By Hook Or By Crook

Update VIII: The Senate bill passed the House (219-212); the Republican Motion to Recommit failed (182-219); the Reconciliation bill passed (220-211). The Reconciliation bill now goes to the Senate.

The few “appealing” aspects of the bill (such as portability of insurance from job to job) that kick in rapidly will help Dimocrats marginally. But from now on every Medicare patient that is unhappy or has to wait for an appointment will, rightly or wrongly, blame Obama and the Dimocrats and will vote in November to punish for the massive Medicare cuts.

All the magic promises will be magnified by unions and Dimocratic allied organizations with publicity stunts featuring “enrollment” drives and assorted distractions. But the magic will never materialize and the “bitter and clingy” mood of Americans will grow even more bitter and sour. Economic misery will have every American answering the question “Are you better off today than you were two years ago?” at the ballot box in November. The Arrogance! Incompetence! Corruption! Cowardice! of Obama and his Corrupt Dimocrats will be punished in November.

By April 15, 2011 the new taxes will have to be paid, just in time for the preliminaries to the 2012 election campaign.

Politico provides a handy guide to the Dims that will “walk plank with ‘yes’ vote.”

“Some members of Congress will end up with primary challenges as a result. Others may have signed their own political death warrant. [snip]

Members in this category include Reps. Harry Mitchell of Arizona, Chris Carney of Pennsylvania and Baron Hill of Indiana, each of whom was elected in the 2006 Democratic wave and represents a seat that George W. Bush carried twice.

And virtually every freshman Democrat who won a marginal district in 2008 will need to mount a vigorous explanation of the benefits of a “yes” vote — especially members like Reps. Mark Schauer of Michigan and Dina Titus of Nevada, who won Republican-held seats.

Some veterans — among them nine-term Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who hails from solidly Republican North Dakota, and West Virginia Reps. Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall — will also feel the heat.”

Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey, Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus, Carol Shea-Porter, Thomas Perriello, John Boccieri, signed their death warrants too.
Those running for higher office (Brad Ellsworth, Paul Hodes, Kendrick Meek) have also signed their death warrants. Bart Stupak and his ilk will face bipartisan loathing and defeat.

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Update VII: The vote on the Senate passed bill will soon start. After that vote, there will be a last ditch Republican attempt to kill the bill by proposing a “motion to recommit”. The motion to recommit will “contain only language on abortion that Stupak originally had wanted to include in the Senate bill.” In November:

Sixty-eight Democrats voted for Stupak’s language in a November vote. They could be portrayed as flipping if they now voted against it.

If the Republicans don’t muck things up, as they did in November, this will be yet another time bomb to explode in November against the Dimocrats. Obama Dimocrats are celebrating today and one is walking around with a clown size gavel. As Pat Caddell describes it, ‘it’s a Kool-aid party’. A Hopium spiked Kool-aid party fit for a cult:



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Update VI: A little history might be in order. Some are saying that “the public is fickle and does not stay focused that long” and therefore Obama’s Dimocrats will be able to get away with by hook or by crook legislation. This is a variation of the “the public does not care about process” argument. We believe both are wrong.

We wrote about “process” and the “fickle public” previously and concluded that ordinarily Americans do not care about the “process” for legislation, but that health care legislation is an exemption to that rule. We believe the “process” answer applies to the “fickle” argument too. It’s not just opinion versus opinion – there’s history.

In 1989 the Democratic controlled Congress was warned by seniors against passing an alleged “expanded Medicare coverage” bill. Democrats were convinced “the people” would love the bill once it was passed and they passed the bill. Seniors revolted. Within months the same Democratic Congress was forced to repeal the law. Here’s a visual:



Seniors in 2010 are expected to account for 54% – 56% of the vote. We suspect that today’s seniors will revolt against the Medicare cuts in Obama’s health scam just like the seniors in 1989 did.

Tonight the Dimocrats will proceed with the Obama health scam. Republicans will continue the opposition unto November 2010 and 2012. Republicans will even pose as the defenders of Social Security and Medicare and the elderly. Amazing.

