“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Obama has his "depends the meaning of is, is" moment.

Obama Announcement for President, February 10, 2007:

When I am president, I will sign a universal health care law by the end of my first term. My plan will cover the uninsured by letting people buy into the same kind of health care plan that members of Congress give themselves.

Remarks to the California State Democratic Convention, May 02, 2007

The very first promise I made on this campaign was that as president, I will sign a universal health care plan into law by the end of my first term in office. Today I want to lay out the details of that plan - a plan that not only guarantees coverage for every American, but also brings down the cost of health care and reduces every family's premiums by as much as $2500.

If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness. Everyone will be able buy into a new health insurance plan that's similar to the one that every federal employee - from a postal worker in Iowa to a Congressman in Washington - currently has for themselves. It will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity, disease management, and mental health care.

If you cannot afford this insurance, you will receive a subsidy to pay for it... If you change jobs, your insurance will go with you... If you want more choices, you will also have the option of purchasing a number of affordable private plans that have similar benefits and standards for quality and efficiency.


  1. Lawrence O'Donnel, of all people, of MSNBC no less, nails Obama. Geezzz.

  2. Rufus makes about as much sense as BHO when he refuses to be rational about the demographic dead ends to all these welfare schemes.

    In his fog of fantasy, going from 9 workers per social security recipient to 2 is no big deal.

    BTW, Rufus:
    MA kicked LEGAL Aliens out of Romneycare even tho they continue to pay for it!
    Pretending Obamacare is not disasterous for healthcare and the country doe not make it so.

  3. A bit of completely unrelated and maudlin navel-gazing this Christmas Eve:

    I don't know why it didn't occur to me until yesterday that when I leave here I am going to lose the unique sense of freedom that comes with being a stranger in a strange land and that this is the cause (along with leaving behind those I've grown to care for and can't take back with me) of genuine sadness.

    That my last pony ride was as a puke diplomat ( : ) ) in a third world country just beginning to take off, I find astounding once again - after having grown so used to it as to regard it as perfectly mundane. This has, after all, been home for two years. My everyday scenery; my life. And yet, who am I kidding, it's not TRULY home. Hence the oddly felt freedom of the resident foreigner, the transient, the In Between.

    Somewhat paradoxical, that sense of freedom, given that I've never had to be more circumspect, but I benefit from
    a renewed and deeper appreciation for that particular facility as well. It keeps things moving along when things need urgently to be kept moving along.

    So it was inevitable that I would reach the moment of ambivalence about my return home. But as my grandfather used to say to me (and it's the curse of plenty of Army brats), "Wherever you are, you want to be someplace else. Wherever you're going, you'd rather stay instead." Irritated the hell out of me at the time, his saying that. But there's quite a bit of truth in it.

    (I recall sitting at my parents' kitchen counter the morning we flew out, knowing that I really had not a clue what I was in for. All things considered, that was probably the best way to go.)

  4. Doug: Rufus makes about as much sense as BHO when he refuses to be rational about the demographic dead ends to all these welfare schemes. In his fog of fantasy, going from 9 workers per social security recipient to 2 is no big deal.

    It's nowhere near what they have in Japan, with only half of the population in the 15-64 age bracket and a system where a sarariman often retires at age 50.

  5. Ford is increasing production in 2010. Ford is "buying out" workers in 2010. The Beat goes on.

    You're worrying about the small things, Doug. I'm thinking about the larger, more Epic things.

    How do our people make a living when they are no longer needed to make things?

  6. Trish, that was beautiful. It actually brought a tear to my eye. But being the strong woman you are, I know you'll make it through it. Merry Christmas.

    It's early this cold morning and I forgot that I need to bring apple pie to Christmas Eve dinner. Now, I'm all about 1-800-feed-me but apple pie just has to be home made.

  7. One man can farm 500 acres, and produce 80,000 bu of corn. A hundred years ago, one man might sell 800 bu of corn (he fed the rest to the horses.)

    Every year it takes fewer, and fewer, man-hours to build a car, or a tractor.

    The "back office" that used to have 50 clerks, and accountants, now has 5.

    Everything is cheaper. That's good. Unless you no longer have a job. Then what?

  8. I see Melody beat me to it, right before I post.

    Hey there, Goodmorning Melody!

    That's a nice bit of writing there, Trish.

    I'm glad you're coming home.

    There's no place like home.

    (Well I hope you're coming home, and not on another assignment.)

  9. Thank you, MeLoDy, that was sweet. And you're right about apple pie (Breakfast of Champions in my house.)

    I also just learned a couple of days ago what my husband actually did in Iraq. I'm somewhat astounded. For my six months of misery and self pity, it was probably worth it in the long run.

  10. BTW, this is, basically, what was happening in the 1920's. Farms were mechanizing, and industry was going to the assembly line.

    They made it a hundred times worse by passing Smoot-Hawley, and starting an International Trade War. We don't want to do that; but, such actions are tempting when you have mass unemployment.

    A couple of hundred of the top economists of the time took out a full page ad in the NY Times warning Congress not to do it. It didn't matter. They do'ed it.

    Ten Years of Depression, later, a World War finally lifted us back to "full-employment." And we had plenty of Oil, then.

  11. One man can farm 500 acres

    Ruf, I farmed over 1200 when I was going good, God Bless those John Deere tractors.

  12. He slid the noose around Saddam's neck?

  13. I know, Bob. The "average" corn farmer farms 500 acres, and has a full-time job in town.

  14. I use to live is South Jersey. I never farmed but those were pretty damn big gardens.

    My friends family farmed, it was tough.

  15. Melody my father said New Jersey had black topsoil two feet thick, which contrasts with the rocky glacial till we have here.

  16. I always thought that a Jersey tomato meant that it was grown in Jersey. But it's because of that soil which makes is a Jersey tomato.

    The sad thing T, is that I wasn't a child when I found that out.

  17. I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

  18. I second MeLoDy's wishes for a very merry Christmas to all.

  19. Merry Christmas Melody and to all.

  20. 2164th: Lawrence O'Donnel, of all people, of MSNBC no less, nails Obama. Geezzz.

    The scum also rises.

  21. Same here, Merry Christmas all around.

    No snow here at all this year. What snow we had did the disappearing act a few days ago. I got a big day, got to get going.

    Best to all.