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Howard Dean, health care reform spoiler?

1. Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean is rapidly emerging as the voice of the liberal left on health care, penning an op-ed in today's Post bashing the concessions made by the White House and Senate Democrats in order to pass the bill. "In Washington, when major bills near final passage, an inside-the-Beltway mentality takes hold," writes Dean. "Any bill becomes a victory. Clear thinking is thrown out the window for political calculus." The reassertion of Dean as renegade -- the persona with which he was always most comfortable in his political career -- should worry Democrats hoping to rally the party behind whatever health care bill ultimately is passed. Dean has little loyalty to the Obama administration -- he was passed over for several jobs including secretary of Health and Human Services -- and it's entirely in his own self interest (as well as being consistent with his beliefs on the topic) to become the most public face of liberal opposition to the plan. (In the past 48 hours, Dean had run the gamut of cable chat shows -- including "Countdown" and "Hardball" to make his point(s) on health care.) "This reveals the mistake the Obama administration made when it did not bring him inside the tent," said a Democrat who has worked for Dean. "Instead of making the case to progressives for the bill on behalf of the administration they now have Howard Dean outside the tent . . . free to denounce the bill and advocate to progressives that they kill it." Don't be stunned if Dean's raised profile as the leading liberal critic of the administration stokes talk of a possible (but extremely unlikely) primary challenge to President Obama in 2012. The last time a sitting president faced any real primary opposition was in 1992 when Pat Buchanan challenged President George H.W. Bush on the grounds that the incumbent couldn't solve the economic challenges facing the country. The most famous intraparty presidential fight, of course, was the 1980 candidacy of Ted Kennedy against President Jimmy Carter.

2. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggests the country is slipping back into the pessimism it felt before last year's presidential election with just one in three American saying the country is headed in the right direction while 55 percent said it was off on the wrong track. Less than three in ten (27 percent) said life would be better for their children than it is for them and six in ten agreed with the statement that the country was in a "state of decline." Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helps conduct the NBC/WSJ poll, called the results evidence that "optimism has crashed through the floor board." Remember that much of Obama's appeal is centered on the ideas of hope and change; if voters see his administration as overseeing more of the same, there could be considerable backlash from voters against Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.

3. The Club for Growth announced late Wednesday that is has bundled more than $100,000 to the Senate campaign of former Florida state House speaker Marco Rubio in roughly a month's time. The Club has emerged as a financial powerhouse -- particularly in Republican primaries -- in recent years thanks to a demonstrated commitment from its national donor list to cut checks to Club-endorsed candidates. Earlier this year, Club donors sent a total of $380,000 to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman for the special election in New York's 23rd district -- accounting for more than 20 percent of his total donations. The Club's bundling record is $1.1 million for Sen. Tom Coburn's (Okla.) 2004 candidacy but those familiar with the growth of the Club's --- heyooo! -- list in the intervening years suggest that several races may shatter that record in 2010. Rubio's challenge to Gov. Charlie Crist, which is being painted as a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, is one of them. Another could well be the Pennsylvania Senate race where former Club president Pat Toomey is running. ALSO READ: Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) stands by his man (Crist).

4. A new Quinnipiac University poll showing New York City Comptroller and 2009 New York City Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson leading appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand by double digits in a hypothetical primary matchup has Empire State Democrats a-twitter about the possibility of a real race emerging. Or not. "It's not likely," said one source close to Thompson about the possibility of a Senate bid. Assuming Thompson takes a pass, Gillibrand will have dodged any major primary competition -- an amazing thing given the fact that she is totally unknown in the New York City media market and that she took several positions as a Upstate congresswoman that would not sit well with liberal Democratic primary voters in the Big Apple. The challenge for anyone looking to run for Gillibrand's seat is that you would have to run in 2010 and immediately turn around in 2012 and run again for a full six year term. That requires either a fanatical dedication to fundraising (Gillibrand) or considerable personal wealth.

5. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) isn't up for reelection until 2014 -- a good thing for her as a new independent poll in the Pelican State shows her job approval ratings dropping somewhat drastically. In a new Southern Media and Opinion Research poll 45 percent approved of the job she is doing while 50 percent disapproved. Those numbers compare poorly with Landrieu's standing in a March poll by the same firm where her job approval number stood at 60 percent. Landrieu has plenty of time to get right with the state's voters but the precipitous decline in her numbers is indicative of the danger to Democratic Senators and House members representing swing and Republican-leaning states. Landrieu's numbers have to be concerning for Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) who, like Landrieu is expected to vote for the administration's health care bill but who, unlike Landrieu, is up for reelection in 2010 and has drawn a number of Republican opponents.

6. Businessman Tom Wiggans (D) dropped his candidacy for governor of Kansas on Wednesday, one month after he entered the open seat race to replace Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (D). "For a candidate who has recently returned to his home state and who has never run for political office, it will take more time and resources than I can assemble to mount a winning campaign," Wiggans said in a statement released on his Web site. (The $13 million class-action lawsuit a company he was affiliated with recently settled can't have helped matters.) Wiggans' departure from the race almost certainly means that Democrats won't field a serious candidate against Sen. Sam Brownback (R), the overwhelming favorite to become the Sunflower State's next governor.

7. Adrianne Marsh, communications director for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), is leaving her post for a senior communications adviser role in the office of appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Marsh, who worked in a series of Michigan campaigns prior to joining McCaskill for her 2006 Senate bid, will eventually play a major role in Bennet's reelection effort working alongside Guy Cecil, who is currently working as Bennet's chief of staff but is a political operative -- having served as political director for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Marsh will replace Deirdre Murphy in Bennet's office; Murphy is headed to the DSCC to serve as national press secretary. (Small world alert!!)

8. The long and winding saga that is South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has ended with a whimper rather than a bang. The South Carolina state House committee tasked with investigating whether Sanford misused state funds in pursuit of his extramarital affair with an Argentine woman decided not to recommend the chamber move forward with impeachment proceedings -- choosing instead to offer an official rebuke (read: slap on the wrist) off the embattled governor. The lone remaining strand in the Sanford saga is whether state Attorney General Henry McMaster (R), who is running for governor in 2010, pursues criminal charges against Sanford. As we have written before, voters in the Palmetto State are ready to move on from Sanford and all the tawdriness surrounding him so you can expect politicians to stay as faraway from him and the entire scandal as possible for the next year.

9. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has made a few eyebrow-raising comments about his wife over the last year or so. But, for most people Mary Pawlenty remains a near-unknown despite the fact that her husband is virtually certain to run for president. But, a new -- and very favorable -- profile of her in a local Minnesota news site, sheds considerable light on her own accomplishments in professional life (she served as a district judge in Dakota County for more than a decade) and her buy-in as a full partner in her husband's political career. She recounted being pregnant and helping Tpaw put up signs for his state House race and added that she and her two daughters have grown "accustomed" to a life in the political spotlight. Comments like those have to make Pawlenty advisers happy since a spouse must be entirely on-board for a candidate to succeed in something as physically grueling and emotionally difficult as a two-plus year run for president. HAT TIP: GOP12, the best new arrival in the political blog world.

10. Can think of what to get your loved one for Christmas? Why not "The Back-Up," a gun rack for your bed. And, no, this is not a joke -- at least we don't think so.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 17, 2009; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why health care will pass (and what it means)
Next: Creigh Deeds: The worst campaign of 2009

Comments

Accusing Howard Dean of taking stand on healthcare out of self interest smacks of inside the beltway BS. If you want to talk about people acting out of self interest, look no further than the majority of our elected officials. Get real, otherwise share some of what you're smoking!

Posted by: jrtsrule | December 19, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@benjamin: you can bet he doesn't. The two trolls get permanent unconditional amnesty around here. There have been dozens of entreaties to ban them since, as you see, discussion is impossible when they're here.

Instead people get banned for calling them racist, despite their posting racist crap every single day.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

It didn't work. Is size a factor on what post set through?.

Here is the message I got.
_______________________________________
The Fix
Chris Cillizza's politics blog on washingtonpost.com
Thank you for commenting.

Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.
__________________________________________

Does JakeD or anyone else get messages like that.

I GIVE UP!!!

Posted by: benjaminsp | December 18, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

1) What's wrong with Gov. Palin being still and listening for God's prompting?

==

How about "because God doesn't exist?"

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how she keeps getting brought up. Someone posted this last time you libs were trashing Gov. Palin, so I had some follow-up questions:

"She is not tied down to any job and will go where the wind blows her. If God wants her to be elected governor, she will run. If God wants her to quit, she will quit. if God wants her to write a book, she will write a book. And maybe God will have her run for president. That would be cool. Lets wait till he whispers in her ear.

Who cares if liberal pundits criticize her. Sarah is on a mission."

Posted by: benjaminsp | November 21, 2009 3:12 PM

1) What's wrong with Gov. Palin being still and listening for God's prompting?

2) Are you aware that George Washington and Abe Lincoln did the same?

Posted by: JakeD | December 18, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Take the insurance companies that exist - over 1600 of them and allow them free market competition...it will drive the prices down without multibillion dollar price tags

==

Oh my god

Have you learned NOTHING?!?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

@ sheila36619 - Check out This American Life's recent story on this matter. Adding a 6th, 7th, and 8th insurer to a given market doesn't change anything. The problem is that they don't have any leverage with hospitals to negotiate rates. If you have 1% of the patients, a hospital can tell you to take a flying leap and not have a problem. If you have half of their patients, they close if you decertify them.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 17, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Take the insurance companies that exist - over 1600 of them and allow them free market competition...it will drive the prices down without multibillion dollar price tags... Oh and AARP is dead in the water in this household... total sellouts. Obama is soo middle of the road that even his own are turning on him...He is not who he professed to be - not only on health care but just about everything...

Posted by: sheila36619 | December 17, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

We are losing 480,000 jobs a week,

but only 11,000 a month!

===

Must be Tom Lehrer's New Math. 4 1/3 * 480,000 = 11,000

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 17, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

That's because nobody in Congress wants to be vulnerable to an accusation of not supportin' th' troops
supportin' th' troops
supportin' th' troops
supportin' th' troops
supportin' th' troops
supportin' th' troops

zzzzzZZZZZZT!!

We have Rolling Thunder for representatives

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

What I find amazing is that congress can pass a nearly 700 billion dollar budget for the military (for just this year) in a matter of days but can't pass health care reform in nearly a year.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

@simonsays1: Did Obama tell you we are losing 11k jobs per week?

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Why should healthy 21-22 year olds who don't get sick"
---
There is a reason why auto insurance is much higher for this age group, young people tend to think they are invincible, they take more risks with their health. Many wind up at the emergency room with no health insurance and we get to pay for it.

That is why.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: Off-topic as usual.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

JakD: Off-topic as usual.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

No, he's on the sidelines chiming in.

Lieberman and Nelson are the spoilers.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi, expat2MEX, sorry to hear about your recent ailments, hope your recovery is complete.

I will be be an expat2VN myself, where medical care is extremely cheap and just as good as here, better in some ways like dentistry.

Lieberman has a lot to answer for, and I hope he has to start answering soon.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is right on target, as usual.

As a result of the latest "throw the baby out with the bathwater" move by Lieberman, I am left with a few more years of work at 61. After dealing with two cancers last year and this year, I am finally free of it, and I had hopes of buying into Medicare next year. Even though I have good insurance through my employer, it will end soon after I leave the company for retirement. I cannot possibly afford to carry the inflated private insurance, so I must now wait until I'm 65 now to retire.

Thanks a lot Mr. Lieberman. You really made my day. I'm sure what you did was the best thing for "your" Americans. I suppose my work in support of our soldiers must continue, even though I would be happy to step aside for a younger person.

I have only one wish for the collective bunch of criminals who call themselves United States Senators.

May you inherit all the tea in China, and may it not be enough to pay your bills.