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Update V: Stupak sells out his principles. Obama will sign an Executive Order. PINOs in congress will keep their mouths shut – so much for “core Democratic values”. Stupak parrots the “American people are the winners” line but Americans don’t feel like “winners” with this massive transfer of taxpayer dollars to Big Insurance and Big PhaRma.

A little note on the atmospherics of the Stupak press conference: Marcy Kaptur’s face and delivery did not match her upbeat words. Bart Stupak looked sullen too. The Republicans must be giddy as they contemplate November. The Dimocrats and allied organizations will hold countless publicity stunts to “sign up” for health care and other such charades, but the independents who vote in November will not be smiling.

The Obama Executive Order may be read HERE. Read it and keep those Pink Grenades handy.

The fight will continue this week in the Senate if and when this Obamination scam passes the House. The lawsuits will commence too.

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Update IV: They Still Don’t Have The Votes but that might change momentarily because Stupak is about to speak and the rumor is he will “Save Obama” and Obama will sign some sort of Executive Order – will any of the so-call progressives react with principle? We doubt it.

Earl Pomerory is a “Save Obama” vote.

DireFog has the vote at 209-209. It does appear though that Kanjorski will be a “NO” vote so maybe the “NOs” are still ahead as we approach 4:00 p.m. ET.

There are not many votes left to mine as the stomach turns. This vote could drag on all night as Pelousy flits about with a comically huge gavel. “One big tell-tale sign” of what is happening is the changed schedule.

Bart Stupak is still making a fool of Barack Obama -who does not need the lessons in boobery – he’s a professor of boobery.

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Update III: Want to call Bart Stupak (a live person is answering the phones at his office? (202) 225 4735, (989) 356 0690, (906) 875 3751.

Musical interlude:



Keep fighting. They still don’t have the votes.

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Update II: They still don’t have the votes. It’s close.

Bill Foster votes to “Save Obama”.

The much courted John Tanner votes “NO!”.

Rumor at DireFog has Lincoln Davis also a “NO!”. DireFog has the vote at 208 “Save Obama” and 209 “NO!” Get the pen Barack! Forget what you told Planned Parenthood during the primaries. Time to wield that back stabbing pen.

It is amazing that with the entire Obama presidency at stake so many are voting “NO!”. It’s the growing NObama Coalition.

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Update I: The latest on the rumors of a Bart Stupak deal HERE. Nothing is confirmed. Stupak has yet to announce an agreement.

More rumors – Stupak is not quite a “Save Obama” vote yet.

Not a rumor – Brian Baird is a “Save Obama” vote.

More rumors – is this the Executive Order? A “non-binding show” which is a stab in the back? Rumors.

Latest non rumor, Major Garrett states on Fox News that he received an email from Stupak’s spokesperson that there is no deal.

Rumors.

Keep fighting. They still don’t have the votes.

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They Still Don’t Have The Votes. With massive Dimocratic majorities in both chambers, and control of the executive branch of government – the most they can HOPE for is a bare majority. The most they can hope for is a bare majority and a Dimocratic president signing a ban on abortion funding. What audacity!

American Big Media is all out to help flim-flam Obama pass his health scam. As usual we turn to the overseas media to provide a sense of some reality. The TimesOnline headline says it:Late swings leave Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms teetering

What appears to propel a great deal of the “they have the votes” conjecture is that no president or no thinking person would stake so much (a presidency, a congress, an entire infrastructure of allied organizations, unions, a political party, Big Media allies) unless it was a sure thing. Hillary supporters know better because we have watched Obama’s flim-flams accepted wholesale even when not based in reality.

We’ll be keeping track of the health scam vote all day and updating this article as appropriate. They still don’t have the votes.

Will they get the votes? Will they work out a deal with Bart Stupak (latest rumors say they have)? Pelousy and Obama will try to scheme as much as necessary, bamboozle as much as possible to get the votes – By Hook Or By Crook. The hook will probably not work, so the crook will have to up his game.

If they do manage to get the votes (They Still Don’t Have The Votes) what can we expect? Well there will be a fight in the Senate all week long, but that conjecture is for another day. The Republicans know what they will do:

“The top House Republican said if his party takes the majority, he would work to repeal the health care bill.

