Madder than a wet hen

One of my local Congresspeople just came out against the current Senate health care bill:

Supporters of the weak Senate bill say “just pass it — any bill is better than no bill.”

I strongly disagree — a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills.

It’s time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board. The American people deserve at least that.

This is Louise Slaughter, chair of the Rules Committee, which makes her the number 5 or 6 person in the House.






306 replies
  1. 1
    aimai says:

    Yikes. That’s bad. I really like Louise Slaughter. She’s a terrific Congresswoman. Lets hope its a bargaining chip and not a real threat.

    aimai

  2. 2
    someguy says:

    She’s not thinking very well here. We can always fix the bill later. The important thing is getting a big ol’ infrastructure in place that, no matter what happens, the repukes can’t reverse. The House bill is pretty weak too, as if anybody cares about that after the Senate spending months sucking the air out of the room.

  3. 3

    Meh, it’s just pre-conference posturing. Louise Slaughter is a member of leadership from a D+15 district; she ain’t voting against the largest healthcare reform bill to come through Congress since 1965.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    Meh, it’s just pre-conference posturing. Louise Slaughter is a member of leadership from a D+15 district; she ain’t voting against the largest healthcare reform bill to come through Congress since 1965.

    That’s my gut reaction too.

  5. 5
    jibeaux says:

    Louise, if you happen to know Lieberman’s wetsuit size or what client number Ben Nelson is, we’re all ears. Otherwise, I can’t for the life of me see what leverage you have over a Senate bill.

  6. 6
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’ve been saying for months that an ad-hoc righto-leftist House coalition would sink any bill, and while I’d be happy to be wrong, I don’t expect to be disappointed.

    I anticipate that the same fate, based on the House vote on ACES, await the cap-and-trade bill, provided it too limps out of the Senate.

    Bye-bye PUMAs — hello NOKIAs (No! Only Kucinich is Acceptable!)

  7. 7
    TaosJohn says:

    The “big ol’ infrastructure” is the WRONG infrastructure. There will be no fixing of the bill. Has everybody lost their minds? This is an insurance industry bill. It won’t be “fixed.” It’s there to entrench and bail out a failing system. It doesn’t do a goddamned thing that’s worth sacrificing our souls and our democracy for.

    When this crapola is passed, not a single legislator in either house will want to hear another word about health care. Would you??? Besides, the White House is getting exactly what it wants. Obama won’t be any help on that.

    THANK GOD for Louise Slaughter, is all I can say. If she’s just “posturing,” then to hell with her.

  8. 8
    Sandlapper says:

    Ohdearjeebus, here we go again…..

  9. 9
    BR says:

    I don’t get it. If house dems really want to add in a good public option, maybe they should have done so with the house HCR bill. But they didn’t do it even then – the house HCR public option was open to a very small number of people – it wasn’t open to all, which means it would be at best a point of competition for a small number of people. (Sen. Wyden had it right but few in the house or senate were listening.)

    So are these house dems now fighting for a public option better than the crappy one they put in their own bill? Probably not. They want the win in name, not the win in reality.

    Off to call my rep and tell her not to be stupid about this.

  10. 10
    jibeaux says:

    @Sandlapper:
    he may eventually figure out the url for firedoglake…

  11. 11
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    @Sandlapper:

    Time to go back to the Festivus thread

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    Yawn. All bluster. No way she votes against this.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    Does Rep. Slaughter plan to show her support for those who will be hurt by this plan by forgoing her own private insurance that is paid for with government subsidies?

    There are a lot of “progressives” who are sounding every bit as heartless as the wingnuts.

  14. 14
    mistermix says:

    This is just egotastic posturing. We’re going to see a hell of a lot more of it, because the House needs to prove that its senior members can be just as childish and petulant as the Senate.

  15. 15
    BR says:

    Just called my congresswoman’s office (she supports single payer) and was thanked for my “sound, reasonable comment” by the staffer I spoke with when I asked for her to support the bill and move on. (And for my point about the house public option being weak anyway.) Sounds like he’s been getting a flood of Hamsherite calls…

  16. 16
    The Raven says:

    Gee, and here I thought we had a bicameral legislature.

  17. 17
    Mike Martino says:

    But but but….teh Nader! Doesn’t she realize how politics works? Art of the possible…..?

  18. 18
    Malron says:

    Meanwhile, Tom Harkin promises the public option will be revisited early next year after the senate bill passes. Which is why we need to quit dragging the process out and pass the damn thing before it gets worse.

  19. 19
    mcc says:

    I am curious what exactly Louise Slaughter is suggesting, procedurally happen here. She seems to suggest that rather than use conference, the Senate just amend the bill and vote on it again? (Or introduce a new bill, run it through committee and amendments, and vote on that?) Except wait, isn’t the entire point of conference to amend the bill and vote on it again? Especially considering the only complaint Slaughter has about the Senate bill is it’s not close enough to the House bill (she seems to kind of gloss over the terrible abortion language in the House bill)? I mean, I assume the chair of the House rules committee must know more about Congressional procedure than I do. So surely there’s something I’m missing. What?

    Would Slaughter’s recommendations be compatible with the “Ping Pong” type strategy Steve Benen suggests here is under consideration?

  20. 20
    Makewi says:

    Slaughter is up for re-election in 2010. Obama signaling that back burnering HCR until Feb was the sign that it’s ok worry about the polling on this issue, that the election chances looking very GOPey needs to be stopped.

    I’d expect more of this. The Dems are getting killed by the left and the right and that’s no place to be going into an election that will decide if they keep or lose their majority.

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Kucinich was yammering about “rationing” yesterday. Nice teabagger framing you’ve got there, Dennis.

  22. 22
    4tehlulz says:

    She’ll vote against it after the 218th aye.

  23. 23
    mcc says:

    Obama signaling that back burnering HCR until Feb

    I think you misunderstood something here. The articles I saw (like this one) said the White House was not expecting HCR to pass until February. But this is not as I understand because it’s being “back burnered” in the sense of being pulled away from for other priorities. It is because the Congress is about to go into a long recess, and the conference procedure is expected to be time-consuming past that. Like if it’s being “back burnered” it’s because Congress has a scheduled three week vacation. Did I miss something?

  24. 24
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @TaosJohn:

    When this crapola is passed, not a single legislator in either house will want to hear another word about health care. Would you???

    I guess that’s why all those legislators in both houses have been continually discussing their intentions to improve upon the final bill, regardless of the form it arrives in, right?

    Jeez, man. You are fucking relentless. Just relax a bit already. Yikes.

  25. 25
    Ailuridae says:

    @TaosJohn:

    400B to Medicaid goes to private insurance, how exactly?

    If Slaughter and her colleagues in the Senate have the votes to pass a robust public option of Medicare buy-in they can do it the very next day through reconciliation. Many of us would welcome that.

  26. 26
    The Raven says:

    BTW, if you look at Slaughter’s web site, she has a really good record on health care. It’s not surprising she’s angry enough to challenge the Senate.

  27. 27

    @Davis X. Machina:

    NOKIAs (No! Only Kucinich is Acceptable!)

    FTW.

  28. 28
    mistermix says:

    @Makewi: Louise wins 70/30 or 80/20 whenever the Republicans convince some sucker to run against her. This isn’t about her seat.

    This is probably mostly about ego and maybe a little bit about positioning for the conference.

    Senators have been running around treating the House like their little bitch, telling House members that they better not do anything to touch the bill or the whole thing will fall apart. Well, Reps have huge egos, too, and I’ll bet Louise isn’t going to be the first one who’s going to bite back.

    This thing is far from done.

  29. 29
    Funkhauser says:

    Stupidity, they say, is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. The Senate should go back to the drawing board again and come to a different result, how, exactly?

    Unless this is playing political ju-jitsu and hating a bill so that Lieberman votes for it to further upset DFHs, in which case, touche, madame, touche…

  30. 30
    gex says:

    Is there a “this is why we can’t have anything nice around here” tag?

  31. 31
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @The Raven:

    Gee, and here I thought we had a bicameral legislature.

    A bicameral is a horse’s ass designed by a committee. Two of them, actually.

  32. 32
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    Pass a decent bill that moves things at least an inch forward. Then move on. If the left looks too demoralized, throw a decent bone at them through reconciliation and move on. Spend 2010 on jobs, knowing that the GOP will obstruct anything including the “Not throwing babies from five story buildings is good” bill. Use that to make them look like asses, use populism for this purpose.

  33. 33
    BR says:

    @Funkhauser:

    I wish it were the case that this was clever ju-jitsu, but I haven’t seen anyone except Pelosi in the house be that good at political strategy. Most of them scream what they mean and mean what they scream.

    Frankly, I bet you 99% of the dems upset about the lack of a public option wouldn’t complain one bit if the house bill’s public option were simply added to the senate bill. Never mind that the house bill public option sucked and would have only really been open to a small fraction of the public.

  34. 34
    dr. bloor says:

    @jibeaux:

    Louise, if you happen to know Lieberman’s wetsuit size or what client number Ben Nelson is, we’re all ears. Otherwise, I can’t for the life of me see what leverage you have over a Senate bill.

    It’s probably just pre-conference jockeying, but I wouldn’t rule anything out completely. Slaughter has pieces of tools like Lieberman and Nelson in her stool.

  35. 35
    Ailuridae says:

    @Makewi:

    Wow, you didn’t even look up NY’s 28th Congressional District on the google did you?

  36. 36
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @mistermix:

    Senators have been running around treating the House like their little bitch, telling House members that they better not do anything to touch the bill or the whole thing will fall apart. Well, Reps have huge egos, too, and I’ll bet Louise isn’t going to be the first one who’s going to bite back.

    This.

    The cool thing is that when the House and Senate rev up their engines and decide to play a game of “Chicken”, We The People get to sit in the backseat of both cars!

    Also, I second gex’s motion for a “why we can’t have nice things” tag.

  37. 37
    jeffreyw says:

    Mmm…sweet potato pie.

  38. 38
    woody says:

    Someguy sez: “…We can always fix the bill later.”

    Whenever I hear that refrain, I want to ask the singer if they can point to one, single, really shitty, social program legislation–SINCE 1980–to which the Congress has actually returned, and repaired, in a way that redounds with fairness and equity to the People?

  39. 39
    eemom says:

    @TaosJohn:

    dude, I think I hear Mistress Jane calling you, and she sounds pissed.

    She WARNED you not to hang out with Paid Pharma Trolls like us.

  40. 40
    Ailuridae says:

    Via the GOS it looks like Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee are echoing Slaughter’s sentiments. Build a big enough group to sink the bill and negotiate from a position of power. That’s a fuck lot more helpful than Jane Hamscher and David Sirota have been.

  41. 41
    Ailuridae says:

    @woody:

    S-CHIP expansion. That was hard

  42. 42
    MNPundit says:

    @Malron: Tom Harkin has liked his ass off before.

    So three so far total.

  43. 43
    Geeno says:

    I love Louise.
    Look, the Senate has been telling the House essentially “bite me” for the last week. House members are getting ticked off and making some noise. If the Senators keep shitting on the Reps, I’ll bet you WILL see a lot of stalling, further amendments after conference and what not just to piss the Senate & WH off before they finally pass the conference bill.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Napoleon says:

    Although I hope the bill passes, even in its Senate form, I hope Slaughter and a bunch of people in equally safe seats vote against it and force Pelosi to get the votes instead from the people on the right flank of the party she permitted to vote against it in the “catch and release” program they ran the first time they voted on it. The only way the House will ever have bargaining power with the Senate is if they get the point across that whatever the Senate passes will not necessarily be passed by the House. What they need is a good old revolt of the liberal wing that doesn’t sink the bill.

  46. 46
    mcc says:

    @woody: …since 1980?

    So we’re being restricted to a period during which Republican extremists controlled either the Congress or the White House for 26 of those 29 years, and Democrats had the ability to drive an agenda for exactly 3?

    I mean, seriously, 1980-2008 is probably going to be remembered in history books as “the Republican era”. I kind of have trouble thinking of anything positive to say about anything Congress has done on social program legislation since 1980.

    This said, for the first thing that comes to mind, how about SCHIP? That passed in 1997 (since 1980) and Congress returned to it and passed an improvement of it in 2007 which Bush vetoed, and then successfully passed a similar expansion earlier this year.

  47. 47
    MikeJ says:

    @4tehlulz: Obviously the ultra right wingers at Mother Jones got to him.

  48. 48
    Emma says:

    Build a big enough group to sink the bill and negotiate from a position of power. Can someone explain this? There’s nothing than the Republicans and the Blue Dogs want more than to have progressives sink the bill. Can you see the lovely ads in 2010: Congressman So-and-So voted againsta health reform bill that would have forced insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and subsidize the insurance bill for working class families. Can we trust someone who cares so little about the working American?

    Sinking the bill at this point is a win-win for Lieberman, Nelson, and the rest. They cast themselves as the reasonable compromisers and the liberals as the unamerican radicals.

