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Morning Fix: The Mac Attack is Back

Arizona Sen. John McCain is back and feisty as ever. Photo by Joshua Roberts of Reuters

Arizona Sen. John McCain lambasted the Obama Administration's handling of health care reform legislation during a CNN interview Sunday, a sign that the President's erstwhile rival hasn't conceded the political battleground just yet.

"There was no input by Republicans in the writing of the bill," said McCain. "In the health committee it was all a Democrat[ic] proposal. That's not the way you want to begin if you're really interested in a true bipartisan result."

McCain also seemed to reject the idea of supporting any health care plan that contains the so-called "public option" -- comparing the idea to the creation of quasi-government agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

We wrote months ago that McCain could be Obama's best friend in the Senate as a Republican bridge to bipartisanship. The intervening months have shown the two men headed in opposite directions with McCain growing increasingly upset with the growth in government spending and the lack of consultation between the White House and Senate Republicans -- namely himself.

"I respect their successes, but please don't call it changing the climate in Washington," McCain told King on Sunday, adding that: "Republicans did it when they were in the majority. Democrats have done it when they're in the majority."

How McCain views the fight over health care reform is not an insignificant matter. He is one of the most recognizable Republicans in the party -- with the possible exception of his former running mate Sarah Palin who he said will play a "major role" within the GOP -- and, as such, retains some control over his party's messaging on the issue.

Second, McCain seems to find his way into nearly ever major bipartisan effort in the Senate -- from his (unsuccessful) push for comprehensive immigration reform with Sen. Ted Kennedy (Mass.) to his work to avoid the nuclear option in regards the confirmation of federal judges.

McCain's involvement has the potential to bring a handful of Republicans with a penchant for compromise to the table but, as he made clear during his CNN interview, he's on the outside of the process looking in at the moment.

Keep an eye on McCain over the August recess. His interview was a clear sign to the Obama Administration -- and his colleagues -- that he'd like in on the health care discussion. Will they listen?

Monday Fix Picks: It's less than 24 hours before "The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election" hits bookshelves. Impress your friends and pre-order now!

1. The making of a president.
2. Frank Rich on Beerastroika.
3. Michael Steele: Don't Call It a Comeback
4. The Neshoba County Fair and 2011 in Mississippi.
5. Is the Kindle a must-buy?

Dodd's Diagnosis (And what It Means): Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) announced Friday that he had been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer and will undergo surgery over the Senate's August recess to deal with the condition. Those close to Dodd insist the cancer diagnosis will have no impact on his re-election plans in 2010. "It means he'll have a slightly more sedentary August than he'd planned," said Jim Jordan, an adviser to Dodd's re-election bid. "But that's the only effect of the condition." Three Republicans -- state Sen. Sam Caliguri, former Rep. Rob Simmons and former Ambassador Tom Foley -- have lined up for the chance to take on Dodd whose image in the state has taken a hit over allegations of preferential treatment in connection to a loan he secured via Countrywide.

Huck PAC Reports $300K: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) raised just over $300,000 into this leadership political action committee in the first six months of 2009, well short of the cash-collection totals of some of his potential 2012 rivals. From January 1 to June 30, Huckabee's Huck PAC brought in $305,000 while spending $337,000; he ended the period with $48,000 in the bank and $63,000 in debt. Huckabee doled out $4,500 a month to his daughter, Sarah, for her role as the PAC's executive director, and made a handful of donations to state and federal candidates including $2,500 each for Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli who are running for governor and attorney general, respectively, in Virginia this fall. Huckabee's fundraising and current cash position compare unfavorably to former Govs. Mitt Romney (Mass.) and Sarah Palin (Alaska) -- both of whom are seen as potential 2012 candidates. Romney collected more than $1.6 million in the same time frame, ending June with $841,000 in the bank; Palin, whose political operation spent much of the first six months of the year in chaos, still managed to collect $733,000 in the first six months of the year and showed $457,000 on hand. As we have written before, Huckabee's struggles to raise significant chunks could well hinder his ability to take advantage of his strong standing in hypothetical 2012 polling matchups.

