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Health reform fight shifts to the campaign trail

By Ben Pershing
The health-care reform fight on Capitol Hill is really, truly, genuinely over (for now), giving both parties roughly five minutes to rest before they take their debate to the campaign trail.

The Senate and then the House finished with the reconciliation package, giving reporters one last chance to break out their synonyms for historic. "Congress completed its work Thursday night on the broadest social legislation in almost a half-century, as the House capped the year-long legislative saga over health reform by signing off on a package of fixes to the newly minted law," Politico ledes, adding: "In the end, the titanic battle over remaking the American health care system drew to a close on a pair of votes drained of suspense - after the Senate approved the clean-up bill earlier Thursday. The House approved the same bill, 220 to 207." The Los Angeles Times says "congressional Democrats approved the last piece of their healthcare overhaul Thursday night, sending President Obama a package of changes to the landmark legislation he signed Tuesday ... formally concluding the tortuous 14-month drive to move major healthcare legislation through Congress for the first time since Medicare's creation in 1965."

Hill Democrats are relieved to be done with the combined measure, and Obama is defiant. The New York Daily News writes: "Congress wrapped a bow around the landmark health care package and President Obama dared Republicans vowing to repeal it: 'Go for it.' ... An energized Obama, who signed the main bill on Tuesday, hit the road to sell his health-care vision. Exulting in his hard-won victory, Obama couldn't resist mocking his vanquished foes, saying they're still describing the health bill in apocalyptic terms." The Associated Press adds: "With emotions raw around the nation over this week's Democrats-only vote to approve the nearly $1 trillion redesign of the health care system, Obama took the opposition to task for 'plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric.' ... No Republican lawmakers voted for the 10-year, sweeping package that Obama signed Tuesday and will shape how almost every American will receive and pay for medical treatment. Many in the GOP are predicting it will prove devastating in November for the Democrats who voted for it. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the GOP won't give up 'until this bill is repealed and replaced with common-sense ideas' that won't dismantle the current system and increase the debt."

John Dickerson notes the new tone: "President Obama's allies have occasionally been irritated that he won't do away with all his bipartisan talk and treat his opponents as they deserve to be treated. These allies/critics must be happy with his speech today in Iowa City, the same place he unveiled his health care proposal in December 2007 and where today he mocked his opponents with the thoroughgoing enjoyment he displayed during the campaign. ... Since taking office, Obama has dashed between two postures. When he has made overtly partisan shots, he has pretty quickly returned to his posture as the post-partisan bridge builder. ... Now, in the last week leading up to the health care vote and in the days since the bill's passage, Obama has stopped bothering with the bipartisanship. He's been forceful, relaxed, and just the kind of fellow Democrats hope can save their fortunes in November. Conservatives might not like this. And they might think it's unbecoming of a president of all the people. But Ronald Reagan was even better than Obama at tweaking his opponents like this. This is a fine presidential tradition--even down to the detail of daring your opponents to run on repealing your reforms, as Obama did Thursday and Reagan did in 1982."

Joe Klein thinks "Obama became a very different President in the process. After a first year in office that promised consequence but never quite delivered on it, he had done something huge. The comparisons with Jimmy Carter would abruptly come to an end. He was now a President who didn't back down, who could herd cats, who was not merely intellectual and idealistic but tough enough to force his way. This is bound to change the landscape of American politics. It makes significant progress on other issues -- financial reform, immigration, perhaps even the reduced use of carbon fuels -- more plausible." Byron York asks, "Did the world really change overnight? If you listen to some Democratic spinners, you might think that the same American people who opposed Obamacare for many, many months now support it. ... It's not a new day. 'The margin prior to the vote was basically people disapproving of the bill by 10 to 12 points,' says Republican pollster David Winston. 'What I've now seen is that the gap has closed a bit, but that you still have more negative than positive.' And that is after the White House has had most of the week to drive a positive message. 'Even after this significant push, they still can't flip the numbers,' says Winston."