    Mission accomplished. And we did it to ourselves. And please don’t waste your breath in telling me the American people wouldn’t believe it. After twenty or so years of watching American politics, I can categorically state that the American people will believe ANYTHING presented in the right way. Or does nobody here remember Harry and Louise (Was it Harry and Louise? you know who I mean)

  49. 49
    NobodySpecial says:

    No, seriously, they’re not going back to it.

    In the first place, the major provisions don’t take effect until 2014. So we’ll have to wait for that. Then we’ll have to wait for the results of that.

    Then, it it’s still shitty and Dems have 67 votes (somewhere along the line, that’ll become the next good ‘bipartisan’ idea), we MAY reconsider taking the bill apart, oiling and cleaning it, and then putting it back together in a way that satifies Big Pharma a little better than the shit sandwich we made them eat in 2009. If Repubs are in power instead, they’ll just take an ax to the bill and underfund what’s left, while passing a tax cut with 8 Democrats joining.

  50. 50
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @woody:

    Whenever I hear that refrain, I want to ask the singer if they can point to one, single, really shitty, social program legislation—SINCE 1980—to which the Congress has actually returned, and repaired, in a way that redounds with fairness and equity to the People?

    SCHIP

  51. 51
    Makewi says:

    @mcc:

    This.

    @mistermix:

    Louise is usually a lock. That said, unemployment in Rochester hovering around the 10% mark can act as WD40.

    Interestingly enough, I voted for her several times in my life.

  52. 52
    mcc says:

    @Napoleon: *scratches head* So you realize that if Congressional leadership finds it has to pass a bill with blue dog votes rather than progressive votes, they will then be forced to write the bill in such a way that the final provisions appeal to blue dogs rather than progressives, right?

  53. 53
    TaosJohn says:

    A lot of folks are about to shit their drawers. Hamsher AND Norquist have signed a letter calling for Rahm’s resignation (for good reasons).

    The establishment has no defense against people who drop the false “right vs. left” framing. This is the future, better get used to it. This is the beginning of the end of triangulation.

  54. 54
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Yes. Build a coalition and leverage for some changes, however marginal. Then pass the fucking thing.

    Yes, it’s a crap bill. If it fails, the political damage to dems will be such that they will be in no position to pass any other meaningful legislation. I think grasping these two truths at the same time is too cold-blooded realpolitik for the Hamsherites. (I sympathize to a great extent, as this is a crappy bill.)

    But seriously, just pass the damn thing, then start patching the holes via amendments. Attach an open-access public option to the next Defense Appropriations Bill, for Chrissake.

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @woody:

    I want to ask the singer if they can point to one, single, really shitty, social program legislation—SINCE 1980—to which the Congress has actually returned, and repaired, in a way that redounds with fairness and equity to the People?

    What about hate crimes? Or is that not “social program legislation”?

  56. 56
    Napoleon says:

    @mcc:

    It was reported Pelosi had more then 218 votes lined up for the last “liberal” bill that passed and it was reported that she let everyone over that number vote against it. She had wiggle room for the bill as written (and I bet Slaughter knows what the wiggle room is). The liberal wing only needs to fire a shot across the bow, not one into the engine room.

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    The House is going to make some noise here. Clearly there is action in the Dem caucus just based on how many retirements/party switches (all but one from the south, as you may have noticed) we’ve had lately. The House is getting their 2010 ducks in a row right now, and HCR will get sucked into that in many ways.

    The House needs to make the Senate work for this. They’ll push Lieberman/Nelson as far as they can in some new areas. It’ll work out okay in the end and we’ll get a marginally better bill.

  58. 58
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TaosJohn: Hamsher AND Norquist? Wow! How about Chuck Norris and David Sirota?

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TaosJohn: Also, WOLVERINES!

  60. 60
    4tehlulz says:

    @TaosJohn: Was it a strongly worded letter?

  61. 61
    mcc says:

    @Makewi: Thanks, but looking at your Politico link everything in it seems to say that the Congress will be keeping health care on the front burner nonstop until it passes, but that this may take until February. They mention other political priorities, like the jobs bill, and say that these strictly take a backseat to finishing health care. Again, did I miss something?

    (By the way, something I’m still confused about. If we’re going to do a jobs bill in February, then what was that $200 billion thing with the TARP money that the House just passed?)

  62. 62
    Malron says:

    @MNPundit: And Slaughter is telling the senate to kill a bill after voting for one with the Stupak amendment attached. But then, I’ve never considered compromising to pass legislation the equivalent of lying like you apparently do.

  63. 63
    mcc says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I didn’t mention hate crimes because I assumed it didn’t count as social program legislation.

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mcc: You’re probably right.

  65. 65
    MikeJ says:

    If any of you were planning on buying me a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Rahm for xmas, please don’t bother.

  66. 66
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    This is Louise Slaughter, chair of the Rules Committee, which makes her the number 5 or 6 person in the House.

    Throw her on the pyre with the rest of ’em.

  67. 67
    tamied says:

    @TaosJohn: Palin/Hamsher 2012

  68. 68
    Mary says:

    @TaosJohn: That explains everything — that Hamsher has thrown her lot in with Grover Norquist. I’m sure he told her that the US is heading for single payer and so she felt he was coming from an honest position and she could trust him. He’s very persuasive you know.

    She’s an idiot.

  69. 69
    Ailuridae says:

    @Emma:

    I’m not advocating sinking the bill. Building a group large enough that they could sink a bill (maybe I should have used could originally) allows them to exact concessions in the conference report.

    There is absolutely no way that Slaughter, Lee or Woolsey would cast a Nay vote on the bill. Eric Massa or Dennis Kucinich maybe but none of those three women.

  70. 70
    Makewi says:

    @mcc:

    Perhaps its just we are reading it differently, because I see a clear sign that the conferences won’t take place until February, and that the State of the Union will focus on the Economy and Jobs. Both would indicate a lesser priority.

  71. 71
    BR says:

    Here’s what I don’t get – why don’t the Hamsher brigades recoil when their hero Jane joins forces with some of the most vile right wingers out there?

    I mean I consider myself a progressive/liberal/left-libertarian/whatever and if you wrote down what I want for policy it’d probably be fairly similar to Hamsher’s supporters. Why don’t they recoil at working with reactionary, xenophobic, bible-thumpers?

  72. 72
    Ailuridae says:

    @Fergus Wooster:

    Parts of the bill are crap. The bill as a whole might be crap. Expanding Medicaid by 40B annually and covering a third of those currently uninisured is not, by any means, crap. Its classic liberalism of the social justice vein.

    But, yeah, they have to pass something close to the Senate bill and I hope some of the smaller messes get cleaned up in conference and the bill becomes as progressive as it can to get Lieberman’s vote (I hate Ben Nelson but characterizing their opposition as the same is incredibly dishonest and unfair of those doing it.)

  73. 73
    Anya says:

    REMATCH: MCCAIN FIGHTING TO TAKE BACK REFORM MANTLE FROM OBAMA

    That’s your Liberal HuffPo reviving the ridiculous Village meme that Old cranky McCain is all about reform and maverickiness.

  74. 74
    Mary says:

    Norquist is neither reactionary, xenophobic nor a bible-thumper. He is an amoral radical right wing revolutionary and he is very dangerous. Is this what she means by “libertarian”?

  75. 75

    Oh, my, f**king God. Jane Hamsher just crawled in bed with that snake Grover Norquist. I’m sorry, but that is JUST NOT DONE. Grover Norquist deserves to be drowned in the bathtub he wanted to shrink government into. F**k that. F**k that. F**k that.

  76. 76
    MikeJ says:

    You want to know what kind of democrats I want to have around Obama?

    On Election Night, 10 minutes after CNN called the House for the Democrats, Emanuel climbed up on a table in DCCC headquarters and addressed his cheering, victory-starved staff, celebrating the party’s biggest win since 1992. He wanted to wrap up the campaign with a message for the Republicans.

    “Since my kids are gone, I can say it,” he shouted. “They can go fuck themselves!”

  77. 77

    Senate is taking final cloture vote on HCR bill right now. You can see it streamed on CSPAN here.

  78. 78
    Mary says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Jane Hamsher belongs in the bathtub along with Grover. Grover is also one of Karl Rove’s best pals.

    This also explains Hamsher’s heavy-duty PR backup or catapulting the propaganda, if you will.

    I demand that she disclose who is funding her operations.

  79. 79
    mr. whipple says:

    Hamsher AND Norquist have signed a letter calling for Rahm’s resignation (for good reasons).

    Jesus on a pogo stick, they’ve gone fill bore nutters.

    Watch those hits go through the roof!

    I need a drink.

  80. 80
    Ailuridae says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Thanks for the link. Somehow I have never watched C-SPAN on the computer.

  81. 81
    Ajay says:

    I wasnt really impressed with this bill either. But given how obstructionists the wing nuts are, it doesnt make sense to vote against this bill. Unfortunately you have to work incrementally to improve.

    The problem is those dems who didnt like the house bill. If Reid really wanted it done, he should have taken reconcilliation.

  82. 82
    mcc says:

    So this got a bit blown past, but I really am sort of curious what people think of this Steve Benen article. Benen cites a Washington Post article which claims:

    The reconciliation of the two bills is expected to take place in January, with the aim of sending a bill to the White House for President Obama’s signature before he delivers his first State of the Union address. Instead of negotiating in a formal conference committee, senior Democratic aides in both chambers said they expect to hash out a bill in informal negotiations, push it through the House and send it back to the Senate for final approval, a strategy that would give them broad flexibility to rewrite policy provisions in search of a compromise.

    The idea of this is that it would be much faster and procedurally simpler than reconciliation, and so would enable the bill to potentially pass before the State of the Union in February. It would also be totally consistent with the demands in Louise Slaughter’s op-ed: The Senate bill would be effectively thrown out. A conference report would not be necessary to bridge the gap between the two bills. And instead of delegating more touchy negotiations to the conference committee, Democratic leadership (such as Louise Slaughter, chairwoman of the Rules Committee) would have broad influence over bill provisions.

    I have no idea if they’ll do this but it’s interesting and would seem to solve several problems.

  83. 83
    gizmo says:

    I don’t understand the optimism of those who think we can fix the healthcare bill once it’s in place. If Big Pharma and the insurance industry had enough clout to twist and manipulate the present bill to their liking, then it seems to me that anyone who thinks we are going to amend the legislation anytime soon has been smoking too much of that Hopey Changey weed.

  84. 84
    mr. whipple says:

    Here’s what I don’t get – why don’t the Hamsher brigades recoil when their hero Jane joins forces with some of the most vile right wingers out there?

    Janebots.

  85. 85
    And Another Thing... says:

    It’s not possible to beat up on Rahm too much. But partnering with Grover Norquist is outrageous, and unbelievably stupid. She is making it easy for the sane left to ignore her, she has broken her own sword. What an idiot. She’s just morphed in to Cindy Sheehan, who at least deserved some measure of sympathy. What a fool.

  86. 86
    eemom says:

    @BR:

    I think it’s a similar phenomenon to Jim Jones’ followers drinking the Kool Aide. Srsly, she’s got a fucking cult going over there.

  87. 87
    John Cole says:

    My only reaction to the Hamsher/Norquist thing is that somewhere, Davod Sirota is furious he didn’t think of it first- “God damnit, that would have gotten me on CNN fer sure!”

  88. 88
    Mary says:

    If Grover Norquist is involved, you can be sure this is a case of Republican ratf*cking. Followers of Hamsher, are you listening?

  89. 89
    Fern says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Uh huh. I bet her traffic is up over this latest foolishness. Hell, I’ve been there for the first time in about 6 months.

    Though I did notice that there is no site meter up at her place.

  90. 90
    Senyordave says:

    If it’s posturing, I still think it is an example of why the Dems suck. Hey Louise, how about keeping your mouth shut?

  91. 91
    Jay B. says:

    This reminds me exactly of the collective idiotic freak out over Bernie Sanders saying “I will not vote for this bill as it stands.” So what did he do? He’s changing it and getting money for community health centers — but you wanted him to shut up and just support the sucker. Or when Howard Dean came out and said “kill the bill” and after you bitched and whined and moaned about such treachery and then some of you mocked Dean for not being knowledgeable about health care and…now he’s saying that things they’ve added are opening up his mind.

    Now the lockstep, stfu caucus so weary over the need to give in at the first sign of a corporate demand or the whims of Joe Lieberman is taking aim at Louise Slaughter a real, honest to God working liberal who has done more than her share of work for better health care for everyone because she has the gall to speak out against the bill. Kuchinich! Blah, blah, blah. This move will probably get something even better in the bill.

    I think it’s time for you guys to shut the fuck up and let liberals posture for awhile. They’ve had more success speaking out than you have curling up in a ball and hoping Joe Lieberman doesn’t change his mind again.

  92. 92
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole:

    My only reaction to the Hamsher/Norquist thing is that somewhere, Davod Sirota is furious he didn’t think of it first- “God damnit, that would have gotten me on CNN fer sure!”

    She didn’t get on CNN. She got on Fox & Friends. She had to be within 50 feet of Steve Doocy. Possibly for hours. That’s not a prize any sane person should want to win.

  93. 93

    Oh my god, they put mystery meat into the tasty sausage?

    EEEwwww.