Mazeltov!: Ben Smith and his wife, Liena, had their third (!) child -- Eli -- over the weekend. Ben's diabolical mission to populate the world with political bloggers continues as Eli joins Hugo (age 5) and Emma (age 3) in the Smith stable. Congratulations!

A Republican Recruiting Success in Iowa?: National Republicans appear on the verge of convincing former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) to challenge Gov. Chet Culver (D) in 2010, a candidacy that would turn the Hawkeye State into a gubernatorial battleground next November. "I'm not ruling it out, because I care deeply about the state," Branstad told the Des Moines Register Sunday. "And I have real concerns about the direction things are going." A national Republican source said that Branstad is "very" close to pulling the trigger on the race. Branstad is a legend in Iowa Republican politics, having served four consecutive terms as the state's governor from 1982 to 1998. (Branstad also rocks a mean mustache.) Despite President Barack Obama's easy win in Iowa last November, Republicans believe Branstad is the sort of candidate that could help them rebuild the party in the state; a survey conducted for the Iowa Republican blog showed Branstad leading Culver 53 percent to 37 percent. If Branstad gets in, expect him to draw LOTS of attention from potential 2012 candidates looking to curry favor with him. One 2012-er, Mike Huckabee, has already endorsed Bob Vander Plaats bid for governor, however.

Say What?: "I'm right up there with the boys." -- White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer on how she gets along with the other members of the White House team.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 3, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: "The Battle for America 2008"
Next: Senate Mutt and Jeffs



I thought you said that this thread was dead?

Posted by: JakeD | August 4, 2009 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Judging from his campaign, I'd say McCain left his marbles in the last millennium.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 4, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I think McCain's best chance to be highly influential is behind him.

Posted by: nodebris | August 3, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

McCain is 72? He looks a lot older than that

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Since McCain's only input on health care is to be absolutely agaimst a public option, the fact that he wasn't in on the planning denotes about nothing. McCains acclaimed "bipartisanship" hasn't actually made ANY appearances in Congress thus far, and doesn't appear to have left McCain's Arizona vacation home(s).

Republican "bipartisanship" so far has consisted of telling the Democrats what it is they don't like about pending legislation, and that has been most of the legislation pending. From this we may infer that to be bipartisan, the Democrats have to give up their legislative agenda and let the republicans do nothing for another two years.

John McCain had his shining chance to show his true bipartisan colors when John Kerry offered him the Vice Presidency. He turned down his chance to change things in Washington, stood by in silence while the surrogates for his Party told about as many lies as possible, and thoroughly demeaned Kerry's military service. Ever since his primary contribution to "bipartisanship" was allowing Democrats to support overwhelmingly Republican policies.

McCain has largely thrown away any respect he might have once had as an involuntary hero, and now is just another Republican who thinks consensus is when Rush Limbaugh, Ann Colter, Bill O'Reilley, and Sean Hannity agree. It becomes bipartisan when a Ronald Reagan or other lifelong Republican who keeps his Democratic registration so he can mess with Democratic elections joins the fold.

The Republicans STILL don't have a program that says what they are actually for, only what they are reflexively against.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 3, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

After the Palin choice and the nutty campaign suspension McCain defined himself as a nutbar. That's not something he can retreat from just because the election's over.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

For the record, since the "drindl" 1:12 PM post, not just king_of_zouk and me have posted, but also bsimon1, chrisfox8, RufusJunior, JRM2, Opp88, and even LABC.

Therefore "Watch everyone else leave the room" was, to say the least, incorrect -- and, this is not the first time she has posted the claim -- there were a hundred posts afterwards on the thread last time.

Posted by: JakeD | August 3, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

How sad that Senator McCain wants, on the one hand, to criticize the President for not being bipartisan enough, but on the other, votes 'no' on Sotomayor. Is he trying to squander the last bit of goodwill that independent voters once held for him?

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 3, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

JokeD,the Alan Keyes birther disciple, passing himself off as proof that "everyone else" has not left the site because of the crazies on board? Riiiight...

