AT MADDOW SHOW, IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE: Elation and the shape of the news!

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2016

Part 4—Many times, people need help:
Over here in our own hapless tribe, what has The Rachel Maddow Cable News Era been like?

To our ear, the first warning sign was delivered in January 2008. That said, there was no Maddow Show at that time. Let's jump ahead to that fall.

The Maddow Show went on the air in September 2008. Candidates Obama and McCain were fighting it out for the White House.

The financial world collapsed that month. Sarah Palin was now campaigning as McCain's vice presidential pick.

Concerns were being expressed about some of the campaign rhetoric. David Frum, the former Bush speech writer, was openly challenging the rhetoric of his own Republican party.

Briefly, this made Frum a hero Over Here on our side. On October 13, 2008, he was invited to appear on the Maddow Show, presumably to repeat his pleasing remarks about the bad behavior of The Other Tribe.

It may not have occurred to Us that Frum could criticize Our conduct too. But uh-oh! That's what happened that night.

Having sat through a snark-ridden program, Frum appeared on the air. The first Q-and-A went something like this. We're working from the Nexis transcript:
MADDOW (10/13/08): You have publicly stated some reservations about John McCain and some criticisms of the way his campaign has run, and even though you've also said you will vote for him.

One quote I wanted to ask about. You said that those who press this Ayers, William Ayers line of attack are ripping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that's going to be very hard to calm after November. What do you mean by that and that word "fury?"

FRUM: Well, I think you were talking, through much of the show, about the matter of tone in our politics. And yet, I think, we are seeing an intensification of some of the ugliness of tone that has been a feature in American politics in the last eight years. And this show, unfortunately, is itself an example of that problem, its heavy sarcasm and smearing and its disregard for a lot of the substantive issues that really are important.

And I would hate to see Republicans go probably into opposition, sustaining this terrible cycle of un-seriousness about politics, turning it into a spectator sport. The party is going to have some important rebuilding to do. It's going to do that in an intelligent way and we're all going to have to do better than we've been doing, including in the past 40 minutes.
Oof. Essentially, Frum said that Maddow's previous forty minutes had featured the same "ugly tone" and "un-seriousness" which he had been criticizing in his own party.

If memory serves, we thought Frum had a bit of a point that night. Maddow pushed back against his criticism, skillfully playing our tribe's ever-useful "false equivalence" card.

Eventually, she made a slightly odd statement. It comes near the end of this chunk:
MADDOW: The thoughtfulness issue, though. I wonder if part of the problem, in the way that we haven't moved through these things—

We decry them on all sides, people, left, right and center, complaining about the tone in politics. But I sense also that there's a devotion to coming up with a sort of false equivalence, the idea that bringing up John McCain's experience in the Keating Five, for example, is somehow equivalent to calling Barack Obama somebody who "pals around with terrorists."

You're saying that my tone on the show, sarcasm, being playful, the way that I approach issues, would be somehow equivalent to McCain, I'm guessing, saying that I want to talk about the economy. I don't see those two as equivalent.

FRUM: I'm suggesting—

The line is often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi—I don't know if it's really his—that we should be the change we want to see, or that we say we want to see. And so if we want to have a more intelligent, more grown-up politics, and I think we all say that, then we ought to do it...

I absolutely am concerned and unhappy with the kind of campaign my party has been running. And I'm doing my best to try to raise the tone, my little best, and urge that we do better. We're talking more substantively. I think we should all do that. It would be better for everyone.

MADDOW: I didn't intend for my interview with you to be about this. But because you raised it, I feel like I've got to talk to you about it. And I guess when you say that you want the discourse to be more grown-up and more intelligent, I agree with you on intelligent. I don't necessarily agree with you on grown-up.

I think there's room for all sorts of different kinds of discourse including satire, including teasing, including humor. There's a lot of different ways to talk about stuff and Americans absorb things in a lot of different ways.
That struck us as a slightly peculiar statement. Maddow said she wanted the discourse to be more intelligent. She said that didn't mean that she wanted the discourse to be more "grown-up."

(Frum seemed to think we all say that. Maddow said she doesn't!)