“If this bill passes, we will have an effort to repeal the bill, and we’ll do it the same way that we approached health care on a step by step basis. I’d have a bill on the floor the first thing out, to eliminate the Medicare cuts, eliminate the tax increases, eliminate the mandate that every American has to buy health insurance and the employer mandate that’s going to cover jobs,” Boehner said according to an advanced transcript of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The Senate side Republicans are saying much the same thing:

“National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas said Sunday this fall’s midterm elections will be a “referendum” on the health care bill, saying it will be the “defining issue” even when President Barack Obama runs for reelection in 2012.

“For example, in places like Indiana, where only 37 percent of the public approve of it, you have congressmen who want to be the next senator from Indiana saying they’re going to vote for this bill,” Cornyn said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That will be the defining issue in that state – states like New Hampshire, known for their fiscal responsibility where Paul Hodes, a congressman there, said he’s going to vote for this two-and-a-half trillion dollar bill that’s a job killer that’s going to run up deficits, cut Medicare and raise taxes.”

The whiff of New Hampshire is everywhere these flim-flam days.

Cornyn has other fires to burn in the Senate:

“Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Sunday fellow Republicans will take issue with a tax on high-priced insurance plans, arguing that it violates the rules of budget reconciliation.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Cornyn said that a point of order in the Senate could strip that key provision or even scuttle the bill

“The so-called excise tax on Cadillac insurance plans that doesn’t go into effect until 2018, eight years from now, that effects Social Security. It violates the Byrd rule, and we’re going to raise a point of order. There are 41 senators that signed a letter saying that we will not vote to wave the point of order, it will fall, either that provision or potentially even bring down the whole bill,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn said Republicans have hundreds of amendments to the bill, meant to “highlight” what they consider to be its bad provisions.”

If phase 1, passage in the House of Representative does happen, the fight will continue. It will continue all the way until November 2010 and 2012.

By Hook Or By Crook will not be enough. The Crook will get the Hook soon enough.

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256 thoughts on “By Hook Or By Crook

  1. from previous thread:

    Obama’s idiocy is in promising to address real problems: uninsured, insurance co’s declining people due to pre-existing conditions, rising hospital and insurance rates, etc.

    But in order to fix those, they are going to raid Medicare? And tax “cadillac health plans” (which cannot be truly exorbitant policies if the unions had to try to negatiote an exemption)?

    Tax the lower and middle classes, and drive Medicare to ruin. Isn’t that what the Obama-lefties were complaining about Bush? (I am lefty on many issues, centrist on others, and I like jazz).

  2. We posted a link in the article about a possible Stupak deal which would provide the necessary votes for the scam to pass in the House. The citation in the link however was to an MSNBC story, which we do not consider credible as all they profess is they want to ‘make Obama a success’.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/21/breaking-stupak-voting-yes/

    They have updated the story with a link to Politico posted at 1:05 p.m. which states this:

    House Democrats have picked up critical health reform “yes” votes from a group of anti-abortion lawmakers, including Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, according to senior Democratic aides. Democrats believe a breakthrough with Stupak’s group – based on the promise of an executive order to be issued by President Barack Obama reinforcing a ban on federal funding for abortion – will help give them the 216-vote majority needed to pass reform on Sunday.

    Whether any of this is true remains to be confirmed. Stupak has yet to announce an agreement.

  3. ANOTHER EPISODE OF: AMERICA’S DUMBEST CRIMINALS

    The Dems anxiousness to “get ‘er done” by any means is extremely short term thinking.

    It’s like watching bungling burglars managing to steal $200, then a few hours later they are caught because the video camera got their faces and their license plates.

    The American public is the video cam, and the November elections is the punishment the thieves will have to face.

    So go ahead with your stupid plan. I double dog dare ya.

  4. The latest update:

    Update I: The latest on the rumors of a Bart Stupak deal HERE. Nothing is confirmed. Stupak has yet to announce an agreement.

    More rumors – Stupak is not quite a “Save Obama” vote yet.

