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Posted at 6:27 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Obama's statement to reporters just now on the Senate's vote on the tax cut deal cranks up the pressure on the House to act immediately:

I urge the House of Representatives to act quickly on this important matter. Because if there's one thing we can agree on, it's the urgent work of protecting middle class families, removing uncertainty for America's businesses, and giving our economy a boost as we head into the new year.

* Bernie Sanders, whose "filibuster" has made him a hero on the left, keeps up the good fight, hitting back at the Senate vote in a statement arguing that "we could have and should have negotiated a much stronger agreement."

* Steny Hoyer confirms House Dems are likely to pass the deal, though it remains unclear what if any changes they'll make and what they'll do to mollify angry members.

* But if the vast majority of House Republicans supports the deal, as expected, supporters may not even need that many House Dems to pass it into law.

* And Steve Benen is hearing, just as I did, that the plan may be to let House Dems vote on a series of amendments designed to let them vent their disapproval.

Also key: Steve reports that House Dems may "feel as if they've already delivered a message loud and clear to the White House" and think their response "has been ferocious enough to stick in the president's memory for next time."

* I noted below that the Obama tax cut deal has strong support across the board, but in fairness, the individual provisions of the deal have less support and there's a good deal of skepticism that the overall package will help the economy.

* And: Jane Hamsher on why today's Washington Post poll shows that "Republicans got by far the better part of the deal."

* Robert Gibbs declined to say today whether Obama will call on the Senate to stay in session until the stand-alone DADT repeal bill is voted on.

But: Gibbs does say that the president still thinks there's time to fit in repeal repeal this year, and calls it a "distinct possibility."

* In the wake of today's court decision on health reform, Matt Miller explains why the conservative push to undermine the individual mandate may "ultimately undermine the private-sector health care Republicans cherish."

* The White House's pushback: Legal challenges to the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act were "all filed and all failed."

* Headline of the day, from Jed Lewison:

Big story: HCR ruled unconstitutional. Little story: 14 judges disagree.

* Mike Bloomberg is not running for president, because he won't blow all those millions in the full knowledge that he has no chance whatsoever of winning.

* Lively spat: Glenn Greenwald resigns from CREW to protest the group's criticism of WikiLeaks, and CREW hits back.

* And let's hope Sharron Angle's new plan to form a Tea Party PAC called "The Patriot Caucus" doesn't include any of that stuff about resorting to "Second Amendment remedies."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 6:27 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, gay rights, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Senate votes for tax cut deal. What's route through House?
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Comments

Mickey Kaus on DREAM: "The [DREAM] Act's crazy quilt of deadlines and preconditions, combined with the massive fraud that will follow its virtually irresistable invitation to false applications, will create a system seemingly doomed to collapse of its own weight. Penalize a kid who came to the U.S. four years before DREAM, rather than the requisite five? Who spent only a year and a half in college instead of two years because he was busy working? Who went back to Mexico for a year instead of living here "continuously"? Who was too honest to lie on his application--so he stays illegal while hundreds of thousands of his less scrupulous brothers-in-undocumentation get in?"

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/kausfiles/2010/12/13/republicans-don-t-be-tempted-by-dream.html?from=rss

Posted by: sbj3 | December 13, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Don't know if you saw this earlier on the judge who ruled against the insurance mandate. He's got a bit of a conflict of interest.

"Judge Who Ruled Health Care Reform Unconstitutional Owns Piece of GOP Consulting Firm"

Henry E. Hudson, the federal judge in Virginia who just ruled health care reform unconstitutional, owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in a GOP political consulting firm that worked against health care reform.

...

Since 2003, according to the disclosures, Hudson has earned between $32,000 and $108,000 in dividends from his shares in the firm (federal rules only require judges to report ranges of income).

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/judge-who-ruled-health-care-reform-unconstitutional-owns-piece-of-gop-consulting-firm.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 13, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

The democrats are going to have to get used to the idea they were elected on the premise that they promised the American People they would be bipartisan and compromise.


If the democrats do not want to do that, they will find themselves out of office as soon as the voters can send them.


