Saturday, March 31, 2012

Supreme Court opposition to Obamacare makes "single payer" more likely

See more "Single Payer" cartoons at

If Obama had ramrodded "single payer" with his Senate super-majority at the outset of his administration, there would be no question of single payer legality.

Currently, the Supreme Court seems poised to shoot down Obama's signature legislation because, until recently, he was wet behind the ears and assumed Republicans would actually compromise. 

In fact, the "impossibly pure" never compromise. They are dedicated to unbesmirched righteousness and the immolation of infidels. 

As God's Chosen People, the "impossibly pure" consider themselves ordained to work His Will.

The silver lining in "all this" is that next time Dems have a super-majority they will slam-dunk single payer, an approach to universal healthcare that provides quality medicine at one third to one half the per capita cost of healthcare in the United States. 

Ironically, a decisive majority of Americans are enthusiastic over the chief features of Obamacare - i.e., no severance of coverage and no denial of coverage due to "prior conditions." 

However, these same citizens mistakenly believe these two features have already been enacted by an unspecified mechanism other than Obamacare. 

Similarly, 25% of the slim majority that oppose Obamacare do so because The Affordable Healthcare Act does not go far enough, not because they oppose universal coverage. 

If The Supremes overturn Obamacare, there will be fighting in the streets when -- in the next 5 to 10 years -- all of us will have a loved one (or a loved one's loved one) whose health is significantly damaged by not having access to the coverage Obamacare would have provided.

A revolution is "brewing." 

Like all revolutions, it will occur from the bottom up, not the top down.

Imminent eruption of popular outrage will be directly attributable to plutocratic (and ditto-head) hostility to The Common Good.


Obamacare's Day in Court: Good for Single Payer?

March 29, 2012 
supreme court sketch
This week, the oral arguments conducted before the Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul seemed to spell bad newsfor supporters of Obamacare. But there was a moment that could hearten those progressives yearning for a single-payer type of national health care system.
Conservatives have spent the last few years falsely characterizing the Affordable Care Act, which preserves the private insurance system, as a "government takeover of health care." Yet during oral arguments, a lead lawyer opposing Obamacare as unconstitutional suggested an actual government takeover of health care might be constitutional.
In an exchange between Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Michael Carvin—a lawyer representing the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which opposes Obamacare—Sotomayor got Carvin to concede that a single-payer system would be constitutional:
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: So the—I—I want to understand the choices you're saying Congress has. Congress can tax everybody and set up a public health care system.
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: That would be okay?
MR. CARVIN: Yes. Tax power is–
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had previously attempted to trap former Solicitor General Paul Clement into saying the same thing. "It seems to me you're saying the only way that could be done is if the government does it itself; it can't involve the private market, it can't involve the private insurers," Ginsburg said. "There has to be government takeover. We can't have the insurance industry in it. Is that your position?"
Clement, perhaps flashing forward to a future where he is arguing against the constitutionality of the health care system liberals would prefer to the private sector alternative they actually got passed, refused to be cornered. "No. I don't think it is, Justice Ginsburg. I think there are other options that are available."
Justice Anthony Kennedy wondered aloud whether the ability of the government to set up a single-payer system meant that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional. "Let's assume that it could use the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single payer," Kennedy said. "In one sense, it can be argued that this is what the government is doing; it ought to be honest about the power that it's using and use the correct power."
"On the other hand," he mused, "it means that since… Congress can do it anyway, we give a certain amount of latitude. I'm not sure which way the argument goes." 
If the Affordable Care Act gets struck down in its entirety, however, single payer may be the only alternative left for liberals, as monumentally difficult as it would be to get it passed. 
And though some conservatives—as they assail Obama's health care reform—now concede such a plan would be constitutional, no doubt the right can be expected to argue the opposite should single-payer ever become a viable alternative to Obamacare.
The following media excerpts are a sampling of the plethora of new articles that suggest single payer may be the answer to the constitutionally-challenged Affordable Care Act. They represent the views of enthusiastic liberals, reluctant conservatives, and everyone in between. If you read only one entry, I would suggest the very last one, which is my response to today's New York Times Economix blog by Uwe Reinhardt. Although at times it seems like we single payer activists are hollering in the wind, the profusion of responses demonstrates that single payer is now widely recognized as a model that would work for all of us. Keep hollering!


