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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Obama on June 8, 2012

(Two posts today. Please scroll down)

"The private sector is doing fine." Video below the fold, and, below the video, I'd like to point out something besides the "private sector" portions of yesterday's press conference.


Apparently, Obama doesn't read the news.

Also, note how Obama handled the question about leaks that jeopardize national and international security (@ time marker 22:57ff):



I listened to the press conference live and thought at the time, as I listened to his speech patterns and vocal tones, "He's not handling that question well. Too much rambling. He knows that this question is filled with land mines." When I viewed the video this morning, I paid particular attention to his eyes and his gestures. What's going on there?

I'm interested in your impressions about that section of the video, a section that hasn't received much attention in the media as far as I've heard.

58 comments:

  1. This leaks thing may really blow up. Democrats are upset about it too, and Heinrich Holder appointing special investigators won't cut it. I'm hoping congress holds firm and insists on an outside investigator.

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  2. Silverfiddle,
    I think that the leaks thing may really blow up. Time will tell.

    I do wonder the following about the press conference: Didn't Obama know that question was coming? I got the impression that he deliberately called upon certain reporters during the conference.

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  3. Where was the normal smugness and arrogence? Even his reading from the teleprompter was not up to par. He fumbled the question on the leaks badly.

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  4. It's unmistakable that he knows more than he's willing to say. My guess would be that someone embarrassingly close to the top has gone off the reservation and hung his butt out in the breeze on this and they're still trying to figure out how to handle it.

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  5. It's long past time that the federal government undergo a little "Bain Capitalesque" creative destruction. To give State and local government financial incentives to remain in "denial" of their failures and need to restructure would be a grave mistake.

    The problem with Romney is not that he will do much to force the government to live within their means, it is that he will not go far ENOUGH, and reign in "private" corporate entities to do so as well. He will extend "corporate welfare" benefits to ALL his friends and contributors, exacerbating the problem of an already overly-corporatized economy.

    As for the security leaks, the man is a self-promoter and needs to be removed from office, no doubt. But every president does this same b.s. around election time.... especially when faced with an opponent having little "foreign policy" experience.

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  6. Even Obama had to backtrack. I'm wondering if he even reads his speeches before delivering them. Someone else writes them, puts the empty suit up there to read the teleprompter.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad

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  7. Viburnum said:

    It's unmistakable that he knows more than he's willing to say. My guess would be that someone embarrassingly close to the top has gone off the reservation and hung his butt out in the breeze on this and they're still trying to figure out how to handle it.

    I say:

    That's exactly the same impression that I had!

    I also got the impression that he's hiding something. Of course, hiding matters of national security from the public is not unusual -- not should it be.

    But my interpretation that he was hiding something also includes this: He's hiding something that he knows must not come out FOR OTHER REASONS besides those of national security, specifically, something that would damage Obama's legacy in the eyes of many more than only those on the Right.

    Clearly, he was uncomfortable and rambled when he responded to that question about the leaks. In fact, I recall that the New York Times had a piece about that breach reflected by the leaks.

    Google the following without quotation marks:

    leaks white house new york times

    I note that this piece came up in the Google search when I did it just now. Excerpt:

    June 8, 2012 2:46 PM

    President Obama at a press conference this morning insisted that high-level national security leaks are not coming from the White House. "The notion that my White House would purposefully release classified information is offensive," President Obama said.

    But a Republican memo from the Senate Republican Policy Committee maintains that either the president or the New York Times is wrong.

    "It would appear the President’s statement and the New York Times statements directly conflict with each other and cannot both be true at the same time," the memo states.

    For proof, the memo highlights Obama's denial that the White House is responsible for the leaks and certain statements in the Times's stories.

    "If that statement were meant to serve as a denial that the Obama Administration leaked classified information, it would appear to stand in direct contrast to the New York Times article describing the President’s personal involvement in a process 'to designate terrorists for kill or capture,'" the memo states. "One of the opening paragraphs described the methodology for compiling the story, saying 'three dozen' of the President’s 'current and former advisers' were interview sources for the story."...

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  8. I also found THIS:

    Caught in the cross hairs of a contentious dispute between the White House and Congress, The New York Times is vowing to charge ahead with its coverage of developments in U.S. national security — and denying that the paper is on the receiving end of silver-platter leaks from the Obama administration.

    “These are some of the most significant developments in national security in a generation,” Times managing editor Dean Baquet told POLITICO on Thursday, referring to his paper’s recent reports on the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes and cyberattacks. “We’re going to keep doing these stories.”...