Posted by: expat2MEX | December 17, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone ELSE?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

That was before she spread her legs for the oil companies, Jake.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

word negative = negative word (darn Spellchecker ; )

If anyone else wants to know how Gov. Palin took on big oil and other corporate America special interests -- including corrupt REPUBLICANS in her own State -- let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is not owned by corporate America

==

Then nobody is.

Palin is bought and paid for and wrapped in a pink bow.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Why use the word negative "spoiler"? Was FDR a "Nazi spoiler"? Reagan a "Commie spoiler"?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

ladymcbeth45us:

Sarah Palin is not owned by corporate America ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

In the past I wanted to see Dean as a President and got sad when I saw that did not happen.. If he runs again, I am going to vote for him for sure. I am losing my patience for this WH crew and my excitement about Obama's leadership, sorry to say.

Posted by: Aspouse | December 17, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Face it Americans our elected officials are owned by corporate America...they purchased them lock stock and barrel. there was to be no public option...all smoke and mirrors to get your vote...and now the big screw to you and a gift to the insurance and pharmaceuticals. Welcome to the corporate states of AMerica.

Posted by: ladymcbeth45us | December 17, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Audacity of Hope???

We are losing 480,000 jobs a week,

but only 11,000 a month!

The Audacity of believing this lying
SOB!

Spending 900 billion will reduce the deficit?

Howard Dean is Right.
Obama has no Idea of Wright Or Wrong.

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Why is universal health care such a bugaboo for this country? Why are people's lives subject to 'market economics'? Why is it that insurance companies were allowed to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions in the first place? The welfare of the people is not a stock to be traded and sold for profits. It is all so unseemly and unchristian and macabre.
It makes me sick!

Posted by: atroncale1 | December 17, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean, the voice of Liberal Left? I'm a Paleo Conservative (that's a real conservative to the uninformed or ignorant) and he sounds right on the money to me!

Posted by: jsbar | December 17, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

WE certainly NEED a voice, in health care as well as all manner of governance.

Our president, upon taking office immediately included (ugh) Republicans in has cabinet.

The thinking was that they were somehow needed. (Though I, and many others believe "change" means going in a different direction with different people at the wheel)

The decision to "look forward" which was applied to the activities of the Bush admin was and IS a decisive blow against the wishes of those who voted for mr.Obama.

There have been a few mis-steps by this admin., to be sure, but none were more pronounced than the ones I've just mentioned.

AS far as health care is concerned, I have to agree with Gov. Dean; Instead of helping the American people deal with mounting health care issues, the bill as currently crafted appears to help the health care industry at the expense of the American people.

Scrap it and try again.

Mr. president, please regain your bearings and remember WHY you are in office and what we put you there to do.

.....or, don't you want a second term?

Posted by: BellsBlu2 | December 17, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This bill does nothing to contain cost. Without competition, the health insurance industry will continue its wasteful way and jack up premiums. You, I, and the government will be left holding the bag.

As for not being able to deny coverage for pre-existing condition, they would simply jack up premium so you can't afford it.

On coverage extension to the 30 millions plus people, that might be a good thing, but at ever increasing cost since (again)there is no cost containment. So the whole thing is unsustainable.

There's a rule in designing, the KISS principle, that's "Keep it simple, Stupid!"
We have already had a good system for all this. Expand Medicare to cover everyone. It's simple. Seniors like it. Cut out the cost of the middle man, the insurance companies cronies. Allow imports of medication that the FDA can certify. Listen to Senator Bernie Sanders.

Posted by: pspox | December 17, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This bill does nothing to contain cost. Without competition, the health insurance industry will continue its wasteful way and jack up premiums. You, I, and the government will be left holding the bag.

As for not being able to deny coverage for pre-existing condition, they would simply jack up premium so you can't afford it.

On coverage extension to the 30 millions plus people, that might be a good thing, but at ever increasing cost since (again)there is no cost containment. So the whole thing is unsustainable.

There's a rule in designing, the KISS principle, that's "Keep it simple, Stupid!"
We have already had a good system for all this. Expand Medicare to cover everyone. It's simple. Seniors like it. Cut out the cost of the middle man, the insurance companies cronies. Allow imports of medication that the FDA can certify. Listen to Senator Bernie Sanders.

Posted by: pspox | December 17, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

He definitely should jump-in to neutralize Joe (the traitor-to-decency)Lieberman.

Posted by: noblewon2 | December 17, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The mistake the President made was dealing with uncooperative Republicans in an effort to get bi-partisan support for the health care Bill. The beneficiaries of a good health care Bill will be thankful to whomever supported the Bill. They will not care about whether it got bi-partisan support or not. It is not smart politics to seek window dressing. It you promise something to the people and they support you, just deliver the goods using the power with which you are vested. Democrats are behaving like they are the minority Party, and, from the look of things they probably are.

Posted by: fasm7700 | December 17, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The recent slipping back into pessimism that the author cited from reading the polls about public perception as to where the United States is headed isn't too hard to understand. Many people who voted for Obama believed he meant to change the economic direction of the country from its panic downturn as he pulled ahead of his opponent in the polls.

They believed he would pull the US out of the wars. But the change Obama meant was one those indiscrete Indenpendent voters never suspected. To plunge this country into socialism, collectivism, domination by government. Next election, research the man Independents.

Had you all done that, you would have found Obama to be a Marxist, a disciple of early twentieth century communist writer Saul Alinsky. Read "Rules for Radicals", a book Michelle Obama quoted from during her husband's campaign, and on which her husband's Secretary of State nominee wrote her college thesis on.

You would have found out that Obama was a member of the now defunct socialist New Party in 1996. You would have paid more attention to his campaign vow to "redistribute the wealth". And you would have anticipated his appointment of communist Van Jones and socialist Carol Browner to Czar positions that didn't require Senate scrutiny.

So, the American people are slowly now understanding where Obama meant to take us when he promised "change".

Bumper stickers where I live are beginning to appear: "I'll keep my money, my freedom and my guns, YOU keep the change".

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | December 17, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

MEMO to Chris Cillizza:

Your reference to the "liberal left" is redundant -- both in this column and during your appearances on "Hardball" on MSNBC.

The "left" in the United States -- which includes self-identified liberals, progressives, and democratic socialists -- describes those citizens who support political and social change with a view towards creating a more egalitarian society grounded in civil rights and human rights for all Americans and which includes access to health care, education, an ample job market with living wages, opportunity for advancement and upward mobility, and shared prosperity that benefits the many rather than just the fortunate few.

The "left" in this country is by definition politically and socially liberal -- hence, calling them the "liberal left" is an example of unnecessary repetition and rhetorical overkill.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by: SarahB2 | December 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean, M.D., is the only sane "Democrat" voicing his wisdom: poor Americans need help, not the health industry, who are doinig buying and selling of human illness and lives. Health industry is writing this current bill. They do not want Public Option as they lose business.
Are these Democrats, President Obama included, so toothless that they cannot fight rats in the congress. We all know who they are:we see their guilty faces every day on TV. They have greed, not compassion, behind their drive to obstruct reform of Health Care Industry.

DR DEAN IS RIGHT: I SUPPORT HIM.
Democrats wake-up. PUBLIC OPTION , NOW.

Posted by: TariqAhmed1 | December 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

OK there are not enough (60) senators who support health care. But there are at least 51. So it has to be done by budget. No problem. Do two things in the budget, one about health care and one about the war. Use tax money from Republican states to run the war, and declare that it is being waged in their name. Use tax money from the blue states and pay for health care, for those states only of course. The red states don't want public health care, the blue states don't want the war. Keep them both happy!

Posted by: larry9 | December 17, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is leading Congressional Democrats over the cliff like Lemmings.

==

No, he's not "leading" at all, he's triangulating, seeking a cozy politically safe ground between the far right Democrats and the radical right Republicans, and this sort of vacuity is what passes for "centrism" these days.

The Dead Skunk approach to governance.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

thurgle

Obermann is a stupid childish nerd sportscaster.

Look at the Free Health Clinics he's supporting, that's a sign of how bad we need reform even if it is incremental, but he's playing right into the conservatives hands because they point at that and say 'Look at the volunteerism helping the poor, a thousand points of light!"

ALL THOSE POOR PEOPLE AT THE FREE CLINICS WILL GET INSURANCE FOR FREE!. THE TOTALLY POOR AR TOTALLY SUBSIDIZED IN THIS BILL !!!

You people are letting the right divide us!

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."-Will Rogers

Never more true.

Posted by: ChipShirley | December 17, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Makes you wonder how he got shoved aside to begin with? We've got parties so tied together no one ever says anything with this straight line voting business. In fact they may not be able to think for themselves about anything but fund raising. And it seems the voters like it that way!

Posted by: Wildthing1 | December 17, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

bsallamack-
After centuries of efforts at making health care progressive in the USA we can't get it all perfect at once. So you want to take NOTHING instead, just like free traitor Bill Clinton. That's idiotic!

rm8471

You are a transparent phony liar pretending to be a progressive.
.......................................
T H I S...B I L L...I S...G O O D...

1. Everyone would be required to purchase a health plan, but there are subsidies to help lower income workers. If you make around 22k or less you would be subsidized for over 90% of your premiums.
2. It eliminates insurance companies ability to turn down folks with pre-existing conditions. While it does allow for higher deductables and premiums for these people, they are severely limited in their size (a 5k deductable limit). Poorer folks in this category will receive subsidies too.
3. This bill is deficit neutral.
I think that this bill would make the USA more competitive in the global market.

Posted by: ChipShirley | December 17, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama is leading Congressional Democrats over the cliff like Lemmings. Olbermann made clear what will happen when the health bill passes: a revolt against the mandate led by the right but with many on the left (and across the spectrum) joining in. Handing over huge portions of ordinary people's income to the insurance monopolies is a betrayal, and will be seen as such. That after handing over gargantuan sums to the banks in the Wall Street bailout and doing the same for the military-industrial complex by continuing hugely expensive wars. The best they can hope for is that the Democratic base stays home on election day because if they turn out a substantial portion will not be voting for the Democrats, who have proven themselves equally subservient to the plutocrats as the Republicans. Tweedle Deed, Tweedle Dum: who cares which party is in power to fleece us?

Posted by: thurgle | December 17, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess we can add flooding to trolling and racist remarks as sanctioned disruptions here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Candidate Obama promised to work for "Medicare-For-All," but instantly denied considering Single Payer, whereas Senator Obama was ON RECORD a year or so pre-campaign as PRO-single payer!

Republicans kicked, screamed, pouted, yelled, stomped, shrieked, threw temper tantrums, howled, fumed, raged, and ranted like spoiled children, and Obama immediately did a knee-jerk spastic give-in to them on Medicare-For-All.

Ditto same with Public Option.

Then when Obama agreed to the Republican's suggestion of an insurance cooperative, it all repeated again.

BTW, I have a coop for electricity, and phone (cable TV, internet), too, because I am too rural for the major companies to come out here. Yes, I'm glad I have them, but do NOT tell me that I get any significant savings in cost because they are "coops"! I am not that stupid, and know better. So, the insurance coop was another Republican LIE.

End result: BETRAYAL.

Conclusion: we should FIRE THEM ALL, Congress and Obama and his Administration and start over with a new batch of them.

Posted by: rm8471 | December 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Candidate Obama promised to work for "Medicare-For-All," but instantly denied considering Single Payer, whereas Senator Obama was ON RECORD a year or so pre-campaign as PRO-single payer!

Republicans kicked, screamed, pouted, yelled, stomped, shrieked, threw temper tantrums, howled, fumed, raged, and ranted like spoiled children, and Obama immediately did a knee-jerk spastic give-in to them on Medicare-For-All.

Ditto same with Public Option.

Then when Obama agreed to the Republican's suggestion of an insurance cooperative, it all repeated again.

