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September 26, 2009

IRAN - THE FIVE SURPRISES

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As posted in The Policy Think Site -- LINK: http://jaygaskill.com/IRAN.htm

 

IRAN:  THE FIVE SURPRISES

 

Surprise!  Iran has been hiding a robust atomic bomb program for years.

Surprise!  Our incoming president was briefed on it.

Surprise!  The countries relying on Iranian oil are still afraid of rocking the boat.

Surprise!  The new president is stalling.

Surprise!  The ‘military option’ is back on the table.

 

 [][][]

footnote --

On Capitol Hill, three senators — Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana, Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona and Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut — issued a joint statement condemning Iran.

 

"Given Iran's consistent pattern of deceit, concealment and bad faith, the only way to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions is to make absolutely clear to the regime in Tehran that its current course will carry catastrophic consequences," the senators said. "We must leave no doubt that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Iran's nuclear breakout."

 

[][][]

Today’s LA times, among other media sources, has revealed what experts have already known.  The Iranians are hell bent on enriching enough uranium to make several atomic bombs and they have a number of secret facilities scattered around the country that have been working around the clock to that end.  LINK: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-ml-iran-nuclear-glance,0,4852448.story.  See also:  http://jta.org/news/article/2009/09/25/1008155/irans-nuclear-threat-once-again-takes-center-stage .

 

The Chinese and Russian economies depend on Iranian oil and gas products.  Strong sanctions against Iran or military action will prompt retaliation and/or commercial interruptions in the Chinese and Russian special arrangements with this odious regime.  And that will cause serious problems at home.

 

If we still had a robust economy, we could do what Eisenhower did in secret:  Bribe them.  But we can’t because: (a) we are in recession and (b) the federal government has pre-spent all the money.  Surprise:  The president is stalling.

 

This “new” information puts the lie to that infamous National Intelligence Estimate of 2007.  [See my earlier analysis and that of others at these LINKS:  http://jaygaskill.com/INTELLIGENCEASSESSMENT.htm .  Also see:   http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/09/about_that_2007_national_intel.asp .

 

In retrospect, the NEA’s release to major news agencies was a calculated attempt (mostly successful) by the Jim Baker cohort from the earlier Bush years to forestall the “Texas” Bush administration from “prematurely” taking on the Iran regime.  This is why Vice President Cheney was sidelined during the last years of W’s tenure.  In my opinion, Mr. Cheney’s reputation will grow in stature over the next tumultuous decade.

 

Why is the military option back on the table?  President Obama needs the possibility of a big stick to cajole allies and to back Iran into a corner.  Here’s the takeaway point:  A bluff will not work with this regime any more than it would have worked with a thug named Saddam. 

 

This is the new president’s Bay of Pigs moment.  A young JFK thought mistakenly that he could nuance his way through a major nuclear confrontation, starting with half hearted support for an invasion of Cuba, followed by a humiliating abandonment of our friends and leading to a scary confrontation that brought the entire world closer to a WWW III hot nuclear exchange than ever before or since. 

 

In a private conversation many years ago with someone close to JFK, I learned that the new president fully intended to resign after the Bay of Pigs fiasco only to be talked out of it. 

 

When the military option that is now “just on the table” becomes the only option to a nuclear armed terrorist/thug regime in one of the most sensitive regions in the world, president Obama will have reached his moment in history.  If I had one thing to tell this new president, it would be this: 

 

 

Once the ruling clique in Iran obtains nuclear status for that country, no reform or moderate group in Iran will be able to dislodge them for decades, no power in the world will dare attack them, and no hope of retaliatory deterrence (that held the Soviets at Bay) would be credible because the martyr complex hard wired into militant Islam will tempt them into brazen adventurism.   Whatever the blowback and other costs of an effective military response to this threat, the alternative, a rogue regime with nuclear bombs sitting in the middle of the world’s primary oil supply is far, far worse.  No one can blame you for stalling, Mr. President, but the time has arrived to sharpen the contingency plans and prepare public opinion.  Better to be a one term president who, in one gutsy act, saved us all from a true nightmare, than a temporarily popular one who nuanced us into hell.

 

JBG

 

Check out "An Immodest Proposal" -- Link -- http://www.jaygaskill.com/ModestProposal.htm 

September 23, 2009

Tom Friedman's Crack

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→The Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com
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Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 by Jay B. Gaskill
Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article (except for personal use) is needed. [Permission for use in group discussions is almost always routinely given.]
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TOM FRIEDMAN’S CRACK

 

Cracks in Iran’s Clique [?]

 

In today’s NYT, Thomas Friedman begins a piece under that title (without the question mark) with this opening paragraph:

 

“For the first time since Iran began enriching uranium that could be used in a nuclear weapon, we have a glimmer of hope for a diplomatic solution to this problem — as long as we are not too diplomatic, as long as the Iranian regime is made to understand that biting economic sanctions are an absolute certainty and military force by Israel is a live possibility.”

 

LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/opinion/23friedman.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=friedman&st=cse 

 

This is a skillfully constructed beginning because its qualifiers destroy the apparent message, while encoding the real one:  The Obama administration will not act decisively or effectively to eliminate Iran’s nuclear bomb threat.  Friedman expands on the qualifiers, that “biting sanction” must be “an absolute certainty” and that “military force by Israel is a live possibility”.   I’ll return to those qualifiers in a moment.

 

CRACK’S IN A COLUMNIST’S COLUMN

 

TO: Thomas Friedman: 
More Spine in your Column, please...