The Daily Beast
March 29, 2012
The Wall Street Journal: Unwitting Advocates of Single-Payer
By David Frum

The crazy thing about the litigation over the Affordable Care Act is this... nobody disputes that Congress has full authority to set in motion a national healthcare program. Congress could tax all American at any rate — or any schedule of rates, no matter how confiscatory for those at the top — and then use the money to fund a British-style National Health Service.


The Washington Post
March 29, 2012
If Obamacare is overturned, will that lead to single payer? And would that be a good thing?
By Ezra Klein

Eventually, we end up with something close to a single-payer system, as a majority of Americans — and particularly a majority of Americans who have significant health risks — are covered by the government.


The Washington Post
March 28, 2012
Judicial activists in the Supreme Court
By E.J. Dionne Jr.

The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words.


The Nation
March 27, 2012
If the Mandate Fails, Single Payer Awaits
By George Zornick

One obvious option, besides just doing nothing and allowing health care costs to continue their exponential growth while more people lose coverage, is a single-payer health insurance plan. There is no doubt about the constitutionality here — the government is clearly allowed to levy taxes to fund public benefits.

So if health care reform goes down, the next logical step may well be just extending Medicare to everyone.

Health Affairs Blog
March 29, 2012
Renee Landers On The Individual Mandate: Towards A Single-Payer System Or Public Option?
By Renée Landers

Early in the arguments, in an exchange with the Solicitor General, Justice Kennedy raised the idea that one alternative available to Congress may be to "use the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single payer."

Toward the end of the day's arguments, Justice Sotomayor pressed Mr. Carvin on the same point: "I want to understand the choices you're saying Congress has. Congress can tax everybody and set up a public health care system."

These discussions leave the Court, conservatives, and the public with a curious dilemma. Through the Affordable Care Act, Congress has tried to regulate private insurance markets to solve the market problem of making health insurance affordable for the uninsured, whatever their individual health status. If that market-based approach does not survive a Commerce Clause challenge, what alternatives are left to Congress? One alternative is to do nothing, which does not seem to be economically responsible given accelerating health care costs and certainly leaves tens of millions of Americans in a precarious and untenable situation.

The other option would be for the government, as the last resort, to create the "public option" that was so controversial during the debates over the Affordable Care Act, or to move entirely to a single-payer system, eschewing markets.


The Washington post
March 29, 2012
A stronger prescription for what ails health care
By Eugene Robinson

Our only choice is to try to hold the costs down. President Obama tried to make a start with a modest approach that works through the current system. If this doesn't pass constitutional muster, the obvious alternative is to emulate other industrialized nations that deliver equal or better health care outcomes for half the cost.

I'm talking about a single-payer health care system. If the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare, a single-payer system will go from being politically impossible to being, in the long run, fiscally inevitable.


San Francisco Chronicle
March 28, 2012
My Mom, the Supreme Court, and the Affordable Care Act
By Emil Guillermo

My mom died before the Clintons attempted their push for reform, and before Obama came up with his intricate compromise. Before then, Mom’s old fashioned Medicare plan worked just fine.
So I know this crazy Supreme Court debate to overturn the Affordable Care Act would have surely given her chest pains.
She’d ask, “Why can’t the government just extend Medicare to all?” (Seniors have a way of getting to the point. Unlike lawyers.) Medicare is a single payer system that doesn’t have people crying “Socialism!” It doesn’t get conservatives’ dander up about individual liberty and the broad powers of the federal government.
And it works. Everyone gets the care they need.
If only mom were alive and in charge.


The American Prospect
March 30, 2012
Single-Payer or Bust
By Steve Erickson

Striking down the individual mandate leaves only one of two options: adopt a system in which government pays for health care, or do nothing.


Scripps Howard News Service
March 29, 2012
RedBlueAmerica: Will 'Obamacare' survive?

Joel Mathis: The insurance mandate was a half-step toward that goal. Let's take the full step: Single-payer health insurance, run and administered by the government, with no private-sector middlemen to add costs and reap profits from taxpayers.

Ben Boychuk: The problem with the single-payer fantasy is it makes promises the government cannot keep. The health-care budget is not unlimited. Government would make choices about your health care based not on what you need, but how much a procedure costs. In truth, that's becoming the case more and more under our existing system, which is why reform remains essential.


BBC News
March 29, 2012
What if Supreme Court strikes down Obama healthcare act?
By Mark Mardell

(A Democrat strategist I've spoken to) adds that defeat might make Democrats more radical and argue that what is called here a "single payer system" - a tax-funded national health system as we have in the UK - is the only real answer, rather than President Obama's market-sensitive half-way house.


