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Polling shows Democrats losing health care PR fight

1. Democrats are losing the public relations fight over the health care overhaul currently being debated in Congress, according to data in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Majorities believe the costs of their own health care as well as the nation's overall health care will rise if the bill becomes a law. Just 37 percent believe the quality of care they receive will be better under the new plan as compared to 53 percent who said the care would be superior if the status quo was maintained. One bright spot in the numbers for the Obama administration: a slim majority -- 51 percent -- said that government intervention is "necessary to control costs and expand coverage" while 46 percent said that the plan will do "more harm than good." The problem in trying to sell the American public on the overhaul of a major social program is that raising doubts is far easier than calming nerves. The bill is, by nature, sweeping in scope and confusing to the average American who doesn't read Ezra Klein every day. In the face of complexity, the easier answer -- "no" -- almost always wins out. That simple fact is why passing some sort of health care bill is only half the battle. The other half will be in going out across the country in 2010 and selling it. That work will fall, primarily, to members of Congress, and how they succeed at it may make or break many a political career.

2. Cross Missouri Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton off the list of potential retirees in 2010. In a statement to the Fix, Skelton political adviser Ken Morley was unequivocal: "Without doubt, Chairman Skelton will seek reelection and will be making a formal announcement later this year." That pronouncement should be greeted with a sigh of relief in Democratic ranks as Skelton was widely speculated on as a potential retirement. Skelton's full speed ahead decision doesn't mean he is out of the woods electorally, however. Republicans have aggressively recruited against Skelton -- former state representative Vicky Hartzler is the preferred candidate of national Republicans -- and the west-central 4th district went strongly for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008. It's also not clear whether Skelton, who hasn't dipped below 60 percent of the vote since 1982(!) is ready for a full-scale campaign although his association with Morley, who managed Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's 2008 race, is a good sign. With Skelton and Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas) formally declaring their intentions to run, speculation turns to the likes of Reps. John Spratt (S.C.), Vic Snyder (Ark.), Marion Berry (Ark.) Leonard Boswell (Iowa) and Ben Chandler (Ky.). ALSO READ: Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.) dismisses as "baloney" talk that he might retire in 2010.

3. Keep an eye on former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean (Vt.) in the final days of negotiations on the Senate health care bill. Dean, a doctor, is a hero to many liberals from his 2004 presidential bid and his tenure at the head of the party, and still has the ear of some of the more progressive senators. Dean made news on Tuesday in an interview with Vermont Public Radio when he suggested the best course of action now was to "kill the bill" rather than pass the legislation off as real reform. In an interview on MSNBC's "Countdown" Tuesday night, Dean doubled down on his opposition insisting "this is not real reform, it's not health care reform where there are no choices." He added that the current bill mirrored that which was passed in Massachusetts by then Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and slammed Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and others as "pro insurance." It's still hard for us to see liberals in Congress abandoning the Obama administration on final passage of a health care bill but Dean's outspoken opposition should not be discounted as he speaks for much of the party's base, which is deeply unhappy about the compromises being made.

4. For the last month or so, former Florida state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) has had all the momentum in his Senate primary race against Gov. Charlie Crist (R). Now comes a Rasmussen Research poll that shows the race tied at 43 percent, a dramatic gain for Rubio since Rasmussen last polled the race in October. While the poll is likely to bolster Rubio and his supporters, it seems to paint a rosier picture than other survey data on the race. Take a late October Quinnipiac poll for example that showed Crist's lead over Rubio narrowing but with the governor still ahead 50 percent to 35 percent. That poll seems slightly more in line with the current state of the race than the Rasmussen survey; neither candidate is doing any serious voter contact (TV ads) just yet so a significant change in the numbers seem somewhat unlikely. What is clear, however, is that Rubio's strides have woken up Crist and his team. Daily now, releases come across the transom from Crist hitting Rubio as less conservative than he says he is -- Crist scored a direct hit last week when Rubio acknowledged he would have accepted some of the economic stimulus funds for the state.

5. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) makes his maiden presidential voyage to New Hampshire today, speaking to and helping to raise money for state Senate Republicans in Concord. Tpaw's address will focus heavily on his personal story -- raised in a blue collar family, first in his family to go to college -- and the needs to reach out beyond the traditional Republican base to expand the party, according to a source briefed on the remarks. Pawlenty will also make a stop at the headquarters of the Manchester Union-Leader (and its influential conservative editorial page) to begin a courting process that he hopes will end with the Leader endorsement in the 2012 primary contest. (The paper endorsed Sen. John McCain in 2008 -- he won -- and Steve Forbes in 2000 -- he didn't.)

6. Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro's call to "recall" Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) might not have any literal significance -- there isn't a recall provision in Nutmeg State law -- but from a symbolic perspective it's quite interesting. DeLauro and her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, are extremely close personal friends with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel -- he lived in their basement when he was serving in Congress. Emanuel has been blamed by the liberal left for coddling and kowtowing to Lieberman in the health care debate, making DeLauro's outspoken opposition to the Connecticut Independent all the more intriguing.

7. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is using former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to raise money, painting a picture of what Washington would be like "if a bunch of new senators -- inspired by Sarah Palin and the tea party crowd -- took over." The fundraising appeal, written by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, goes on to cite efforts by Senate candidates like Rob Simmons (Conn.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) to court Palin and the conservative wing of the party she represents; "if they win, they will be doing the bidding of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their legions of fans," adds Kerry. Palin has now entered vaunted territory -- not only is she the biggest fundraising draw for Republicans (and don't let anyone tell you differently) but she is also a major incentive for Democrats to give money as well. It's a sign of her political potency -- for good and for ill.

8. ICYMI: In our "Live Fix" chat yesterday, we offered our list of the Senate races that just missed our top 10 of the decade. Among the honorable mentions: South Dakota 2002 -- Tim Johnson (D) vs John Thune (R), Michigan 2000 -- Debbie Stabenow (D) vs Spence Abraham (R), Washington 2000 -- Maria Cantwell (D) vs Slate Gordon (R), New Hampshire 2002 -- Jeanne Shaheen (D) vs John Sununu (R), Tennessee 2006 -- Harold Ford Jr. (D) vs Bob Corker (R). Did we miss any?

9. The Post's "Political Stump" quiz today focuses on "hot House seats." WHOAH. Take it -- if you dare.

10. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its first test flight on Tuesday from Seattle to, um, Seattle. The plane is made of plastics rather than aluminum and is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the current fleets. (Check out this AWESOME graphic of the plane and its innovations.) "Is it a relief? Yes," said Mike Carriker, the pilot who flew the Dreamliner. "Was it great fun? Yes. Would I like to go and get another 80,000 pounds of gas and good weather and go again, you bet I would."

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 16, 2009; 5:29 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: David Paterson's political comeback?
Next: Bob McDonnell: Campaign of the Year

Comments

http://www.massresistance.org
http://www.drjudithreisman.org
http://www.silentscream.org
Also google Boston Children's Hospital Sex Change Clinic
Also Amazon.com You're Teaching My Child What?
Also Dawn Stefanowicz Out from Under
Also Planned Parenthood

Posted by: boski66 | December 17, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

http://www.massresistance.org
http://www.drjudithreisman.org
http://www.silentscream.org
Also google Boston Children's Hospital Sex Change Clinic
Also Amazon.com You're Teaching My Child What?
Also Dawn Stefanowicz Out From Under
Also Planned Parenthood

Posted by: boski66 | December 17, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

They are reporting that Obama EXCEEDED NATIONAL DEBT LIMIT WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.

They say they have Enron-type "accounting tools" to cover them.


This is another cause for impeachment.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 16, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

They are reporting that Obama EXCEEDED NATIONAL DEBT LIMIT WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.

They say they have Enron-type "accounting tools" to cover them.


This is another cause for impeachment.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 16, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

ped arrives. flush away.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Careful with the "personal attacks".

==

Mind your own goddamn business

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

ZOUK:

Careful with the "personal attacks".

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

These nicknames are a sign of his affection for the politicos involved.

==

I agree with the other guy, they're stupid.

Affection toward a lying bore like Pawlenty? I'd rather kiss a snapping turtle.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it interesting that the minute fact, debate, reason and evidence emerge, the moonbat loons scurry for the door?

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, mark_in_austin. Don't you worry about the lack of ambulance chasers here in the Golden State ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Jake, the Rand study you linked [thanx, btw] alluded to the same point about the self selection of plaintiff's cases weeding out a substantial number of claims based on the cap limitation and its relation to the cost of litigation. I quote:

"Even without MICRA, malpractice attorneys would be highly selective in evaluating new clients because malpractice cases have a relatively low rate of plaintiff victory at trial and carry with them high costs for expert medical witnesses, which are almost always borne solely by the attorney if there is no recovery. With MICRA’s cap on non-economic award size and its limits on contingency fees, potential plaintiffs who have incurred only low economic costs would have an even more difficult time finding representation, even if they might stand a good chance of receiving a high-value non-economic damage award from a jury."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Wooooo... Today is the anniversry of the Boston Tea Party ! wooooooooo

A day for all eastern elites, free lunchers, and other government dependents to change into their CCCP tee-shirts and go to the lowest point in their residence and hide until tomorrow when the pain of the memory of this American history goes away.

woooooo....

Posted by: leapin | December 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

No, closing the courthouse door would tantamount to sterilizing every female in order to limit abortion, so no one is seriously suggesting that. I believe that ZOUK brought up "Stop letting the trial lawyers make a bundle off junk lawsuits
" (and MICRA limits contingency fees too). Once we were able to reign that in, then we could look at the 1 in a million case that "unjustly" was limited. That's what my suggestion would do.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Jake, I know you were not intentionally playing word games, but I suggested the best way to handle the claims, not the best way to limit them. The best way to limit them is to close the courthouse door, of course. But the best way to let meritorious cases be weeded from unmeritorious ones is the expert panel.