BTW, I have a coop for electricity, and phone (cable TV, internet), too, because I am too rural for the major companies to come out here. Yes, I'm glad I have them, but do NOT tell me that I get any significant savings in cost because they are "coops"! I am not that stupid, and know better. So, the insurance coop was another Republican LIE.

End result: BETRAYAL.

Conclusion: we should FIRE THEM ALL, Congress and Obama and his Administration and start over with a new batch of them.

Posted by: rm8471 | December 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

D E A N...S C R E A M S...A G A I N...

...H E...I S...A N...I D I O T......
Posted by: ChipShirley |
......................................
Yes all the Americans who do not want a bill where they are forced to buy health insurance from private insurers are idiots.

Yes all the Americans who wanted a bill where there were savings from a one payer model that excluded the private insurers are idiots.

And all those idiots out there will not vote for the Democrats in 2010 who are the party of Wall Street and soon to be the party of the private health insurers.

If only there were not so many idiots out there and the Democrats in government could simply listen to the special interests without distraction.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 17, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

But is Howard Dean actually serious in his opposition or (as some suggest below) just "a warning shot to stop the bleeding"? Given that Ben Nelson -- not a Republican BTW -- and others are still demanding MORE concessions, where's the tipping point before liberal Democrats start saying THEY can't vote for the bill now too?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Any politician who truly, perhaps honestly, and intelligently speaks out on behalf of Americans should be condemned. To think, how could he honestlyt walk the lobbies of the House and the Senate? But all's irrelevant. He'l be condemned. The American people will attack the Lobbyists and their power, etc. But in the end, the American public will vote for the same people they condemn. Praise, comments, and condemnation are irrelevant.

Posted by: gjsamuels1 | December 17, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I finally agree with GoldAndTanzanite: Draft Dean for President!

http://www.petitiononline.com/drafthbd/petition.html

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

If Obama continues to capitulate to Republicans I would support a primary challenge in 2012. This is not what I voted for.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

As a Democrat.I thlnk that Howard Dean is 100% right about health care.( IF IT'S GOING TO BENEFIT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES MORE THAN THE PEOPLE THAT NEED INSURANCE,WHY ARE WE DOING IT?I think Dean makes a lot more sense than Obama and in 2012,I hope to see Dean and Obama in a primary.Dean has my vote.Obama has taken the Democratic Party too far right,which = wrong.Dean is not afraid to speak on behalf of Democrats,Obama never speak on behalf of Democrats.DEAN IS OUR PARTY LEADER.President Dean;that has a good sound to it.

Posted by: apez54 | December 17, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty: who cares? Why the fondness for this sleepy mediocrity?

Bedside Gun Rack: seconded! Since only highly undesirable people would buy something so ridiculous, and since guns in the home are far more likely to kill or injure their owners than defend them, this is a win-win.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

In addition to the necessary process leading up to legislation being enacted, the courts are also necessary to ensure that only CONSTITUTIONAL laws are enforced. If the mandate is passed, Americans who refuse to purchase Obamacare -- I understand that Keith Olbermann is one -- are lining up to challenge such enfringement:

http://thefundforpersonalliberty.org/

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

What does that have to do with what I wrote, Jake?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite:

Thank God then that you are moving to Vietnam (the rest of us understand that legislation is a process, a necessary process, it sometimes stinks, but "sausage making" usually does : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope he runs as a third party candidate. We need alternatives to the party of no and the chickens.

Posted by: Woodstocknative | December 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Why should healthy 21-22 year olds who don't get sick or older Americans who go to Mexico for all their healthcare needs, be FORCED to pay for insurance?

==

Little sketchy on the whole "civics" thing, I see.

Why should people who live in brick houses have to pay for other people's fire departments?

Why should people who don't have children have to pay for the education of other peoples' children?

Why should ... etc.

It's called "society," Jake, it's called the "common interest," it's called "civilization."

Even if you really are the craven selfish 'hole you enjoy painting yourself as I would at least expect you to grasp the basic "self-interest" of not wanting your neighbors spreading medieval plagues.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

norriehoyt

Do you have a cite?
This would be so interesting, perhaps a key part of the story of how the wheels came off.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Annalist (now I think we are just getting drive-by posters who have no intention of answering polite questions; I already noted the first time you posted):

"... whatever the outcome, no one can ever say the issues were not vetted enough ..."

Sen. McConnell is saying exactly that. 'At the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen. That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private’.

http://mcconnell.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=320943&start=1

I personally have read BOTH the House and Senate bills offered to date. When does the American public finally get to see the REAL bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Listen, "politicians" do what "politicians" do! In my opinion, there is no need for further discussion about the decisions they make, or why they cast their votes, one way or another. It's obvious! Howard Dean, however, is another issue. I always advise, "NEVER MAKE AN EMOTIONAL DECISION!" Howard Dean did this very thing when he ran for president, and he has done it again. His emotional "outburst," reflects his frustration, but it is less than helpful to those of us who understand the importance of getting Health Care Reform; even if not perfect, passed. Of course, "Words, like bullets, cannot be called back!" Now, his unguarded comments have given amunition to those who do not want to see anything at all done on Health Care.

Frankly, I am disgusted with all of the criticism of the Health Care Bill, and how long it is taking. When are people going to wake up and understand that, living in a Democracy,and governed by the "Rule of Law," no one can get laws passed simply with the storke of a pen? In a representative government, Representatives and Senators get to have their "say." Allegedly, they speak for the people they represent. If we lived under a Dictatorship, there would be no discussion about anything, but we don't, and we don't want to. This is a process, a necessary process, and whatever the outcome, no one can ever say the issues were not vetted enough. It is now in the hands of whomever can be most persuasive and who can get the best deal. Yes, it stinks, but "sausage making" usually does. It's the way things are done in America, and it is still the best system in the entire world!

Posted by: Annalist | December 17, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

How would the final bill make the USA more competitive in the global market?

==

why the hell should anyone care about that?

more economic twaddle

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly right, the correct question Mark: will what emerges from this effort do more harm than good?

People who dismiss that possibility, the any bill better than no bill crowd are obviously not students of history.

Naturally I am a fan of Wyden, who today as an aside, is doing good a thing getting forest policy moving forward,

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/12/former_forest_foes_back_wyden.html

People who live and breathe health care reform are probably worth listening to.
Obama called Wyden's reform effort too radical. Some say it is because the public employee unions love the employer mandate because in their case, they control it.

I'll try to put together a case for serious people (it can't be yes or no, that is for dummies, it has to be pro and con arguments, with assumptions and unknowns involved) and send it on, but the news is breaking pretty fast.

Today though, I am pretty sure killing this process could be a better choice, even possibly a faster way to move us toward an effective, efficient, accessible system of care.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

ChipShirley:

You keep posting that, but refuse to answer any polite questions. For instance, do you know anyone who make 22k or less? Why should healthy 21-22 year olds who don't get sick or older Americans who go to Mexico for all their healthcare needs, be FORCED to pay for insurance? Do you really believe that the final bill is deficit neutral? How would the final bill make the USA more competitive in the global market?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

2. It eliminates insurance companies ability to turn down folks with pre-existing conditions. While it does allow for higher deductables and premiums for these people, they are severely limited in their size (a 5k deductable limit). Poorer folks in this category will receive subsidies too.

==

But it lets insurance companies charge whatever they want, and we're talking about an industry that's been raising prices 20% every year. They need to be put out of business and their executives put in prison, not guaranteed their rapacious fees by law.

The bill has been savaged, Obama should veto it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

D E A N...S C R E A M S...A G A I N...

...H E...I S...A N...I D I O T......

The health care bill at hand there are some very good things in it.

1. Everyone would be required to purchase a health plan, but there are subsidies to help lower income workers. If you make around 22k or less you would be subsidized for over 90% of your premiums.

2. It eliminates insurance companies ability to turn down folks with pre-existing conditions. While it does allow for higher deductables and premiums for these people, they are severely limited in their size (a 5k deductable limit). Poorer folks in this category will receive subsidies too.

3. This bill is deficit neutral.

I think that this bill would make the USA more competitive in the global market.

Posted by: ChipShirley | December 17, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

alternative organizations, like 60 Plus Association are going to start taking away lots of members.

==

Yeah and the American Insignificant Party os the fastest-growing third party in Tizathy. Last year they had seven members, this year almost 20.

A bright red balloon, inflated with hot emotional air, floating off into an azure sky sparkly with Unreal Things.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

D E A N...S C R E A M S...A G A I N...

...H E...I S...A N...I D I O T......

The health care bill at hand there are some very good things in it.

1. Everyone would be required to purchase a health plan, but there are subsidies to help lower income workers. If you make around 22k or less you would be subsidized for over 90% of your premiums.

2. It eliminates insurance companies ability to turn down folks with pre-existing conditions. While it does allow for higher deductables and premiums for these people, they are severely limited in their size (a 5k deductable limit). Poorer folks in this category will receive subsidies too.

3. This bill is deficit neutral.

I think that this bill would make the USA more competitive in the global market.

Posted by: ChipShirley | December 17, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

yesyerday's = yesterday's (darn Spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I've been told that David Axelrod is responsible for keeping Howard outside the tent.

It goes back to the 2004 Iowa presidential primary when Howard ran against Dick Gebhardt (and others). Axelrod was running Gebhardt's campaign and evidently crossed swords with Howard in some way.
Posted by: norriehoyt
.................................
Ah so now we know how the Democrats have become the party of Wall Street in 11 months.

A full explanation of why the President did not tell Congress he wanted a one payer model without the private insurers.

Light finally on the President telling Americans that installing insulation is the non exportable jobs of the future for Americans.

Wow this explains all.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 17, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza:

What happened to yesyerday's prediction of a Rose Garden signing ceremony, I think you even used the word "guaranteed"?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/white-house/why-health-care-will-pass-and.html

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

'"This reveals the mistake the Obama administration made when it did not bring him inside the tent," said a Democrat who has worked for Dean. "Instead of making the case to progressives for the bill on behalf of the administration they now have Howard Dean outside the tent . . . free to denounce the bill and advocate to progressives that they kill it."'

I've been told that David Axelrod is responsible for keeping Howard outside the tent.

It goes back to the 2004 Iowa presidential primary when Howard ran against Dick Gebhardt (and others). Axelrod was running Gebhardt's campaign and evidently crossed swords with Howard in some way.

Axelrod's resentment has continued to this day and historians may well decide that it's the cause of healthcare reform's demise.

Not a good thing to have happened.

Posted by: norriehoyt | December 17, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

drtodd1977:

Careful "pissing off" all of us old people who have been voting, and will continue to vote, in every election -- AARP screwed the pooch big time on this one -- alternative organizations, like 60 Plus Association are going to start taking away lots of members.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

when the ped arrives, the thread falls apart.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 17, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

shrink, your guy Widen was one of these ten named by the "Oregonian":

"In a letter to the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the 10 senators said they were worried that their states would be ``disadvantaged'' by the proposal to expand Medicare to people aged 55. All the senators represents states that receive less reimbursement under Medicare's complex formula."

These included Feingold and Franken and the threat to scuttle the bill was implicit, not stated. I know liberals love to bash Lieberman, and his 180 degree move on this issue in 45 days is worth noting, but no one here seems unhappy with Widen or Feingold about their oppo on the same grounds.

So what I really want to know from shrink, who has spent more time thinking about this, I suspect, than a dozen typical blog posters combined, and who actually has some expertise in the area, is whether or not, with all its flaws, you think UHC as projected in the SB is worth passing, now. Does it stifle the potential for addressing actual costs [which are more fundamental than insurance premiums] at a later date?
Will we be better off, instead, continuing as we are?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 17, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Annalist:

"... whatever the outcome, no one can ever say the issues were not vetted enough ..."