Hey, Cilizza, when you are through worshipping McCain's grumpy little toes, how about making your apology to Secretary Clinton on your page? I don't think a twitter apology is sufficient, since the lame attempt at humor was on WAPO...

Posted by: LABC | August 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse



Alberto Gonzales, not Roberto.

There's no question who's worse. Gonzales is ineffectual and uninspiring, he was chosen as AG because he could be relied upon to never express any reservations or to side with the law and against President Bush. I think the administration expected Ashcroft to be an unresisting yes-man and his refusal to sign off on torture sealed his fate. Gonzales would agree to whatever Bush and Cheney wanted and to hell with the rule of law.

But where Gonzales was dangerous in passivity, Palin would be dangerous in activity, not only willing to countenance violation of law but eager to help.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll start believing in the Republican party when they:
Start working in the public's interest
Cut out the hate and fear mongering
Stop serving up gimmicks like Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin
Come up with viable plans rather than "just say no"

Posted by: JRM2


Unless you're quite young I'd say you will go to your grave still not believing in the Republican Party.

I like the way Frank Rich put it:

"Threatened white elites try to mask their own anxieties by patronizingly adopting working-class whites as their pet political surrogates — Joe the Plumber, New Haven firemen, a Cambridge police officer. Call it Village People populism."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse


I am certain that no one is trying to insults your "INTELLIGENTS" [SIC].

Posted by: JakeD | August 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: opp88 | August 3, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

At least drindl's prediction: "Watch everyone else leave the room" was proven false.

Posted by: JakeD | August 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: opp88 | August 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll start believing in the Republican party when they:
Start working in the public's interest
Cut out the hate and fear mongering
Stop serving up gimmicks like Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin
Come up with viable plans rather than "just say no"

Posted by: JRM2 | August 3, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

If Tim Bishop is too scared of his constituents to hold a town hall meeting then he needs look for another line of work.

Posted by: RufusJunior | August 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, McCain the maverick is shaking things up!

What, he's not the next GOP savior? Isn't he running in 2012?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Trying to have a discussion around JakeD and zouk is like trying to have a cordial conversation in the third row of an Emerson Lake and Palmer concert. It's possible but it takes some real discipline.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm still here.

Posted by: JakeD | August 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The nuts have taken over your thread, CC.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. drivl displays the "stopped clock" phenomenon.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The nuts have taken over your thread, CC. Watch everyone else leave the room.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, the guy who campaigned on saving the economy by cutting "earmarks" and ranting about the "bridge to nowhere?" That guy, weighing in on fiscal responsibility?

The guy who wanted to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat from the presidency? That guy?

And he thinks he should be taken seriously?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 3, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse


My posts about Gestapo USA and the GPS-activated civilian vigilante army that's been deployed by a secretive multi-agency coordinated action program overseen by a secretive executive branch agency:

Guess who's behind this nationwide organized political disruption "Operation Chaos" -- and how to you think they mobilize so efficiently?

Can you please connect the dots, people? Sounds a lot like the Palin pod people and the teabaggers, right? All cut from the same covert "program," perhaps?

AG Holder: If you take down the GPS-activated harassment and torture matrix, and MADE ILLEGAL the covert implantation of GPS devices without a court order, such organized anarchy might be curbedd.

Fixistas: Please spread the word and make it viral.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 3, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh yea, I forgot Ohio is also a great Republican governor pick-up.

Posted by: reason5 | August 3, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

So McCain is now speaking out against Obama harshly, maybe more so than he did on the campaign trail. Obama's out of control spending made it that way, and McCain is right, Obama hasn't changed Washington at all. In fact, he's fallen in line of the partisanship that Chicago politics is known for.

With Dodd's vote of confidence from the Conn. democratic party, he likely is in the race to stay.