    Not a rumor – Brian Baird is a “Save Obama” vote.

    More rumors – is this the Executive Order? A “non-binding show” which is a stab in the back? Rumors.

    Latest non rumor, Major Garrett states on Fox News that he received an email from Stupak’s spokesperson that there is no deal.

    Rumors.

    Keep fighting. They still don’t have the votes.

  5. Boy, this is ugly. Even if it passes, this is ugly. Nobody comes out of this catastrophic theatre looking good. No one.

  6. Rgb44Hrc, another episode: the bungling burglars who break into a convenience store, start eating junk food, take the money, then get trapped in the vent they crawled through to break in, because they ate so much the waistlines expanded. Not to mention the video camera which caught their faces and the fingerprints all over the place.

  7. Basement Angel, the stink is everywhere. It’s B.O.

    It’s mindful of the Jim Morrison biography title: “No One Gets Out Alive.”

  8. The ancient Chinese paid their doctors regularly to keep them well – as soon as they became ill, they stopped paying the doctor, who then had to make them well in order to have an income again. The doctor got paid to keep people well.
    In our society, the doctor only gets paid when we’re sick.
    It’s more profitable to have sick people than well ones.

  9. The irony is if this crap passes, that will destroy his presidency. There are all sorts of nonsense in here that is indefensible, and that is what he and his lunatics in Congress would have voted on.
    For example, there is a clause for doctors who accept medicare to be penalized 5% if they refer “too many” patients to specialists. So, who decides “too many”? a panel appointed by the HHS secretary. Whats in the Senate bill is a 5% penalty on doc who refer patients to specilists over the 90% percenticle when averaged out over the country.

    So, what will be the effect? Docs will ration, people who need to be referred to specilists will not be, cancers, etc, will not be caught in time.

    This is the most disgusting travesty I have ever seen in my life.

  10. According to Major Garrett’s twiiter.

    “Stupak spox 2 me on abortion/EO deal: “No…there is not yet a deal & he is still a NO vote right now.” Note: “right now””

    http://twitter.com/MajoratWH

    Down to the wire… **crosses fingers** lol

  11. If they do, their careet will die a slow death by a thousand cuts. Or do they all alredy have a wonderful golden parachute.

    DO and DIE Dimocrats!

    Thanks again and again, Admin.

  12. I am posting the item below from someone at bitterpoliticz…
    ______________________________________________

    …posting the stupak info and ask them to call for him to vote no on this piece of shit bill??

    They are taking calls, I spoke with a live person.

    THEY ARE TAKING CALLS — I just called them, told them an executive order is UNconstitutional, line-by-line veto is unconstitional, so any carrot of a exec order for “ban on abortions” will be deemed uncontittional

    Phone: (202) 225 4735
    (989) 356 0690
    (906) 875 3751

  13. Puke, barf, puke!!!!! The Slaughter the House lady just yielded a portion of her time to Patrick Kennedy, after putting in a one page document as to why this thing is not unconsititutional.

  14. Thanks for the phone numbers FireLight2012.

    Here’s our latest update:

    Update II: They still don’t have the votes. It’s close.

    Bill Foster votes to “Save Obama”.

    The much courted John Tanner votes “NO!”.

    Rumor at DireFog has Lincoln Davis also a “NO!”. DireFog has the vote at 208 “Save Obama” and 209 “NO!” Get the pen Barack! Forget what you told Planned Parenthood during the primaries. Time to wield that back stabbing pen.

    It is amazing that with the entire Obama presidency at stake so many are voting “NO!”. It’s the growing NObama Coalition.

  15. tim
    March 21st, 2010 at 2:21 pm
    there is a clause for doctors who accept medicare to be penalized 5% if they refer “too many” patients to specialists. So, who decides “too many”? a panel appointed by the HHS secretary. Whats in the Senate bill is a 5% penalty on doc who refer patients to specilists over the 90% percenticle when averaged out over the country.