The Wall Street Journal cautions that "the people [Obama] says his policies are targeted to -- the middle class -- are the ones he appears to be losing. Mr. Obama is on track to secure passage of three out of the four pillars of his New Foundation, an economic edifice that the president's economists say will stabilize a middle class that has been falling behind for two decades. In a campaign-like rally at the University of Iowa, the president urged his supporters to stay the course. ... He urged the crowd to respond in the spirit of a campaign theme: 'Yes, we can.' Among a segment of the middle class, another response has brewed: Please don't." Bloomberg says that "the partisan rift created by the health-care debate promises to be a central issue in the November elections to determine control of Congress. It also threatens to thwart cooperation between the two parties on Obama's other legislative priorities, such as immigration, energy and climate change." For supporters of the bill, help is on the way. Politics Daily reports: "The Democratic National Committee announced it will begin running ads Thursday praising House Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill and calling out Republicans who opposed it. The ads -- 25 on television and 10 on radio -- will run in markets across the country."

The Fix quotes his former boss: "Despite the wild predictions of political victory or defeat that have followed hard on the passage of the health care bill, political handicapper Charlie Cook is sticking to his pre-passage prediction that Republicans are in position to win 25 to 35 seats because the effects of the bill becoming a law are 'potentially offsetting.' For Democrats, having a health care bill is not only a 'major policy victory' but also a 'badly needed psychological boost' for a party that was growing increasingly desperate for a major accomplishment with the November election looming, according to Cook. But Cook also argued that the number of targeted Democrats who voted 'yes' last Sunday ensured a tougher road to reelection for themselves." Mort Kondracke sums it up: "The victory came ugly and it was narrow. But it was also sweet. It was historic and, politically, it was big. The question is, will the passage of health care overhaul also prove a Pyrrhic victory for Democrats -- one that will devastate the winners in the 2010 elections? Almost certainly, Democratic voters will be energized by their party's achievement of the long-sought goal of near-universal insurance coverage -- for sure, compared to the demoralization that failure would have produced. ... The chances are, with unemployment remaining high, Republicans will score major gains in the November election. Moreover, seniors, who vote, remain opposed to health care reform, while young and poor people, who favor it, don't vote. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had it right in one major argument that she used to sway wavering members: You're going to get attacked whether we win or lose, and if we lose, you'll have nothing to show for it."

The health-reform story also took a dark turn this week, as reports of threats against lawmakers gave way to partisan sniping over which side was trying to exploit the situation. On Thursday, the Washington Post reports, "Eric Cantor angrily lashed out at Democratic leaders for their handling of reported threats against members of Congress Thursday, accusing them of 'dangerously fanning the flames' by blaming the GOP and confiding that he has also been the recipient of threats." Politico says: "As the threats against members of Congress and incidents of vandalism mounted, charges of bigotry, lying, hypocrisy and incitement coursed Thursday through the Capitol and around the political universe. ... Democrats say Republicans have incited the acts by firing up fringe activists with heated rhetoric about the health care bill and they've accused GOP lawmakers of blaming the victims in the wake of verbal and physical acts of intimidation." Paul Krugman writes: "I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wild as health reform finally became law. But a few days later, it doesn't seem quite as entertaining -- and not just because of the wave of vandalism and threats aimed at Democratic lawmakers. For if you care about America's future, you can't be happy as extremists take full control of one of our two great political parties."

Jonathan Cohn examines the difficulty of "putting the existing plan into action," placing the challenges ahead into four categories: delivering the deliverables, educating the public, handling the insurers and bending the curve on costs. Cohn concludes: "Much as the Iraq war wasn't over when American forces conquered Baghdad, so health care reform didn't end when President Obama signed the bill. If carrying out the legislation doesn't get the same sustained attention that passing it did, then this week's historic victory will lose much of its luster." Phil Gramm warns that "if Republicans don't want America to follow Britain and Canada down the road to socialized medicine, they must change the system so that families have more power to control their own health-care costs. This will entail real changes like tax deductions for health insurance, not for prepaid medicine; refundable tax credits for families to buy their own insurance; freedom to negotiate with insurance companies; rewarding healthy lifestyles; tort reform; and reforming Medicare and Medicaid so every consumer has deductibles and copayments based on their income. This system will require Americans to make choices in health care--just as they do in every other area of their lives."