    If I might speak on behalf of meat animals everywhere, you humans INVENTED sausage making. Why do you act so surprised when somebody shows you a glimpse of the inside of the sausage factory? Did you think the links were fired out of the butt of Tinkerbell?

  94. 94
    MikeJ says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    It’s not possible to beat up on Rahm too much.

    Because he will kick your ass.

    Seriously, people yell and scream for Democrats that are willing to fight and then they don’t like Rahm?

  95. 95
    Zifnab says:

    @Jay B.:

    I think it’s time for you guys to shut the fuck up and let liberals posture for awhile. They’ve had more success speaking out than you have curling up in a ball and hoping Joe Lieberman doesn’t change his mind again.

    This.

  96. 96
    danimal says:

    I agree with several posters that Rep Slaughter is posturing within the Dem caucus. It would be a good thing for liberals to take a shot across the bow so that liberals don’t have to accept every moderate concession on every bill that comes down the pike.

    That said, this bill isn’t the best place to test liberal power. Financial reform is. If liberals got out the rusty pitchforks and fought for substantive financial reforms, the moderates and Blue Dogs would back down due to the populist pressures.

  97. 97

    Final cloture on HCR bill. (60-39) Only thing needed now is a simple majority vote to pass Senate HCR bill. That will happen tomorrow morning at 7am.

  98. 98
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Politics makes for strange bedfellows. And sometimes the Puke Funnel runneth over. Holy Jeebus, we got to get us some new nutroots.

  99. 99
    Max says:

    @John Cole: AMEN! Sirota is going to really do some thinkin’ to see how he can one-up Hamster on this one.

    He really is the worst kind of… whatever he is.

  100. 100
    eemom says:

    @MikeJ:

    I also don’t understand what folks on our side have against Rahm. Sane ones, that is.

    ‘Sides, he’s kinda cute.

  101. 101
    mcc says:

    @Jay B.: I don’t really remember people freaking out over the Sanders thing. Personally my reaction at the time was that what Sanders was doing was absolutely the smart thing, because instead of the netroots strategy of demanding we kill the bill over the public option, he demanded feasible alternate concessions and got them. (Andy Stern is following this tack now in what seems like a similarly smart way.)

    As for what Slaughter is doing here, I’m not really sure what to make of it, but my main problem with it is I don’t really understand what it is she’s demanding. As for the wider reaction, people here at least don’t seem to be reacting in anything like the way they reacted to, say, Howard Dean’s much more strident statements a couple weeks ago. (The only real freaking out I’ve seen about Slaughter’s op-ed was at TPM, where the op-ed is framed by what seems to me like an incredibly misleading headline and blurb, and I don’t think most of the commenters read the actual article.)

  102. 102
    John Cole says:

    Anyone else thinking Larry Johnson and No Quarter right about now?

  103. 103
    bayville says:

    Why do these “bill killers” hate America?
    Can’t Louise Slaughter and her ilk just pass this bill – or any bill – so that some 30 million working class peasants/poor folks can get the opportunity of buying overpriced, high-deductible, useless health Freedom Insurance (in 2014).
    USA! USA! …

  104. 104
    Sandlapper says:

    Seriously, people. This horse has been beaten TO DEATH.
    If there really is a Flying Spaghetti Monster, may he strike with lightning the next person who initiates another posting with anything remotely related to Health Care Reform.

    DougJ, I’m looking at you!!

  105. 105
    Mike E says:

    Harkin tried to move up the 7am vote to 12:15am–Vitter objected. Whoa–FSM! Harkin is helping Vitter adjust his diaper

  106. 106
    Geeno says:

    I have generally liked FDL’s posters – I never wade into comments there, mostly because they’re not that interesting. Lately, however, they’ve been going further and further toward the edge. I think they might just have gone over, now. Hamsher & Norquist, huh? Seriously, WTF?
    I’m not giving up TBogg though. You can’t make me.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Jay B. says:

    @danimal:

    How’s that pony power any different than Blue Dogs and Moderates supporting a popular health care bill instead of buckling under to insurance industry demands?

  109. 109
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Remind me not to get on Jane’s bad side.

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jay B.: I actually largely agree with this. The House has better subsidies, a better funding source, and probably a thousand other better things. If the final bill doesn’t get to have the public option in it, the House Dems should be able to extract a few perks in exchange–or they should at least _try_. The thing that annoyed me about the blogospheric rhetoric was not the desire for a better deal, it was the sophomoric stuff about “corporate tools” and the idea that all Obama needed to do was try harder or play rougher and could be led to do so by habitual blog readers cursing at one another. But Congresspeople _can actually_ try harder and play rougher. If Lieberman can do it, Slaughter can certainly attempt it.

  111. 111
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jay B.: Because next time is some other time that will magically be different.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Mary says:

    @John Cole: I told her on Sunday that she would end up like Larry Johnson.

    But is she corrupt or just naive?

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Max:

    Sirota is going to really do some thinkin’ to see how he can one-up Hamster on this one.

    Plans A through L involve additional tooth-whitening.

  115. 115
    martha says:

    @MikeJ: This. These people make me laugh (or give me whiplash, one of the two). They whine and whine and whine about wanting tougher Dems and “get tough” and “get angry” and all that BS they keep spewing as they throw their tantrums. Well, in Rahm they’ve got all of that in one man. And they want to get him fired. They’re just dumber than dirt as my grandma would say.

  116. 116
    BR says:

    @danimal:

    That said, this bill isn’t the best place to test liberal power. Financial reform is. If liberals got out the rusty pitchforks and fought for substantive financial reforms, the moderates and Blue Dogs would back down due to the populist pressures.

    This.

  117. 117
    MikeJ says:

    That said, this bill isn’t the best place to test liberal power. Financial reform is.

    If you want to fight the blue dogs, you have to be able to block a bill they want to pass. Right now the blue dogs win if no HCR passes. The blue dogs win if no financial reform passes. If you threaten to withhold your vote on something they don’t want to pass you are helping them.

    If you wanted something nice and liberal to pass, offer to vote yes for additional F-22s and no unless you get what you want. Yes, additional F-22s are stupid, but the blue dogs wanted them.

  118. 118
    Ana Gama says:

    Anybody else have Dan Aykroyd’s voice in their head ala….”Jane, you slut!”

  119. 119
    Jay B. says:

    @mcc:

    Here. John’s world weary lament?

    And so it will go with climate change, financial regulations, etc. Might as well call Dick Morris up and start talking about school uniforms.

    And why? Because Bernie Sanders didn’t completely bow down to “reality”.

    BTW, you had a sane comment amid other, despairing ones.

  120. 120
    mr. whipple says:

    I told her on Sunday that she would end up like Larry Johnson.

    Speaking of Larry, why not get Klayman on board, too?

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....?ref=fpblg

  121. 121
    Sandlapper says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Not a problem. Being pissed at you doesn’t drive up her page views (i.e, $$) and get her face time on TeeVee (i.e, $$).

  122. 122
    Mary says:

    Hamsher had Slaughter and the other two reps sign a public option pledge, didn’t she? I wonder if she and Grover are threatening them now with the pledges. It would be the classic ATR/Club for Growth modus operandi, wouldn’t it?

  123. 123

    She signed a letter with Grover f**king Norquist. Might as well sign it with Hitler. there. Godwin’s Law. in evidence.

  124. 124
    cleek says:

    idiots.

    yeah, let’s go back and spend another fucking year letting the GOP demagogue this issue into the ground.

  125. 125
    Sloegin says:

    Wow, I was gonna comment the other day defending Jane; saying something to the effect even the GOS screwed up on occasion (ie his Mercs commentary).

    Grover ‘effin Norquist? No friggin way. That and goin on Fox? We’re all Larry Johnson now.

  126. 126
    And Another Thing... says:

    @MikeJ: Oh, right, Rahm is really scary. Not. I’m doing this from memory here, but…my recollection is that Howard Dean and Rahm duked it out more than once over national party strategy, with Dean being the one who was willing to fight to have Dems active in the “50 state strategy” and Rahm being the one who thinks we should hunker down in Washington. It’s tricky to make judgments based on leaks, but Rahm has appeared to be behind the deals that have made this a corporatist bill. He’s a corporatist in his soul, and that is not in the interest of the Americans I know.

    In most administrations the Chief of Staff plays a major role in appointments. There have been some pretty lousy personnel choices including Judd Gregg, Tom Dashiell, & Tim Geithner being real howlers…all corporatists. There are still significant vacancies within the Administration and the Judiciary after nearly a year and a Dem Senate.

    I’m not impressed by Rahm’s foul mouth…gutter is easy.

    But I’m always willing to change my mind based on evidence of something more substantial than bravado.

  127. 127
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I actually largely agree with this. The House has better subsidies, a better funding source, and probably a thousand other better things. If the final bill doesn’t get to have the public option in it, the House Dems should be able to extract a few perks in exchange—or they should at least try. The thing that annoyed me about the blogospheric rhetoric was not the desire for a better deal, it was the sophomoric stuff about “corporate tools” and the idea that all Obama needed to do was try harder or play rougher and could be led to do so by habitual blog readers cursing at one another. But Congresspeople can actually try harder and play rougher. If Lieberman can do it, Slaughter can certainly attempt it.

    Well stated, Flip. And to add to this, I would say that you misunderstand a lot of the reaction around here to what Sen. Sanders was saying, Jay B. I don’t think it was a case of wanting him to “shut up and just support the sucker,” because that was never an issue with Sanders. He was always going to vote for cloture to move the bill along; he was, at that moment in time, articulating the problems he had with the bill and his desires to see it improve.

    But he wasn’t saying anything along the lines of “KILL THE BILL!” or “Let’s just start this process over.” He was simply signaling that there was a lot more work to be done, which is something that no one around here would disagree with. Well, I’m sure someone will, but you get the idea.

  128. 128
    eric says:

    I am not mad at Slaughter. I am perplexed. What could Reid possibly say to Lieberman to get him to accept a public option? Joe, if you dont say yes we will have no health care. I think he might have said that. Really. It is the stoopid about the statement. it is the not the Senate treating the house as its bitch, it is the reality of needing 60 votes. Add a public option, then you lose.

    Plus, i would suggest that the congresswoman get her chamber to pass a REAL public option and not the piece of crap they passed before she goes looking for windmills.

    eric

  129. 129
    Mike E says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    Is that, like, peace in our time?

  130. 130
    mcc says:

    @Jay B.: I mean, I guess the responses there actually were a bit more negative than I’d remembered. I don’t know.

    I think everyone, regardless of position, is having trouble keeping their emotions in check right now.

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Ailuridae says:

    Jason Altmire of PA is making some noise that many Blue Dogs could vote for a bill similar to the senate bill. Here is a plain text url (links never show up in my posts)

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-.....ays-member

  133. 133
    John Cole says:

    @Jay B.: Really- That was a freakout- quoting Sanders?

    The best thing about you progressives is you act like you are all super tuff and everyone is a pussy because we won’t fight, fight, fight, the man and then someone merely blockquotes a story and it is a “freak-out.”

  134. 134
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    What could Reid possibly say to Lieberman to get him to accept a public option?

    Which public option? The medicare buy-in he supported scant weeks earlier? Or a more robust public option he’s supported nearly his entire career? And what kind of support was he being asked for? His vote, which was not needed to pass legislation or his continued pledge to not siderail key Democratic legislation by filibustering with Republicans, a bargain that was understood to be the linchpin of his committee chairmanship?

    In short, I think it’s more complicated.

  135. 135
    danimal says:

    @Jay B.: How’s that pony power any different than Blue Dogs and Moderates supporting a popular health care bill instead of buckling under to insurance industry demands?

    Negotiating leverage. The moderates are quite ok with walking away from the issue, calling it failed Obamacare and burnishing their centrist credentials. Killing liberal legislation without jeopardizing their insurance money is a two-fer. What’s not to love? The needs of the uninsured are less important than the need to demonstrate their power and their need to get reelected. Liberals care a lot about the uninsured and have worked for DECADES to address the health insurance issue. The power imbalance is staggering.

    Once we have a bill, it becomes the status quo. Both parties will scramble to fill in the gaps in the legislation. Instead of a major rewrite of the bill, there will be dozens of incremental changes. Some will be liberal, some will be industry-designed, some conservative, etc. The battle remains, but liberals have much more leverage because many of the improvements that we have fought for decades are now the law of the land. Anyone that doesn’t understand this just doesn’t want to understand it.

  136. 136
    Sleeper says:

    @MikeJ:

    Seriously, people yell and scream for Democrats that are willing to fight and then they don’t like Rahm?

    heh. Yeah, Rahm Emanuel the fighting liberal.

  137. 137
    Jack says:

    Blaming FDL for compromised client politicians’ party Democrats’ lack of resolve is teh funneh.

  138. 138
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: It was so much easier when the GOP sent out your talking points, huh?

  139. 139
    Comrade Jake says:

    Fun times. Can we get some more of these folks to appear on Fox News? That would be full of win. Full. Of. Win.

  140. 140
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Sleeper:

    heh. Yeah, Rahm Emanuel the fighting liberal.

    Yeah, I had a chuckle too.