    So, what will be the effect? Docs will ration, people who need to be referred to specilists will not be, cancers, etc, will not be caught in time.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Tim, this is the way it already is.The health care profiteers have already destroyed the patient/doctor relationship.
    The best doctor I ever knew was “let go” from our local hospital because he put the patient first and ignored the procedures and limitations insisted upon by insurance companies. When he left and joined Doctors without Borders, I found a new g.p., and I like her, I want to trust her, but I just cannot. I constantly question whether she is doing what’s best for me or what is more profitable for the hospital/insurance or pushing pills for BigPharma because I hear every day about the bad care my suffering friends and acquaintances are getting from doctors who are failing them. I’m sure there still are honest health care professionals who have a real calling, who are dedicated to helping us, but they are forced to try to cheat the system in order to give us the proper care — how can we know who they are? whom we can trust?
    A good health care bill would go after the current corruption – this bill only feeds the demons who are devouring us.

  16. Boehner: “If this bill passes, we will have an effort to repeal the bill . . . eliminate the Medicare cuts, eliminate the tax increases, eliminate the mandate. . . .”

    As if! This is a Republican bill. The Republicans will be the new Dems; expect lots of double talk about why their hands are tied. They will put in some bills for show, but focus on the main agenda: killing Social Security and Medicare. Obama (does this need to be said?) will oblige.

  17. Basement Angel – you are so right this is just so ugly. Any congressperson who gets voted out of office in November for a yes vote now needs to be follwed closely to see what they got for it and exposed for the opportunistic creeps that they are.

  18. lil ole grape

    you nailed it. My sister in law is a physician, she is in her 60s, I might be biased, but she is an excellent doctor, most of her patients are medicare patients. She spends an amazing amt of time with each one. She even holds Saturday hours for those people who work and cannot come during the weekdays.

    She has told me, if this goes thru, she will essentially become a govt employee, she will be penalized for caring too much for her patients, for spending too much time with them, after all this is a private practice, it still has to sustain itself, and it cannot if doctors are being restricted in how they treat their patients.

    And she has indicated, if she cannot treat and care for her patients the best and honest way she knows, then she will no longer practice. She will be retiring this year or next at the latest.

    I believe she has been in practicing over 30 years, her patients, mostly seniors, are sick with worry, b/c they know they will have to find another doctor. And as I said, I am biased, but my sister in law is an excellent and very compassionate doctor.
    (and contrary to what the idiot in the WH says, many many doctors like my SIL accept patients without health insurance, she makes financial arrangments with them)

    IBD stated that 46% of doctors will leave the profession, I believe that poll, my sister-in-law and her collegues are some of them.

  19. and for the record, my sister in law was a staunch lifelong democrat until 2008, she is now a registered Independents, words cannot express how disgusted she and her collegues are at the lunatics in the UN-democratic party.

  20. Thanks so much for those phone numbers!!!
    They don’t listen to our arguments, but the number of calls is the message!

  21. The mail boxes are full at Bart Stupak’s office…couldn’t get through to busy numbers either…but will keep trying.

  22. I can’t get through on those phone lines for Stupak.

    Thanks admin for filling your posts with links back to previous posts. I admittedly have not read each and every one of them, but when I click on some of your posts from the past, I have to admit that you seem to get it right each and every time. It’s really kind of amazing actually. Kudos to you.

  23. I can hardly believe Stupak is the last man standing between Heaven and the Hell Obama is set to unleash on US if the Bill goes through…

    nail-biter extraordinaire!
    ______________

    I empathize with my fellow posters expressing their discomfort from the unrequited insulting personal attacks. I feel exactly the same way.

    Admin- you have the patience of a saint. I appreciate you keeping the forum in balance and equilibrium free from distractions that serve no useful purpose whatsoever.

  24. Latest update:

    Update IV: They Still Don’t Have The Votes but that might change momentarily because Stupak is about to speak and the rumor is he will “Save Obama” and Obama will sign some sort of Executive Order – will any of the so-call progressives react with principle? We doubt it.

    Earl Pomerory is a “Save Obama” vote.

    DireFog has the vote at 209-209. It does appear though that Kanjorski will be a “NO” vote so maybe the “NOs” are still ahead as we approach 4:00 p.m. ET.