Yet another big Republican recruit in Iowa with Terry Branstad. Certainly looks like he will run, and if he does he will win. Republicans have an extradoniary chance to take so many governor's seats in 2009 & 2010: Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorodo, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Virginia. That's 15 targets vs. only a handful for Democrats: California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Georgia. Yes, I know South Dakota, Alabama and South Carolina are all open seats but I don't consider them good Democratic pick-up opportunities until proven wrong. I also know Oregon is an open D seat, but don't feel that it's a strong Republican pick-up chance. Republicans are definately on offense in this election, and Democrats had better raise a whole lot of money or Republicans will be drawing those redistricting lines.

Posted by: reason5 | August 3, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

king of zouk and macsmen both display the republican party's challenge. The only people left who support them are hateful and ignorant, and either crazy or stupid, or both.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I voted for this wacko job and his wacko partner because the alternative was for killing as many black and hispanic babies as possible coupled with a communist, Kenyan born led government which is playing out before dumb Americans who are so unsuspecting and unaware.

Posted by: mascmen7 | August 3, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:06 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:10 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:44 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:54 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:04 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:07 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:11 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:17 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:21 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:27 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:36 AM
Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:49 AM

I think we have reached the clinical stage. Can't you go over to chrissuxcox's house and discuss your mutual stupidity and leave us out of it?

It's the all drivl, all the time blog. congrats CC, you must be proud.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 3, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

poor, sad, st johnnie mac the tortured ... the voters resoundingly rejected him; but his true believers -- the village presscorps -- luvs their st johnnie and will spin spin spin anything for him to give the poor, old sadsack a little bouncy...

Posted by: mycomment | August 3, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

As someone who voted for McCain in the 2000 primaries, who really liked much of what McCain seemed to be about, I have to say that I found his performance in the 2008 election cycle jaw-droppingly incompetent, his pick for a running mate to be an insult to the American people, and more than a few of his utterances to have been disgraceful.

He is -- by no means -- the most debased of the current crop of Republicans -- but I have left that party, myself, and even if McCain is among the few current Republicans I can still stomach, he has not spoken for me in many years.

I'd *love* to see a more bipartisan attitude in Washington -- I'm not a huge fan of a number of Demos in Congress, they seem to exemplify both the worst of old ways of doing business *and* the worst of the self-defeating practices of Democrats past -- but the current crop of Republicans has done little besides engage in the worst kind of obstructionism at a time when the nation needs constructive action.

I'm not entirely comfortable with everything the current administration has attempted -- but I have much more faith in them than the hasbeens and borderline crazies running the who on the Republican side of the aisle.

Posted by: dogmo | August 3, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"It should come as no surprise that FreedomWorks is chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. That FreedomWorks is involved with Tea Party Patriots dispels any notion that these are some sort of citizen activist grassroots organizations. These groups and these disruptions are orchestrated by the leadership of the Republican Party and it is time to expose them and their tactics of mob rule. "

The entire rightwing juggernaut -- from the vastly powerfuli nsurance industry trade group AHIP to the rightwing message machines of beck, limbaugh, hannity, etc. to the entire Republican 'leadership' -- is now lined up, heavily financed and organizaed and ready to pull the plug on health care reform.

We, the people, never even had a chance.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse


Thi is an effort to stop conversation about health care by an orgnaizaed campaign by lobbyists to suspend town hall meeting through disruption which leads to violence. Several Democrats have been chased by mobs, threatened, harrassed and police had to be called in to protect them.

"An angry crowd also exploded at Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The Philadelphia Daily News reports, "They wore bumper stickers on their foreheads. They carried signs. They shouted insults at notable American figures — and each other. Loudly."

"Members are being forced to suspend meetings with their constituents, screaming protesters are being dragged out of events by police and officials are being greeted by protest signs and chants.

Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., has called off further events.

"I had felt they would be pointless," he said. "There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation."

In Bishop's case, his decision came on the heels of a June 22 event he held in Setauket, N.Y., in which protesters dominated the meeting by shouting criticisms at the congressman for his positions on energy policy, health care and the bailout of the auto industry.

Police had to be called to escort the 59-year-old Democrat to his car safely."

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh sorry, I must have blocked the Goracle stuff. Have to admit, that was as icky as this one.

One is so often reminded that CC is young...

