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AUGUST 17, 2009 3:07PM

I Want My Flying Car (and the Public Option)!

Rate: 19 Flag

"I was promised flying cars! I don't see any flying cars!" Avery Brooks may have found an answer by the end of this IBM commercial from early 2000, but his angst towards an unfulfilled promise has become my rallying cry as the public insurance option is slowly slipping away.

I walked out to my car last night to put my reusable grocery bags into the  trunk and stared at the magnetic sticker still clinging to the bumper. For the tenth time this summer, I considered it ripping it off with extreme prejudice. In all of my years as a register voter, I've never put any political stickers on my car. Last summer, I took the leap and ordered the magnet from MoveOn.org. I felt so strongly about Barack Obama that I wanted the world (and by the "world", I mean the other residents of my right-leaning neighborhood) how excited I was at the prospect of electing a forward-thinking progressive. Now the sticker mocks me. It taunts me. It reminds me why I've never put a political sticker on my previous cars. 

Politics is dirty business; I understand that. There is so much backscratching going on in Washington that a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol could be considered a weapon of mass torture. I've never had any illusions otherwise because even the most well-meaning of politicians can't get anything done without compromise and sucking up to the lobbyists holding the purse strings. But there was something about Barack Obama... he seemed to really want to make a difference. He was young and only slightly tainted by a short term in the Senate. I thought, "maybe this 'hope' business isn't all the usual bullshit". 

President Obama, where is my flying car? You promised us real reform and all I feel like I've gotten is one of those Razor motorized scooters. There isn't a single flying car to be found. 

First, you failed us on "don't ask/don't tell". Talk about a slap in the face for any thinking American. It simply makes no sense to start allowing white supremacists to join the military, while continuing to kick out educated service personnel simply because of their sexual orientation. Even Bill Clinton can't believe this is still happening, and he's the one who signed it into law. 

Next up was the promise to reform big business. That was lovely in theory, but as Frank Rich points out, "We just learned that nine of those bailed-out banks — which in total received $175 billion of taxpayers’ money, but as yet have repaid only $50 billion — are awarding a total of $32.6 billion in bonuses for 2009." 

What about that promise to make sure lobbyists weren't going to be a part of your administration? That was a big one for millions of Americans who only see government as an extension of big business. Your administration has hired several former lobbyists, including William J. Lynn, Deputy Secretary for Defense and recent lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon.

But the biggie? The biggest "too bad, so sad" so far?  "‘Public Option’ in Health Plan May Be Dropped". Several top officials made the rounds yesterday signaling that you were ready to compromise with the blue dogs and Republicans by dropping the only thing that gave this legislation any teeth. Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary, was on CNN yesterday begging us "let's not have this be the only focus of the conversation.":

"...making sure that we have new rules for insurance companies, that they can't dump people out of the marketplace if you get sick, that they can't drop your coverage based on a pre-existing condition, that you can't be priced out because you're a woman instead of a man, and gender discrimination won't be allowed to continue anymore. Those are really essential parts of the program, along with choice and competition, which I think we'll have at the end of the day."

What in God's sweet name makes her, or anyone else in the Administration, think that choice and competition will be a part of this bill without the public option? We don't have choice and competition now. How is telling all companies they can't call a zit a pre-existing condition going to do anything about choice or competition? 

Where the hell is my flying car?  Why does this administration and congress continue to let the Republican party shape the debate? It is public knowledge that many of the people screaming in town halls are shipped in thanks to Freedomworks and other insurance industry PACs. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the Blue Dog Democrats are all at the top of the list of insurance and health care handouts. Why aren't those talking points? Why aren't you fighting harder for the public option instead of laying down dead in an act of defeat? 

The right already has you pegged as a liberal extremist and a rabid socialist, so there is no point in trying to convince them otherwise. You have one year left to make a real difference, to show the American people that the Democratic Party has a plan to help them. By giving in, once again, to the extreme right, you are doing this country and your party a huge disservice. The 2010 elections are going to go back to the GOP if the Democrats can't prove they made the bold choices, the tough decisions, that were 100% right for the American people.

This administration promised us real change. Dropping the public option will be just another failed promise. You told us to have hope. You said, "Yes, we can." Can we? Or can we just assume the rest of this term will be one broken promise after another as the Democratic party continues to lay down for the Republicans?

I want my flying car! 

