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Morning Fix: Stupak as Democratic anti-hero

1. Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, the author of an amendment to the House health care bill that would ban federal funding from being used for abortions, has become a whipping boy of fellow Democrats on the campaign trail of late. New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for retiring Sen. Judd Gregg's (R) seat next November, sent out an e-mail to his supporters Wednesday asking them to sign a petition insisting that the Stupak amendment be stripped from the final bill. (It is not currently in the Senate's version being carried by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.) "This amendment goes further than any other federal law in restricting a woman's right to choose," writes Hodes. "That's why I voted against it and that's why I'm fighting to ensure it is not included in the final bill."Cheryle Jackson, the president of the Chicago Urban League and a Democratic candidate for the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, is holding a press conference tomorrow in Chicago where she is expected to denounce the Stupak amendment. And, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called the amendment "discriminatory" and represented a "grave risk" to women. The strong reaction against Stupak -- and his measure -- highlights the fissures within a Democratic party that has seen its longtime base on the east and west coasts expand rapidly into the deep south and the mountain west in recent cycles. Many of the House Members elected in 2006 and 2008 voted for the Stupak amendment (64 Democrats voted yes) and may find themselves in a significant political peril if the final bill is stripped of such language. It's the problem of a big majority -- a problem Republicans would love to have but a problem nonetheless.

2. The 60 Plus Association, a conservative leaning group, is keeping up its campaign against House Democrats who voted for President Obama's health care bill, with a national cable advertising buy launching today. "What does health care reform mean for seniors?" asks the ad's narrator. "A new report from the agency which runs Medicare says it could be devastating." The ad goes on to suggest that the president's plan could mean $500 billion in Medicare cuts and limited access to care for seniors. "Don't make us pay for health care reform by cutting Medicare," says one elderly man in the ad. "Seniors won't forget," pledges an older woman. The ad campaign, which is costing 60 Plus $500,0000 according to a source familiar with the buy, comes on top of $5.5 million in spending since August by the group -- all of which has been aimed at voters 65 and older. Targeting seniors is smart politics as older voters are extremely reliable voters in low-turnout midterm elections. If seniors turn against the Obama heath care plan in large enough numbers, there will be a number of very nervous Democratic members heading into 2010.

3. And even more on the health care front...The Democratic National Committee is going after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) for "using every trick in the book to delay a fair debate and vote on reform," according to an email from DNC executive director Jen O'Malley that will be sent to supporters today. A video of McConnell's alleged "mistruths" accompany the email, which is being sent to the full 13 million-plus person list managed by Organizing for America. (Watch the video for a guest appearance by Democratic strategist Michael Feldman.) These sorts of appeals are aimed directly at the party's base, seeking to energize them in what has been a long slog with no certain end date in sight.

4. The National Republican Senatorial Committee outraised its Democratic counterpart in October but still stands at a nearly two-to-one disadvantage in terms of cash on hand, according to reports to be filed at the Federal Election Commission. For October, the NRSC brought in $4 million as compared to $3.7 million for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Despite that fundraising edge, the DSCC actually increased its cash edge between September and October; at the end of last month the DSCC had $11.3 million in the bank while the NRSC had just $5.8. Republicans point out that the DSCC is well behind their 2008 pace when, at this time, the committee had more than $23 million on hand. Still, the DSCC's current cash edge is nothing to sneeze at particularly when you consider the number of big and expensive states -- Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri -- that are hosting competitive Senate races this cycle.

5. While former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's traveling road show continues -- making a stop today in Fort Wayne, Indiana -- there's new evidence that Democrats will use her to attack aspiring Republican candidates in 2010. Evidence: Connecticut Democrats sent around a quote on Wednesday from former ambassador Tom Foley, who is running in a Republican primary for the right to challenge Sen. Chris Dodd (D), saying he would "certainly welcome her" to the state to campaign on his behalf. "We'd welcome Sarah Palin to Connecticut, too, especially if she 'goes rogue' while she's here," joked state Democratic party spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan. It's a near-certainty that other Republican candidates running in high profile statewide races will be forced to answer the question of whether they want Palin to campaign with them -- especially those running in blue states like Delaware, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

6. Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown (R) is paying homage to former president John F. Kennedy in a new radio ad in the Bay State Senate special election. "Forty five years ago, President Kennedy called for tax cuts for families and businesses," says Brown before a clip of Kennedy saying that "every dollar released from taxation that is spent or invested will help create a new job and a new salary." It's an interesting tactic for Brown who is the lone Republican running for the seat made vacant by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) earlier this year. Brown is running uphill given the state's clear Democratic lean and the likelihood that well known and well funded state Attorney General Martha Coakley will emerge from the Dec. 8 primary as the Democratic nominee. In that context, trying a few unorthodox things -- like quoting the most famous Democratic president in history -- isn't a bad strategy.