Actually, Sen. McConnell is saying exactly that. 'At the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen. That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private’.

http://mcconnell.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=320943&start=1

I personally have read BOTH the House and Senate bills offered to date. When does the American public finally get to see the REAL bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh CRAP! We just heard, from Copenhagen, that the U.S. CONGRESS will Fund $100-Billion for #1 ahead of JOBS(?),-- CLIMATE Crapola. - That was Darrrrn Fast America!? - But NOT a 'hurry-up' $CENT for $good-paying JOBS creation!!! CONGRESS should be in straight-jackets. Our so-called SiNATE has Failed the American People completely!! All U.S. Citizens please write and complain to Your' SInators & RIpresentatives Immediately!- Oh, sorry,- just remembered, that- many of Them are in Bed with the Banksters, Wallsters, and FEDsters WHOM Caused this Economic CRISIS!!! -- If "WE-the-People" own, and Are AMERICA,-- then how can CONGRESS get away with this CRAP? - CONGRESS Is suppose to be working for, OBEYING, and Protecting- WE the Electorate(US),-- Not for the Global $Corporations / BANKsters!!?? -- NO-NO-NO where in Our / YOUR' CONSTITUTION does it read:- 'we-the-Banksters', nor 'we-the-Wallsters, nor 'we-the-FEDsters'!!?? - jward52 (JWtalks) 43040

Posted by: jward52 | December 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I am disgusted with all of the criticism of the Health Care Bill. When are people going to wake up and understand that, living in a democracy,and governed by the "Rule of Law," no one can get laws passed simply with the storke of a pen? In a representative government, Representatives and Senators get to have their "say." If we lived under a Dictatorship, there would be no discussion about various issues, but we don't, and we don't want to. This is a process, a necessary process, and whatever the outcome, no one can ever say the issues were not vetted enough. It is now in the hands of whoever can be most persuasive and who can get the best deal. Yes, it stinks, but "sausage making" usually does.

==

This is crap.

Yeah, everyone gets to have their say. Problem here is that not everyone wants to see something good achieved. Why is this so hard to understand?

It's all fine to talk about everyone getting to say their piece, all other things being equal, but they're not. Republicans don't care how many Americans are bankrupted by medical expenses or how many children die of treatable ailments, they're just determined to hand the president a defeat, because they're too immature to accept their electoral defeats.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Just kill the bill! As you may have heard, Robert Creamer, a CONVICTED FELON and Obama’s ACORN associate, outlined the guidelines for the Obamacare SCAM in his 2007 book, “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win.” Creamer was inspired by Alinsky!

Creamer wrote in his 2007 book:

* “We must create a national consensus that health care is a right, not a commodity; and that government must guarantee that right.”
* “We must create a national consensus that the health care system is in crisis.”
* “Our messaging program over the next two years should focus heavily on reducing the credibility of the health insurance industry and focusing on the failure of private health insurance.”
* “We need not agree in advance on the components of a plan, but we must foster a process that can ultimately yield consensus.”

As per Creamer’s book, their main objective is NOT improving health care. It’s to advance their power through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxim) as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

http://the-classic-liberal.com/progressive-agenda-for-structural-change-stand-up-straight/

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 17, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh yea, and the Tea Baggers, Big Deal. Just Look at them!! the vast Majority of them are all old white folk, there just pissed off old people who have been voting sense the 40's anyway. Nothing New There.

Posted by: drtodd1977 | December 17, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Breaking: defiant teabaggers expressing their disbelief in environmental matters by ordering packages of depleted uranium dust from Gulf War I and sprinkling it on their childrens' scrambled eggs.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shows her support by relocating her rapidly-growing family next to a lead smelter. Serving dead seagulls from oil spill beaches right next to the mashed potatoes. "The weather changes all the time," she says.

Coastal conservatives knee-deep in water in their own living rooms deny the presence of the water, "everything's fine."

Chocoration going up! Doubleplusgood, eh?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious that over time and generations people are becoming more and more liberal. Look, the bill had support when the public option was in and as time went on and it became more and more watered down it lost support and the numbers tanked. I don't buy this B.S that people don't understand what's in the bill, oh we understand one thing, we understand that Obama cant stick up for what he believed in as well as the rest of the Democrats and that Joe Leibeman is the Big Insurance devil. Washington is to far right saying the rest is to far left. 2010 Needs to be a time when we flush this crap out of our system and get some change done. Just look at the support for Marijuaa Legalization and a prime example, even the lowest poll (Gallop) showes 44% and Zogby showed 52%, Angus Reid showed 53%, but only 1 or 2 members of congress supports it, that's a HUGE disconnection!!. It's bye bye time for conserva dems and republicans in 2010. And what's up with this "we'll never get another chance", B.S? If things get half as bad as their projected to be than even those who are sitting pretty now with insurance and want to do nada will be screaming single-payer within two years. I just don't buy this political B.S anymore.

Posted by: drtodd1977 | December 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Listen, "politician" do what "politicians" do! In my opinion, there is no need for further discussion about the decisions they make, or the votes they cast. It's obvious! Howard Dean, however, is another issue. I always advise, "NEVER MAKE AN EMOTIONAL DECISION!" Howard Dean did this very thing when he ran for president, and he has done it again. His emotional "outburst," reflects his frustration, but it is less than helpful those of us who understand the importance of getting Health Care Reform, even if not perfect, passed. Of course, "Words, like bullets, cannot be called back!" Now, his unguarded comments have given amunition to those who do not want to see anything at all done on Health Care.

Frankly, I am disgusted with all of the criticism of the Health Care Bill. When are people going to wake up and understand that, living in a democracy,and governed by the "Rule of Law," no one can get laws passed simply with the storke of a pen? In a representative government, Representatives and Senators get to have their "say." If we lived under a Dictatorship, there would be no discussion about various issues, but we don't, and we don't want to. This is a process, a necessary process, and whatever the outcome, no one can ever say the issues were not vetted enough. It is now in the hands of whoever can be most persuasive and who can get the best deal. Yes, it stinks, but "sausage making" usually does.

Posted by: Annalist | December 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Everyone talks about "expensive" but I don't hear a lot about "inefficient," which is what we have now. Do you people have any idea how much time a doctor has to spend filling out insurance forms? That every company has its own forms, its own documentation requirements? And any idea how much more efficiently their time could be spent if this system was replaced by something standardized, and benefiting from economies of scale?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
............................
Wake up the plan is where government will force Americans to buy expensive insurance from private health insurers. There is no economy of scale since this is not a one payer system.

A one payer system would have been against the interests of the private health insurers so now we have a bill that is in the interests of the private health insurers.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ChipShirley3. "This bill is deficit neutral."

Anyone who actually believes that is shockingly gullible.

==

What's your point?

If this is just more of that sort of public policy discussion that centers around "my money" this and "my money" that, it's tiresome. Deficits are bad, but what we have now in this country with fifty million uninsured is a travesty and must not stand. I don't mind paying more taxes if it means that we live in a better society, one of our choosing, because I sure as hell don't want to live in the sort of society that we'll get by "letting the marketplace decide."

Everyone talks about "expensive" but I don't hear a lot about "inefficient," which is what we have now. Do you people have any idea how much time a doctor has to spend filling out insurance forms? That every company has its own forms, its own documentation requirements? And any idea how much more efficiently their time could be spent if this system was replaced by something standardized, and benefiting from economies of scale?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Here look at how the insurance industry is working with your elected officials...to screw you...

"Jerry Flanagan, health-care policy director at Consumer Watchdog, said that language includes wiggle room for future lobbying when regulations are written to implement the bill. The language does not appear to protect state requirements dictating what benefits health plans must provide, Flanagan said.

Speier and the other House Democrats also criticized the House bill, saying it would allow states that join a compact to decide among themselves which state's regulations will govern a plan. That "could make the regulations in the consumer-friendly state irrelevant," they wrote.

While the authors of the letter focused on the interstate compact provision, another provision of the Senate bill could achieve a similar result. It would allow insurers to offer nationwide plans, subject to the benefit requirements of only one state. The benefits would have to meet minimum federal standards established under the bill.

The bill explicitly recognizes the possibility that these nationwide plans could omit benefits required by some states. In such cases, it would require only that the insurer notify consumers "that the policy may not contain some benefits otherwise mandated."

The Senate bill would allow states to opt out of nationwide plans they find unsatisfactory.

Three key senators in the health-care debate -- Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) -- have proposed an amendment that would prevent states from opting out of nationwide plans." WaPo now

So these three key Senators (recognize their names?) want to keep states from rejecting whatever the company that has the least to offer wants to do nationwide. So this is health care reform. Sick, this country is sick.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod is apparantly 'perplexed' by the fact that people outside the beltway actually would like the administration to deliver some straight talk on health care reform.

This bill doesn't 'cover' anyone! It just forces a giant mandate on the American people to buy the same lousy overpriced insurance available whiole doing nothing to control costs or provide competition.

It is time to either 1) Ditch the mandate, 2) Restore the public option or 3) Just kill this useless bill.

Whatever the decision Reid definitely needs to go. His leadership is non existent.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | December 17, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Dean, this bill should not pass, not after the Republicans like Lieberman have gutted it into a giveaway to insurance companies. Yeah, it insures 31 million more people .. by delivering them as hostages to an industry that has distinguished itself by record-breaking bad faith.

If it passes with the mandate still in it and no public option, Obama should veto it.

And after Lieberman and DeMint and the rest of the money-grubbers, it's time to end the "bipartisanship" crap and stop compromising. Do away with the filibuster rule and just run roughshod over the Party of Opposition, to hell with them, just let them twist in the wind until they decide to get serious, however many generations that may take.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Not only that, but if both those extremes oppose it, maybe it IS a step in the right direction.

==

And this is what passes for "wisdom" now

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ChipShirley3. "This bill is deficit neutral."

Anyone who actually believes that is shockingly gullible.

Posted by: m1903a4 | December 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Please help us call out our Senators by requesting that they give back all the money they have accepted from the health insurance lobby before they vote on this bill. To learn more or to join our Give It Back campaign please visit our web page on votingbloc.org:

http://www.votingbloc.org/Give_It_Back.php

Posted by: letsgobuffalo | December 17, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Please help us call out our Senators by requesting that they give back all the money they have accepted from the health insurance lobby before they vote on this bill. To learn more or to join our Give It Back campaign please visit our web page on votingbloc.org:

http://www.votingbloc.org/Give_It_Back.php

Posted by: letsgobuffalo | December 17, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

This so called health care "reform" bill is a complete betrayal of the American people. If you want to have an example of what is relly in this toxic bill try reading "What the Pelosi health-care bill really says" from wall st journal (nov7). Google it. Or try "what's really in Obama's health care reform bill-a plain english translation" at http://www.natural news.com/026733_health_health_care_healthcare.html
All the reform in this bill has been eliminated, watered down, or loopholed! What's left is a windfall for the insurance companies, rationed care and higher premiums.Medicare which is nearly broke (because it's fund, payed into by all of us in the form of medicare payrole taxes has been raided for years! Now Obama wants to strip 500 BILLION DOLLARS fron the fund and at the same time tell us thiswill not affect seniors???!!! God help us all.

Posted by: rreiser147 | December 17, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh well now David Axelrod has decided to get involved. That just about caps it for me.

"I don't think you want this moment to pass. It will not come back again."

Nonsense, it will come back again and again and again until something that makes sense to most Americans is passed. This does not.

Axelrod is in permanent campaign mode and he knows nothing about health care. This is a bill that was written by the insurance industry, no one disputes that.

But then it was larded up for the insurance industry at the same time it was watered down by the insurance industry. How is that possible?

Easy, crony capitalism in Congress, both sides to blame.