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"I hate to point out, Mark, that the rep who wants to end the day of 'civil town halls' and bring violence into them, is from Texas;"

Bring violence into them?? Explain...

Posted by: DDAWD | August 3, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Libs want to expand the failure throughout our lives.

Posted by: king_of_zouk |
I thought that was why you shouldn't have children...

Posted by: LABC | August 3, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I hate to point out, Mark, that the rep who wants to end the day of 'civil town halls' and bring violence into them, is from Texas;

"{The memo above also resembles the talking points being distributed by FreedomWorks for pushing an anti-health reform assault all summer. Patients United, a front group maintained by Americans for Prosperity, is currently busing people all over the country for more protests against Democratic members. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the NRCC, has endorsed the strategy, telling the Politico the days of civil town halls are now “over.”

Meanwhile, AHIP, the trade group and lobbying juggernaut representing the health insurance industry is sending staffers to monitor town halls and other right-wing front groups are stepping up their ad campaign to smear reform efforts. The strategy for defeating reform — recently outlined by an influential lobbyist to the Hill newspaper as “delay” then “kill” — is becoming apparent. By delaying a vote until after the August recess, lobbyists are now seizing upon recess town halls as opportunities to ambush lawmakers and fool them into believing there is wide opposition to reform."

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"I don't beleive I've ever seen a column devoted to Al Gore here."

Search for 'Gore-acle'

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 3, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"On another note, CC had those cloying "Gore-acle"
posts - remember?"

Yeah, I don't know how anyone can say there's never been a post on Gore here. If there was one in 2001, I don't know, but there's certainly been plenty the last few years.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 3, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

If you go to a town hall, be careful and be prepared for violence. There will likely be riots, as groups of lobbyists are arranging for such:

"This morning, Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls. For example, in one incident, right-wing protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety.

This growing phenomenon is often marked by violence and absurdity. Recently, right-wing demonstrators hung Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) in effigy outside of his office. Missing from the reporting of these stories is the fact that much of these protests are coordinated by public relations firms and lobbyists who have a stake in opposing President Obama’s reforms.

The lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress:

– Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: “Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.”

– Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.”

– Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: “The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Are any Senators or Congressmen having townhalls near you guys during the August break? David Vitter is holding one next week. I might try and make it out there if I have a functioning car by then.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 3, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

drindl, I agree with your 10:54A post completely but except for the Prez himself I have not seen any move in that direction. Have you?

On another note, CC had those cloying "Gore-acle"
posts - remember?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 3, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Why even pretend Republicans are interested in health care? It's a joke. It's all about politics.

"In the article, a top aide to former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert reiterated the Party’s motives for blocking reform:

"If the Democrats don’t get health care, and the jobless rate is above 10 percent, it could be a big election for Republicans next year,” predicted consultant John Feehery, who was a top aide to then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) concurred with this sentiment in interviews last month. “We can stall” health care reform, Inhofe boasted in another interview, adding, “And that’s going to be a huge gain for those of us who want to turn this thing over in the 2010 election.”

Republicans praying unemployment goes up, the economy and health care go down, and Americans suffer. That's what they are all about.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Is this a Washington Post article or something out of Tiger Beat? Yeah, Cilliza, old man McCain is the dreamiest senator evah!! Seriously, what is he paying you to prop him up as the GOP savior of health reform? This is a man whose own lifestyle has him far removed from the day to day petty concerns of regular folks (still nine houses, is it?)that I doubt he would be of any use.

Posted by: LABC | August 3, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

And mental health care for JokeD would be nice too.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

And just think -- if there was a public option for mental health, scrivener might be able to get some.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse


Because you haven't looked (or are lying). Type in "Gore" in the box under "Search This Blog" and click on "GO". There were at least 18 threads mentioning Mr. Gore all during a timeframe he was not running for anything.

I'm happy to help with any other "off topic" post, especially if you will repeatedly insult me about it too.