7. Political nerd alert! Looking for something to do Saturday night? Why not join the Fix in watching the live stream of the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner? Vice President Biden is the keynote speaker but Gov. Chet Culver, who faces serious reelection problems next fall, as well as Sen. Tom Harkin and future(?) Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Bruce Braley are set to speak. Plus, it's Iowa. They know how to do politics.

8. Speaking of Iowa, attorney Roxanne Conlin (D) has signed on operative Mark Daley to run her race in 2010 against Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), according to Tom Beaumont of the Des Moines Register. Daley is a well-known name to political reporters due to his role as Iowa communications director for then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (N.Y.) 2008 presidential campaign. Prior to his gig with Clinton, Daley did press and politics for the state party. "Roxanne's life's work has been standing up for those who have been pushed down and left behind," said Daley of his new position in an e-mail exchange with the Fix. "In this time of war and economic disaster, we Iowans, need her fighting for us in the Senate."

9. The University of Delaware is a somewhat unlikely breeding ground for top political talent. But, it was two Blue Hens -- Steve Schmidt and David Plouffe -- who ran the presidential campaigns of Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Barack Obama (Ill.), respectively, in the last election and another UD graduate -- former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie -- who was elected governor of New Jersey earlier this month. (And that honor roll doesn't even include Paul "PK" Kane -- Post congressional reporter par excellence, star online chatter and unofficial Robert Torricelli biographer.) Hoping to capitalize on the university's prominent place in politics these days, Delaware today is launching a new center on political communications with the backing of Plouffe and Schmidt. Now, if they could figure out a way to get Joe Flacco involved somehow. . . .

10. "Courage and Confidence" is the title of former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove's memoir, which will hit bookstores in March 2010.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 19, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The most important number in politics today
Next: The "Going Rogue" tour -- by the numbers

Comments

Fortunately, as we can see in the town halls and marches, most Americans

==

You really think the teabaggers represent "most Americans?"

Sorry but the post of Village Idiot here is already taken.

"Nice try, though"

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
---------------------------------------
You really think free lunchers represent "most Americans"?

Posted by: leapin | November 20, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Antonio - You're infringing on another poster's turf.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 19, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately, as we can see in the town halls and marches, most Americans

==

You really think the teabaggers represent "most Americans?"

Sorry but the post of Village Idiot here is already taken.

"Nice try, though"

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the insults, GoldAndTanzanite! :)

Coming from Obama’s ACORN operatives or lemmings, any insults are welcome and further demonstrate that Obamacare is part of the Orwellian future that Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov warned us about.

In 1985, Bezmenov told us that our enemies were working hard at brainwashing us (dumbing us down) and would succeed if we did not defend our principles: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1

The dumbed down are obviously unable to understand how they are contributing to “the American descent into Marxism,” which “is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…” http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

Fortunately, as we can see in the town halls and marches, most Americans have not been dumbed down and they will do whatever necessary to defend themselves, their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obamacare and Obama’s plans to transform the U.S. into another failed socialist country like Cuba or Venezuela.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 19, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The Stupak amendment was just another trick used by Obama and his accomplices to pass the Obamacare SCAM through the House. Tricked by the amendment, some Catholics (not all) actually believed the lies of Obama and his accomplices regarding abortion coverage! Tricked by the amendment, they failed to look at the evil behind the whole Obamacare scam.

==

This is a troll, right? You can't really be this idiotic.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The Stupak amendment was just another trick used by Obama and his accomplices to pass the Obamacare SCAM through the House. Tricked by the amendment, some Catholics (not all) actually believed the lies of Obama and his accomplices regarding abortion coverage! Tricked by the amendment, they failed to look at the evil behind the whole Obamacare scam.

Informed Americans, however, understand that, if Obama gets his way, Obamacare will FORCE us to pay for abortions, infanticide (late-term abortion) and probably euthanasia, in spite of Obama’s lies and tricks like the Stupak amendment.

Lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called "Doctor Death," would make Dr. Kervorkian proud.

