he knows he has lost.

yashu said...

But to a certain extent, I see some plausibility in what Kurtz is saying. I find it hard to see what Obama could have said to beat expectations or succeed as a speechmaker in the present circumstances. Especially following Clinton's act. And knowing (as Obama did) what the economic report (i.e. unemployment numbers) would be the next day.

Any soaring or self-aggrandizing rhetoric-- any "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal," signature Obama oratory, a rhetorical register pre-mocked by Romney-- would have done worse than fall flat.

We did get the empty "hope… hope… hope " lines discerned by Althouse last night, and that went over like a lead balloon.

Sorun said...

I missed the speech. Did he talk a lot about Obamacare and the stimulus. Surely he must have talked a lot about his great accomplishments.

BarryD said...

If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything your $300/hour consultants tell you.

Big Mike said...

@Hagar, you don't have to ask multiple times. The answer is obvious.

He plans to try to break Eisenhower's record of 800 rounds of gold during an 8-year term of office.

yashu said...

Did he talk a lot about Obamacare and the stimulus.

From what I gather, nary a mention.

Fen said...

speech that simply bashed Republicans without detailing what Obama would do in the next four years....

What? Lower his handicap? Pay off the rest of his Chicago cronies? Delegate everything to Valerie Jarret?

What would Obama do with another four years? Other than make them even worse.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I just don't know anymore. I'm pretty independent and I assume I think like many independents. But I thought the convention was an absolute disaster for the Dems. Shrunken stadium, God/Jerusalem controversy and the uninspiring speech by Obama. Yet Gallup is showing a bounce for Obama.

garage mahal said...

Playing it safe probably. They think the race is over unless something extraordinary happens.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It's nothing that the Repubes haven't done for the last twelve years.

Actually, it's exactly what the Repubes have done for the last twelve years.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

garage mahal said...
Playing it safe probably. They think the race is over unless something extraordinary happens.

9/7/12 7:38 PM

Why in the world would they assume the race is won? Maybe this is another example of the Whitehouse cacoon. It reminds me of the leaked Bernstein report where the Whitehouse didn't have Biehner's phone number. They were expecting to keep the House. They were the only ones expecting that.

yashu said...

Actually, it's exactly what the Repubes have done for the last twelve years.

What is?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

One thing we know about Obama. He has the worst instincts for hiring people. Biden, Wasserman-Schultz, Carney, etc etc etc

yashu said...

Obama's done exactly what Republicans have done for the last 12 years?

rhhardin said...

The Democrat convention showcases the audience, not the officials.

It proves that they have enough morons to win.

yashu said...

Yet Gallup is showing a bounce for Obama.

To the extent that those numbers signify anything (as usual, the internals and partisan weighting-- mostly undisclosed-- call for interpretation), they may capture something of the effect of Michelle & Clinton's speeches, not Obama's speech or today's economic numbers.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@yashu

Maybe that is true. The wheels didn't come off until Wednesday.

We will see.

garage mahal said...

Why in the world would they assume the race is won? Maybe this is another example of the Whitehouse cacoon.

Look at the state maps, then look at how many Romney needs to win. He is behind in almost every one.

Ann Althouse said...

It's too close to call...

edutcher said...

I come back to Ann's remark last night, about Choom's curled lip - as if he knew it was over.

Maybe he's finally realized how he's been lied to all these years.

Paddy O said...

The Brain Trust

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's too close to call...

9/7/12 8:01 PM

Broken link

Hagar said...

I did not listen to the speech ( I can't stand the guy), so I do not know, but in the reporting I hear a lot about the wonderful things that will happen if we just follow him, but little or nothing about exactly what he intends to do in order make those things happen.

chickelit said...

Althouse's link works if you just add an "l" to the very end.

It goes to a liveblogging post of the recall election. This was the night that garage disappeared for days on end.

m stone said...

Obama's speech was a plea for sympathy. Woe is me to have inherited this mess and given so little time to make it right.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Obama's done exactly what Republicans have done for the last 12 years?

Focus-test and poll the hell out of everything before deciding what case to make to the public.

Strelnikov said...

Bullshit. Drink up, Kurtz.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Or at least, before deciding how to make it.

m stone said...

Clinton made focus group testing the mainstay of the party. Not the Repubs.

yashu said...

I don't know, garage, but it seems to me any campaign-- Democrat or Republican-- assuming (or saying) that the race is over, it's in the bag, etc., is the campaign I'd suspect to be bullshitting.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

garage mahal said...

Look at the state maps, then look at how many Romney needs to win. He is behind in almost every one.

9/7/12 7:59 PM

The EC only matters if it is a close election by vote. Right now his re-elect number Is stuck in mid to high 40s.

chickelit said...

Here's what Mitt Romney said the night of Walker's win (from Althouse's post):

Governor Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington, D.C. Tonight’s results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses. Tonight voters said ‘no’ to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and ‘yes’ to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans.

Fen said...

Weekly PSA re Ritmo Troll

For those who feel a need to waste their time responding to Ritmo, it's worth reposting a Ritmo admission of what he's up to at Althouse, and why he comments here:

Ritmo said: "It's good to know that the stupidest threads are just ripe for the threadjacking. I'll be sure to leave a trail of turds on every one of the brain droppings here that suit my fancy. Getting you shit-eaters to complain about the taste after opening your mouths wide and saying "Ahhhh..." to every bad idea under the sun is very satisfying, I must admit." - 10/16/10 10:28 AM

O Ritmo Segundo said...

That was only after hiring Repubelican Dick Morris, m stone.

Lem said...

Yashu.. I used to watch Chapulín Colorado in DR.

Thats a great example.

No contaban con mi astusia!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I only do that on threads that show how gullible you are, Fen.

Don't listen to him! Keep the massive epistemic closure intact!

chickelit said...

m stone said...
Clinton made focus group testing the mainstay of the party. Not the Repubs.

Clinton also invented the "permanent campaign" and the Stephanopolosis "war room" litigator approach to politics around the clock. I'm not sure who invented the "politics of personal destruction" but Clinton coined it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Like threads about Fen's thoughts re: global warming.

Or evolution.

Those would be good examples.

Synova said...

"I did not listen to the speech ( I can't stand the guy), so I do not know, but in the reporting I hear a lot about the wonderful things that will happen if we just follow him, but little or nothing about exactly what he intends to do in order make those things happen."

More of the same thing. After all, he did everything right.

It just takes more than four years.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'm not sure who invented the "politics of personal destruction" but Clinton coined it.

Lol. Certainly not the party that wanted to impeach for using a native Southern expression when distinguishing between intercourse and a blow job.

Certainly not the party whose leader said, months after Obama's inauguration, that their foremost priority was making sure conditions would be ripe for him to not be re-elected.