The only things that will remain for the democrats will be small slices of gerrymandered districts that they shouldn't have in the first place.


The American People are sick of it all.


The democrats went with the biggest BAIT AND SWITCH OPERATION in American History - I personally am astonished that so many democrats and liberals have not spoken out about this - and instead PREFER TO ALLOW THE DECEPTION TO STAND.


The American people do not want this.


The democrats simply do not realize how bad a position they are in. At this point, the Senate is GONE - the few remaining Senators WILL BE VOTED OUT IN 2012.


The Republicans even have a path to 60 votes in 2012.


It is OVER - the democrats are still pressing their liberal agenda - like drug dealers - never stopping to realize the American People want NO PART OF THE LIBERAL AGENDA.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 13, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The democrats are going to have to get used to the idea they were elected on the premise that they promised the American People they would be bipartisan and compromise.


If the democrats do not want to do that, they will find themselves out of office as soon as the voters can send them.


The only things that will remain for the democrats will be small slices of gerrymandered districts that they shouldn't have in the first place.


The American People are sick of it all.


The democrats went with the biggest BAIT AND SWITCH OPERATION in American History - I personally am astonished that so many democrats and liberals have not spoken out about this - and instead PREFER TO ALLOW THE DECEPTION TO STAND.


The American people do not want this.


The democrats simply do not realize how bad a position they are in. At this point, the Senate is GONE - the few remaining Senators WILL BE VOTED OUT IN 2012.


The Republicans even have a path to 60 votes in 2012.


It is OVER - the democrats are still pressing their liberal agenda - like drug dealers - never stopping to realize the American People want NO PART OF THE LIBERAL AGENDA.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 13, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

When Dennis Hastert was Speaker Of The House, he had a rule that he stuck to. He would never call a bill up for debate or a vote, unless a majority of his own Republican caucus were willing to vote for the bill.

In other words; Hastert would never allow a bill to pass, with mostly Democratic votes.

Nancy Pelosi should apply the Hastert rule now. If a majority of her own caucus are not willing to vote for the bill, she should bury it, just like Hastert always did.

If it was good enough for Republicans under Fat Hastert, it should be good enough for them now.

Do unto them, as they did unto you, Nancy.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 13, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Obtuse Angle-

From the 12.10.10 issue of the Texas Observer:

2009 FBI crime stats for El Paso, which is right across the Border from Juarez, had the lowest crime rate in six major categories of any city over 500K. Four murders in El Paso this year compared to 2,700 in Juarez.

No doubt these stats will influence the characterization dark-skinned folks by the "Patriot Caucus".

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 13, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit that in some ways I would like to see the health insurance "mandate" struck down as unconstitutional.

If SCOTUS rules that Congress cannot compel individuals to purchase private health insurance, that seems to support going to a single payer system. Congress certainly has the authority, as it has done with Medicare, to tax individuals to pay for a federal health care system, which would relegate the private carriers to providing supplemental insurance for those who want coverage the federal system doesn't offer.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 13, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Bearclaw,

You are never going to get any such changes in Health Care passed for at least the next ten years. Republicans are going to have control of the House for at least that long, and they will not pass any bill that leads to either a single payer option, or expanding Medicare coverage.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 13, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"Gibbs does say that the president still thinks there's time to fit in [DADT] repeal repeal this year, and calls it a "distinct possibility."

No, it isn't. This is just another pose being struck. Right after Lilly Ledbetter would have been a good time for a vote on this.

"I have to admit that in some ways I would like to see the health insurance "mandate" struck down as unconstitutional."

I agree, wouldn't bother me a bit. Somehow, someday, the country will have to grapple with the need for health care reform. What are we going to do, wait until health care is 1/3 of gdp, when all we do is create and consume health care?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 13, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

this whole Obama-GOP tax cut extension deal has brought out some interesting agreement between the left and the right on the edges rather than the middle. Yesterday "in the Green Room" of ABC's This Week program, Matthew Dowd and Paul Krugman agreed that Obama has a tendency to never admit a mistake. DOWD called it "Bush-like." There is a point there.