Dr. Emanuel has said that "Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens." As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care. http://freedomedium.com/2009/07/barack-obama-appoints-doctor-death-as-health-care-czar/

And Obama's "Science Czar" John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls. http://www.prisonplanet.com/john-holdren-obamas-science-czar-forced-abortions-and-mass-sterilization-needed-to-save-the-planet.html

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 19, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@kare: thanks for a reality-based post.

I've heard any number of hot-eyed "prolife" types state unequivocally and with conviction that she should die.

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

Is your point that taxpayers should fund all abortions for poor women? If that is your position, do you think it should be imposed even if the majority do not agree?

==

For someone purportedly a lawyer you sure play fast and loose with the prejudicial language.

Absolutely "the taxpayers" should fund abortion, and unconditionally. Even where it's frivilous and "for convenience," to use yet more prejudicial nomenclature.

The fact that some people find abortion immoral is a dodge. A lot more of us find raining bombs on children to be immoral too but we didn't get a lot of say in starting a pair of lousy wars. My tax money goes to all kinds of things I'm dead against. As it turns out, abortion isn't one of the things I get hot under the collar about.

And as a tax issue, let's get plain and simple: bearing unwanted children is a hell of a lot more immoral than terminating a pregnancy, except to the most bizarre and extreme prolife positions, which would apply as well to a fingernail paring if logically applies. Women who are financially, emotionally, or psychopathologically unready or unfit to bear children shouldn't have to.

At this point we usually segue to "then they can keep their legs closed" but I'm not interested in going there.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

WOW, the paranoia is ramping up in moonbat land.

Posted by: ZOUK | November 19, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Please tell this poor man how you would decide:

I have a female patient who is 7 months pregnant. She has two small boys at home (age 6 and 4). She has a severe complication that is risking her health if this child is not taken immediately.

This is not a made up case. This patient is under care right now in a hospital in DC.

She is unconcious and a decision needs to be made IMMEDIATELY about her care.
The STUPAK ammendment would make her INELIGIBLE for an abortion if she received ONE PENNY OF FEDERAL MONEY THAT WENT TO HER CARE - we would have to WAIT to see if this became LIFE THREATENING before we could act instead of being able to USE OUR BEST MEDICAL OPINION to judge NOW.

If her life not worth saving so she can KEEP TAKING CARE OF HER TWO YOUNG CHILDREN?

This is what many people are arguing about. They are in their own litte worlds MAKING LIFE AND DEATH decisions about REAL SITUATIONS THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.

IT IS HIDEOUS for people to ASSUME THEY KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR OTHERS.

SO TELL ME _ WHAT WOULD YOU DO?? PUT IT ON THE RECORD>

LET HER DIE OR LET HER LIVE
WE ARE TAKING A POLL because this is what YOU ALL SEEM TO LIVE BY - A POLL NOT BY THE REALITY OF REAL PEOPLE's LIVES>

Posted by: kare1 | November 19, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

' With the 60 Plus Association running hard against the healthcare plan targeting seniors"

As has been pointed out, it's an astroturf funded by Big Pharma. Only fools [re: republicans] listen to them.

"Palin should think with her head"

I'm sure she, like you, would if you could.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"With the 60 Plus Association running hard against the healthcare plan targeting seniors"

Yeah. And all the reform has for support is that little-known low-membership interest group AARP.

Posted by: nodebris | November 19, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Democrats continue to take hits on the healthcare front. With the 60 Plus Association running hard against the healthcare plan targeting seniors, Obama's popularity is likely to futhur drop. Plus, the big fight over the abortion issue is going to hurt Democrats.

Palin should think with her head in helping Republican's get elected in 2010 and stay away from states of people like Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte & Tray Grayson. It would help these people if she endorsed them from a distance, for Kirk & Ayotte. It would help Grayson if she actively campaigned for & endorsed him in the state of Kentucky. Hopefully she will also support & endorse Rubio in Florida & DeVore in California.

Posted by: reason5 | November 19, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris, if you're going to mention some astroturf insurance company front group like the 60 Plus Association, for a little context, you might also consider mentioning that the AARP, which actually represents tens of millions of actual seniors, actually supports congressional health care reform efforts.

Posted by: jbentley4 | November 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Or that AARP is one of the largest sellers of Medigap policies, and the Democratic Senate and the House Bill would gut Medicare Advantage, allowing them a larger share of senior market.....