    More at the above link.

    You know, when the Watergate scandal first started, it seemed as if the entire series of events would turn out to be nothing. Well, it DID turn out to be something, after all, and led to the resignation of the only President in the history of the United States.

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  9. Oh how the right pounces on everything to find fault. It's as if they want to keep our economy from growing;

    Obama's comments about jobs growth have some bearing. The economy has gained about 4.2 million private sector jobs since early 2010, putting payroll at about the same level as it was in January 2009. Since Obama took office, about 607,000 fewer people work in the public sector. State and local governments, unlike the federal government, generally have to balance their budgets, and with fewer revenues, spending cuts have forced layoffs.

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  10. MSNBC did an interview with the author of the main piece who DID SAY THE LEAKS CAME FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. I heard him say it and it's in print, as well, as was pointed out here.

    AOW, I watched this and thought of so many things, including the fact that I think the press conference was a set-up for exactly the purpose of allowing him to say just that; it didn't come from the WH. That lie.

    I also think his saying "I'm not going to mention classified details.." is disingenuous...who asked him to? They're asking for the overall SITUATION OF LEAKS to be discussed, right?

    "ZERO TOLERANCE FOR LEAKS" was the buzz phrase ...and probably why he did this press conference in the guise of an economy conference during which he said ABSOLUTELY nothing new at ALL, right?
    (except when he said the Greek people have 'sacrificed'...really? when?, during their burning of buildings?)

    "These are CRIMINAL ACTS" might bite him in the butt BIG TIME, don't you think?
    And I'm praying HARD that Feinstein doesn't back down, but she might. Let's hope she's got some spine because she has stood up against the left other times, amazingly.

    excellent observation, AOW...thanks for your thoughts.
    I hope I'm wrong that this whole press conf. wasn't all ABOUT THE LEAKS in the guise of other information. But, of course he knew they'd ask that, and he does VERY few press conferences. And of course they can put journalists up to asking things like that.
    Was the guy's name David Jackson? I haven't heard of him, but that's not saying much.

    Sorry to sound so negative, but...

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  11. People might want to know that the "leaks" part is at the very end. Fast forward the video and avoid a long and boring wait.

    The Artful Dodger. I caught him dodging right after he first started talking, then later on, clearly lying. His eyes constantly went back to his useless teleprompter, looking for the words that weren't there.

    His statements about the leaks say that they're true, in spite of his several times saying "whether or not" they were.

    In his last statements, he became suddenly self-righteous as it finally occurred to him to feign outrage that anyone would accuse His White House of the leaks for political purposes. My point here is that if this were you or me and we did not do the leaks, our anger would have been the first thing we'd have expressed, not the last thing as an afterthought.

    Obama is an inveterate liar. He's lied about almost everything about himself, his life and his family. Why stop now?

    He looked tired. More than that, he looked scared, at least at first. He's very worried about something.

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  12. When talking about the idea that the leaks were intentional Obama said "It's offensive. It's wrong."

    What came to my mind was when Bill Clinton said "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky and I didn't ask anyone to lie, not a single time..."


    As for the "private sector is doing fine" there are studies which show that excessive pot smoking causes permanent changes in the brain which might effect Obama's ability to tell reality from the fantasy on his teleprompter.

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  13. Bit of a dilemma - the right wing bed wetters want him to kill plenty Muslims so that kill list gets him some points with moderates or at least kills the old meme that Dems won't extra judicially kill our enemies.

    Remember, you are dealing with a man who is amoral. Nothing really matters except his election.

    So you go for that or someone who thinks the financial system exists to line his pockets.

    Two stiffs.

    My prediction: The public employee union issue has legs. Given that the fools are going down the austerity path, this is a fairly easy way to do it and the Rethugs will make some hay.
    My regret is the stinking cops will probably be exempt and it is nothing but an excuse to further dumb down the education system through privatization.

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  14. It couldn't get any dumber than the current "public" one-size-must-fit-all education has already made students.

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  15. Lib-Mann: "State and local governments, unlike the federal government, generally have to balance their budgets..."

    And that's a bad thing? We need to force the Feds to do the same.

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  16. Ducky, I think you got it wrong with this "Bit of a dilemma - the right wing bed wetters want him to kill plenty Muslims so that kill list gets him some points with moderates or at least kills the old meme that Dems won't extra judicially kill our enemies"

    It's the leftwing bedwetters who want him to try to look tough to attract more than lefties....that's the whole idea of this investigation.