Very good faith examples, those.

yashu said...

Lem, heh, I use "no contaban con mi astucia!" quite a lot.

I watched Chapulín Colorado (and El Chavo del Ocho) in PR.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Republicans are a party of people who always argue in good faith. All the time.

Everything Fen says, he believes to the core of his being.

Same with Pogo.

I should learn from them what it means to say what one means. Because they ALWAYS do.

Fen said...

See how much it hurts the troll? :)

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Looks like Fen's contribution really served its intended purpose.

Anyway, which ball games are y'all watching tonight?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No, not really, Fen.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I just like to keep guys like you guessing, Fen. You'll never know when I'm being serious or not.

chickelit said...

@Ritmo: The politics of personal destruction got really nasty before Clinton. It was called Borking.

And your personal hero, Andrew Sullivan, was quite the purveyor of the strategy against Palin. You chimed in on that one too, remember?

pm317 said...

Ah, the spin of it all.

A. Shmendrik said...

Howie Kurtz sez:

"As if to validate the campaign’s decision to close the convention with a more subdued speech, new figures released Friday show that the economy created just 96,000 jobs last month, unintentionally underscoring Obama’s message that he has no quick fix for the country’s economic problems."

Does he not understand that the BLS compiles the numbers more than 24 hours before they are released, and that while they are embargoed with respect to the public, that the Prezzy is one of those privy to the information the day before it is released? Obama knew before he delivered the speech, and in sufficient time to tailor the speech in light of the numbers, precisely what the 9:00 am press release would show. That is the routine protocol for handling this information and the Wall Street Journal wrote about this late Wednesday. Howie, smell the coffee.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

CHicken: Seriously? You compare a writer's ability to raise questions about the credibility of someone's story to the Republicans' obsessing on making a political circus out of Clinton's sex life?

Interesting.

Here are things you should try distinguishing: Writers from politicians. Criticism of a SCOTUS nominee's openly stated views to someone's private life.

Doing so will make you sound "reasonable".

Anyways, I guess this would be an example of what someone as astute (that's sarcasm) as Fen would call "Not a good-faith argument." Or something.

elkh1 said...

The Empty Chair on which the Brain Trust parks its ass.

Lem said...

The problem with Kurts is that Romney wins.. they are all.. the whole liberal MSM lot.. are going to have to go back to work.

The Obama years have been one long strange trip for the journos.

They been on vacation.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I don't recall anyone saying that Clinton should be elected based on the "purity" of his sex life.

I do recall it being common practice to take to task a SCOTUS nominee regarding his views on matters that he could well rule on.

I also recall that writers, generally, are given 1st amendment rights to question whether politicians are being honest. Regardless of the subject material about which they speak.

And regardless of how "kooky" you, or I, or anyone else finds the line of questioning.

More bad faith arguments above -- according to Master Debater "Fen".

Since he, apparently, can't tell the difference.

Tim said...

"Where is the man himself, the candidate, the President?"

He was there, all right.

Only the grifter has run out of tricks.

The affirmative action hire meets the Peter Principle (actually, blew right past it, rising about four levels higher than anyone else with his "qualifications" would ever expect to rise.

Oh well. Shit happens.

The only question remaining is, are there enough voters in enough key states whoe recognize they made a mistake in '08, honest enough to admit it, and strong enough to correct it?

All the rest is blather.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

both the RNC and the DNC got one thing right.
This is a choice between two fundamentally different views of America and two starkly different futures for America.

If the American people choose the DMC view they will see the end of America as it was intended by the founders to be.

I know there's a better way to say that, but I can't think of it right now.

Lem said...

"Where is the man himself, the candidate, the President?"

Obama said "I'm the president", (hear Mathews at 0:50)
"I'm the president and you are not.. it was a profound statement".. Matthews said.

The professor is not crediting Obama for that?

Where is the professor herself, the blogger, the cruel neutrality ;)

cold pizza said...

"So, what are we going to do tomorrow, Brain?" -CP

bagoh20 said...

The Peter Principle should not be evident in your first real job?

Methadras said...

Dial-twisting focus-groupers, strategists-in-a-box, a brain trust. Where is the man himself, the candidate, the President? I don't see the excuse here, Howie. It's like you're saying he is the empty chair.

Are you shitting me? You even have to ask that question when I and others have been calling this president an empty suit who now resides in an empty chair? Urkel loves to be shaped by his environment and his circumstances, otherwise he just ends up being a nobody with nothing to show for it. That's why he has the repugnant hate against Romney, because Ukrel cannot, nor ever could or will measure up to the accomplishments in the pragmatic world that he's had to operate under while Urkel flies around with his other little bitter angels looking for the pie in the sky.

Crack calls Romney a fraud, well, he's fucking wrong compared to what is in office now? I'll take the worst conservatives have to offer over the absolute best leftards and democrats have to offer any day of the week. Last night was a fail, we all know it was a fail. Leftards are fellating themselves with adulation against the fail.

Urkel should have just showed up with a packed up suitcase, brought out on stage, thanked those that supported him the first four years, said, "Rock on!!! Thank you!!! Goodnight!!!" to whichever of the 57 states he was giving that speech too. And you are looking for a deeper meaning to why he's a double facepalm epic fail?

furious_a said...

[Pres. Obama went low key on purpose. Here's the reason...

Unless he bet on the game and was shaving points, this is just more excuse-making b/s for the convention's Wednesday fail. This was his elevator pitch for the next four years and he soft-shoed it?

Empty Chair.

bagoh20 said...

I think that those who want to choose the Dems option for our future should just move to France. Why destroy the only real alternative. There should be a place for us fools who value freedom. If we are wrong, then to hell with us. You will still be all comfy in your paradise, and we won't bother you unless you try to tax us just because there's nobody with any money left in France soon. There should be a Rubeland full of millionairesandbillionares, and wannabes.

Let's have choice.

Tim said...

bagoh20 said...

"The Peter Principle should not be evident in your first real job?"

Exactly right.

And, were Obama actually self-aware, rather than narcissistic, he'd have known that, and would have exercised a little self-discipline.

But he didn't, and the voters weren't smart enough to see through the charade, so here we are: four wasted years, 4+ trillion more added to the national debt, families 40% poorer than they were in '08, prospects of economic recovery dimmed, potential unemployment at 8+% for the next two or more years, just so some idiots could feel good about voting for the first "Black" president.

Unbelievable.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What about people who just want decent healthcare and a decent education, BagO? Should they have to be millionaires to obtain that, also? Or wannabes?

Germany's got that stuff and no one's calling it a Socialist paradise. Or are you?

It also has decent jobs and 5.5% unemployment.

But hey, bashing France is so entertaining!

Eric said...

That was the danger of letting Clinton give a speech. By comparison Obama looks like a limp noodle.