Gee, AARP acting with a hidden profit motive! I thought they were against profitteering, and obscene profits to health insurance companies (unless they are getting a payback, I suppose).

:-(

Posted by: Paladin7b | November 19, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"Posted by: drindl, or whatever has been posted is pure dung. Please go beat yourself up for being disengenuous. Leave commenting to those who know the truth. People like drindl do walk among us and should be weeded ---"

I WANT TO POINT OUT TO MR. CILIZZA THAT THIS IS A THINLY VEILED DEATH THREAT. ISN'T THIS AGAINST YOUR 'RULES'?

Just another member of the rightwing Death Cult.


Posted by: drindl
---------------------------------------
It should be pointed out that if the "should be weeded" part be changed to "should be aborted" it would be applauded by the Composters instead of condemmed.

Posted by: leapin | November 19, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse


"Posted by: drindl, or whatever has been posted is pure dung. Please go beat yourself up for being disengenuous. Leave commenting to those who know the truth. People like drindl do walk among us and should be weeded ---"

I WANT TO POINT OUT TO MR. CILIZZA THAT THIS IS A THINLY VEILED DEATH THREAT. ISN'T THIS AGAINST YOUR 'RULES'?

Just another member of the rightwing Death Cult.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: drindl, or whatever has been posted is pure dung. Please go beat yourself up for being disengenuous. Leave commenting to those who know the truth. People like drindl do walk among us and should be weeded ---.

Posted by: candyzky | November 19, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I say go for it Mr Hodes and watch your election hopes crumble before your eyes.

Posted by: candyzky | November 19, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

New report aout a growng threat:


"The ADL released a report today about the growing rage in the American landscape, of which the militia movement is a significant part:

While anti-government anger has certainly spurred the rapid growth of these groups, modern technology has also played a role in the ability of militia groups to form and recruit, especially the use by militia groups of social networking sites such as MySpace to spread their message and recruit new members (and inspire new groups to form). One result of these developments, though, is that the 2009 version of the militia movement is more loosely organized than its predecessor, and many of the individual groups are considerably smaller. Many militia groups have no more than around 10 regular members. Some groups are essentially “Web only” and conduct little real world activity.

In addition to the groups, there are increased numbers of people who identify with the militia movement, and may even attend various trainings or events, but do not officially belong to any particular group. These unaffiliated members now make up an important part of the movement.

The militia movement is a major source of anti-Obama and anti-government hostility, and a major audience for the extreme conspiracy theories revolving around FEMA, martial law, and gun confiscation. Because the militia movement has had a fairly strong association with criminal activity, especially related to illegal weapons and explosives, or conspiracies to use them, the resurgence of this movement is a matter of some concern to law enforcement."

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The Genentech talking points posted by congressfolk in the record was not noted in this column, anarch -- goes against the Beltway narrative. Unfortunately, Stupak is their stooge too.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

'An antihero is a protagonist who isn't heroic. The Democrats aren't treating Stupak as an antihero; they're treating him as a villain.'


"Georgetown used to teach such things."


Nice use of the semicolon, too!


Posted by: Bondosan | November 19, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
You fail to mention that Stupak's former LD is the guy from Genentech who authored the talking points that caused the furor last week.

Two strikes for Stupak. If he doesn't get a buck this week (it's huntin season) he's done for with UP voters.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 19, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mark -- something I learned from you -- thanks.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

This is getting as slapstick, comical and farcial as old Red Chinese propaganda:

'This afternoon, Fox News host Gregg Jarrett proudly announced that Sarah Palin is “continuing to draw huge crowds while she’s promoting her brand new book. Take a look at — these are some of the pictures just coming into us.” But the pictures that the network chose to display on-air appeared to be old file footage of Palin rallies from the 2008 presidential campaign. Individuals in the crowd are seen holding McCain/Palin signs, and others are holding pom-poms and cheering wildly. “There’s a crowd of folks,” an enthused Jarrett observed, referring to the old footage."

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

drindl, thanx for the link in your post at 11:06A.

That is a solid source for a fact based critique of Stupak's amendment.

Thanks, again.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

." Most of the space on this site is taken up by raving loons who inhabit a very "special" lonely and pitiful world. they are driving the traffic away in droves and what used to be an interesting and interactive location is now simply a soapbox for the most extreme and irrational losers."

i have never seen such a classic case of projection.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

the proper authorities are those employed by your local Psychiatric ward.

