"The Health Insurers Have Already Won"

One of the guest bloggers here, the esteemed Ed Harrison, was initially more hopeful about Obama than some of us (I an sufficiently cynical that I find it hard to get excited about any politician, although I will confess to falling for Australia’s Kevin Rudd) but is now calling him a black Herbert Hoover.

Even that is not quite sufficient, but is directionally correct. One of the defining characteristics of Team Obama its preference for spin in lieu of substance. Admiittedly, the Bushies had a variant of that, in their obsession with the visual staging of any presidential appearance (the attention to props and lighting detail would do Annie Liebowitz proud).

But with the Obama cohort, the focus is Orwellian, the use of language to misrepresent substance. Recall the totally mislabeled “stress tests” which were not tests. The tests were self-administered and the result pre-determined, since Administration officials said repeatedly that the point of the exercise was to show that the banks were sufficiently well capitalized. And since there were doubts about the seriousness of the exercise, it was helpful to the PR process that the banks got pissy and pushed back, which gave the misleading impression that they were being handled roughly (as opposed to they were given a yard and wanted to see if they could take a mile).

A similar charade is in motion on the health care front. My bullshit meter went into high alert earlier this week with this New York Times story, “For Health Insurers’ Lobbyist, Good Will Is Tested,” which was clearly a PR plant. It featured Karen Ignagni, a $1.6 million-a-year earning lobbyist to the health insurance industry as a heroine (I started getting nauseaous as soon as I saw the deliberately low-key picture of her in her office). And why should we see a representative of one of the biggest forces undermining democracy in America, the usually-successful efforts of well-funded industry groups to steam-roll legislative process, as a good guy, or in this case, gal? Because she supposedly talked a mean and obstructionist industry into playing nice.

This NYT article thus manages to be a two for one, trying to re-image both the health insurance industry and lobbyists. Consulting my Divine Comedy, I find lobbyists are relegated to the eight circle of hell no matter how you cut and slice it, as either flatterers (second bolgia) or false advisors (bolgia eight) or falsifiers (bolgia ten, along with alchemists and perjurers). This puts them on the same general level as corrupt politicians (bolgia 5), although one could make a case they belong in the ninth circle, traitors.

To the Times’ puff piece:

For the insurance industry, long an opponent of health care reform, it was a striking change: with a new administration coming to Washington, insurers agreed to abandon some of their most controversial practices, like denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing medical conditions.

The truly offensive bit of the piece was the Grey Lady running full bore with the line that they were being unfairly castigated, they really had turned a new leaf, and those people who were Calling Them Bad Names were risking breaking up Ms. $1.6 million woman’s fragile coalition:

For a while, it seemed to be working — until recently, when the insurance industry re-emerged as Washington’s favorite target. “Villains,” Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, called health insurers. And Mr. Obama derided the industry for pocketing “windfall profits.”

Taken aback, Ms. Ignagni, the 55-year-old chief executive of the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, wondered on Tuesday why insurers were being singled out when, in her view, they had accepted that change was necessary.

“Attacking our community will not help get anyone covered,” she said.

The last statement was very revealing. It’s tantamount to “We still hold the whip hand.” And it appears they do.

The “nice” act by the insurance industry could mean only one of two things. First would be that they see that reform really is coming, and they will have more leverage if they try to shape legislation, which means being part of the process rather than in the wilderness in a losing battle to stop it. Or else they have already won and want to make sure no one connects the dots before legislation is passed.

It turns out the latter theory is correct, that the insurers come out of this faux reform even better than before. And since one of the reasons the US has the highest health care costs in the world is that we have far and away the highest administrative costs,. All those fights to get care you thought you were entitled to just serve to make the overall tab higher. The parasites will suck even more from the host.

From Business Week:

As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves around the country, much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. Health reform could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next decade, and it may complicate matters for some large employers. But insurance CEOs ought to be smiling…

Impressing fiscally conservative Democrats like [Jim] Matheson, a leader of the House of Representatives’ Blue Dog Coalition, is at the heart of UnitedHealth’s strategy….big insurance companies have quietly focused on what they see as their central challenge: shaping the views of moderate Democrats.

The industry has already accomplished its main goal of at least curbing, and maybe blocking altogether, any new publicly administered insurance program that could grab market share from the corporations that dominate the business. UnitedHealth has distinguished itself by more deftly and aggressively feeding sophisticated pricing and actuarial data to information-starved congressional staff members. With its rivals, the carrier has also achieved a secondary aim of constraining the new benefits that will become available to tens of millions of people who are currently uninsured. That will make the new customers more lucrative to the industry….