The Star Ledger
March 25, 2012
Obamacare health-insurance exchanges are set up to fail
By Paul Mulshine

The real threat is not that Obamacare will take over Medicare. It's the other way around, says Mike Cannon, a health-care expert with the free-market Cato Institute in Washington.

"These exchanges are built to fail," said Cannon. "They'll drive private insurance companies out of the market. When they do, the whole thing will collapse."

At that point, some sort of single-payer system would be needed to cover the people the private insurers don't want. Those who’ve been arguing Medicare should be extended to everyone would probably win at the polls.


The New York Times
March 28, 2012
If Health Law Is Overturned, What Will Liberals Do?
By Michael D. Shear

If Democrats make little progress on alternatives, some purists might decide it’s best to just renew the case for a single-payer system in which all Americans receive health care paid for by the government.

Sidney M. Wolfe, the director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, an advocacy group, has been pushing for government-run health care for decades.


March 26, 2012
Overturning heralth care law could lead to a single-payer system
By Peter Morici

Conservatives, by persuading a majority of Justices to overturn the individual mandate, could reverse Washington's relentless push to over regulate individual and business behavior, but they could ultimately instigate their worst nightmare — a single payer system akin to the British system.


National Journal
March 29, 2012
After the Ruling
By Maggie Fox

There is one easy solution to the issue—a single-payer health system that strictly controls costs and administrative fees, using evidence-based science to determine which interventions, drugs, and diagnostic tests are worth the money and effort.


MedPage Today
March 29, 2012
ACA Alternatives Waiting in the Wings
By Emily P. Walker

While Republicans are crafting limited-government alternatives to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some on the other side of the political spectrum are trumpeting a single-payer, government-run system as the preferred alternative to the ACA.

The irony is that while the public option wasn't popular enough to pass, no one disputes the Supreme Court wouldn't be considering the case if a single-payer plan had passed, because expanding Medicare and taxing everyone more would have been well within the powers of Congress.


California Healthline
March 29, 2012
Experts: Medicaid Expansion Will Stand; Mandate's Fate Unclear
By George Lauer

Some see the potential for a quicker move toward single payer solutions if all or part of the ACA is ruled unconstitutional.

While he didn't go so far as to call for provisions of the ACA to be struck down, Bill Skeen, executive director of the California chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, did see potential for progress in such a scenario.

"If the ACA is dismantled, I don't predict there will be an easy road for single payer, but there is the sort of last-man-standing feeling that -- OK, the plan Congress put together isn't holding up. Single payer is the last best option."


March 29, 2012
Chris Matthews, Ezra Klein Identify Strategy To Impose ‘De Facto Single Payer System’
by Noah Rothman

On Wednesday, Hardball host Chris Matthews and Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein discussed the potential for all or part of President Obama’s health care reform law to be ruled unconstitutional in the Supreme Court and the ways in which progressives could move forward with health care reform in a post-Affordable Care Act world. Klein confirmed conservative’s latest fear: striking down the health care law could pave the way for a single payer system that could be implemented over time through the budget reconciliation process in the Senate.


March 29, 2012
Growth & Justice lays out its case for Minnesota single-payer health care
By Beth Hawkins

What if single-payer were feasible?

On Wednesday, the St. Paul-based progressive-leaning think tank Growth & Justice made its case, releasing a first-of-its-kind analysis showing that a unified system of health care could provide all Minnesotans with guaranteed cradle-to-grave care at a projected savings of about $190 billion over 10 years. By 2023, overall savings could be 12 percent to 33 percent per year, it said.

During his gubernatorial campaign, Mark Dayton supported a single-payer system for Minnesota, Smith added. The advent of ACA presents a good opening to put the topic back in the public discourse.

“This option needs to stay on the table,” he said. “It is an attempt to change the conversation. … This is one of the last big hurdles for a fair and just society. You can’t just check out of the social contract.”

The Huffington Post
March 29, 2012
If Health Care Reform Falls, Look in the Mirror
By Karen Dolan

Candidate Barack Obama campaigned on universal coverage. He told would-be supporters that, if he were "starting from scratch," single-payer would be ideal. Indeed, he even understood that the only true reform, that would sufficiently control costs and actually achieve universal coverage, was a single payer, government-sponsored health care system. The evidence is overwhelming that only such a system can achieve those goals.

Isn't it time to fight for Medicare for all?