Krugman's larger point is also worth considering, any stimulus effect this bill has is only a year in duration, the economy is not going to be strong enough in a year to support continued growth without federal government stimulus. What'll happen is unemployment will start trending up again and that is a terrible sign for Obama's reelection chances in 2012.

The ONE piece of hope I have these days is the rumor that Obama is considering Yale President and Economist Richard Levin to replace Larry Summers as National Economic Council Director. Levin has a much more Keynesian approach to economics and could at least make a case for a second stimulus which, conceivably, Obama could campaign on. Here's the idea. Obama acknowledges that the stimulus wasn't enough; that our economy was much worse off than he had realized at the time and as a result we need stimulus targeted on job creation and long term benefits to our infrastructure. Republicans say "no" and Obama pulls a Truman and says he needs a Democratic House and Senate to push his agenda to get the economy restarted.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | December 13, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

No offense, but I really don't give a d*mn what Jane Hamsher has to say on either the tax cuts or any other subject. Please, stop presenting her as the "voice" of progressives. She's not. If Obama said "Christmas is a nice time of year," Jane would immediately scream that he's become a tool of the religious far right and that he oughta be impeached.

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 13, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

While I am against this tax cut deal, I do not agree that Obama never admits when he has made a mistake. He has said, in the past, " I screwed up, and it was not the first time, and it will not be the last time."

Posted by: Liam-still | December 13, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Bear claw

yea, a single payer is one option.


That would put every health insurance company in the country out of business.


Everyone would have to pay Obama directly for health insurance. His smiling face would be on every monthly invoice.


Is that what you want ?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 13, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

*Sigh* -- I know you are right, but I can dream, can't I?

Most experts agree that there has to be some way of covering everyone, for at least two reasons: (1) average costs are lower when you include healthier people in the system; and (2) the uninsured tend to delay obtaining health care, which greatly increases costs.

If an individual mandate is unconstitutional, the only other logical ways to get to 100% coverage are: (1) through a tax-supported single payer system relying primarily on private health care providers; (2) through a tax-supported system of government-provided health care; or (3) a combination of #1 and #2.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 13, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"Big story: HCR ruled unconstitutional. Little story: 14 judges disagree."
-------

I believe it was actually the mandate that everyone buy health insurance that was ruled unconstitutional. You could probably find more than 14 judges who disagree if you look hard enough. Does anyone here embrace the concept of limited government or has that ship already sailed?

Posted by: Brigade | December 13, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

If it was good enough for Republicans under Fat Hastert, it should be good enough for them now.

Do unto them, as they did unto you, Nasty Nancy.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 13, 2010 6:44 PM
-------

tsk, tsk, tsk.

Posted by: Brigade | December 13, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2,
"Right after Lilly Ledbetter would have been a good time for a vote on this."
-------

Is Lilly Ledbetter any relation to Huddie Ledbetter and did that help her case?

Posted by: Brigade | December 13, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Republicans say "no" and Obama pulls a Truman and says he needs a Democratic House and Senate to push his agenda to get the economy restarted.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | December 13, 2010 7:04 PM
=======

Been there, done that. Check the results of the November elections. What NOBODY needed was a Congress which punted on important legislative matters.

Posted by: Brigade | December 13, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

If Obama said "Christmas is a nice time of year," Jane would immediately scream that he's become a tool of the religious far right and that he oughta be impeached.

Posted by: lcrider1 | December 13, 2010 7:06 PM
========

Could she be half right?

Posted by: Brigade | December 13, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

He has said, in the past, " I screwed up, and it was not the first time, and it will not be the last time."

Posted by: Liam-still | December 13, 2010 7:07 PM
--------

That's what I've been saying about him all along. And to think he agrees.

Posted by: Brigade | December 13, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

Lilly Ledbetter is white, and not known for her blues singing or guitar playing. But I suppose there could be some distant relationship . . .

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 13, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"Big story: HCR ruled unconstitutional. Little story: 14 judges disagree."

Typical boneheaded Lewison/Dkos bunk.

Exactly two judges -- both Clinton appointees -- held the mandate constitutional. The rest, not. Follow the link to the WH list and its link to the New Jersey case story it touts. Doesn't deal with the mandate at all. Nor do any others, or else the WH would say so.