Huffington Post's banner Friday morning focuses on the student aid bill: "COOL AID." The New York Times writes: "Ending one of the fiercest lobbying fights in Washington, Congress voted Thursday to force commercial banks out of the federal student loan market, cutting off billions of dollars in profits in a sweeping restructuring of financial-aid programs and redirecting most of the money to new education initiatives. ... Democrats celebrated the legislation, a centerpiece of President Obama's education agenda, as a far-reaching overhaul of federal financial aid, providing a huge infusion of money to the Pell grant program and offering new help to lower-income graduates in getting out from under crushing student debt. Still, the final bill is less ambitious than the original proposal. Congressional allies of the student-loan industry attacked the overhaul as an overreaching government takeover."

The Chronicle of Higher Education asks: "So, in the end, how much was really accomplished? .... [F]or all the drawn-out battle over the landmark student-loan bill, the measure will result in limited gains, providing only a portion of the money the president had sought for some of his key higher-education goals. Pell Grants, the government's main aid program for financially needy students, got billions of dollars less than expected. Community colleges, seen by the president as key to his hopes for a broad expansion of college attendance and graduation rates, also got a fraction of the intended amount. Other programs fared even worse in the final legislative compromise."

By Ben Pershing  |  March 26, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Health Care , The Rundown  
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Next: Obama to take health-care message to Maine

Comments

Everyone is so focused on the negatives.

Don't you care that this will save 45,000 lives per year, and avoid millions going bankrupt?! If another country attacked us and killed even 450 people once we'd be up in arms and willing to pay trillions.

All this bill does is put restrictions on insurance companies that avoid the worst abuses. And it provides funds to low income people to help them buy insurance.

Yes it inconviences big companies, wealthy individuals, and healthy individuals who think "it can't happen to me". But lets be reasonable about how we discuss this.

It certainly is not armageddon. It's a form of compassion.

Posted by: LetsBeReasonableIL | March 31, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I have some "serious" questions to ask about healthcare reform and it's consequences:

I work at a hospital that employs 2000 people.

(background) last year after the President was elected my hospital took some steps in anticipation of Obamacare. Cut 401k matching, loss of vacation days(2), no raise, higher % for employee to pay for healthcare, plus a few more. I guess they knew it was going to pass and wanted to be "ahead of the cost curve"...

NOW, "word" from the top, is that in the year 2014 when this law takes effect.... it will be "COST EFFECTIVE" to DROP ALL FROM receiving healthcare through the hospital. By dropping all employees AND PAYING THE FINE....

....MY HOSPITAL SAVES $8,000,000 annually.

THE QUESTION: Does anyone have any idea (approx) about "How much insurance will cost me for a family of four through the new Obamacare?

ALSO: I work two jobs...the second job puts me dangerously close to the $88,000 limit to receive a subsidy....

Do I quit the second job in order to receive a subsidy?

ALSO: My daughter will be 23 years old in 2014.... I'm thinking I let her get the insurance by herself because she will be just out of college and probably (the way things look) won't make over the $16,000/yr...thus she will qualify for FREE healthcare though our government (medicaid) right? I would be foolish to put her on my insurance until she is 26, no? Why should I pay the price when she will be able to get it for free.....right?

any "real" answers would be helpful?

Posted by: analgesic33 | March 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Some of the Dems fell on their sword for Obama. The constitution won't.

Posted by: mdabe80 | March 28, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama has received the highest praise from a fellow comrade. Fidel Castro has endorced the Socialization of health care in America. The ideolog of ideolog's has praised Obama for his socialist agenda.
If this doesn't raise the ire of America and speak the truth of Obama's agenda, nothing will save this Republic.

Posted by: lhudson828 | March 27, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama has received the highest praise from a fellow comrade. Fidel Castro has endorced the Socialization of health care in America. The ideolog of ideolog's has praised Obama for his socialist agenda.
If this doesn't raise the ire of America and speak the truth of Obama's agenda, nothing will save this Republic.

Posted by: lhudson828 | March 27, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse


16000 new IRS agents to track people not paying insurance.

Student loans are all through federal now.

Obama appoints 15 while Senate is in recess
because he had been trying for over a year to payback organized labor, so he appoints one of their lawyers .."Craig Becker"

Now Obama is buying houses for people, no, we are.

I don't want handouts from the government, I want jobs.

I do not want the government in my home any more than I HAVE to.