  141. 141
    Jack says:

    @danimal:

    How’s that working with FISA, MCA2006, TARP bail outs, NAFTA, Telecomm dereg, NCLB, Medicare Part D and the PATRIOT Act? All much improved by scrambling reformists?

  142. 142
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    my recollection is that Howard Dean and Rahm duked it out more than once over national party strategy, with Dean being the one who was willing to fight to have Dems active in the “50 state strategy” and Rahm being the one who thinks we should hunker down in Washington.

    I think the debate was between spending money party-building and organizing even in lost cause states like Utah and Idaho (the Dean position) and spending money in targeted races and key “swing” districts (the alternative position; I’ve heard it attributed to Emanuel but don’t know enough about what he actually advocated to say it with confidence). Plunk down a million dollars in one spot vs. distributing 20 bundles of $50K, say. That’s actually not a self-evident choice to make, which is why it was so acrimonious. I would put myself in the 50-state camp because it can pay long-term rewards, but I bet poaching a key seat here and there could confer huge short-term benefits.

  143. 143
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: What did that even mean? I mean, can you at least keep the attempted insults on topic?

  144. 144
    Sleeper says:

    @Jay B.:

    Seconded. I don’t understand the reasoning of some people here. You can’t improve a bill if you state categorically that you’ll vote for it regardless of the final form it takes. Christ, that’s inescapably obvious.

  145. 145

    Jane Hamsher teaming up with Grover f**king Norquist. That is a sign of the end times. Dammit! Where’s my camera. More smudge on teh way.

  146. 146
    danimal says:

    @danimal: blockquote fail. Sorry.
    @MikeJ: I don’t totally disagree that the Blue Dogs would like to see financial reform fail. But they really wouldn’t like to be seen as supporters of the banks these days. I believe the combination of liberal pressure and tea partier craziness would compel them to vote for financial reform.

  147. 147
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    His vote, which was not needed to pass legislation or his continued pledge to not siderail key Democratic legislation by filibustering with Republicans, a bargain that was understood to be the linchpin of his committee chairmanship?

    Again I ask: what planet does this BS notion come from? The theory you folks have where Obama was in cahoots with the health care industry from the get-go, and that Lieberman was playing right along with the WH, as crazy as that may be, is nonetheless more reality-based than this BS.

  148. 148
    Ailuridae says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’ll keep asking and maybe you’ll answer. If Lieberman’s vote was gettable what stops the public option or Medicare buy-in advocates from immediately introducing either of these bills through reconciliation. If with enough arm twisting 60 votes could be done then 50 should be easy even if you lose a process nut like Byrd or Russ. Although, again, as a medicare plus X% buy-in will almost certainly reduce the deficit its exactly the type of legislation that should be passed that way.

  149. 149
    Mary says:

    @Sleeper: My understanding was that the Democratic leadership had decided to stay mum on their negotiations so Slaughter coming out like this today is a little strange.

  150. 150
    jeffreyw says:

    Moar pie, dammit!

  151. 151
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: It means Democrats debate things, argue ideas, fight for progress, work at the bottom to change the top. You seem to still be working within the Republican paradigm.

  152. 152
    Sleeper says:

    @John Cole:

    As much as I like Jane Hamsher’s willingness to fight (and yes, I understand that’s a minority opinion ’round these parts), and as much as I understand, in theory, the idea of making temporary alliances with people across the ideological divide to pursue some goals…Grover Norquist? ugh. They don’t come any worse than him. She couldn’t find any other date to the dance? Was Ralph Reed staying home to wash his hair or something?

  153. 153
    eric says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Exactly my point. Lieberman is an unreliable scumbad mother fucker. he is the key and he knows it and he hates the left wing of the party for trying to fuck him with Lamont.

    eric

  154. 154
    Ailuridae says:

    Deep thought:

    Does the Norquist-Hamsher alliance qualify as date rape?

  155. 155
    Mary says:

    @Ailuridae: Reconciliation is not permanent. It requires a sunset where it will expire unless further action is taken. That’s why Bush’s tax cuts will be expiring. He was too weak to get them in permanently. If you think the GOP wouldn’t let HCR expire if they were in power, I don’t know what to tell you.

  156. 156
    MikeJ says:

    @danimal:

    I believe the combination of liberal pressure and tea partier craziness would compel them to vote for financial reform.

    You believe teabaggers will ever say anything good about a Democrat? You believe that when Rush and Beck come out against a liberal financial reform program the teabaggers will put on pressure to support it?

  157. 157
    danimal says:

    @Jack: Most of those issues have been amended. For example, the “donut hole” in Medicare Part D is largely filled in the health care reform bill under consideration.

  158. 158
    Sleeper says:

    @martha:

    The complaint is that we want tougher liberals, not just tougher Democrats. Rahm Emanuel is not a liberal and he does not fight for liberal policy goals. He’s the king of the Blue Dogs. That’s why we don’t like him.

  159. 159
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Ailuridae: I don’t know how to answer your question. Are you asking me to get elected to the Senate and try to pass a public option through reconciliation?

    I can try but I’m going to need a lot more support from the Balloon Juice community than I’ve gotten in the last week or so.

  160. 160
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I’ve been saying for months that an ad-hoc righto-leftist House coalition would sink any bill, and while I’d be happy to be wrong, I don’t expect to be disappointed.

    Happy Festivus to all!

  161. 161
    Mary says:

    @Ailuridae: That would be Jane’s best excuse for the mess she has gotten herself into.

  162. 162
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I really like this program. Lots a laughs this season, lots of tears too.

  163. 163
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Comrade Jake: Whiler yer climbing all over my balls, Jake, feel free to suck my dick.

  164. 164
    eemom says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    actually, for all her bluster, getting “on her bad side” has never done squat’s worth of damage to anyone. Just look at Joe L. — she’s had her claws out for him since 2005 and hasn’t made a scratch.

  165. 165
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I know what it meant, but you directed it at a comment of me wondering how quoting Bernie Sanders was a freak-out. Your comment made and still makes no sense.

  166. 166
    mcc says:

    @danimal: Do you think you could give me some more information on what the final House and/or Senate bills do to the donut hole? I have had trouble finding anything specific.

  167. 167

    @Ailuridae:

    That’s a nice fairy tale, but in real conference, what happens is that provisions are mapped to votes, so that the necessary votes are held in place by the provisions that bought the votes. Nothing is going to come out of conference until the requisite number of votes is in hand, based on the content of the bill.

    That said, all bets are off once this process starts. Any member can basically demand anything, and then be bargained with, or threatened, for his vote. The more necessary his vote looks, the more he can get for it. And the beauty part is that it’s all behind closed doors and the rest of us will never really know what they did in there. The sea of pork, or special concessions, or earmarks, or whatever, will give a clue. But the entire thing is aimed at coming out the door with the required votes in one hand and the provisions that secured those votes in the other.

    If it sounds horrible, just keep in mind that whatever process is second best is even worse.

  168. 168
    eric says:

    @Ailuridae: Norquist – Hamsher: live at the mandalay bay and only on pay-per-viewwww.

  169. 169
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Mary:

    That would be Jane’s best excuse for the mess she has gotten herself into.

    Yes, but Grover’s bathtub will have rose petals and whine.

    just freaked myself out.

  170. 170

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m going to need a lot more support from the Balloon Juice community than I’ve gotten in the last week or so.

    Just remember, I can be bought.

  171. 171
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: I directed it at yer comment that all progressives want to do is fight, fight, fight.

  172. 172
    mcc says:

    @eemom: Yeah, I’m increasingly concluding being on Jane’s bad side is a safer place to be than being one of her allies. I’ll note that no enemy of Jane Hamsher’s has ever as a result been put in the position of having to explain a blackface photoshop.

  173. 173
    danimal says:

    @MikeJ: With the grand alliance of Hamsher and Norquist, anything is possible.

  174. 174
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Whiler yer climbing all over my balls, Jake, feel free to suck my dick.

    This might be the most intelligent thing you’ve written all week. Bravo.

  175. 175
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sleeper:

    Rahm Emanuel is not a liberal and he does not fight for liberal policy goals. He’s the king of the Blue Dogs.

    Hmm. I wouldn’t’ve said that Emanuel is ideologically Blue Dog. He just thinks that the Blue Dog profile is the way to win in closely contested districts. But it’s true that doesn’t match up well with “liberal policy goals,” except insofar as it negates some conservative policy goals by depriving Republicans of true-believer Congresspeople.

  176. 176
    Sleeper says:

    @Mary:
    Maybe she feels the negotiations were going nowhere, then. I keep reading that the Senate is pretty confident they’ll give up zero ground in conference. That can’t sit well with the House left. I’m glad to see at least one of them shove back a bit.

  177. 177
    And Another Thing... says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Basically I agree with your analysis of the 50 state strategy not obvious right & wrong. But part of what I remember is Rahn publically badmouthing it. When you live in the west – the non Calif part – it’s been a real struggle to rebuild the Dem Party. I see Rahm and his career as being consumate corporatist insider. I don’t see any evidence that he’s willing to push back against elite, inside interests. But he’s sure willing to publicly smack liberals.

    I’m disappointed in what appears to be the HCR bill, but I think it is CRAZY to vote against it, for good political and humanitarian reasons.

  178. 178
    scudbucket says:

    @Mary: I’m curious as to why you think Hamsher is taking money from Club for Growth or Freedomworks. Are there some specifics you can point to?

  179. 179
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Jane is exactly the sort of person who would drown Grover when she’s done with him.

  180. 180
    jenniebee says:

    @Brien Jackson: In a D+15 district, if she didn’t make some noise about the inadequacy of the Senate bill, she’d have to explain why for the rest of her political career.

  181. 181
    Ailuridae says:

    @Mary:

    Mary I believe you are mistakenly confusing the Byrd Rule’s Sunset provision part of reconciliation with the process or reconciliation in general. The Byrd Rule requires a Sunsetting (Expiring) within ten years of any thing passed through reconciliation that adds to the deficit in a fiscal year after the ten year window. By design the public option or Medicare plus X% buy-in would never add to the deficit in any year. So unlike the tax and estate tax cuts in 2001 which are a driving force of the US deficit problems the sunset provision does not apply.

  182. 182

    Green Balloons! or, more specifically, smudge (yeah, I know the image is blurry, but I didn’t sign on with Grover F**king Norquist today, so lay off)

  183. 183
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Ailuridae: Eloquent.

  184. 184
    Ana Gama says:

    @mcc:

    Do you think you could give me some more information on what the final House and/or Senate bills do to the donut hole?

    The $80B deal the WH struck with Pharma is supposed to be to close the donut hole, as I understand it.

  185. 185
    Emma says:

    Sorry. But… Grover Norquist? Grover fucking Norquist? I’m sorry but there are lines I won’t cross. And Fuckhead, if you want to run for office, let me know. I’ll throw in a few in the kitty. Never enough progressives — in fact, that’s the problem in the Senate. Not enough progressives.

  186. 186
    eemom says:

    @Sleeper:

    I don’t like Blue Dogs, but AFAIK they generally come from conservative constituencies that wouldn’t elect a liberal. Therefore it was either a Democratic majority that included Blue Dogs, or no Democratic majority at all.

    But again, that’s just the practical realities of politics. I realize those are meaningless in the brave new world of left wingnuttia.

  187. 187

    @Comrade Jake:

    I don’t know how intelligent it is, but please let me know if it works.

  188. 188
    Mary says:

    @Sleeper: I’m just wondering if Jane’s public option pledges have anything to do with this. Because these Congress people wouldn’t necessarily be afraid of Jane but they might be afraid of having gotten caught up in a Grover Norquist/FreedomWorks ratf*cking operation. I don’t know. I’m just wondering.

  189. 189
    mcc says:

    @Mary:

    Reconciliation is not permanent. It requires a sunset where it will expire unless further action is taken. That’s why Bush’s tax cuts will be expiring.

    Actually, I would urge you to go read up on the Byrd Rule (the thing that dictates those weird reconciliation rules). It’s not actually correct reconciliation requires a sunset. What reconciliation requires is a sunset on funding. A reconciliation-passed bill cannot add to the deficit after a point ten years past its passage. This is why Bush’s tax cuts required a sunset clause, because they add to the deficit. The public option, however, is deficit-neutral (as for that matter is a medicare buy-in). The public option requires initial seed funding, but that seed funding would fall well within the 10-year window (and in some versions of the public option gets paid back anyway). After that seed funding period the public option would be premium-funded, and would not add to the deficit, and should not need a sunset clause to satisfy the reconciliation rules. The public option also, as I understand the CBO reports, is projected to reduce the deficit somewhat because of its indirect effects on the health care system and thus the subsidy program, which could (?) satisfy reconciliation’s requirement of being germane to budget.

    I do want to stress reconciliation is weird as hell and there may be something I’m missing here, but I have yet to see someone give me a reason this is wrong.

  190. 190
    Dreggas says:

    I just had a brain fart.

    One of the issues raised as to why reconciliation couldn’t or at least shouldn’t be used this time around was because it was meant for budget issues.

    If the current healthcare bill becomes law, the one from the senate, and we know that a PO added to it would further reduce the deficit etc. wouldn’t reconciliation then be the perfect vehicle to pass a PO?