And I don't buy the "style or substance" argument. His speech had neither. It was just a rehash of the same hopey-changey speech he's been giving since 2006.

furious_a said...

I think that those who want to choose the Dems option for our future should just move to France.

...or to California and Illinois, those endorsing the Rebs option to Texas and Arizona, and see who implodes first. (hint: "high-speed rail").

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Germany is so unfree it's sort of like North Korea, if you think about it...

***FEN ALERT!! SARCASTIC COMMENT!*** NOT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY!*

wyo sis said...

Decent healthcare has been a hallmark of America and few if any have had it denied to them. The honest will admit that most of the problems with paying for health care could have been addressed through changing the way insurance companies and employers found themselves tied to each other.

As for education. We have essentially the same problem. Personal choice has given way to big bureaucratic solutions.

Trusting people to make their own choices will always result in some poor choices, but ultimately people learn to make better more informed choices when they are allowed to do it for themselves. This is true of education, health care, housing, food choices, and almost everything else.

It is not the role of government to make choices for people that they can make for themselves.

gadfly said...

@Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's too close to call..
9/7/12 8:01 PM

Broken link
9/7/12 8:05 PM

Ann was trying to direct us here:

bagoh20 said...

Why does the whole world only get one vision? Let's have a little variety. Ritmo is right; those places are all wonderful, so like I said, go, and let us rubes fail. Use us as an example of wingnuts gone wild. Just one place on the planet where individuals have status, and value. After we all die a horrible death from lack of health care and free birth control, you can laugh, and feel superior. That would be awesome.

furious_a said...

"Obama didn't "fall flat." He went low key on purpose.

I didn't break my nose -- that other guy bruised his forehead.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Decent healthcare has been a hallmark of America and few if any have had it denied to them.

See? This is an example of a comment so diametrically opposed to reality as I see it, to reality as the numbers document, that it would be difficult to respond seriously. But wyo sis has the distinction of not only being more honest than Fen but more intelligent (or at least, more reasonable and factual) that it's hard not to respond respectfully.

That said, it's hard to believe that someone can say of a country with tens of millions uninsured that "few if any have had (decent health care) denied to them". Where is the source for this assertion? How is it possible to square that with the tens of millions of uninsured?

Further, who seriously argues (or at least, believes) that poor health care, poor education and poor housing are all caused by a lack of good decision-making skills?

It's like availability and affordability are non-considerations. Do these things simply not exist?

I'm amazed, but at least I can see that some believe this with a straight face.

Fen, not so much. He's just a sniper anyway.

Tim said...

Kurtz: "While the pundits are generally calling the president’s Thursday night address mediocre, Obama and his advisers had taken great pains to avoid soaring rhetoric that might have been derided as empty."

Shorter Kurtz: "You didn't see that."

The Godfather said...

What amuses me is the assumption by the MSM critics and supporters of Obama that his speech mattered. It didn't. How many times in the last four years have we heard Obama speak? It seems like thousands to me, but maybe it's only dozens. We know how he talks, we know the kind of thing he says. If you're not inclined to let him have another four years to screw up the economy on which your well-being depends, what could he say that would change your mind? Certainly not a repetition of all the things his said before.

Look, suppose he'd come up on that stage and thanked Pres. Clinton and all the other folks for their kind words and then said, "But let's face it. I screwed up. I didn't understand how the economy works. I believed the crap they taught me at Harvard and Columbia, the kind of stuff you heard here from Prof. Warren. It's all wrong. We need to encourage entrepreneurs and job-creators, not vilify them. I've learned that now. Please give me four more years to fix what I broke. Nobody knows better than I do what we did wrong, and what we have to change." That could have changed the dynamic of the election. But he was never going to say that, so the speech was going to be irrelevant.

Tim said...

"health care insurance" ≠ "health care."

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Why does the whole world only get one vision? Let's have a little variety. Ritmo is right; those places are all wonderful, so like I said, go, and let us rubes fail. Use us as an example of wingnuts gone wild. Just one place on the planet where individuals have status, and value. After we all die a horrible death from lack of health care and free birth control, you can laugh, and feel superior. That would be awesome.

You know, for a guy that has as much as Bag can't decide if he wants us to believe he has, this really sounds like the Whine of the Century.

Anyway, it basically amounts to an invitation to his fellow Americans to leave. How is such a response even warranted? He is saying that because someone isn't happy that America doesn't provide the decent health care afforded by other countries -- countries that also have successful businesses and successful businessmen, one might add -- that they should leave.

A child banging his fists on a table has a more straightforward way of saying he wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

This is a problem when the kid is too upset to even understand that you already told him that he can have the cake.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

In what universe, Tim?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Bag, imagine this:

You get to have a lot of money, and everyone gets decent coverage.

Does it really sound like as horrible an idea as you make it out to be?

elkh1 said...

Low key on purpose, smaller venue on purpose, smaller crowd on purpose, less loots on purpose.

A purposeful presidency.

Eric said...

Low key on purpose, smaller venue on purpose, smaller crowd on purpose, less loots on purpose.

I wonder what they'll say if he loses Will that be on purpose too?

Tim said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"In what universe, Tim?"

Ours.

Check out access for those with public insurance.

Medicaid, especially.

If your failed president is reelected, and the ACA stands, it will, of course, only get worse.

bagoh20 said...

So I guess the answer is "NO". There can not be any place free from Ritmo's totalitarian boot. Not a single corner of the world can be allowed to follow a different path, because trust me, you'll like it, but regardless, there will be no dissenters on my planet.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill, Republic of Texas said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Germany's got that stuff and no one's calling it a Socialist paradise. Or are you?


Actually most Americans would support a German style healthcare system. Too bad Obama didn't go that route (or the French route). He is hellbent on getting us to an English type system.

Fen said...

Ritmo: **FEN ALERT!! SARCASTIC COMMENT!*** NOT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY!*

Warms my heart that I could get under your skin.

Now Bark! like a bitch.

garage mahal said...

I think that those who want to choose the Dems option for our future should just move to France

Hoe about if Obama loses, liberals have to move out of the country. If Romney loses, conservatives must leave. Sound fair?

creeley23 said...

As far as I'm concerned, the speech fell flat because it was the same Big Speech he's been giving for years.

The evocation of community effort, the depiction of America in terms of the Great Depression, the promised bright future of more jobs and a more prosperous America, the invidious comparisons with Republicans by strawman arguments, and so on.

I'm reminded of a scene from Blackadder Season 4 set in World War I, in which Blackadder meets with the mad General Melchett and his assistant Lt. Darling.

Melchett: Now, Field Marshal Haig has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to insure final victory in the field.

Blackadder: Would this brilliant plan involve us climbing out of our trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy, sir?