I am reinstating my previous vow to ignore all psychotic behavior on this blog. Of course that will limit my interaction to only a very few posters. Most of the space on this site is taken up by raving loons who inhabit a very "special" lonely and pitiful world. they are driving the traffic away in droves and what used to be an interesting and interactive location is now simply a soapbox for the most extreme and irrational losers.

Posted by: ZOUK | November 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"An antihero is a protagonist who isn't heroic. The Democrats aren't treating Stupak as an antihero; they're treating him as a villain."


Georgetown used to teach such things.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 19, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

One point on medical procedures. Lasik eye surgery is clearly a medical procedure with proven benefits and that treats a condition. When looking at the United Health Care benefit, one finds the following: "Receive access to discounted laser eye surgery procedures from numerous network locations nationwide."

In other words, not covered. Just because a medical procedure is legal, doesn't mean that it should be covered. Controversial or not.

Another interesting tidbit I came across. College age students, even if covered, can only receive emergency care if out of state. So, send your kid away to school and say good-bye to general coverage.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 19, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Def the same nut, Blade. Maybe so... legal issues involved, some authorities have been contacted.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

the embarrassement of being associated in any way with the utter failure of messiah plus the realization that the time of Obama has already passed and my work is done.

Posted by: ZOUK | November 19, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Taxpayer money is already used to subsidize abortion. Any health plan that includes abortion coverage receives an effective subsidy as it is not tax deductible. This gets back to the broader issue of the need to break the link between employer and employee's health insurance. Eliminate the deduction altogether, provide a tax credit, and anyone can pick a plan amongst the exchanges. It's called an even playing field.

Not that this will happen in the current year, but I would hope to see an eventual break of that link.

BTW-Zouk is back? Has snowbama been given a justly deserved timeout?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 19, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Andy and Mark, that is still viewing a medical procedure as some kind of crime the public insurance program shouldn't pay for.

Is it a medical procedure, immoral or a crime? When does it become immoral? Medical procedures should be covered by health insurance. Saying that a woman can go and buy supplemental insurance for in case she might want the "wrong kind of abortion" some day is ridiculous.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 19, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

More faked 'news' from Fox:

"Yesterday, ThinkProgress first reported that Fox News aired old file footage of Sarah Palin rallies to claim that she’s “continuing to draw huge crowds while she’s promoting her brand new book.” Host Gregg Jarrett presented the video with commentary that suggested the footage was “just coming in.” (

Media Matters noted that one of the scenes was from a Nov. 1, 2008 Palin rally in Florida. Crooks and Liars’ John Amato filed an FCC complaint for passing on “false information” to the public. By day’s end yesterday, Fox released this statement responding to the controversy:

“This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn’t alert the control room to update the video,” Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news at FOX, sad this evening. “There will be an on-air explanation during Happening Now on Thursday.”

Citing unnamed sources, The Swamp reports Fox is planning to take “serious disciplinary action” against those “responsible behind the scenes in the control room.”

Why does the FCC allow this cheesy rightwing propaganda outlet to continue operating as a 'news' station? This undermines good government by feeding the public false information.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Mark,I don't want this issue to scuttle the bill, but I beleive it is more consequential than you seem to. Please read this:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/11/study-stupak-amendment-will-eliminate-abortion-coverage-over-time-for-all-women.php?ref=fpblg

"A new study by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services adds some expert imprimatur to what many progressives have been saying all along: The Stupak amendment to the House health care bill--which will prevent millions of women from buying health insurance policies that cover abortion--is likely to have consequences that reach far beyond its supposedly intended scope.

The report concludes that "the treatment exclusions required under the Stupak/Pitts Amendment will have an industry-wide effect, eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange."

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I see the usual gang of unthinking liberals have swallowed their talking points whole without bothering to chew.

did it ever occur to any of you to defend your positions on the merits and not on who pays, what dirt you have on them, what the polls say, what can get you face time, etc?

Is afghanistan the good war or not? Should we win or is it more about getting elected? Is abortion just, not only to mothers but babies too? Only when liberals honestly confront these issues with morality and rightousness, can we have a solution to the problem. Until then you can look to liberals to obfuscate anything that makes them look bad, even if they really believe it.

Posted by: ZOUK | November 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I agree that Stupak was being principled when he created this amendment.

At this stage, though, he's had his 15 mins. of fame and, instead of going round the chat shows as if he'd suddenly got religion, someone from the Speaker's office needs to take him aside and remind him that while he is fully entitled to his principles, he's got to stop the swaggering and empty threats.

