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Silicon Valley's Love-Hate Relationship With President Obama

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the getting-along-because-the-alternative-is-worse dept.

Democrats 131

theodp writes: "Covering President Obama's visit to Silicon Valley, the AP reports that the relationship between the White House, Silicon Valley and its money is complicated. Less than a year after David Kirkpatrick asked, "Did Obama Just Destroy the U.S. Internet Industry?", and just two months after Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call complaining about NSA spying, Silicon Valley execs hosted two high-stakes Democratic Party fundraisers for the President. The White House declined to identify the 20 high-rollers who paid $32,400 per head to sit at the Tech Roundtable. The President also attended an event hosted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Y Combinator president Sam Altman, where the 250 or so guests paid $1,000 to $32,400 a head for bar service that featured wine, beer and cognac. The following day, Obama celebrated solar power at a Mountain View Walmart before jetting out of NASA's Moffett Field."

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Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970803)

... to complain about NSA spying... HAHAHA. That's just fucking hilarious.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970997)

The truth was more likely complaining about the bandwidth problems it causes for Facebook and the associate loss of profit. So, yes, he was complaining about the NSA spying, just not in a way where he cared at all about the people being spyed upon.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972951)

The truth was more likely complaining about the bandwidth problems it causes for Facebook and the associate loss of profit. So, yes, he was complaining about the NSA spying, just not in a way where he cared at all about the people being spyed upon.

The real issue is that people self-censor when they live under a panopticon.

When people self-censor, Facebook's database is less valuable for marketing purposes, because it reflects only what people are supposed to want, not what they actually want.

To use an extreme example, an analysis of North Korean Big Data would indicate a 100% preference for Kim Jong Un, but there's no way to tell from that what proportion of the population actually regards him as a living god, and how many people are just going along with the story because they're terrified out of their wits. A hypothetical Norkbook would be useless for marketing and useless for monitoring actual political sentiment.

On a much smaller scale, we see this in the US. Fiction authors are avoiding certain search terms because they're afraid of what might happen if they trip the wrong wire. Are people less interested in these things, or are they just concealing their interest? To use a milder example, would a DEA employee have to worry about his career prospects if he took interest in a vacation in CO or WA? Does self-censorship alter the ability of the political apparatus to accurately gauge the actual support for a policy? (To carry the legalization example forward, how many policy advisers in an organization like the DEA secretly support legalization? You could conceivably conduct a survey, but your results are going to be skewed because everybody in such an organization must now reasonably assume that their answers will be linked to their Permanent Records/Loyalty Ratings even if the pollster is telling the truth about the poll's anonymity.)

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 months ago | (#46973529)

More like the NSA should be paying him for all that data instead of scraping it for free.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46973539)

So when are the Liberals going to stop pretending that they are just as bad or worse at taking money from the corporations!

When is the Liberal media going to start reporting it?

Oh wait, the media are some of the corporations that own the Democratic party.

Never mind.

never (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46973749)

Nobody at the New York Times realizes it's actually a corporation. It's so poorly run and mismanaged, they figure it's some sort of government agency.

Re:never (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 6 months ago | (#46974129)

With Krugman charts to prove it.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971565)

You can always not be on Facebook. Can you not be on the planet?

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972695)

Think again: thanks to your friends and family coughing up all that data and tracking images and cookies all over the web you already have an updated facebook profile whether you've ever intentionally visited the site or not.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46973127)

I don't have any friends and family you insensitive clod.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (2)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974117)

One small thing you can do - put the various versions of facebook.com in your /etc/hosts file (there's a Windows file that does the same thing). Use 127.0.0.1 or some other non-tracking web server IP for the IP address. This supercedes the DNS request and the browser just thinks that this IP address is facebook.com so sends the request there. It never even goes onto the LAN or WiFi.

On my laptop I have a webserver the serves a blank page so I am not plagued with "can't find website" or 404 errors. This completely prevents any facebook scripts from being loaded, much less talking to facebook.

The only disadvantage I've found is that a few websites seem to implement the facebook scriptlet in such a way that when it isn't loaded, it opens an iframe the size of the entire browser window instead of the little facebook icon. I don't recall which ones. Otherwise, all facebookisms completely disappear. I might do that for a bunch of other beacon sites.

Now I think of it, this would make a good plug-in - more extreme than AdBlock. I wouldn't use it for anything but beacons and tracking. It means you are completely unable to access those domains from that machine.

Re:Mark Zuckerberg gave the President a call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971757)

The call was "Hey, Barry, we can do it for cheaper."

Happy Sunday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970805)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Sunday from The Golden Girls! (-1, Troll)

AmiAthena (798358) | about 6 months ago | (#46970817)

Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

That's the most beautiful interpretation of that song I've ever seen.

Did you know (1, Interesting)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46970901)

That Obama is not up for re-election?

Re:Did you know (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 months ago | (#46970907)

It's bigger then that. This is about the narcissistic sycophants that think they can buy their way into power, and a president whom is all too willing to go along with it.

Re:Did you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970921)

"Think" they can buy their way into power?

Re:Did you know (3, Interesting)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#46971031)

Think? I'd say know is more like it.

Look at how ACTA was ratified. This was in the wake of SOPA where strong public reaction killed it while it was in the house. If ACTA had gone through the senate as SOPA had, those lobbying for it knew full well it would die like it already had in Europe.

I'm the last person to make conspiracy theories, but I really, really, really doubt that ACTA would have bypassed the constitutional provisions required for ratifying treaties had it not been for what happened with SOPA. Technically it's an illegal treaty, but President Obama claims that he's allowed to sign it if he wants to, constitution be damned. I mean shit, nobody except for the president himself was even allowed to see it before it was ratified.