Capping in CA and TX has limited claims to torts resulting in death or brain injury b/c the cost of litigation would not justify a mere claim of negligently severed nerve causing drop foot, for instance. It has not dealt with segregating "good" big claims from "bad" ones. It has essentially limited the real problem, as I see it, to big cases, while creating a new problem of no recourse, for small ones.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin (not sure how med mal is handled in Texas, but we've had good results here in California):

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9071/index1.html

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I beg to differ, mark_in_austin. The BEST way to limit malpractice claims is to cap non-economic damages (here in California, that's $250,000 for medical malpractice cases) and loser pays.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The rejection is not so much about "healthcare reform" as it is a rejection of neocom statism.

Posted by: leapin | December 16, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, the best way to handle malpractice claims is to have a filtering mechanism of experts. That avoids both bad faith law suits and most good faith but ill advised ones. The latter category is composed of lawsuits filed to obtain the records the hospital is suppressing, in the first instance. In the most typical filtering review, the panel of experts gets all the records, and advises both parties if the suit has merit. If the plaintiff goes on with an advisedly unmeritorious claim, the loser pays rule is in effect against the lawyer. Conversely, the panel decision that a case has merit is likely to lead to an early settlement.

I would have liked to have seen the Rs at least attempt to tack panel review of claims on the bill.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Zouk@12:05, always talking about himself. It gets so boring.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 16, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

PS, I am not claiming to have all the answers to every problem available in 100 words or less.

But I think it is clear that the Democrats have really messed this up and need to return to the drawing board and really open their eyes and ears if they want to succeed.

not one of "my" ideas was even considered. It is not clear that they are so obviously wrong. Would it be a disaster to look them over?

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

1. you do not necessarily need a large number of companies to provide competition and profit motive. how many cell phone providers are there? As profits emerge, more businesses enter the fray. I think there are lots of insurance companies. the end of heavy regulation would entice many to reconsider.
2. to end abuse, let the consumer take a role in reviewing the bill. I never even look at my health insurance bills since "someone else" is paying. My car repair bills however......
3. you can obtain single coverage right now from BCBS and others. We do it with our employees.
4. most insurance policies do not cover maintenence and repair yet health insurance does. insurance is meant to pay for unbudgeted large ticket items. Let the individual consumer decide.
5. there is a a way to protect consumers without handing fortunes to trial lawyers, loser pays for example. the courts are jammed with frivolity and the lawyers drum up business that is not proper. the doctors have to pay to protect themselves, etc.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't hate lawyers : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

simple really - unfettered free market capitalism think Lasik, think plastic surgery, think cell phones and laptops.

eliminate the artificial borders between states
Allow cafeteria style plans instead on one size fits all
Cut out the government regulation that strangles everyone with paperwork
eliminate the employer sponsored aspect and let the consumer decide based on prices and reputation
stop paying for every last little thing that ever goes wrong with someone
Stop letting the trial lawyers make a bundle off junk lawsuits

But it all sounds so anti-Obama doesn't it?

All effective answers do.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:52 AM

How many insurance companies out there provide health insurance? I bet nothing like the number providing Lasik. You need a large number to provide that competition. So how do you get the few insurance companies to go along with this idea? How do you create more insurance companies?

Cutting Government regulation sounds nice. Who likes paper work. How will you ensure abuse does not occur by the insurance companies.

"eliminate the employer sponsored aspect and let the consumer decide based on prices and reputation"

This is all that I know. I've only received my health insurance via plans offered by my company. How do you help me make this transition?

"stop paying for every last little thing that ever goes wrong with someone"

Not sure what you mean by this.

"Stop letting the trial lawyers make a bundle off junk lawsuits"

Everyone hates lawyers but how do you ensure a person gets fair treatment for injuries received. If I am a victim of malpractice, setting artificial numbers for compensation seems unfair.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | December 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

He was not elected to benefit the Fat Cats of Wall street.

Just the ones that donate to liberals.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, I hope this isn't as outrageous as it first appears. All the defenders of Obama's love affair with bankers better hope so.

"The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued an exception to long-standing tax rules for the benefit of Citigroup and a few other companies partially owned by the government. As a result, Citigroup will be allowed to retain billions of dollars worth of tax breaks that otherwise would decline in value when the government sells its stake to private investors.

While the Obama administration has said taxpayers are likely to profit from the sale of the Citigroup shares, accounting experts said the lost tax revenue could easily outstrip those profits."

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

the moonbat has been over caffeinated again.

very prolific in an idiotic sort of way.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

1) Failure to expand health coverage will mean something like 150,000 people die prematurely over the next 10 years. 2) Lieberman's statements and actions provide ample evidence that among his leading motives are a desire to stick it to the lefties.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein does a terrific job of taking down Charles Lane today -- check it out. He also cuts to th heart of this politicized moral and human issues, as few journalists have had the courage to do:

" And that's why it's important to talk, at least occasionally, in terms of lives, rather than retreating to the safe sterility of policies. It makes the stakes clear, when otherwise they are all too easy to forget amidst the daily soap opera of the public option."