 

I like Tom Friedman.  He is a sensible liberal.  His columns are intelligently written and more often contain useful insights.  But he suffers from the archetypical timidity of the self-aware moderate.  And, like most contemporary, conventional liberals, he suffers from the “let’s try a bluff” syndrome. 

 

As an intelligent observer of the Middle East scene, Tom Friedman already knows two things with bright line certainty: (1) The US lacks the capacity to impose effective unilateral economic sanctions on the rogue Iranian regime.  (2) The current US administration lacks the will to unilaterally impose effective military sanctions. 

 

This leaves the end game to our only reliable ally in the region, Israel, whose fierce, but tiny air force might or might not be able to act effectively.  This is an ally about which one of President Obama’s advisors (former Carter National security guru) Zbigniew Brzezinski, has just advocated denying Israel over flight privileges if it chooses to attack Iran. “Zbigniew Brzezinski said the United States should make clear that it will attack Israeli jets if they fly over Iraq on their way to attack Iran. ’We are not exactly impotent little babies,’ said Brzezinski 

LINK: http://jta.org/news/article/2009/09/21/1008006/brzezinski-us-must-deny-israel-airspace-to-attack-iran  

 

Here’s the deal:  The ‘threat’ of “biting” International sanctions is an embarrassing joke, in the category of a nine year old bully-victim threatening a thug gang with retaliation by “granny”.   The threat of unleashing Israel is immoral and cowardly, much like that same nine year old turning to his six year old sister – smaller but far braver – for help, saying, ‘I’ll look the other way, if you take them on for me”, knowing all along that sis will be beaten to within an inch of her life.

 

In an earlier piece, I made this point in an ‘open letter’ to the president’s chief of staff’

 

“As you know, the Israeli government is currently debating the timing issue, i.e., how long dare they wait before attempting to mitigate the threat by bombing the known nuclear weapons infrastructure facilities and missile emplacements in Iran. 

 

“You and they know that this effort may not succeed because the technical and logistical demands (well within US capabilities) are at the outer limits of the IDF’s reach.

 

“You and they also know that any attack by the IDF on Iran will cause retaliation on Israel.  The estimates of the retaliatory casualties inflicted on the Israeli population are about 100,000, unless and until defenses are hardened, in which case the estimates fall to a “mere” 10,000 or so.  So the timing issue is complicated by intelligence uncertainties and defense preparedness logistics. 

 

“Americans need to understand the scale of the threat to the Israelis, as I’m sure you do.  The US population is about 305 million while Israel has only 7.5 m.  The multiplier is 40.666, which means that 100,000 dead Israelis is the equivalent of 4.666 million dead Americans, a “symbolic” holocaust to be sure, the cause for great rejoicing in Teheran.  What would be the scale of casualties in the event of nuclear missile attacks on Israel?  A true holocaust for sure: Jerusalem has .73 million inhabitants, Tel Aviv .38 m, Haifa .26 m, Rishon LeZion .22 m, and so on, all within a relatively compact area.

 

“The reason that the Iranian regime will not back down is that they see only two scenarios, and either scenario is glorious. In the one where nuclear weapons are acquired by the Zion-hating mullahs, Iran becomes the world’s ethnic cleanser-in-chief and the untouchable terror-export bully. This would mark the beginning of a nightmare that would make the cold war standoff of the last century seem like a pleasant dream.  The scenario where Israel is provoked into a preventative air strike, followed by a punishing counterattack is equally glorious.  The Israelis are too civilized to inflict unnecessary civilian casualties, but the Iranian regime considers killing Israeli civilians a worthy goal.  The image of America, sitting idly by while its “evil” friend suffers a retaliatory “symbolic” holocaust, is the jihadist wet dream.  

 

“As long as there is nothing much to fear from the USA, Iran’s ruling clique gets to choose between win-win scenarios.  A decisive US strike, done without Israeli involvement, would be jeered by all of the chattering classes, but covertly cheered among key Arab leaders.”

 

BLUFFS DO NOT WORK WITH FANATICS 

 

Here is where Mr. Friedman tips his hand.  “We need to keep alive the prospect that Israel could do something crazy.”  Crazy? Just exactly what is crazy here?  A desperate attempt to prevent the next holocaust, when abandoned by the international community and spurned by one’s biggest ally, is crazy? 

 

I recall that Mr. Friedman, and a number of other admirable liberals, initially supported the threat of force against Iraq, then bailed when it was actually used.  Why?  (1) Because thug regimes and fanatics will game you and often win because they will always suspect a bluff.  (2) Because many liberals actually think that a bluff is a legitimate thing to try, only to be abandoned when it doesn’t work. 

 

What does tom Friedman REALLY think?

 

From the same column:

 

“I would hope by now that the murderous crackdown on Iran’s mass democracy movement by the country’s oil-funded ruling cartel would have removed the last scales from the eyes of those Iran watchers who think this is simply a poor, misunderstood regime that really wants to repair its relations with the West, and we just have to learn how to speak to it properly. This is a brutal, cynical, corrupt, anti-Semitic regime that exploits the Palestinian cause and deliberately maintains a hostile posture to the West to justify its grip on power. A regime that relates to its own people with such coercive force is not going to be sweet-talked out of its nuclear program. Negotiating with such a regime without the reality of sanctions and the possibility of force is like playing baseball without a bat.”

 

Here’s my question to Mr. Friedman and the other liberals, moderates and timid conservatives? What would Harry Truman do?

 

I rest my case....

 

JBG

 

 

 

 

 

September 16, 2009

IRAN - WHO WILL BELL THE CAT & AT WHAT COST?