Darling: How could you possibly know that Blackadder? It's classified information.

Blackadder: It's the same plan we used last time and the seventeen times before that.

Melchett: Exactly. And that is what so brilliant about it. It will catch the watchful hun totally off-guard. Doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they will expect us to do this time.

wyo sis said...

Not having health insurance is not at all the same as not having access to health care.
Hospitals in the 30's and 40's may have turned people away if they couldn't pay, but hospitals long before all this nationalized health care talk started were supplying the poor with care at no cost to them. Many hospitals used donations and many doctors donated time and care, and many religious organizations supported non-profit hospitals and clinics.

The advent of health insurance as an employment benefit in order get around wage and price controls is what started the problem of insurance and the loss of it when a person changed jobs.

That could have been reversed and people freed from that burden without nationalizing health care. A plan that has never resulted in better access to health care in reality.

Dr Weevil said...

I shouldn't argue with trolls but when one of them repeats (9:30pm) something that is (a) commonly believed, especially by ignorant foreigners, and (b) utterly false, I suppose I have to. One of them just wrote "it's hard to believe that someone can say of a country with tens of millions uninsured that 'few if any have had (decent health care) denied to them'".

Is our troll unaware that health insurance is not the same thing as health care, that tens of millions of Americans get the latter without having the former, and don't always bankrupt themselves doing so? Two examples:

1. This is dental, not medical, but the difference is irrelevant here. An old friend is uninsured, had been unemployed for several years, and has for the last 3+ years been working for $8/hour 30 hours a week, spending about 6 of those hours just earning the money to pay for the gas to get to work and back (30 miles each way 6 days a week). She hasn't had health or dental insurance in years. Soon after she got the job, she went to my dentist, paid cash for a $200 clean and check and one urgent filling, and got an estimate of $27,000 to get her teeth - which were obviously in very bad shape after years of neglect - fixed. Is she still walking around with rotten teeth? No. There's a county dental clinic which did all that work including multiple caps and bridges for free over the course of a year, and all she had to do besides find the time and wait a few months was bring in her tax forms and paystubs to prove she couldn't afford it. There's a county medical clinic not far from the dental cline, so the fact that this was dental rather than strictly medical made no real difference. In sum: medical care (broadly defined) without medical insurance, and no overhanging debt.

2. I had a serious heart scare in April, including an ambulance ride and catheterization. I owe $2400 or so on that just for the deductibles, since my health insurance paid the rest. Here's the interesting part. The ambulance ride was free since I'm a county resident, though they did send begging letters asking for my insurance information to see if they could get some money from them. (Actually, I live in the city and worked in the county, but the ambulance service covers both.) I don't know how much my insurance paid, but it wouldn't have cost me a penny to get to the hospital even if I'd been uninsured. That job has since ended, and the hospital easily agreed when I suggested paying them $50/month until I get a new job, $200/month if I can line up one that pays anywhere near what I'd been making. (I'd like to pay it off in a year.) I asked if I could knock it down to $10/month if I don't line something up by the end of the year, and they not only agreed, but seemed downright eager to write off some of the principal when they heard I'm unemployed. There was never any question of interest, so every penny I pay reduces what I owe. I'm pretty sure they would have been just as willing to negotiate writeoffs and stretched-out payments for me if I'd been uninsured and owed them much more.

Of course, all this is not for Ritmo, who's not listening, but for anyone else who might have found this particular 'argument' plausible, particularly foreigners who think that tens of thousands of Americans without health insurance have died slow and agonizing deaths on the sidewalks outside locked emergency room doors. Utterly untrue.

wyo sis said...

O
Do you really not understand bagoh's point? Or are you just determined to have it all your way?

Where can a small government conservative go to live in a true democratic republic these days if that's the way they prefer to live?

wyo sis said...

Dr Weevil's point is a good one.
It might not be as easy as just saying Old Uncle Obama will pick up this one for me, but it can be done. And don't overlook the fact that under Obamacare just getting an appointment in the first place could take months to years.
If you put health care professionals out of business you have effectively limited health care to all the people who would have been their patients.

edutcher said...

Anybody who wants to shut Ritmo or any of the other sockpuppets up only has to refute him point by point.

He'll then find somebody else to try to annoy.

Then you just ignore him.

And then he goes away.

PatCA said...

"In short, the president deliberately dialed it down, stopping well short of the altitudes he is capable of reaching."

Altitudes? Don't you mean platitudes?

Birkel said...

Actual German unemployment as of August 2012: 6.8%.
Lowest rate since 1991 is 6.4%.

Basic facts are important.
Sarcasm doesn't explain such obvious errors.

wyo sis said...

Can the government guarantee access and affordability of anything?

Experience clearly points to NO.

harrogate said...

The line about going to his knees when he had nowhere else to go was brilliantly delivered.

Eric said...

Hoe about if Obama loses, liberals have to move out of the country. If Romney loses, conservatives must leave. Sound fair?

How is that fair? There are plenty of totalitarian places for you to move to and we'll only have a handful of choices.

chickelit said...

harrogate said...
The line about going to his knees when he had nowhere else to go was brilliantly delivered

It did cast doubt on his atheism, but it was too little, too late in view of his ham-handed insertion of God and Jerusalem into the party scaffold.

harrogate said...

chickelit,

I never thought he was an atheist. I tend to take people at their word on such things.

But I do think it's amazing how Presidents says this authentically, even when they cannot be authentic about much else. Bush the Elder, was so eloquent on this point. When Obama said that line, I was moved.

Michael K said...

"Of course, all this is not for Ritmo, who's not listening, but for anyone else who might have found this particular 'argument' plausible, particularly foreigners who think that tens of thousands of Americans without health insurance have died slow and agonizing deaths on the sidewalks outside locked emergency room doors. Utterly untrue."

I sure wish I had a dollar for each of the uninsured I spent hours with, usually in the middle of the night. I think I already related the story of the illegal alien who was walking on the railroad tracks on Memorial Day 1986.

After I put his liver back together, he told me that he was too busy in his landscape business to repay me by cutting my grass.

Then he sued Amtrak.

Michael K said...

" garage mahal said...
I think that those who want to choose the Dems option for our future should just move to France

Hoe about if Obama loses, liberals have to move out of the country. If Romney loses, conservatives must leave. Sound fair?
"

Actually, France has an excellent health care system. It's funded by payroll deductions. You know, sort of like ours ?

It's also fee-for-service so patients are not just cost items. The only real problem they have is with British retirees who refuse to go back to England to the NHS.

chickelit said...

I never thought he was an atheist. I tend to take people at their word on such things.

Nor do I. I do think his mother was an atheist, and young Barack probably was as well. I think Michelle made a believer out of him--in Black Liberation Theology. But there will be no vetting of the latter, as as there will be no vetting of Mormonism--only smears and innuendo.