  191. 191
    Mary says:

    @Ailuridae: Oh. Thanks. I haven’t looked all that closely at the debunking of the reconciliation argument, but I know it’s out there.

  192. 192
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Anne Laurie: @Anne Laurie:

    Happy Festivus to all!

    LOL. I don’t think they heard you. But I am going to be in a flame war blackout till after xmas. It’s getting like a soap opera. Leave it for a while, and when you return, nothing has changed.

  193. 193
    Ailuridae says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Your post would have been more interesting if I were talking about the conference process and not the wholly different process of reconciliation.

    Simply put, if Russ has the votes for a public option or Medicare buy-in, bite your tongue vote for the current bill and as the next order of business pass the public option or Medicare buy-in through reconciliation. The CBO has already scored iterations of both and they are both deficit reducing. Its exactly what the reconciliation process should be used for.

  194. 194
    Sleeper says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Honestly, I wouldn’t say that Emanuel is ideologically anything. He seems to be a corporatist technocrat at heart. I suppose part of him is comfortable with, or maybe just indifferent to, the nominal platform of the Democratic Party, so that’s better than being Karl Rove, I guess, sort of. He just seems to embody every Democratic tendency of the past few decades to pivot right, to cozy up to Wall Street, to cut the party’s left off at the knees.

  195. 195
    Max says:

    Over @ Open Left, I know, why did I even bother to go to Sirota country. Scroll down from Sirota’s latest “I hate Obama put me on TV to talk about it” posting.

    Bowers has a post on the front page that is breaking down his opinion of why progressives are acting out towards the rest of us Dems. He calls the rest of us “Centrist” which I am or “Third Way” which I have never heard before.

    What is the main difference between the two group you ask? According to Bowers, the Progressives want to use public resources for the public good and the Centrists or “Third Way” want to use private resources for the public good.

    He goes on to say that Progressives are angry and going off the rails because…

    1. They have no power against the Centrists. We out number them and we’ve got the White House and most of Congress.
    2. They have no money or organization in comparison to the Centrists (Obama’s Team OFA).
    3. They will not win.

    I wonder how many of the Progressives that are on this thread would agree with this distinction.

    It makes a lot of sense to me and with that said, if we both have the same goal, yet differing opinions on how to get there, we should be able to navigate a compromise.

    However, I’m an O-bot, Centrist, Third-Way’er, so what do I know.

    Linky here.

  196. 196
    Ailuridae says:

    Deep Thought Two:

    Upthread someone suggested that there are going to be likely similarities between Jane and Larry “not Grandmama” Johnson. I have a different end in mine for Jane: David Horowitz. I think she’s going to pop out the other side of this as a reactionary.

  197. 197
    martha says:

    @Sleeper: Um, but his voting record was always extremely liberal. Americans for Democratic Action had him in the mid 90s to 100 during his tenure in the House as a representative from IL. So he’s a corporate shill as Chief of Staff and a flaming liberal when he represented his district? For example, here’s 2003:

    I would say that what we’re missing here is that he’s a realistic politician–if the Dems don’t have the support of corporations, we will fail. Which many do not like. Oh, and he was wrong about the 50 state strategy. So I’m not a complete sell-out.

    Edit: can’t get the link to work: http://www.adaction.org

  198. 198
    geg6 says:

    Jason Altmire is a health care corporate tool, so of course he loooooves him some Senate bill. His name is referred to in circles here as Jason Altmire, Rep. PA04-UPMC/BCBS of WPA. Whatever, it’s all conference negotiating and the House asserting itself. I wish I had Louise Slaughter as my rep rather than Jason Altmire, though.

  199. 199
    Ailuridae says:

    @mcc:

    Much better written than what I wrote.

  200. 200
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Mary: I read his idea as doing the Medicare buy in in reconciliation. I’d be shocked if, once there are millions of almost old people in a Medicare plan, anybody would have the guts to vote against continuation. And nothing would prevent Dems from going a regular bill route once you’ve got millions of new enrollees. Jump up and down & scream, yea. Rep’s weren’t willing to increase SCHIP but they were never going to try to really try to eliminate it.

  201. 201
    MNPundit says:

    @Malron: I will give this to Obama, he never lied. He hedged to hell and back on the public option and we all knew he didn’t care about it much because he said so constantly. If you are vowing in no uncertain terms that there will be a public option but actually cave, your word is shit.

  202. 202

    Your post would have been more interesting if I were talking about the conference process and not the wholly different process of reconciliation.

    I don’t agree with you that my post could have been more interesting. I mean, come on.

    But I do agree that I assumed the former and not the latter, which might be taken to make me incorrect. By picky persons, say.

    Moo.

  203. 203

    She signed on with Grover f**king Norquist! head/desk. I am still shocked.

  204. 204
    danimal says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I am going to be in a flame war blackout till after xmas. It’s getting like a soap opera. Leave it for a while, and when you return, nothing has changed.

    Good call. I had a heart attack (AKA pre-existing condition) last year and I really shouldn’t put myself in the crossfire so much.

    Holiday blessings to all.

  205. 205
    Mary says:

    @scudbucket: Regarding evidence of who is funding Jane, I asked her flat out on Sunday if she was taking money from FreedomWorks or the like and she didn’t deny it. She said she would take money from anyone and wasn’t bound by strict ideological rigidity like perhaps I might be. I told her to enjoy the checks–that they wouldn’t last.

  206. 206
    Sleeper says:

    @eemom:

    At a certain point, though, that argument loses traction with me. What is it they do with those majorities? Sure, they take the Speakership and committee chairmanships, but then they don’t do a hell of a lot with them. I’m not arguing that we need to shrivel the party down to just those to the left of Noam Chomsky, but, at a certain point we need to be able to count on Democrats beyond a reasonable doubt. Abortion rights should not be negotiable. Health care should not be negotiable. Commitment to the environment should not be negotiable. We can debate how best to tackle these problems, but we shouldn’t permit internal debate as to whether these ARE problems. We have Democrats in the House who are pro-life, anti-health care, global warming deniers…why??? What do they do besides drag us to the right? They don’t back us on anything liberal. They just latch onto the Democratic majority to enjoy the perks of power. We would be a better party if we cut some of these people loose. The trick is figuring out how many we can lose that would help slide us back to the left without bleeding us white…the difference between cutting off a wart and cutting off an arm, I guess.

    Cue the accusations of purity trolling. Whatever. I think the Democrats are too quick to trade ideals for numbers sometimes. We need to find a better balance between the two instincts.

  207. 207
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Sleeper:

    Cue the accusations of purity trolling. Whatever. I think the Democrats are too quick to trade ideals for numbers sometimes. We need to find a better balance between the two instincts.

    Contrary to popular belief (and recent histrionics), this isn’t the GOS.

  208. 208

    @Mary:
    Yay for the transparency and all (sauce, goose, gander)

  209. 209
    donovong says:

    Just saw this on Benen’s site:

    “As part of a Republican attack on health care reform today, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) read a post from FireDogLake on the Senate floor today.”

    So now, Norquist and Hatch are both on Hamsher’s good side.

  210. 210
    Mary says:

    @And Another Thing…: It’s funny how you all argue that no one would dare repeal HCR, especially if it had not even gone fully into effect yet. George Bush was hellbent on privatizing Social Security which had been there for 60 years and Medicare Advantage was the privatizing of Medicare.

    And I think fear of repeal is uppermost right now. Didn’t the Senate require 60 votes to repeal and the right wing is screaming about this very thing, going so far as to say “THEY WON’T LET US REPEAL THE DEATH PANELS?”

  211. 211

    @donovong:
    Shoot. Me. Now. We are all sieves now. Seriously, does Hamsher even know what she’s doing making alliances with the devil himself?

  212. 212

    Leave it for a while, and when you return, nothing has changed.

    That’s life, that’s what people say,
    Riding high in April, shot down in May.
    But I think I’m going to change that tune,
    When I’m back on top, in June.

    –Frank Sinatra

  213. 213
    Sleeper says:

    @martha:

    He’s a party loyalist, that’s for sure. My guess is that that’s in part due to his desire to rise in the House leadership as quickly as possible (I know some people expect him to return to the House at some point and make a bid for Speaker). But I also think it’s undeniable that he’s a corporatist, DLC, Wall Street Democrat. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that rather than being a true Blue Dog himself, he’s just their biggest champion and empowerer. His tenure as chair of the DCCC really seemed to show his bias for conservative Dems, in my opinion.

    Sure he’s a reliable vote for the party, but I also think he does his best to drag the party as far to the right as he can before each vote takes place. Some don’t see a problem with that. I do.

  214. 214
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @danimal:

    With the grand alliance of Hamsher and Norquist, anything is possible.

    I imagine that’s about what Ribbentrop and Molotov said to each other on August 24th, 1939.

    2010 is going to be a very strange year. I hope somebody gives me popcorn for Xmas.

  215. 215
    Sleeper says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    Honestly, it’s hard to tell what the prevailing ideology is here as of late, beyond “STOP PISSING ME OFF!!!!

  216. 216
    donovong says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Sure she does. People all over are talking about her, she is now in the Congressional Record, and she is making metric fucktons of money off of all these histrionics. What are ethical considerations when you can get all that? She can’t lose.

  217. 217
    Emma says:

    Arguing with Signposts: Yes, she does. Give Jane credit, she’s a very bright woman. She laid down with the Devil with full knowledge of what she was doing.

    I hope she as hard-assed as she believes herself to be. Because (to change metaphors), she’s in the shark pool now.

  218. 218
    Nellcote says:

    Walking it back

    As many on the left have pointed out, Dem Rep Louise Slaughter is now calling on Democrats to kill the Senate bill, seemingly a big deal.

    But a spokesperson for Slaughter, Vince Morris, confirms she’s not ruling out a vote for the final bill, even if it lacks a public option or other concessions sought by progressives.

    “She’s not ruling anything in or out at this point,” Morris tells me. “She is hopeful that we can make the bill better in conference.”

    Dem Reps Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey are now saying a public option “must” be added in conference. But their statement does not rule out a vote for a final bill without one.

  219. 219

    @Emma:

    Give Jane credit, she’s a very bright woman.

    I give her credit for what she’s done up to this point, but laying down with Grover f**king Norquist? Sorry, that train just stopped.

  220. 220
    Mary says:

    @Emma: I disagree. She is not loyal or discreet and it appears that she has been ratf*cked. Carville and Stephanopolous gave long and valuable service to the Democratic party. Not so, Jane Hamsher, who has aligned with the enemy camp. She will be driven out of Washington power circles like she was driven out of Hollywood.

  221. 221
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Sleeper: My congressman is a blue dog, and he frustrates me but the most important votes he casts are to caucus with the Dems. It means Dems set the agenda, have the staff & budget clout, etc. We need the blues.

    The Senate is another story. There should be significant penalties for filibustering your own party. Party discipline has always been a problem for Dems, and that’s cool up to a point. Psychologically Reps seem to be wired to function like a command economy, top down and authoritarian and needing the cult of personality – re their Reagan hagiography. Dems are just more fractious and have been that way since at least since Will Rogers who said “I’m not a member of an organized political party, I’m a Democrat.”

    The Senate is really in danger of damaging the Dems and Obama. They are getting very little done…there’re important bills passed by the House sitting and waiting. The Senate looks ineffective, ego driven and whiney. Anybody who’s paying attention knows the Dems have 60 votes and can’t get the country’s business done. You cannot effectively convince voters that it’s not your fault when you’ve got 60. There are some landmines out there.

  222. 222
    The Raven says:

    Hamsher and Norquist? Strange bedfellows, indeed!

    Hamsher’s summary. The charges are serious, and, if true, could even lead to criminal charges against Emmanuel. Unfortunately, they might also, in a Republican-controlled House, be a rationale for impeaching President Obama.

  223. 223
    geg6 says:

    Well, unlike Jane, I hold the courage of my convictions. There is nothing on the FSM’s green earth that could have me cuddling up with Grover Norquist or Dick Armey or Orrin Hatch. Nothing. So, sadly (because of TBogg and Marcy Wheeler), FDL has been deleted from my bookmarks and will never get another click from ever again. Just as WaPo will never see another click. I am not a big supporter of the Senate bill and have taken some shots for it and my disappointment with Obama had me taking more, but WTF? What is the reaction from the other front pagers over there? I have avoided it since she did her Charge of the Light Brigade announcement.

  224. 224
    Elie says:

    @Sandlapper:

    LOL! You are so right…

    I’m beginning to think of this as some sort of Operatic experience — or maybe experimental theater where the audience at points turns on each other as well as gets on stage to scream…

    I also just think that we havent lived through Congress or the Executive actually doing anything much for so long that we forget how its supposed to go so map it to the wrong expectations: “I ordered a pizza with pepporoni and I got sausage – send it back”

  225. 225
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Sleeper:

    Honestly, it’s hard to tell what the prevailing ideology is here as of late, beyond “STOP PISSING ME OFF!”

    Yeah, that’s about the norm during the HCR era, I suppose. Most days, it’s usually a pleasant mix of Mad Max Thunderdome hoocooanode and Pee Wee’s Playhouse shenanigans.