As Published On
→The Human Conspiracy Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog3
→The Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com
All contents, unless otherwise indicated are
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 by Jay B. Gaskill
Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article (except for personal use) is needed. [Permission for use in group discussions is almost always routinely given.]
Please contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail at law@jaygaskill.com

But sometime, fairly soon, we will run out of words.  POTUS will be forced to bell the cat or forever be condemned by history.  Who wants to be remembered as the leader who blew the last best chance to prevent the nuclear exchange that destroyed Jerusalem and Teheran and allowed the A-bombs to get in the hands of the terrorists who destroyed New York and Washington, DC?” 

 

THE IRAN CHALLENGE

 

Nuclear Proliferation” is a weasel phrase. Its overuse obscures the stark gravity of our peril. 

 

Try this one: “CHEAP A-BOMBS FOR TERRORISTS”

Or this one:  “THE NUKES FOR THUGS PROGRAM”

Or this one: “THE PRESIDENT LOSES THE NEW YORK VOTE BY LOSING MANHATTAN”

 

There is no middle ground. 

 

Either we quickly contract the number of A-bomb triggers to a small circle of highly prudent and responsible agencies or that deadly trigger access will swiftly break out of all civilized control.  With shocking speed, access to A-bombs will expand to include terrorists, thugs, loosely wrapped fanatics and irresponsible idiots.  In that grim scenario (it is unfolding before our very eyes), we won’t just be talking about an accidental first use of these brutally efficient city busters.  In the next few YEARS, we’ll be talking (if we are among the survivors) about the first second, third, fourth & umpteenth...intentional use - about atomic bomb genocidal detonation.

 

The trouble with mass murder is that the sheer scale of its evil clouds the mind and (for some) generates paralyzing denial.  In 1935 almost no one foresaw the sheer horrific scale of the looming Nazi holocaust.  But it happened. Yet there are still deniers.  Such are our species’ misplaced powers of denial.

 

So I invite you to look at this issue at a more manageable scale. 

 

Surely there at least ten innocent people Smile about whom you care enough to stand up to a real, immanent threat to their safety (I think of ten laughing children I know and love). 

 

Imagine them together in a park.  It is a warm, pleasant day, a mild breeze stirs leaves. They hear the susurrant sounds of a nearby brook, the music of birds.  Suddenly an actinic flash from a couple of miles away; they scream in fear; cry for help. 

 

Where are YOU?  You are far away in complete safety while a tide of fire and flying debris buries them - all of them...and 750,000 more. 

 

NOTE: This was done on purpose.  It was an Evil act.  NOTE: It will happen again...and again... 

 

Through your horror, anguish, grief and guilt, a tide on anger arises.  Who allowed this to happen!  Why didn’t somebody DO something?

 

DOING SOMETHING PRACTICAL ABOUT THE UNTHINKABLE

 

There is no substitute for moral and practical realism:  Here are two truisms: The world’s predators will pounce on irresolute pacifists.  Warmongers will bring about war. 

 

But faced with these two blurry fence posts, politicians tend to muddle about in the ineffectual middle.  The stakes are too high for confused, muddling politicans

 

When a single nation or group of nations acting in concert, embark on a careful, but ruthlessly practical eradication program to separate thugs, terrorists, loosely wrapped fanatics and irresponsible idiots from access to atomic bombs, it is manifestly NOT ‘warmongering’. 

 

When the same nation or alliance unilaterally disables its own capacity and will to employ appropriate force, as necessary, against the irresponsible idiots, thugs, terrorists and loosely wrapped fanatics who are determined to embrace atomic bombs, an old story replays itself:  The irresolute pacifists who have been repeatedly flattened by ruthless authoritarian aggression are flattened once again.

 

CHOICE POINT

 

We have arrived, as a nation and as a people, at a decision fork with profound significance. 

 

The Iranian theocracy, a militant regime fully capable of mass murder, actively promoting deadly terrorist attacks, ruthlessly suppressing internal dissent, has refined enough uranium to quickly produce up to a dozen A-bombs.  It has simultaneously upgraded its missile delivery system.  It now has the capability to achieve quick ‘breakout’ -- the swift fabrication of REAL atomic bombs and target delivery capabilities. 

 

Intelligence agencies argue about WHEN this will take place but not WHETHER. 

 

Many suspect that there are additional, covert facilities that are part of the breakout strategy. 

 

From the frame of reference of Iran’s ruling theocracy, all of the incentives favor pressing forward...and none militate in favor of abandoning the effort.  A fait accompli will – at least as the ruling clique sees it - confer instant superpower status and cause the intervention paralysis of the USA and West.

 

If allowed to happen this will break the proliferation dam.  A lesson will ripple throughout the world.  IT CAN BE DONE.  The first incinerated city of the 21st century will just be a matter of time.

 

On the other hand, if Iran is brought sharply into line, by using sufficient means – including judicious military force as needed - a different lesson will ripple throughout the world.  IT JUST ISN’T WORTH IT.

 

If Mr. Obama’s apparent irresolution continues (we can only hope that it is a feint) and Iran succeeds in its ‘breakout plan’, the last liberal democrat for two generations will have poisoned the well for all those who would have followed.  If a nuclear Iran “acts out” - or another terrorist ‘event’ touches the USA in the next few years - Mr. Obama’s party will be effectively banned from power for 25 years. 

 

For once the political stakes match the moral stakes. 

