Archive for the ‘health reform’ Category
And now, we can all relax and enjoy the fruits of last November’s labors…
- Wowwwww: State of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley (r-…Christians?) post-inauguration speech, minute two: “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister…” Seriously, fastest foot-in-the-mouth ever?
- Here’s to keeping the discourse civil: Yesterday, the new republican-led House of Representatives wasted their time on a purely symbolic vote and passed the cleverly-titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”. Just following the lead of AT LEAST…1 in 4 Americans…who support their efforts. Can’t get enough of that good old “job-killing” meme republicans have been repeating over and over…and over? Let John Stewart tear it apart for you…
- Taking some time to honor the spirit of Joe McCarthy: You know what we need to improve relations with the Muslim community, both at home and abroad? Well, probably not rep. Steve King’s (r-NY and new Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee) highly-publicized upcoming hearings on the “radicalization of Muslims in America”. This will be good…
- Tea Party relishes new, more civil role in political discourse: Tea Party Nation Founder, Judson Phillips, raises the bar: “In 2008, Obama even received campaign contributions from Gaza (I.e. Hamas). So where does a corrupt, unpopular President from the party of treason go for reelection cash? China, of course.” Clearly, Obama is just jealous of the success of the secretive, foreign-funded Chamber of Commerce in catapulting the republican party to victory last fall.
- No one is more persecuted than Sarah Palin: In the wake of a mass shooting involving a prominent politician, criticism from anyone in the media of Ms. Palin’s use of violent imagery to “target” democratic politicians in the midterm election campaign is “blood libel“. Criticism of her use of the term blood libel is, of course, simply “the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers.” Where does the term “blood libel” come from? Never heard of a “pogrom?” Yeahhhhh…thats where we are folks…
- Michelle Bachmann (r-MN) – unclear on how it works: So, efforts to repeal health care reform running into some obstacles are they? I guess the next step is to repeal…the President and Senate!! Oh, Michelle…what would we do without you?
Let the good times roll…
Ahhhhh…just finished basking in the warm glow of the holidays, the exuberance of New Years’ Eve and the (relative) triumphs of the lame duck, post-“shellacking” 111th congressional session – DADT Repeal, 9/11 Responders Health Care Bill, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, Middle Class Tax Cut (oh right, and Uber-rich Folks Tax Cut too). Nice…
But today is a new day. This is the first week of the “new” republican-controlled House of Representatives. Yes, the forces of Mordor have seized control, ushered in by a remarkably forgetful voting population, riding the Tea Party/lunatic fringe wave…and they’ve got a mandate…well, kind of.
So here’s some good times to watch for in 2011:
1. Health Care Reform: Weeper of the House John Boehner’s (r-TX) top priority – deficit reduction. First order of business – repeal health care reform…at cost of $230 billion. Wait for it…”H.R. II – Repealing the Job Killing Health Reform Act”…yeah, that’s the official name…
2. Global Warming: Since incoming chairman, Jim Sensenbrenner (r-WI), voted against the creation of the House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and led a “delegation” of global warming skeptics to climate talks in Kyoto and Copenhagen, the committee was disbanded on the first day of the new session. Second order of business: don’t let the EPA regulate greenhouse gases (and never mind the 2007 Supreme Court decision granting the EPA that authority). So, if you thought we didn’t make much progress in the last two years…you a’int seen nothing yet.
3. Darrell Issa (r-CA): Stay tuned for EVERYTHING-Gate. With the prospects of his chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee looming large in late October, Issa told Rush Limbaugh that Obama is “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” So, get ready for an onslaught of investigations, and hearings…we’re talkingWikiLeaks-Gate, Fannie Mae-Gate (why didn’t Obama blame the poor?), Regulation-Gate (why all the job-killing environmental, health and safety regulations?), Afghanistan-Gate, walking-the-dog-Gate, playing-with-the-kids-Gate, Quitting-Smoking-Gate…
4. Steve King (r-IA): Just wait until this guy gets started. Yes, the new head of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law is a tad on the scary side. Some notable quotes:
- “Every time we give amnesty for an illegal alien, we deport a liberal.”
- We should electrify the border fence because “we do that with livestock all the time”
5. Louis Gohmert (r-TX): New chairman of Subcomittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security. Terror Babies…need I say more?
And that’s just a small taste of what’s to come…oh my, its going to be a fun 2 years!!!
There they are, sharing the stage for the first time!
Ohh…it was a grand old time with these lovely ladies.
SOOOOO many gems!
One favorite (and ridiculous) talking point of Bachmann is that the U.S. economy was 100% private before Obama took power (going to assume this doesn’t need supporting documentation to prove wrong…are you with me, dear reader?). She’s also hyping the preposterous notion of a “repeal” of health care reform…which implies a veto-proof republican majority in both houses of congress (I guess that’s only a pick up 26 senate seats and 90 house seats…ambitious, anyone???). Is that really going to be the 2010 republican campaign? Eliminate tax breaks? Take our healthcare benefits away? Brilliant.
More good stuff:
- Bachmann on Palin “as absolutely drop-dead gorgeous as this woman is on the outside, I am here to testify she is 20 times more beautiful on the inside.”
- Palin: “I love being here in Minnesota because you all sound like me – or I sound like you, vice versa!” Yeah…where does that ridiculous accent come from?
