The honeymoon is already over

And he’s not even President yet.

Fucking Dems.

He specifically said he wanted Congress to pass this bill without adding any earmarks in his speech today. I’m not surprised at the reaction.

Hey, imo, this must mean Obama is doing something right. :)

My guess is that Obama knows these are the same spineless wimps that rolled over every time Bush raised his voice, and expects them to fall in line pretty quickly. They might as well get it out of their system now.

Senate Dems are embarrassingly useless.

If Congressional Democrats wanted take-no-prisoners policies that took a firm and hard-left stance on issues and got tough with the Republicans to make it happen, they had the whole last two years to do it. Now I’m not a big fan of this either, but I’m willing to see where it goes; if these kinds of smaller concessions are the price of implementing liberal reforms on the bigger stuff, I’m willing to hold my nose through it. But I also didn’t spend the last two years running the entire legislative branch and refusing to show some balls and get my agenda through without also having the presidency, because politics is hard when it’s not a lock.

In short, screw you, you bunch of incompetent boobs. You had your chance. You can follow Obama’s lead now.

All quoted segments come direct from Obama’s speech according to the above site.

This crisis did not happen solely by some accident of history or normal turn of the business cycle, and we won’t get out of it by simply waiting for a better day to come, or relying on the worn-out dogmas of the past.

Well then I don’t need a jacket.

To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years

What a strange statement.

protect our power sources from blackout or attack

Terrorists or fallen trees? You decide!

To get people spending again, 95% of working families will receive a $1,000 tax cut—the first stage of a middle-class tax cut that I promised during the campaign and will include in our next budget.

Could be useful in a lump sum. As a tax cut, it should have a marginal effect, at best, on spending. An expensive marginal effect.

To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its cost, we will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized. This will cut waste, eliminate red tape, and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests. But it just won’t save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs - it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health care system.

I just had to point this out for being kind of silly. Getting rid of paper records should result in lost jobs, as fewer people are needed to maintain digital records than paper ones. That’s kind of the whole point.

One thing about the tech focus is it really seems to be at odds with the environmental focus. Broadband for everyone* and digital medical records should mean a big increase in demand for, well, space. On the internets. And that means more, well, computers. Of various kinds. And computers, as we are all aware, are not powered by gumdrops, sugar, and puppy dog farts. All that electricity has to come from someplace, and that place is likely to be coal.

To put it plainly, I was expecting more out of Obama and his crackerjack team of economic experts. I’d keep picking nits but, frankly, his verbosity is tiring me out.

It means expanding broadband lines across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.

edit: In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a dirty capitalist pigdog, and I don’t like this plan any more than you damn dirty hippies/apes.

As an economist, wouldn’t you want to weigh the carbon cost of producing, transporting, and maintaining the paper records for X years versus the IT investment over the same period of years? No matter what you do, it’s going to use energy. The question is, how much compared to our other alternatives? And anyway, the digital records should cut costs so that it might be easier to pass and pay for his coverage reform.

I don’t know about you guys, but I certainly waste a lot more of my time and energy looking at paper documents (endless photocopying to boot). I could agree that all those paper records need to be carted about everywhere. Do everything electronically and I guess I could imagine there being some footprint saving.

Having worked for 5 years in the medical information technology field, I am horrified at the prospect of entirely digital medical records. I hope I never get sick.

I’m joking, of course. The company I worked for (recently quit) had an Enterprise Medical Record product and it was such a piece of shit. I’m guessing they’ll either be forced to adopt some industry standards or die.

Are you sure? Because you sound like a young white kid who grew up with upper middle class parents that has a confusing mishmash of stances. You’re a capitalist pigdog, but you’re against improving the medical system if it means that jobs will be eliminated? You don’t understand how investing in alternative energy will stimulate the adoption of same? You think that electronic record-keeping has more of an environmental impact than paper?

Do what now?


You’re right. In fact, we should ban tractors and the like, so we can get back to having 80-90% of the population working in agriculture. Then there will be no shortage of jobs!

This investment is intended to stimulate the economy in the short term when it’s desperately needed while improving efficiency for the long term. Personally, I’d rather have more people dedicated to taking care of the sick and elderly than shuffling papers around anyway.

One thing about the tech focus is it really seems to be at odds with the environmental focus. Broadband for everyone* and digital medical records should mean a big increase in demand for, well, space. On the internets. And that means more, well, computers. Of various kinds. And computers, as we are all aware, are not powered by gumdrops, sugar, and puppy dog farts. All that electricity has to come from someplace, and that place is likely to be coal.

Maybe the environmental impact of doing some business over a broadband connection is less than the impact of driving or flying everywhere to do it. Besides, the energy cost of computing, communication and storage is trending down. Gamer PC power supplies are getting beefier because the computational power of a desktop is growing faster than the efficiency.

Within 5 years? That’s an even more implausible goal than trying to be free from foreign oil dependence in 10.

Well, obviously. Earmarks let the legislative branch influence where the money goes (for better or worse) instead of letting bureaucrats in the executive branch divvy it out, so of course he’s going to want all the power with this. Can’t say I blame him given the idiots in Congress.

Congress has no room to complain, after he gave them a kidney.

Oh, I totally agree with you. After the clusterfuck Congress largely created by their inability to accomplish anything besides funnel money to their own jurisdictions, I totally support Obama’s stance on this.

Since the Dems can’t actually face up to Republicans, some of them make themselves feel big by attacking each other.

What’s funny, a few weeks ago on the Stephanopolous (sp) Sunday morning show, George Will made the comment that Obama’s first challenges would likely come from Democrats rather than Republicans, because “Washington is all about power, and there will certainly be an effort by leading Democrats to let Obama and the nation know that he will need to recognize their power. I would guess this will manifest itself in some surprisingly vocal opposition from those who feel their Washington position is most threatened by Obamamania.”

I work tangently in the medical space and the problem is insurance companies. Every insurance company has it’s own requirements for getting reimbursed and doctor offices have to staff to disproportionate numbers (~20 people in an office of 70, supporting 9 doctors) just to process insurance.

Electronic medical records are one step, but getting insurance companies on a standard should be a close #2. This way doctors can have maybe 5 people tops working on insurance claims & reimubursement.

And Aeon - the investment to get to EMR is going to be huge resulting in a big job gain for the first 3-5 years. Yes jobs will go down in the long run, but it will be a big boost in the short term.

I’m in favor of digital records, I just thought it was funny that Obama suggested that getting rid of paper records would create jobs while cutting costs. It does one or the other, folks, not both. Digital records are almost certainly a win from the patient standpoint, so long as nobody pulls a Britain and loses the records on the train.


Business Week agrees with you that energy consumption is high but trending down on a per unit basis. But the overall amount used will still be going up enormously. I do remember reading an article unfavorably comparing the tech industry’s energy consumption levels to those of the airline industry (I can’t find it, unfortunately). Even without a hard source, I personally think the tech industry is going to be hit hard by the implementation of a cap and trade or carbon tax plan – one of Obama’s goals. Vastly increasing the number of users, and increasing the bandwidth of many existing ones, is probably going to push up energy consumption even more.

Sure, there might be somewhat fewer people on the road or in planes, but do you really think that that reduction in emissions will offset what’s likely to be a major explosion in the use of an energy intensive service?