Posted by: JakeD | August 3, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Margaret, Parker, Truble, and others yet to post:

please read the cited link before you jump on McC. His criticism is not the now standard knee-jerk by any means. For those too pressed for time, some excerpts:"

Yeah, I'm more inclined to believe McCain on something like this than I am most Republicans. The thing is, McCain also said the same thing during the debates on the stimulus package. Does anyone believe that there was no Republican input on that bill? I sure don't. That makes me a lot more skeptical of the man this time around.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 3, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse






President Obama, AG Holder, SecHomeland Napolitano, SecDef Gates, DNI Blair must dismantle the nationwide, federal-local GPS-activated extrajudicial targeting and punishment matrix and remove from power the secretive executive branch officials who continue to oversee it.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

See "GESTAPO USA" at ("stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 3, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

mark, as you know and have stated, taxpayers currently pay for the health care of the disabled, the elderly and the indigent, all of whom are the most costly to care for, while insurance companies skim off the young and healthy and make huge profits.

Wouldn't putting everyone in the same pool, mandating coverage and creating efficiences [like a system of walk-in clinics that replace emergency rooms as locations for regular care ]create a huge cost savings in itself?

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

edlharris - I saw a Pearlstein column Wednesday or Thursday that I think is the one you referred to. Assuming the waste can be wrung from the system it will have a salutary effect, I agree. Still, the mechanics of paying the public portion of the reduced bill will dictate an increase in tax dollars.

Over time, the accounting would show less spending than under the current wasteful system, even on the public side alone, because the waste eliminated would be cumulative, annually. But initially the increased public sector cost would have to be offset by taxes or by debt.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 3, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

A little piece ffrom Balz' book:

"The Post fronts the second excerpt from the Battle for America 2008 by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, focusing on the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. But the more interesting information is in a separate brief excerpt inside, where the authors write about how a front-page NYT article on Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers led McCain's campaign to push up that line of attack, which was already in the works.

The same day the article came out, an important McCain staffer sent an e-mail to Sarah Palin's traveling party suggesting a line of attack that included a line about how Obama "is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists." Palin took on the assignment enthusiastically. "Yes yes yes," she wrote in an e-mail response. "Pls let me say this!!!" After she delivered the lines, she sent another e-mail: "It was awesome."

Gag. More evidence on how the rightwing MSM propped up republicans, as usual.

And I don't beleive I've ever seen a column devoted to Al Gore here. Why would that be, Chris?

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

John McCain has enjoyed the benefits of government health care all of his life. Apparently he wants to keep it just for himself and let the rest of us struggle with ever escalating costs and a health insurance industry that cares more about the bottom line than they do about people. Maybe we should all take Senator Grassley's suggestion and apply for government jobs. I am assuming that he will be willing to fund all of these government jobs that will be required.

Posted by: chlind | August 3, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

A larger order of sour grapes for Senator McCain, please.

Make that to go.

Posted by: molsonmich | August 3, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

KOZ, of all the various stimulus spending, cash-for-clunkers seems to have had the most immediate and visible effect. From that perspective, perhaps it was underfunded compared with, say, AIG.

From an "Austrian" view the entirety of the stimulus was "wrong" - I understand that. But were some choices "better" than others? And, if so, was cash-for-clunkers not one of the better choices?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 3, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Kash for klunkers is already broke, it's website is down, the rules are so mixed up no one understands, the particpants are set to lose and they are already back looking for more money

just so typical of government business as usual. Libs want to expand the failure throughout our lives.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | August 3, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Mark, we're raising one of those American males (almost 14) and his autistic older sister. She does pretty well -- but I know that her life employment will be spottier than her brother's because of cognitive and social difficulties. As a mother, what I know is that as long as health insurance is tied to employment, my child who is most in need of continuous health insurance as an adult is the child least likely to have it.

And I'm no big radical -- my son is at boy scout camp this week with his church-choir singing, boy-scout leader dad. For GOP-defined "socialists," my small-business owning husband and I are pretty old-fashioned. But that's how the GOP likes to marginalize anyone who disagrees with them.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that McCain doesn't have the honesty to refer to the success of Medicare, when it comes to discussing the public option. He mentions Fannie Mae? Give me a break.

