In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Monday, February 6, 2023

Obama’s speech could save the day

President Obama’s eloquent address to a joint session of Congress was one he should have made a lot sooner, before the health-care debate started to spiral out of control.

He was too aloof and hands off at the outset and distressingly slow in answering attacks and distortions, a mistake he vowed not to repeat. "Death panels," he said, are "a lie, plain and simple."

His forcefulness was intended to reassure wavering Democrats that he would fight for health care and the new level of detail in the speech indicated that he was willing to get his hands dirty in the sausage making of legislation.

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Ways to fix the health care mess

President Obama went to the well of the House and the House welled up with discord.

Although his insistence on the moral imperative and economic necessity of overhauling the health care system was well received by Democrats, Republicans remain skeptical. (Most notably the boorish Joe Wilson of South Carolina who shouted that the president was lying about not subsidizing health care for illegal immigrants although he later apologized.)

Fact checkers say the president was correct about that point and about not setting up "death panels" to kill seniors as a way of cutting costs.

But the nation is now so polarized, too many people believe what they want to believe, no matter what the facts are, while demagogues hog the airwaves.

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Obamacare: Another Washington failure

As the healthcare reform debate roars on, Uncle Sam resembles a restless college senior who is flunking economics, finance, and management. Despite a report card full of Fs, he suddenly announces: "I want to go to medical school!"

Similarly, President Barack Obama stood before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night and re-embraced a government option for health insurance. As he explained, "sometimes government has to step in to help deliver" on the promise that "hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play."

Alas, too often when Washington steps in, failing grades follow:

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Obama’s health care reform is a lie

Dive in just about anyplace you like in President Barack Obama’s health-care speech the other night, and you bump into something abrasively wrongheaded, so much so that the whole thing can almost be summed up by Rep. Joe Wilson’s shout: "Lie!"

It was unquestionably out of line to do what the South Carolinian did, of course, as uncivil as when Democrats booed President George Bush during a State of the Union speech four years ago.

But wait, I am sorry, Bush surely deserved it and Democrats can do no wrong. Wilson, on the other hand, insulted mass-media hero Obama and will pay dearly while too few focus on the remark that inspired his ire.

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A teenager’s perspective on Obama

My 16-year-old granddaughter was outraged and she gave me specific instructions.

"You must write about this asinine nonsense about the president speaking to us," she said. "How could anyone object to their sons or daughters being told by the president of the United States to stay in school? That’s incredible. Why would anyone take that position?"

I had no answer other than to explain that there are people who see ulterior motives in every action, who believe that no discourse that includes a politician can be honest and most likely hides a conspiracy. That is particularly true if the politician is not one they have supported.

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