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I guess you can fool most of the people most of the time.
I didn't hear of this dropping of the public option until I got up this morning... so, I'm still in the really pissed-off at the stupidity and lack of compassion in my fellow human beings stage.
you can fool americans, very easily. they are raised to it, fed lies all their childhood and unable to distinguish reality finally.

but i keep trying: "no clothes, i cry!" "he's naked!

does no good. i knew obama was a politician, not a fairy godfather. but many still have not wiped the whiffledust from their eyes.

listen up, poor sad addlewits: "you want government for the people? you gotta have government by the people."

will they listen? not so far.
"The right already has you pegged as a liberal extremist and a rabid socialist" They must have ignored his prior voting record.
I'm glad I don't have a car to even have to consider removing any bumper stickers. To be honest, I wouldn't have put one on the car in the first place. But yes, I have ripped off the imaginary bumper sticker and mailed it back to Obama.
You make so much sense. We shall see, we shall see.
I'm reading now Republicans will oppose co-ops. Apparently, they'll only vote for a plan that exists only as a present to the insurance industry, so what the hell, might as well nationalize the whole damn system. We'll get just as many Republican votes in favor either way.

Yeah, I'm pissed. Single payer was thrown away in a compromise with the right-wing Dems, a public option will be compromised away in hopes of getting nonexistent GOP votes, now the GOP is saying they won't even go for co-ops.

Geez, as I read on another blog today, I'm so glad that they're defending my right to die penniless and alone from a disease that was curable in the 19th century.
Al Loomis: Don't be mistaken. I said on Inauguration Day that I knew we would all eventually feel let down. I know you can't move mountains in Washington, but I want him to try. I still have faith that he can affect change. That's why I keep the bumper sticker. It's my version of faith. I think I get your point, though. As long as we are willing to silently wait for the government to do the right thing, we get what we deserve.
Thanks. Just thanks.

When I read about all this, I just feel tired and numb. I have coverage now, but I didn't always. I loved Obama, I sent him money, I voted for him. And now I just want to smack him.
holy shit, it really doesn't matter what obama says. he's the damn president and he doesn't get to write legislation.

we have to stop treating these people like mascots and pick up the tools to enact change. when i go to tea parties in northern california, the supporters for a public option are ALWAYS hugely outnumbered. why?? how did prop 8 pass?

where the hell are all of you?
Without a public option, I'll be uninsured...
In past posts you said you want to dumb yourself. That means you think you are smart. If you are smart why do you keep talking about the same shit repeatedly. Complaining about shit you know will NEVER, EVER change is STUPID.

The owners of the country are the big thieves. They will continue to take from the poor, and nothing you say will change anythying.

NOTHING YOU SAY WILL CAHNGE ANYTHING.
The real question here isn't "Why do the Democrats seem to be ready to drop the Public Option?" The question should be "Why did the same grass roots groups that got Obama elected allow the Republicans to win the message war?" Why didn't the same people who were out there campaigning and speaking up for Obama, campaign and speak out for health care? Why didn't the shouters get quieted by people, the majority of which, want the public option?

About a month ago I had a back-and-forth with a fellow poster who claimed that they campaigned for Obama with health care reform at forefront of the mind. They said they would not vote to re-elect Obama if he couldn't get the Dems together on UHC. I challenged him to go out and get together the same campaign team to get the word out on health care. I got no answer. This is where health care reform has failed, that the people who got Obama elected figured, "Our job is done now you do your job Obama" instead of asking, "What can I do to help you keep doing your job, Mr. Obama?"
A semester consists of approximately 12 weeks of instuction. Suppose your were evaluated for your mastery of the content of the entire course and given your grade after the first two weeks.
I'm no happier about this than anyone else, but my cynical suspicion is that with the insane (pun intended) opposition this seeming no-brainer of a bill is facing, the admin is determined to pass something - even if it's a toothless, near useless, bill - that would at least get the government into the game ...with the hope of fixing it later once it's clear that the original idea was the only way for this to work. Even if they have the worst hand at the table, they will at least be in the game. So I'm willing to hide my dissapointment, hold my nose, and tepidly support this pathetic shadow of a real public healthcare proposal as the only available opening to get a bill on the books. At least it won't be killed & buried like the Clinton plan... since it seems easier to fix a bad bill than to resurrect a dead one.
Meanwhile maybe we can all work on ways to hold a dialog with our brainwashed neighbors & coworkers about their nonsensical ideas on death panels & other paradoxical dogmas. (Oh, I dunno.. war is peace? ignorance is strength? freedom is slavery?) The only way we can win the culture wars is hand-to-hand, since individuals are allegedly more reasonable than mobs.
Thoth: Alright Capt. Happy Pants, I'm going to respectfully disagree. Obama wouldn't be in office if it weren't for the grass roots efforts and people like many of the commenters here. Besides that, things do change and things do change because people speak up. They make their voice heard over the din. Maybe it isn't a big voice, but maybe it's enough to make one or two other people think.

I'm good with that.

PunterJoe: My concern is that they will pass a toothless bill and it will become the #1 talking point in the midterms. I can hear it now: the GOP will talk about the time and energy their Democratic opponents spent passing this pointless bill. It won't matter that the GOP were the reason real reform wasn't passed, they'll make it the Dems fault.