I can't wait to vote again...for anything, I JUST want control of my life.

AT&T , Verizon, 3M, Caterpillar, AK Steel, Honeywell, John Deere, said they will be hit hard, billions, millions...
Zoll Medical supplies said they will have to raise prices a lot of move...

How much more do we have to see taking place before we get involved ??


****

Posted by: paulann1 | March 27, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

They need to do a Means Test, because there are well to do, and rich elderly people on Medicare, who can really afford their own care. These people are taking services and subsidies from the people who REALLY needs the help.

They won't do a means test because they are crooked. They know if this gets out, their plans to continue to rob hard-working Americans will fail once people really know what's going on with this Intergenerational Pyramid Scheme.

This book is AWESOME!! Get it on Amazon, or go to your library to borrow it. You can get it used for 1.80.

http://www.amazon.com/Medicare-Meets-Mephistopheles-David-Hyman/dp/1930865929/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269659978&sr=1-4


YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!! EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD HAVE THIS BOOK!!

Posted by: obamaalmighT | March 26, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Yo, tpokalsky, don't shoot the messenger, friend. I just linked to the reported facts -- i.e., the Wall Street Journal is reporting that people are already losing their jobs and benefits, and their companies are citing the bill as the reason.

If you have facts that say otherwise, I'd happily take a look at them. I truly hope the WSJ is wrong, but, assuming it isn't, I don't see anything funny about even more people being laid off.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 26, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

AS I look at the many negative responses on reform, on can only conclude-- middle America needs to be sent back to school. Too bad cuts were made to proposals on Pell Grants in the bill.

An educated middle class is a knowledgeable middle class. Filters most often spread the wrong messages. To think logically for oneself, is always a plus. I will be watching the upcoming races-- and placing a bet. As they say 'we will see who wins' on this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOII_-Q258E

Posted by: Victoria5 | March 26, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

OIFVET06 said, "There is already a better healthcare model in the form of the new competitive VA healthcare system."

Please provide link to new competitive VA healthcare system.

The only VA system I can find are government run hospitals or the opportunity to choose out of system hospitals for which veterans will be reimbursed for at least part of the out of system payment.

The VA system is part of the Government supported system for Military personnel as part of their pay and benefit package.

If you are for Universal healthcare, say so - the Obama Administration tried to get that for us and your Republican Representatives refused based on donations/bribes from insurance companies.

Posted by: SCVoter | March 26, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. Somebody actually posted reference to an article by Henry Blodget (looking at you Fletch_F_Fletch) to prove the horrible effects of the new health care bill. This is the same Blodget that was fined $4 million and banned from the securities industry for life...how do you expect anyone to listen to you if you cite someone who is a fraud? Seriously?!?! Why don't you site an article about being faithful by Tiger Woods. What a joke! Hahaha, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: tpokalsky | March 26, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

People posting what's actually in the bill makes them right wingers? I prefer to know the truth "what's in the bill" vs. rhetoric from either the right or left.

Back to my earlier post. How does providing money for AN ARMY that reports to the President reduce Healthcare? This is in the bill.

So how does taxing medical devices 2.3% reduce healthcare costs? This includes bedpans?

This bill is not about healthcare reform.

It's about control.

Posted by: debmries | March 26, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Lots of right-wing twaddle on this board today. Chill out, people. Go oil your guns or take your Hummers to the car wash. But, please, give it a rest with "Barry," "socialism," bureaucratic conspiracies and what's "really" in the healthcare bill.

Posted by: CopyKinetics | March 26, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Whether it's the bill or companies are using the bill to stick it to workers, the result is the same -- the health care bill is already starting to screw over workers (yes, the ones paying for the bill). I don't have a link to the WSJ article, but below is one to Yahoo!.

In a nutshell, Catepillar, Verizon, and other large companies are reducing benefits and/or laying off workers... and citing the bill as a reason.

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/businesses-react-to-rising-cost-of-obamacare-they%27re-cutting-benefits-450638.html?tickers=mdt,cat,vz,xlv,ixj,^dji,^gspc&sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode=

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 26, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

How about it Obama? How about it Madame Speaker? Are you going to now "warn" us, and "dare" us too, the majority of the American people, who see right through this fraud perpetrated by you, the pharmaceutical lobby and insurance giants? Do you really think this fraud will be allowed to exist after you and your backers are kicked out of office in 2010 and 2012? Go ahead, call us out and see what happens in November.