 

JBG

 

APPENDIX & LINKS:

 

2-20-09 - LA Times: “Iran steadfastly denies that it hopes to build an atomic bomb, which the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says violates the principles of Islam. It insists its nuclear program is intended solely to produce energy for Iran's growing population. But the U.S., Europe and Israel suspect Iran is trying to attain a nuclear weapons capacity that could have strategic implications for the Middle East.
By crossing the 2,205-pound threshold, experts say, Iran has improved its "breakout" capacity, the ability to renege on treaty obligations, kick out inspectors and quickly build a bomb.”  LINK: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/20/world/fg-iran-nuclear20

 

 

3 9-09 “In a chilling indication that Iran's arms program is advancing steadily, Israel acknowledged for the first time that Teheran had mastered the technology to make a nuclear bomb on the same day that the Iranians announced they had successfully tested a new air-to-surface missile. Iran has ‘crossed the technological threshold,’ and its attainment of nuclear military capability is now a matter of ‘incorporating the goal of producing an atomic bomb into its strategy,’ OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet on Sunday.  LINK: http://israelinsider.ning.com/profiles/blogs/israeli-intelligence-chief

 

9-15-09 The Wall Street Journal: “Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail ... it is an abdication of a superpower's responsibility to outsource matters of war and peace to another state, however closely allied. President Obama has now ceded the driver's seat on Iran policy to Prime Minister Netanyahu. He would do better to take the wheel again, keeping in mind that Iran is beyond the reach of his eloquence...”

LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574410672271269390.html

 

9-10-09 New York Times: “American intelligence agencies have concluded in recent months that Iran has created enough nuclear fuel to make a rapid, if risky, sprint for a nuclear weapon. LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/world/middleeast/10intel.html

 

My Post, Hillary’s Trial Balloon – “The administration already knows that diplomacy will fail to deter Iran and Hillary knows that the current national security team has no stomach for the necessary military action to prevent the preeminent Middle East terror sponsoring regime from getting the A-bomb. The pending question has been answered: Who will bell the cat? No one. We apparently will be relying on the catnip/blind mice defense.” LINK: http://jaygaskill.com/blog3/2009/07/hillarys_trial_baloon_stopping.html

 

My Post, A Letter to Rahm Emanuel – “...any attack by the IDF on Iran will bring retaliation on Israel.  The estimates of the retaliatory casualties inflicted on the Israeli population are about 100,000, unless and until defenses are hardened, in which case the estimates fall to a “mere” 10,000 or so.  So the timing issue is complicated by intelligence uncertainties and defense preparedness logistics. All Americans need to understand the scale of the threat to the Israelis, as I’m sure you do.  The US population is about 305 million while Israel has only 7.5 m.  The multiplier is 40.666, which means that 100,000 dead Israelis is the equivalent of 4.666 million dead Americans, a “symbolic” holocaust to be sure and the cause for great rejoicing in Tehran 

LINK:

http://jaygaskill.com/CourageOrHolocaust.htm

9-16-09 -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated his country’s intelligence community has learned without a doubt that Tehran’s nuclear program is motivated by military goals, to build a nuclear bomb, and not medical, educational and research as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have the world believe.  LINK: http://theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/39499/France+Expresses+Increasing+Concern+Over+Iranian+Nuclear+Program.html

 

My Post, Mr. Obama, the “Nuke Whisperer”? Don’t bet your life on it....

 

I was not thrilled with the President Bush’s approach to the Korean problem (though no one consulted me or shared covert Intel) and I have no particular reason to expect our current president will improve that situation with adroit diplomacy.  Iran remains as intractable as ever to diplomacy and “soft power”.

 

I recommend a wonderful comic riff on this, by Andy Borowitz (LINK  http://www.borowitzreport.com/article.aspx?ID=7029 ).

 

It begins with “One day after North Korea launched a successful test of a nuclear weapon, President Obama said that the United States was prepared to respond to the threat with "the strongest possible adjectives."

 

But sometime, fairly soon, we will run out of adjectives and will be forced to use verbs. 

 

POTUS will be forced to bell the cat or forever be condemned by history.   Who wants to be remembered as the leader who blew the last best chance to prevent the nuclear exchange that destroyed Jerusalem and Teheran, Seoul and Pyongyang, and allowed the A-bombs to get in the hands of the terrorists who destroyed New York and Washington, DC? 

 

Three presidents have kicked the can down the road.  Sometime soon, POTUS will stub a toe....

 

JBG

 


JBG

 


LINK:
http://jaygaskill.com/NukeWhisperer.htm

 

 

 

 

September 09, 2009

Obama's Big Health Care Speech - SALE or NO SALE?

Welcome to the Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com     

 

As Posted On
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The Human Conspiracy Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog3   

 

All contents, unless otherwise indicated are --
Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 by Jay B. Gaskill
Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article - except for personal use - is needed. Forwarded links welcomed.

 

Contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail at law@jaygaskill.com  
 
OBAMA ADDRESSES THE CONGRESS: THE SPEECH THAT ALMOST WORKED

 

It was crystal clear to me that the president has failed to make the sale.  He has left his most ardent supporters worried that he might compromise too much to save face, while seeming to offer his opponents almost nothing in exchange for a grand compromise.  And the morning after fact checks will further undermine the presidential credibility....

 

The cause needed less eloquence and more heavy lifting, the kind of backroom compromises that this president so far has considered unnecessary and inappropriate. 

 

A presidential teaching moment soon begins when it is revealed:  “Mr. President, the votes just aren’t there...”

 

Tonight’s  speech was too long, and its rhetorical close, invoking the “Teddy” legacy seemed unpersuasive, almost detached.  The president's most palpable passion surfaced when he complained – with undisguised petulance – about partisan bickering and misrepresentations. 