If he wants to switch parties, that's fine, but there is a line between individual and collective responsibilities. Vote against the final bill, but don't attempt to derail the entire process.

It's up to the Speaker and the Whip (appropriately named office) to enforce party discipline--one of the areas the R.s excel in.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | November 19, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Aren't the abortion provisions a clear case of that horror conservatives keep decrying -- the government coming between a woman and her doctor?

Posted by: nodebris | November 19, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

c'mon, Chris, do your homework. Your article treats 60 Plus as some sort of seniors grassroots group, but a simple google search will tell you that it is nothing more than a front for big drugs (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=60_Plus_Association).

Posted by: eomcmars | November 19, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Chris, if you're going to mention some astroturf insurance company front group like the 60 Plus Association, for a little context, you might also consider mentioning that the AARP, which actually represents tens of millions of actual seniors, actually supports congressional health care reform efforts.

Posted by: jbentley4 | November 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

drindl, you posted -

"I might add, Mark, that you don't have the money to pay for the procedure, you don't have an actual choice."

Assuming arguendo that poor women have no actual choice [an assumption that I find difficult to accept, but anyway...]

Is your point that taxpayers should fund all abortions for poor women? If that is your position, do you think it should be imposed even if the majority do not agree? Do you think it should be imposed even if a large minority do not agree? Do you think it should be imposed even if that provision would scuttle UHC?

That your position drives one sub-issue in the UHC debate was known to me, and to anyone following the bill. The question about this sub-issue is ultimately whether one group or another will use it to kill the bill. Because the Ds are a majority, only those who insist on taxpayer funding of abortion are in a position to kill UHC.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Not that is matters, but the title of Rove's book is actually "Courage and Consequence."

Posted by: Bondosan | November 19, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Andy R-- Isn't that exactly what I predicted in this space? Virginia voters are in for a big case of buyer's remorse. McDonnell was very effective as a stealth bigot candidate, but bigot he is and it was bound to come out once he was safely in office. You can't hide your true colors that long.

Hopefully people will eventually figure out that anyone who comes out of Robertson's wackadoodle charade of a 'college' is far too extreme for public office.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Chris would never want to get real and call a spade a spade.

"The 60 Plus Association, a conservative leaning group" -- No. It's 100% industry funded astroturf.

"However, a 2006 report in the AARP Bulletin called 60 Plus a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. 60 Plus, along with Senior Coalition and United Seniors Association, "claim to speak for millions of older Americans, although as recently as 2001 none of the three listed any revenue from membership dues on their tax returns." The article added: "virtually all of their largest contributions in recent years have come from the same source -- the nation's pharmaceutical industry."

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I might add, Mark, that you don't have the money to pay for the procedure, you don't have an actual choice.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I think Stupak is working from his conscience. Lots of Catholics and others deeply believe that abortion is murder. Why call Stupak an anti-hero?

Oh. Forgot. This title is coming from the liberal WaPo. WWJD?

Posted by: edgar_sousa | November 19, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Flu shots, mammograms, abortions

Obama messes up everything he touches.

Gitmo, afghan, unemployment.

Everything.

Posted by: snowbama | November 19, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It seems Conlin also ran for Governor at some point so she may not be as much as a novice as everyone is saying. Thanks Mark for giving us a little personal feelings on her as well. I'll have to keep an eye on that race and see where it goes.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to thread-jack, but I just saw this about Governor elect McDonnell, and all I can say is that independent voters in Virginia this is what the rest of the country calls a 'bait and switch'.

From CNN-"Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell on Wednesday would not disavow Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson’s recent claim that Islam is not a religion, but “a violent political system.”

McDonnell, though, stressed that he reached out to Muslims and visited mosques in Virginia throughout the governor’s race and will continue to do so when he takes office in January.

Muslim groups have called on McDonnell to condemn the remark because Robertson is a longtime political benefactor of the Republican, who won a blowout victory in this year’s closely-watched gubernatorial election.

McDonnell attended law school at CBN University (now Regent University), founded by Robertson, and has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the televangelist along with appearing on his show, “The 700 Club.”

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

If world class lawyering counts in politicking, Mrs. Conlin has that credential in spades. She is a courtroom star, but beyond that she is a respected scholar in more than one specialty [including labor and employment, where I practice, albeit on the "other side"]. she is an impressive speaker on legal issues and is a member of the American Law Institute. To me, this is a recommendation.