- Bachmann during a standing ovation: “Take that, Liberals!” Yes, because Liberals are such villans…all that helping your fellow human being and protecting the planet and promoting peace and whatnot…they simply MUST be stopped…
- (This one makes my ears bleed) Palin on Bachmann: “And I knew that we would be buddies when she came up and said we should ‘drill here and drill now.’ And I said — and then I replied, ‘Drill baby, drill’ And then we both said, ‘You betcha,’ Ohhh, the pain…
- “Will you do the rest of the nation a favor and re-elect Michele Bachmann, help her keep on serving this country?” And by serve the country, you mean introduce legislation to save the dollar bill (from Obama, of course), suggest representatives be investigated for anti-American sentiment and throw red meat to tea party “activists”…
And only $10,000 for a picture with the two of them…why, its a steal at TWICE the price!!
Its sad, funny stuff…but these women are popular, they have fanatical followers, and they LOVE making stuff up to fool, rile up or just scare people…about government take-overs, and death panels, and socialism, and how Obama is some kind of sinister, yet (of course) weak and illegitimate, leader.
But its not all bad news. Note this classic blurb from an MSNBC report on the rally:
A small group of peace protesters set up camp across the street from the convention hall. Melissa Hill, 31, brandished a sign offering psychiatric help because, she said, “I just don’t know what these people are thinking.”
The Senate Bill is now law…Obama, Pelosi, Reid and a tomato truck full of beaming Democrats had an all-smiles and handshakes and applause bill-signing ceremony yesterday. Important reforms go into place IMMEDIATELY. The reconciliation bill (from the House), which will modify the bill to make it a little less sucky, is now being “debated” in the Senate.
The republican/tea-party/right-wing-nut-job response?
- A series of “can’t vote no” amendments during today’s Senate debate, meant to intimidate enough Democrats into passing at least one, thereby changing the bill and sending it back to the House for another vote…delay, delay, delay…highlight: “No Erectile Disfunction Drugs for Sex Offenders”, courtesy of “Doctor” Tom Coburn (r-OK).
- Red state attorneys general sue the government over constitutionality of helping the sick
- Professional Twitterer and ex-governor Sarah Palin is calling the rabble literally to arms (sorry, i can’t bear to link to her sites…i’ll let you click through if you don’t believe it…its IS shocking…) against Democrats.
- Throwing misspelled, message-laden bricks through the front windows of Democratic offices around the country.
- Issuing death threats…does this need additional commentary?
But we’re almost there…almost there…don’t waiver. BE STRONG!
We got this.
I don’t think this is the cure for our nation’s health care ills.
Frankly, a lot of it sucks.
Do we remember the line about the two old ladies at the restaurant in the Catskills from that Woody Allen Movie? One says to the other: “This food is terrible.” The other responds: “And such small portions.”
That’s how I feel about this bill. But its something. Its a critically important start, and it will open the door to wonderful, amazing changes in how we deal with issues of health and healthcare in this country. And its monumentally important that we, as Democrats, as the party voted into power with overwhelming majorities in both houses and the presidency, show that we can DO SOMETHING!
While it just shouldn’t be that its so hard to get enough Democratic votes in the house,where we have a more than 70-seat majority, and only need a simple majority (216 of 432 active members) to pass this thing, there’s still, the day of the vote, last minute jockeying to get enough of our own party on board.
Amazing, isn’t it? This should be a no-brainer, yet republicans are the party of discipline, not the Democrats. The diversity of opinion and belief tolerated in the Democratic Party is a double-edged sword. The tent just might be too wide.
But does it matter? It will be SO interesting to see who wins and who loses in November…not just Democrats vs. republicans overall, but who will win between Democrats who voted yes and Democrats who voted no. For there are many Democrats who feel, for some strange and unknown reason, that the public voted them in to hold the status quo together, that there best option is to prevent the passage of historic legislation, rather than be part of the party that started it all.
And even now its not certain. Even now, with hours to go, arms are twisting, deals are being made, some quite controversial…its going to be close.
Today is going to be HUGE, either way. If this thing passes, we are on the road to change, to making a difference, to a strange and unknown future. If it fails…the lunatic fringe Tea Party movement wins, the republicans win, the fear-mongers and liars and corporate shills win…and Sarah Palin assumes her throne in 2012.
Good luck to all.
2004: “Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman’s right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay.”
2008 (Draft): “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
Okay, just checking, thought I might be crazy.
So, this Bart Stupak character, he seems to count himself as a member of the Democratic Party…why is he trying to kill health care reform over a fundamental component of the platform of his own party? Why is he lying about the language on abortion in current health care bill? (Health care bill – no federal money for abortion, except in cases directly related to rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. LiarStupak: “when you read the legislation, $1 per month for all enrollees must go into a fund for reproductive care which includes abortion coverage.”)
He claims to have enough Democratic votes on his side to derail the next step in passage of health care reform – a YES vote on the current Senate Health Care Bill, before Democrats can start the (“CONTROVERSIAL“) reconciliation process for fine-tuning, bypassing the republican filibuster method of governing.
I’m not sure how you can be mostly a Democrat, which is what these fiscally conservative “blue dog”, pro-war, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage…huh…something sounds a bit off here.
Maybe the Democratic majority needs to be smaller.
Welllll…it came from the best intentions, but 7.5 hours later, it was just the same old thing: republicans continued to cite cherry-picked, misleading statistics, robotically repeat that we start over from scratch, senselessly fixate on the brevity or lengthiness of whatever proposal (because neither really matters, its just another republican talking point)…
Okay, Mr. President, okay. You tried. Can we end the charade?
Pass something! For God’s sake, pass something…
You know, I was pretty pissed over the whole “compromise” that finally led to the passage of the Senate Health Care Bill, which somehow has meant moving the whole thing drastically to the right – no public option, removal of end-of-life counseling provisions, hectic anti-abortion language – but NOTHING just can’t be an option…it just can’t be…
We have to move forward.