So, Greg, will you post a correction of the factually incorrect "headline" you quoted and linked? There are no "14 judges" who have disagreed with Hudson.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 13, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey penny (you are not worthy even of "nickel") ... at least you now admit that 2 rulings have found the mandate constitutional versus one Bush appointee that ruled otherwise. Congratulations on your successful research.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 13, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Richard Holbrooke, Requiescat In Pace.
God Bless & Godspeed.

Posted by: tao9 | December 13, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Stick with me, rag. You might learn something. But I doubt it. You clearly have no clue about this topic.

But it's funny watching liberals flop around and make foolish claims about "many cases dismissed," like that means something. Josh Marshall had a humorously inept post about the case. You would enjoy it; he understands the issue about as well as you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 13, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Alterman reminds us of all the sordid details from ten years ago and points to the continuation of the same Republican and media tendencies we saw then (plus some sad Dem tendencies, I'm afraid to say). But it's important to go over all these details again if only to remind ourselves of the situation that Obama and all the rest of us are in.

"As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Bush v. Gore decision—technically December 12—it is interesting to note how much of our current political predicament can be discerned in the events of those days. The Bush-Gore election illustrates three key points about today’s political and media environment:

Conservatives fight harder and dirtier for what they want than progressives.
The mainstream media gives conservatives a pass for acting and speaking in their own political interest while criticizing progressives for the same thing.
Conservative commentators recognize few if any boundaries in their willingness to demonize progressives, with virtually no corollary of any kind among progressives..." (read full post here)

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/12/ta120910.html

These folks are not going to settle for less than the totalitarianism of one party rule and, it seems clear, the media institutions we thought might help provide a bulwark against such a thing are a functioning part of what has happened and what is getting worse.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 13, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Sure penny ... since you've made such probative and relevant points count on me taking your advice as to other sources and their reliability. In fact, since you seem to be in the teaching mood, perhaps you can tell us the substantive and specific mistakes made by the two Judges that found the mandate constitutional. Or is the fact that they were appointed by Dems enough for you to disagree with their findings?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, guys!

"Australia’s most senior media professionals have written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard today to express their support for WikiLeaks..."

http://www.walkleys.com/news/1076/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

We have one-party rule right now, and will until New Years Eve.

Auld Eric's kind of a crank. He should try yoga or FalunGong or something.

Posted by: tao9 | December 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@tao - some of the reasons I find your posts so compelling are the attention to detail, to evidence and to carefully reasoned argument.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 13, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

"Funding illegal Israeli settlements?
Priceless.

Visa, Mastercard and PayPal all enable donations to be made to US-registered groups funding illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank in defiance of international law.

It appears at least one of the major credit cards also enables donations to an extremist Jewish group that has placed a bounty on the lives of Palestinians.

All three have in the last week ceased enabling donations to WikiLeaks. Neither Mastercard nor Visa have explained the basis for their decision to do so. PayPal has backed away from its initial claim that the US State Department told PayPal WikiLeaks had broken the law after the claim was discredited. This is the third occasion on which PayPal has suspended payment services for WikiLeaks..."

http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/13/funding-illegal-israeli-settlements-priceless/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 13, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Their mistake -- more like their abuse -- is simple. The Commerce Clause grants Congress power only "to regulate commerce . . . among the several States." The mandate does not regulate commerce, let alone interstate commerce, but instead compels a person to engage in commerce.

The two Clinton judges nevertheless accepted O's argument that an individual's failure to buy insurance might in the future have some effect on interstate commerce. There is no precedent for that expansion of the Commerce power. Even Wickard and Raich involved regulation or prohibition of activities in which people were engaged. No case has ever approved the notion that Congress can compel citizens to engage in "commerce" because their failure to do so might affect commerce. That reasoning, to the extent it is even reasoning, is circular.

They tried to rationalize their decision by divining within the Commerce Clause the power to "regulate" "economic decisions," including the "decision" NOT to engage in commerce. This effectively turns the clause inside out and results in an unlimited grant of plenary police power.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 13, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bernie!