She has always struck me as being able to do the work of two normally overworked attorneys and look collected while doing it. She is a contemporary of mine, about 64 now, I would guess. She is well known to me [but I am unknown to her].

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Your headline is inaccurate. An antihero is a protagonist who isn't heroic. The Democrats aren't treating Stupak as an antihero; they're treating him as a villain.

Posted by: Blarg | November 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Mark you make a good point that this is an issue of payment, but rightfully so the pro-choice leaders are fighting this with a vengence because these are a lot of the same people who also push for universal healthcare. They don't want to win one battle and lose another at the same time.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Margaret,
The situation that you bring up is exactly why the AMA and every other doctor's association and the SC will not allow laws that do not have a provision for the health of the mother (including mental health).
Even if the amendment is included I would bet that Obama sticks a signing statement on the bill to avoid the provision, or it is immediatly challenged in the courts (where a Judge will put an immediate injunction on that provision).

Also Stupak's amendment specifically says that you can buy supplemental insurance to cover the procedure. Not that this makes it more palatable to me as a liberal pro-choice voter, but its something.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

ok, so why do you read his column and post comments?

Posted by: elijah24 | November 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Margaret, you pose this as an abortion issue and I and the Congress pose it as a payment issue. Freedom of choice is not involved on the taxpayer's end.

Andy, thanks for the clarification. I suspect that the final language will be along the lines of "life or physical health" of the mother and that physicians will be permitted to charge all abortions to the non-federal portion of the insurance, only. The Bishops do not like that, of course, but the RCC runs much of its charitable outreach from the non-tax revenue portion of its funding in order to comply with or lawfully avoid anti-discrimination laws tied to federal or state funding.
It is not a mechanism unknown to the Bishops.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

In reporting on that 60+ club targeting seniors with fears about their healthcare, Chris never mentions whether their claims are factual or just fear mongering. That would be real reporting and analyses. But I guess it shouldn't surprise me coming from the person who thinks Chip Saltzman is the furthest thing from a racist.

Posted by: katem1 | November 19, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3, thanks for the clarifications. I'm glad that Stupak's amendment is not as simplistic as the reporting of his amendment is.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 19, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

But Mark, the Right thinks any kind of termination is wrong. Many think some kinds of termination are OK. Others feel (and the Supreme Court agreed) that this is a medical decision made by the person who is pregnant.

I have to remind readers that some very moral, happily married, church-going couples have late term abortions. A co-worker recently faced this when it was found that their baby had a heart abnormality usually associated with other fatal deformities. They went month-to-month looking at ultra-sounds and facing a trip half way across the country for a late-term abortion. It was only late in the 6th month that it was determined that the heart defect was isolated and their frail baby (just celebrated her 1st birthday) would probably survive delivery and years of surgery. When the doctor they would have used was killed earlier this year, that Catholic man (and hard-working father of 3 other children) was very upset for anyone who is now in the situation he was in last year.

To say that the government-run insurance program will not pay for any abortions is to elevate the tax payer to every woman's doctor. If that insurance is run like employer-provided insurance, then the person is paying premiums for health care, not religious-approved health care.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 19, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Continuing the abortion funding discussion, from CC's link blue lined as

(It is not currently in the Senate's version being carried by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.)

we read:

"Getting that 60 could mean putting stronger anti-abortion language in the bill to get those red-state Democrats. Looking at it from the positive side, it’s an arrow in Reid’s quiver to get votes, just as Nancy Pelosi did when she caved in to the bishops. It’s not pretty, but it’s how the legislative process could well unfold."

To which I say: All is thus revealed.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Mark,
It isn't that there won't be some type of abortion provision in the final bill, but Stupak's amendement only allows for payment in the event of the termenation of the pregnancy only if it threatens the physical life of the woman.
The Senate version (and the final version in general) will have something that restricts abortion payments unless the abortion is for the HEALTH of the woman.

That is what Gillenbrand and Hodes want, and frankly that is what we will get in committee comference.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree that #1 is a bit misleading. Its not like Paul Hodes is saying that Stupak doesn't belong in the Democratic party, which is what you would see if this was the GOP.

Conlin picking up Mark Daley should help her at the very least raise some money. Daley is tied into the Clinton money team which right now don't have anyone to donate money to. She won't beat Grassley but if he is forced to vote on some very conservative bills in fear of a challenge from the CFG wackos (like blocking cap and trade which would benefit the ethanol producers in Iowa) she may be able to make a race out of it.