Posted by: OIFVet06 | March 26, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Is this president so very divisive or what? We have a man child as our fearless leader.

Posted by: hanocul6 | March 26, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Well here's some of what's in the bill.

Tell me please - how does setting up a voluntary ARMY reduce healthcare costs or provide more coverage?

Obamacare: Barry Gets His Private Army (Ready Reserve Corps)

I know it is impossible to forget Nancy Pelosi saying “We have to pass this bill to find out what is in it”, and now that we are able to finally read it, some very interesting facts are coming to light. After reading the section below will there be any more arguments about repealing this fascist runner-up to the Patriot Act?
Ready? Read it all.
Obama’s “Ready Reserve Corps”
H.R. 3590 – Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act
H. R. 3590—496 (Page 496)

READ HERE:
http://logisticsmonster.com/2010/03/25/obamacare-barry-gets-his-private-army-ready-reserve-corps/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+logisticsmonster%2FJwGO+%28Logistics+Monster+%29

Posted by: debmries | March 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Would Obama act any differently if he hated America?

Posted by: Rosiemeow | March 26, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Tom Degan and SC Voter, there really is not any need to "scourer" or search for all that is wrong with this fraud of a healthcare bill/law and all of the people who are against it. This plan was crafted by the very people you are wrongly touting as allies of the GOP. ObamaCare was made possible through back room deals in the dark of night between Pelosi, Obama, the pharmaceutical lobby and the insurance giants; all of who will reap obscene profits at the expense of the American people. Read my earlier post. There is already a better healthcare model in the form of the new competitive VA healthcare system. That is the model that the administration refused to consider. Why?

Posted by: OIFVet06 | March 26, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

It's been said of late that this new health care reform is akin to a stool sample - we won't know what's in it until it's passed. Well, it's been passed and apparently the lab is on vacation because we still don't know what's in it. Lots of rumors flying, one of which is those of us that currently have health insurance can expect to see an increase in premiums. There goes the "won't hurt the middle class" promise. It's also being said that many companies will have to exclude prescription coverage for retirees. Thanks. It's also being said that Doctors will have to accept less payment for treating Senior Citizens. Thanks.

Do you know how many times a President has attempted to enact a Universal Health Care bill and it was Ted Kennedy that knocked it down?

And Obama is now "warning" and "daring" Republicans not to mess with his bill? Who in the hell does this guy think he is, to the point of threatening and intimidating members of Congress who don't agree with him? Oh, people, what have you done?

Posted by: Rosiemeow | March 26, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

As more and more details of the devil's health care bill comes to light, we are learning how the massive expansion of government will begin to affect Americans. The bill contains an increase of 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure that Americans are forced to pay their fair share. Items such as that, points out the problem of a bill crafted by one political party and shoved down our throats.
The health care debate will only get stronger, and will culminate in the elections in November. Every effort will be made to unseat all the liberal democrats who voted for the bad health care bill. After November, the focus will be on ridding America of the most incompetent president since j. carter. Instead of taking jobless Americans seriously, obama has decided to do his best at bankrupting this country, as the spending spree continues. America cannot afford obama's socialist agenda. Job loss continues, while obama jets around the country to try to sell the health care bill that WILL drag America down. We need less government in our lives, not more. Anybody but obama in 2012.

Posted by: spiris333 | March 26, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

A rogue bureaucracy foments political violence? Now do the REAL health care reform...

HOMELAND-RUN 'FUSION CENTERS' SILENTLY ASSAULT, TORTURE, IMPAIR, SUBJUGATE U.S. CITIZENS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVE/RF WEAPON SYSTEM, FINANCIAL SABOTAGE, 'COMMUNITY WATCH' VIGILANTE DOMESTIC TERRORISM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

===== POLITICAL LEADERS MAY BE AMONG TARGETS =====

* Regional Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" reportedly serve as command centers for covert electromagnetic radiation attacks, pervasive surveillance, financial sabotage of those identified as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or slandered as threats to society.