    There are not many votes left to mine as the stomach turns. This vote could drag on all night as Pelousy flits about with a comically huge gavel. “One big tell-tale sign” of what is happening is the changed schedule.

    Bart Stupak is still making a fool of Barack Obama -who does not need the lessons in boobery – he’s a professor of boobery.

  25. Can this executive order withstand legal challenge, or do we live in a monarchy, as well as a oligarchy?

  26. birdgal:

    no it cannot. executive orders are not legally binding. Only congress can pass amendenents to laws.

    check out patriotroom.com, they have great info on that.

  27. What will Bart Stupak and his group do if Obama recinds his supposed Executive Order that “allowed” them to vote for Obamacare?

    As Administrator has told us over and over…no one…friend or enemy should ever trust BO.

  28. tim
    March 21st, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    “executive orders are not legally binding.”
    _________________-

    Right, seeing we live in a democratic republic worth fighting for.. if we expect it to survive for generations to come.

  29. admin:

    this might be of interest to your readers:

    http://patriotroom.com/article/after-the-vote-head-spinning-blowback

    “In a matter of hours after House passage of the Senate Bill, the state of Virginia will file suit in federal court. The Commonwealth will be joined in the suit by a dozen other states. I expect a flood of additional lawsuits. The suits will be based on the provision that requires every American to purchase health insurance. . . . While the legal battles wage on, expect an enormous public back-lash against the Democrats. Longtime political observers will recall the backlash after Democrats passed a “catastrophic health care” bill in the 80s. That event …

  30. The clips of Nancy flitting and strutting around with her “comically
    huge gavel” keeps being shown. Whew!

  31. BASTARDS…the democratic party as we knew it is DEAD…they stand for nothing but bribes, stealing whatever is left in the treasury and lining their own pockets…whoever would believe that with control of the WH, the Senate, and the House, the dems would sell out women…this party stands for nothing but their own gratification…and now they vote to enslave the rest of us to fraudulant private insurance companies…

    wait until they come up for air and realized there will be so much missing tax revenue and they will have to subsidize all the unemployed…

    the democratic party have become a pack of dictators…

    …completely disgusted…

  32. Stupidpak has sealed the deal and the Fraud has just pushed women further under the bus.

    November can’t come soon enough for me.

  33. “In a matter of hours after House passage of the Senate Bill, the state of Virginia will file suit in federal court. The Commonwealth will be joined in the suit by a dozen other states. I expect a flood of additional lawsuits…”

    So is this part of the create jobs bill?

  34. I’m disgusted. That Executive Order is just window dressing to get Stupak and his crew off the hook. We are not stupid out here.

  35. Latest update:
    Update V: Stupak sells out his principles. Obama will sign an Executive Order. PINOs in congress will keep their mouths shut – so much for “core Democratic values”. Stupak parrots the “American people are the winners” line but Americans don’t feel like “winners” with this massive transfer of taxpayer dollars to Big Insurance and Big PhaRma.

    A little note on the atmospherics of the Stupak press conference: Marcy Kaptur’s face and delivery did not match her upbeat words. Bart Stupak looked sullen too. The Republicans must be giddy as they contemplate November. The Dimocrats and allied organizations will hold countless publicity stunts to “sign up” for health care and other such charades, but the independents who vote in November will not be smiling.

    The Obama Executive Order may be read HERE. Read it and keep those Pink Grenades handy.

    The fight will continue this week in the Senate if and when this Obamination scam passes the House. The lawsuits will commence too.

  36. I am so PO’d – theis has all been a BIG SHOW meant to distract people from the fact that the bill is crap on a stick and they are ALL in on this show. Sickening.

  37. Tim, we linked to your comment in the update. Bill McCollum, the Attorney General of Florida, just stated that within minutes of passage he will file suit.

  38. basil9 – I am convinced that this has all been a huge orchestrated “event” right down to the wire – meant to keep us talking about who was going to so what, and away from discussing the fact that the bill itself is the biggest sell out of the American people EVER.

