Monday, October 26, 2009

Fishing Poll

Click Cartoon for Larger Size
The Whitehouse and Democrats have been touting a new poll that shows a majority of Americans favor government-controlled "public option" health insurance. But accusations have arisen that the poll was deceptively worded, and the political sampling skewed...accusations which seem to be borne out by other national polls that have gotten strikingly different results, with far less support for a public option. Making the original poll fake news, reported by Whitehouse-approved fake news outlets.

Far more reliable are the many polls which show that
Obama's approval ratings have had the steepest decline of any president in the past half-century. Indicating, perhaps, that Americans really would prefer red hot rocks up the rectum to another four years of Obamanation.


Anonymous said...

Obama's ratings are falling because he hasn't shown any backbone in providing healthcare or holding the banksters accountable as he promised as a candidate.

If our country is rich enough to afford to spend almost a trillion dollars a year on the military to protect corporate interests, it should also be rich enough to pay for decent health care for all Americans.

Lack of decent health care has killed more Americans every year than Al Qaeda.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous, you're partially correct. The left is growing disenchanted with Obama because he promised things that he couldn't (and almost surely shouldn't) deliver. And both the left and right and growing tired of his lack of backbone.

But your argument that America is "rich enough to pay for decent healthcare for all" suggests two things; you don't really understand that the government has no money whatsoever, and can only "give" what it takes from someone else. The other thing we can presuppose is that you're not personally in the economic group that will be taxed or jailed to give benefits to others.

As Margaret Thatcher once said, "the problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

Suzy said...

We have the rights to "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" (btw pursuit means to chase after...not be handed something free) Anything else is a PRIVILEGE.

Dan M said...

Obama's rating are falling because people are starting to realize that the "buzz" is gone and we've got a real problem on our hands ...

The honeymoon is long over and, how that the "lipstick" is off the "pig", the truth is starting to find its way to the light of day ...

This clown's days are numbered - I only hope that sensible Americans can hang on long enough for there to be a fighting chance left at recovery from the damage the thugs in Washington (on both sides of the aisle) are forcing on us

Anonymous said...


I enjoy your cartoons. Consider me one of the Independents disappointed by Obama's inactions or bad actions. The only socialism Obama has been performing is Corporate Socialism.... profits are private, loses are socialized.

If you are saying that America shouldn't provide quality health care for all Americans while we are capable of bailing out banks in the trillions or carrying on two wars which have little to no economic benefit to the AVERAGE American I would wonder what you think are the correct priorities.

We rank 37 in the world in regards to healthcare. More Americans die every year because they don't have decent access to normal health care.

Philip said...

We rank 37 in the world in regards to healthcare. More Americans die every year because they don't have decent access to normal health care.

Wrong. Some facts :

Anonymous said...


Looking to the NCPA for advice on health care reform is like looking at the NRA for gun control reform.

Here is the link to the actual document from the World Health Organization:

And a more balanced review of it:

Still doesn't counter the point that if we have enough money to bailout banksters and fund wars to help corporations, why we don't have money to fund decent healthcare for all Americans.

I mean seriously, who loves their insurance companies other than those that work at them?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous, I'm glad you like the cartoons and am glad you're here to share opinions!

You raise a number of points, so let's hit them one at a time. First, I agree that Obama has been participating in corporate socialism...but it certainly isn't the only socialistic tendency he shows. Both his fiscal policies and his ongoing rhetoric encouraging class warfare are very much in the populist/socialistic vein.

Yes, I think quality healthcare should be available to everyone in America...but that doesn't mean that it should be "provided" to everyone. The people who can pay for it should pay for it, and special provisions should be made for those who genuinely can't. But does this require an upheaval of the entire medical system? Obama himself claims that he can wrest a half-trillion in savings from existing waste in medicare and medicaid. The CBO says that tort reform would save another half-trillion (over 10 years) at no cost to taxpayers. Put them together and there's one trillion dollars to finance healthcare for everyone who genuinely can't afford it.

So why isn't that being done? Because none of what's coming out of Washington currently is about providing healthcare or savings. It's about power.

Your rationale for not supporting the current wars seems to rest on whether these wars provide "economic benefit" to average Americans. Really? So you're asserting that wars should be fought for economic benefit rather than principle or to assure the safety of nations?

To be fair, America has certainly engaged in past activities which had more to do with money than morality, and that should be unacceptable to all of us. But per my previous points, it's a specious argument to suggest that America can fund either the military or healthcare but not both. Unless you think that the president was lying when he said that he could squeeze those savings out of existing programs.

Finally, as Philip points out, it's just not true in any real sense that America ranks 37th in regards to healthcare. Is our system flawed, and in serious need of repair? Absolutely. And it saddens me that the political games currently being played by the Democrats will delay any meaningful healthcare reform far into the future.

Suzy said...

I think that the people who "genuinely can't pay for healthcare" is alot smaller group than we are led to believe. If you cut out the fraud, the illegal aliens, and the people working the are probably down to a small enough group that various charities, happily funded by the rich and middle class, would be able to cover their health care and leaving the government to do what they are SUPPOSED to do.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Suzy, very well put!

Anonymous said...