We don't want to join The Cult of the Offhand Comment here. It's certainly true, as Maddow said, that "there's room for different kinds of discourse," including satire and humor. It's true that "there's a lot of different ways to talk about stuff."

Having said that, it caught our ear when Maddow rejected the plea for a more grown-up discourse. We've recalled that statement many times in the years which have passed since that night. That's been especially true in the last year, when Maddow's journalism has turned into a clown car.

In 2008, Maddow reserved the right to talk about stuff through satire, teasing and humor. The following April, she produced a grotesque example of where that license can take us.

She did this over the course of two weeks with the help of Ana Marie Cox, who came on the show, night after night, to drop dick jokes on the heads of the teabaggers. This behavior was ugly, disgraceful and stupid. On Maddow's part, the behavior was also less than obsessively honest.

Night after night, Maddow pretended that she was embarrassed— mortified, even—by the embarrassing dick jokes Cox just wouldn't stop dropping. But how odd! Night after night, there was Cox, back on the air, repeating her wonderful dick jokes.

In our view, this was one of the most appalling episodes we've ever seen on cable. Sometimes, the dick jokes were dropped on public officials. But Maddow was willing to let the dick jokes be dropped on the heads of regular people too, including a twenty-something single mother who was scared out of their wits about the broken economy.

She was a teabagger too!

The episode was a disgrace. Our Own Rhodes Scholar from Stanford and Oxford displayed her contempt for the little Joes and Josephinas, the ones who aren't in her tribe. She also displayed an important fact:

She doesn't seem to have super-great judgment. In fairness, maybe nobody does.

A few years later, Jon Stewart directly scolded Maddow for this particular episode. He also told her that she should stop the endless mugging and clowning which had come to characterize her cable performance.

He told her that her job, journalism, is more important than his.

In a manner which was less than obsessively honest, Maddow disputed Stewart's account of all the dick jokes she had dropped on the heads of all those people. She also said that she planned to continue discussing the news through satire, teasing and humor.

Through most of the years which followed, Maddow reported on a range of serious topics. For our money, her playlist was a bit selective, but that problem is hard to avoid for any individual person, even one with a staff.

Among a range of topics, Maddow reported on abortion rights, on same-sex marriage, and on voting rights. A savvy viewer certainly had to fact-check everything Maddow said. But in those days, a viewer had a shot at learning things from watching Maddow's program.

In calendar year 2015, her program fell apart. At least by early May, Maddow's program had become a silly and ludicrous clown car.

In retrospect, it's reasonable to assume that MSNBC's decision to brand itself "The Place for Politics" played a role in the shift in Maddow's subject matter. As for the horrific increase in mugging and clowning and the turn to propaganda, we'll offer a total speculation. It will go something like this:

In August 2014, Bill Wolff left MSNBC to take control at (sigh) The View.

Wolff had no background in news when he came to MSNBC, where he we named executive producer of the Maddow Show; his background was in sports shout programs and in comedy. That said, Wolff seemed to provide an adult presence at the Maddow Show, where he was highly visible, both on line and on the air.

Here's our speculation:

Wolff may have provided the last bit of adult supervision for the Maddow Show's rather juvenile host. At this point, there is no visible journalistic supervision of Maddow's increasingly horrible work. There is no brake on her endless mugging, clowning and self-involvement.

At least by early May of last year, Maddow's coverage of the White House campaign was ubiquitous and remarkably inane. It was also highly propagandistic.

Other topics went under the bus as Maddow followed her bosses' direction, making her show the place for a type of brain-damaged, low-IQ "politics." We've discussed the inanity of her past year in endless detail at this site. We've also discussed an increasingly obvious fact:

Given Our Own Team's tribal vision, most of us liberals are unable to see how horrible Maddow's work is.

Maddow has become a cable news clown; her program is a clown car. When she does pretend to cover real topics, her coverage tends to be a silly, clownish disgrace.

We'd cite her pseudo-coverage of what happened in Flint as a shameless, disgraceful example. Her pseudo-coverage of Flint has been the latest silly game she has played at her viewers' expense.

That said, her shameless conduct is endlessly designed to please the tastes of us liberals. Apparently, we think her mugging and clowning are funny. Apparently, we're unable to see how much she distorts the "news."