  226. 226

    Regarding Rahm, this guy is about getting and wielding power, I’m not real sure ideology plays much of a role beyond not having an R after his name. Some of the House pukes with Ds after their name are there because of Rahm and yes, he kneecapped some progressives in the process. They did get elected but making the measure of whether the progressives wouldn’t have is, in some cases, tricky. He pissed some people off real bad in the process.

    With a guy like Rahm the measure you’re forced to use is general outcomes and if overall you like the positions those he supported have held – there it is. You can try to work the numbers to see if he was wrong about those he cut out, I don’t think you’ll get much in the way of reliable conclusions beyond the ones he supported were the safer bet.

    In a long running poker game Rahm is going to beat you if he has enough chips to play his way. In 06 and 08 he had the chips, and now he has the President’s ear and the President isn’t real reckless to begin with. Just don’t get the idea that you will like (as in warm fuzzy feelings) what comes from Rahm.

  227. 227

    I can type ‘fuck’ and moderation ignores me and I have no idea what got it this time…

  228. 228
    cleek says:

    Give Jane credit, she’s a very bright woman

    um, no.

  229. 229
    Jack says:

    @danimal:

    That’s fairly vague. Specifics, please?

  230. 230
    Jack says:

    Slavery was outlawed, in England, by two men who agreed on nothing but the issue of slavery.

  231. 231
    Nellcote says:

    @mcc:

    Just to add the bills headed to reconciliation have to go thru the money (ie Budget/Finance) committees. So you have Conrad and Baucus to deal with…again.

  232. 232

    @Jack:
    Sorry, this is not slavery. Grover f**king Norquist already supports that.

  233. 233
    Emma says:

    Mary and Arguing (You don’t mind if I call you Arguing, do you? I feel as if I know you!), I think I was being a tad snarky. She THINKS she knows.

  234. 234
    Jack says:

    @Emma:

    I’ve got a lot of reasons to disagree with Norquist (general glibertarianism, an awful and contradictory net neutrality position, etc), but he’s not some sort of Republican Devil. He’s not Tom Fucking Delay.

    Remember, he’s the guy who went against his party and its base on Muslims and Muslim bashing.

    Norquist is also not going knotted panties over transfers of Gitmo prisoners to the US (not that he’s right on the larger issues. Of course, neither is Obama). He took a stand against the GOP position, on that as well.

    Norquist is also on board with drug decriminalization.

  235. 235
  236. 236
    Da Bomb says:

    @Mary: Agreed, there are a whole bunch of folks giving her the side eye for her alliances with Grover right about now.

  237. 237
    Fern says:

    @Max:

    I agree with you on this. For example, Jane Hamsher has not, as far as I can tell, won a single one of her battles.

    She and others like her seriously overestimate their numbers and influence.

  238. 238
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Mary: Yes, Bush tried…he had just been re-elected and had a Republican House and a Republican Senate and his Social Security scheme went absolutely NO WHERE. As for privatizing Medicare – did you see the Keep your Hands off My Medicare signs at the town halls, tea parties, death panels and all that?

    Liberals should be pushing the White House hard, on the merits of the the public option or Medicare buy-in, not throwing around accusations of liar, etc.

    And if you’re afraid to pass something cause some subsequent Congress or legislature might repeal it, well they ought to pack it in and go do something useful like…raise strawberries.

  239. 239

    @Emma:
    Sorry, didn’t catch the snark.
    @Jack:
    Not buying it. He helped drive Gulivornya into the ditch, and likely drove this nation into one as well. I won’t give him the time of day. He’s no Karl F**king Rove, but that isn’t saying much, now is it?

  240. 240
    Fern says:

    @Ailuridae: She appears to be well on her way.

  241. 241
    Fern says:

    @Mary:

    Ha. I wondered why she only produced one movie – this makes sense.

  242. 242
    Jack says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Your issue has nothing to do with mine.

    Whether or not you agree with Norquist, specifically, has nothing to do with my point.

    Single issues can exceed partisan positions, in import.

    Slavery was fought (in the US and in Britain) by people who in many cases detested each other and were adversaries over nearly every other issue.

    This silly “can’t work with that guy cuz he’s on the other side” shit is embarrassing.

    I (registered Ind) once worked with a crazy fundamentalist (definitely an R) to get a conservation measure sponsored by a homosexual (Dem) state rep. The fundamentalist and I didn’t even come at the issue for the same reasons (he believed that G-d requires loving stewardship of the environment and that only G-d has the divine authority to destroy it, that it’s arrogance for Man to usurp G-d’s powers; I’m a DFH atheist, with a pagan wife, who thinks pollution is wrong on its own terms). But we agreed on the means (sponsorship, committee, legislation) and the end.

  243. 243
    Fern says:

    @The Raven:

    That is what I am thinking. And I do believe that is her goal.

    She’s a good hater, that Jane.

  244. 244

    You’d be hard put to find a name more poisonous in OR Democratic circles than Norquist – well, maybe his buddy Sizemore.

  245. 245

    @Jack:

    This silly “can’t work with that guy cuz he’s on the other side” shit is embarrassing.

    But to what ends? So that Rahmbo can get fired? That’s going to advance progressive ideals how?

    I wouldn’t carry Grover Norquist far enough to put him in his grave, no matter what the issue, but this is an extremely small pot to be pissing in for Hamsher.

  246. 246
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Jack:

    This silly “can’t work with that guy cuz he’s on the other side” shit is embarrassing.
    __
    I (registered Ind) once worked with a crazy fundamentalist (definitely an R) to get a conservation measure sponsored by a homosexual (Dem) state rep. The fundamentalist and I didn’t even come at the issue for the same reasons (he believed that G-d requires loving stewardship of the environment and that only G-d has the divine authority to destroy it, that it’s arrogance for Man to usurp G-d’s powers; I’m a DFH atheist, with a pagan wife, who thinks pollution is wrong on its own terms). But we agreed on the means (sponsorship, committee, legislation) and the end.

    These things are all well and good, and on the larger point, I agree with you. However, there are certain individuals that, regardless of the cause brining our unlikely camps together, I would never deign to affiliate myself with.

    Grover Norquist would be one of them.

  247. 247
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Yeah, that’s about the norm during the HCR era, I suppose. Most days, it’s usually a pleasant mix of Mad Max Thunderdome hoocooanode and Pee Wee’s Playhouse shenanigans.

    Sounds about right. Either that, or The Donner Party Food Fight.

  248. 248
    morzer says:

    TaosJohn

    A lot of folks are about to shit their drawers. Hamsher AND Norquist have signed a letter calling for Rahm’s resignation (for good reasons).
    The establishment has no defense against people who drop the false “right vs. left” framing. This is the future, better get used to it. This is the beginning of the end of triangulation.

    I have a really nice bridge to nowhere, available to you at an amazingly persuasive price. Only one previous owner (Saudi royalty).

  249. 249
    The Raven says:

    @Fern: Who knows what Hamsher’s goal is, here? If Emanuel participated in the Freddie Mac failure as alleged, he does not belong in any position of authority–he may actually belong in jail. And, well, haven’t we been calling for progressives to play hardball? But also, if the allegations are true, very likely Obama has been shielding Emanuel, if not actively participating in Emanuel’s malfeasance. At least, that deserves censure. However little we like it, however much we would rather not go through another Congressional inquiry into Executive conduct, this deserves investigation.

    If the charges are false, I think we will not have to worry about Jane Hamsher again. If they are true, well, let’s clean house.

    One thing for sure: more food for corvids! Croak!

  250. 250
    Boston Yankee says:

    The Senate bill is an unmitigated disaster. What it does is give the health insurance companies the ability to collect immense amounts of money. Money that they will then use to defend this castle of crap, against all who think a few years down the road you can take their money away by writing new laws. Tell me exactly what this reform does? Okay, you cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting condition, but we can charge you three times more than the average policy for this kindness. And if your poor enough, then the government will kick in the extra for our benevolent insurance carriers.

    And those Cadillac plans that cover exotic items like ultrasounds will be taxed to the hilt. This will hit the middle class like a ton of bricks and is exactly why labor unions are against this bill.

    I say bury this abomination under a DC snow pile and start over.

  251. 251
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m surprised to find out what a clueless bimbo Rep. Slaughter is. Doesn’t she know this is the only time in the next 400 years we’ll ever get a stab at a health care bill? Seriously, how the fuck do you get to be a freakin’ United States representative and not understand that there is no way ever the Senate could pass a better bill, under no circumstances and with no possible outcome than the one we just got. Talk about yer fucking ponies.

    Go back and pass a better bill, she sez. Like that’s how the Senate works! I’m choking on my own adam’s apple here, laughing so hard.

  252. 252
    Sleeper says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Please, Obama worked so hard for this. He deserves the win. Please don’t ruin it for him. Besides, we’ll fix it in post. er. I mean we’ll fix it in conference.

  253. 253
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @The Raven:

    And, well, haven’t we been calling for progressives to play hardball? But also, if the allegations are true, very likely Obama has been shielding Emanuel, if not actively participating in Emanuel’s malfeasance.

    I’m inclined to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt here, seeing how quickly he dumped Reverend Wright and the public option. There’s nothing in his performance so far that would indicate he’d do anything to fight for Rahm.

  254. 254

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Seriously, how the fuck do you get to be a freakin’ United States representative and not understand that there is no way ever the Senate could pass a better bill, under no circumstances and with no possible outcome than the one we just got.

    Michelle f**king Bachmann. That is all.

  255. 255

    Go back and pass a better bill, she sez. Like that’s how the Senate works

    Maybe a few examples of how “going back” on a bill just passed after a food fight, a bill as big and impactful as this one, has worked in the past?

    Tales of how the “fuck it and start over” process has worked with big rube goldberg measures like this one has produced better, nicer bills?

    Just because I can’t find those examples doesn’t mean they aren’t there, right? You do have some, right?

    I’m especially interested in how this works when the “start over” clock is clicked on about 90 days before the start of a midterm campaign season, and we have the largest majority in congress right now that we are likely to have for maybe a decade. Examples like that are the ones I am interested in.

  256. 256
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Maybe a few examples of how “going back” on a bill just passed after a food fight, a bill as big and impactful as this one, has worked in the past?

    Right? Maybe one you commenting wizards can ask Rep. Slaughter this.

  257. 257
    Ailuridae says:

    @Boston Yankee:

    There’s the 400B in Medicaid funding that will insure 1/3 of all the currently uninsured. So there’s that. That would seem to mitigate a disaster to me even if everything else you wrote is true (its not)

  258. 258
    Ailuridae says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    If they start over, how, exactly is Joe Lieberman going to sign on to a public option or Medicare buy-in? I suppose they could add on Snowe with a triggered option.

    Alternately if the will is there as you are sure it is from 59 of the Senators to pass some new public insurance program just pass it in reconciliation with 50 + 1 votes. Its really not complicated if the votes are there

  259. 259
    Emma says:

    All of you perfect people with your perfect worlds inside your heads who would deprive millions of Americans of even a modicum of help so you can chase the Unicorns over the rainbow, you know what you remind me off? Ralph Nader.

    Do you know why I hate Ralph Nader? Not because of his presidential idiocies. Because of Cylert.

    Cylert was a drug made to control ADHD. It was implicated in some liver problems in patients taking it. Public Citizen Nader went after the drug maker and got it taken off the market. There was a generic version, but Public Citizen also went after them and got them to stop making it. Then they trumpeted their deed all over the airwaves.

    Problem? Cyclert was one of the few drugs to control narcolepsy. As in THERE WERE NO OTHERS THAT WOULD DO THE SAME JOB. The Narcolepsy people pleaded with Public Citizen and with the drug makers. But Public Citizen blew them off and the drug companies didn’t want Nader after their ass for what is, after all, a relatively small number of people. Mr. Nader got his headlines and the sick people got fucked over.

    This bill, dammit, can do some good. Even some of the people who originally opposed it, like Dean and Krugman, think it can do some good. But, nooooo. It’s not what you wanted, so you’re going to fuck over some people who could get some relief. Let them die without insurance and without access to medication. After all, you can’t make omelets without breaking eggs — and you can’t make revolution without fucking people over.

  260. 260
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Emma:

    This bill, dammit, can do some good. Even some of the people who originally opposed it, like Dean and Krugman, think it can do some good. But, nooooo. It’s not what you wanted, so you’re going to fuck over some people who could get some relief. Let them die without insurance and without access to medication. After all, you can’t make omelets without breaking eggs—and you can’t make revolution without fucking people over.

    This doesn’t even make any sense. How the fuck is anyone stopping a bad bill from passing by asking for a better bill? Do you think Rep. Slaughter is trying to kill this thing? Or do you think she’s trying to make it better? And how did the conflation of those two things becomes the centerpiece of the support for this bill?

  261. 261
    The Raven says:

    @Emma: but who is being perfectionist? The we-don’t-want-any-dirty-bill crowd, the we-don’t-want-any-dirty-liberals crowd, or the pass-a-bill-at-any-price crowd?

    The insurance companies, on the other hand, don’t need to be perfectionist. Whatever we do, they win.