I read the recommended Alterman and also the Lantigua Alternet link.

Alterman is always enormously compelling because he never allows a scintilla of any alternate, heh, narrative to encroach his assertions (his article was nearly linkless).

Lantigua has the obvious problem of proving virtual history (he must be of the Yglesias school). No one can prove or even assert with confidence that the hypothetical 200,000 disenfranchised voters even attempted to register much less vote. Or that the 200K number itself has a whiff of reality.

And although Florida paid some (unspecified amount of) cash to the NAACP, not a peculiar or rare occurence, the Justice Department suit went nowhere.

Oh well, I suppose if you haven't even yet gotten over the crudities of Nixon's tapes, you'll take 2000 to your grave.

Posted by: tao9 | December 13, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

There was an easy alternative to the mandate. A tax credit for anyone who has insurance (as far as I know and with the possible exception of a former NY governor, having children doesn't involve interstate commerce) offset by an increase in FICA taxes. No individual mandate. It's the same deal that the federal government makes with the states regarding gasoline taxes. And that's why you can't buy beer at 18.

By the way, a poll doesn't prove Republicans got the better end of the deal. A better proof would be the Washington Post graphic indicating that the priorities of the Democrats attracted four times the cost of the package as did the Republican priorities of a reduced estate tax and tax cuts for all.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"@tao - some of the reasons I find your posts so compelling are the attention to detail, to evidence and to carefully reasoned argument."

That argument by Alterman that you kindly pasted was so full of those things. No ipse dixit there.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Mary Landrieu, all partnered up with Bernie Sanders just a couple days ago and spouting moral outrage, voted to advance the bill. No surprise there, I suppose.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 13, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Taxing/penalizing failure to buy insurance is a distinction without a difference, really no different than the mandate itself.

Nor does hiding it behind a "credit" scheme make any difference.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 13, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh! Bernie, sorry, I forgot!

The article's Michael Kelly rant reminded me, again, how much of an envious, venal, degenerate, runty wormtongued cockroach is Mr. Alterman.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Posted by: tao9 | December 13, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Since this is basically an open thread and Sharrrron Angle got mentioned, I'd like to know if anyone has any ideas why she's still allowed to board aircraft.

If any of us stood before a podium and advocated the assassination of public officials we'd get a non-social visit from the FBI and stuck on a no-fly list.

And funny that people would would ridicule some beret-wearing college kid with a Che T-shirt give aplomb and respect to Sharrrron. Hypocrisy much?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 13, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

ALL,


It's time to re-think this Compromise package as unnecessary borrowing - seriously folks


THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF FOLKS


NEWS FLASH ON US CREDIT RATING


"Moody's warned Monday that it could move a step closer to cutting the U.S. Aaa rating if President Obama's tax and unemployment benefit package becomes law.


Moody's estimates the tax bill could cost up to $900 billion.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The plan agreed to by President Obama and Republican leaders last week could push up debt levels, increasing the likelihood of a negative outlook on the United States rating in the coming two years, the ratings agency said.

A negative outlook, if adopted, would make a rating cut more likely over the following 12-to-18 months.

For the United States, a loss of the top Aaa rating, reduce the appeal of U.S. Treasuries, which currently rank as among the world's safest investments."


- from CNBC

This is serious stuff folks.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 13, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

You know what You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price by searching online for "Wise Health Insurance" If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: philipdenis | December 14, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell how the States can compel me to buy car insurance but the Feds can't compel me to buy health insurance?

And spare me the "you don't *have* to drive" crap...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 14, 2010 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Well, it's true you don't have to drive, and that would be good enough.

But the first reason states can require you to have car insurance is that their governmental powers are plenary, not limited, under the U.S. Constitution. Your state constitution might have its own provisions limiting state powers, but the structure of the U.S. Constitution is that it grants Congress only certain limited powers (Art I sec. 8) and (10th Am) reserves all the rest to the states.

The main argument against the mandate is that it falls outside Congress' limited powers. No such limitation applies to states and car insurance. You can also argue that, even if it were within an enumerated power of Congress, the mandate violates individual rights, but that's a different argument.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 14, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Evident to the meanest intelligence. According to the conservative concept of Citizen Swagger, *any* compelled participation in society, *any* acknowledgment of social contract, *any* notion of collective benefit or behavior amounts to

TYranny TYranny TYranny.