It seems fairly clear that MSNBC, a corporate enterprise, performs no journalistic supervision of Maddow's gruesome program. That state of affairs is unlikely to change.

That said, as we close this week's report, we'll ask a slightly different question. We'll ask if the suits in question should be concerned about Maddow's increasingly peculiar conduct.

Back in March 2012, Maddow spoke at length to NPR's Terry Gross about a condition she described as "cyclical depression." This led to a profile in Rolling Stone which appeared beneath these headlines:
Rachel Maddow's Quiet War
America's leading lefty wonk has seen the enemy, and it's not just the GOP—it's the battles she fights every day with herself
The battle to which the headline referred was her battle with depression.

In the Rolling Stone profile, Ben Wallace-Wells severely distorted a recent episode in which Maddow had been much less than obsessively honest. With his requisite dissembling done, he then offered this capsule account of Maddow's battle, which she says she's been conducting since she was 12 or 13:
WALLACE-WELLS (6/27/12): Maddow suffers, she says, from "cyclical" depression. "One of the manifestations of depression for me is that I lose my will. And I thereby lose my ability to focus. I don't think I'll ever have the day-to-day consistency in my performance that something like This American Life has. If I'm not depressed and I'm on and I can focus and I can think through something hard and without interruption and without existential emptiness that comes from depression, that gives me–not mania. But I exalt. I exalt in not being depressed."

Over dinner, Maddow keeps talking about her career as if its end might be imminent. She says she sometimes thinks, "This show could be the last one I ever do." I ask her why that anxiety seems so present for her. What would she be losing if she lost her show? Her response is immediate. "My freedom," she says.
Maddow is tremendously skilled at getting liberals to praise her for her greatness. In this case, she was praised for her courage and, of course, for her candor.

No one explained how they knew that Maddow was being candid. This is the way the game is played, even Over Here in our own admittedly brilliant tribe.

That said:

As everyone knows, depression is a horrible condition. No one should have to suffer its effects.

Maddow seemed to describe a type of depression which trades off with bouts of mania or perhaps what she called exaltation. In an ideal world, no one would have to endure that.

"Cyclical depression" doesn't seem to be a widely-used technical term. Whatever you want to call the syndrome she has described, no one should have to suffer such effects.

That said, we keep getting the impression we've seen a lot of mania/elation/exaltation on Maddow's face over the course of the past year. We keep wondering if there's anyone at her sleazy corporate channel who has noticed her somewhat peculiar elated appearance, or if any such people would care if they ever did think they saw some such thing.

Maddow is a money-making major TV star. The history here is very clear. The suits will ride such profit centers until the horses break down.

They did it with Judy Garland, then they did it with Elvis. It has happened a million times since then.

Journalistically, Maddow's program has become a clown car, a joke—a journalistic disgrace. Journalistically, Rachel Maddow needs a ton of help.

That said, is Maddow completely healthy and well? Watching her program, we don't feel real sure.

Given the business she's chosen, we're not sure her owners will care.


  1. Bob Somerby has certainly ridden the Judy Garland and Elvis horse comparisons into the ground.


  2. "Former President Bill Clinton slammed what he called the "awful legacy of the last eight years" during a campaign appearance for his wife, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, in Washington state Monday"

    "If you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that when we were practicing trickle-down economics and no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for her." Former POTUS WJC March 21, 2016

    1. @12:30

      That's what HRC said to Bill when she learned of his latest gaffe.

    2. Taking someone's statement out of context and pretending it means something different doesn't make it a "gaffe."

    3. @12:37
      Please put Bill's statement into context where it doesn't mean what he in fact said (condemnation of the Obama Administration) at the time he said it

    4. He was condemning Republican obstructionism.

    5. In what universe does it make any sense that Bill Clinton would be criticizing Obama's accomplishments, especially since HRC has been running a campaign promising to build upon them? The conservative interpretation of Clinton's remark ignores entirely the context of everything said previously during the campaign, the fact that HRC was part of Obama's administration for four years, and the fact that both Bill and Hillary are Democrats. No candidate trashes the incumbent president unless he or she is running against the sitting VP who is himself running on the strength of the President's record. It makes no sense at all. This is just conservative noise.