 

Ironically, the Associated Press was quick to call attention to some of the president's own rhetorical and lawyerly misdirection and dissimulation.  I reproduce most of the AP piece.  Then I add the major substantive excerpts from the president's speech, with my own commentary and observations.

 

The bottom line: The president must be content with modest reforms, spending far, far less money without threatening the quality of care now provided the currently insured, particularly Medicare recipients.  This is a core democratic constituency that simply cannot be rolled....

 

JBG

 

AN EARLY FACT CHECK....
By CALVIN WOODWARD, ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writers

 

“WASHINGTON – The change was subtle, but significant. In his speech to Congress on Wednesday night, President Barack Obama gave a more accurate — and less reassuring — account of the impact of his proposed health care overall than he has done in the past. It went by in a blink.

 

“He told Americans...that nothing he is proposing will force businesses or consumers to change their existing insurance coverage. That much is true.

 

“It's also true that nothing in his plan guarantees that policies people have now will continue to be available in the same form. In earlier accounts, he spoke with unmerited certainty in saying people who are happy with their current insurance can simply keep it.

 

‘Other parts of his speech repeated some of the oversimplified claims that have marked his salesmanship. A look at some of his assertions Wednesday night:

 

“OBAMA: ‘Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.’

 

“THE FACTS: That's correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they'd be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. ….
In the past Obama made repeated statements such as, ‘If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period.’ Now he's stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan ‘requires’ any change.
He's dropped the ‘period.’

 

“OBAMA: ‘Now, if you're one of the tens of millions of Americans who don't currently have health insurance, the second part of this plan will finally offer you quality, affordable choices. If you lose your job or change your job, you will be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage.’

 

“THE FACTS: Left unsaid is that the Democratic proposals in Congress could, in fact, require all individuals and families to buy insurance, including many who want it but can't now afford it and many who choose not to get it. Waivers or discounts would be available to lower-income Americans.

 

“That requirement, called the individual mandate, is designed to increase the size of the insurance pool and, by including younger and healthier Americans, reduce overall costs.

 

….

 

“If a mandate becomes law, the claim that ‘you will be able’ to get coverage will be misleading. People will have to get it.”
___
Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2009, the Associated Press

 

 

THE SPEECH

 

Here is the Full Text of the most substantive parts of the president's address, as released by the White House just before he gave it.  I watched the speech live in its entirety an hour ago, and can attest that Mr. Obama stayed faithful to the script.  I have omitted some well known arguments, the president’s introductory remarks and his closing passages, including those relating to the late Senator Teddy Kennedy. 

 

My own comments are interlineated in [BOLD] throughout.

 

[][[][]

 

We know we must reform this system. The question is how.

 

There are those on the left who believe that the only way to fix the system is through a single-payer system like Canada's, where we would severely restrict the private insurance market and have the government provide coverage for everyone. On the right, there are those who argue that we should end the employer-based system and leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own.

 

I have to say that there are arguments to be made for both approaches. But either one would represent a radical shift that would disrupt the health care most people currently have. Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn't, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch. And that is precisely what those of you in Congress have tried to do over the past several months.

 

[THIS WAS THE PRESIDENT'S BEST LINE AND IT EARNED APPLAUSE FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.  REGRETTABLY, IT BECAME APPARENT LATER IN HIS SPEECH THAT MR. OBAMA HAS NOT MOVED VERY FAR, IF AT ALL, TOWARDS THE CENTER, PRESUMABLY BECAUSE HE DOESN'T THINK HE HAS TO.]
....

 

The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.

 

The plan I'm announcing tonight would meet three basic goals:

 

It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance to those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government. It's a plan that asks everyone to take responsibility for meeting this challenge – not just government and insurance companies, but employers and individuals. And it's a plan that incorporates ideas from Senators and Congressmen; from Democrats and Republicans – and yes, from some of my opponents in both the primary and general election.

 

Here are the details that every American needs to know about this plan:

 

First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.

 

What this plan will do is to make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime.

 

We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies – because there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.

 

That's what Americans who have health insurance can expect from this plan – more security and stability.

 

Now, if you're one of the tens of millions of Americans who don't currently have health insurance, the second part of this plan will finally offer you quality, affordable choices. If you lose your job or change your job, you will be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you will be able to get coverage. We will do this by creating a new insurance exchange – a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices. Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers. As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage.

 

[THE DEVIL HERE IS IN THE DETAILS.  THE PRESIDENT'S USE OF THE 'FREE MARKET' NOTION IS MISLEADING BECAUSE CONTROLS, TAXES AND SUBSIDIES IN THE CURRENT PROPOSAL ACTUALLY PRODUCE A RIGGED MARKET THAT SQUEEZES OUT PROMISING NON-BUREAUCRATIC HEALTH CARE SOLUTIONS IN FAVOR OR MORE OF THE SAME, ULTIMATELY LEAVING THE GOVERNMENT PROMOTED OPTION THE LAST  CHOICE STANDING..]

 

This is how large companies and government employees get affordable insurance. It's how everyone in this Congress gets affordable insurance. And it's time to give every American the same opportunity that we've given ourselves.

 

For those individuals and small businesses who still cannot afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we will provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need. And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned. This exchange will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right. In the meantime, for those Americans who can't get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill. This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign, it's a good idea now, and we should embrace it.