Re:Did you know (3, Informative)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46971739)

I can kinda understand why somebody who only reads a couple articles a year would think ACTA is illegal, but it's not. Here''s why:

Any treaty is legally binding on the US in the term of the guy who signed. However that doesn't mean much. It just means that, to the extent the President has the ability to order things, his orders complying with the Treaty are fine. So if Obama signed a treaty that said "Justin Bieber shall be fed to the badgers, and the Ambassador Bridge international crossing will be closed every May," the Treaty would be legally valid for Obama's term. Since Obama can't order people to be fed to badgers Bieber would be fine. Since he can order his border patrol to not let anyone you ain't using the Ambassador Bridge in May. If he wanted to close the Bridge in 2017 he'd have to get the Treaty ratified by the Senate, or convince his successor to sign the treaty, or just convince his successor to write an Executive Order. Since the government doesn't have the Constitutional authority to feed people to badger's, the Bieber bit of the treaty would never be valid no matter how often the Senate voted on it.

If the Treaty involves some change to US Law it's valid in the sense that it's binding on the US when the Senate ratifies it. It's not valid in the sense that you have to obey the damn thing until Congress passes a law complying with the Treaty. So if some treaty insisted we ban cigarettes you could still smoke until the House and Senate pass a bill banning cigarettes. In a lot of ways ratification is actually be a waste of time, because you'd need 67 Senators, whereas passing the statute only requires 50 (assuming the VP agrees with the Treaty). If the President signs the treaty on Monday, 35 Senators say "fuck you, we smoke" on Tuesday, and 50 Senators, the VP, and the House ban by statute the damn things on Wednesday, then cigarettes still get banned.

The enforcement mechanism in most treaties is other countries bitching when they're not complied with. Obama knows he's gonna comply with ACTA because our laws already comply with ACTA. He can sign it, which makes it binding on the US, but he doesn't need to have it ratified.

Re:Did you know (1)

guises (2423402) | about 6 months ago | (#46972943)

Ugh. I modded you up, but then I misclicked on another comment so now I have to undo it. Thanks for the informative post.

Re:Did you know (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#46974587)

That doesn't make any sense. At all. Article 2 section 2 of the constitution specifically says a treaty must have 2/3rds approval from the senate. The purpose behind this is that each of the states gets a say in it. I mean look at the history of treaties in the US:

https://www.senate.gov/artandh... [senate.gov]

Every treaty in the history of the US that hasn't been given 2/3rds vote in the senate has stalled, except just the one Hollywood paid for.

Re:Did you know (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46974799)

Bullshit. Every treaty a president has signed (but has not been ratified) is an official policy of the President, and is therefore perfectly valid to the extent that the President is allowed to set policy. So the Kyoto Treaty was law until Bush II took over. In the US System this doesn't mean much because the President's ability to set policy entirely by himself is limited, but the treaty is still US Law to that limited extent.

With ACTA in US Law the actual treaty is totally irrelevant. This is because Obama can do everything in ACTA citing powers that have nothing to do with ACTA. Most of the things you hate about ACTA were passed in '08 as part of the PRO-IP Act. You ain't getting out of PRO-IP Act violations by claiming some treaty that didn't exist when the Act was passed needs to be ratified for it to be valid.

Re:Did you know (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 6 months ago | (#46975049)

Bullshit. Every treaty a president has signed (but has not been ratified) is an official policy of the President, and is therefore perfectly valid to the extent that the President is allowed to set policy. So the Kyoto Treaty was law until Bush II took over. In the US System this doesn't mean much because the President's ability to set policy entirely by himself is limited, but the treaty is still US Law to that limited extent.

Kyoto was never signed by the US.

Re:Did you know (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46971377)

a president whom is all too willing to go along with it

Not "a president", but "presidents". Name the last one who wasn't crooked that way (and no I'm not an Obama supporter). Recently this has been exacerbated by a Supreme Court that claims that money and speech are the same thing, thus legally enshrining the principle that $1M dollar = 1 vote, rather than the quaint 1 citizen = vote. As for their confusion about money and speech, somebody please buy those legal geniuses a dictionary.

Re:Did you know (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 6 months ago | (#46971527)

When was the last time you saw a dollar -- or even a million dollars -- cast a vote?

Re:Did you know (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46971865)

Money doesn't vote directly, but it definitely impacts the process. Instead of talking about the issues most people want to talk about (ie: should the minimum wage go up?), you end up discussing what some billionaire out-state wants you to discuss (ie: ObamaCare).

One of the things I hate about America is that the entire is designed so that the top 10% of income or so dominate the conversation. It should be noted that British equivalent of the lower nobility (the gentry) was about this proportion of the country. The last time most Americans gave a shit about the national debt I was in grade school, but the Gentry care about it a lot, so the last 3-4 years have been wasted with ridiculous arguments about which programs that ordinary Americans (ie: not the fucking gentry) we cut. Nobody seems to have seriously considered raising taxes. Increasing the minimum wage has been popular for decades, but since the Gentry have economics textbooks proving that poor people starve to death when McDonald's raises prices it ain't happening. The Democrat5s are alittle better about this then the GOP, but even they all tend to be members of the gentry themselves.

Whenever you criticize any aspect of the system that allows these people to totally dominate you're told that if most Americans wanted power they'd just learn what a filibuster vote was themselves and then they'd be gentry too.

And now the fucking Supreme Court has decreed that money = speech, which means the Gentry have yet another tool they can use to bully the rezst of the country into going along with them.

Re: Did you know (1)

JWW (79176) | about 6 months ago | (#46972747)

Your claim that printing money to have the government spend doesn't affect the poor or middle class is ludicrous. The inflation this causes affects the poor and the middle class quite a bit. And if interest rates ever go up again this house of cards (debt) will come crashing down on us all.

Re: Did you know (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46973133)

And this is exactly the kind of BS I was talking about.

I said nothing about who should care one way or the other about the debt. I said that the people who aren't in the very top tenth of the country don't give a shit about it. And they don't. I challenge you to find one poll in the past 50 years where the number one issue for most Americans has been the national debt. A real poll, not a push-poll from some activist outfit with an anti-government agenda. Good luck. It doesn't even make the top two economic issues very often (jobs always beat it, and if there's a recession on growth also beats it).

As for the debt in policy terms. I'm 33. I cannot remember a year in which anyone I knew said their top problem was inflation, because Reagan and Volcker licked stagflation back when I was a toddler. It seems to me that giving up something I want (and if you support the VA, the DoD, Social Security, and medicare you want the vast majority of Federal spending) to stop a problem that has not actually been a problem since I was four is probably not a wise use of government resources. In fact it seems to me that a lack of inflation is the major current economic problem, because if Apple's $160 Billion cash hoard was shrinking by 7% a year due to inflation they'd probably find something productive for it to do, rather then sitting on it.