March 28, 2012
How Obamacare's Rejection Would Lead to Single Payer
By Josh Barro

Strike down Obamacare, and single payer instantly becomes the number one organizing cause for liberals in America. This Congress won’t pass a single payer insurance law, but you can bet Democrats would the next time they control both the legislative and executive branches.


The New Republic
March 28, 2012
Single-Payer Briar Patch
By Timothy Noah

The professional Obama-hater Dick Morris said today on Fox News that if President Obama is elected to a second term after the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare (as is looking more likely) then "he’ll move to a single payer system."


March 27, 2012
Take It From Me: Defending Obamacare is Super-Hard
By Reid Cherlin

t would have been easy for Verrilli—or any of us—to explain single-payer health care. "Look," we could have said, "the government is paying for everyone to have coverage." End of story. But single-payer is not what our brilliant, world-leading political system gave us.


March 28, 2012
Lawmakers Propose Single-Payer System For Mass.
By Meghna Chakrabarti

A major national story is playing out in the halls of Beacon Hill: this week’s Supreme Court hearings on the national Affordable Health Care Act.

Some lawmakers want the state to push health care reform to the next level. They've introduced a bill that would bring a "single-payer" system to the Bay State.


March 29, 2012
What's really wrong with Obamacare
By Cathy Young

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, the eventual outcome may be better health care reform -- or it may be a more socialistic road, such as a single-payer system.

Libertarian and conservative voices are essential to the health care debate. But they should be careful not to lapse into a defense of freeloading or unconstrained spending on expensive (and not always beneficial) medical procedures. Freedom is a key conservative and libertarian principle; so is responsibility.


The Hill
March 26, 2012
Kucinich: Single-payer healthcare on its way regardless of how Supreme Court rules
By Julian Pecquet

The Supreme Court's review of President Obama's healthcare reform law is just another step on the inevitable path toward a single-payer medical system, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Monday.


The Huffington Post
March 26, 2012
Health Care Jujitsu
By Robert Reich

But with a bit of political jujitsu, the president could turn any such defeat into a victory for a single-payer healthcare system -- Medicare for all.


March 28, 2012
Individual Mandate Is Ryan Tax Credit by Other Name
By Ezra Klein

The real fight is over whether the Affordable Care Act should exist at all. Republicans lost that battle in Congress, where they lacked a majority in 2010. Now they hope to win it in the Supreme Court, where they hold a one-vote advantage. The argument against the individual mandate is a pretext to overturn Obamacare. But it’s a pretext that could set a very peculiar precedent.

If the mandate falls, future politicians, who will still need to fix the health-care system and address the free-rider problem, will be left with the option to move toward a single payer system or offer incredibly large, expensive tax credits in order to persuade people to do things they don’t otherwise want to do. That is to say, in the name of liberty, Republicans and their allies on the Supreme Court will have guaranteed a future with much more government intrusion in the health-care marketplace.


The New York Times
March 30, 2012
The Supreme Court and the National Conversation on Health Care Reform
By Uwe E. Reinhardt

Once again America is having one of its “national conversations” on health care reform. This time the buzz is over arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The justices’ rulings will be landmark decisions, because they will indirectly go much beyond the act itself to our entire system of governance.

The two major substantive decisions the Supreme Court has to make are:

1. Whether Congress has the constitutional authority to mandate every legal resident in the United States to have insurance coverage for a specified package of health benefits (hereafter the “mandate”) or whether that is an issue for the states to decide.

2. Whether Congress has the constitutional authority to expand eligibility for Medicaid benefits from the highly varied income thresholds that currently define eligibility to anyone under 133 percent of the federal poverty level

Reader Comment:

Don McCanne
San Juan Capistrano, CA

The intense attention being given to the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the severability of guaranteed issue and community rating and to the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion superficially seems to have detracted from the fundamental issue of whether or not the Affordable Care Act itself should serve as a durable model for health care reform.

With the best possible outcome of the Supreme Court deliberations, we'll still be faced with uninsurance (at least 26 million uninsured), underinsurance (low actuarial value plans with spartan essential benefits) and unaffordability (lack of effective systemic cost containment).

Right now we are seeing a surge in commentaries declaring that we will end up with single payer (Medicare for all) if the mandate and guaranteed issue and community rating are struck down by the Supreme Court, simply because that's the only rational financing option left for us.

We will, in fact, end up with single payer, but not because of the pending Supreme Court decision. We will adopt a single payer system simply because we will not be able to continue to tolerate uninsurance, underinsurance and unaffordability.