Dante said...

Regarding Germany, it seems that they loaned a lot of money to Greece. Germany is a net exporter of goods, so they had the money to loan to Greece. Greece borrowed money.

Greece has a high Human Development Index, which is essentially individual purchasing power, ranking 29th in the world.

Greece now has an unemployment rate of 23%, and youth unemployment is at 55%. I wonder what a worker is like, who finally gets a job at 28, or 29 years of age?

What's happening in Europe is a perfect experiment for what will happen in a world of imbalanced trade. People ought to pay attention.

One lesson is pretty clear. It's better to not owe anyone money, and be a lender. Who would have thought that?

harrogate said...

chickelit,

A question is (and Crack is going to roll his eyes here, but there you have it), how productive, truly, would such vetting of either be? How much do the voters care about their respective religious belies and how much should they?

chickelit said...

Dante thought: One lesson is pretty clear. It's better to not owe anyone money, and be a lender. Who would have thought that?

Someone else thought even better:

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

~Act I, Scene 3 of William Shakespeare's Hamlet

chickelit said...

How much do the voters care about their respective religious belies and how much should they?

I can't speak for others but know pretty much all I need to know.

kentuckyliz said...

German health care is affordable because the population is a lot healthier. They got rid of a lot of defectives in the 30s and 40s. Action T4.

Is that what Obama means by bending the cost curve downward?

OK I will throw the Godwin penalty flag on myself.

I just can't resist pointing out why Germans are healthier and their health care is cheaper.

They took American and British eugenics theories and applied them.

It made the American eugenecists envious.

kentuckyliz said...

German Health Care Reform: Mission Impossible?

Chancellor Angela Merkel put health care reform at the top of her government's agenda. But the reform plan she's released has been roundly condemned and even brought thousands of protesters out onto the streets.

Germany has one of the best health care systems in the world, but experts have said for years that it won't stay that way unless it is substantially reformed. The system faces a massive budget shortfall, largely due to a financing structure that no longer works in today's Germany due to rising costs, low birth rates and stubbornly high unemployment.

kentuckyliz said...

harrogate said: The line about going to his knees when he had nowhere else to go was brilliantly delivered.

Is that how Obama persuaded Clinton to speechify for him?

Was he wearing a blue suit?

Dante said...

Regarding thoughts about Democrats or Republicans moving out of the country, based on who wins. Here is a different idea.

Given technology, it seems there could be multiple overlay governments within the country. As the world gets smaller, the requirement of physical locality relating to law is becoming less important. For instance, the increase in power of the Federal Government.

So here is what I would like to see. A micro-set of laws that we must all abide by (call these universal laws, such as "Thou shalt not kill,"), and laws you get to sign up for. As in, a set of border-less states.

Consider the possibilities. There could be the Bagoh20 state. That's the "Let's get it done and have fun" state. Then there might be the Crack state. The "live free or die" state.

And there could be the Garage state.

Here is how it would work. You could be a member of one of the states, perhaps selected at the age of majority. If you want to move, you have to buy in. Presumably, to get into Garage Mahal's superior state, it might be expensive to switch to. Switching to Bagoh20's state, might be inexpensive, but hey, you have to work. And getting into Crack's state, you might have to pass both an IQ test and an Emotional IQ test, or at least smoke some pot =).

For those who are dismissive of this idea due to legal complications, these states could each have internal agreements with the other states about how to adjudicate. Consider that OSHA law when stacked end to end reaches to the top of a 10 foot ceiling, whereas the constitution was written on 6 pages, so there has been a lot of progress from the productivity of lawyers.

All it would take to make a new state is enough people to do it. You could have the muslim state. The Christian state. Etc.

There are some issues to deal with, such as natural resources of water, etc., and these would have to be handled carefully, due to the monopoly power.

Other than that, hey, that's REAL freedom, isn't it? And technology allows it.

Seeing Red said...

-- Just one place on the planet where individuals have status, and value. --

Honduras.

Seriously, read that last night.

Experimental cities with their own rules, not bound by Honduran law.

They're willing to try it.

Dante said...

Chicklit claims:

Someone else thought even better:

See, I don't think that's correct. I'll give you a personal example. I was renting an apartment @ $800 dollars a month, no rent control, and I bought a house with a mortgage of $1230 a month. The numbers essentially worked out, but today that apartment would cost $1800.00 a month, and I paid off my mortgage years ago.

In this case, the borrower and the lender got a good deal.

chickelit said...

In this case, the borrower and the lender got a good deal.

The only half missing from your analysis in the lender.

Dante said...

chicklet: The lender got their 6.3% for the 12 year period. Sounds OK to me, isn't it?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Check out access for those with public insurance.

Medicaid, especially.


It doesn't occur to Tim that there are many who don't "qualify" for public insurance AND who can't afford it on the private market AND whose employers don't offer it.

This is ignorance of gargantuan proportions. Not worth debating further.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Fen, your abject stupidity is the only thing about you that bothers me.

I mean, I don't think much of you in any other sense - you seem more animal than human. But if you think it flatters you to gain negative attention from others (the way a three-year old might take it), then consider yourself unflattered.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Liz said,

The system faces a massive budget shortfall, largely due to a financing structure that no longer works in today's Germany due to rising costs, low birth rates and stubbornly high unemployment.

Germany's unemployment rate is among the lowest in the world right now, at 5.5%.

You guys really do just make these things up full cloth, don't you?

This kind of fiction writes itself.

Dante said...

And the O' Ritmo state for the criminally insane. Maybe they need their own state with high walls and barbed wire.

It might be possible to send notes like "O Ritmo, you are really, REALLY making me angry!! You are so crazy, I don't know what to do!"

OK, now the O' Ritmo deluge of insults begins. Let's count how far they can go.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ok, so in Michael's mind health insurance = not being made to die in an E.R.

I somehow think a different definition was at play here.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No, it's ok Dante. Your comment was worth ignoring completely, actually.

chickelit said...

chicklet: The lender got their 6.3% for the 12 year period. Sounds OK to me, isn't it?

Those rates are so last millennium it's hard for me to honestly concede you a point, so no.

Give me a fact pattern with dates.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Where can a small government conservative go to live in a true democratic republic these days if that's the way they prefer to live?

I dunno. A desert island somewhere. A cabin in the wilderness.

The problem is that your party's ideas are too anti-social to be compatible with life in a functional civil society. They are incompatible with any basic social contract, unfortunately.

It's one thing to be an individual in spirit. Your party's problem, though, is that they don't realize that people won't stand for a government that idly sits by and encourages or actively neglects catastrophes, just because you happen to want to believe that some people must somehow deserve them.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh, I listened, Dr. Weevil, to your massive diatribe. But I stopped being interested once I noticed that you conveniently conveniently omitted the adjective "decent" when pedantically lecturing me on the difference between health insurance and health care.