    6. @ 12:47
      You are repeating HRC campaign spinmeister Angel Urena explanation of Bill's embarrassing analysis of a Democratic Party POTUS. If that is what Bill meant, why didn't he just say that?

    7. @12:51

      In case you have been living in Cuba for the last eight years, POTUS 42 and POTUS 44 are not buddies.

      HRC has attempted to distance herself from Obama for the general election.

      “I am not running for my husband’s third term or President Obama’s third term,” Clinton told voters in Davenport, Iowa, repeating a frequent line from her campaign speeches. “I’m running for my first term.”

      "Before Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone pipeline and gun proposals, campaign staff alerted the White Houses. After Obama last week appeared to deride her proposal for a no-fly zone over Syria, aides called to make sure Clinton understood the criticism wasn’t aimed at her, according to a senior White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

      The White House doesn’t deny that Clinton’s new distance has sometimes created awkwardness for the president.

      On immigration, Clinton’s promise to go further than Obama in using executive authority to ease the threat of deportation for immigrants living in the U.S. contradicts Obama’s assertion that he’s done all he can under the law.

      Similarly on gun control, just days after Obama said “this is not something I can do by myself,” Clinton seemed to think otherwise. On Monday, she promised to close the “gun-show loophole” through executive action."

    8. Sounds like a lot of good plans to me.

    9. @2:20

      Violating a POTUS Constitutional authority sounds good to you? Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the 13 times the SCOTUS voted 9-0 that Obama had exceeded his constitutional authority. And HRC believes she can go beyond Obama's unconstitutionality. The mind boggles.

    10. Where did you say Clinton would go back and reinstate any order overturned by SCOTUS? I hear you saying she would do a variety of good things via executive action. Presumably she and her legal advisors would figure out how to do that so that it sticks this time around.

    11. "The mindless babbles."

      FTFY - NFO

    12. @2:33

      HRC has legal advisors who have a better grasp of the U.S. Constitution than the POTUS, a law professor who claims he taught Constitutional law at University of Chicago? Ok. HRC said she would go beyond what Obama is doing on immigration which the SCOTUS has ruled as unconstitutional. That surely means she is up for extra unconstitutional executive actions.

    13. She has issues to be sure, but the few who watch her don't depend on her for their viewpoint, unlike the the viewers of the right wing shows.

      She could be much better, but I don't see her as destructive.

    14. How is it not destructive to give out incomplete or false information as a journalist?

    15. @1:22

      R.M. is mot a journalist; she is a pundit.

  3. Yesterday someone referred to Maddow as an entertainer. If she were, then her efforts would be chalked up as humor and people would agree that tastes differ. But she is not an entertainer -- she is a journalist. There are standards of professionalism in the field of journalism against which her efforts can and should be judged. Somerby is correct that she doesn't meet them.

    It isn't the humor or sarcasm or mugging that causes he not to meet journalistic standards. It is the content of her work, day in and day out. It is the failure to investigate and present the facts to her audience, her misleading and incompetent analysis. It is the fact that she presents propaganda instead of news.

    I don't care why she is performing poorly. I care that an important media position is being misused by someone who is incapable of doing the job. Journalists are an essential check on power in our democracy. When they fail, the people are unable to make coherent decisions at the polls and our elected government can be manipulated by plutocrats, tyrants, and bad actors, without anyone with a voice to oppose them. THAT is why Maddow's failure matters to our country.

    We have the rise of a potential dictator in Trump. What has Maddow been doing to warn of that danger?

    1. I care that commentary space is taken by idiots like youself who roam around screaming and tearing at your hair on the blog of someone doing exctly what you are complaining about.

    2. That's what you and Maddow have in common -- you both are off your meds.

    3. Maddow's interview Stuart is very interesting to watch. You can see it on YouTube. He tries to explain to her that they are different animals, that she is not a comedian. In the end, they respectfully disagree. You can see that he likes her. But you can also see that he may be a little resentful. Let's face it, she kind of stole his act a little bit. He seems to echo a lot of the things Bob writes about. He says that the news has become of fun house mirror into what is real.

    4. @1:48 says anyone who dares to criticize darling Rachel must be jealous of her.