Karl Rove's memoir should be titled "Rove Strategy, Bush Leadership, Compassionate Conservativism, and other oxymorons"

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 19, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

URGENT TO: SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, SEN. HOMELAND SECURITY COMM. MEMBERS
RE: FORT HOOD MASSACRE HEARING (staff, pls. fwd. ASAP)
cc: TEAM OBAMA
FROM: JOURNALIST VICTOR LIVINGSTON:

We know the Fort Hood shooter was harassed, and perhaps was a victim of government-enabled vigilante "community stalking." Was he also a target of this covert federal program of electromagnetic torture and impairment -- and PERVASIVE 24/7 SURVEILLANCE?

***

SECRET MULTI-AGENCY FED PROGRAM SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS, PERSECUTES U.S. CITIZENS WITH MICROWAVE/LASER RADIATION WEAPONS AND LOCAL VIGILANTISM, SAYS MAINSTREAM JOURNALIST

* Thousands of Americans, deemed to be "dissidents" or undesirables, targeted by Bush legacy program for debilitating microwave/laser assault, held hostage in their own homes to fed-supported vigilante "community policing" stalking units, equipped with warrantless GPS devices, who vandalize and terrorize as local police look the other way.

* "Directed energy weapons," portable units and a nationwide installation employing cell towers and satellites, induce weakness, exhaustion, head and body aches, physical and neurological impairment, strokes, aneurysms, cancer -- and many victims do not realize what is making them sick.

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

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

* Pleas for justice, to local police and FBI, go unanswered -- as do demands for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation and congressional hearings.

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

JOURNO TO FBI: TAKE CONTROL OF DHS-RUN FUSION CENTERS
TO STOP SILENT MICROWAVE / LASER ATTACKS ON U.S. CITIZENS

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez
OR (if links are corrupted / disabled): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 19, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I assume from our history of not federally funding abortions that this compromise between the camps is necessary to pass any bill that touches upon the subject.
Certainly the Catholic Bishops have long supported UHC with no abortion funding. From these apparent facts, I would conclude that attempting to force taxpayers to fund abortions would scuttle any bill that included this provision.

Further, the Prez has promised, or at least asserted, that abortion funding will not be included. The logic of the situation is that he will never have to veto such a bill because no such bill can be passed.

Am I reading this incorrectly, or are there indeed Ds who would scuttle UHC on the altar of forcing a truly significant portion of the nation and of their own party to back a position that portion considers immoral?

Or will they back down in a timely manner after having claimed to make a fight popular with their constitutents or donors?

Aside from Sen. Gilliland, can we have a link to the names of any other senators and representatives who have threatened to scuttle the bill if it does not fund abortions?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris your wrong about Morning Fix #1. Regarding the number of freshmen or sophomore Democrats who voted for the Stupak Amendment, the number is between 12-14 who voted for it. That’s out of 51 freshmen and sophomore(if one counts those Democrats who won formerly Republican seats including special elections) still in the house. Also, those same Reps accounted for 20% (give or take) of the total Democratic votes for the amendment. In neither case is that “many”.

Way to skew their representation and try to show how dire things are……

Posted by: ddeangelo2006 | November 19, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris your wrong about Morning Fix #1. Regarding the number of freshmen or sophomore Democrats who voted for the Stupak Amendment, the number is between 12-14 who voted for it. That’s out of 51 freshmen and sophomore(if one counts those Democrats who won formerly Republican seats including special elections) still in the house. Also, those same Reps accounted for 20% (give or take) of the total Democratic votes for the amendment. In neither case is that “many”.

Way to skew their representation and try to show how dire things are……

Posted by: ddeangelo2006 | November 19, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Follow the money on the "60 Plus Association" - it is not a grassroots organization by, of and for seniors.

Posted by: hilohattie | November 19, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

America with zero population growth is importing asians to make up the numbers...
do Americans want asians to replace them in America in the generations to come...
why would you want taxpayer money to kill off the next generation of America...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 19, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

"Courage and Confidence..."

God, that is priceless. That is probably the name of his two goldfish.

May I suggest something a little more appropriate...like "Flatulence and Fabrication," or "Failure and Flailing," or even "My Vietnam Memoirs" (written with Dick Cheney).

Posted by: singleseatbiggermeat | November 19, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

"Go ahead, Foley, touch the fence. I double-dog dare you!"

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 19, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

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