It further seems to me that the logical way to prevent inflation caused by deficits, in the middle of a recession; is not gut programs that allow people to survive the recession, but to raise taxes on the masters of the universe who caused the damn thing.

Re: Did you know (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 months ago | (#46973997)

but to raise taxes on the masters of the universe who caused the damn thing.

And that will never happen. [motherjones.com]

Re:Did you know (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 6 months ago | (#46973651)

Quite recently in my local city. The city created a "downtown business improvement district" where votes are based upon the amount of taxes the business pays.

Re:Did you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972479)

...thus legally enshrining the principle that $1M dollar = 1 vote, rather than the quaint 1 citizen = vote.

You seem to be trying to establish that speech = voting, which isn't true. Are you the one that really needs a dictionary?

Re:Did you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972833)

If you lack the skills to use 'than' correctly, please avoid using 'whom'; you're likely to be completely wrong.

Re:Did you know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971423)

Bigger question is if anyone actually loves 0bama, what gives? They're either one of the mindless zombies who voted their (our!) rights away last presidential election, or part of his little inner club.

Party Funding (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 6 months ago | (#46972113)

Obama has been to Silicon Valley 14 times since he has been President, and the only time he ever made a public appearance was at Wallmart on Friday. Every other visit has been only for fund raising for the Democratic Party, not his reelection campaign. Of course when he was running he got a portion of that money since he is obviously _in_ the Democratic Party.

A few of the local talk radio station call us "Obama's Piggy Bank" because that's what he uses the area for. I personally find his behavior appalling. The least he could do is hold a few town hall meetings for the area that gets blockaded while he collects millions of dollars from various CEOs. Yeah, traffic in this area is already horrible and blocking roads for him makes things much worse. I'd enjoy being able to ask him a few questions myself, like "What about Transparency?" and "Why is TPP being classified?".

The majority of people I talk to in this area don't think highly of him either.

Re:Party Funding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972543)

You hold town hall meetings in swing states. You don't hold town hall meetings or public appearances in states that are solidly behind you. Those kinds of things are designed to encourage voters who may be on the fence. California has been a solid Democrat bastion for a long time.

It's annoying to me personally. I generally lean conservative and I have just stopped voting for any Federal elections except the House in my district. Because of the electoral system, all electoral votes in California goes to whoever wins the majority, so if you vote conservative in California you might as well vote for a tree for all the good it'll do you. Even the conservative politicians don't come here at all, because it is a waste of time and money as there is no value to you, so essentially regardless of who you are we're entirely disenfranchised from the voting system.

As a left leaning SV type, he's not going to speak to you. I mean, you're not going to vote for a Republican, and even if you did the majority will not so it doesn't matter. California is where politicians go to raise money to convince voters in Ohio and Florida. That's all we're good for regardless of political affiliation

Re:Party Funding (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 6 months ago | (#46973605)

And if you vote liberal, you may as well vote for a tree too. It's time there was a multipartisan movement to move to a proportional apportionment of electoral college votes (like a few states have already)

Re:Party Funding (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974199)

It is unlikely to pass, but I'm watching with interest the proposed ballot measure to split CA into multiple pieces. The state is apparently ungovernable as it is now, and (like many states, even MA) the urban areas tend to drive the politics and leave the rest of the state to grumble. Looking at many 'blue' states, the actual areas that are blue are often less than 1/10 of the area and less than 1/2 the population but election districts tend to be drawn to increase the influence of the more urban parts. Splitting the state would bring government a bit closer to the people in all areas.

Among other things, this would also make the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals much happier. At present the 9th Circuit spends almost all of its time on CA cases and the case load is already much too large. But there's no precedent nor logic to splitting the Court - and its precedents - to cover only part of a state. Imagine if the precedents set for San Francisco did not apply to LA! Splitting CA would allow at least one, possibly two new Circuit Courts to be established.

Splitting states has been done before, but not for about 150 years. I think the last ones were around the time of the Civil War - West Virginia split from Virginia to go with the North.

Re:Party Funding (1)

webnut77 (1326189) | about 6 months ago | (#46974221)

so if you vote conservative in California you might as well vote for a tree for all the good it'll do you

C. G. P. Grey has an excellent Youtube video [youtube.com] explaining what's wrong with our current voting system and offers an alternative that makes sense.

Nerd Rage . . . Page Views (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970925)

1. Post an article with the word "Obama" in it

2. Nerd rage

3. Page views

4. Profit! There is no "???" step.

Re:Nerd Rage . . . Page Views (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971529)

#3 is the ???. In this case, they solved it by getting Slashdot to post it, even though it is under tripe. Soulskill is a wanker

Nobama (0)

oldhack (1037484) | about 6 months ago | (#46970927)

There is no fight he won't backtrack on.

Tech money is the the best fundraising money (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970929)

They're a pack of nouveau riche kids that are still young enough to be swayed by a skilled orator. They can't articulate what they want beyond general grunting about infinite copyright and more H-1Bs, and they're too dumb to realize they're being played. It's a geyser of money to get while the getting is good.

Re:Tech money is the the best fundraising money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46970947)

They can't articulate what they want beyond general grunting about infinite copyright and more H-1Bs,

And general grunting about Obama.

and they're too dumb to realize they're being played.

And you're one of them.

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971231)

If they're so stupid how'd they get so much cash?

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971487)

You seem to be under the delusion that you need to be intelligent in order to accumulate a lot of money. You don't take into account the fact that some people received their money from inheritance, were given cushy positions due to their network of contacts, or just know how to manipulate people, which actually isn't difficult for sociopaths.

Some of them might not be stupid, but like with the general populace, most of them are, and no expensive education can fix stupidity.

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971533)

That's an informative explanation about the current president and how he's going to extract funding from Silicon Valley Stockholm Syndrome.

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972889)

If they are smart with PHDs why are they homeless...

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#46972293)

snooki has a lot of money... last i checked smarts had nothing to do with getting money, on an absurd level anyway

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46972653)

David Beckham and Paris Hilton might be able to answer that. Or maybe not.