If this effort dies, we can get the Medicare and Medicaid expansion and subsidies for competitive policies soon after. Don't give up and say any bill is better than nothing, because nothing is not an option. Lets get a series of bills going. This bill is atrocious.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is one of just a handful of people in this country who know what the frick frack they are talking about. All the other politicians both Dem, Rep, and Ind. are so full of themselves and all they can think about is money for their campaign coffers.

Others who an understand of what the people want are Ron Paul, Rep. Grayson, B. Sanders, R. Feingold, D. Kucinch - and that's about it. We need leadership and we need leaders who LISTEN to the people and not lobbyists. I'm ready to move to another country and try new citizenship somewhere else. This ship is going down fast and hard!

Posted by: TimeforChange | December 17, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Blanche Lincoln and other moderate Democrats are in trouble, with the folks that elected them, because they have failed to stand up to the liberals/progressives in their party.

The United States is a center/right nation and the electorate is fearful of deficits and desires job creation not the far left policies, which will cost the nation jobs and lead to tax increases.

Posted by: mwhoke | December 17, 2009 7:00 AM

==============================

It's somewhere in between.

(1) Democrats like Blanche Lincoln are the only viable Democrats for heavily Republican states and districts. "Progressives" can purge the Democratic party if they so choose. However, progressives may be shocked to learn that there are parts of the country that don't share their values and beliefs.

(2) The same is true for Republicans running in heavily Democratic states: i.e. a far-right Republican won't have a chance in heavily Democratic states. Put another way, it's no accident that given where the Republican Party is today, there are parts of the country which have little or no Republicans.

Posted by: UnPatriotic | December 17, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Like most people intuitively know -- that "if we can just get our Foot through the door, we have a chance of opening that door all the way! And, if we don't begin somewhere, and start the "cooking of the egg", then how much more expensive will healthcare costs become. And, if this is not a good thing, why are they (GOP/ Conserva Dems) fighting so hard to stop it. They too know that if we just get our foot through the door, there will be no stopping. Yes, it is too bad that there are not more in Congress who work for the people, but we have to work with what we have at the moment, take stock of this and work harder for true Jeffersons, and Washingtons and Franklins in the future. They will come...

I have not given up on Pres. Obama; he is fighting old, intrinsic patterns which will not die easily. He is however planting the seeds to their destruction. Take Heart!

POSITIVE EXERCISE: Sit quietly, focus in the third eye, link up with your Soul (the soul is light/love and always works for the good) and visualize health care reform As passed, implemented into law with a public option -- for energies always follows thought!

Posted by: wdsoulplane | December 17, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the only good that will come out of the national health bill where Americans will be penalized if they do not purchase private health insurance, is that Americans will recognize that this nation can not survive when government only considers the special interests.

The major banks have not been forced out of investment banking and back to lending because of the Wall Street interests to keep the major banks as their customers for Wall Street paper.

There are no jobs for Americans except non-exportable jobs such as caulking and installing insulation, because of the special interest of American companies that want to outsource overseas American jobs and use visas for foreign workers here in the United States.

This government even goes along with the special interest and pretends that Americans are insufficient in education and that this is the reason why an individual in India who can barely speak English is speaking to an American about their account in an American bank, instead of an American.

It is perfectly acceptable for this government to have banks that do not lend and massive unemployment instead of opposing the special interests. And now it will be perfectly acceptable for this government to penalize Americans for not buying from private insurers, instead of opposing the special interests.

For both Democrats and Republican in government this is no longer the nation of Americans. This is the nation of the special interests.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 17, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The "progressive" wing of the Democratic party seems to want the bill killed because it isn't perfectly aligned with their expectations: e.g. lack of a public option, no single-payer, etc.

The bills got it's share of problems: e.g. lack of cost control, failure to reign on abuses regarding "pre-existing" conditions. However, wanting to defeat a bill because it isn't perfect is downright asinine--no piece of legislation is (or ever will be) perfect.

Posted by: UnPatriotic | December 17, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance rose last week, the government said Thursday. Analysts had expected a decline. There were 480,000 initial job claims filed in the week ended Dec. 12, up 7,000 from the previous week's revised 473,000, the Labor Department said.


Liberal economics marches on.

I wonder if Barry can do to medical, military and energy what he has done for jobs? Looks like it.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 17, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

D E A N...S C R E A M S...A G A I N...

...H E...I S...A N...I D I O T......

The health care bill at hand there are some very good things in it.

1. Everyone would be required to purchase a health plan, but there are subsidies to help lower income workers. If you make around 22k or less you would be subsidized for over 90% of your premiums.

2. It eliminates insurance companies ability to turn down folks with pre-existing conditions. While it does allow for higher deductables and premiums for these people, they are severely limited in their size (a 5k deductable limit). Poorer folks in this category will receive subsidies too.

3. This bill is deficit neutral.

I think that this bill would make the USA more competitive in the global market.

Posted by: ChipShirley | December 17, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If Lieberman were described as animal - he'd be a Jackal.

The thing never makes a kill for itself ... just cackles and nervously, impishly feasts on the rotting carcass of yesterday's discarded meal.

Joe Lieberman... JACKAL.

Posted by: PulSamsara | December 17, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

On the guns don't kill people, kids kill people topic...I wonder in the bedside artillery rack comes with a warning label about jumping on the bed?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I was never particularly fond of Howard Dean, but he is obviously less beholden to special interests than all the principals, i.e., elected officals, relative to health care reform. Moreover, as a medical doctor and a proponent of patients' rights, Dean has re-emerged as the singular voice of integrity on this issue. I trust his point of view more than any other. For example, as compared with the likes of Senator Lieberman, Howard Dean stands as a shining beacon of truth.

Posted by: zephyr99 | December 17, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Why not advertise baby-sized pistols for kids to carry in their rucksacks to protect themselves against other kids? Where does this madness end?"

Usually like this:

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) - October 9, 2009 -- A soccer mom who gained notoriety for openly carrying a loaded pistol to youth sports events was fatally shot by her husband as she video-chatted with a friend, authorities said Friday.

Scott Hain used his own gun to fire several shots into his 30-year-old wife, Meleanie, while her video chat was active and perhaps as she washed dishes in their kitchen, police said. Scott Hain, 33, later killed himself in an upstairs bedroom.

Meleanie Hain's loaded pistol - with a bullet ready in the chamber - was in a backpack hanging from the front door.

The couple's three young children were home just before the murder-suicide, but authorities stopped short of saying they were home at the time. The online friend heard a scream and turned to see Scott Hain firing, they said."

Doesn't say whether her loaded pistol was in her backpack, or one of the kids.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."-Will Rogers

Never more true.

From what I've read and heard (and hopefully understood) of the health care bill at hand there are some very good things in it.

1. Everyone would be required to purchase a health plan, but there are subsidies to help lower income workers. If you make around 22k or less you would be subsidized for over 90% of your premiums.

2. It eliminates insurance companies ability to turn down folks with pre-existing conditions. While it does allow for higher deductables and premiums for these people, they are severely limited in their size (a 5k deductable limit). Poorer folks in this category will receive subsidies too.

3. This bill is deficit neutral.

I think that this bill would make the USA more competitive in the global market.

Posted by: ChipShirley | December 17, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis on Dean there sverigegrabb.

As Dean said in his piece this morning,
"I have worked for health-care reform all my political life." I guess that counts for nothing.

But they told him, well thanks for all you did, its just that we are about pandering, not principles, certainly not about change, so get down there in your plot under the Obama bus, that spot has your name on it Howard. So we have the revenge of the doctor scorned!

One has to wonder who Obama's friends are? It looks to me like now it is just Geithner, Bernanke, Blankfein, Summers...the supply siders whose world view is confined to lower Manhattan.

Democrats are letting Republicans put the populist mask back on, one mistake at a time.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Supporters of the Senate bill say it will insure the uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office says 24 million of the 46.3 million uninsured will remain so. Supporters say it will lower aggregate and individual health care spending. The government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says the nation's health care spending and insurance premium costs will increase.

Today there are more independents than Democrats, more independents than Republicans, and according to a recent Gallup poll, independents' approval of the Democratic-controlled Congress (14 percent) is lower than Republicans' approval (17 percent). This is partly a function of the majority party's health care monomania.

Consider what happened recently in Kentucky.

There a Republican candidate succeeded in nationalizing a state Senate race. Hugely outspent in a district in which Democrats have a lopsided registration advantage, the Republican won by 12 points a seat in Frankfort by running against Washington -- against Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their health care legislation.

A CNN poll shows 36 percent of the public in favor of what the Democratic Senate is trying to do to health care, 61 percent opposed. It is clear what the public wants Congress to do: Take a mulligan and start over.

So Republicans can win in 2009 by stopping the bill, or in 2010 by saying: Unpopular health legislation passed because of a 60-40 party-line decision to bring it to a Senate vote. Therefore each incumbent Democrat is responsible for everything in the law.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 17, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Consider his busy December -- so far.

His Dec. 1 Afghanistan speech to the nation was followed on Dec. 3 by his televised "jobs summit." His Dec. 8 televised economics speech at the Brookings Institution was followed on Dec. 10 by his televised Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, which was remarkable for 38 uses of the pronoun "I."

And for disavowing a competence no one suspected him of. ("I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war." Note the superfluous adjective.) And for an unnecessary notification. ("Evil does exist in the world.") And for delayed utopianism. ("We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes." But in someone's.) And for solemnly announcing something undisputed. (There can be a just war.) And for intellectual applesauce that should get speechwriters fired and editors hired. ("We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected." If the human "condition" can attain perfection anyway, human nature cannot be significantly imperfect.)

Then on Dec. 13, he was on "60 Minutes" praising himself with another denigration of his predecessor, aka "the last eight years." (Blighted by "a triumphant sense about war.")

Abroad, the fruits of the president's policy of "engagement" have been meager: Witness Iran continuing its nuclear program and China being difficult about carbon emissions.

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

When I voted for candidate Obama I thought I was voting for a Democrat for President. I was mistaken. I thought I was getting a Chicago, Illinois tested tough politician that could make things happen the way LBJ used to. I was mistaken.

Dr. Dean has to pressure Obama from the progressive/left because
the President seems way too interested in what the republicans want and way too accommodating in a Neville Chamberlin-ish way to the gigantic ego that is Joseph Liberman.

I voted for a Democrat for President and all I got was just another republican.

I want my vote back.

Posted by: cfeher | December 17, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the props, Bsimon!

Posted by: Jay20 | December 17, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

In other news:

10. Thank you, Chris for adding that bit about this not being a joke. It certainly isn't. It can possibly be argued by gun rights advocates that people have the right to keep a firearm to 'defend' themselves, but the bedside gun rack is only for Rambo-types.

Why not advertise baby-sized pistols for kids to carry in their rucksacks to protect themselves against other kids? Where does this madness end?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | December 17, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Headlines under a liberal administration:

Americans Souring on Democrats

Rational minds have to agree. Something very weird is going on.

Poll: Obama approval dips below 50 percent

...maybe this is what's going on.

Obama describes emotional toll of a wartime presidency
Poor baby.....

Posted by: ZOUK | December 17, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Pour some more butter on the popcorn . . . Yesterday, Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs took shots at Howard Dean and his opposition to ObamaCare, suggesting the good doctor didn't know what he was talking about. It was payback time this morning, as Dean announced that he would "not vigorously" back Pres. Obama's re-election bid.


the cartoon present ident

Posted by: ZOUK | December 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Man, Senator Landrieu JUST for re-elected last year. I think it's a little too early to declare her in trouble.

Incidentally, she's one of the blue dogs who should be voting for the bill. She has the luxury of actually having everything take effect and improve the lives of Louisianians. A lot of people who are up for re-election next year don't have that opportunity.

But the question remains, if the blue dogs aren't going to support the Democrats on this issue, what issue could they possibly support the party with?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 17, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Such a plethora of things to comment on!

1. Howard Dean: You really shouldn't paint Gov. Dean's opposition to the HCR Bill as a kind of 'sour grapes'. He's no more a 'spoiler' than Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been equally outspoken on the issue recently.