    By the way, the right wants him to keep us safe. Hopefully, he could do that without killing anyone. Sadly, it's not possible because we didn't start this mess. They are after US. (and it's even worse now with these leaks).
    Americans are held by standards of at least trying to eliminate collateral damage...our enemies put everything into as getting as much collateral damage as possible.

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  17. z, the left wing is sitting it out. Anyone who thinks that this clown is even liberal is delirious.

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  18. the left wing is sitting it out. Anyone who thinks that this clown is even liberal is delirious.

    I don't think so, Ducky. Although Obama's removal of $500 Billion from Medicare is a step in the right direction, it's not quite the total and complete annihilation of social spending whatsoever that it ought to be.

    And I don't think you can honestly say the left is sitting this election out when even devout communists like Michelle Bachmann and Paul Ryan are tripping over themselves trying to "save" Medicare, and the entitlement junkies in Hillary Clinton's Tea Party movement understand their bread is buttered by uber-leftist Mitt Romney.

    I would think that you'd be mortified that the Republican Party has decided the Democratic Party is not left-wing enough.

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  19. "z, the left wing is sitting it out"

    Then why are they in overdrive over at MSNBC and CNN beeping faster than a truck does when it's backing up like CLinton and Obama are trying to do?
    Sitting WHAT out? They're running around like crickets in a flashlight's glare.

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  20. Z,
    If you are correct about the true purpose of the press conference, why did Obama handle answering the question so poorly?

    Did you read Black Sheep's comment above? I, too, noticed what Black Sheep mentioned, but neglected to so state in the body of the post:

    In his last statements, he became suddenly self-righteous as it finally occurred to him to feign outrage that anyone would accuse His White House of the leaks for political purposes. My point here is that if this were you or me and we did not do the leaks, our anger would have been the first thing we'd have expressed, not the last thing as an afterthought.

    Overall, Obama seemed rather "flat" during the conference -- and especially toward the end. Saving the leaks question for the end right before his dramatic exit (cough for that "dramatic exit" bit, but I think that he may have been trying to do just that).

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  21. Beamish,
    I can't see that the annihilation that you are wishing for is gonna happen -- if for no other reason than the domino effect upon the healthcare industry. Just look at all those medical personnel who recently took out loans they will be unable to pay if the system collapses?

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  22. beamish said: "Obama's removal of $500 Billion from Medicare is a step in the right direction."

    Obama didn't 'remove,' cut or steal $500 Billion from medicare. It's savings over time:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/12/michele-bachmann/did-president-obama-steal-500-billion-medicare/

    Bush was bleeding 700,000 jobs each month before he left office. Obama has created more jobs in 2 years than Bush in eight.

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  23. Aye, AOW. Ducky has no reason whatsoever to lament the alleged death of leftism.

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  24. "Obama has created more jobs in 2 years than Bush in eight."

    Come on. It didn't take Chrysler that long to tear down its plants in Missouri.

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  25. Why is it that the fringe right considers support of the classic welfare state to be Communist?

    These must be the same sophisticated intellects who consider Geddy Lee an accomplished musician, right Beamish?

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  26. Whoe we, that was a stinker Obama. I'm sorry, but I know many high schoolers who are much better.

    Lets see: nervous, unsure of himself, trying to think of a perfect answer that takes a few minutes (typical of the inexperienced or liars), um-ing alot (never good), stalling mildly, rambling, answering questions not asked and avoiding in part the real question, as well as looking either bored or tired. You get a D Obama, and Im being nice.

    The anger thing is interesting. He was only offended when someone acussed HIS WH of leaking. O-kay, class A ego right there. He didn't care about the damage a leak could do, or tracking down the people, or mimumizing the damage, no, what got him riled was an almost personal attack. Concerning he WAS so offended, I would say he had something to do with it or knew about it or it was pretty high in the ranks.

    Now, tip BO... get some experiance speaking!

    -Wildstar

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  27. Duck,
    Why is it that the fringe right considers support of the classic welfare state to be Communist?

    I'm not sure that all on the Right object to all aspects of the welfare state.

    In the view of many on the Right -- myself included, but it isn't only my opinion alone -- it is appropriate for the government to assist the poor and the disabled. Those numbers should be few as compared to the total count in society.