Yves here. So did you get that what the $1.6 million woman was selling was a crock? According to Dante, flatterers are steeped in human waste. Sure, the industry isn’t fighting extending coverage, because it will collect fees for covering bupkis. Back to the article:

[Mike] Ross is frustrating the Obama White House by opposing proposals for a government-run insurance concern that would compete with private-sector companies. The President argues that without a public plan, premiums and medical bills will remain prohibitively high. Ross and Matheson have given strong voice to the industry’s contention that such a public insurer would actually reduce competition by undercutting private plans on price and driving them out of business. “We have concerns about a public option if it’s not done on a level playing field,” Ross says….

The several competing bills pending in Congress would guarantee all Americans access to health coverage, addressing the plight of the 47 million who are now uninsured. Congress plans to achieve that by expanding Medicaid, the government program for the poor and disabled; requiring insurers to accept all applicants regardless of their health; and mandating that everyone purchase coverage. Government subsidies would make the obligatory coverage more affordable. The legislation would do little, however, to slow spending by Medicare, the public program for senior citizens, or cut overall medical costs. Congress is considering taxes on the wealthy and on benefits now provided to many white-collar workers.

During the UnitedHealth road show in July, Democrat after Democrat clambered into the company’s promotional vehicle beneath a sign declaring: “Connecting You to a World of Care.” Judah C. Sommer, who heads the company’s Washington office, looked on with satisfaction. “This puts a halo on us,” he explained. “It humanizes us.”

And that Democratic proposal to tax insurance companies? It seems to be fading after the industry said it would raise rates for workers and their families.

I strongly suggest you read the piece, It is well reported and quite nauseating.

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  1. CJ

    It doesn't surprise me at all that the Obama/Pelosi push for "health care reform" is probably going to make things actually worse. Obama's political experience is as a Chicago machine politician; he's used to cutting up the pie among insiders. One important paragraph from that NYT article:

    A Democratic Senate staff member and then a union official earlier in her career, Ms. Ignagni has represented the interests of the insurers since 1993.

    She'll work to make sure Obama has something he can call "health care reform". It's just that any actual changes are likely to be for the worse. None of this is a surprise to people who haven't been drinking the Hope'n'Change Kool-Aid.

  2. Roman Werpachowski

    It really is simple. To curb the insurance industry's power, you need:

    1. force to offer a basic health care package to anyone at regulated prices
    2. create a state-run insurer able to compete with them on the market.

  3. Richard Kline

    We don't have to go all the way back to Hoover for a comparable, who btw was a comparatively honest man, if one too convinced of his worldview. I described him to a friend in primary season 08 as "Bill Clinton with a tan," and so it goes. Charisma and to spare, but for what? Comes a pinch, he surrenders everything the otherside wants as fast as possible, and lauds the 'compromise.' Come a fight, he sends out flunkies, or simply goes missing. Unwilling to invest any of his political capital on nuances like program or governance. Sold out anyone who ever voted for him but walks away waving to the crowd. Yeah, _that_ guy.

    And it's not that Obama is stupid, quite the reverse. Or incapable of reform. Actually, the student loan program was reformed exactly as it was supposed to be, and he was behind that. So I'm more of the view that he's bought and sold to certain interests, and won't cross them since he's capable of moving in other instances. —And that conclusion speaks even less well of Prez O. He is the creature of special interests, who will expend no effort for the public who elected him.

  4. lambert strether

    Actually, it's even simpler: Medicare for All (with a robust private option).

    Bsns W is quite mistaken if they think they've won the war. The war is has only begun with this battle. It will end when the insurance companies no longer murder people for profit.

    Incidentally, the surest possible indication that what Obama is pleased to call health insurance reform won't help people at all is that it starts in 2013. If it were any good, Obama would want to run on it in 2012.

  5. attempter

    It really is sickening. This is what I feared and suspected all along, the nightmare scenario where not only would there be no reform, but the feudal parasite would end up further entrenched, with a "universal mandate" to provide a conscript market.

    (This mandate, under these circumstances, would clearly be unconstitutional. The government cannot constitutionally force you to buy a private product as the price of being allowed merely to exist as a citizen.

    There's clearly no analogy with auto insurance, which is contingent upon the choice to own a car, or with Soc Sec/Medicare which are of course public programs.