 

[CAMERAS ZOOMED IN ON SENATOR MCCAIN WHO PROPOSED A RATIONAL PLAN TO EXPAND GROUP COVERAGE IN ORDER TO MAKE IT ECONOMICALLY POSSIBLE FOR INSURERS TO OFFER INSURANCE TO THOSE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS.  BUT MCCAIN OPPOSES MOST OF THE REST OF THE PRESIDENT'S PLANS AS UNWORKABLE AND UNAFFORDABLE.]

 

Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers. The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don't sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people's expensive emergency room visits. If some businesses don't provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors. And unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek – especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions – just can't be achieved.

 

That's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements. But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.

 

While there remain some significant details to be ironed out...

 

[HERE, A ROAR OF LAUGHTER SEEMED TO SURPRISE THE PRESIDENT.]

 

...I believe a broad consensus exists for the aspects of the plan I just outlined: consumer protections for those with insurance, an exchange that allows individuals and small businesses to purchase affordable coverage, and a requirement that people who can afford insurance get insurance.
And I have no doubt that these reforms would greatly benefit Americans from all walks of life, as well as the economy as a whole. Still, given all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months, I realize that many Americans have grown nervous about reform. So tonight I'd like to address some of the key controversies that are still out there.
Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally....

 

[HERE THERE WAS A SHOUT OF DISSENT FROM A MEMBER.]

 

...And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.
My health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a "government takeover" of the entire health care system. As proof, critics point to a provision in our plan that allows the uninsured and small businesses to choose a publicly-sponsored insurance option, administered by the government just like Medicaid or Medicare.
So let me set the record straight. My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition.

 

[GENERAL APPLAUSE...]

 

Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75% of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90% is controlled by just one company. Without competition, the price of insurance goes up and the quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly – by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest; by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage; and by jacking up rates.
Insurance executives don't do this because they are bad people. They do it because it's profitable. As one former insurance executive testified before Congress, insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill; they are rewarded for it. All of this is in service of meeting what this former executive called "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations."
Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. The insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. Let me be clear – it would only be an option for those who don't have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5% of Americans would sign up.

 

[NOTE A GLARING OMISSION HERE:  BECAUSE OF THE BURDENS IMPOSED ON EMPLOYERS AND PRIVATE INSURANCE PROVIDERS, MOST PRIVATE OPTIONS WOULD BE UNDER WATER AND OUT OF THE MARKET WITHIN SIX YEARS, LEAVING THE GOVERNMENT PREFERRED  OPTION THE ONLY SOURCE OF COVERAGE LEFT STANDING FOR ALMOST EVERYONE.]

 

Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don't like this idea. They argue that these private companies can't fairly compete with the government. And they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won't be. \

 

[THIS IS MISLEADING BECAUSE THE PRIVATE EMPLOYERS AND INSURERS WILL BE SADDLED WITH INCREASED COVERAGE OBLIGATIONS, HELD NOT TO RAISE PREMIUMS AND TAXES TO BOOT.  THIS AMOUNTS TO A DE FACTO SUBSIDY FOR THE GOVERNMENT PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE, MAKING THE PRESIDENT'S ASSERTION MISLEADING, EVEN DISINGENUOUS.]

 

I have insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers. It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.
It's worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I've proposed tonight.

 

[THE POLLS DEMONSTRATE THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE – MOST AMERICANS DO NOT FAVOR A GOVERNMENT SUPPORTED AND CONTROLLED OPTION.]

 

But its impact shouldn't be exaggerated – by the left, the right, or the media. It is only one part of my plan, and should not be used as a handy excuse for the usual Washington ideological battles. To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it. The public option is only a means to that end – and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal. And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.

 

[THIS IS AS CLOSE AS THE PRESIDENT GETS TO ABANDONING THE GOVERNMENT OPTION, A SINE QUA NON, FOR REPUBLICAN AND BLUE DOG DEMOCRAT VOTES.]

 

For example, some have suggested that that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others propose a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring. But I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can't find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice. And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern to me, to members of this chamber, and to the public – and that is how we pay for this plan.
Here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period. And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize. Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy. I will not make that same mistake with health care.

 

[THIS STATEMENT, IF THE PRESIDENT IS ACTUALLY SERIOUS, MEANS ONLY THAT THE REFORM INITIATIVE WILL BE SUPPORTED PRIMARILY BY TAX INCREASES.]

 

Second, we've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system – a system that is currently full of waste and abuse. Right now, too much of the hard-earned savings and tax dollars we spend on health care doesn't make us healthier. That's not my judgment – it's the judgment of medical professionals across this country. And this is also true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid.
In fact, I want to speak directly to America's seniors for a moment, because Medicare is another issue that's been subjected to demagoguery and distortion during the course of this debate.
More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years. That is how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next. That is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.

 

[UNCLEAR IF THIS REPRESENTS A PRESIDENTIAL DEPARTURE FROM THE HOUSE BILL, WHICH WAS TO MOVE HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS OUT OF MEDICARE TO HELP FUND THE 'REFORM' LEGISLATION.]

 

The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies – subsidies that do everything to pad their profits and nothing to improve your care.

 

[WE CAN REASONABLY ASSUME THAT 500 MILLION WILL BE TAKEN FROM MEDICARE UNDER THIS PRETEXT.]

 

And we will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.
These steps will ensure that you – America's seniors – get the benefits you've been promised. They will ensure that Medicare is there for future generations. And we can use some of the savings to fill the gap in coverage that forces too many seniors to pay thousands of dollars a year out of their own pocket for prescription drugs. That's what this plan will do for you. So don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut – especially since some of the same folks who are spreading these tall tales have fought against Medicare in the past, and just this year supported a budget that would have essentially turned Medicare into a privatized voucher program. That will never happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare.