    5. @ 2:02 joins Bob in his insane Maddow envy, to the point she is accusing @ 1:48, for no good reason, of the affliction shared with Somerby.

    6. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Report: New E-Mail Totally Contradicts Clinton’s Claims About Private Server

    "A new e-mail obtained by Judicial Watch appears to indicate that Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton knew that she did not turn over all of her emails when she claimed she had “as far as she knew.”

    "The FOIA document release contains emails from February 2009 which Judicial Watch believes contradicts two of Clinton’s claims: (1) that she turned over all of her government emails to the State Department, and (2) she did not use her email system until March 2009."

    1. cicero: Vote for Bernie!

    2. Trolls don't vote.

    3. @12:51

      With the FBI investigating HRC's Clinton Foundation/private server/top secret material emails, Bernie may be the Dems candidate in November yet.

    4. Only in Bernie's wet dreams.

    5. @2:01

      The Democratic Party Super Delegates stacked the deck against any HRC primary opponent from the outset.

    6. Plus she has won several million more votes than Bernie and a lot more delegates (not Super delegates) in the primaries. It isn't a stacked deck when there is a clear winner.

      You are aware that Clinton's super delegates were never counted at the convention in 2008? If Bernie were sweeping the nation, wouldn't the outcome be the same with respect to Clinton's super delegates this time?

      What I find amusing is that conservatives apparently believe (1) that Bernie would be better to run against than Clinton, or (2) getting Democrats fighting against each other during the primaries will benefit Republicans in the general election. We know Cicero wouldn't be arguing anything that aren't part of the marching orders for the day's trolling.

    7. @2:31

      Bernie lost by a few votes in Iowa and won by a landslide in New Hampshire. Yet HRC amassed an enormous 350-delegate advantage over Bernie after just two states. Explain how the fix isn't in for HRC again?

      And then there is this:

      "The Iowa Democratic party chair who is refusing to release raw vote totals from Monday’s state caucuses is a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter who donated to the politician’s various campaigns and who reportedly drives a Buick with the license plate “HRC 2016.”

    8. If those victories had been reversed and Hillary had won in New Hampshire and Bernie in the more populous Southern states, he would have the enormous 350-delegate advantage. That is how the fix isn't in for HRC.

      Transparency is an advantage to Clinton. How exactly is this person helping her? Do you think a few Bernie votes in Iowa one way or the other would make any difference? Bernie is trying to create the illusion of viability in his campaign. It isn't there.

    9. @3:05

      HRC and transparency are an oxymoron. If the vote in Iowa was inconsequential why is the party chair refusing to release the raw vote totals? She just likes looking corrupt?

    10. Perhaps because of the costs involved? Because she doesn't have the staff to do the vote count twice? Because it isn't the normal procedure? Because there is no point in it? Seems like there are plenty of reasons.

      Hillary has been transparent. She has not given in to specious conservative demands. I think you are the moron here.

    11. @1:21

      First off, it is Bernie who wants the vote count. Are you suggesting he is a conservative? Your "reasons" sound more like convenient excuses for a a party chair in cahoots with HRC.

      The FBI is investigating HRC. A transparent person does not go the extreme of using a private email server in the Chappaqua basement to avoid FOIA requests.

  5. Now Chelsea Clinton joins her pop in criticizing Obama Administration.

    "A video shows Chelsea Clinton blasting the “crushing costs” of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation. In the video, Chelsea Clinton tells a crowd that her mother, Hillary Clinton, is open to using executive action to reduce “crushing costs” of Obamacare.

    “…cap on out of pocket expenses. This was part of my mom’s original plan back in ’93 and ’94, as well as premium costs. We can either do that directly or through tax credits. And, kind of figuring out whether she could do that through executive action, or she would need to do that through tax credits working with Congress. She thinks either of those will help solve the challenge of kind of the crushing costs that still exist for too many people, who even are part of the Affordable Care Act and buying insurance…”

    1. The costs of paying for medical care without any insurance are more crushing than those with Obamacare, but what exactly is the problem with trying to reduce costs for those with low incomes who find even the costs with insurance to be "crushing"?