Have you got something against decency?

Seven Machos said...

Poor, poor Ritmo Urban Dribbler. He has gotten himself stuck now on Germany, yet he is against NAFTA.

I'll stop there, as anyone with sense ought to be able to connect the dots but I want to leave Dribbler blissfully, stupidly in the dark, where he belongs.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Actually, Dr. Weevil's story of voluntary repayment is precisely the reason why we are allowing our public coverage to bankrupt us. It's not a viable financing model at all.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'm glad to see that Miniaturos was too ashamed of how ignorant he is about the topic at hand to even address it.

But he has got his Friday night priorities straight. What a poor, poor man!

bagoh20 said...

"There could be the Bagoh20 state. That's the "Let's get it done and have fun" state."

I'm Bagoh20, and I approve this message.

1st Commandment: Do unto others...
2rd: Better than nothing is a high standard.
3rd: If you are gonna make all my decisions, then why do we need both of us here?

My upthread suggestion was not that people should move if Obama loses, but that they can get the same thing by moving so why fight to force the rest of us into it. Leftists have many choices where they can get what they say they want and is so important. Conservatives really have none right now. We just want one. The United States is the only nation with the tradition, laws and people (mostly) to pull it off.

We are no longer an exceptionally free nation, but we are still the best hope for it to be realized as an idea and a system. Why kill it here? The other experiments are everywhere from the extremes of North Korea at one end to Sweden at the other, but they all (100%) assume the collective is supreme. What if they are wrong?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I guess my alleged (and mythical) position on NAFTA is just another one of those turds that Miniaturos yanked out of his fat ass, polished and held to the light of day as he does with every other one of those shiny gems he'd like to show off to everybody.

Seven Machos said...

I'm sure you'll post more clever zingers as you are able to come up with them, Dribbler.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Conservatives really have none right now. We just want one.

Then maybe that's where the problem lies -- with conservatives.

And stop pretending that you had anything to do with American exceptionalism. When the revolution occurred, a third of the public sided with the Tory king, and it sure as hell wasn't the un-conservative faction.

You're ideological freeloaders.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

To the extent that I care go. I do realize that arguing with a liar (whose face is masked, how symbolic) is generally not the best use of time. So every now and then I'll just insult you - the same as you do to, well, basically everyone you disagree with.

Dante said...

El Tardo. Can't even resist the temptation to not respond. This is a test, El Tardo (are you of Hispanic origin?). Keep it zipped.

As in zipit. Shut up. Go hang out with La Raza. Go back to Mexico.

yashu said...

The Bob Woodward book should be very interesting; I wonder how much discussion of it there will be in the media.

This case is different from Ed Klein's book, because it's Bob Woodward, iconic journalist and no right-winger he.

neo-neocon has a few excerpts here.

I'd forgotten about Obama's insulting Paul Ryan to his face.

neo also notes (here) a profile of Obama that appeared in last Sunday's NYT magazine. Like her, I'm surprised-- not by how unpleasant Obama is (I know that very well), but how unpleasant the portrait is. These vignettes are well known in the right-wing blogosphere; it's so strange to see them in the NYT.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

I'd love to, Dante. But there are just SO MANY lies and UNTRUTHS worth correcting! SO MANY!!!

It's a fact-checker's paradise here.

Oh, that's right. Republicans refuse to be beholden to "fact checkers".

But that's not my concern.

Seven Machos said...

Whoa.

yashu said...

But there are just SO MANY lies and UNTRUTHS worth correcting! SO MANY!!!

O Ritmo, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of conservatives' eyes.

Dante said...

We are no longer an exceptionally free nation, but we are still the best hope for it to be realized as an idea and a system. Why kill it here? The other experiments are everywhere from the extremes of North Korea at one end to Sweden at the other, but they all (100%) assume the collective is supreme. What if they are wrong?

This is the funny think about collectivism. Somehow, they have conceived of a state of human organization that can only be proved, or disproved, by complete homogeneity of law, culture, and purpose.

All in or all out. Sounds like too many eggs in one basket to me.

Meanwhile, the natural world is all about experimentation and competition. The things without competition, like sharks, tend to stagnate, remaining unchanged. The animals with competition are constantly trying new ways.

Give people like El Tardo the reigns, and progress stops.

Meanwhile, I do think the idea of borderless states could work, if there was the gumption to try it. Technology would allow it, but the US has become so fossilized in such a short period of time, it's probably not possible without major change.

bagoh20 said...

"And stop pretending that you had anything to do with American exceptionalism. When the revolution occurred, a third of the public sided with the Tory king, and it sure as hell wasn't the un-conservative faction. "

This is the kind of thing that led me to give you the nickname "Lorem Ipsum".

It could be that you are just way smarter than me, so I just can't follow you. Either way, there isn't much point in it for me anymore.

chickelit said...

yashu said...
The Bob Woodward book should be very interesting; I wonder how much discussion of it there will be in the media.

No easy day, yashu. No easy day.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I think they're called "sentences", Bag. You should read up on them someday! Really!

Stop feigning ignorance.

And I've gotta love Dante's ad hoc thoughts on progress.

chickelit said...

bagoh20 rightly wrote: This is the kind of thing that led me to give you the nickname "Lorem Ipsum".

I am saddened too; for there is so much good there too.

yashu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dante said...

Oops. I thought El Tardo was Mexican, but now I see that he is too stupid to be of Mexican descent.

I dub thee "Le Stupide." No doubt, you are French. Viva la France!

yashu said...

No easy day, yashu. No easy day.

Alas, I know.

(Edited my comment because I don't know that you meant to make an allusion.)

chickelit said...

@yashu: You got it right the first time.

yashu said...

@yashu: You got it right the first time.

Heh, well then, like I said, I got my answer.

chickelit said...

@Yashu:

That's a big, unfair reading assignment expected to be due tomorrow.

Give us a fucking break!

chickelit said...

No offense intended.

I like you

yashu said...

I like you too, chickelit. But I don't think I follow you... ? (Sorry to be the blockhead who needs the joke explained to her. Twice in a row! Maybe I'll get it later.)

yashu said...

Is it my wanton linkage?

Sorry, but I expect an essay on the reading from you tomorrow.

MayBee said...

Ha! They tried this same line with Obama's flat inaugural address. That same "he must have been boring on purpose, to fit with the times".

It's really very similar to the way a psychic works, constantly adapting to how the mark responds to her mistakes to keep the perception she's been right all along.

deborah said...