    Now, here are the problems with the welfare state:

    1. Folks who don't need such help jump onto the hands-out bandwagon. For example, why is it that the richest man whom I personally know gets Social Security payments and Medicare benefits? I'm speaking of A BILLIONAIRE! In his defense, I will also say that it is well nigh impossible to find ANY health insurance coverage after age 65. [sarcasm: Thank you, LBJ] And why is it that I see drug dealers running all over D.C. -- In their golf carts or on their electric scooters, paid for by Medicare and Medicaid, no less! -- wearing heavy gold chains and diamond rings, and making thousands of dollars a month while, at the same time, collecting Social Security disability payments and/or Medicaid? Some of these fellows are young, too. When Social Security payday arrives, they line up outside on their scooters, collect their checks, cash those checks, then go right out in just a few minutes back to the drug-dealing street corners. I've seen it for myself over and over again! They deal cocaine, usually crack, right out there in the open; and the police just drive on by. THE WELFARE STATE IS RIFE WITH FRAUD!

    2. Why is it that the welfare state actually ENCOURAGES unwed mothers under the age of 18 to get a "government-paid-for apartment" instead of figuring out for themselves how to stand up on their own? I kid you not: the government offices and the schools actually URGE these women (Girls?) to jump onto government assistance. This has happened in my own family -- to my disgust. As a result of such policies, girls are actually ENCOURAGED to produce babies out of wedlock -- and more than once, too.

    3. The sense of entitlement that the welfare state actively promotes is detrimental to society as a whole and discourages people from standing up on their own two feet. I'm speaking of people who are CAPABLESOMETHING."

    End of conversation.

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  28. Typo alert.

    "CAPABLESOMETHING" should read CAPABLE OF SOMETHING

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  29. Wildstar,
    That a graduate from Harvard Law School cannot speak well off teleprompter doesn't speak well of both the graduate and the school itself.

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  30. Liberalmann,
    The link that you left states the following:

    Then there's another $136 billion in projected savings that would come from changes to the Medicare Advantage program, an alternative to traditional Medicare that has turned out to be much more costly than expected. About 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

    My husband has a Medicare Advantage HMO plan, so I know how such plans work.

    My husband can choose a doctor from only a very limited list of participating doctors. For an extra $38/month (in addition to the Medicare premium of $100/month), this household is more than willing to put up with such limitations -- BECAUSE, for those under age 65 (as my husband is and totally disabled, and I do mean TOTALLY -- any other Medigap plans are unavailable without spending $1000/month in premiums; my husband's Social Security Disability check is his ONLY source of income as the place where he worked had not retirement plan whatsoever; he had to accept that kind of work or go on the dole at age 44 after he had brain surgery.

    Do the math.

    Also, FYI....The reason that seniors so desire Medigap coverage is that Medicare doesn't fully cover medical expenses; if one has a $100,000 tab for a hospital stay, Medicare is obligated to pick up only 80% of the allowable expenses, thus leaving open the door wide open for a $20,000 balance on the hospital bill; fewer and fewer doctors and facilities accept Medicare assignment, that is, no payment required from the patient other than the $1600 deductible for EACH illness during a calendar year.

    Also, Medicare Advantage plans have a high out-of-pocket annual requirement so as to receive payment in full for medical services: about $70000 (in addition to the premiums, of course).

    MEDICARE DOES NOT PAY FOR RESIDENTIAL NURSING HOME CARE! Nursing homes cost between $5000 and $20,000 a year (base cost) right now; medical treatment is extra as is getting someone to feed a patient who is unable to feed himself. Frankly, I wouldn't put a dog that I hated into a nursing home that charged on the low end of the range I mentioned in this paragraph: dirty diapers rarely changed, unchanged bedding, the smell of feces and urine everywhere, dirty rooms, poor food (only one meal a day), etc., etc.

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  31. Mike,
    When talking about the idea that the leaks were intentional Obama said "It's offensive. It's wrong."

    What came to my mind was when Bill Clinton said "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky and I didn't ask anyone to lie, not a single time..."


    Yes, eerily similar.

    I also thought at the time: "Nixon denied, denied, denied, too."

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  32. THIS is interesting:

    Brit Hume: "Doin' Fine" Was No Gaffe

    Brit Hume posted this tweet, with what I imagine is a screenshot of his Notepad take on the subject.

    A larger shot of the comments are here.

    Mickey Kaus agrees, and chides liberal pundits for pretending this is just some silly slip of the tongue.

    However, Kaus himself gets it wrong by suggesting the "private sector is doing fine" is just a misstatement. (If this seems contradictory, he's nuanced: He thinks Obama's statements about the primacy of the public sector are the real gaffe. My disagreement with him is that both parts are "the real gaffe.")

    It's not.