The reason Dean is a 'danger' to the D.s is because this subject IS his issue (he's EXTREMELY knowledgeable about it), and he is rightly upset at the Bill's having been watered down to the point where it would only be a political victory if it passed, not a substantive one.

It's true what your source said about the Administration having made a major mistake in passing Dean over for a position--I and many others said so at the time.

Dean might, in one sense, have another axe to grind: He worked very, very hard as head of the DNC to create a D. majority. To now watch as the D.s rather stupidly throw away their political capital--on HCR and with general infighting--with both hands must be extremely frustrating.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | December 17, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Merrill -- thanks. The John Birch Society, now beloved of the increasingly unhinged and ultrarightwing Right in this country.

"The 51-year-old ultra-conservative group, once ostracized by the right, is co-sponsoring the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference.

JBS will have a double booth with half dedicated to offering educational and promotional materials and the other half housing a TV studio that will stream live video from the booth and broadcast onto JBS LibertyNewsNetwork.tv, a website that will feature archived JBS video and live video streams."

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"The bill will give health care coverage to a record 31 million Americans who are currently uninsured"


Um, no...it would FORCE 31 million Americans who are currently uninsured to BUY health care coverage while providing no real limits to how much the insurers will be able to charge. Sure, you can't be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, just be charged out the ... for it.

Posted by: Honus | December 17, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know what Obama's problem is with Howard Dean"
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

i think its DEAN'S problem with Obama not the other way around.
remember Obama passed over Dean for two jobs that Dean made it very clear he really wanted.
the first was given to Kerry instead
the second was given to Seibulus instead.

at least dean did not pick an un-necessary cause. it seems he waited for a legitimate time to show obama that two can play this game. for some, what Dean is saying makes perfect sense from their perspective and the promises obama made.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 17, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

From my point of view the best way to pass the health care bill is to split the bill in two different bills, one for health care that include Public option or single payer, ther to regulate the health insurance industry.

The health care bill will have better chance to pass without the insurance industry regulation.

Posted by: jalemar | December 17, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"As a conservative Democrat, NOTHING would please me more than to see Howard Dean and his ilk sink health care reform. They would assign themselves the status of Ralph Nader within the party. I can't wait."

There is no such thing as a conservative Democrat. You are just a republican who is too chicken sh!t to admit it. Same goes with all the 'centrist' and yellowdog dems on congress.

BTW Ralph was right! There is little to no dif btw the parties and most are beholden to big business that pays for their campaigns. Dean at least has always bee true to his roots. That is why he speaks out regardless of what Obama, Rahm and the others think of him. This guys helped put O in the WH and now they denigrate him for pushing the principles that O wa suppose to be all about.

Posted by: atroncale1 | December 17, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what Obama's problem is with Howard Dean but it must be a big one given that he was able to get over his differences with Hillary Clinton and get her "in-house". Moving her into the admin shut down any possibility of her publicly critizing the admin on health care from the floor of the U.S. Senate. Obama must have forgotten that Dean could go on television and throw lobs from the left. This has been a tactical error on Obama's part and could have significant strategic implications as well.

Posted by: wsblount | December 17, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The liberal Howard Dean says that the Senate bill is a give-a-way to insurance companies.
This independent conservative says Howard Dean is totally correct.

This bill:
1. Forces all Americans to buy health insurance whether they like it or not and should they decline they're punushed with a fine or prison.
Insurance companies love this part.

2. Cuts half a trillion dollars from Medicare thus eliminating Medicare Advantage and forcing seniors to buy more insurance to cover the 20% that Medicare alone doesnn't cover.
Insurance companies, and ESPECIALLY AARP, love this part.

3. Raises EVERYONE'S health premiums because it raises taxes on insurance companies who really don't feel like paying this themselves and therefore it gives them an excuse to raise premiums to previously unreachable heights.
Insurance companies love this part.

I could go on but what's the point the Obama-loving Democrats in congress are too dumb to listen to someone telling them that this bill is both a train wreck AND a one-way ticket out of town for them.

This bill has NO redeeming qualities whatever.
It is not being pushed to reform health care, it is being pushed to save face for a fool of a president who never saw an opponent he didn't want to bow to.

Howard Dean is right.
We should start all over again from the beginning but THIS time together with the Republicans and proceed slowly and carefully to reform one sixth of the economy.

Democratic senators want to jam this through by Christmas.
They just can't wait to shove this Scrooge-like, Medicare-cutting bill through congress and pull that wheelchair out from under grannie and knock the crutches away from granddad.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | December 17, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

If it was great to be a doctor before health care "reform" it is about to get a lot better. Months ago some spoke of the US becoming a health care nation. Others spoke of health care regulating government, not the other way around. We will all spend a whole lot more time creating and consuming health care, the die is cast.

The Senate bill has been entirely stripped of the, "foundation that will begin to lower costs." The opposite is true, rate increases will continue apace, there is simply nothing to stand in the way.

But we could do worse than blow an ever larger fraction of gdp on health care. It sure beats military adventures.

The good news is there will be new jobs, lots and lots of them. Also, we won't be able to afford stupid consumer goods, driving for fun and a lot of other costly pastimes.

Instead of deepening the recession, this could become the sustainable growth solution. Health care capital, profit and jobs will not be exported. Educational infrastructure for high tech skills in health care will have to expand.

A person could get pretty starry eyed about all this, but please, don't call the coming explosion in health care spending a reform effort. This is an acceleration, we'll see so much more of the same.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The Lieberman administration is proving to be catastrophic for America. I'd happily vote for Dean in a primary.

Posted by: mhwebster | December 17, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

And look at who the co-sponsor is, none other than the Birchers. The same folks who called Ike a commie and rail about Jewish bankers. Wonder if Bill-O will send his stalker-producer like he did at the Net Roots convention.

http://washingtonindependent.com/71223/the-john-birch-society-to-co-sponsor-cpac

drindl writes: But check out CPAC 2010's list of speakers. The asterisk indicates the speaker is invited and confirmed.

Lest there be any confusion this time, note how they designate Sarah Palin, as opposed to other invited, but non-confirmed speakers (ea).


"Amb. John Bolton*, Andrew Breitbart*, Herman Cain*, Ann Coulter*, Hon. Newt Gingrich, Doug Hoffman, Hon. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, David Keene*, Wayne LaPierre*, Mark Levin*, Rush Limbaugh, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell, Hon. Sarah Palin (Invited, Not Confirmed), Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Tim Pawlenty*, Hon. Mitt Romney*, Marco Rubio*, and many more!"

That would make a great police line-up, or a roster of asylum inmates, but a political party for a civilized country? Not so much.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | December 17, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

As a conservative Democrat, NOTHING would please me more than to see Howard Dean and his ilk sink health care reform. They would assign themselves the status of Ralph Nader within the party. I can't wait.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | December 17, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Ah Chris C - always willing to put out propaganda for those in power! - in this case Big Insurance and, alas, the White House...

You'd call Dean a 'Spoiler'? Is that because he wants real reform rather than a giveaway to Big Insurance? Or because he doesn't want the Democrats to go down in flames in 2010?

Is this bill real reform or even a smidgen of reform? No. Will it lower the profit margins of insurance companies? Again no. How do I know? The stock market. According to Republicans, the market is as omniscient as God right?. Look at the value of Big Insurance Co stocks over the last 3 months. Look at the stocks of Wellpoint and Cigna and the others. They have steadily risen over the last three months and jumped more and more as Ball-less Obama has compromised away any real reform.

At this point, I'm sure that Republicans are sitting back and hoping that this healthcare "reform" passes. They will have a hayday in November with their corporate media cronies pushing the talking point "Big Gov't forcing you to buy into Big Insurance and fining you if you don't".

Gov. Dean is completely correct on this issue just as he was on the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: UNLISTED | December 17, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line: 78% of Congress, be it the Senate or House or Republican, Democrat, or Independent, is CORRUPT.

Did anyone really expect anything less than the saga we are witnessing when the Health Care Bill was introduced?

Posted by: Tell-the-Truth-Please | December 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Jay20's post at 11 AM is worth reading.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Podesta, Sherrod Brown, and the rest of the Democrats repeating the WH talking points should be ashamed. When they claim that "30 million AMericans will benefit by getting health insurance under this bill" they should immediately be required to point out that those 30 million people will be required to spend between 9% and 17% or more of their income to purchase that insurance (or pay a fine, or even go to jail). At best, an honest statement would be "Under this bill there will be subsidies for SOME people to buy over priced, unregulated health insurance from private companies whose singular corporate purpose is to make a profit for their shareholders."

Posted by: smeesq | December 17, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3 writes
"There is part of me that thinks since the far-right and the far-left people on this site both think this bill should be scraped, it has a real chance of passing."


Not only that, but if both those extremes oppose it, maybe it IS a step in the right direction.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Unchristian theocracy in America:

"The Family Research Council Action PAC just finished it's special 90-minute "prayercast," an online event to pray for God's intercession to get Senators to stop the health care bill, and it sure was interesting to watch.

Overall, the event provided a good look at the theocratic right, about which we'll have more to write tomorrow. Guests included -- either live, by phone, or on pre-recorded video -- Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Randy Forbes (R-VA), Todd Akin (R-MO) and others."

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Dean is right this bill is so bad that the dems and Obama should be ashamed to try to build it up to be something its not.I hope Howard runs for President because unless President Obama starts getting tough and acting like the President we the people thought we elected i would vote for Howard over Obama.We need a President that will not play nice with congress and mainly the reps that were mainly responsible for the economic meltdown and the healthcare crisis.What we have now is a party of no (reps)and a party of weaklings (dems)well anyhow God bless America.

Posted by: smorrow | December 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@koolkat_1960 wrote:
"Tom Colburn is also a doctor and he seems to have a very different understanding of the issue. Not better, just different."
.
Tom Colburn is also a church deacon, which he claimed forbid him from talking about the 'counseling' he gave John Ensign over Ensign's infidelities. A week later, he was blathering about it to news shows. He also helped *negotiate* the settlement payments between the mistress and Ensign.
.
If this behavior as a church deacon is indicative of how he understands his jobs, he ain't much of a doctor.

Posted by: rpixley220 | December 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dean - Although I don't agree with him on some issue ideologically, I disagree with what some writers have said about hin being a detriment to his party. As chair of the DNC, Dean's vision provided the financial infrastructure for many previously underfunded state party organizations so they could compete with the GOP in Presidential elections. Obama doesn't win Indiana and Virginia -- and come close to winning in places like Alaska and Missouri without Dean.

Also, Presidents need iconoclasts outside of the Beltway to keep them honest.

Pawlenty -- I lived in Minnesota for part of his governorship. Frankly, I thought the much-maligned Jesse Ventura had more substantive accomplishments as governor than Pawlenty. Why would anyone be focused on Pawlenty when there are candidates like Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Mitt Romney -- who have a stronger working knowledge of the economy -- floating around?

Posted by: Jay20 | December 17, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Tom Coburn is also a doctor and he seems to have a very different understanding of the issue. Not better, just different."

Coburn is not a human being, much less a doctor.

Posted by: atroncale1 | December 17, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

i dont see Snowe going along with this.
i dont hear it ever being mantioned, by in my opinion the fact that a government office will still oversee the management in place of the public option tells me it is still a government-run situation. maybe they want it to appear otherwise, but how do you differentiate a "government office" running something and not call it government-run?

maybe i am alone on this especially since i have yet to see someone make mention of it, but something tells me Snowe will pick up on that, point it out and not vote for it.... we'll see.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is acting like a spoiled brat who didn't get his way on the playground and is trying to steal the ball to ruin it for everyone else. He is exhibiting this irritating "my way or the highway" opinion which seems to strongly imply that none of us is smart enough to see the light as he casts it.