I didn't see the speech, but just now watched some brief minutes. From what I saw, he seemed to do a good job as far as not going overboard with the 'oceans receding' stuff. He's done that, and realizes that to try to bring back the fevered would make him look foolish and desperate. I think he hit the right tone.

I checked out the brief lip expression that Althouse read as 'disgust,' while Meade saw 'resignation.' Maybe that's just reading in your own feelings. It could have been a suppressed sigh of relief, suppressed emotion at the adulation, or whatever. I wish they hadn't cut away before the families came out. (It can be seen on cspan.)

Revenant said...

When the revolution occurred, a third of the public sided with the Tory king, and it sure as hell wasn't the un-conservative faction.

Oh? The revolution was led by a bunch of rich white men. The Tories favored higher taxes on "the rich" and agreed that the British government was the only thing they all belonged to. :)

Things that make you say "hm..."

Revenant said...

I find it hard to see what Obama could have said to beat expectations or succeed as a speechmaker in the present circumstances

Having a plan. Having an idea of what he wants to do in the next four years, and sharing that with the audience.

The problem, of course, is that his entire campaign strategy consists of making people terrified of Romney, the Big Evil Mormon Outsourcing Zillionair. Obama himself has no plan for the next four years beyond "remaining in power".

Which, naturally, is hard to build a speech around. At least when independent voters are watching.

Craig Landon said...

@ O Ritmo Segundo

"You'll never know when I'm being serious or not."

A short reflection.

After one lands on an aircraft carrier at night, one must fold the wings, and taxi out of the landing area and park.
For expediency, one is often parked facing the ocean. One cannot see over the nose of a jet. The men parking you are "yellow shirts". Most likely, you've never met them, let alone "bonded" with them. They are usually 20-25 years old, not college graduates. But for that brief moment, your life is in their hands. There is no realistic ejection situation if they screw up.

Thus, they are being serious all the time. And there is no question in one's mind about it. There can't be.

Are the stakes on a blog as high? No, obviously not. But why shouldn't the level of trust be?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Emptiness means the lack of anything.

I think that's about right.

Black hole, anyone??? I mean, there isn't even any light emanating...

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Oh, that's right. Republicans refuse to be beholden to "fact checkers". "

(Laughing my ass off)

So-called 'fact-checkers' are the shamans and alchemists of the day.

Jay said...

without detailing what Obama would do in the next four years.

That's funny.

Obama provided no detail what so ever.

Jay said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
It doesn't occur to Tim that there are many who don't "qualify" for public insurance AND who can't afford it on the private market AND whose employers don't offer it.


It doesn't occur to ritty the retard that merely spouting bullshit doesn't make it true.

Of course watching you fling poo here is like watching a 4 year old with a box of crayons...

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Playing it safe probably. They think the race is over unless something extraordinary happens.


Why wouldn't they?

Its not like they live in some deluded bubble or anything.

Joe Schmoe said...

More leading from his behind.

Joe Schmoe said...

So a speech that was supposed to appeal to the mushy middle was mushy and muddled. No surprise there.

I don't think you can craft an effective message directly for the consumption of the mushy middle. Their mushiness is merely defined by the polarity in which they happen to live. Their whole existence is defined by the polar extremes. They hear something from one side and exclaim "Oooohhh! I don't like the sounds of that!" and then they hear something from the other and exclaim "Oooohhh! I don't like the sounds of that either!"

And then they assume their true feelings are somewhere in the middle. When someone tries to give voice to that middle ground, it can sound, well, off. Like Obama's speech.

Another thing about this speech that failed Obama is that it's not him. Clinton 'burned', Obama 'read' the speech and emoted as rehearsed, not necessarily as he truly felt. Because he didn't feel much for this speech. He knows the high-minded rhetoric rings hollow, and at his heart he's a Marxist rabblerouser who seems to delight in the excoriation of his opponents. He lacked the oratorical range needed to pull off a speech with a subdued, humble tenor.

Matthew Sablan said...

When fact checkers call people liars for saying things like "Obama never went to Israel as president" while admitting "Obama never went to Israel as president" or "Obama will cut $716 billion from Medicare" while the fact checker admits "Obama will cut $716 billion from Medicare," yes, yes we should ignore fact checkers.

Here, again are my two pieces help explain -why- Republicans have stopped taking fact checkers seriously.

It doesn't help that, once Bush was out office, many of them closed up shop until the Republican primaries.

kentuckyliz said...

Ritmo quoth me as if I wrote that...totally ignoring that it was a quote cut and pasted from the German newspaper article that I hyperlinked at the top of my comment.

I'm not asserting high unemployment in Germany. The German newspapers are.

If you have a beef with that reported fact, take it up with Angela (hard G) Merkel.

kentuckyliz said...

In Germany, they will reduce your hours instead of have layoffs, because the government subsidizes the majority of the cut hours wages.

In Germany, if you are 58 or older and unemployed, they don't count you because you could theoretically take early retirement (at reduced benefits) so therefore you don't really need a job.

Sounds like it makes sense to lay off workers who are 58 or older.

Germany has maintained a tight money supply, controlled government spending, and thus has low inflation.

Gee...those sound like really good policies to me.

Obama wants to spend his way to 5% unemployment.

Angela Merkel for President!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Gee...those sound like really good policies to me.

To me they sound better than having NO job at all. Let's speculate.. is 40 hours really any less arbitrary than the 72 hour/week norm before the labor movement?

Anyway, sorry if I misquoted you above. Did you you use quotation marks or italicize?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

And here is one of a multitude of good reasons why everyone else has stopped believing that Republicans even care about what is or is not a "fact", Matthew Sablan:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/381282/april-11-2011/pap-smears-at-walgreens

http://www.mediaite.com/online/keep-the-joke-alive-stephen-colbert-continues-jon-kyl-ridicule-via-twitter/

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, I'm sure that if anyone here would know a thing or two about four-year olds and crayons, it's Jay.

Dr Weevil said...

Since, in the wise words of an unwise person, "arguing with a liar . . . is generally not the best use of time", this is not for Ritmo, but for anyone who may have found his words in any way convincing.

He objects to my having written a "massive" comment because he cannot answer its argument. It takes all of a minute and a half to read 619 words, which is a lot less than it takes to read through Ritmo's 36 comments so far. (That's more than 20% of the comments on this post, and about 2% of the content. Anyone who was not a disgusting parasite would take that as a sign that he ought to start his own blog.)

Ritmo dishonestly pretends that socialized health care is somehow more 'decent' than American. Maybe (maybe) in Germany, but he obviously knows or (more likely) cares nothing about the horrors of (e.g.) British or Canadian health care (the movie The Barbarian Invasions can give you some hints on the latter). My anecdotes didn’t mention 'decent' health care because it was clearly implied. There was nothing in any way indecent about the health care cases I mentioned, no humiliation or degradation of any kind, and (unlike socialized medicine) no waiting lists. Of course, Ritmo knows that, and his objections are the usual contemptible lies. But then, we knew that before we read them, didn't we?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Tell your "colleagues" to lie and fudge facts less often and there will be less corrections for me to make of them, Weevil.