Hundreds of thousands will die unnessesarily because of the failure of this bill, because of a few prima donna sellouts like Lieberman.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

post a solution to the healthcare problem.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

simple really - unfettered free market capitalism think Lasik, think plastic surgery, think cell phones and laptops.

eliminate the artificial borders between states
Allow cafeteria style plans instead on one size fits all
Cut out the government regulation that strangles everyone with paperwork
eliminate the employer sponsored aspect and let the consumer decide based on prices and reputation
stop paying for every last little thing that ever goes wrong with someone
Stop letting the trial lawyers make a bundle off junk lawsuits

But it all sounds so anti-Obama doesn't it?

All effective answers do.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Sheep who do the bidding of insurance and oil company billionaires. Sheep who wllingly lead themselves to the slaughter:

"Today, Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing group founded by oil billionaire David Koch and run by astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, organized a “Code Red” lobbying day to “kill” health reform before a vote by Christmas.

The organizers of the event are busing people in from as far as North Carolina and New York to listen to speeches from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Following the rally, protesters are expected to visit Senate offices to “pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor.”

Earlier in the day, a small group of tea party activists went to the Senate office buildings to plead their case. ThinkProgress went with the delegation from Kentucky to visit Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) office.

In the conference room, the very first protester to speak said that if the country dissolved, he would move to the first state that seceded. After his speech, fellow protesters began giving their views about fascism, the President’s birth certificate, and ways to avoid paying taxes."

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Relatively few new people will get health insurance. The costs of coverage are too high, the subsidies too shallow and the punitive fines too low to force people to buy policies they don't want and think they don't need. What young, childless couple is going to pay 8 percent to 12 percent of their income for insurance rather than just pay the $1,000 fine for not having coverage? Oddly, this bill is really just a tax on the uninsured.


Reimbursements under Medicare are likely to continue to drop, forcing more and more providers to refuse to treat patients under the program.

But Obama is left with the symbol of a victory but not much substance. He will still sign the bill -- if it ever passes -- with great fanfare, but the substance of the legislation will be painfully thin.

We haven't dodged the bullet yet. The left is still to be heard from. But the momentum against the bill and the focus on its worst provisions is paying off. Keep up the pressure!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.


meanwhile:

COPENHAGEN — The Copenhagen climate change conference appeared to be imploding from within and exploding from without on Wednesday. (snip) Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), (snip) urged attendees to put aside their differences and "make Friday our day of success."

I thought this was the US senate at first but on further inspection just realized it is the liberal way of doing things. run around like a lunatic and yell a lot about what everyone else won't do for you.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It's easier to add when you get to make up the numbers. Call it New Math. Cue Tom Lehrer:

From the three you then use one
To make ten ones...
(And you know why four plus minus one
Plus ten is fourteen minus one?
'Cause addition is commutative, right.)
And so you have thirteen tens,
And you take away seven,
And that leaves five...

Well, six actually.
But the idea is the important thing.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

And here's more that goes right to the heart of the PR fight. These poor brainwashed lunatics are pretty easy to scare-- and look at all the money behind it -- the oil and healthcare industries, AM radio and cable TV and the rightwing political machine:

"Today, Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing group founded by oil billionaire David Koch and run by astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, organized a “Code Red” lobbying day to “kill” health reform before a vote by Christmas.

The organizers of the event are busing people in from as far as North Carolina and New York to listen to speeches from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Following the rally, protesters are expected to visit Senate offices to “pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor.”

Earlier in the day, a small group of tea party activists went to the Senate office buildings to plead their case. ThinkProgress went with the delegation from Kentucky to visit Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) office. Despite the fact that Bunning’s staff told them that the senator would speak directly with them, the tea partiers were met by legislative staffers who listened to their impassioned grievances.

In the conference room, the very first protester to speak said that if the country dissolved, he would move to the first state that seceded. After his speech, fellow protesters began giving their views about fascism, the President’s birth certificate, and ways to avoid paying taxes. Some highlights of the concerns they raised while waiting for the senator and then in the conference room:

– “But the bottom line is Obama needs to resign and go join a liars club.”

– “We’re going to take from you and we’re going to give to those who don’t work. And on the other side of the coin, Adolf Hitler said the same thing.”

– “We have a lot of people who are ‘birthers,’ but if the President was a legal resident and he has documentation, if he were an honorable person and aboveboard, I think the first thing he would do is say, ‘Here it is.’”

– “Yeah, but then he went to the Middle East and all the Muslim countries and when he spoke he admitted he was a Muslim. He said the most beautiful sound he ever heard was the call to prayer, and he was speaking Arabic also.”

– “How can we withhold our taxes?“

P.T. Barnum was so right.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Thus the president finishes his first year in office with his popularity in free fall, his party dispirited and divided, and almost certain punishment at the polls only 46 weeks away. Some House Democrats are already retiring, and donors would have to be crazy to give money to a Democratic challenger.

Democrats should go home and enjoy Christmas instead of playing Grinch to the seniors of America by passing this attack on Medicare. But they won't, because the president wants his "legacy law," even if it is built on the betrayal of every Medicare beneficiary as well as future generations burdened by the massive deficits built into Obamacare.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The Dems are using Sarah Palin in a fundraising appeal from JOHN KERRY? Really. JOHN KERRY. The biggest dope in recent memory to get his party's nomination for president. Yet more evidence as to just how out-of-touch the Democrats are. Better keep those welfare checks coming, Obama, or else your base won't have any money to donate.