Re: Tech money is the the best fundraising money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972871)

Intelligence isn't a single variable measured in one dimension between "dumb" and "intelligent". Intelligence is a multi-dimensional aspect of one's personality. It is entirely possible to highly intelligent when developing new technology and a complete idiot when it comes to social issues. Being "intelligent" politically often takes life experience and wisdom, both of which are severely lacking in Silicon Valley.

Re:Tech money is the the best fundraising money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971449)

At least they'll have a good story to tell their kids that they were swindled by a smooth-talking liar who gave the most sweetest of orations, full of faith and optimism for the future!

codependent (1, Insightful)

real gumby (11516) | about 6 months ago | (#46970935)

Yes, Obama shows up in the valley to collect money and then departs to fuck the valley to the benefit of the RIAA et al and the so-called security apparatus.

But clearly the Republicans would be worse, as they are the anti-business (or at least anti-entrepreneur), anti-education, anti-ACA (a very pro entrepreneurism law) and pro-big business, pro-rentier party. I am not sure any tea party or high party official could even find silicon valley on a map.

So Obama ends up by default with the bucks on a combination of lesser-of-two-evils and star-struck-close-to-greatness bases.

Re:codependent (1, Informative)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#46970981)

But clearly the Republicans would be worse, as they are the anti-business (or at least anti-entrepreneur), anti-education, anti-ACA (a very pro entrepreneurism law) and pro-big business, pro-rentier party

*Spittake*

Republicans are anti-business?

Sorry, even with your qualifications, you don't have a frickin clue what you're talking about.

Re:codependent (3, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 6 months ago | (#46971005)

Learn how parentheses work. He clarified his position. Republicans are anti-small-business and anti-entrepreneur, they're pro-oligarch.

Re:codependent (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971139)

Seriously, Republicans used to pro-business. Consider they're pissed pissed that the big three got bailed out after Wall Street sank the economy.

They're all about rent collection. They hate real business, technology (too disruptive), education (ditto), etc etc.

Re:codependent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971013)

Note that later on the GP said "pro-big business." The Republicans certainly are anti-small-business, even though their rhetoric claims otherwise and they have convinced a lot of idiots (evidently, including you) that they aren't.

The Field Fox (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971079)

Are you kidding? I help run a small business and I am starting one myself. I am an independent, but it is recent policy changes from the current administration that has been strangling us. We have had to lay-off employees in preparation for the ACA changes. This admin has done more to strengthen big business and make life harder for entrepreneurs than I have ever seen. I have voted for both liberals and conservatives, but I will be very hard-pressed to vote for a liberal again after so many lies and broken promises.

Re:The Field Fox (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971155)

Big problem right now for Small Businesses and the ACA is that it prevent small businesses from using the exchanges until next year. This is so the the insurance companies could stick the fork in small shops offering insurance. ($$$). My company offers insurance, it's gone up 30% per year for the last three years. Next year that will drop back to what our insurance cost three years ago.

So now who do you suppose was instrumental in getting that put into the law? Obama, Reid and Pelosi had to throw every bone they could to get the thing passed. If the Republicans were willing to participate at all, we could have had a seriously better law passed. But they didn't. You know why the democrats wanted the law passed because anything to contain the rising share of the economy consumed by the health care industry. They had to do it or we were going to get totally hosed.

tl;dr You got no standing to complain, eat your moldy rat turds like everyone else.

Re:The Field Fox (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972641)

You think your insurance cost in going to drop by a huge amount next year? Awwww, isn't that cute. Even more Obamacare taxes and mandates are still coming. I do like that you picked up on the anti-small business aspects of the law. They were put there by Democrats and progressive lobbyists [realclearpolitics.com] .

The Republicans were what stopped an ever worse law from passing.

If you like your doctor you can keep your ....
If you like your policy you can keep your.....

Can't we complain that we are now (to use your phraseology) being served "moldy rat turds"? That isn't what used to be on the plate, and we were promised better. I think all the sugar in the Kool-Aid is helping you stomach things that should not be swallowed. And don't forget sugar is a factor in many diseases of our time.

Re:The Field Fox (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46973043)

Big problem right now for Small Businesses and the ACA is that it prevent small businesses from using the exchanges until next year. This is so the the insurance companies could stick the fork in small shops offering insurance. ($$$). My company offers insurance, it's gone up 30% per year for the last three years. Next year that will drop back to what our insurance cost three years ago.

So now who do you suppose was instrumental in getting that put into the law? Obama, Reid and Pelosi had to throw every bone they could to get the thing passed.

BULLSHIT

The Democrats had a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, and Pelosi needed no Republican support to pass Obamacare.

It's a DEMOCRAT turd through and through.

If the Republicans were willing to participate at all, we could have had a seriously better law passed. But they didn't. You know why the democrats wanted the law passed because anything to contain the rising share of the economy consumed by the health care industry. They had to do it or we were going to get totally hosed.

tl;dr You got no standing to complain, eat your moldy rat turds like everyone else.

Great. So they pass a law that kicks millions upon millions out of the insurance plans they already had - and LIED THROUGH THEIR FUCKING TEETH ABOUT IT.

"If you like your plan, you can keep it."

Costs? Health insurance costs have skyrocketed by 39% in the past year or so. They went up 37% over the ENTIRE previous 8 years.

Health care costs are SKYROCKETING under Obamacare [dailycaller.com] :

Health insurance premiums have risen more after Obamacare than the average premium increases over the eight years before it became law, according to the private health exchange eHealthInsurance.

The individual market for health insurance has seen premiums rise by 39 percent since February 2013, eHealth reports. Without a subsidy, the average individual premium is now $274 a month. Families have been hit even harder with an average increase of 56 percent over the same period — average premiums are now $663 per family, over $426 last year.

Between 2005 and 2013, average premiums for individual plans increased 37 percent and average family premiums were upped 31 percent. So they have risen faster under Obamacare than in the previous eight years.