    2. @1:59

      Millennials can't afford the co-pay and deductible costs required by Obamacare. Shaky health insurance policies seem to be the only concern for liberals. None of it addresses the problems of the healthcare system from inside the hospitals and emergency rooms.

    3. Millennials can't afford the costs of health care either. They too can break a leg or need an appendectomy or get pregnant or wind up in the emergency room with food poisoning. Health care is necessary for everyone. Obamacare didn't make it free but it did make it more affordable, especially for those with preexisting conditions, such as millennials with asthma or Type I diabetes or high school sports injuries.

      It has been a clear improvement, for millennials and everyone else (expect perhaps the wealthy). HRC is now suggesting the next steps in making it better. I think that is to her credit, not an indictment of Obamacare, since any system needs tweaking. There were important changes to social security right after it was enacted too. That's how progress works.

    4. @2:25

      "In theory, millennials are perfect candidates for high-deductible plans. The conventional wisdom is that since young and healthy people tend to have very low health-care costs, they should opt for a higher deductible and keep more of their paychecks."

      Medical attention for fixing a broken leg could cost upwards of $7,500 according to Many of the Obamacare plans have deductibles as high as $6,000. Explain how paying for one of these Obamacare plans helped this broken leg Millennial not get a medical collection account on their credit reports?

    5. With Obamacare, the millennial would pay $6,000. Without it, $7,500. But there is no law saying Millennials must buy a high deductible plan. I wouldn't, if I engaged in activities likely to result in broken limbs.

      The best way not to get a medical collection account is to work out a payment plan and stick to it.

      Young and healthy people are also most likely to have kids. I don't think they should sign up for the highest deductible plans under those circumstances.

      The goal is not necessarily to keep more of their paycheck. It is also to live responsibly. Ask David in CA about that.

    6. @ 3:00

      Wrong. You didn't factor in the cost of the Obamacare plan monthly premium of $263 to $345. Not to mention the Millennial doesn't have the 6,000 to spend so what is the difference in not having an extra $1500 they don't have to spend?

      The best way to not have your vehicle repoed is to make the payments. Amazing how many people who financed their cars are using public transportation because they couldn't stick to the payment plan.

      Actually, Millennials are not big on having children.

      "Why Millennials Are Increasingly Putting Off Parenthood"

      "The CDC says birth rates are steadily dropping among millennials and economists are worried"

      "But strapped with student debt and lower paying jobs or unemployment, most millennials are increasingly waiting to become parents, especially given the rising cost of raising children"

    7. You didn't factor in the other health care a person might need, once the deductible is paid. For someone with a preexisting condition that can be very expensive and not having coverage can be life-threatening beyond indebtedness. That makes Obamacare a necessity, not just a bargain. It will always be true that insurance at any price is too much money for someone who never needs treatment. Insurance isn't about those people because no one knows who they will be in any given year. You need to read up on how insurance spreads the cost amony the many to make catastrophe affordable under conditions of uncertainty.

    8. @10:13

      Wow! How have Americans been surviving all these decades before Obamacare?

      When you spread the cost of insuring people with existing conditions it is the Millennials who will be the ones paying for this coverage of older folks. But since the Millennials would rather pay the penalty than sign up for Obamacare, the entire Obamacare system is built on a swamp.

    9. Funny, none of the figures support your claims about Obamacare's financial viability. It is doing just fine and millions more now have coverage. Complaining doesn't change that.

      People have different health needs at different ages. Old people don't need birth control, for example. Younger ones don't need Viagra. Some young people are very unhealthy, some not. Same for older people. The majority of the elderly (75%) are not unhealthy until right before death. They lead active, productive lives.

      You don't work in an office, but if you did you'd know that the office collections are always to buy strollers for the Millenials new babies, not to cheer up the boomers having hip replacements. Millennials miss more work days than Boomers. They have the alcohol and drug problems, the car accidents and the sports injuries. The most aggressive cancers appear in younger people.

      End of life care is something everyone will need if they are lucky enough to live a full life span -- hence medicare (which supplements Obamacare's coverage of the elderly). The inevitability of death means nearly everyone will need catastrophic care at some point. Pitting the generations against each other is a cynical conservative practice with no justification, since individuals vary widely in their health needs at every age.