Posted by: right-wing_genius | December 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

1) At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”


2) The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age. -- Kenneth Watt, Ecologist


3) A high-priority government report warns of climate change that will lead to floods and starvation. ‘Leading climatologists’ speak of a ‘detrimental global climatic change,’ threatening ‘the stability of most nations.’ The scenario is eerily familiar although the document — never made public before — dates from 1974. But here’s the difference: it was written to respond to the threat of global cooling, not warming. And yes, it even mentions a ‘consensus’ among scientists. -- Maurizio Morabito


I meant warming, WARMING. Make that warming.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@armpeg | December 16, 2009 8:46 AM

You know I can make up my own math problems to prove my points. Congrats you can add.

Capitalism is the way to go but unregulated capitalism is a cancer.

For all your rants, I have never seen you post a solution to the healthcare problem. Please what do you suggest would be a good solution. I will make it easy on you. Speak in general terms no details necessary.


Posted by: ModerateVoter | December 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And here's more that goes right to the heart of the PR fight. These poor brainwashed lunatics are pretty easy to scare-- and look at all the money behind it -- the oil and healthcare industries, AM radio and cable TV and the rightwing political machine:

"Today, Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing group founded by oil billionaire David Koch and run by astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, organized a “Code Red” lobbying day to “kill” health reform before a vote by Christmas.

The organizers of the event are busing people in from as far as North Carolina and New York to listen to speeches from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Following the rally, protesters are expected to visit Senate offices to “pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor.”

Earlier in the day, a small group of tea party activists went to the Senate office buildings to plead their case. ThinkProgress went with the delegation from Kentucky to visit Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) office. Despite the fact that Bunning’s staff told them that the senator would speak directly with them, the tea partiers were met by legislative staffers who listened to their impassioned grievances.

In the conference room, the very first protester to speak said that if the country dissolved, he would move to the first state that seceded. After his speech, fellow protesters began giving their views about fascism, the President’s birth certificate, and ways to avoid paying taxes. Some highlights of the concerns they raised while waiting for the senator and then in the conference room:

– “But the bottom line is Obama needs to resign and go join a liars club.”

– “We’re going to take from you and we’re going to give to those who don’t work. And on the other side of the coin, Adolf Hitler said the same thing.”

– “We have a lot of people who are ‘birthers,’ but if the President was a legal resident and he has documentation, if he were an honorable person and aboveboard, I think the first thing he would do is say, ‘Here it is.’”

– “Yeah, but then he went to the Middle East and all the Muslim countries and when he spoke he admitted he was a Muslim. He said the most beautiful sound he ever heard was the call to prayer, and he was speaking Arabic also.”

– “How can we withhold our taxes?“

P.T. Barnum was so right.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

And old dick armey -- the Industry Front Group King, right in front, leading the teabagger sheep to his and the healthcare industry's bididng:

During today’s AFP-sponsored “Code Red” anti-health reform rally on Capitol Hill, one of the speakers — former House Majority Leader and current corporate defender Dick Armey — derided MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. Armey was prepared to introduce Sen. Tom Coburn (whom he bizarrely referred to as “Doc Colbin” a couple of times), but Coburn wasn’t there yet. So instead, he told a story that was a shot at Maddow:

ARMEY: The last time [Coburn] and I were together, I had the amazing opportunity to watch him receive a lecture on health care from a woman named, uh, uh, uh, “Maddox.” A television personality. Who I’m told has a Ph.D. in something that doesn’t matter.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Look -- it's a war on Christmas:

'Conservatives turned out on Capitol Hill yesterday for a “Code Red Rally” to “kill” health care reform legislation, organized by groups such as the right-wing Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The Tax Day Tea Party website promoted the event by appealing to Americans to make a “sacrifice” right before Christmas and promised plans for a controversial “die-in“:

We call this plan “Government Waiting Rooms”. The intention is to go inside the Senate offices and hallways, and play out the role of patients waiting for treatment in government controlled medical facilities. As the day goes on some of us will pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor. [...]

We know it’s a sacrifice to do this right before Christmas. But throughout history American Patriots have made far greater sacrifices than this to protect our liberty. Now the burden (and the honor) falls on us.

ThinkProgress attended the rally and the subsequent dispersal to Senate offices, and we observed no die-ins. One activist we spoke with confirmed that the original die-in strategy wasn’t going on, but didn’t seem to know what had happened. However, the events of the day did take up the mantle of co-opting Christmas as the season to “kill the bill.”

At a small gathering this morning in Upper Senate Park, Tea Party activists sang The 12 Days of Christmas, refashioned with lyrics about the problems under President Obama. Later on at a larger gathering organized by AFP, both Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham invoked Christmas as a reason to defeat reform. "

Yes, the Christmas spirit is all about hate politics.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I knew it! It was either this or lobbying....

"Independent' Sen. Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who sits with Democratic caucus, said Tuesday that he would not rule out running for re-election in 2012 as a Republican. Lieberman angered his colleagues in the Democratic caucus this week by threatening to torpedo health care legislation if it contains a government-run public health insurance or an expansion of Medicare.