Re:The Field Fox (4, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46971901)

Are you kidding? I help run a small business and I am starting one myself. I am an independent, but it is recent policy changes from the current administration that has been strangling us. We have had to lay-off employees in preparation for the ACA changes. This admin has done more to strengthen big business and make life harder for entrepreneurs than I have ever seen. I have voted for both liberals and conservatives, but I will be very hard-pressed to vote for a liberal again after so many lies and broken promises.

And how would you have gotten insurance as an entrepreneur before the ACA's Exchange?

The answer is pretty simple. There are two possibilities:

1) You're young, with no kids, no expensive females in the household, and can convince the agent you have no pre-existing medical conditions. You will get insurance.

2) You wouldn't have insurance.

I'm very skeptical of anyone who says they "had to lay off" employees due to the ACA. IRL I've seen companies blame the ACA because they fired people and they thought they could make Obama look like a bad guy, and I've seen them hire more part-timers so they could get their 33-hour guys down to 29. I have never seen a company that actually fired people. The Act simply does not increase your per-employee cost that way.

Re:The Field Fox (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 6 months ago | (#46972997)

Tail of two health plans. I've been "self-employed" after I sold my last company in 2011. I paid ~$100 a month for health insurance including a pretty good dental package. In three years I used it basically for annual check up (covered) and a trip to urgent care after cutting my hand while doing some home improvement costs. Total bill out of pocket: $60 for the visit, $10 co-pay for the antibiotics they prescribed. That included x-rays, cleaning, and stitching the wound. My deductible was $3500, $11,000 max out of pocket on the old plan.

Well I couldn't keep that health plan. Apparently now for someone in their early 30's that was now "Catastrophic only" or something. So I went to the exchange. The most like I had was the "silver plan". Silver plan premium $280 per month, no dental. The "Bronze Plan", $156 per month with no dental coverage. Well week before the wedding the puppy dog decided my finger was part of the treat ball. So I had to go up to the same Urgent care, cleaned, x-ray'ed, and medical superglued cost: well $90 for the visit and $45 out of pocket for the same antibiotics as they weren't covered under this plan. Further more the plan I had under ACA at $6000 deductible and $17k max out of pocket.

And for months all I heard from ACA supporters was how my old plan was "crap" and this new plan "would cover so much more". Well...I wanted to keep my old plan, but we know how well that went.

I'm now on my wife's plan from her work. Cost, about $200 a month to cover me with dental. But we may only have this plan until the end of the year as her employer (a Fortune 300) is figuring it's cheaper to pay the fine and force all their employees onto the exchange. Which scares me how much that will cost us out of pocket for a family.

Re:The Field Fox (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46974017)

Total US Health Spending is $8,895 per person. If your insurer charges you less either they think you won't cost that much, or they're idiots who will go bankrupt real soon now.

In your case the former is more likely. The fine art of figuring out how much an insuree will cost is called "Underwriting," and if you only paid $100 a month your state probably lets it's insurers do a hell of a lot of that shit. They don;t tell you they're giving you a discount for being male, and young; because they figure you might not like finding out they'd charge your sister/girlfriend/crush loads more in case she gets pregnant. They're definitely not telling you about any youth discount, because you know that in 10 years you ain't getting that discount. You know all those horror stories about people who got cancer and their rates tripled, or the insurer refused to pay their bill because they hadn't mentioned a mole on their application? Those mostly come from plans like yours.

Under ObamaCare a lot of that underwriting is illegal. They can do some age-based discrimination [forbes.com] , pardon me under-writing, but a lot less then before. They also can't charge women extra to cover pregnancy costs. Which means that they have to get the money from somebody, and currently that somebody is you. Most people in your situation get substantial subsidies to cover the difference, but there are people who are self-employed, young, male, and make too much to get the subsidy.

So, in the short term ObamaCare screwed you and people like you. But in the long-term it's probably gonna be good for you. I guarantee you that at some point in your life you will be 50, and only a fool charges a 50-year-old man $100 a month for insurance that actually pays for medical care. Adding your wife to your old $100 a month plan would probably have increased the cost a lot because she's a woman of childbearing age, and wives have a much higher pregnancy risk then girlfriends.

As for your wife's new insurance, keep in mind that your wife can always switch jobs. If they go for the fine they'll save money, but they'll also have very pissed off people, a lot will probably leave, and it'll mostly be their top people who do leave because idiots who've been over-promoted have trouble finding work at the same level in other companies. So if they do go for the fine they'll almost have to give her a substantial raise to cover the insurance premium or lose lots of their employees.

And, for the record, if God had come down from Heaven in March of 2010 and made me Dictator I would not have passed ObamaCare. I would have passed a universal MediCare bill. One of the things I hate about the current system for paying medical bills is that it's so fucking complicated that you can't understand why one person would get charged very little money for insurance without putting literally weeks into researching the damn issue. Which in turn means that if somebody changes the system it's very difficult to tell any individual American what this will do to his bills, because odds are that even if he knows the technical vocabulary to describe his policy he isn't using the words right. You can say "In general most people will see reduced bills because the subsidy will cover some of it," but you can't get much more specific. It would be so much easier if Obama'd just fire the entire insurance industry, and the medical Billing Specialists, and all the other finance weenie parasites that have managed to get themselves good jobs in health care without doing anything that actually involves medical care.

But that couldn't have gotten through the Senate IRL, so we're stuck with a half-assed compromise that simplifies some things, complicates others, and is generally a pain in the ass.

Re:The Field Fox (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974307)

$100 per month for a high deductible single person is not out of the ballpark, or at least wasn't until ACA. These have been popular among independents for a long time. I had one at my company last year. In high-cost MA, my cost was about $110-120, plus I paid some more for dental. And the company paid another $100+ IIRC. I 'only' had a $1500 deductible so the insurance carrier had to cover a lot of things that the parent's plan wouldn't. The reason these plans work is that by far the largest part by far of that "$8895" cost is for all those doctor visits, labs, etc. for non-catastrophic (non-Major Medical) expenses. When I went to the doctor I got a discount due to being in the insurance program, but paid the entire cost myslf until the $1500 was covered. So most years my out-of-pocket for monthly plus actual medical was probably more in the $2500-$3000 range, plus what the company covered. And, like most people on these plans, I didnt/don't go to the doctor as much so the overall cost to the insurer is less. That $8895 mean is undoubtedly skewed by the Cadillac plans - I suspect the median is closer to $4000.