Thanks, Howard. Somehow, if barely the votes needed to pass this thing exist in either the House or Senate and the deepening popular opposition to the proposed bill don't convince you that your party has either come up with an unpalatable proposal or you have done a lousy job in clearly and transparently describing it, then nothing will.

Dean is perhaps symptomatic of the travails of Demnocratic party. They have built a "big tent" not as much from the universal acceptance of their traditional ideologies, but as the "any port in a storm" shelter from the misery of the past administration. As the deeply committed Party Faithful espouse their values of tax, spend, and let government take care of you because It knows best as you can't possibly ever know, it loses sight of the fact that the Big Tent has lots of varied opinions. And varied opinions do not consider themselves intrinsically wrong.

The GOP should thank Dean for this op-ed. But, not for its damage to the propspect of the morbidly obese health care reform bill. The GOP should thank Dean for the lesson it provides in not using the ideology of the far corners of your party to drive out the centrists who were looking for some shelter from the storm -- but not at the price of drowning in someone else's Kool Aid.

Posted by: DOps | December 17, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

its not obama's fault?
do you see someone else up there insisting GITMO terrorists come to Illinois or be tried in New York?

do you see anyone else up there sending $200 MILLION to the tiny country of Paulo for GITMO prisoners?

do you see anyone else making up PHONY congressional districts and claiming that is where a great deal of the stimulus money went?

do you see someone else up there other than obama throwing $300,000 in the trash tin to fly a plane around new york and peer into windows then claim it was a mistake? whatwould have cost .25cents on a computer ended up costing $300,000.

lets not even begin with all the other policy blunders.

OBAMA IS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE - - HOW CAN HE NOT BE???? THIS MAN SPEND MORE THAN ALL PRESIDENTS COMBINED and you say do not hold him responsible?

NO MATTER WHAT POSITION THIS COUNTRY WAS IN IT DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE AMOUNT OF WASTEFUL MONEY OBAMA IS COMMITTING THIS COUNTRY TO. every president inherits the country in one condition or another and have their burdens. we elect people who claimd they know what to do and how to do it.... obama is a failure with a very large "F" unlike the B he gave himself.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 17, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

There is part of me that thinks since the far-right and the far-left people on this site both think this bill should be scraped, it has a real chance of passing. Also as I said yesterday, Dean's opposition may actually help Obama in the long run since it will make this bill look like a moderate compromise.

I wonder if now that the public option is scraped if Olympia Snowe will sign on. IMO, Senator Snowe and/or Collins could wrap up their next election if they voted for this bill.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 17, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

as if he didnt learn a thing during campaign. kinda' reminds me of his handling of the FoxCableNews situation.

it appears this healthcare fiacaso is something obama did not properly prepare for
did not get any advice on
was not prepared for any wrinkles along the way
lacked the flexibility to compromise until it got down to where he's the one having to make concessions and not the other way around.

another error was thinking he could put something like 1/6 economy-healthcare in a difinitive timeframe. he failed with the spring deadline, he failed with the "by July" deadline and who can even remember the other promised dates. Now its "by before Christmas."

yes a potential needs some sort of actual management-business experience no matter how slight... it matters.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | December 17, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Look Chris. America just doesn't work anymore. And it isn't Obama's fault. I mean things were already in the tank before he came into office and you have to give him some credit for at least trying.

America doesn't work anymore because ot the character of her people. I don't sy this lightly because I love the progressive spirity that really made this country the envy of the world. But, whether Alexis De Toqueville actually said these words or not--"America is great because America is good. When America cease to be good, she will cease to be great."--it has always been true.

So what has happened? Look. The lazy and corrupt people who largely inhabit these blogs are representative of what I am talking about. Everyone in America seems to be angrily screeching at the top of their lungs that they want the government to cut spending and taxes. Yet, no one seems passionate about this when it is their specific programs on the chopping block.

Our corrupt politicians are merely a mirror image of a people that have been corrupt, lazy, uninformed and quite honestly uunfit for a democratic republic. Let me pose you an example of just what I amtalking about. Right now, at this very moment, President Obama is trying to get a penel together to make sweeping recommendations on spending cuts and tax increases to get our contry back to solvency. Do you want to take any bets as to how much support he will get from aal of these carping hyenas when these recommendations actually come up for an up or down vote?

This is what I mean about the loss of national character. You can't just sit around on your fat, lazy, corrupt hineys and blame it all on him when you don't have the honor and valor to make even the slightest sacrifice to solve our debt problems.

Posted by: jaxas | December 17, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Michael Steele declares that the GOP is now the Tea Party:

[When he says, 'tea' substitute 'kool-aid' and it will all make perfect sense]:

But after the speech, Steele told TPMDC that the effort goes beyond health care and that tea partiers should know their friends are in the GOP.

"I think we are a natural home," Steele said. He acknowledged the tea partier's complaints with the Republicans and he promised that the party would work hard to keep its loudest constituents happy. Steele said he offered a "mea culpa" to tea partiers since the beginning of this term, agreeing with them that the party had abandoned its conservative "principles."

But that's all over now, Steele said. Tea is the party's drink now. "We are moving back, head first, in that direction," he said. "Because that's where we should be."

The Tea Party -- fits right in at the Country Club, with those little cucumber sandwiches and everything.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Dems, if they go through reconciliation, will mandate use of public funds for abortion and legalize Gay marriage. Time to get the US moving forward.

How come no stories on those Repubtards that support Uganda's "Gay Extermination Bill"?

Posted by: Maddogg | December 17, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I feel that Mr. Dean is being judged based solely from a Political viewpoint by Mr Cillizza .Not all is politics,there is a Human side in all of us.I feel he sincerely shows that he wants a sane and effective Bill. His reasoning that too much compromise, just for the sake of passing a Bill, has weakened the Health Care Bill is a valid one.I don't feel the Bill should be scrapped ,but stooping down to pompous individuals ,such as Joe Lieberman, et al,is
causing Americans to view the Democrats in the Senate as spineless.

Posted by: CINQDOIGTS | December 17, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty may be attempting to win over New Hampshire voters as a probable contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but after his debut appearance yesterday it seems he has more work to do.

He remains unknown, the Pioneer Press reports.

From that story's top:

"Never heard of him," said Patricia Goulet, of Concord, shopping for books at a local Border's.
How about you, Susan Chabot, of Manchester? "No."

He's the governor of Minnesota. Ring a bell, Rich Audet, of Northfield? "Nope."

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Why is universal health care such a bugaboo for this country? Why are people's lives subject to 'market economics'? Why is it that insurance companies were allowed to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions in the first place? The welfare of the people is not a stock to be traded and sold for profits. It is all so unseemly and unchristian and macabre.
It makes me sick!

Posted by: atroncale1 | December 17, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The "Health Insurance and Drug Company Profit Support Bill of 2009" needs to be killed before a vote. The Dems can go the reconciliation route and get the public option.

Posted by: Maddogg | December 17, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Reid's bill is a requirement for taxpayers to be mandated to pay for pre-birth murder while robbing Grandma and Grandpa's medical needs.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 17, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Dean was against the war and would have passed Health care because, as a doctor he understands the issue."

Tom Coburn is also a doctor and he seems to have a very different understanding of the issue. Not better, just different.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 17, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The only thing Barry cares about are the profits of those fatcat drug makers. Typical DC politician. How's that hope and change working for ya?

Posted by: bugabbo | December 17, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

More eyebrow-raisers from Pawlenty, this time an oh-so-clever alliteration "Ponzi on the Potomac".

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/12/16/pawlenty-new-hampshire2/

Of course, once you've figured out how to game the system, it gets easier to accuse others of doing the same thing. One of my favorite Pawlenty programs was asking infrastructure contractors to self-fund road and bridge projects, until the state could come up with the money to pay them back. Remember Wimpy from Popeye? This was Pawlenty's Wimpy plane: "I will gladly pay you tuesday for a new road today." A more recent example of budget shenanigans came this year, with accounting shifts for schools. One problem with a budget shortfall is one of cash flow - getting the revenue in hand before you have to start paying bills. Minnesota is legally required to have a balanced budget & thus can't deficit spend. But that restriction doesn't apply to school districts. So Gov Pawlenty decided to just cut the amount of money available for schools this year, but promises to make it up next year - so on paper there's no 'cut,' but a mere shift of when payments are made. Of course, schools have to pay bills today, so they have to borrow the money. This amounts to a budget cut, because now they have to pay interest on those loans, leaving less money for educating the kids. This, my friends, is the new fiscal conservatism in action.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"The Senate health care bill is not without its problems. But if enacted, it would represent the most significant public reform of our health care system that Congress has passed in the 40 plus years I have worked in politics. The bill will give health care coverage to a record 31 million Americans who are currently uninsured, lay a foundation that will begin to lower costs for millions of families, and provide all Americans with the access to adequate and dependable coverage when they need it most.

All of us are anxious to see the final language from the Senate. And a final bill must ensure that the subsidies provided are sufficient to make insurance truly affordable for working families. But based on what we know, here are my top ten reasons for why progressives should support the Senate passing the bill:

1. Largest Expansion Of Coverage Since Medicare’s Creation: Thirty-one million previously uninsured Americans will have insurance.

2. Low/Middle Income Americans Will Not Go Without Coverage: For low-income Americans struggling near the poverty line, the bill represents the largest single expansion of Medicaid since its inception. Combined with subsidies for middle income families, the bill’s provisions will ensure that working class Americans will no longer go without basic health care coverage.

3. Insurance Companies Will Never Be Able to Drop or Deny You Coverage Because You Are Sick: Insurers can no longer deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition. They can’t rescind coverage or impose lifetime or annual limits on care. Significantly, the bill also ends insurer discrimination against women — who currently pay as much as 48% more for coverage than men — and gives them access preventive services with no cost sharing."

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/16/podesta-passing-senate-bill/

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Sherrod Brown:

“I’m going to vote for it,” Brown told reporters. “I can’t imagine I wouldn’t. I mean there’s too much at stake.”

Change of the magnitude envisioned by health care reformers does not come easily. There have been many frustrations and there will be more. But, as a senior White House staffer with a ringside seat for the slow death of comprehensive care in 1994, I am keenly aware of the real alternative to the bills now before us: millions more Americans without health care and billions more for health care spending as the same challenges President Clinton tried to resolve continue to metastasize unchecked.

So while I have great respect for Governor Dean, and we have worked together to provide the strongest health care reform bill for the American people, I come down on the side of the Senate passing the bill.

Here’s why:

The Senate health care bill is not without its problems. But if enacted, it would represent the most significant public reform of our health care system that Congress has passed in the 40 plus years I have worked in politics. The bill will give health care coverage to a record 31 million Americans who are currently uninsured, lay a foundation that will begin to lower costs for millions of families, and provide all Americans with the access to adequate and dependable coverage when they need it most."

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The liberal left? As opposed to the conservative left?

Posted by: Pepper5 | December 17, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA PASSION DEFICIT COULD ENCOURAGE DEAN TO CHALLENGE

Another Howard Dean presidential run "extremely unlikely?" It becomes more likely with each passing day.

President Obama recently has exhibited a peculiar and troubling regression from past displays of moral resolve and courage. Something seems not right with President Obama. He appears to be detached, aloof, dispassionate. He laughs at inappropriate moments, as evidenced in his two "60 Minutes" interviews with Steve Kroft of CBS News. Kroft invited POTUS to emote by asking about the personal agony involved in his decision to send 30,000 more troops into harm's way in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama's response might be characterized as a "Dukakis Moment," more cerebral than empathetic.

It's almost as if President Obama has fallen under the influence of a physical force that has altered his persona, blunted his emotions -- a passionate advocate of hope and change transformed, downsized, into just another calculating and cautious political automaton.