Former Sen. Lowell Weicker, who Lieberman defeated in the 1970s, was interviewed about his former rival. “He was basically elected as a Republican when he lost the Democratic primary,” Weicker said. “It was the Republicans who put him into office. Yes, I am an independent. I don’t think Sen. Lieberman is an independent.”

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I get the difference. Thanx, shrink.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) - A former office manager for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy has been charged with conspiring to defraud the Senate of more than $75,000 in pay and bonuses. Authorities charge that 39-year-old Ngozi T. Pole filled out paperwork to improperly boost his salary and bonus payments. He has been charged with wire fraud and theft of government property.

Just another Lib. ""do you know who I am?????""

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

During the same speech, he asked his audience to “let me just be clear” that his administration, having racked up the biggest budget deficits ever, is embracing fiscal responsibility.

Cartoon present ident

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

What about:

Oklahoma 2004: Coburn (R) v. Carson (D)? Not too close in the votes but close up until then and pretty nasty too.

Posted by: maths887 | December 16, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse


$150 Hooters gift card -- they sure understand their target.


As a marketer, I have to laugh, sadly. Brilliant. The very same people who are going to suffer the most when this legislation fails and healthcare costs continue to spiral out of control, until the average family, in only a few years, is simply not going to be able to afford any at all.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I mean about Republican PR and buying support. They are just so much better at nasty business:

The US Chamber of Commerce — one of the Obama Administration’s staunchest opponents — is using “incentivized” web ads to get people involved in their campaign to fight health care reform. The incentive? A $150 gift card for Hooters. TPM Muckraker reports that pop-up ads offer readers the gift cards in exchange for completing surveys, one of which is sponsored by the Chamber and urges people to sign up for free emails about “how to protect your family’s future and bring common sense solutions to the health-care debate”:

The Hooters card is the draw. Blinking pop-up ads and web pages offer readers the card in return for entering their names and personal information, and filling out a survey asking if they want to sign up for various offers. …

Readers who sign up to receive the Chamber’s anti-reform emails are then enlisted in the business lobby’s campaign in a more active way — for instance, by being asked to send letters to lawmakers."

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"What is a gluelam? neve ran across this before."


Also called engineered lumber. Rather than trying to cut a beam out of a tree, glue smaller pieces together to your exact specifications.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 16, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

A beam made of a bunch of boards glued together.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What is a gluelam? neve ran across this before.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

You mentioned it briefly in one of your answers yesterday, but in your official list of honorable mentions, you left off Kay Hagan vs. Elizabeth Dole. Surely the defeat of who I believe you described as an icon should be included.

Posted by: jameshauser | December 16, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think it goes like this. Gluelams, like plywood are just stronger. Under static force, if wood bends and won't bend back, it has failed. Fatigue is not a static problem. A wooden bow can be left strung and it will not lose its strength. Fatigue comes from vibration and multiple insults, within tolerance stresses. For example, metal and composite helicopter blades wear out even if they are never overspun or flown overweight. Wooden ones do not (though they will rot!). Same with the spars on boats, they can be astonishingly old and they do not lose their springiness unless they are broken.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

These nicknames are a sign of his affection for the politicos involved.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Iran launches new long range weapon.

Democrats raise debt ceiling.

Polls show dissatisfaction with legislation.

Just another day under liberal leadership

leap off the precipice. Go ahead.

Posted by: snowbama | December 16, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

What's with this "TPaw" thing? Is that like "Hizzoner" for the long-departed former mayor of NYC, Giuliani, who is no longer referred to as "Hizzoner" by anyone but you?

And why no cutesy nicknames for Democrats? What's your deal, anyway? I think it's all really stupid.

Posted by: swallen1 | December 16, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Chalk up another big flop in Denmark. All talk. No action.

Just another F on barrys report card. Still hoping for change; his first success.

Posted by: snowbama | December 16, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, bsimon. Shrink, lambeams are stronger over time than douglas fir beams because of the mutidirectional grain, as I understand it. Sustained load on a standard wood beam will cause deflection that eventually will not "bounce back". I consider that deformation a fatigue issue, but I may be completely wrong - the description of bent wood may not be a fatigue issue. Anybody [including you, shrink] know?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

That is a cool graphic.

It's a bit simplistic to say that composites don't fatigue, but accurate to say that they resist fatigue. A crack might start as a microscopic void and then propagate until you have a stress failure. That's the point of the carbon fibers. Very high tensile strength. So, the nascent crack hits a fiber and is stopped dead in its tracks. Something made of pure carbon fibers would probably be ludicrously expensive and difficult to form. So, a plastic embedded with carbon fibers has the strengths of the plastic (fusible, inexpensive) and carbon fiber (high strength).

A similar idea is used in a program that a friend of mine works on in which plastics are used for capacitors. [http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/doc.asp?CID=12382&DID=205187] Rather than a single plastic or a composite of two plastics, they use a structure with many alternating layers. A crack that starts in one layer is stopped by the next layer. Nanoengineering is cool stuff.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"The claim is made that composites will not fatigue. I am assuming that this is like saying plywood, with its crossplies, will not fatigue, although that analogy is limited because plywood delaminates under stress but composites do not decompose at stp."