Posted at 7:54 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Americans don't want health-care repeal

By Eugene Robinson
It is simply not true that "the American people" want President Obama's health-care reform law repealed. House Republicans should be aware that while conservative activists may support the action they're about to take, surveys indicate that the general public clearly does not.
A new Post poll shows that 50 percent of those surveyed oppose the "Obamacare" law, while 45 percent support it. But these numbers are misleading, since The Post reports that "a quarter of those who oppose the health-care law say the legislation is faulty because it did not go far enough, not because it pushed change too far."
    In other words, one-fourth of the law's opponents believe it should have been more ambitious and far-reaching, not less so. These are people who would have liked to see single-payer universal care, or tighter regulation of insurance companies, or less restrictive language on abortion rights -- hardly positions that John Boehner and Eric Cantor would endorse. By counting them among opponents of the law, Republicans are essentially arguing that Michael Moore is on their side.
Subtracting these dyed-in-the-wool progressives from the "anti-" column leaves just 37.5 percent opposed to the health-care law. Putting the Moore crowd in the "pro-" column, where ideologically it belongs, means that 57.5 percent of Americans support what Republicans deride as a "big government takeover of health care."
So the next time somebody tries to tell you how unpopular "Obamacare" is, remember one thing: It isn't.
By Eugene Robinson  | January 18, 2

What happens when all your children die?

Three sisters die in a fire.

When All Is Taken Away

Two tragedies, one message of love, and ‘acts of pure kindness.’


Some people are unable to love - and not through fault of their own.

Perhaps they were "made that way." 

Or perhaps trauma broke them early and the armor they once wore for protection became such a part of them that, when grown, they dared not remove it for fear of opening a wound so deep they would bleed out.

Then, there are those "on the other side" - those who claim to be lovers of God but whose lives seethe with vengeance and vindictiveness: they applaud violence and cheer swift death on "the unworthy."

For the damned... For those who can "go to hell!" 

These geysers of spite are taxonomized by their continual appeal to the Old Testament, particularly scenes of God smiting sinners and working violence on "the undeserving." 

Brimming with ill will, they seldom cite The Four Gospels and rarely speak the words Yeshua himself spoke. 

"Put up your sword." 

"Love your enemies."

"Do to others what you would have them do to you."

"Let the one without sin cast the first stone."

These bitter souls shun "The Good News" as if it harbored a contagion and they fear an infection that would fulminate right down to the soul, burning away the ill will that lies at their center. 

But even those who are damaged forever, those who cannot love in any joyful way... what they (and all of us) can do (because it only requires force of will) is to provide service.

Needed service.

Service to anyone, but especially those unlike ourselves.

Service to people with different beliefs, with different Gods. 

Service to people with no belief and no God. 

Service to those who look nothing like us.

Service to people who are darker than we.

Service to people who epitomize our vision of "evil."

To people who smell bad.

People with rheumy eyes, runny nose, mucousy mouth.

People who make us recoil.

People who make us feel at home in hate.

Witty political quips

After Stephen Douglas called him two-faced, Abraham Lincoln asked...





Miriam Hopkins to an anonymous singer:


Groucho Marx to a "You Bet Your Life" contestant who said he had 10 children


Reporter: "What do you think of Western civilization?"
Gandhi: "I think it would be a good idea."


Gandhi argued that complete realisation of God was impossible in this embodied life. "The writer wants to know why, if God is a God of mercy and justice, He allows all the miseries and sorrows we see around us.  I can give no satisfactory explanation.  He imputes to me a sense of defeat and humiliation.  I have no such sense of defeat, humiliation or despair.  My retirement, such as it is, has nothing to do with any defeat.  It is no more and no less than a course of self-purification and self-preparation.  I state this to show that things are often not what they seem.  It may be that what we mistake as sorrows, injustices and the like are not such in truth.  If we could solve all the mysteries of the universe, we would be co-equals with God.  Every drop of the ocean shares its glory but is not the ocean.  Realizing our littleness during this tiny span of life, we close every morning prayer with the recitation of a verse which means: ‘Misery so-called is no misery nor riches so-called riches.  Forgetting (or denying) God is the true misery, remembering (or faith in God) is true riches.’ 


Dear Ed,

Thanks for the great quips!

Do you know the following Churchill story?

Winston Churchill had been drinking heavily at a party when he bumped into Bessie Braddock, a Socialist Member of Parliament.