    The closest comparison is a poll tax.)

    Upon being shown how a video camera works, and how a doctor can look at a patient through it. Like the way Bill Frist "diagnosed" Terry Schiavo:

    Representative Jim Matheson didn't disguise his wonderment. "Fascinating, fascinating," said the Democrat from Utah. "Amazing."

    That rube is one of the leaders of the dog democrats. It just goes to show how fundamentally and irrevocably broken this political system is, that a gawking hick like that has such power over intelligent, rational, decent people.

    I would make the modest suggestion that the uninsured (of whom I have intermittently been one), before they accept the corporate media meme that they are "free riders", consider the monumental free riding of this purely parasitic private insurance "industry", and consider how the political and media class are completely corrupted and beholden to this parasite.

    Having considered this institutionalized trillion dollar free ride, they should absolve themselves of any remorse they may have been inclined to feel over the one penny's worth of their own "free ride", and affirmatively declare that we refuse to buy such feudal policies at gunpoint, and we will indeed free ride if that's the only way this system allows us to exercise our human right to decent health care.

    Citizenship should say we're willing to pay reasonable taxes for a single-payer system, or at the very least a strong public plan (i.e. a full extension of Medicare), but that we are NOT willing to pay extortion rates to prop up a criminal gang and the despicable politicians it has bought off.

    That's when civil disobedience must do the talking.

  6. mrmetrowest

    All I can say in Obama's defense is that it may be the American political system is unreformable.

    You have a percentage of congress (Republicans) who will be against anything Obama does because they want him to fail. The Democrats have no party discipline, so there's no penalty to defying party leadership.
    As a result, you have a bloc who are Dems in name only, and are also in a sweet spot since their swing vote status allows them to wield tremendous power.

    All the lobbyists have to do is purchase goodwill from a few Blue Dogs, and the game is over before it's begun.

  7. VG Chicago

    Well, as one who works in healthcare, I’ll say that at this point any change to the current system is better than the status-quo, if for no other reason except that it is hard to imagine how things can get much worse… Unless, of course, we allow ourselves to become a nation where only senators and congress people have access to healthcare.

    Here is an interesting Bill Moyers PBS interview with a health insurance criminal (Wendell Potter) who claims to have found “Jesus” after seeing people he grew up with in Eastern Tennessee lined up in cattle barns in order to receive primary medical care. His confessions about the criminal dirty work he did on behalf of CIGNA are particularly enlightening:


    Vinny Gold

  8. skippy

    @Yves said…although I will confess to falling for Australia's Kevin Rudd.

    Same sediment here, as a career bureaucrat he is showing a career banker (Malcolm Turnbull) a few things about governance, and uses the mandate given him well (take note Obama).

    As our government is bought and paid for the only winners will be industry's (financial and health) and not citizens. IMO the only way to crack this nut is for the citizens of the US put down their red and blue banners, pony up what ever they can and buy back their government in a bidding war against the Corpoxury.

    Skippy…"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." – John Stuart Mill.

    PS. Thanks VG for the link.

  9. DownSouth

    When Bush was elected president in 2000, I said he wanted to remake the United States in the image of Mexico. Obama seems intent upon completing that transition.

    Mario Vargas Llosa, a Peruvian novelist, in 1990 called Mexico the "perfect dictatorship." It looked like a democracy, headed by a president who could not be re-elected, and equipped with all the institutional bells and whistles usually found in democracies.


    The PRI controlled the media. It secretly funded its putative opposition. It controlled the judiciary. Everything was political theater to create the impression there was a functioning democracy, when in reality it was the PRI pulling all the strings.

  10. Bob

    It's the stupidiy and spinelessness, stupid. The American people are, by and large too stupid to see the wool being pulled. Example: the "threat" that any reform will limit doctors for them. Hello! What do they think "out of network" means? Or the fact that many docs won't accept some plans, probably ones that have been screwing them.

    Obama's lack of a spine goes hand in hand. Forget bipartisanship and forget the Blue Running Dogs. He had a mandate to reform and he should whip his party into shape, push a public plan and let the chips fall. If he wins, no one will care three years from now what kind of majority he has. If he loses, he fought the good fight. And things will be worse in three years.

    The real sleeping dog that no one wants to tangle with is campaign finance reform. Just put an end to anyone contributing to any legislator not his/her own, and put a cap on contributions. Better yet, go for public funding for all candidates.