  262. 262
    Sleeper says:

    @Emma:

    uh…so, what happened to the people who got liver damage?

  263. 263
    Emma says:

    Really Fuckhead? I am not addressing the Congresswoman or any such thing. I am saying that people who want to ditch the bill have decided that their damn political principles are more important than the lives of the people the bill would help. THAT is what I’m saying. And Raven? Is beating the insurance companies the only thing that matters? Helping 30 million Americans doesn’t?

    And if I take you at your word, tell me, how do we do it? Unless you want the liberal equivalent of George Bush in power, you have to deal with the fact that, in a Constitutional government Congress makes the laws. And because of the way Congress makes the rules a number of votes from the opposite sides are needed to pass legislation. Considering that the WHOLE political plan on the Republican side is to oppose the president, how long should the uninsured wait for relief? Until we can elect a progressive supermajority? Until Obama beats Joe Lieberman unconscious? HOW LONG?

  264. 264
    Jack says:

    @The Raven:

    I vote the third option, even though I agree with you that the InsurCos win no matter what, in this political environment, with this government structure, and this base population.

    The “pass-anything-fix-it-later” group has an argument based on two mutually corrosive propositions.

    Proposition One: This is the moment. This is the right and best time to pass health insurance reform. If we don’t do it now, we won’t get this moment again. Act now, fix it later.

    Proposition Two: Once we pass legislation now, right now, and no later than now – we will have future opportunities to fix all the mistakes coded into the law.

    But, if this is the only moment, it will still eventually fade into the past. Meaning the template we create for future reform, if any, will be the flawed bill now at hand. A flawed bill which will serve as the bad foundation for reform in an environment (since this only moment is fading away) which is no longer conducive to reform.

    It’s bad logic, and it’s no wonder that the arguments built upon it are so weak, no matter how strong the ideology and goals of those who make them.

  265. 265
    Sleeper says:

    @Emma:

    This bill, dammit, can do some good. Even some of the people who originally opposed it, like Dean and Krugman, think it can do some good. But, nooooo. It’s not what you wanted, so you’re going to fuck over some people who could get some relief. Let them die without insurance and without access to medication. After all, you can’t make omelets without breaking eggs—and you can’t make revolution without fucking people over.

    So there can be no principled opposition to this bill, is what you’re saying. Anyone who says that this legislation will do more harm than good in the long-term, that it will permanently entrench the private insurance industry and make future reform impossible, that it won’t control costs, that the reform measures in the bill are too weak to mean anything…there can’t possibly be any validity to those arguments, no, people just want to “kill the bill” (or just change as much of the Senate bill as they can, but who’s paying attention) are just doing it out of spite and ego. That’s the only reason. Sure.

    I think people like Dean and Sanders got as much as they could by using their leverage, by not taking No for an answer for as long as they felt they could. People who keep screaming we need to cave in, Now Now Now, take whatever they give us and thank them, are what helped weaken this bill. Others seem to think that they haven’t yet hit the wall and are working to get more reform, and they’re doing that by playing the only card they have left – the possibility that they won’t vote for the bill.

    Do people really not see this?

  266. 266
    xian says:

    Hamsher on board with Norquist?

    I SMELL USEFUL IDIOT

  267. 267
    Emma says:

    Sleeper: I have no idea and that isn’t the point. I am sorry they were harmed before it was discovered that the drug damaged some livers. There were, I believe, (I haven’t looked into this in a long time) 193 people involved.

    However, there were thousands of narcoleptics and people with ADHD who were NOT harmed by the drug. Who needed it (some ADHD drugs give people heart palpitations, Cylert didn’t). The point I’m trying to make is that by stopping the drug altogether (the perfect) it made several thousand people HAVE NO FUNCTIONAL LIVES. But using it with appropriate precautions wasn’t good enough to Mr. Nader; oh no, he had to have his headlines.

  268. 268
    Jack says:

    If the assumption was going to be that “the insurance companies, given their wealth and entrenchment, as well as political alliances, are always going to game reform to some extent” then the goal should have been legislation and regulatory structures which allow them the minimum possible room for mischief.

    Not, as in the current case, the most.

  269. 269
    Jack says:

    @Ailuridae:

    We don’t have to dial the clock back to January, 2009 to retool and reintroduce existing legislative frameworks.

  270. 270
    Emma says:

    Sleeper: You are looking at all the things people say is wrong with the bill. I’m looking at all the people it could help. Perhaps we can’t ever see each other’s point because we look at things too differently.

  271. 271
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    This seems like a good place to repost gbear:

    Ed Hanway, CEO of Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, will step down at the end of this year, in just over a week. When he does, he’ll get $73,200,000 as compensation for a job well done.

    What makes Hanway worth $73.2 million? Well, for one example, he’s presided as Cigna denied a liver transplant to 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, causing her death.

    Is this really the best we can do? Seriously?

    If I thought so, I would feel pretty hopeless.

  272. 272
    Jack says:

    @morzer:

    That hoary false dichotomy seems less apt now, than ever.

    Again, SMBIVA:

    “…I’d rather start from the premise that the Red Staters, the Bush voters, even the holy-rollers, are in fact just as smart as the next person, and that if they hate liberals, they might have their reasons.

    If this sounds like the DLC “triangulator” argument — well, it is: up to a point. Where we need to part company with the triangulators will appear a little later on.

    It’s a commonplace of American historiography that our national narrative has been, to a very great degree, the story of a struggle between the progeny of Hamilton and those of Jefferson — or, better yet, of Jackson. The sons and daughters of Hamilton are centralizers, promoters of Federal power, urban and mercantile elites, graduates of Ivy League universities. The progeny of Jefferson and Jackson, on the other hand, have always been the localists, the small-towners, the rough-hewn, the bootstrappers, the tobacco-chewers and whisky-drinkers. Oh, and the local squire and slaveowner — we mustn’t forget him.

    This is not the same thing as the cleavage between Left and Right, between progressive and reactionary. In fact, it’s a cleavage that runs almost at right angles to Left and Right. There’s an anti-elitist, Left aspect to the Jeffersonian-Jacksonian story, but there’s also a terribly reactionary side to it — an embrace of “states’ rights”, with all that that implies; a deep-dyed racism; a close-mindedness and provincialism; an anti-intellectualism and a susceptibility to obscurantism and superstition.

    On the Hamiltonian side, it isn’t just a story of central banks, the sacred obligations of a bond issue, the more-than-sacred totem of hard money. There’s also an openness to rationality, to modernity, to ideas that come from somewhere else — even, perhaps, from Europe!

    So where, in this divide, is the Left supposed to go? With the Hamiltonians and their central bank and their top-down ideas of governance, or with the Jacksonians and their uncouth, ill-informed, hick prejudices? Talk about a Hobson’s choice…”

    http://stopmebeforeivoteagain......ter14.html

  273. 273
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Hey, anyone know if this health insurer bailout gives us veto over executive compensation?

  274. 274
    Emma says:

    Fuckhead: That comes under the heading of reforming the business regulatory environment. You want to storm the barricades on that one? I’m right next to you.

  275. 275
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Emma:

    You want to storm the barricades on that one? I’m right next to you.

    Respectfully, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  276. 276
    Sleeper says:

    @Emma:

    You are looking at all the things people say is wrong with the bill. I’m looking at all the people it could help. Perhaps we can’t ever see each other’s point because we look at things too differently.

    That’s just it. People like me question the assertion that the bill will help all that much, and that it will help more than hurt. You see the promise of insurance for 30 million people, I see the illusion that access to insurance is all we need. I would love for this bill to be what you think it is. But it’s not. It won’t end denial of care. They’ll jack up prices for those with pre-existing conditions to the point where even subsidies won’t help. They’ll set limits on how much they’ll pay out per year, and if you hit that limit in March, too bad. They’ll suddenly discover an epidemic of fraudulent claims and triple, quadruple, quintuple the number of denials on that basis. The reforms won’t work on a purely corporate market. What this does is require us to by a product that will do less and less for us each year. That’s why people oppose it.

    Without even the most minor introduction of public insurance, this bill won’t be reform, it will only delay reform.

  277. 277
    Jack says:

    @Sleeper:

    …or make it less likely. The destruction to civil society in the fallout from the Roman Social Wars is not perhaps the most current example, but in the wake of that period of upset, the equestrian and mercantile castes managed to consolidate further control over the body politic.

    Roman leaders developed power bases in reaction and response to these changing conditions, among them the appeal to armed legions and cohorts of men, and the territorial expansion which allowed those men plunder and colonial gain.

    As more and more of the social orders were included in the Roman expansion (extending even to the capite censi, under Marius), the problems of wealth and power concentration deepened, becoming essential and still destructive features of Roman society.

    The localized nature of Roman, Socii and Italian society was undone, and in the place of fraternal, familial and tribal association the various Senators and Knights developed the latifundia and large urban concentrations of labor, first to reward colonial soldiers, and then as a means of concentrating power.

    In reaction, the various tribunes and leaders of the plebs attempted a number of reforms, with Senatorial allies, aimed at addressing the disparities arising from the new distinctions.

    Needless to say, men died, great and small, venal and noble.

    But, with the increased power of the equestrian and Senatorial castes, deriving as they did tremendous income from vast corporative estates, domination of international trade and military expansion, and the reinforcement of this power in the unwritten Roman constitution and the written tables of law – various reformist programs were used by those entrenched powers against the needs of the reformers and their base. Reform became a means of concentrating power, not breaking it.

    Tribunal decree or power, meant to check the Senate and give voice to the plebs, and in some cases the capite censi, was co-opted to the benefit of the very wealthiest Roman citizens. Who then used their ever growing wealth to secure greater power, developing over the subsequent generations the Boni faction which could no longer see itself as anything but the very epitome of Rome, squashing and suppressing reform and uprising as anti-Roman, or worse.

    Against them, Caesar and the end of the Republic (with all its faults and virtues)…

  278. 278
    Emma says:

    Conversation over, fuckhead. If you’re going to call me a liar, I have no reason to pay attention to you.

  279. 279
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Sleeper: I’m pretty curious about who is going to actually do this “real” reform that’s going to be delayed by this admittedly flawed bill? Now that Congress really is made up of mythical unicorns. Too bad about all those millions of people who need help now but are just going to have to wait for it.

    And who is saying that “access to insurance is all we need.” That’s a shitload of straw.

    So because we’re only gonna get part of what we need we say no…I’ll sit here and suffer until I get everything I want. Yea, that’s gonna work.

    There are legitimate reasons to question & be unhappy about what the Senate is going to pass. I don’t think anybody is happy about it.

    Getting to the 50 yard line is still a hell of a lot smarter than saying, let’s go back and stand in the end zone and start over. Man, that’s the Republican stall tactic.

    While we’re struggling from the 50 to the 60, there will be millions of people who have better lives…and that matters. There’s billions in there for community health centers. Kids can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions, expansion of Medicaid.

    Nobody should give up on making it better until the damn thing is signed…but get a grip.

  280. 280
    Jack says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    What part of the amendment package will improve millions of lives, please?

  281. 281
    Ailuridae says:

    @Jack:

    That doesn’t address what I wrote. Explain to anyone here what, exactly is going to change if they start over about Lieberman’s position? What do you think can be added to a new bill that will radically improve upon the current bill and still get 60 votes?

    And, again, if the 60 votes are almost there for a weak public option, simply pass the current bill and pass a strong a public option as you can with reconciliation.

  282. 282
    Jack says:

    @Ailuridae:

    You wrote “If they start over…”

    I was addressing the idea that this requires “starting over.”

    It doesn’t.

  283. 283
    Ailuridae says:

    @Jack:

    Fine. If they scrap this bill ….

    Now please address the rest of the post where scrapping the bill in its current form and moving in a different direction ends up with a more progressive piece of legislation. And before you write that remember that the possible 60th votes have all plainly, repeatedly stated that they would filibuster any attempts to create a public option or allow a Medicare buy-in.

    Seriously, I’m waiting.

  284. 284
    Ailuridae says:

    @Jack:

    Do you really think that expanding Medicaid is no big deal? That’s nearly half of the bill and by itself covers 1/3 of the currently uninsured.

  285. 285
    And Another Thing... says:

    I don’t know which of the items I mentioned above, for example, the $10 billion for community health centers or expansion of Medicaid are in the Reid package that passed today or were in the bill before today’s amendments, but I hope the following are helpful.

    courtesy of the google: What’s in the Senate bill for you:

    Here’s a link outlining some of the more immediate benefits

    And yea, I want a public option and expanding Medicare to people 55+ too.

  286. 286
    tavella says:

    @Emma: Sleeper: You are looking at all the things people say is wrong with the bill. I’m looking at all the people it could help. Perhaps we can’t ever see each other’s point because we look at things too differently.

    My problem is I’m not at all convinced that the bill will actually help the famous 30 million. Last I saw, there were no regulations on co-pays or yearly deductibles, which means that a whole lot of people are likely to find themselves paying 8 percent of their income for insurance with 5 or 10k deductibles that only pay 60 or 70 percent of claims beyond that. Which means that they will find routine medical care as far beyond reach as ever, and bankruptcy just about as likely in cases of serious medical issues. Sure, they were fucked before, but I wish you joy of the backlash when they discover that they have to *pay* to be fucked now. That hundred billion in subsidies won’t do any good if it only serves to fatten insurance company CEO bonuses.