“Mr. Churchill, you are drunk,” Braddock said harshly.

Churchill paused and said, “And Bessie, you are ugly. And you will be ugly for the rest of your life. But I... I shall be sober in the morning.”

* * *

John Wilkes, an eighteenth-century political reformer, was involved in a particularly angry exchange with John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. “Sir,” Montagu exclaimed, “I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!”

To which Wilkes responded, “That, sir, depends on whether I first embrace your Lordship’s principles or your Lordship’s mistress.”

The following quips are from a website with a number of good links -

Top 30 Politician on Politician Insults

This past year, Flavorwire published three highly successful and hilarious lists of the greatest insults from the worlds of rock music, literature and cinema. Incredibly, they omitted a list of some of the fiercest insults from politicians on other politicians. Unfortunately, in our politically-correct day and age, good political putdowns are far and few between. Yet every once in a while someone will get off a good zinger. What follows are 30 of my favorite political insults of all time.

Winston Churchill on Prime Minister Clement Attlee: "He is a modest man with much to be modest about."

Winston Churchill on Prime Minister Clement Attlee: “An empty cab pulled up to Downing Street. Clement Attlee got out.”

Winston Churchill on Prime Minister Lord Rosebery: “He was a great man in an era of small events.”

Winston Churchill on Neville Chamberlain: “He looked at foreign affairs through the wrong end of a municipal drainpipe.”

Benjamin Disraeli on William Gladstone: “If Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune. If anybody pulled him out, that, I suppose, would be a calamity.”

MP Jonathan Aitken on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus.”

Abraham Lincoln on Stephen Douglas: “His argument is as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death.”

Gerald Ford on Ronald Reagan: “Ronald Reagan doesn't dye his hair, he's just prematurely orange.”

Adlai Stevenson on the Republican Party: “If they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.”

Adlai Stevenson on Richard Nixon: “The kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree and then mount the stump to make a speech for conservation.”

John Quincy Adams on Thomas Jefferson: “A slur upon the moral government of the world.”

Andrew Jackson: “I have only two regrets: I didn't shoot Henry Clay and I didn't hang John C. Calhoun.” John C. Calhoun was his Vice President.

18) Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Teddy Roosevelt on President William McKinley: “(N)o more backbone than a chocolate eclair.”

17) John Montagu: (after a heated exchange with John Wilkes) "Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"
John Wilkes: “That, sir, depends on whether I first embrace your Lordship's principles or your Lordship's mistresses.”

Barney Frank on George W. Bush: “People might cite George Bush as proof that you can be totally impervious to the effects of Harvard and Yale education.”

15) The Republican Party on President John F. Kennedy (paraphrased): “The president’s rocking chair is a perfect symbol of his presidency: It gives the illusion of movement without actually moving forward.”

Former Sen. Bob Dole on George W. Bush: “Well, he got this new globe for Christmas,” dispelling rumors that George W. Bush lacks a grasp of foreign affairs.

Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle: “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.”

Golda Mier to Moshe Dayan: “Don't be so humble, you're not that great.”

Bob Dole on Carter, Ford and Nixon: “History buffs probably noted the reunion at a Washington party a few weeks ago of three ex-presidents: Carter, Ford, and Nixon -- See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Evil.”

Jim Hightower on George HW Bush: “If ignorance ever goes to $40 a barrel, I want drilling rights on George Bush's head.”

Pat Buchanan on Bill Clinton: “Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience is pretty much confined to having had breakfast once at the International House of Pancakes.”

Lyndon Johnson on Gerald Ford: “He's a nice guy, but he played too much football with his helmet off.”

Senator William E. Jenner on New York Governor W. Averell Harriman: “He’s thin, boys. He’s thin as piss on a hot rock.”

Georgi Plekhanov, Russian Social Democrat, on Lenin: “You show the bourgeoisie your behind. We, on the contrary, look them in the face.”

Georges Clemenceau on David Lloyd George “Oh, if I could piss the way he speaks!”

The conservative Winston Churchill once entered a men's room to find Labor’s Clement Attlee standing at the urinal. Churchill took a position at the other end of the trough. “Feeling standoffish today, are we, Winston?” Attlee asked. “That's right. Every time you see something big, you want to nationalize it.”

3) Then Conservative leader
David Cameron on Prime Minister Tony Blair: “He was the future once.”

2) Australian MP
Paul Keating on John Hewson: “He’s like a shiver waiting for a spine.”

TX Governor Ann Richards
on George W. Bush: “Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”