    I am searching for this now, and have not yet found the articles to prove it, but I will, because I read them.

    This argument has been trotted out numerous times by left-wing analysts and commentators.

    It's not new.

    It's what the left believes.


    And it is, I think, what Obama himself reads.

    And it's what he believes, even though he's been cautioned not to say it.

    If there were no general chatter on this point, perhaps one could claim Obama "misspoke."

    But there has been general chatter on this point. The left has been making this argument on blogs for months. The left has been claiming for a year that the private sector is "doing fine," we just need to give money to state governments so that the Democratic Client Class of bureaucrats can be spared any cuts in benefits.

    They view this as a type of stimulus spending -- the best kind, because it flows into the hands of the Democratic Client Class.

    So this did not come out of nowhere. This as been written about, and argued, and urged, for a long time.

    Obama made a mistake, but he did not "misspeak." His error was to say aloud the talking point he's been reading -- and believing -- for months.

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  33. and the entitlement junkies in Hillary Clinton's Tea Party movement understand their bread is buttered by uber-leftist Mitt Romney.

    Thank goodness that the fusion conservative voters and the JDL/AIPAC coalition were able to demonize and take out those vicious anti-Semitic Constitutionalists, like Ron Paul, or Mitt Romney would never have been possible. Fusion Conservatism stalking horses like Newt Gingrich sure SAVED the Republican Party, eh beamish?

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  34. Why is it that the fringe right considers support of the classic welfare state to be Communist?

    Did you have an alternative definition for coerced wealth confiscation and redistribution?

    Maybe it's that I'm from the "taught dad how to program a coffee maker" generation, but I honestly thought the whole mathematical can't get anything from zero thing had been ratified by both the left and the right.

    These must be the same sophisticated intellects who consider Geddy Lee an accomplished musician, right Beamish?

    I'm fairly certain they're all just misinformed about your bass playing, Ducky.

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  35. Thank goodness that the fusion conservative voters and the JDL/AIPAC coalition were able to demonize and take out those vicious anti-Semitic Constitutionalists, like Ron Paul,

    Without removing our bunny slippers, even.

    or Mitt Romney would never have been possible. Fusion Conservatism stalking horses like Newt Gingrich sure SAVED the Republican Party, eh beamish?

    Such harmony between those who fantasize they are a jilted shrew of an ex-wife and those that fantasize that they're a Congressman still butthurt over Newt's boot in their ass.

    Oh, but reigning in spending over 20 years instead of 20 minutes is such political bravery in its own way, I'm sure.

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  36. Gather up the pitchforks and torches! Let's make Congress and the President promise to balance the budget 20 years from now!

    Tea drinking sissies.

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  37. Oh, but reigning in spending over 20 years instead of 20 minutes is such political bravery in its own way, I'm sure.

    Your boy Romney's going to tackle entitlements now? Who knew that Newt was going to have such a positive effect on the Republican nominee?

    Hey, maybe he'll even get all the hospitals to shut off electricity to all the Medicare funded ICU's, too! Twenty minutes later, Medicare's problems are all SOLVED, the fusion conservatism way! Woo-Hoo!

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  38. btw - I sure hope your grandma hasn't named you as her "Executor"... cuz I've a feeling that the DNR stamps would already be stamped on her medical admission records if you were. ;)

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  39. Z,
    If you are correct about the true purpose of the press conference, why did Obama handle answering the question so poorly?"

    Because he couldn't come out with his usual quick and polished response or it'd look like it was planned. He HAD to know it was coming, he HAD an answer; that was it. Motivation clear, in my opinion.

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  40. Z,
    If your conclusion is correct -- and it might well be correct -- then Obama is a very poor speaker and a very poor actor. He clearly overdid the acting. Now, had he reacted first with anger (as Black Sheep mentioned), Obama's performance might have been more believable. Maybe.

    Didn't he head off to the golf course immediately afterwards? I think so. If so, what was he in need of at the golf course or from the neighborhood surrounding the golf course?

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  41. Joe "Conservative,"

    Waah waaah! Granny's gonna die.

    You mouth-breathing Communists need to get new material.

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  42. BTW - I never attended a Tea Party event because proximity to the stench of deadbeat entitlement junkie far leftists makes my skin crawl. How did Romney stop being the Tea Party's boy (Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, et. al.) and become "my boy?"

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  43. Beamish,
    I went to a Tea Party march in 2009. At least, I think that's what the 9/12 march in D.C. was. Those gathered at Capitol Hill were talking about Glenn Beck. Hell, I barely knew who the guy was at that time.