Real men shoot their own dinner, build their own houses with their bare hands, defend their hearths and their families with their own weapons, and don't have to consider anyone else in any aspect of their lives.

It's that good ol' pioneer spirit, and "it's called freedm." Or "liberty." There is no higher virtue than, well, conceit.

Beign forced to pay for medical care is a tax, and taxes are punishment for success, and besides, government wastes the money on, you know, pork an' earmarks.

I wish I was merely being sarcastic, but as it is I'm barely being snide.

It's really quite an eye-opener to live in a truly Socialist country where this stupid sentiment doesn't fly. The idea of helping people out of simple decency instead of in expectation of payment, well, you kinda get used to it.

Shade your eyes, farthingback.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 14, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Taxing/penalizing failure to buy insurance is a distinction without a difference, really no different than the mandate itself. Nor does hiding it behind a "credit" scheme make any difference.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 13, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

---

There's where you missed the important point, QB. There is no penalty associated with a tax credit. Anyone who purchases health insurance would be eligible for a tax credit. I know that you're viscerally opposed to this law, but think for a moment.

How is a tax credit for purchasing health insurance different from a tax credit for dependent care expenses? Or buying a home? Or any of a number of tax credits that one can claim? Even if SCOTUS rules against, this is a trivially easy fix.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 14, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

"Gas drilling tactic fuels a boom and health"

concernshttp://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-12-14-1Alouisiana14_CV_N.htm?csp=34news

Now we're allowing drilling for carbon fuels in people's back yards. And we're also adding another trillion to the debt.

So our children and grandchildren will have no planet and no money. Things like that used to matter.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

@tao said:
"Alterman is always enormously compelling because he never allows a scintilla of any alternate, heh, narrative to encroach his assertions (his article was nearly linkless)."

The piece contains *nine* internal links not to mention about as many sourced quotes. That's typical for Alterman's pieces. Alternately (insert silly chortle) you can do a quick survey of the last few columns written by Krauthammer or Gerson or Kristol or Will and count up the internal links or sourced quotes. Let us know what you find. Further, if you do find any (warning: you'll find nothing even close to what Alterman does here and elsewhere but you might find one or two somewhere) let us know how many such links point to competing explanations or assertions or evidence. You have a weak familiarity with Alterman's work, at best, and you toss up a standard which you appear to apply nowhere else.

As to the number of disenfranchised voters, in fact, a lot of research has been done on this (Mark Crispin Miller and many others). Your protest that no one can prove or assert the figure given is not grounded in any apparent look at the evidence and it suffers from the obvious point that the figure might just as easily be an under-estimation - to quote you, "no one can prove or assert with confidence" that this is not so.

And re your following post...
"The article's Michael Kelly rant reminded me, again, how much of an envious, venal, degenerate, runty wormtongued cockroach is Mr. Alterman."

Here's that "rant"...

"The Washington Post’s Michael Kelly, who had been fired as editor of The New Republic over his inability to moderate his hysteria toward the Clinton-Gore team, complained of Gore’s "revolting" campaign as filled with "hacks and political thugs." Comparing Gore’s attempt to get a fair count in Florida to an attack of napalm, he wrote, again in The Washington Post, “If he doesn't get his way he threatens to delegitimize democracy itself. Got to burn that village down.”

“Even if Gore ultimately loses in Florida,” Kelly wrote, grasping for inappropriate superlative after superlative, “With the help of reasonably sympathetic coverage from a largely Democratic and liberal national press corps, [Gore] has managed to spin his extraordinary, radical, unprecedented behavior as reasonable—and legitimate.”

The difference between what Alterman writes here and what you write about his passage is:
1) Alterman provides precise quotations of Kelly where you don't
2) Alterman ties his criticism directly to what Kelly has said where you just toss out the ad hominem personal insults, which are far more ugly than anything Alterman writes.

Like I said initially...there's some of the reasons I find you typical posts so compelling.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 14, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

From Ha'aretz this morning...