    As Bob Dylan said, "money doesn't talk, it swears." It indeed does swear.

  11. The Wood Tiger

    Bloggers like yourself Yves are the sowers of dischord (bolgia 9). j/k

    The ponzi term has been sometimes used inappropriately lately, but healthcare insurance is truly a ponzi scheme. Pay in when you're young and healthy, and hope to claim your benefits when you get older or have a family. Now it simply doesn't work anymore when benefits are employer-based and people change jobs often. The public expects the industry to have some sort of 'memory' of their pay-in when they were net contributors.

    I'm uninsured currently, but I'm still young, healthy, and don't have an excessive lifestyle. I don't see the point to getting insurance in the future. I should be building some sort of a healthcare savings account instead.

  12. Anonymous


    Since you invoke Dante, a nice chap so far as I can tell, I will invoke "anonymous".

    "To achieve serenity one must take the path of wholehearted cooperation with the inevitable."

    I believe that the question should be; What's sustainable…? Is the current systems or anything short of single payer, universal health care sustainable in a "democratic society"? I think that we all know the answer to that question.

    In case you haven't noticed, things are getting pretty nasty out there. The Insurance Mafia is very likely to prevail today, however, tomorrow is a whole new enchilada.

    So far as Obama goes, I still think he was the best man available for the job and we're lucky we have him instead of McCain or Clinton.

    Best regards,


  13. Francois

    There are multiple sings of trouble for health care reform on the horizon.

    1) nauseating deference from Congress to the lobbyists, who, if we are to believe BWeek, provides "tons of information" to the lawmakers. As the biggest stakeholder in the reform, I will let the readers decide how valid said "information" could be. See "Unconscionable Math" from Taunter's blog for a taste of the infinite sleaze embedded into the HCI industry "information".

    2) The press. A cursory reading of Glenn Greenwald blog at salon.com should be enough to "prove by facts and figures" as Twain was fond of saying, that the abdication of duty, slothfulness and moral depravity of the mainstream media is absolute. It goes without saying that such traits weight heavily on health care coverage. Here's a particularly nauseating and outrageous example of it:

    "“A provision of the House bill would provide Medicare coverage for the work of doctors who advise patients on life-sustaining treatment and “end-of-life services,” including hospice care. “Conservative groups have seized on this provision as evidence that the bill could encourage the rationing of health care. The Family Research Council, for example, said the bill would ‘limit end-of-life care.’ The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said, ‘This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.’”

    Maggie Mahar author of Money-Driven Medicine rip apart the NYT:

    "That’s it. No rebuttal. The article just moves on to another topic, without explaining that the House bill would pay doctors to explain palliative care to patients, making it clear that palliative care is all about giving patients options– by providing full information about the the benefits and side effects of various treatments. With that knowledge, patients (or families) can play a role in deciding which treatments to pursue. Palliative care is not about abandoning hope. Patients continue to receive potentially life-saving or life-prolonging treatments as long as they want them. And because palliative care specialists are trained in the fine art of pain control, they don’t die in screaming pain. Why didn't the Times spell that out?"

    Is it any surprise that public opinion is turning unfavorable to the reform? The press plainly refuse to analyze the facts and call a spade, a spade. Let's also not forget the millions in ads dollars the HCI industry brings to the networks, shall we?

    3) The WH has been very eager to temper the ardor of the "liberals" of their own party.
    Pray tell why? Don't they work on HC reform…or something else that they decided to call HC reform but is not exactly that?

    Speaking of the WH, Why were they so quick in dismissing the single-payer option, even if they didn't intend to go all in for it. That was a wonderful bargaining chip to extract concessions from the HCI industry, no? Why did they play soooo nice to them?

    The last time I checked, PUBLIC service means working for the common good. It is not a mandate to protect the profits of private entities. Yet, it is an overriding preoccupation both in the WH and Congress. Is the capture of the political institutions by corporations that complete? It would appear to be the case.

    All the above does not bode well for a true health care reform. But far more worrisome, it could very well be the symptom of a particularly nasty political disease I never thought I'd see this side of the Atlantic in my lifetime.

    Anyone remember the definition of a nation where there is a merger between the interests of the state and those of the corporations?

    It's a 7 letter word…starts with an "F".

  14. Bennett

    I should add: Yves and others have a whiff if idealism that is surprising. We almost never get perfect legislation on the first try. And health care systems in other countries evolved over time, not in one bill.