Interestingly for a few months in 2014 I was uninsured. One Rx I take had a co-pay of $100 per month under my insurance and the supposed "cost" was over $300. But when I paid for it out of pocket, I paid only $120. And most of my doctors gave me bigger discounts for paying cash so it was often cheaper than using the insurance. (Of course I didn't have Major Medical coverage, so that could have been a problem if anything had happened.)

My now ex-wife had surgery back in 2001. It was covered by insurance. The doctor billed $9000 (which was the amount right out of the "code" book), and after two years of going back and forth with letters, threats, haggling, he finally got paid about $4500. They "lost" the paperwork twice. They rejcted it several times for supposed errors. This was all delaying tactics - I found out later that the insurance company was having cash flow problems and was doing this to thousands of patients and doctors - just delay until the end of the fiscal year, and the books look much better!

His office person told us that if she had just gone in with her VISA and said, "I want this" and paid cash, he would have billed us $1200. This one-doctor office had two full time staff people who did nothing but deal with insurance companies so his costs are much higher for anything covered by insurane.

Re:The Field Fox (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46974479)

Your plan had very few similarities to the one the OP had. A minimum 20% of his premiums were being used for profit/administration, whereas you were probably under 5%. He was in the individual market, which is completely different from the employer market. Moreover all your experiences basically happened under ObamaCare, because the ObamaCare system is RomneyCare and has been the law in MA for more then a decade.

The $8,895 number is mostly older folks. A $50k hip replacement, plus a blood pressure medication, plus visits to a heart specialist, etc. adds up fast. The 50-65 age group really kills the US in expenses. They don't have Medicare yet and they have expensive medical treatments, so a lot of them are in the US individual insurance market, which pays world-record amounts for damn near every medical procedure, and then needs 20-30% of premiums for administrative stuff. OTOH Medicare proper pays very low rates because they have monopoly power ("Oh you don't like our price list Dr. Sanders? I guess you'll never have a patient older then 65 ever again.") and due to economies of scale has administrative costs well under 5%.

That's why the OP's individual plan was so cheap. They knew that a 30-something guy in decent health wasn't gonna get sick, so they know they would only spend money on him if he got hit by a truck. OTOH your plan is in the group market (either large group or small group), and it's cheaper then retail because your company probably has a lot of 20 and 30-somethings who don't actually use their insurance much. Moreover since one insurance agent can deal with multiple companies, and each company can have thousands of people on it's plan, administration is almost as cheap as Medicare. The OP needed an agent who knew his name, and talked to him a couple times a year, and that guy needed to be paid, so a much higher proportion of his premium went to administration.

Re:The Field Fox (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974509)

I had a similar plan when I was an independent consultant in OR in early 2000s, and such plans have been around for decades. The company catered to independents. The cost of my plan in MA to the company actually went up almost 20% per year, starting when RomneyCare kicked in. The company mostly just covered it by paying the higher rate (and switching providers), but finally couldn't do that any more. RomneyCare at least didn't make existing plans illegal AFAIK.

Re:The Field Fox (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974595)

I'll just add that back in the 1980s Arthur Deming (the guy who created the Japanese quality "miracle") came out with a book that showed how to cut medical costs in 1/2. The two big items were tort reform - consider that every item in a hospital, and every component of that item, has a liability insurance load of about 30%. So a kidney machine, for instance, uses about one foot of clear vinyl tubing for the blood pump. It has to be discarded after use, mainly for liability reasons. That's exactly the same tubing you can buy at Ace Hardware for about $1 per foot today. But it's been sanitized, inspected, and packaged in a sterile pack. The hospital has to buy it from the kidney machine maker to avoid liability issues. That piece of tubing, back in 1979, cost $150 each. Of that, the maker of the tubing that the kidney machine buys it from has to include 30% for their liability cost, upping the cost to the kidney machine company. Then the kidney machine maker has to insure on that increased cost. So now their cost is up by about 69%. (This is an actual example I was involved with many year ago.)

Then the hospital is paying 30%. And the doctors and staff are paying 30%. (In the late 1980s I knew a heart surgeon who paid over 30% of his gross pay for liability insurance. He was the 2nd most popular one in Arizona at the time. Others may have paid somewhat less.) So the increased cost of everything is compounded over and over.

The second item was paperwork reform. At that time (and mostly still) each insurance company had different paperwork, none of it was electronic. This is the area that the ACA may actually help with - I don't know for sure.

Deming estimated that fixing each of these would reduce overall costs by about 30%, for a total savings of over 50%.

A very strong contributing item today, that is going to get worse before it gets better, is that the ACA has just dumped a huge new cash cow into the healthcare industry's lap, when it was already floating in cash. Someone I know just went to the HIMSS conference in Orlando. He said he'd never seen such a wealthy business crowd. The parking lot was loaded with Lamborghini, Mercedes, the occasional Bentley. These were not the owners, these were the IT heads! The whole industry has gradually evolved into one of those elite clubs where the money just flows without end, and all the vendors have to do is suck up he cash. There's almost no sense of cost limitation - except for lip service of course! These folks have successfully turned "rent-seeking" into an industry lifestyle.

Re:The Field Fox (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46974161)

Something just occurred to me about your wife's company dropping her insurance. Under the employer health exclusion her health insurance premiums aren't taxable. Anything else she gets as part of her job -- company car, life insurance, etc. -- is taxable. Here's how the math works. I'll use typical-ish numbers because I don't have the real ones. This is just to show why it's better for a company to spend money on health insurance then salaries.

Let's say your wife stayed single, made $40k, and had insurance of $10k. The company spent $50k on her, and she paid taxes on precisely $30k (the exemption this year was $3,900 and standard deduction was $6,100, she uses her exemption so she doesn't pay income tax on precisely $10k, most years the math isn't that neat). Checking out the tax table [irs.gov] , she would have owed $4,058. In other words the company spent $50k on her, and she only got $45,942 of value out of it after federal taxes.

The penalty is $2k, and the company eats that and gives the other $8k as salary. Now we have $48k in income, minus $10k, is $38k taxable income. That's $5,435 in taxes. So the company spent the exact same amount, but your wife only gets $42,565 value.