"A Special Place in Hell / We all owe Israel's racist rabbis a vote of thanks
Rabbis who signed a ruling against leasing to Arabs have put an end to the notion of rabbinic authority and have freed us to be Jews on our own terms."
http://www.haaretz.com/

One can only hope. This is just one more in a very long list of examples of how extremism and tribal hatred turn humans into potentially or actively evil agents. As one Israeli quoted a few days ago in this paper said (another rabbi, if I recall correctly), "what would our response be if some Germans signed an agreement to refuse to rent to Jews?". No frigging kidding.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 14, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"... but the structure of the U.S. Constitution is that it grants Congress only certain limited powers (Art I sec. 8) and (10th Am) reserves all the rest to the states."

==

Which, when you think about it, is pretty stupid.

Not very smart to treat the Constitution as Moses' tablets, after all it had to be amended before the ink was dry and it took a civil war to iron out some of the other vagaries.

That part about restricting federal power and leaving the rest to states, well, sorry, but I'll reconsider the wisdom of that the first time I hear "states' rights" invoked for some cause that isn't utterly vile.

Yeah, states' rights. The right to pollute, to discriminate, to enslave. No thanks.

While we \'re at it let's jettison that dumb "right to keep an' bear arms" thing. If only for the pass-the-popcorn joy of turning the military loose on those "cold dead fingers" people. Good effin' riddance to that crowd.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 14, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Guess I have to correct myself...just checked Gerson's last and Will's last columns. Both contain internal links (about half of the number in Alterman's column). Krauthammer's last has none. The last two columns (at WS) by Kristol contain one link (to Mark Thiessen, a competing view I'm sure).

Posted by: bernielatham | December 14, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_morning_plum_150.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 14, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Tomasky on Holbrooke...

"For a diplomat, Holbrooke was not by a longshot always diplomatic in the more generic sense, but no one doubted his intellect and ability. I didn't know him, so I can't say personally, but I can say that even in off-the-record around-town chatter - that is to say, the private conditions under which many public officials are disparaged - I never heard anyone say anything disrespectful of the man."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/dec/14/richard-holbrooke

Posted by: bernielatham | December 14, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

FB,

I don't think it's that easy.

First, your scheme wouldn't actually work as a substitute for the mandate. The mandate says, every person must buy insurance, and is enforced with a fine. But not everyone pays FICA, and fewer people pay income taxes against which to credit. So this scheme would not "force" everyone to "pay" for their health care.

I suppose you could just say, we'll just raise FICA on those who pay it as much as necessary to pay for everyone. But then you've just enacted some form of state-run, single payer care. And since a large percentage of the populace pays no income tax anyway, you couldn't offset the FICA even if it were evenly imposed. Even if you could, you would have now linked FICA and income taxes in a way not to my knowledge done before. So the whole scheme just doesn't work.

Second, your scheme is different than things like a personal exemption because you are imposing the health care "tax" through FICA and then purporting to give it back in a credit only to those who buy insurance. So you would have to justify not simply the credit but the FICA "tax" in the first place. And the purpose of the tax would be the same -- to force everyone to buy health insurance. We are taking your money to buy insurance, and we're only giving it back if you buy it yourself. That's subtly but importantly different than normal deductions and exemptions.


Third, an attempt to replace the mandate with an indirect mandate through a "tax" scheme would suffer from having been enacted with a history and context. Once you enter the world of government payments and taxes with strings attached, you've entered a very murky constitutional world, but I can't help thinking that this would be viewed for what it really is -- a transparent attempt to put window dressing on the mandate. I dont think appealing to personal exemptions or mortgage deductions would do a lot of good. It certainly shouldn't.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 14, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Alterman's would have been as dispositive (as it's feebly capable of being to the choristers) without dragging in the late Mr. Kelly.

That is my main issue with the vile, mendacious propogandist Alterman.

Posted by: tao9 | December 14, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

tao- you're a good guy and I like you. But the style and habits of your political philosophy and rhetorical style owe much more to Ann Coulter than to the Jesuits and that's not a good thing.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 14, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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