The Campaign Spot

Who Knew ‘Game Changer’ Was a Synonym for ‘the Status Quo’?

The midweek edition of the Morning Jolt features grim statistics on attitudes in the Muslim world, thoughts on Marvel’s superhero film franchises, and then these notes from the president’s press conference:

‘Hello,’ the President Lied

Three quick points on Obama’s press conference from Tuesday

First, Obama demonstrates that the term “Game Change” is now the most useless buzzword since “value-added”:

THE PRESIDENT:  If I can establish in a way that not only the United States but also the international community feel confident is the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, then that is a game-changer because what that portends is potentially even more devastating attacks on civilians, and it raises the strong possibility that those chemical weapons can fall into the wrong hands and get disseminated in ways that would threaten U.S. security or the security of our allies.

Q    By game-changer you mean U.S. military action?

THE PRESIDENT:  By game-changer I mean that we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us.

Watch your rear, Assad, or we might have to rethink the range of options.

In Syria and all of the world’s trouble spots, the American people are going to resist intervening internationally until they’re confronted with something more horrible than the loss of blood and treasure spent in the war in Iraq. Right now, Americans aren’t convinced that anything can happen overseas that is so bad, so consequential and horrific, they’ll wish they had sent their sons and daughters and neighbors to go fight and die for something. For now, they’re right; they will probably be wrong someday.

Secondly, examine Obama’s reaction to Jessica Yellin’s question:

YELLIN: Lindsey Graham, who is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, has said that Benghazi and Boston are both examples of the U.S. going backwards on national security.  Is he right?  And did our intelligence miss something?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, Mr. Graham is not right on this issue, although I’m sure generated some headlines.

I think that what we saw in Boston was state, local, federal officials, every agency rallying around a city that had been attacked — identifying the perpetrators just hours after the scene had been examined.  We now have one individual deceased, one in custody.  Charges have been brought.

I think that all our law enforcement officials performed in an exemplary fashion after the bombing had taken place.  And we should be very proud of their work, as obviously we’re proud of the people of Boston and all the first responders and the medical personnel that helped save lives.

Notice the sneer that Graham merely wants to “generate headlines” with his statement, as if it’s outlandish to argue that a terrorist murdering our ambassador or a terrorist bombing on the streets of Boston constitute “going backwards on national security.”

Then notice that Yellin asks about the intelligence before the bombing, and Obama responds by citing the work of law enforcement after the bombing.

Thirdly, Obama declared about his signature health care reform, “ A huge chunk of it has already been implemented.  And for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, they’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act even if they don’t know it.  Their insurance is more secure.”

Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times responded, “Obama’s claim that folks who have insurance now have already gone through the ACA implementation is just not right. Lots of issues left.”

The tax penalty for not having insurance isn’t in effect yet. Businesses may still decide to drop coverage and pay the fines  (for some companies, it may actually be cheaper to pay the fines). We’re seeing companies try to shift as many employees as possible to less than 30 hours a week.  As Inc. put it:

The law’s new mandates–such as requiring insurers to cover preventive care at 100 percent–could drive rates higher. And small employers that buy insurance through the newly created Small Business Health Options Programs, or SHOP exchanges, may find higher costs once they are lumped in with a general-population risk pool.

And as for that claim that your health insurance is “stronger,” perhaps the president meant, “more expensive”: “Premiums could increase by an average of 30 percent for higher-income people in California who are now insured and do not qualify for federal insurance subsidies, the study said.”

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