    Progress on public policy is usually incremental – that is why even a flawed health care bill is a big step forward. It can be fixed in future legislative sessions. You want to get your foot in the door.

    As far as other policy matters, Waxman Markey is another excellent example, with the originally flawed Clean Air Act as a good analogy. Read climateprogress.org if you want to be more informed on the climate debate.

  15. Anonymous

    The Wood Tiger,

    If you want to be reckless, fine, but answer me this"

    1. How far do you think your little health savings plan will go if you are in a car wreck and need more than a month in the hospital to be put back together? Or a fire and need skin grafts?

    Hospitals charge folks like you top rates because you have no group to bargain for you. You cane be up to well over $100,000 just for a pretty normal operation that requires full anaesthesia and hospital recuperation in NO time, Suggest you look up medical bankruptcies.

    2. How do you think you are going to save when there is inflation, which there will be, trust me. Your ability to save in real terms will be diminished, And your ability to save depends on pretty continuous employment or very high earnings, Unless you are on Wall Street sucking off the federal tit, that is not a given. If you were unemployed for a while, you could easily wind up breaking into your health savings kitty.

  16. LeeAnne

    Thank you for your comments.

    We can't allow ourselves be bullied into obliterating words that have real meaning and visceral impact. The stage we are going through right now is 'fascist' and it is the most accurate word to describe the system and its threats. The world has been there and seen that. There are at least two reasons it feels risky to use it:

    1. It's use is frivolous -a shortcut used by juveniles to describe anything they perceive as discipline –a discredited word.

    2. The word is correlated with Nazi Germany euthanasia and so perceived as too strong to accurately describe our own civilized advanced country and therefore considered an insult and therefore politically incorrect.

    We need to get over it. We can substitute 'corporatist' to be polite and still be accurate but it doesn't have the impact/memory of 'fascist.' Wikipedia "Fascism, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology and a corporatist economic ideology."

  17. curlydan

    Besides the health insurers, let's not forget our good friends, big pharma.

    They've pledged (through their noxious mouthpiece, Billy Tauzin) $80B in promised savings. Does this sound to anyone else like the vaguest and most unverifiable claim ever?

    It's like the Obama administration's promise to save x million jobs over the next year–how to you measure saving a job (sorry, no control groups avaiable)?

  18. Hugh

    Like night following day this was all so predictable and predicted. We saw this already in how the Obama Administration pumped trillions into a corrupt and failed financial system without requiring any real reform in it. Healthcare is just a replay of this.

    Right from the start, the one approach, single payer, which has a proven track record in the rest of the indusrialized world (and in programs like Medicare and the VA in the US) of delivering better health outcomes at lower costs than our private insurance system, wasn't even allowed to be discussed. Obama implied this was because it wasn't American enough, conveniently overlooking that the "American" system had failed and that all the industrialized countries have their own single payer variants. Obama's statement was stupid and empty. He was never called on it but it indicated the way the rest of the "debate" was going to go.

    Obama proceeded to give the insurance companies and BigPharma everything they wanted.

    To distract liberals and to leave a tangential claim to "reform", Obama kept the possibility of a public option out there. But he never said what this option would contain or fought for it very much, instead he kept it vague and kicked it down the road to 2013.

    I see healthcare reform to be a failure on many levels. It failed to learn anything from the successful, already up and running programs around the world. It will not control costs or reduce complexity. It showed that Washington, Democrats and Republicans, remains in thrall to BigBusiness, even when BigBusiness has failed.

    And it fails to take into account that all of this is likely to be moot if and when the economy hits the wall in 2011.

  19. donna

    What makes you think letting them look like they're winning isn't part of the plan?

    Did you all watch Obama's campaign?

  20. Anonymous

    One of the main problems with the Obama proposals, if we even really know what they are, is that it is never explained how they fit into the present situation. We have Medicare that is a government run program. Now how does what Obama proposes fit into that? Is it an expansion of Medicare, or some program in addition to it, or what? This has never been explained clearly to me, and I watch TV and read the news on the internet all the time. I think Obama has not communicated well with America.

  21. The Wood Tiger


    You are right – catastrophe is a huge risk for me right now. But then again, no one will be depending on me if I die.

    I'm a Gen-Xer with alot of baby-boomers to support in the near future. Like Social Security, why should I trust the system will be there for me in the future?

    Doctors have taken the Hippocratic Oath so I can still hope for a little health care.