  39. I feel for my sister in law, who is a physician, most of her patients are Medicare patients. I just spoke with her, she was in tears.
    And she confirmed to me, that yes, she will be retiring by the end of this year, and her medicare patients know they will be screwed by the entire system, there will be longer waits, and rationing of drugs.

    This is going to hurt so many seniors, so many middle class people. And these people know it, that’s why we are all against this disgusting bill.

    I just shut off my TV, I will not be turning it on anymore until November 2, 2010.

  40. Drudge had this a while ago:

    FLASH: Senate Republicans found a provision in the new House health care bill that likely makes it ineligible for expedited ‘reconciliation’ procedures in the Senate. Dems refused to meet with GOP and Parliamentarian…. Developing….

    Now there is a link to the Senate Republican website but it is so busy it can’t be accessed.

    http://republican.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Blogs.View&Blog_Id=6b53ad02-2d4b-4134-a08d-7c439defd83b

  41. Southern Born
    March 21st, 2010 at 4:32 pm
    “In a matter of hours after House passage of the Senate Bill, the state of Virginia will file suit in federal court. The Commonwealth will be joined in the suit by a dozen other states. I expect a flood of additional lawsuits…”

    So is this part of the create jobs bill?
    *********************************************

    no, Southern Born, it is the 17,000 new IRS monitors that are going to be hired to look into the most personal aspects of your life and FINE YOU if you do not submit to the requirement the democratic party insists you have for health coverage…

    what a nightmare…the dems are now big brother…the party needs to be thrown out

  42. larkspar,

    I think you’re right about the distract strategy.

    No TV news for me for at least the next few days.

  43. http://republican.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Blogs.View&Blog_Id=6b53ad02-2d4b-4134-a08d-7c439defd83b

    WASHINGTON DC – Senate Democrats have balked at a bi-partisan meeting with the Senate Parliamentarian to discuss a rule violation that could doom the entire House reconciliation proposal.

    DON STEWART, McCONNELL SPOKESMAN: “Republicans have been trying to set up a meeting with Senate Democrats since yesterday to discuss this fatal point of order but have been met with nothing but silence. We suspect Democrats are slow walking us so as to have the House vote first. Since Senate Democrats refuse to meet with us and the Parliamentarian, we’ve informed our colleagues in the House that we believe the bill they’re now considering violates the clear language of Section 310g of the Congressional Budget Act, and the entire reconciliation bill is subject to a point of order and rejection in the Senate should it pass the House.”

    BACKGROUND

    DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP RELEASE: “The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the health care legislation shows an increase in Social Security revenues… CBO projects that the resulting increase in wages will generate $29 billion in additional FICA contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund.” (“Health Care Reform Update,” Office of Rep. Steny Hoyer, 3/21/10)

    CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT: “LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any reconciliation bill or reconciliation resolution reported pursuant to a concurrent resolution on the budget agreed to under section 301 or 304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program established under title II of the Social Security Act.” (Congressional Budget Act Of 1974, Sec. 310g, P. 31)

  44. DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP RELEASE: “The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the health care legislation shows an increase in Social Security revenues… CBO projects that the resulting increase in wages will generate $29 billion in additional FICA contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund.” (“Health Care Reform Update,” Office of Rep. Steny Hoyer, 3/21/10)

    ————————————————————————————————–

    THAT is a bunch of hooey and BS. If anyone thinks that employers are going to increase wages, they are totally corrupt and/or naive. This is such a poor and flawed assumption.

  45. Not happy this afternoon.

    There are lyrics to a Thompson Twins song called Lies,Lies,Lies…

    lies lies lies yeah (they’re gonna get you)
    lies lies lies yeah (they won’t forget you)
    lies lies lies yeah (they’re gonna get you)

    My understanding is that Nebraska is still get it’s kickback.

    I will happily help defeat every Demorat from local government to national government as payback for this vote.

  46. IndyPUMA- I just watched the video and that publicity seeking SNAKE STUPAK KNEW ALL ALONG that he would vote YES for the bill. It’s all been a show to distract people from the substance of the bill. They sold the sizzle dog and pony shows to us the entire time, MSM complied and now we are cooked.