For the record, the Washington Post never gave a platfrom to John Kerry or Al Gore in the year following their defeats. In fact, the news media was actively suggesting that Gore shut up and decried him as a sore loser. Look it up.

McCain, the man who was so quick to decide the expertise of Sarah Palin, still is undecided on Justice Sotomayor.

Yeah, John, we know how you like to weigh important decisions.

The bottom line, re: McCain...who cares?

Posted by: scootmandubious | August 3, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"PEARLSTEIN (7/29/09): The reason I mention all this is because the liberal leadership of the House wants to pay for health-care reform in part by imposing an income tax surcharge on households earning more than $350,000 a year.

Personally, I don't think that's a good idea. We're already spending—and wasting—so much more than any other country on health care that we can surely pay for universal coverage within existing health expenditures. What's needed is not more money but the political will to lower the costs of the health-care system while redistributing its benefits.

But if Congress is unable to muster that political will, then the next-best option is to pay for health reform by raising taxes. And given the increasingly unequal distribution of income, it makes both political and economic sense to raise most of that money from upper-income households."

Posted by: edlharris | August 3, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If we made contributions to candidates from industry groups illegal, we might actually be allowed public policy that represented citizens rather than transnational corporations. But right now, corporations own our legislators and we will see nothing that benefits taxpayers in this country until that changes.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

On Friday, Steve Pearlstein wrote that in the US healthcare system, which spends twice as much as Western European countries, there is enough wasteful spending that could be saved to finance the public option.

Posted by: edlharris | August 3, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"McC previously supported abandoning the employer centered health care system [a good goal, IMHO] but his proposal of tax credits to compensate individuals in substantial part for their premiums, and for the encouragement of co-op buying, were elementary and only touched "insurance", not underlying aggregate health care or its costs.

I only point this out because the Prez has now suggested he would favor some of this and that McC does have some ideas."

I recall the Senator's support for severing the de facto tie between employement & health insurance - and I favor that as well. What I don't see is McCain promoting that, or any other, idea at the moment. Furthermore, he seems to ignore that the President has demonstrated willingness to include or consider some of those ideas - which refutes McCain's claim of being shut out, does it not?

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 3, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

When McCain critizes his own party, liberals love him and tell us other r's should be like him. Aw, but let McCain critize Obama, he quickly becomes an old hack. McCain has built his career on bi-partisanship. So he knows when a President is being a sheer partisan. Obama will never pass a public healthcare because most americans view him with distrust and rightly so. Obama and John Boehner should get together and open a used car dealership. They both have hands on experience and know how to BS people.

Posted by: vbhoomes | August 3, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Don't y'all remember McCain's 'ideas' on health care? Funny, they were the very same as the insurance industry's, and they consisted mainly of -- deregulating the insurance companies, which would accomplish pretty much nothing except creating greater profits for the industry and killing more Americans by denying them the care they paid for.

Posted by: drindl | August 3, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, McC previously supported abandoning the employer centered health care system [a good goal, IMHO] but his proposal of tax credits to compensate individuals in substantial part for their premiums, and for the encouragement of co-op buying, were elementary and only touched "insurance", not underlying aggregate health care or its costs.

I only point this out because the Prez has now suggested he would favor some of this and that McC does have some ideas.

But we still have no one but the Prez really talking about the aggregate costs. I do not even know if his ideas about subsidizing nurses who go into clinic practice or GP Docs are addressed in any of the bills. These were good cost containment ideas, IMO.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 3, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Margaret, I cannot help but agree with your general sentiment. Here is an AP story about the general misconceptions spread by largely R disinformation.

Because I believe that the inflation of aggregate health care costs at 4x the CPI is so dangerous to the economy as to be the one most basic problem with American health care [and I think the Prez agrees] I look for voices in the legislative branch who might be making constructive proposals to attack aggregate cost growth.

I despaired this morning when I heard on NPR that the average male child is on the 'puter seven hours per day.
The next generation of diabetic fat people will destroy us, I fear.