    My memories of that march are pretty much wiped out as Mr. AOW had his stroke on 9/15.

    As far as I recall -- and I think that I would remember this -- I saw no signs there to the effect of "Save my Social Security."

    As for Granny's gonna die, I don't see the issue that way. I see the issue as this: Grandpa's illness ate up all the family assets, including the home Grandpa and Grandma were living in, so now Grandma will have to go live with her grandchildren, who will then pay for Grandma -- except that Grandma, healthy or demented, will not be taken in by any family members, who have "their own lives to live."

    I have a question for you? And I'm not being snarky as you are my friend: Have you ever done caregiving? By "caregiving," I mean changing diapers and/or trying to keep track of a demented individual or an individual who is bedfast (and cannot access any food by himself or even dial the phone correctly to summon help)?

    For months on end, I couldn't even leave Mr. AOW alone long enough for me to sit on the pot for 5 minutes without his having some kind of "crisis"? Things are better here now -- but not by most people's standards. I cannot be out of the house for more than 12 hours at a time without summoning or hiring help. Period. I don't know what I'd do if he were demented; he actually was for a period of time, but it was the kind of brain-trauma dementia that resolved over a period of 1.5 years.

    I won't get into a discussion of incontinence -- except to say that I don't have a very strong stomach for dealing with piles of stinky and liquid feces all over the place.

    Caveat: I'm not having a pity party for myself. Just telling you how it is. I haven't shared on the web or anywhere else a lot of what went on here. If I had been older when all this happened, I couldn't have managed whereas in my 30s and 40s, I easily could have.

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  44. AOW,

    Sorry I'm late back to this. No, I've never done any "caregiving" of the term and degree that you have and do on a daily basis. My parents are in their late 60s, so I'm sure it's probably in my future.

    I don't mean to sound snarky either, but how much caregiving must I do until I become ecstatic about the $16 Trillion nation debt given to me by the dirty, no-good, freeloading theives of the Baby Boomer generation?

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  45. Beamish,
    If you're lucky, caregiving won't be in your future.

    I was lucky with my parents, both of whom were in the hospital only a few days before dying. In essence, my caregiving for them was only to the extent of making sure that they were okay in their own home by phoning them once a day; they were driving, fixing their own meals, etc -- in other words, independent for people of their age.

    In 1978, father-in-law had a massive heart attack at age 61 and was removed from life support within a week. He was still working at the time of that heart attack, of course.

    My mother-in-law's situation is totally different. She still "lives" in the last catatonic stage of Alzheimer's. No longer could she be taken care of at home -- unless, of course, the family of one of her adult children moved in and did caregiving around the clock. Obviously, Mr. AOW and I couldn't do that; the two daughters are/were thieves, so that was out; Mr. AOW's brother is struggling financially because of various reasons -- all relating to the economic crash, plus he has a heart condition of his own. Her significant other is over 80 years old, and he couldn't physically caregive any longer.

    It is one thing to caregive one's own parents. I'll be blunt: because the end is usually in sight. For example, after a lifetime of incredibly good health, my aunt (in 2010 at age 94) died within 6 weeks of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis at her granddaughter's house, where she had been taken in a few months before she fell ill; her granddaughter could not AFFORD to take off from work and thereby lose her job as she carried the health insurance for family. My aunt, however, had health insurance (Medicare and FEP BlueCross BlueShield) and the necessary money to see her through those eight weeks -- at $4800 out-of-pocket, possibly more.

    Caregiving one's own spouse as I do is different! I won't go into that matter in a public forum.

    The thieves of the Baby Boomer generation? How would you remedy this problem? I'm serious. What is there to be done?

    All I can say on a personal level about Social Security and Medicare is that now that Mr. AOW has both, I can actually buy new underwear. I couldn't before (September 2009 through February 2012), and I'm not kidding. We did have quite a bit in savings (We raided that every single month), but the health insurance premium and prescription costs for the two of us were running $1069/month and about to go up to $1300/month just as Medicare finally arrived. If we had had a house payment, we'd have gone under -- with both of us on welfare. Period.

    I never dreamed that all of this horror could happen to people as young as we are. Sheesh.

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  46. Beamish,
    Seriously, WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO THE COMING WAVE, THE RETIRING AND AGING BABY BOOMERS?

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  47. Oh, and one more thing....I am sure as hell not ecstatic about anything now.

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  48. AOW,

    Seriously, WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO THE COMING WAVE, THE RETIRING AND AGING BABY BOOMERS?