      Requiring the well to care for the sick goes back to hunter-gatherer times. It is why people without families didn't survive. It is traditional in every society for the strong to care for the weak. There is no excuse for evading that responsibility just because someone like Ted Cruz thinks it is smart to be selfish. Millenials who believe it is in their interest to destroy a system that will be essential to them later in their lives are not any smarter than you are, wasting your time typing crap to people who will never agree with you, even if they do read your comments (most probably skip them).

    10. @3:28

      Thank you for feeling compelled to read and not skip. That you are a true believer of all things Obama regardless of factual information that exposes the inherent flaws in Obamacare is not a hallmark of critical thinking.

      Feel free to attempt to dispute these points from Market Watch Diana Furchtgott-Roth

      1. Low enrollment. Many people would not have jumped on the Obamacare bandwagon if they had known the relatively small number of Americans who would actually be enrolled on the exchanges by 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that between 9.4 million and 11.4 million signed up in 2016.

      In contrast, in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 21 million people would be enrolled on the exchanges.

      2. High numbers of uninsured. Under Obamacare, the number of uninsured was supposed to decline from 50 million to 22 million in 2016 and remain at that level. Instead, there are still 31 million uninsured, and the number is never projected to go below 29 million, according to CBO.

      The Kaiser Family Foundation (February 2016) says that around 10% of the population (32.3 million of 316 million Americans) lacks health-insurance coverage. If the goal of health-care reform is to extend insurance coverage to more Americans, there are surely more effective — and less costly — ways to achieve this goal.

      3. Lost doctors. In a presidential weekly address on July 18, 2009, President Obama said: “Michelle and I don’t want anyone telling us who our family’s doctor should be — and no one should decide that for you either. Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor.”

      Various sources note that a common (and popular) way to reduce premium costs has been to reduce the number of doctors in the insurer’s network, which leads to a much greater likelihood of people losing their doctors than without the ACA.

      Initially the ACA required only 20% of “essential community providers” to be included in networks, but the number went up to 30% after there was a backlash from hospitals. According to a NIH study, 15% of plans offered on the exchanges exclude doctors from at least one kind of specialty.

      4. Lost plans. Speaking in the Rose Garden, on July 21, 2009, President Obama said: “If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that: If you like your plan, you’ll be able to keep it.” But it wasn’t true. Many plans disappeared because they did not comply with the ACA regulations.

      Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, recently released a report about Obamacare’s effects on competition among insurers, concluding that outcomes have worsened for most Americans, in terms of choice of insurers and plans. Over the past year, the number of insurers offering plans in exchanges has dropped by nearly 6%.

      Many states have lost more than 80% of their insurers: Alabama went from 23 to 3, Arkansas went from 24 to 4, and Wyoming from 21 to 1, just to name a few. Only New York did not lose over half of its insurers, going from 28 to 15 insurers, a 46% decline.

    11. More:

      . Higher premiums. President Obama claimed that the Affordable Care Act would reduce annual insurance premiums by $2,500 for a typical family. Yet a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found that, since 2008, average employer family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865. From 2015 to 2016 the most popular exchange family plan, Family Silver, saw a 10% average increase in its premiums. In some states, premiums rose by nearly 40%.

      In 2015 the average annual family premium was $17,545 per year, and the average premium for a single policy was $6,251. Young men were particularly hard-hit. Average premiums rose by 49% from 2013 to 2014, the year Obamacare was supposed to go into effect.

      6. Higher deductibles. Practically no one forecast that even after spending additional thousands of dollars a year for health insurance, families would have to spend thousands of dollars more on medical care before being able to take advantage of insurance for more than annual check-ups. Many people get sticker shock. The New York Times, long a cheerleader for Obamacare, reported that many people can’t afford to use the health insurance that they have purchased because of the deductibles.

      New York Times reporter Robert Pear wrote that the median deductible in Miami was $5,000 in 2015. It was $5,500 in Jackson, Miss., and $4,000 in Phoenix. One Chicago family of four paid $1,200 monthly for coverage yet had an annual deductible of $12,700.

      7. High costs. The Office of the Actuary of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has projected that Obamacare will result in an additional $274 billion in administrative costs alone over the period of 2014 through 2022.