Composites do not fatigue in the same way that metals fatigue. However, when composites do fail, they tend to fail catastrophically rather than bending first. Doing some research on carbon fiber seatposts for bicycles will produce lots of info on the subject, for one example.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

It is not plywood, but wood that does not fatigue (ancient violins, antique wooden helicopter blades, etc., good as new.

As for composites, heh, heh, Airbus pilots know they better not use those rudder pedals like they mean it. But the argument is whether the problem of vertical stabilizers departing in flight has to do with poor design or fatigue. Most people lean toward design, except the FAA and of course Airbus, they blame the pilots.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know about that myself, BB. I assume these tests have been run or it wouldn't be flying, but isn't it possible temperature extremes [cold and hot] could be a problem with plastics?

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

BB, check out the graphic in #10 [bsimon, you should, too]. The claim is made that composites will not fatigue. I am assuming that this is like saying plywood, with its crossplies, will not fatigue, although that analogy is limited because plywood delaminates under stress but composites do not decompose at stp. Still - BB - put on your physics hat and tell me if it is true that composites subjected to subzero temps minutes after take-off from
Austin, Phoenix, or Sacramento on a 100F day are not subject to fatigue.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

bsimon -- what media the republicans don't outright own -- like Drudge, AM radio and cable TV -- they manipulate far better than Dems do. They are much better at cultivating and leading around reporters by the nose, they do sound bites rather than substance, which the press loves, and they are just plain better at lying and demagoguing the issues.

And look at this -- the Post is supposedly a 'liberal' institution. Of course, all of us know is this total BS, but a lot of people beleive it. And so they read stuff like this column -- by and large negative about democrats and positive about republicans every single day -- and it says to them 'even liberals hate liberals.'

Unfortunately, Americans are too lazy to pay attention to what's really going on.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Gee whiz. What a surprise.

Obama, whom I was all for, every time the Republicans have screamed, kicked, & howled like spoiled rotten children, has gone spastic and frantic to appease them.

No wonder the Democrats have followed example, and basically said, "Go ahead, walk all over us," etc.

I am to the point of thinking the entire lot, Congress, and Obama's administration, needs to be fired.

Posted by: rm8471 | December 16, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

You beat me to do it, Joe:

"As for today's checklist (5):
Negative adver-, er, reporting on health care reform. Check.
Cherry-picked Rasmussen poll (does anyone outside Drudge/BroderWorld cite Rasmussen anymore for anything?). Check.
"Pawlenty in 2012" shout out. Check.
Gratuitous Phalin mention. Check.
No positive mention of the 44th President of the United States. "Check.

"While the poll is likely to bolster Rubio and his supporters, it seems to paint a rosier picture than other survey data on the race."

Rasmussen is owned by the republican party -- always more favorable to them than other survers, naturallly.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Ezra Klein's column is a MOST read these days.
Every hundred years, Donny MOST rises from the mist.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I have been anticipating Rubio Meeks as the donnybrook of 2010, everything in contrast, neither trying to be something he is not.
Lots of outside political forces involved, invested, it will be a classic or I will be sorely disappointed.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"There are some good Senate races coming up. It's hard to choose between Rubio/Crist/Meeks and Sestak/Specter/Toomey."

And, will there be more three-way races? Are there more little Hoffmans waiting to jump into races where the party nominates RINOs? Which incumbents are at risk from a primary challenge?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 16, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Hadn't noticed the blog spam. The Post is very good about deleting such posts.

With regards to BRAC, the Standard evidently doesn't understand it. It's designed to avoid that kind of interference. More FUD.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

2004 Mongiardo vs. Bunning was a classic too.

Posted by: ADS710 | December 16, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The Fix, in writing about healthcare, notes "the easier answer -- "no" -- almost always wins out."

This truism also relates to item number 5, in that this morning on MPR Pawlenty was quoted as saying that (I paraphrase), it is time to reward politicians with the 'courage' to say no, rather than the 'weakness' to say yes. This seems like a rebuttal to the ongoing efforts to paint the GOP as the party of No. Pawlenty wants to flip it and argue that sometimes no is better than yes. Which, of course, is true. The question is whether it is true when 'no' means keeping with an unsustainable status quo (healthcare) vs implementing necessary but potentially painful reforms. Circling back to item #1 on the agenda, look at this as another example of how the GOP has a better marketing team than the Dems, who are incapable of promoting a clear, coherent message.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 16, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

ChooseBestCandidate:

Now that they've lost Dr. Dean, they've lost. Thank God we were able delay long enough for enough people to see the truth. "Mandated" healthcare insurance was always going to be challenged in the courts anyway. Fear not, and do not let your heart be troubled.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

There are some good Senate races coming up. It's hard to choose between Rubio/Crist/Meeks and Sestak/Specter/Toomey.

Pass the popcorn!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"your knocked off, junk merchandise..."(???)