Interesting that a guy who names himself after a type of beetle would call others "parasites".

Also, try to learn the meaning of the word "obvious". It does not mean what you think it means. It is also NOT a way of saying a few personal experiences of yours are somehow American universals.

I won't respond to any more particulars in your post (although a person honestly interested in the health care debate would, and I would like to - Weevil's unwillingness to hear them notwithstanding), because:

You cannot distinguish your own experiences from those of others. Personal anecdotes do not substitute for factual analysis.

Enjoy your bubble and sorry to have ruined your day by doing you the dishonor of - HORROR OF HORRORS! - disagreeing.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

With no content of my own to add, I thought I'd link to an interesting (and hilarious) essay on the topic of waiting in lines.

Pogo said...

It saves considerable time skipping Ritmo's endless posts and saying blah blah blah instead.

No difference in content, either.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The good thing about Pogo is his posts are so equally short and thoughtless that you tend not to even notice them in the first place.

I bet his personality is similarly empty.

Dr Weevil said...

Oh look, the parasite sucks again: 38 comments out of 179 is 21%. Just a few notes for the amusement and edification of any non-Ritmos still reading:

1. I never used the word 'colleague' so Ritmo's putting it in quotation marks is tantamount to a lie.

2. I used the word "obviously" twice. To which of these does Ritmo object? Does he not think it is obvious that someone who needs $27,000 worth of dental work has very bad teeth? Or does he not think it is obvious that he knows nothing about how socialized medicine actually works in Britain and Canada?

3. There were no lies or fudged facts in either of my anecdotes, which do in fact prove what I said they proved, that lacking medical insurance is not the same thing as lacking medical care, at least in the U.S. Does Ritmo deny that many American cities and counties have free medical and dental clinics, that many (perhaps most) American hospitals will gladly negotiate payment plans and writeoffs, and that it is far easier to arrange convenient payment of medical bills when you're short of money than to renegotiate your rent, or utilities, or credit card minimums, or gas for your car, or food, or just about any other necessary expense? Is he unaware that Americans without medical insurance get better health care, with far shorter wait times, than most foreigners with 'free' national health care? Apparently.

4. A weevil is not a parasite. On the other hand, Ritmo is not just a parasite, but an obligate parasite, the kind who "are unable to survive apart from their hosts. Often this is because in the course of evolution they have lost various of the organs necessary to live as independent units" - organs such as a functioning brain and a minimal sense of decency, in Ritmo's case. He doesn't start his own blog because he knows no one would ever read his crap if he didn't take over the comment section of a blog that is worth reading.

5. Does Ritmo really think he can ruin my day by disagreeing with me? Does he not know that his rude and ignorant disagreements are a badge of honor to just about everyone who reads them?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

1. You can use quotation marks as a way to indicate that a word isn't to be taken literally, but as an approximation. It's not always to quote.

2. The latter. And also because it fit in perfectly with your statement about not having to learn things because you somehow already knew them.

3. I used the word "lie" about someone else, not you. You then turned around and accused me of lying.

If you want to have an honest debate, establish a willingness to give and receive good faith, first.

4. Oh well, more gratuitous insults. I guess we can forget that idea.

5. Actually, no. I'd figure that productive people would have something better to feel proud about.

Dr Weevil said...

Oh dear! The poor intellectual bully can dish out the insults, but can't seem to take them, much less answer actual arguments. Maybe if he'd bothered to say who my supposed "colleagues" are and what "lies" they supposedly told, I wouldn't have been left to guess.

Or maybe that was the point, to keep the stupid conversation going so he can make some more stupid insults and stupid pseudo-arguments and give his pathetic parasitic existence some sort of meaning.

He's just a filthy comment-tick who doesn't care how much he damages this site as long as he can suck some sort of pseudo-intellectual sustenance from it and doesn't actually kill it - or convince AA to ban him, which would be the blog equivalent of a tick shampoo - so he still has a place to plant his stupid lies and stupider insults.

Tim said...

"This is ignorance of gargantuan proportions. Not worth debating further."

ORS,

I made a point to refute yours.

The point stands.

You then shift the discussion to another point which does not relate to my initial point.

You argue in bad faith.

This makes you an asshole, a troll, and a waste of time.

Fuck off.

Tim said...

"3. I used the word "lie" about someone else, not you. You then turned around and accused me of lying."

Someone accuses you of lying, you should believe it.

Fuck off.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Did I insult you, Weevil? No.

But you've already revealed that you seem to have a problem distinguishing between obviously different points, so I'm not surprised that you can't tell the difference between yourself and other commenters.

BTW, great quality of content you've added! It's obvious not only that you have a lot of time on your hands, but why that is.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Tim, who must apparently believe himself to be a very decent, civilized and upstanding man -- (his rather crude descent into unadulterated vulgarity notwithstanding), has not learned that accusations of changing the subject are more credible when he can get the basic facts behind his own argument straight.

But he can't. I'd pity that, but obviously he prefers to wallow in his shallow fury and hatred.

Dr Weevil said...

The stupid tick denies that he insulted me, when he started by saying that I had written a "massive diatribe" in which I was "pedantically lecturing" him. Sounds kind of insulting to me.

Now he accuses me of having 'a lot of time on my hands' because I've written four comments, three of them longish. What does that tell us about his own 40+ comments on this post alone? Either he has way more time on his hands than I have and is therefore a disgusting hypocrite, or he's being paid to write here. I wonder which it is.

Of course, he also insulted himself without apparently realizing it, when he wrote (9:55am) "I won't respond to any more particulars in your post (although a person honestly interested in the health care debate would . . . ." If that means anything at all, it means that the silly tick is not, by his own admission, "honestly interested in the health care debate". Inept writing, Freudian slip, or a bit of each? Any reader can judge which is most likely.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"(although a person honestly interested in the health care debate would, and I would like to..."

Learn to read, Sir. It will help you to get a job.

Your content is almost as copious as my comment number, if not more so. There are just so many wrong statements to correct. So little time...

Not like yours, which are so increasingly filled to the brim with solipsistic over-personalizing (esp. your latest) as to sound like a psychiatrist's session.

Dr Weevil said...

Not for the first time, Ritmo has written a comment in which not one single word is true.

furious_a said...

"O Ritmo Segundo" is Portuguese for "Skip to Next Post".

Birkel said...

Actual German unemployment as of August 2012: 6.8%.
Lowest rate since 1991 is 6.4%.

Basic facts are important.
Sarcasm doesn't explain such obvious errors.

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