 

Now, because Medicare is such a big part of the health care system, making the program more efficient can help usher in changes in the way we deliver health care that can reduce costs for everybody. We have long known that some places, like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah or the Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania, offer high-quality care at costs below average. The commission can help encourage the adoption of these common-sense best practices by doctors and medical professionals throughout the system – everything from reducing hospital infection rates to encouraging better coordination between teams of doctors.

 

Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers. This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money – an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long-run.

Finally, many in this chamber – particularly on the Republican side of the aisle – have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care. I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. So I am proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know that the Bush Administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. It's a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today.

 

[INTERESTING THAT THE PRESIDENT PROPOSES ONLY A SMALL PILOT PROGRAM TO SAVE MONEY, AGAINST A VAST PROGRAM THAT WILL CERTAINLY SPEND MORE THAN A TRILLION DOLLARS.  IN THE CURRENT FISCAL CRISIS, WOULD IT NOT BE MORE PRUDENT TO IMPLEMENT THE REFORM PROPOSALS IN A SMALL PILOT PROGRAM TO SEE WHETHER THEY WILL ACTUALLY SAVE THE MONEY?]

 

Add it all up, and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years....

 

[The president's closing remarks are omitted.]

 

[][][][]

 

YOU LIE!!

 

“Susan Davis reports on the president’s address on health care.”

 Associated Press

 

“President Barack Obama’s address to Congress this evening was moving along fairly smoothly until he pledged that there was nothing in the legislation that would provide health care to the millions of illegal immigrants residing in the nation.

 

“A cry of ‘You lie!’ was audible from the Republican side of the aisle. The Associated Press reports that the heckler was South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson.

 

“It’s not true,” the president responded to the outburst....
Copyright 2009, the Associated Press

 

September 07, 2009

OBAMA'S WEDNESDAY SPEECH TO CONGRESS: TOO LATE?

As Posted On
→The Out-Lawyer’s Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog1   
→The Human Conspiracy Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog3 
Also check out the “OutLawyerGaskill” channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/OutLawyerGaskill ...
All contents, unless otherwise indicated are --
Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 by Jay B. Gaskill
Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article - except for personal use - is needed. Forwarded links welcomed.
Contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail at law@jaygaskill.com

 

ONE MORE SPEECH TO SAVE A SLIPPING PRESIDENCY? .... Why the trust-me issue is Obama’s Achilles Heel

 

The New York Times, ever the optimistic cheerleader for Obama’s prospects, sounded a sober cautionary note today:

 

“Mr. Obama is hardly the first president to run into trouble after the bunting and balloons have vanished, but his slipping support has fueled a narrative about a young and relatively inexperienced president who overinterpreted his mandate and overreached in his policies. His job approval rating has fallen to 56 percent from 62 percent since February in polls taken by The New York Times and CBS News. Other surveys register an even sharper drop.”

 

LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/us/politics/07obama.html?ref=politics   
 

WILL ONE MORE SPEECH SAVE A SLIPPING PRESIDENCY?

 

NOW THAT THE GLAMOUR OF THE CAMPAIGN HAS DISSOLVED INTO THE STARK OUTLINES OF IMPENDING POLICY, MANY OF THIS NEW PRESIDENT’S FORMER SUPPORTERS HAVE ALREADY CHANGED THEIR MINDS. 

 

THIS SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE. 

 

THE INSIDERS AGREE:  THIS PRESIDENT IS COMING ON AS FAR TOO LIBERAL FOR THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE.   

 

MR. OBAMA WILL ONCE AGAIN ASCEND TO THE ORATORICAL MOUNTAIN-TOP, THIS TIME IN DEFENSE OF HIS AUDACIOUS HEALTH CARE AGENDA.  

 

IT IS A MAJOR POLITICAL GAMBLE. 

 

THE PRESIDENT IS STAKING ALMOST EVERYTHING ON A SINGLE SPEECH:  AFTER A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS LISTENS TO HIM THIS WEDNESDAY, HIS ADVISORS EXPECT THAT ALL WILL BE WELL, THE RISING ANGER OF THE BLUE DOG CONSTITUENTS WILL BE FORGOTTEN, THE MISGIVINGS FROM THE CENTRISTS AND THE OPPOSITION OF THE CONSERVATIVES WILL BE ‘INOPERATIVE’. 

 

NOT A CHANCE.

 

IMAGINE THE CEO OF GENERAL MOTORS GOING ON TELEVISION TO AVOID BANKRUPTCY.  NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN, HOWEVER BRILLIANT, CAN TURN A MEDIOCRE PRODUCT LINE INTO THE NEXT I-POD SUCCESS.

 

 

But the New York Times was too kind by half....

 

FROM TODAY’S RASMUSSEN PRESIDENTIAL TRACKING POLL, WE LEARN THAT FROM JULY 22 TO LABOR DAY MR. OBAMA’S DISAPPROVAL RATINGS HAVE GROWN IN INTENSITY AND RAW NUMBERS.  FROM AUGUST 30TH THROUGH LABOR DAY, A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE SURVEYED DISAPPROVE OF HIS JOB PERFORMANCE -- 52%, 53%, 53%, 53%, 53%, 52%, 51%, 50%, 50% & 51% AGAINST 47, 46, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 AND 48%.  THESE ARE LAME-DUCK BUSH NUMBERS, NOT THE SWOONING AFFIRMATION OF AMERICA’S ANOINTED SAVIOR.