  22. moslof

    What bothers me about these debates is that "health care" is referred to as a generic activity like "automobile maintenance". In the last fifteen years I have watched closely how the "system" leads medicare recipients through the process of dying and I can assure you that you will pass on with more dignity in a third world country where there is no "health care". Be very careful how you write your living will unless you want to be sliced, diced, crammed full of tubes and medicated into oblivion so that the government can contribute $2-300K to the hospitals bottom line as you lay there in a vegetative state. Just like housing was the most overbought market in the history of the world, our Orwellian "health care" system will be the next to be wiped out by the forces of deflation, hopefully, for good.

  23. Peter

    Yves, As a huge fan of your blog from Australia I feel the need to advise you that if you don't like politicians who overuse spin you are liking exactly the wrong politician in Kevin Rudd.

    The man is nothing but spin.

  24. Anonymous

    I have to agree. KR employs extremely good media management, that seems to never sleep. His recent essay was a masterpiece, which has seemingly sucked in the like of Steve Keen and others. It was a directional argument with cleverly incorporated lies that anyone doing basic fact checking would have called out. Keen, for example, received it with open arms (and maybe open mouth as well). Disappointing.

  25. skippy

    @Peter and anon 2:14,

    KRs spin as compared to whom? Banzai and Turdbull, Tassie awaits your arrival at the chipping mill.

    Lies is a big call and should require at least a few examples to substantiate your argument, me thinks.

    Skippy…or would you have back the bulls that rode on the back of the biggest bubble yet blown, then call them selves wise and gifted.

  26. Anonymous

    It is unfortunate that I have ruffled some partisan feathers. Such arguments are of no interest to me.

    If lies are a big call, truth is bigger.
    From KR's essay: "In the past 18 months interest rates have fallen from historic highs to record lows." Historic highs eh ?
    Anything wrong with that ? Oh, of course history only began when KR got elected. So sorry – I take all back !

    Interest rate 18 months ago was 7%. Hardly historic. That would be 1990 when interest rate was 17.5% !
    Of course KR wouldn't like to mention that. That wouldn't have anything to do with Labor being in government then would it ?
    Can't have these repressed memories resurfacing after all this time can we ?
    I could enumerate several other lies and half truths there, but most people are capable of the most rudimentary research to expose them – if they were interested of course.

  27. Peter

    @skippy no need for any comparison just judge him on his public performance last week he announced 50,000 that he had created new "green" jobs. It was all spin, the media caught him and the Minister Employment out straight away, they weren't jobs at all but work for the dole training programmes.

    The man is nothing but spin the very worst kind of politician.

  28. skippy

    Thanks for posting back Anon and Peter,

    Yes polies must spin and cavort, hay, especially in two party systems, 90% damage control and 10% real governance. That said the big spin seems to be Ute gate and Malcolm in the middle's inability to do due diligence prior to accusations. If you ask me, I think the wife loads the gun in that house (the SBS doco was fortuitously timed, eh).

    I guess my incredulous statements were derived from, lack of a better option umm Peter Costello (nope, hes been riding shotgun for to many years under Banzai and is savvy enough not to spend the rest of his years doing the same in opposition), Turnbull (hell no, wife reminds me of_Big Girls Blouse skit_"full frontal"*) or he that cannot be named AKA the BBQ Brawler.

    I find KR a great improvement over the last 20 years in said breed and on both sides of the Pacific, just need a few more Bob Brown types and the brew might taste right. I've had enough jobs picking up the pieces (other peoples mess) over the years, understand the enormity of the task and with GFC to boot. He has my backing until he caves into the financial sector, re-inflate bubble for short term gain political or economic.


    Skippy…BTW I'm political agnostic. Show me a better option, an I'm on-board even if its the Nationals.

  29. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, they're all dishonest. We need a new word for politician. Something that expresses a warning about what people are likely to hear from them. How about "professional liar" ?
    I can't think of any reasonable alternatives, except smaller government (so that they do less damage).
    To my mind the "best of breed" spin usually surrounds any economic discourse : in particular the idea that the RBA controls interest rates. It simply goes unnoticed that banks moved mortgage rates (slightly) upwards, and then the RBA starts to "threaten" a rate rise.

    The other great spin currently gaining angular momentum in Oz is the 'debate' about State responsibilities being taken over Federally. Most people seem to agree with this. They have forgotten that Labor has had the abolition of the Federal Senate on their agenda for thirty years plus. This is the ultimate destination.

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