Things people complain about

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Has Obamacare made it un-P.C. to be concerned by a serious burden on my family’s well-being?

via Daring to Complain About Obamacare – NYTimes.com.

What Gottlieb is discovering, belatedly, is how much it costs to buy real health insurance rather than fake health insurance.

via Psychotherapist Is Unable to Understand What Medical Insurance Is.

 

Apparently, Americans asked for change, but did not really want it.

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What this very strange period ultimately proves is that Barack Obama, for all his talk about how \”Washington\” doesnt work, and all his endless praise for the essential goodness of the American people, has to know by now that we are in fact a very political people, easily manipulated, and carefully divided against each other, over and over again, and by people who know how. I never bought the 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention \”We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America!\”, never bought a word of it. Now we are seeing it in its fundamental eclipse. Whatever Obamaism really is, it has run its course. The fight now is over what comes next.

via Obama And Post-Partisanship – The End Of Obamaism – Esquire.

 

Something to put his pearly white teeth a-grinding.

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Mr. Biden, who may run for president in 2016, is viewed warily by Mr. Obama’s circle not only for being a gaffe-prone “Uncle Joe,” but also for, in their minds, being overly consumed with his own political future.

via Book Details Obama Aides’ Talks About Replacing Biden on 2012 Ticket – NYTimes.com.

 

There are wingnuts everywhere.

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“This is the real face of America,” he said, stopping at a drawing of Lady Liberty with a hooked nose and diabolical smile that was labeled “Satan.”

via Former American Embassy in Iran Attracts Pride and Dust – NYTimes.com.

 

Debunking and deficits

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In the 2014 fiscal year, which began at the start of this month, the federal deficit is expected to come in at just 3.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That’s down from 10.1 per cent of G.D.P. in 2009, when the Great Recession was at its height. And next fiscal year, the deficit will fall even further, to 2.1 per cent of G.D.P. No, you didn’t misread those figures. When President Obama says, as he did the other day, that the deficit has been cut in half, he is substantially understating what has happened in the past two or three years.

via Slaying the Deficit Bogeyman : The New Yorker.

 

Amen.

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“We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness and our pride,” he went on, his baritone voice filling the room. “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”

via Senate Chaplain Shows His Disapproval During Morning Prayer – NYTimes.com.

 

Things my mother would tell the U.S. government.

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“Just because we can do something doesnt mean we should do it,” he said.

via Obama says U.S. not snooping on ordinary people | Reuters.

 

Maybe the only three sentences worth reading in the GQ Biden piece.

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So this is the house. That was my bedroom. I lived there with my brothers Jimmy, Frankie, and my Uncle Ed.

via Joe Biden in GQ on Being President in 2016.

 

Dear Wonks, Please stop making me wish I was Swedish.

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…it’s an unfortunate delay of an important but relatively small piece of the bill, more growing pains of the type I’m sure Medicare had…

via Putting Off the Employer Mandate – NYTimes.com.

We can only hope that repeal of this one part of the law is what the Obama Administration actually has in mind…

via Repeal the employer mandate altogether.

 

‘Hello? Watana Siam? Yes, I’d Like to Order the Chicken Panang’

He argued that “modest encroachments on privacy” — including keeping records of phone numbers called and the length of calls that can be used to track terrorists, though not listening in to calls — were “worth us doing” to protect the country.

via Administration Says Mining of Data Is Crucial to Fight Terror – NYTimes.com.

As Barack Obama’s presidency lurched farther down the track of “I Never Thought I’d Be Doing [expletive deleted] Like This,” on Friday he in all seriousness tried to justify what even jaded wire service reporters were calling “sweeping” surveillance of Americans’ private lives.

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Mr. Obama said.

Well, probably nobody. And, if they are, it’s under an entirely different part of the program.

via Intelligence for Dummies – NYTimes.com.

For my part, I say, Fine. Have at my phone records. I make so few phone calls that all I would be giving away are the numbers of a few good Thai places near my house and a car service that stubbornly refuses to make reservations more than 15 minutes ahead of time.

The problem here is one of the governing’s oldest: The cat, if it wasn’t already out of the bag, sure as [expletive deleted] is now.

You should not think that recent events will simply cement a previous status quo in place, rather it moves us down a very particular path and probably makes the entire problem worse.

via The loss of privacy and the collapse of creative ambiguity.

Mr. Obama, again in all seriousness, told reporters that spying on ordinary Americans is “not what this program is about.”

There he is wrong.

The worrisome thing isn’t that the government has gobbled up all those phone records, and whatever else. The worrisome thing is that it did it and no one even burped — not until now, anyway. Seemingly reasonable lawmakers and cabinet chiefs have tried to reassure Americans that, in all this snooping business, the government scrupulously followed the rules. Never mind that these are rules the government made up for itself.

Is it fear-mongering to ask where it will end? Maybe it is, but even the government’s shills, including one writing in The New York Times, couldn’t avoid pointing out the obvious.

On the surface, our system of checks and balances seems to be working. We cannot rule out the possibility that the voluminous records obtained by the government might, some day, be illegally misused. But there is no evidence so far that that has occurred.

via Making a Mountain Out of a Digital Molehill – NYTimes.com.

In the end, who cares about phone records? As we all know from the First Law of Movie Technology, “Enemy of the State” Clause, any freaky spying technique you can properly portray in a film is probably a generation behind existing technology, anyway. And, I’m asking here, are there any serious criminals hatching schemes over a 4G network?

In his infuriating remarks on Friday, Mr. Obama briefly showed his human side when he, probably reading from a script, told reporters that he had had “a healthy skepticism” about the spying when he first learned of it. But it apparently didn’t last long.

“You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” Mr. Obama chirped.

And so here we are, snug up next to 100 percent security.

How does it feel? And, more to the point, was I right to order the chicken panang?