Ds in the lege seem unaware of actual aggregate health problems and concentrate on "insurance", the problems of which you are well aware. As I have posted here before, the for-profit carriers are subsidized by the fed insuring the elderly [me, for example] and the disabled, while they get to insure the young, the healthy, and the employed. Surely regulating med insurance as we would a public utility is not too radical a thought. But however we deal with "insurance" we have not dealt with national health in the aggregate.

So if a R were to tie the USDA school food program to no coke machines in schools, and if someone like Grassley [from IA] demanded balanced meals in the public schools as a price for USDA food, I would think it was a big deal, and a good one.

I apologize for the rant.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 3, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The man who selected Sarah Palin as his running mate has proven that he doesn't have the judgment or the temperment to handle the difficult issues of the day. His recent cry for attention is understandable, but really, let's keep him away from anything serious.

Posted by: gmcduluth | August 3, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The real reason McCain and his fellow Senators on both sides of the aisle block and delay health care for America's poor and their children are bribes from the health care lobbyists.

The biggest beneficiaries in the Senate included McCain, with $546,000; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with $425,000; and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), with $413,000.

McCain is just another crooked political on the take.

Posted by: coloradodog | August 3, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I didn't watch the CNN video, but did read the text. Perhaps the editors are at fault, but what is missing is any constructive input from Sen McCain on what health care reform should entail. He's complaining about not being involved, but fails to mention what good ideas he or his party has that have been left out.

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 3, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't it true that this gentleman has enjoyed full health insurance coverage paid for by the united states government since he first breathed air? (his father was a navy lifer). i mean, with his wealthy wife, his too many to remember homes, and his own income, it isn't like he really needs the help.

furthermore, if the emerging health bill is free of any republican contribution, its not because they have not been invited, repeatedly. they've preferred to sit on the sidelines and let the limbaughs, hannitys, and becks do their talking for them.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | August 3, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I think McCain is a nice guy, and he plays the game less than most Republicans.

That said, the GOP doesn't want reform of health care. They are content with the status quo because it operates under their free market ideal -- the same ideal that has run the stock market into the ditch, the banks into the ditch, American industry into the ditch, the unemployed into the ditch, etc -- and has made quality health care available only to people with enough income to have 5 figures a year to pay for it.

We hear about the 47 million who don't have coverage. What about the other 50 million or so for whom the current health care system is such a finacial burdern that it threatens their families well-being and prevents them from saving for their retirement?

The GOP's current philosophy towards all Democratic policy proposals is to denounce, deny, delay and derail. That's how they are helping the voters.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 3, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

What do they have to offer but Health savings accounts and Tax breaks ? They have to realize they are now a regional party on the fringe of American politics. Their input would only mean making concessions which would result in unsatisfactory reform. Remember, they are perfectly happy with the status quo. In the previous 17 years did they ever mention reforming health care ?

Posted by: Falmouth1 | August 3, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Margaret, Parker, Truble, and others yet to post:

please read the cited link before you jump on McC. His criticism is not the now standard knee-jerk by any means. For those too pressed for time, some excerpts:
“I think they may have over learned the lesson of the Clinton proposal in '93, McCain added, “where they were totally specific proposals. Now there's not enough.”

“Oh, yes,” McCain said when asked whether Sen. Ted Kennedy presence was missed in the health care debate on Capitol Hill.
And when he said that the SenHELPCOM bill was a one party effort I do not think that was an unfair characterization.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | August 3, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

McCain is getting old, so he probably doesn't remember from day-to-day that the election is over with...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 3, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The congressional GOP feels they are being left out of the legislative process?

When they remember to use their positions to put forward intelligent legislation that moves this country up and out of the hole they dug for us this past 8 years, then perhaps they will be listened to. In the meantime, they continue to whine and bluster at an attentive press that feeds their empty words to the public while they put forward NOTHING. The Party of No has nothing for us. It is much easier for them to gas on than to initiate anything of substance.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | August 3, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, John, but I'm not going to take seriously the rantings of any one uninformed (willfully or otherwise) enough to think that Sarah Palin was ready to run this country.

Posted by: truble2301 | August 3, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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