I can appreciate where you are coming from, but the United States has never engaged in a war for altruistic means. There is always an economic benefit or resource need that will prioritize our use of force.

I am not saying that we should not fund the military, but I find it farcical when people rage about the cost of health care are the same people that don't even give a seconds consideration to the cost of waging wars for 8 years with nothing to show for it other than thousands of dead American soldiers and a trillion dollars wasted.

There is no substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans from a practical point of view. They are merely two parts of the same corporate party. Democrats have proven that they are as monetarily indebted to the corporations that feed them as the Republicans are, and are unwilling to make any major changes even when given a majority and a president to get things done.

Obama's proposals for health care reform carry the same weight that his "attempts" at financial reform. Completely meaningless with little substantive change other than to check a box that said "Passed a bill that had the word reform in it."

Look at every action that Obama has taken. The byline always looks like reform, but when you read it you can see that it has no teeth. Even the current reform act for health care is merely a disguise to force all Americans to buy healthcare from private insurers without fixing any of the problems with the insurance companies. They are leaving in so many loop holes, that it is an insurer's dream come true.

Obama's paltry efforts at changing the financial community is a laughing stock when you have people like Summers, Geithner, and Bernanke just merely carrying on the same actions that G W Bush did.

Obama has no desire to change the system, he just wants people to believe that he did. That's why I think he should have won the Nobel Prize in Marketing.

Obama is just a shill for the corporations that tell him what to do. You would have substantially more material to work off of if you aimed higher at Obama's true bosses (the corporations) as opposed to Obama who is merely a puppet in their hands.

Anonymous said...


While I can see your point, the amount of money that would be spent on healthcare is a rounding error to the trillions of dollars that we washed the banksters down with to make them whole after their frauds that they perpetuated themselves.

Where is the outrage about that? Obama has had no problem with bailing them out, even though it means it is a job less recovery, the dollar is in free fall to the Euro, and there is no punishment or transparency to penalize the banksters.

Believe me Obama has no desire to push for a public option, he just said that to get elected. He wasn't serious about it otherwise he would be actively campaigning for it... which he isn't.

Philip said...

Believe me Obama has no desire to push for a public option, he just said that to get elected. He wasn't serious about it otherwise he would be actively campaigning for it... which he isn't.

Well, let's see. It said that to get elected. So, he got it.

But when he comes with the public option, Americans turn against him about that and he drops in the polls. Not really coherent, Anonymous, sorry.

Anonymous said...


It isn't the public option that is causing Obama to drop in the polls. It is his lack of taking any meaningful action.

If you think about it, if somebody asked you if you could have decent health care provided by the government would you forego buying private insurance. Most seniors don't go out looking for a private plan when they are eligible for Medicare. If there was a single payer system I doubt anybody else will either.

If the government provided insurance is going to be as bad as many on the right have proclaimed, what do the private insurance companies have to worry about? People will come back to them in droves.

The reality is that they won't come back to the private insurers and it will force the private insurers into reforming their barbaric and archaic practices.

Obama got elected because people wanted reform in healthcare and in the banking industry. Unfortunately President Obama has proven that all to be "Just words..." there is no action in his rhetoric. That is why he is dropping in the polls.

With Bush nobody had high expectations, because he didn't make any short of finding WMDs (which turned out to be weapons of mass distraction). With Obama the insult is that he promised to tackle the problems facing Americans and with a straight face he is acting like he never made those promises or puts industry lackeys into position to do the "reform".

A liar is always scorned more by the public than an idiot.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous, you make some good points here, and I appreciate the enthusiastic (and polite) exchange of thoughts by all involved here.

One thing I'll point out is that you seem to have some misconceptions about the government option for healthcare. The reason seniors don't go looking for a private alternative to Medicare is that they're automatically enrolled...and they've already been billed a lifetime for it. Moreover, the program is "good" for them because it provides more benefits than are paid for, which is why it's unsustainable. Hey, everyone likes getting things until the bill comes due.

You also say that if government run healthcare is bad, people will go back to private insurance. But with the "reforms" currently proposed, there won't be any private insurance to go back to. Ordering insurance companies to accept everyone, no matter what their previous conditions, and to charge everyone the same rate, means that no "for profit" business could survive...and none will. So once the public option is put into place, there will soon be no alternative except the government plan, with premiums subsidized by higher taxes on individuals, and skyrocketing costs for medical devices.

Just so my positions don't seem entirely one-sided, let me agree that the run-up to the war in Iraq was overhyped by the Bush administration. Did the world community think there were WMDs? Absolutely. But did we need rhetoric saying that the "smoking gun" evidence might be a mushroom cloud over an American city? No - that was BS.

But once these battles have started - for good reasons or bad - we have to consider the very real implications of "losing" the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan before we can simply leave. Those are very tough decisions to make, and you and I can certainly agree that the current president seems to lack both the toughness and seriousness of purpose to make them.

Dana "Madman" Hansen said...

And a last point that Anonymous made "that if we can bail out banks..."

The banks should not have been bailed out, either. There would have been hell to pay, but, probably less than what we are likely to, down the road. (Same for the other now 'state run' corporations, e.g. GM, Chrysler, etc.)