As far-fetched as it may sound, it got me to thinking about this question:

IS PRESIDENT OBAMA UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SILENT MICROWAVE/LASER 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' ENTRAINMENT?

To find out why I raise this question, please read this article and the accompanying "comments" section:

http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-unaware-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 17, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Chris - I voted for Howard Dean because he represented my point of view - and he still does. If the Democrats are doing the WRONG thing - I would hope SOMEONE would tell them - and then do something about it !!!!!! If I can't get my opinion heard - at least I can count on Dean to get my opinion across. Are you suggesting that this bill is worthy of any Democrat's support?! It's a Republican bill - because the Democrats have allowed it to be. What on earth is wrong with Dean saying this is so?

Posted by: nadinem | December 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Bedside ordnance doesn't kill people.
Children kill people.

If you outlaw guns at work, only the unemployed will have guns.

Hey, this Republican thing is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

i supported Dean when he ran for President. The Dems chose Kerry and the rest is loser-history. Dean was against the war and would have passed Health care because, as a doctor he understands the issue. He was the first to call out the Dems for their weak-kneedness. I am tryly dismayed at Obama and especially all his 'handlers' who are steering him wrong. Rahm has a personal vendetta against Dean and its beginning to effect the entire Obama agenda. Rahm- go back to Chicago and berate yourself for your selfishness.

Posted by: atroncale1 | December 17, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe Dean and a few others can get Obama and the true Democrats to see the light."


Whisperings of a DINO hunt?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Oops, never mind. You had to put a Tpaw in there.

Posted by: swallen1 | December 17, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Sorry bsimon, I was not directing my comment about the gopie groupie website to you, but rather to the author.

I did learn from it also that Huckabee is anxious to have an interview on Fox with a Japanese war criminal. He really has a thing for bad guys, it seems.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I have never felt so sold down the river as I have with this bunch of Democrats. They have colluded to pull this bogus "health care reform" bill together. don't get me wrong, the Republican choice is the fire compared to this frying pan of hot air. Jessie Jackson was right, "Obama needs to grow a pair" and realise that this is no time for consensus; this is a time for action and throw the "Reap Lobby Cans" out. Maybe Dean and a few others can get Obama and the true Democrats to see the light.

Posted by: glenglish | December 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

You got through a column without saying "Tpaw" or "Hizzoner" or another of your cute nicknames for Republicans. That's a great start, thanks, please keep it up.

Posted by: swallen1 | December 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

thanks for you comment, bsimon.. excellent.

Could you go into why you think this little proGOP website is so good? I don't get it, unless it's just that it's all R, all the time. Did read this, though, on No-Show Sarah:

'Last year, there was considerable confusion over whether Sarah Palin would be attending the influential Conservative Political Action Conference ( She ended up not going).

In fact, there's been considerable confusion over her attendance for quite a few events this past year.

But check out CPAC 2010's list of speakers. The asterisk indicates the speaker is invited and confirmed.

Lest there be any confusion this time, note how they designate Sarah Palin, as opposed to other invited, but non-confirmed speakers (ea).


"Amb. John Bolton*, Andrew Breitbart*, Herman Cain*, Ann Coulter*, Hon. Newt Gingrich, Doug Hoffman, Hon. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, David Keene*, Wayne LaPierre*, Mark Levin*, Rush Limbaugh, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell, Hon. Sarah Palin (Invited, Not Confirmed), Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Tim Pawlenty*, Hon. Mitt Romney*, Marco Rubio*, and many more!"

That would make a great police line-up, or a roster of asylum inmates, but a political party for a civilized country? Not so much.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"I built a device like this as a prototype after my first daughter was born but it did not work - it would not stay in place by the weight of the mattress alone and it could be felt, like the proverbial pea."


When one of my neighbors bought their house, the prior owner showed off the hole in the wall next to the bed - custom designed to hold a piece - then wallpaper over it. Theoretically the kids won't find it, nor the bad guys, unless they find it in your hands - Grrr! The sign of a total nutjob, if you ask me.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: coolforsale108 | December 17, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"With these new outside-the-party fringe and single issue groups throwing their weight around, what had looked like a great addition to a party's political voice has become a monster. "

You are making a very good point, margaret that the political and journalistic establishment in DC [same club] has not figured out how to work into their Grand Unified Narrative -- it's All Good for Republicans.

They just aren't getting that the Teabaggers are as much, or more, out to destroy the Republican party than the Democrats.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Darn, more job losses.
At least this isn't happening at Citigroup!
They are, after all, too big to fail.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/12/17/business/AP-US-Economy.html

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I would love to have some of whatever "Democratic leaders" are smoking if they think forcing middle class families and young workers to buy insurance from the corrupt industry without giving them a safety valve (Medicare buy-in for all or a robust public option) is the way to win friends and voters. Or even to retain the occasional and first-time voters who, in many cases, provided the margin that brought them to office last year.
And that's just if they pass the Senate bill as it currently stands. Imagine what's going to happen once the Republicans spend a year whining and lying about it.
In my opinion, the only way forward is a strong, Democratic bill--then go out and defend it with facts and hope the "liberal media" climbs out of their GOP tank and reports it accurately.

Posted by: kstack | December 17, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has made a few eyebrow-raising comments..."


Never mind his spouse, lets talk about the eyebrow raising comments that Gov Pawlenty makes about politics. Yesterday, he told a New Hampshire radio station that there are some steps we should take to address the budget / spending problems in Washington. Common-sense conservatism things like a line item veto and a balanced budget amendment. That makes perfect sense, right? Bring some fiscal sanity back to washington! So lets look at how such tools are used. For instance, we can look at a state that has exactly those rules - Minnesota for instance. So, with his line-item veto and balanced budget mandate, has Governor Pawlenty been able to deliver a balanced budget for Minnesota? No. As a matter of fact, he has not. He faced a budget deficit when he came into office & is leaving a worse budget deficit for his successor. We've had seven years of accounting shifts and using one time funding sources (i.e. tobacco settlement & fed stimulus dollars) to 'balance' the budget. Pawlenty has already peter-principled his way to the governorship. We can't afford to compound the mistake by sending him to the White House.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Run Howard Run!

EJ Dionne's column is ALL wrong. The base did not select Obama to fix Health Care. Repeating the mistakes of the Clinton first term is just that, repeating mistakes.

Job, Infrastructure and Civil Liberties is what we voted on. David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel's hubris got us here. Obama needs to ask them to step aside for someone to lead us back out.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | December 17, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Chris, are we now going to have you giving daily shout outs to Pawlenty *and* his wife? That's an awful lot of sucking-up.

I liked GOP12, especially this bit:
"Pawlenty won't endorse in contested primaries." I don't know which is braver, the headline or the bold political stance behind it.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 17, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

You have a typo in the headline, Chris.

It *should* read, "Joe Lieberman, health care reform spoiler."

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"The United States is a center/right nation and the electorate is fearful of deficits and desires job creation not the far left policies, which will cost the nation jobs and lead to tax increases.

===

Which would explain the last two elections."

I presume you are being sarcastic, BB. The whole 'center-right' meme is a fiction, a fantasy on the part of the rightwing media machine.

As Cheney said, 'deficits don't matter.'

What cost the nation jobs was far right deregulatory policies and ignorance.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is rapidly reasserting his role as the most destructive force in the Democratic Party. The Democrats are at a crossroad. They have the President and large enough majorities in both the House and the Senate to govern. The question is whether they are capable of working together to get the job done or not. Clearly Howard Dean is not capable of doing anything but play with himself. If that attitude proves characterisitc of the party as a whole, it will be a long time if ever until the Democrats get another chance.

Posted by: dnjake | December 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Andy is right. Statistically, families who own guns are far more likely to be the victims of them than families who are not. Owning a gun endangers you more than not owning one, in other words.

Nothing beats a couple of good dogs.

I see we had a TPaw Puff for breakfast this morning, with our pumpkin latte.

Will we be having a TPawPuff [trademark] every morning now, or will it alternate with ThuneCakes and PalinPies?

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I heard Dean talking earlier this year. He was adamant that a government plan was an essential requirement. He just hasn't learned how to count to 60. [Reconciliation is not an option as aspects of the plan couldn't pass this way.]

===

The United States is a center/right nation and the electorate is fearful of deficits and desires job creation not the far left policies, which will cost the nation jobs and lead to tax increases.

===

Which would explain the last two elections.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 17, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The note at the end of #3 brings up a disconnect we are expereincing in the Republican and Democratic party.

The incumbent politicians are still practicing politics the way they were taught as political puppies: work hard in the trenches of the party and you will rise; raise money and endorse fellow incumbents; working with the opposition to create good legislation is important (but don't do too much of it -- always best practice to work with your own party); stand with your party and it will stand with you.

With these new outside-the-party fringe and single issue groups throwing their weight around, what had looked like a great addition to a party's political voice has become a monster. McCain wants to sponsor a bill with Cantwell and back Crist? Biden keeps fund raising for Dodd?

Club for Growth? I love their candidates -- UNELECTABLE. They have not elected a single state-wide candidate yet. They gave Coburn a lot of money, but he was an incumbent. Toomey can win a primary, but he cannot win in the General Election.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 17, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I think you are right on about the optimism of the nation. All the economic indicators disagree with the feelings of much of the country. However, our economy is reliant on the consumer having a positive feeling about the economy as a whole for it to succeed. BTW, I heard an interesting view on NPR the other day that said unemployment may decrease rather quickly because employers fired people to rapidly. Now they may need to hire back quickly to keep up with demand. I don't know if I fully agree with it but it is an interesting view.

I fully feel that a good dog is ten times as valuable in home protection then a gun. Most gun related deaths in the home are accidental cases of the gun owner shooting someone in their own family.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 17, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The health care reform bill is worthless as it stands now. Might as well concede victory to the Party of NO and the so-called independent and the Blue Dog Democrats.

Bipartisanship has been a one-way street - Democrats concede, Republicans win and smirk as they take insurance company money in donations.

Either go back to the original bill or give up the fight for now - until the Democrats in Congress get some backbone and guts enough for a knock-down, drag out fight.

Posted by: Utahreb | December 17, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Carter!

Posted by: snowbama | December 17, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

re: #10 - I built a device like this as a prototype after my first daughter was born but it did not work - it would not stay in place by the weight of the mattress alone and it could be felt, like the proverbial pea. So I am guessing this is either a joke or a boondoggle [$40 for an aching back]. I came to rely on our three dogs for home protection. Sometimes they got on the bed, but that was more comfortable than two steel bands under the mattress. A customized rack attached to the bed frame would work much better. But it would be visible and an affront to some sensibilities; thus only marketable to male bachelors without female partners, IMO.

As for #2, the pessimism is warranted. But I am not sure it would presage a move to the Rs. Of course, pessimism in America usually depresses participation, which [historically] would net help Rs. We must keep in mind Andy's advice that it will likely be the sense of the economy next summer that will determine much of the electoral result in the fall. Daily polling can be interesting, but it can only tell us what we know - today. Acute insight into the obvious, so to speak... .

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 17, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The health care industry force feeding act is getting more grotesque by the day. The liberals meant well and worked hard, but they are weaklings and they have been outflanked and now have been defeated by the Republicans, Lieberman included.

It never was health care reform, though it was something I could support because it had some provisions that could have led to reform, but now it is all just force feeding. More money shoved into the throat of the medical industry, we have our holiday health care fois gras recipie.

America, you deserve this. This bill or no bill you are going to pay more and more and more for your health care and there is nothing you can do about it, except complain and of course, vote Republican or don't bother. Won't matter.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Blanche Lincoln and other moderate Democrats are in trouble, with the folks that elected them, because they have failed to stand up to the liberals/progressives in their party.

The United States is a center/right nation and the electorate is fearful of deficits and desires job creation not the far left policies, which will cost the nation jobs and lead to tax increases.

Posted by: mwhoke | December 17, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

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