    Invade Czechoslavakia?

    Show me the ad campaign that will sell tax increases to finance the desired wealth redistribution to the Baby Boomer. I'm just here to tell you it will fail.

    Go ahead. Try to make financing other people's retirements via increased taxation on working people sexy.

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  49. Beamish,
    Come on. You know that I do not favor wealth redistribution to the Baby Boomer!

    And let us understand that a sizeable portion of the Baby Boomers aren't getting and won't get wealth redistribution. Yes, of course, a sizeable portion will -- there's no denying that.

    Neither should wealth redistribution go to the health insurance industry and/or -- God forbid! -- the state. As things are right now, the states are seizing property to pay for the final care of a lot of individuals.

    Should we then also make the children and the grandchildren of the ailing elderly responsible financially responsible for the care of their aging relatives? Those of us without progeny -- well, some provision also has to be made for us.

    Mr. AOW and I have made our wishes for our final days clear to each other and to an additional medical proxy. No dialysis, DNR (Never respected by the EMTs in the ambulance, BTW), no nursing home, etc. Whatever is legal short of prosecutable euthanisia. I made that call for my father that last 24-48 hours; I had given Dad my word, and I kept my word. The health care professionals thought I was cold. I'm not. I loved my Dad dearly and followed his instructions exactly although I had the legal power to put him on a ventilator-- with much weeping and gnashing of teeth on my part. In fact, it was all I could do to PREVENT the hospital from putting Dad on life support. I was as crazed as Shirley MacLaine in The Terms of Endearment in that scene where she had a fit a nurses' station as she demanded her daughter's pain medication (my situation in a reverse, of course).

    The American people -- pretty much all of them in every profession -- have ignored that reality of the tsunami wave bearing down on us.

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  50. AOW,

    It is precisely a redistribution of wealth to the retiring Baby Boomers when it takes the payroll taxes of 3 workers to bankroll one retiree's federal benefits (especially after their second year of retirement, when the average Boomer's lifetime contributions have been recouped because they were never taxed enough as workers). Years ago, the cost of a retiree's benefits used to be spread over 16 workers. Now, that cost is extracted from 3 workers (if they can find work...) No, the government has not become more efficient at funding retirements. Rather, the burden of keeping the "entitlements" trough full has become some 530% heavier on the average American worker than the average Baby Boomer hitting retirement now ever had to cough up. Taxed enough already? Really? Try paying 5 times as much as you ever did.

    Something always said but unheeded nonetheless is that these "entitlements" were never meant to be the sole source of income to a retiree, nor were they intended to alone keep a Boomer retiree at their level of income they had when they were paying five times as less taxes as the workers now footing the bill for them.

    So, the question really is "what do we do for retiring Baby Boomers who discover way too late that entitlements alone won't subsidize them?"

    I suggest we do the same thing for them we do for people who grab fire a second or third time to see if it burns.

    That third rail of politics has no electricity in it.

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  51. Beamish,
    I received a comment from you via email notification, but don't see it here in this thread where it should be. Perhaps you deleted it?

    My browser updated, but I don't think that the browser update is the problem.

    If you see this, please respond. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Beamish,
    I found your comment in the comment moderation section. WTH?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Once upon a time, one could not have an IRA or the like if one was taxed for Social Security. In other words, no double dipping via those methods.

    I'm not sure when the law was changed so that one could have both an IRA and Social Security.

    Anyway, one reason that Mr. AOW and did not put aside into our IRAs was that very law. We did invest in the stock market; most of those investments tanked in 2007-2009. Goodbye, retirement!

    ReplyDelete
  54. AOW,

    You may have comments set to go into moderation after a certain amount of time. When I was blogging, I had mine set to go into comment moderation after 7 days.

    ====

    I'm not certain of this time you speak of when one could not both have an IRA and pay Social Security payroll taxes. Nonetheless if such a time existed it was no doubt back when Social Security payroll tax rates were half (or less) what they are now.

    Not to be flippant, but what was done with that savings from lower payroll taxes in times gone by? Just as it is not Generation X's fault that the hopelessly worthless, despicably mendicant parasites who call themselves the Baby Boomer generation did not even approach even a reasonable imitation of preparing for retirement, it's not our fault the Boomers didn't vote to tax themselves to pay for the "entitlements" they think they deserve.