In other words they didn't cut their expenses by a single penny, but your wife's take-home earnings went down $3,377. To make up a) the hike in taxes from earning the insurance premium as cash, and the $2k penalty they'd have to spend thousands more on your wife.

And they have to make it up to your wife or she'll quit, because very few people take a $3,377 pay cut and stays.

Re:The Field Fox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46974655)

BS - We have a small (3) family business. We have had to buy our own health insurance since 1995. The last 2 years our premium has gone up substantially ($1200 last year alone). Next year we've been quoted it going up by $2800/year. It is quickly increasing beyond our reach.

Re:codependent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971551)

Yea, that ObamaCare thing the Republicans passed was proof that that they hate small business.

Re:codependent (1, Troll)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 6 months ago | (#46971095)

Both parties are anti-business, it just depends on the business. Anyone that claims otherwise is just a partisan or willfully blind.

Re:codependent (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46972511)

Both parties are anti-business, it just depends on the business. Anyone that claims otherwise is just a partisan or willfully blind.

You took the words right out of my hands. Each party celebrates the corporations which pay its bills, and part of that is attacking their respective competition.

Re:codependent (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 6 months ago | (#46974233)

And for the truth, the partisans mod you as a troll. Why isn't that a surprise?

Re:codependent (4, Insightful)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 6 months ago | (#46971191)

Well, here is the distinction between your regular Joe-Shmo Republican, and your elected official Republican: The guy on the street is all for business. The guys in office are for whatever makes them richer. There is a similar gap on the Democrat side, too. Your regular Democrat on the street wants the type of socialism that gives a hand up to the poor. The Democrats in office want the type of socialism that gives the guys in power more money. This is why this whole left-right thing is stupid- the guys on the street both want to see their fellow man prosper. The guys in office want to further themselves. But they tell you it's right vs left so that you fight amongst yourself instead of stopping them from passing selfish laws.

Re:codependent (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46972035)

Well, here is the distinction between your regular Joe-Shmo Republican, and your elected official Republican: The guy on the street is all for business. The guys in office are for whatever makes them richer. There is a similar gap on the Democrat side, too. Your regular Democrat on the street wants the type of socialism that gives a hand up to the poor. The Democrats in office want the type of socialism that gives the guys in power more money. This is why this whole left-right thing is stupid- the guys on the street both want to see their fellow man prosper. The guys in office want to further themselves. But they tell you it's right vs left so that you fight amongst yourself instead of stopping them from passing selfish laws.

They're not that cynical.

What happens is that the people who actually show up in every election, call their elected officials, make small donations to their favored candidates, etc. are almost all from a very specific upper-middle-class background. Since tghe politicians themselves come from that same socio-economic class they aren't surprised when all the people they talk to demand action on the deficit, despite the fact polls almost always say most Americans think the deficit is less important then multiple other issues.

If you have an intricate governmental structure, with multiple branches, true bicameralism, Congressman who frequently fight the leadership, huge districts of 750k people, etc. you give the people who can organize themselves lots of power over the people who can't. There's a lot going on and it all matters, which means unless you have multiple observers in DC feeding you info on what Congressman Dingell is doing on the Energy Committee you are gonna get played by the guy who does. That means you need an organization to vet the guy, and money to pay that guy.

That's a lot more likely to happen for the 9-5, enough money to save for retirement and have disposable income crowd. That's why they get to dominate things. If this was the UK or Canada, and you could follow national politics without knowing dozens of names and having some understanding of whether a disagreement between Paul Ryan and Tom Coburn is a big deal on a particular issue; and you only had to vote once every three to five years (instead of twice every two years -- if you actually want to matter in US Politics the local party primary is orders of magnitude more important than that BS in November); and there was only one political branch (which prevents Byzantine political disputes between the branches)...

Re:codependent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972937)

Republican want a horse, and when they get it they ride like cowboy...

Re:codependent (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974331)

I forget what it's called, but there's this syndrome. On almost any given issue, it makes a very tiny difference for almost everybody, but it makes a huge difference for a small group of people. That small group are the ones who pay to "get something done", while the vast group of everyone else isn't paying attention to that one thing. So almost all of the information and lobbying that politicians hear is from the small group.

Re: codependent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972397)

Thumb up
Left v Right is modern day bread & circuses. This is all about power

Re:codependent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46973771)

I understand criticizing the Republican establishment, but I don't understand why people give Obama a free pass when he golfs with the CEO of Comcast. Comcast owns NBC-Universal, so I understand why all associated media stations (NBC News, MSNBC, etc.) would give him a free pass, but I don't understand why normal bloggers do.

Re:codependent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971453)

Your comment is so far off base it should be modded +5, Funny.

Is intertnet a CIA's project? (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 6 months ago | (#46971035)

President Putin said on the April 24, 2014, that internet is a " CIA project" http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

I invested years, a life, in learning internet technologies. I feel myself diminished and humiliated.

Was I working on the 1984-Machine?

I thought that I was contributing to one of the greatest innovation of human civilization, and suddenly - "a CIA project", a military ploy, a lie,...

Could you, please, convince me back that my life was not spent in vain?

Re:Is intertnet a CIA's project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46971275)

Nobody can convince you of that. In the end it's the sound of the rain, and feel of the breeze, the rustling of the leaves that that is all you need. The only problem is the human ego. But, be weary of any place where the internet is replacing society - shopping, telecommunication. They should fit side by side. The internet should not be a usurping layer. There's more than one protocol you can run on top of fiber. The internet should be as decentralised as possible, at the fundamental level of protocols. Want to help. That's where. It's not some new internet language replacement for javascript or a new online bookstore to close down the one down the road. It's competition amongst ISP's and no oligarchies, no unreasonable barriers to entry for big data services providers or ISP's etc. I think new protocols need to proliferate to facilitate this.

Re:Is intertnet a CIA's project? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 months ago | (#46971563)

Could you, please, convince me back that my life was not spent in vain?

Ancient commenter Solomon noted [blueletterbible.org] :

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Re:Is intertnet a CIA's project? (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 6 months ago | (#46971665)

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Very interesting idea.