* Use of microwave weaponry to torture and impair political opponents recently confirmed by deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener.

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves

BUCKS COUNTY, PA- BASED MAGLOCLEN FUSION CENTER -- "Centcom of a Mid-Atlantic States Fed- and Police-Protected American Gestapo."

WHEN WILL OBAMA GET A GRIP ON A ROGUE BUREAUCRACY?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 26, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Ben Pershing must have really had to scour the papers hard to find all this gloom and doom for the healthcare bill.

The State Paper in Columbia had 3 articles yesterday about healthcare, all with Republican negatives like Republican John McCain & insurance industry supported everyone must buy healthcare insurance & Republicans Senators Lindsey Graham & DeMint voted for the bill with kickbacks when they voted against the reconcilation bill.

Commenters were 4-5 to 1 in favor of healthcare bill under letters to the editor & other articles.

There were no marchers at the Capital while the AG was filing against the healthcare insurance bill - meaning while there were marchers, no one had a single sign against the healthcare bill.

This article is much ado about nothing - another effort to stir the pot and keep the few teaparty folks riled up.

Posted by: SCVoter | March 26, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor is planning on making a run for it in 2012. Of course it goes without saying that he's never going to get the nomination. That is beyond a foregone conclusion; that is as much of a no-brainer as saying that the sun will set this evening in the west. The religious bigots that now control the Republican party - the so-called "base" - will never - EVER - nominate a Jew as their standard bearer. You can bet next month's mortgage on that. Pigs will fly, the earth will fry and David Duke will be made president of the NAACP before that ever happens.

I get a really uneasy feeling whenever I see Eric Cantor being interviewed on television. The main goal of the GOP these days is to insure that President Obama's administration is a complete and utter failure. They want to see as many Americans as possible suffer in the next three years, ensuring that they will be able to seize control of the executive branch in 2013. If the president succeeds in making life better for his countrymen and women, they fail. It's as simple as that. Mitch McConnell, to his credit, always looks quite uncomfortable when he is forced to justify policies as atrocious as those being put forward these days by that hideous party. But Cantor always has a serene, angelic smile on his face whenever he is forced to defend the morally indefensible. It sure is strange.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | March 26, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

TO: Webmaster, Washingtonpost.com
Publisher, The Washington Post Co. (please forward)

The "good shopping" blog spam, below, appears to be part of a paid extortion campaign against The Washington Post. Co. intended to pollute blog discourse and drive the publication to strictly moderate all internet blogs, facilitating what I believe is a covert campaign of U.S. government internet censorship -- apparently conducted by operatives working out of Homeland Security- administered regional "fusion centers" throughout the U.S.

My reporting indicates that government censors use blog moderation as a "cover" to impose prior restraint, and outright censorship, on internet political speech of so-called "targeted individuals" -- many apparently singled out for their political beliefs or their activism:

http://nowpublic.com/world/how-u-s-spy-ops-censor-web-political-speech

My many articles on this subject have not altered this pattern of apparent government censorship, which, I believe, is comparable to the regimen imposed by Communist China on its citizens.

As a regulator contributor to WaPo blogs and as a victim of this censorship regime, I urge The Washington Post Co. to issue a formal complaint to Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, demanding that the U.S. government police its agencies and commands to safeguard the constitutional rights of its citizens.

Thank you for allowing me to offer this suggestion in this space.

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 26, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

the dems that voted against the bill were given permission to do so so that they can be reelected...
don't vote for them...
throw them out...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 26, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

To His credit.. I would say he is dragging us (the peeps of US) into the new century.. kicking and screaming.. On His Negatives.. he seems to be disconnected and happy to inhabit his own little world.. some new age metropolitan shangrilaesque dream world..

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 26, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Many of us who are veterans and who have witnessed the vast improvements and evolution of the Veterans Administration healthcare system into the world class medical care that it is today have wondered why the administration refused to follow the present VA model. Apparently, it would not guarantee the same obscene profits presently being reaped by the lucrative pharmaceutical industry which we now know financed the administration's push for the great ObamaCare fraud. ObamaCare must be totally eliminated and replaced with something more in line with the competitive VA model after Obama, Pelosi and Friends are purged from office in 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: OIFVet06 | March 26, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: linjian76 | March 26, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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