    And the last couple of recaps of the Senate bill I’ve seen have said that *children* can’t be rejected for pre-existing conditions — not everyone. I really hope that’s wrong, because if that stays, then the recission stuff is utterly useless. The “only for material fraud” bit was only a protection if there was no ability to reject for pre-existing conditions. And the recission and no rejection stuff was one of the few good bits left in the bill.

  287. 287
    And Another Thing... says:

    @tavella: from Leahy’s senate website:

    The version of the health care reform bill that was drafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee includes this: “A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance may not impose any preexisting condition exclusion with respect to such plan or coverage.” The House of Representatives is working on similar legislation that also includes this provision.

  288. 288
    Sleeper says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    So because we’re only gonna get part of what we need we say no…I’ll sit here and suffer until I get everything I want. Yea, that’s gonna work.

    You can disagree with my opinion if you want, but you need to understand it first. Here I will presume to speak for my fellow “bill killers.” (I don’t think I’m a bill killer, really, because I can live with the House bill as a start for reform. I think the Senate bill is bad and we need to gut that as much as possible. The final bill needs to be as close to the House bill and as far from the Senate bill as is achievable, and I think the only way to do that is to threaten, bully, and complain our way there, withholding endorsement until the last second. But of course that would interrupt the President’s victory lap, which to a few people here seems more important than the actual legislation, so that makes me a bill killer, I guess.)

    It’s NOT that we think this goes halfway and we want everything or nothing.

    It’s that we think this bill from the Senate takes us in the WRONG DIRECTION.

    Agree or disagree with that position, but please don’t misstate it.

  289. 289
    Sleeper says:

    @Ailuridae:

    And, again, if the 60 votes are almost there for a weak public option, simply pass the current bill and pass a strong a public option as you can with reconciliation.

    That’s an acceptable solution for me so long as support for this bill is linked to a guaranteed separate reconciliation vote on a PO. The problem is that no one is seriously talking about that. I wish Feingold or Sanders would have made this a condition for their support.

  290. 290
    Ailuridae says:

    @Sleeper:

    You’re likely not going to see it even proposed because, of course, they don’t even have the 50 votes to pass it. Which is why the nuttery thats going on from those fixated on the public option is so problematic. If as Senator Feingold insists that it was merely a lack of push and will from Obama that doomed the inclusion of the public option all he has to do is introduce it separately and pass it through reconciliation. Again, if he actually believes there would have been 60 votes if Obama pushed hard enough he should be able to easily garner 50 as a stand alone measure, right?

  291. 291
    Sleeper says:

    @Ailuridae:

    At this point it’s self-fulfilling prophecy. Feingold won’t push for it because Reid won’t do it because the White House doesn’t want it. I think everyone sees the writing on the wall here. But that’s not to say that 50 votes couldn’t have been gotten by a concerted effort from the White House, by some forceful calls for it from the man who said it was an essential piece of reform when he was running for president. If he had used what a certain blog proprietor mockingly dismisses as the bully pulpit. I think a lot of these Senators just want cover. When this process began Obama still had an enormous well of goodwill and public support to draw upon. Senators want to be able to say they were following the president’s lead when they pursued what to them is “contraversial” policy. That’s why support for a PO has evaporated, because Obama went from being for it, to being totally indifferent about it (almost embarrassed by it, really), to working against it to bring Lieberman on board.

    To say that this outcome was inevitable is inaccurate, to me. It didn’t just come down to numbers. The numbers went the other way when the president did. I don’t know if he would have succeeded, but he had a good chance of it.

  292. 292
    The Raven says:

    @Emma:

    Helping 30 million Americans doesn’t [matter?]

    Except that the bill will also harm some number. Say it’s…well, let’s be conservative and say it’s one million. Does that matter?

    This is a horrible choice, a hard and ancient ethical problem. No matter what position we take harm will be done, unless the Senate abruptly has an attack of compassion. Nor is there a clear path. For this reason I criticize no-one’s choice in this matter, save only choices made through willful ignorance or active deception.

    Let’s look a bit closer at who will be healed and who harmed. In general, it will be well-off people who will be treated best, and the less well-off treated worse. If some anti-abortion language makes into the final compromise, men will be treated better and women worse; induced abortions are important to protect women’s health.

    This is, politically and socially, the stuff of nightmare: the fuel of class and gender warfare. I am reminded of the housing policies that were enacted after the Second World War: which, a generation later, contributed to inter-racial violence, and in the following generation, abandoned city centers.

    It seems likely to me that these problems will be made worse in the coming decade, rather than better. The unindexed excise tax on high-quality health insurance will probably reduce the overall quality of care. Anti-abortion activists, having had one success and, probably, a sympathetic Supreme Court, will attempt to expand their control of women’s bodies. And the insurance companies will be looking for any way they can to avoid their contractual obligations.

    Is beating the insurance companies the only thing that matters?

    Beating the insurance companies matters to me only because they will continue to work to find ways to circumvent the very loose restrictions of the proposed law. They are already acting in bad faith. The victory they have had in the Senate is likely to embolden them; they will not reform. It is not, generally, wise policy to give someone who abuses power more power, and, given the mandate, it will take extra-ordinary circumstances to repeal it.

    So these are my concerns. It seems to me that we are already on the road to hell. The question is how to get off it.

  293. 293
    Ailuridae says:

    @Sleeper:

    This is incredibly convoluted thinking. So now there is a conspiracy to prevent Feingold, a public option supporter, to bring the public option up for a reconciliation vote from Harry Reid and President Obama who are also public option supporters? How about any one person who is criticizing the President for not doing enough whether it be you or Jane Hamsher calls Senator Feingold’s office directly asks the question and then reports back to the rest of us his response. I like using Ockham’s Razor to figure out what is going on when I don’t have evidence to the contrary. It sure seems like the easiest explanation here is that Joe Lieberman was just not going to vote under any circumstances for the PO or Medicare Buy-in. We know this because he said it over and over again.

    And its 60 votes to get cloture on the regular bill and all parts of the bill that increase the deficit (the Medicaid expansion and the subsidies especially) would be subject to that (or to the sunsetting provision). The whole of the bill could not, under any circumstances, been passed through reconciliation. A stand alone PO or Medicare buy-in however can just pass through reconciliation at any point.

    Heck maybe Feingold is just unaware of the possibility of doing it this way and he’d be happy to have this problem solved for him. Again, I’ve been asking this question for days – all someone has to do is ask Feingold and report back that Harry Reid won’t let him take a public option vote to the floor. But we both know that’s not going to happen, right?

  294. 294
    Ailuridae says:

    @The Raven:

    How exactly is covering a third of the currently uninsured through Medicaid expansion to be viewed as “in general hurting the less well off”? FFS, Medicaid expansion is half of the fucking bill

  295. 295
    FlipYrWhig says:

    You know what’s fun? Having the same argument with the same information time after time after time after time. It’s kind of like _Groundhog Day_, except nobody ever changes.

  296. 296
    The Raven says:

    @Ailuridae: It’s going to be the working poor and middle class, perhaps with incomes up as much as $50,000/year that will be disadvantaged, not Medicaid clients. They will be required to purchase insurance that, at 60% or 70% actuarial value, they will have to ration, since using it is so expensive and their ability to spend is reduced by the mandated purchase of insurance. Both medically and financially, it is likely that a large fraction of that group will be worse off. There will also be women, who, even in the upper middle class, will be harmed by the abortion restrictions. Remember, too, that it is likely their situation will likely worsen over time, at least for the first decade. The scale of the risk continues to astonish me. If only 1% of the population of the USA is harmed, that is three million people.

  297. 297
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Sleeper: I did not intend to misstate your position. In particular, i was reacting to the following:

    “I see the illusion that access to insurance is all we need.”

    I’ll restate that I haven’t seen any one saying that. There’s a ton of language specifically geared to drying

    Both the house and senate are full employment for insurance company actuaries and lawyers. But that is going to be true of any attempt to change current business models and practices.

    I interpret “killing the bill” as “killing the bill.” If you “kill” the Senate bill, there will be no reform or expansion of health care to anyone. There appears to be a chance to meld the House & Senate versions. Think organ transplant.

    I did not mean to imply you had proposed going back to zero and starting over, I intended to deal with that strategy which is being widely espoused.

    I’m curious about what you want to remove from the Senate bill when you say it should be gutted.

    I totally agree with you that the House should fight hard for their vision of HCR and think they’ve done a great job and look terrific in comparison to the Senate. Pelosi is a real pro and she’ll get everything that can be gotten. Those of us in the peanut gallery just need to take care that we don’t dishearten our own team.

    Edit: P.S. It’s not Obama’s victory lap, it’s OUR victory lap.

  298. 298
    Ailuridae says:

    @The Raven:

    What you write, objectively, isn’t correct. There is simply no way one can argue that the Senate Bill hurts the lower and middle class more than the status quo. While it is certainly true that the Senate Bill is worse than a Medicare buy-in thats also shown, for now, to be impossible. A lot of people have crunched these numbers and I have some actuarial training and could do the same but I see nothing from Cohn or Ogor Volsky to see they have ever argued in bad faith about HCR. Here are both of their commentaries on the bill (with pictures)

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-tr.....s#comments

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress......jane-kill/

    Feel free to address their claims that the bill is a huge progressive victory.

    As for your 1% argument I would simply counter with a 3% argument. I know 3% of the population (those currently uninsured who will be covered under Medicaid with the expansion) just had a massive increase in economic security. Say 1% ends up getting taxed at 40% on all health care plans over 26K – that seems like a great trade off here.

    And of course none of this touches on the much-needed fixes to Medicare including started to reign in some of the worst abuses from Medicare Part D.

  299. 299
    The Raven says:

    @Ailuridae: those numbers are averages. Some people are going to be worse off. It maybe a small percentage–I’ve been using 0.33%–but that is a million people. The numbers are uncertain–they depend on imponderables like the the future of the economy and the future conduct of employers and the insurance companies–and the numbers are, as I wrote above, likely to rise in the future.

    What will you say to your friends who are harmed by this law?

  300. 300
    The Raven says:

    Further thoughts: the likely anti-abortion elements of any bill that is passed are going to affect a much larger percentage of the public. By reducing access to induced abortion yet further, they are likely to indirectly affect all but wealthy women. Even directly there is a huge problem: pregnancy is risky, and induced abortion to prevent health complications is a relatively common procedure.

    But women are a small minority, I suppose.

  301. 301
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @The Raven:

    Your concern is duly noted and swiftly forgotten.

  302. 302
    The Raven says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    Your concern is duly noted and swiftly forgotten.

    Along, it seems, with a few million people.

    Well, hey, more food for corvids!

  303. 303
    kay says:

    @The Raven:

    The bill addresses gender inequity in health care premiums. Only eight states had regulation evening that up.
    Women were paying more, because women use more, due to anatomy and having babies, and they use more earlier than men.
    It’s the most inequitable thing I have ever heard of, and I wasn’t even aware it was going on, because I have a family policy.
    A c-section at 30 can make you ineligible at 40, if you’re a single women without employer provided insurance.
    The most panicked women I see in my practice are women who are getting divorced who didn’t work outside the home because they raised children. They’re older then 50, they can’t do a thing about getting divorced, and the minute the order goes in, they lose their husband’s health insurance.
    Many of them do not realize they’re going to lose their health insurance with the divorce. I have to raise it, and it breaks my heart when they realize how completely screwed they are. I have nothing to offer them except COBRA.
    Women have a lot to gain here. I’m asking you to look at the whole package.

  304. 304
    The Raven says:

    @kay:

    I’m asking you to look at the whole package.

    Not the average, the extremes. The anti-abortion provisions of the bill will do a great deal of harm. I think, initially, good done to more people than harm to fewer–but do you want to be the person who has to explain it to the fewer? Because, you know, you probably will be.

    The Raven’s first rule of health care reform: Do no harm.

  305. 305
    kay says:

    @The Raven:

    Anything that offers women security and financial independence is good for women.
    I’m having these ludicrous conversations, where I’m desperately trying to game this screwed-up system. I’m telling them to go sort of “stock up” on health care before the order goes in, maybe have some preemptive procedures or something. This is crazy. They’re having children at 25 and we’re telling them “good luck, buh bye!” at 55. I can’t think of anything that is less respectful of women’s choices, and that situation is unique to women, just because they’re women.
    My point is this: if your contention is that women paying for abortions out of pocket is a financial harm, the financial benefit overall to women is much greater.
    My big worry with the anti-abortion provisions is not cost, it’s access. I worry that there is a general trend towards limiting actual physical access to that choice.

  306. 306
    The Raven says:

    @kay:

    My big worry with the anti-abortion provisions is not cost, it’s access. I worry that there is a general trend towards limiting actual physical access to that choice.

    Yes, we are in entire agreement, here. Also, if there is not funding, most doctors will not be educated in the procedures, and will not be able to execute them well, even when they are necessary to save lives.

Comments are closed.