Re:Is intertnet a CIA's project? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 months ago | (#46971691)

It's one answer. But YMMV.

Re:Is intertnet a CIA's project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972959)

Your life was not spent in vain, but in spain...

Not a true tech fundraiser (3, Funny)

FullBandwidth (1445095) | about 6 months ago | (#46971407)

The per-head fee should have been $32,767 ... whoever heard of a number like $32,400?

Re:Not a true tech fundraiser (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 6 months ago | (#46971509)

Mod parent up.

Re:Not a true tech fundraiser (1)

aralin (107264) | about 6 months ago | (#46974801)

Also starting at 1023, since 1000 is not a round number.

Isn't it love-hate for most liberals? (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46971431)

I thought that most liberal-leaning people have a love-hate relationship with Obama.

He was supposed to be their progressive knight in shining armor, but keeps doing all the usual political sell-outs to big business, big media, the security apparatus. No Wall Street guys did time, he kept fighting in Afghanistan, no real mea culpa on NSA monitoring. The only big liberal achievement was ACA, but even that seems a little compromised in many ways and I think hard-core progressives don't find it went far enough.

Of course Silicon Valley is also myopic on the subject of its own pet issues and I'm sure a lot of the love-hate is just self-centered -- he's not doing enough for my business/industry.

Re:Isn't it love-hate for most liberals? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#46972371)

Depends on the liberal-leaning people.

If you're black, and to you freedom is literally something granted by an Unconstitutional Executive order enforced by an army of jackbooted thugs paid for by a then-unconstitutional income tax; and the biggest failure in freedom since then can be traced to the Federal government getting said Army out of the law-enforcement business; you're probably a lot more worried about NYC's stop-and-frisk then anything the NSA does. In the experience of people you know and love the Federal government is not a very good tool of mass oppression, but your brother was definitely denied a college education because the NYPD found out he was a pothead and drug-convicted people are totally ineligible for all forms of student aid. You don't disagree with the premise that the NSA should be stopped, or that Obama should not have done that shit, but OTOH the people worried about it don't seem to have noticed that the Appeals Court back-pedelled in their criticism of the Judge who threw it out.

Most liberals understand that once the US gets involved in a war, and picks a side, we don't get to leave until that side is done with us. If we did in the future nobody would want us as an ally, which would have very uncomfortable implications for democracy in places like the former Soviet Union. We don't like that we're still in Afghanistan, but we're not blaming Obama for that. The folks who do blame Obama tend to be the same people who always hate the President because opposing someone in power is something they just do.

Last I saw his Approval rating among liberals was high 70s. I suspect what's going on is that you mostly interact with college-educated, white, millennials, who are comfortably well off. In that group the people who talk almost never say anything nice about a politician. They get into massive bitch-fests. It also includes a lot of people who honestly think opposing powerful people is the entire point of freedom. If Obama had waved a magic wand and convinced the Taliban to become pacifists, not used any drones, etc. they'd be complaining about ACTA. If he hadn't done that they'd have convinced themselves he could fix climate change by Executive Order, and they'd be complaining about that.

Let me put it to you this way: Canada is culturally very similar to us. It's got a similar electoral system that rewards only the most popular guy in the district, meaning that it's generally political suicide to run on a non-major-party ticket. They have one right-wing party. They have three speaking left-wing parties splitting the anti-Tory vote. So the Tories dominate. And if you point out that this is stupid to any English Canadian leftist he will respond by claiming that the other two left-wing parties are either a) posers, or b) splitters; and that the current world of Stephen Harper crushing left-wing dreams is infinitely superior to a world where his party leader is the number two or three person in a left wing coalition. Quite a few will go on to imply that a coalition led by his party leader would be fatally flawed due to it's inclusion of anyone from the other two.

Re:Isn't it love-hate for most liberals? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 6 months ago | (#46974345)

Reminds me of some religious sects.

Re:Isn't it love-hate for most liberals? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 6 months ago | (#46974377)

What continues to blow my mind is, despite the breaches of civil liberties and outright offenses Obama and his administration have perpetrated against American citizens - and then lied about - we still have people who voted him defending him and saying he's doing a good job.

From a liberal point of view, Obama has been a worse President than Bush, by a long shot: if you look at "what has he accomplished", "what has he lied about" and so on.

And this doesn't even get into the NSA spying and things like that, which he's obviously quite fond of.

Unless, of course, we're trying to imitate a truly socialist state, like Soviet Russia. Then he's been excellent.

Cheap eats (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 6 months ago | (#46971497)

What, they only charge $32K to have a private conversation with the country's most important public employee? *Pfft* Clinton raised $5.4 million [cnn.com] with the Lincoln bedroom. These guys are such pikers.

The Rich Live Differently: Garden Gnomes 2.0 (1)

theodp (442580) | about 6 months ago | (#46971869)

The rich live differently [twitter.com] : Yard art at the DNC fundraiser home of tech entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki (photo). From the article: "While Wojcicki hosted an exclusive tech round table for 20 -- at $32,400 per head, a total haul of $648,000 for the Democratic National Committee -- reporters got a glimpse of how some of those 20 live. Even the occupant of the White House may have been dazzled by the beautiful groves of lemon and lime trees, surrounded by fantastical rolling grounds decorated with life-size florescent models of animals fashioned from wire -- elephants, zebras, bulls, kangaroos and a big pig."

They're almost as dumb as American Jews... (0)

argStyopa (232550) | about 6 months ago | (#46972067)

...who consistently vote and donate to the Democrats, despite the Left's clear opposition to everything Israel.

Then again, Jews are famous for being self-loathing, so perhaps that's all just being consistent on another level.

Re:They're almost as dumb as American Jews... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46972421)

Then again, Jews are famous for being self-loathing

then again, non-jews are famous for not having clue-1 about non-fiction, in-real-life jews. maybe you think all jews are like woody allen??

Re: They're almost as dumb as American Jews... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972591)

That's because the "Jews" in America are really Samaritans.

What a waste of bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46972357)

They should have paid $32,768. I guess we know which one of the 10 kinds of people they are.

0bama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46973495)

Is a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable failure.

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