    This is a non-starter for me, at least. I refuse to consider any argument that does not fully acknowledge that Baby Boomers are complicit in the destruction of America's economic future, and deserving of absolutely not a dmaned thing from anybody. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Something must be done to recoup the losses created by the most comtemptibly pathetic generation of Americans to ever walk the Earth. I'm not opposed to Baby Boomers having their property, internal organs, and blood plasma forcibly seized to cover this shortfall.

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  55. Beamish,
    Duh! Yes, I have comment moderation after 7 days! Spam and all that. I'll leave that moderation on and check my comments notification more often. I'm overrun with Russian spam!

    Anyway, let me answer this part of your comment:

    what was done with that savings from lower payroll taxes in times gone by?

    I can speak only for myself.

    I knew about that matter because I was working for a religious, non-profit organization at the time. Such organizations had an exemption from Social Security tax withheld from our checks. So, once the legal loophole during Reagan's first term appeared -- that is, I could contribute a maximum of $2000/year to a tax-deferred IRA; Roth IRA's didn't exist at the time, and as I was making less than $8,000/year, I couldn't have afforded even that $2000 if my parents hadn't gifted me the money. My husband could not do the same because he had a coin business and was, by default, paying Social Security SE tax. I had to swear an oath and file papers with the bank showing that my employer was indeed not withholding Social Security tax from my pitiful paychecks; the oath was somehow verified. After a time, the law was changed, and I could no longer contribute to that IRA. That change in the law occurred after 5 years. I do know that by 1991, when Mr. AOW went to work for Pep Boys, he had Social Security deducted from his paycheck AND something called "matching-funds retirement plan" (401k) sponsored by Pep Boys; when he lost his job at Pep Boys in October of 1993 (brain tumor surgery), he was allowed to take that fund and roll in into an IRA.

    The money is still sitting there -- half in an IRA account at the bank and half in the stock market, the latter tanking like you wouldn't believe.

    What I'm telling you is this: Baby Boomers really DID try to come up with a reasonable imitation of preparing for retirement. I know this because my household and other households working for the Christian organization did exactly that. We were blocked! So, then we relied on the value of our homes -- to sell upon retirement. Now, even the housing market is in the dumper -- and the costs of later-in-life health care have soared to the moon.

    Here's what I have favored all along:

    1. Unlimited saving for retirement along the lines of that law that Reagan helped to get through Congress.

    2. No Social Security checks for anyone with a annual retirement income (IRA or otherwise) of a certain amount ($65,000, maybe).

    Medicare is more problematic as health insurance for those over age 65 is unavailable. UNAVAILABLE! Medigap policies are available, but only for those on Medicare AND over age 65.

    In my view, Medicare deductibles should be based on an individual's annual retirement income -- I say "individual" and not "household" for a reason. Mr. AOW's Social Security Disability income is taxable because I make just over $24,000 a year (sometimes, that is). I may not have a job at all in September.

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  56. Now, I had something to add.

    Why should a government retiree with a "good" pension be drawing Social Security at all?

    Many retirees who are living it up all around me have government pensions: federal government retirees, school system retirees, etc. And double dippers, of course. I do know some wealthy retirees who worked only in the private sector.

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  57. "Why" would be because "constitutionalist" entitlement junkies such as can be seen at Tea Party gatherings and other ubiquitous redoubts of Stalinism decidedit would be so.

    It could be worse. Teabagger extraordinaire Rick Perry could have gotten Hillarycare passed in 1993.

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  58. Beamish,
    "constitutionalist" entitlement junkies

    I won't deny the existence of those!

    My liberal neighbor, a federal retiree, is one too. So, the problem isn't limited to the Right.

    Ah, well. Whatever time I have remaining on this earth isn't going to be a pleasant time. Mr. AOW and I lived by conservative principles and REFUSED employment via the government teat -- specifically because we refused to violate our principles. Now, we are screwed. All that money we saved, and just look at the interest rates on savings!

    I don't expect life to be fair, Beamish. But this situation is beyond the pale! And now, I am too old to make up for the mess that the welfare state has created.

    My medical proxy has her orders from me (I am Mr. AOW's medical proxy, and it conveys to MY medical proxy, should I pre-decease him). My instructions are specific and along those that my father gave me. Because of existing laws, my final days may be a burden to the taxpayers -- but not for long. I do advise everyone, no matter how young, to set up a steely medical proxy! A horrific car accident is a game changer for any of us. While Mr. AOW was in the nursing home, they brought in a a car-accident victim, a young woman in her 20s; this pitiful creature was cortically stripped (Locked-in Syndrome?), and her care will be on the taxpayers' backs for decades!

    ReplyDelete

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