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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maureen Dowd, "A Dynasty to Duck": Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn

“And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it.  No one will be able to take that away from you.  It hasn’t happened yet.  It won’t happen in the future.”

– President Obama, Portland, April 1, 2010, after Affordable Care Act was signed into law      

First, let's get the ground rules straight:
  • I oppose dynastic rule in the US, and I don't care if this involves the Bush Family, the Cheney Family or the Clinton Family.
  • I favor universal health care.
  • I opposed the Second Gulf War.
  • I am no fan of Dick Cheney.
That said, you might want to have a quick look at Maureen Dowd's latest New York Times op-ed entitled "A Dynasty to Duck" (, in which she takes aim at Dick Cheney's efforts to install his daughter, Liz, as a senator from Wyoming instead of Mike Enzi. Dowd writes:

"Dick Cheney’s chutzpah extends to charging the Obama administration with 'incompetence' in the Middle East and saying that the president has done 'enormous damage' to America’s standing around the world.

When Bill O’Reilly asked Cheney on Fox News what 'we get out of' the Iraq war, given that 'we spent $1 trillion on this with a lot of pain and suffering on the American military,' Cheney repeated his delusion about Saddam’s W.M.D. — the imaginary ones — falling into the hands of terrorists: 'We eliminated Iraq as a potential source of that.'

And, of course, he disdains Obamacare, telling Rush Limbaugh that it’s 'devastating' — begrudging less well-off and well-connected Americans the lifesaving and costly health care he got on us when he was in the White House."

Cheney charging the Obama administration with incompetence in the Middle East? Indeed, this rings of "the pot calling the kettle black," given how Cheney foolishly destroyed the equilibrium between Iraq and Iran by prosecuting the Second Gulf War. But is Obama administration policy in the Middle East "incompetent"? You bet, and if you have any doubt about it, I suggest you talk with America's traditional allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf States, which all believe that Obama has thrown them under the bus in order to avoid any threat of a confrontation with Iran. It is no wonder that Obama's cheerleaders on the editorial board of the New York Times today felt compelled to write an editorial entitled "Allies in Revolt" (, which concludes:

"In addressing the United Nations last month, Mr. Obama reinforced his intention to narrow his regional diplomatic focus to the Iranian nuclear deal and an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Some have read this as weakness and retreat, rather than pragmatism. We wish he had put more emphasis on Egypt and Iraq. But his priorities make sense. His task now is to reassure the allies that the United States remains committed to their security."

Reassure allies that the US remains committed to their security? I suppose that's the reason that US Secretary of State John Kerry, who referred to Syria's Assad as his "dear friend," declared on Monday in an obvious reference to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, that the US would not "succumb to fear tactics" of those who oppose diplomacy (see: Kerry added that it would be "the height of irresponsibility" for Washington not to test Iran's readiness to negotiate an end to its efforts to build an atomic bomb.

Peculiar. And here I thought the prolonged meandering efforts of the P5+1, led by that horse's ass Catherine Ashton, were an effort to test Iran's diplomatic readiness. But never mind. Insulting Netanyahu is certain to calm Israel's fears, notwithstanding Iran's persistent threats to annihilate Israel . . . not.

By opposing Obamacare, Cheney is depriving Americans of lifesaving health care? Dowd would do well to read today's lead Washington Post online story entitled "Obama accused of breaking promise to consumers as health plans cancel policies" ( by Lena H. Sun and Sandhya Somashekhar, which states:

"A new controversy over the president’s health-care law is threatening to overshadow the messy launch of its Web site: Notices are going out to hundreds of thousands of Americans informing them that their health insurance polices are being canceled as of Dec. 31.

The notices appear to contradict President Obama’s promise that despite the changes resulting from the law, Americans can keep their health insurance if they like it.

. . . .

Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield chief executive Patrick J. Geraghty said Sunday that the company is dropping about 300,000 policies. Customers are being informed that they can’t keep their current plans but that their new options might be better because of new benefits and government subsidies available to low- and middle-income people. Highmark Blue Shield of Pennsylvania sent notices in August to about 40,000 customers who are in a special plan for the hardest to insure, saying that their plans were being discontinued and that they might qualify for subsidies if they buy insurance on the federal exchange, spokeswoman Kristin Ash said.

In the Washington region, CareFirst, the region’s dominant carrier, has sent about 76,000 notices to consumers in Maryland, Virginia and the District in the past several months, informing them that as of Jan. 1, CareFirst 'cannot sell or renew plans that do not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act,' spokesman Michael Sullivan said.

In Maryland, nine carriers have informed regulators that they plan to send notices to about 73,000 consumers about plans they no longer intend to offer."

Yes, Obamacare is a disaster and is in fact depriving many Americans of their health care.

I'm no fan of Dick Cheney, but he is yesterday's news. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is proving every bit as incompetent and despicable as that of George W. Bush.

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