Peter Tenuto: You're absolutely right. Here's something small that anyone can do from the comfort of their home or office.

http://www.barackobama.com/index.php
On the right hand side of the screen, click to call your congress person. It will take you 5 minutes and it will make a difference.

You can also email your congress person, although it is not as effective as calling.
http://www.votesmart.org/

If you have some extra time, sign up for this:
http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/commitaugust?source=feature
You'll get called in for a phone bank or some other activity to help spread the word.
I've joined Obama's campaign on his web site to help get this health care reform worked out and will start going to local meetings to actually work on getting something done... instead of sitting around and bitching about it.

Also, I'm challenging my Facebook friends... the ones who are so red that they couldn't turn white even if a few gallons of white paint were dumped on them... to face reality and stop regurgitating bullshit that they hear from biased media sources, their ignorant neighbors and relatives, from their own biased and prejudiced opinions, etc. I'm challenging them to at least do research and find out the facts instead of making up bullshit lies and regurgitating biased bullshit, just because they can't stand the fact that we have a Democratic partly black president with a Muslim name.

One dumbass responded by saying, "Our government can't run the post office. How do you think it will be able to handle health care reform?"

I was very quick to point out to him that the U.S. Postal Service is an independent governmental agency... meaning that it is NOT run by the government... and rather, it has a board of directors, a CEO (Postmaster General), and a COO (Deputy Postmaster General) and therefore, it runs just like any other corporation. The Supreme Court even ruled that it's NOT a governmental corporation.

I also pointed out to him that the U.S.P.S. is the 3rd largest employer in the country and has annual revenues of $75 billion (told him this after he claimed that the post office is broke).

Here's a PERFECT example of someone not knowing shit about what he's saying... so helping them to realize that they are just spewing complete bullshit lies and nonsense can help. These kinds of people are clutching onto their fears and are hiding behind lies and propaganda and bullshit... instead of standing up and facing reality and challenging the current situation.

I'm on a damn rampage now!!!!!!!!
I felt so strongly about Barack Obama that I wanted the world (and by the "world", I mean the other residents of my right-leaning neighborhood) how excited I was at the prospect of electing a forward-thinking progressive. Now the sticker mocks me. It taunts me.

Me, too. And the irony lies in that I never received my bumper sticker even after writing to ask when I could ever expecct to receive it. Their response was less than satisfactory and the sticker n ever arrived...

In result, I should have been primed for disappointment if only symbolically. I am crushed that Pres. Obama would roll over and "play dead" so quickly on the public option. Could it just be media hype -- conservative wishful thinking? Sebelius was sufficiently vague to leave room for some version of a public option.

For example, what in hell is a "Health Cooperative" that is apparently favored by Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida (Blue Dog)? Who would police those? Yet, if the government (who is meant to be the polcing option of private industry) is forced to compete with corporations to keep them honest, what simple "order" can we find in this chaos? The devil is in the details, so I am waiting for those...and waiting...and waiting...
Sorry, intended to write::
(who is meant to be our policing option against abuses within private industry)
How many of you have flamed the White House for the stupid remark on letting the national option go? How many of you have emailed, called, visited your senator's offices to tell them that you want single payer or the national option? Just wondering.
"An American at the insistence of his friends went to court and changed his name from Jack Shit to John Shit!" Copyright.

You are right. The "grass roots" movement can bring the Democrats into power, but the democrats refuse to sign the health bill. Why? Because, like the Reublicans, they are owned by the insurance companies. See how simple it is.

Dirt poor, right wing and Evangelical fuck nuts believe that FOX News tells the truth, do not want socialized medicine, and do not want the government to tax the rich. It is INSANE. How do you change that? You must change the culture first.

The only way to change things is to first convince these fuck nuts that they are stupid, but no one says that because one will become unpopular; one will not get enough tweets!

Thanks for your response.
This dumbass who I told how he is wrong about the U.S.P.S. responded by saying, "OK, the U.S.P.S. wasn't the best example." Translation... "I'm a dumbass who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and knew nothing prior to this about how the U.S.P.S. actually operates, and I just spew bullshit out of my mouth, just because I'm a right-wing fuck nut, and that's what we do."
to Peter Tenuto: about; "Why didn't the same people who were out there campaigning and speaking up for Obama, campaign and speak out for health care?"
answer: because it is the wrong health care plan. i want heavily regulated nonprofit health care. not government funded health care. i want health care where every policy holder of a health care insurer pays the same premium and has the same privilages, no exceptions, period. no high risk pools, etc.

to Punter Joe: accepting something that stinks to high heaven, just because it is the best piece of meat they will offer you, is copping out.

to Thoth: the way to get there from here is to TELL THE INSURANCE COMPANIES HOW THEY WILL OPERATE, or let them fold up their tents and go home. insurance should be NONPROFIT.