      Legislative options that would repeal and replace Obamacare, such as the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act — passed on Jan. 6, 2016, and vetoed by President Obama on Jan. 8, 2016 — are projected to save taxpayers even more: $474 billion over the 2016-2025 period, the Congressional Budget Office notes.

      Many members of Congress voted for Obamacare to help the American public and put America’s health-care system on a sounder foundation. For most Americans, the opposite has happened. Health-care expenses for many individuals and families are higher, their insurance costs are higher, their choice of doctors and insurance is diminished, and the total costs of the program are burdening a weak economy. Had members of Congress known then what they know now, they would never have passed Obamacare.

  6. Nothing beats a comment box debate between Bobfan#1 and cicero!

  7. Making an idiot of yourself on TV every day is bound to make you feel a bit depressed, chemical imbalances aside.

    1. Almost as depressed as never making it it from the B-list comedy clubs to TV.

    2. You really think 99% of standups are depressed because they didn't become Gary Shandling? When did any career become all or nothing in terms of success?

    3. I think 99% of standups are depressed. Slightly higher than dentists.

    4. @4:49

      Especially those depressed dentists who convert to Judaism for the jokes.

  8. Bobo Brooks proves he is a clueless as Bobo Somerby about poltics.

  9. I'd say Brooks' bafflegab prove Somerby's points about our inane, pretentious, so-called 'liberal' press corp.

    (See "Einstein made 'relatively' easy" earlier in this blog).

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. "To our ear, the first warning sign was delivered in January 2008." BS

    Of course Bob wants to skip that "warning sign." It was the one in which he praised her to high heaven for taking a direct on air shot at Chris Matthews then took it back when she was later paraphrased by a reporter as saying something praising him.

    Then we saw the "warning sign" from an aging failure who failed to have his vanity blog demand met.

    "...we’ll ask Maddow, one more time, to explain her peculiar comments. Until she does, we’ll assume the worst—that Maddow is the latest self-dealer to trade the truth for her own success. We’ll treat her with the contempt she has earned until she explains why she said what she did..." BS 1/21/08

    Someone might have suggested Somerby give Maddow a call on the device Mr. Bell took the initiative in creating and ask her directly instead of making a demand in his obscure blog. Alas, nobody cared and Bob has kept his threat while behaving more and more erractic with each obssesively dishonest post demonstrating his contempt.

    1. So, why did Maddow praise Chris Matthews?

      Why would a new fiery liberal voice praise someone who first trashed the Clintons then turned around and pretended that never happened? Do you know? Do you think it doesn't matter when evaluating whether she is a trustworthy advocate of liberal views?

    2. Perhaps someone who cares about you can come explain how irrelevant your questions are to the issue raised in my comment.

  12. Soon it will be time to put BS in a rubber room where he can write 'Maddow sucks' on the walls with a crayon to his heart's content.

    1. Bob already owns the Rachel and the Clowns: MSNBC Krazy Karacterz Koloring Book from the Amazon Adult Books club.

  13. My life became devastated when my husband sent me packing, after 8 years that we have been together. I was lost and helpless after trying so many ways to make my husband take me back. One day at work, i was absent minded not knowing that my boss was calling me, so he sat and asked me what its was all about i told him and he smiled and said that it was not a problem. I never understand what he meant by it wasn't a problem getting my husband back, he said he used a spell to get his wife back when she left him for another man and now they are together till date and at first i was shocked hearing such thing from my boss. He gave me an email address of the great spell caster who helped him get his wife back, i never believed this would work but i had no choice that to get in contact with the spell caster which i did, and he requested for my information and that of my husband to enable him cast the spell and i sent him the details, but after two days, my mom called me that my husband came pleading that he wants me back, i never believed it because it was just like a dream and i had to rush down to my mothers place and to my greatest surprise, my husband was kneeling before me pleading for forgiveness that he wants me and the kid back home, then i gave Happy a call regarding sudden change of my husband and he made it clear to me that my husband will love me till the end of the world, that he will never leave my sight. Now me and my husband is back together again and has started doing pleasant things he hasn't done before, he makes me happy and do what he is suppose to do as a man without nagging. Please if you need help of any kind, kindly contact Happy for help and you can reach him via email:

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