 

LINK: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history 

 

Our president is in considerably more trouble than the New York Times suggested today.  Rasmussen’s numbers are not some outlier; they are the real deal....

 

Zogby, for example, writes:

 

September 2nd, 2009
‘President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is down to 42%, with a decline in approval from Democrats the leading factor.
“The latest Zogby Poll of 4,518 likely voters conducted from August 28-31 found 48% DISAPPROVE AND 42% APPROVE OF THE JOB OBAMA IS DOING. The poll found 75% of Democrats approve of Obama’s performance, a drop of 13 points among Democrats from an interactive poll done July 21-24 of this year.”
LINK:  http://www.zogby.com/blog/loader.cfm?p=/2009/09/02/obama-losing-some-democrats/
Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover scholar, classicist, farmer, conservative democrat, has put the matter trenchantly:

 

“When moderates and independents are leaving your cause in droves because you misled them by falsely cloaking your unwelcome partisan ideology in a moderate veneer — at the same time the fervent base is doing the same because you misled them by falsely cloaking your unwelcome moderation in a partisan ideological veneer, you know you are simply not telling the truth by saying, in cynical Nixonian fashion, irreconcilable things all the time to almost everyone.”

 

LINK: http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson090409.html

 

STAY TUNED....

 

JBG

 

[][][]

 

FYI --- Here are the Rasmussen numbers from late July to the present day:

 

[][][]

 

Total Approve Listed First // Total Disapprove Second
JULY
07/22/2009
51%
47%
07/23/2009
51%
48%
07/24/2009
49%
51%
07/25/2009
49%
51%
07/26/2009
49%
50%
07/27/2009
49%
50%
07/28/2009
49%
49%
07/29/2009
49%
50%
07/30/2009
48%
51%
07/31/2009
48%
51%
AUGUST
08/01/2009
50%
49%
08/02/2009
50%
49%
08/03/2009
51%
48%
08/04/2009
50%
48%
08/05/2009
49%
51%
08/06/2009
49%
51%
08/07/2009
50%
49%
08/08/2009
50%
50%
08/09/2009
50%
50%
08/10/2009
49%
51%
08/11/2009
49%
50%
08/12/2009
48%
52%
08/13/2009
47%
52%
08/14/2009
48%
51%
08/15/2009
48%
52%
08/16/2009
47%
52%
08/17/2009
49%
50%
08/18/2009
49%
50%
08/19/2009
51%
49%
08/20/2009
50%
50%
08/21/2009
49%
50%
08/22/2009
49%
50%
08/23/2009
48%
51%
08/24/2009
49%
50%
08/25/2009
49%
51%
08/26/2009
49%
50%
08/27/2009
50%
49%
08/28/2009
50%
49%
08/29/2009
50%
50%
08/30/2009
47%
52%
08/31/2009
46%
53%
SEPTEMBER
09/01/2009
45%
53%
09/02/2009
46%
53%
09/03/2009
47%
53%
09/04/2009
48%
52%
09/05/2009
49%
51%
09/06/2009
49%
50%
09/07/2009
48%
51%
[][][]

 

 

 

September 02, 2009

OUR LEADERSHIP CRISIS

On the Human Conspiracy Blog http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog3/


CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


The Rasmussen Tracking Poll (LINK: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll ) tells us that the president's approval ratings are trending downward, now – it seems – hovering in the high 40's, while Mr. Obama's sharp disapproval numbers are trending higher. Even more interesting, an impressive majority of all Americans would like to see the entire congress replaced.


Last year, a family member (an Obama supporter with a sense of humor) gave me a coffee mug, with the motto, “Don't blame me - I voted for McCain.”


This is our season of disappointment: in the Bush Administration, in the GOP for lack of leadership, the McCain campaign for fumbling and confusion, and – now – in the congress and a new administration that seems to have replaced the audacity of hope with the indifference of audacity.


HERE is the speech that John McCain did not give last year when it mattered....


'When landing on an aircraft carrier or rebuilding after a disaster, timing is everything. This is not a time for the audacity of rhetoric. THIS is the time for clarity of purpose and heavy lifting. THIS is the time for the audacity of action, of bold accomplishments that will astound the world and remind fellow Americans who we we really are – a nation of maker, builders and doers.


'We are not going to be saved by speeches or moving financial paper. We are going to be saved by moving American brick, steel, copper, aluminum, uranium, petroleum, natural gas, solar panels, by building American power lines and power plants and by rebuilding American factories.


We are at the crossroads between high rhetoric and bold action. I choose action. Here's what we must now do:


'We will immediately undertake a total energy makeover. We will rebuild the electric power grid just as President Eisenhower rebuilt the highway grid – it needs to carry unprecedented electric loads and it must be made more secure and stable.


'I proposed 50 new nuclear power plants. That was too modest. We will build 200. The pace of construction will be calibrated to drive unemployment down to its lowest practical limits. That is to be our sacrifice. We will sacrifice the easy life idleness, over consumption and under employment. We will do this for the America that we love and for our children.


And we will move our children from the easy curriculum to the challenging and from school to graduation and from graduation to productive, full time benefited jobs. And we will do all of this and more because we love America and because now is the time.


I' promise to join with all leaders of vision and honesty to lead the way. I promise not be deterred or sidetracked and I will not fade or quit.



'There is a time for everything in life. The time for pretty speeches is over. Now it the time to get America moving again.'


Copyright 2008 & 2009 by Jay B. Gaskill


As first posted on the Policy Think Site – www.jaygaskill.com


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