-=-=-=-=
talk about a polite insult ..-

:-)

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 16, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza, i like the newsformat - something for everyone yet its all there? nice, i say.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

huangzhixian171, this is a great place to advertise your knocked off, junk merchandise for free! You might get warned but you won't get banned.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

meanwhile this realization just raised its ugly head:

THREATS FOR VOTES Chicago style
"White House threatens Nebraska senator with closure of a crucial Air Force base in an attempt to obtain his critical vote on health care reform

First, they gave Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu $300 million in exchange for her vote in favor of Harry Reid's health care reform bill. That was bad enough. Now, the White House is playing games with our national security and using 10,000 military families as political pawns in an attempt to garner the vote of Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who has had very public misgivings about voting for the legislation because it holds provisions which would allocate federal funds to fund abortions.

According to the Weekly Standard, the White House is threatening to place Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base, home to U.S. Strategic Command and 10,000 military families, on the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission List."

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 16, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: huangzhixian171 | December 16, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

We are at the point where only the economy matters. According to the AP a few minutes ago, there is a bit of good news. The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments rose 8.9 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000 units. The gain represented strength in all areas of the country...
Applications for new building permits were also up, rising 6 percent to an annual rate of 584,000 units.

Good news for for America is bad news for Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious that the Socialist and Communist Obama worshippers posting here just don't understand what our capitalist system is all about that has made this country the richest, most powerful on the planet that has ever existed, because they want to change it to a Socialist/Communist government one, with a health care system along similar lines, all in the interest of 'fairness' and 'social justice'.
Thomas Sowell Economic Professor Emeritus and columnist for Creator Syndicate said it best in his recent column 'Random Thoughts'.

(re.'fairness' and 'social justice')
"(Just) what is YOUR 'Fair Share' of what someone else has worked for?"

(re. Comrade Obama's and the Democrap Socialists health care bill's economic realities)
Thomas Sowell: "Here is a math problem (for all the Obama worshipping liberal aholes on here): Assume that the legislation establishing government control of medical care is passed and that it brings down the cost of medical care."
(Mr. Thomas Sowell asks) "You pay $500 a year less for your medical care, but the new costs put on employers is passed on to consumers, so that you pay $300 a year more for groceries and $200 a year more for gasoline, while the new mandates put on insurance companies raise your premiums by $300 a year, how much money have you saved?"

The stupidity and the naivety of the Obamatrons on here are truly amazing. They actually believe the Obama/Democrap Socialist con that spending gazillion dollars and three times what President George W. Bush ever spent in his 8 years in office, with all these new Socialist and Communist-like programs, will save money and NOT increase the taxes on working people. Not one of these morons has ever figured out that no business or corporation in the USA actually pays taxes. What taxes they do pay, all come from the pockets of the working people, because all businesses and corporations include THEIR TAXES in the price of their products or services. The bottom line then is that any tax increase on business by the Obama administration and the Democrap Socialists, will simply increase the cost of everything we working people buy and use.

Posted by: armpeg | December 16, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

It is hard to believe these anti-health reform "polls" when just months ago reputable legitimate polls showed 77% of Americans support health care reform WITH a public option. Clearly, polls are affected by one faux cable network that devotes almost its entire broadcast day to attacking Obama and health care reform.
______

As for today's checklist (5):
Negative adver-, er, reporting on health care reform. Check.
Cherry-picked Rasmussen poll (does anyone outside Drudge/BroderWorld cite Rasmussen anymore for anything?). Check.
"Pawlenty in 2012" shout out. Check.
Gratuitous Phalin mention. Check.
No positive mention of the 44th President of the United States. Check.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 16, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

That "PR fight" suddenly becomes a lot easier if actual legislation is passed. Avery moderate bill with no public option and very other easy targets for Republicans is a simple sell for the president.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 16, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein's column is a most read these days, and send him a big pat on the back from the Fix crew, CC.

Skelton will win with 65%. He is an institution in Missouri. Also Boswell just sent out Holiday cards asking for money so I dont see him retiring anytime soon.

Dean's opposition will actually probably help the moderates in Congress in the long run because they can now say "this isn't a liberal or a conservative bill. Its a moderate compromise." On that same note, the democrats will turn the public opinion on the healthcare bill once they have a bill to defend. It will be similar to the prescription drug bill passed by the Bush administration. Nobody liked it when it passed, but 6 months later most people would call it a huge success.

Lastly, Rubio is going to beat Crist. Rubio's supporters dont' care if he might have taken some fo the stimulus, they don't listen to reason. They rely on anger to make their decisions and they have made up their minds that Crist is a liberal. Nothing is going to change that. It will be nice to welcome Senator Meeks to Washington next January

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 16, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

The ads on TV paid for by private insurance companies are scaring people. The insurers don't want reform as it would cut into their profits. They want to be able to refuse claims and drop people as they choose.

Posted by: brownshopbears2000 | December 16, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

It only took 24 hours for 2 out of 5 of yesterday's Democratic Death Watch List to contact the Fix and say "Don't bury me 'cause I'm not dead yet."

Thank you for the depressing but accurate analysis in #1. EK soes have a good column on this, too.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 16, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

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