  47. S
    March 21st, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    “it is the 17,000 new IRS monitors that are going to be hired to look into the most personal aspects of your life and FINE YOU if you do not submit to the requirement the democratic party insists you have for health coverage… what a nightmare…the dems are now big brother…the party needs to be thrown out.”
    __________

    Ayup- the IRS has become America’s enforcement agency. All the latest enforcement language is geared to eventually owning your assets. (your home) Next, will be the EPA… for breathing out pollutants.. CO2, and failing to pay the Tax created to mitigate Green House Gases. (lien on your property accruing interest and penalty’s) Another Obama scam.

  48. “Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights.” –Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 1789. ME 7:322

    Let’s see how far the wisdom of our forefathers actually goes in the grip of flim-flam godfather style politicians.

    This has all been a show, conducted for months on end, to get us to look at the shiney objects while the dirty wheeling and dealing goes on right under our noses. They are now preparing to do the same thing with immigration – for obvious reasons.

  49. Yes, indeed. Obamacare is turning out to be BO’s best creator of jobs yet.

    And he didn’t even need that jobs bill…could have saved that money and given it directly to the IRS and “big brother”.

  50. “If anyone thinks that employers are going to increase wages, they are totally corrupt and/or naive. This is such a poor and flawed assumption.”

    100% agree. This is what is going to happen. In the bill, part timers are also mandated to have insurance, so employers will just have less part time people, more full time workers, and oh no, the wages will not increase, they will decrease, you will have more people vying for less number of jobs.

    Wages will fall, productivity will go up. Companies will relocate overseas at even a faster rate. (I work in the finance world, capital will be flowing out of America and actually it already has — to Hong Kong and Singapore). Middle class people will get screwed, and small businesses will get screwed (they cannot afford the lobbyists that corporation can)

  51. admin:

    I saw this at Hillbuzz (another one of my fav. sites).
    This woman really represents so many millions upon millions of us.

  52. So, it’s not about who casts the last ‘no’ vote or ‘yes’ vote. All credit should go to Stupak. :0(

  53. from a poster at a different website:

    “Unofficial counts put Dems at the 220 mark.

    Will be interesting to see how Lynch and Arcuri vote. Two challengers have already emerged to run against them in the primaries if they vote no (both said they intended to vote no). Labor in each case has pledged their support to the primary challengers in the event of a no vote.”
    __________________

  54. BTW, they did not have the votes and…

    Here’s what we have been wondering about too:

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/03/21/probably-irrelevant-fun-with-numbers/

    “While I have no reason to disagree with the widely held belief that Democrats now have the votes to pass the health care bill, I want to raise a brief point of order.

    The group on the dais with Bishop Stupak moments ago were: Kaptur, Carney, Driehaus, Dahlkemper, Rahall and Mollohan. If there was anyone else I didn’t see them. Kaptur and Carney were ALREADY built into the count as Yes votes. So if you add the five on stage associated with the deal to the Yes side, you’re still only at 213 votes for the bill.

    It’s unclear where Marion Berry and Joe Donnelly are on this. Even if they both supported, that’d get you to 215 – one short of passage. Costello and Lipinski, I’m convinced, are No votes either way.

    So then you’d need one of the remaining undecideds: Michaud, Sanchez, Cooper, Kanjorski, Boucher. Now, it’s likely they’d get one – Michaud is likely, for example – but what if Berry and Donnelly don’t agree to the bill?

    I’m not giving bill-killers a glimmer of hope, but it should be worth seeing how 216 gets built. And this further underlines how ridiculous Stupak’s claim is that the Democratic leadership had the votes without him.

  55. I imagine this will end late tonight with POTUS making an appearance….it has been staged very well. The dims were always going to vote yes, just held out like high paid hookers to get as much possible . I don’t know whether it will have a negative or positive impact in 2010 since most of the substantive parts will not take effect by then. Also, the public is fickle and does not stay focused that long. Just last month we thought this was doa with Brown’s election, and low and behold, he got it through. He is NOT a good president, but he s good at organizing ….he seemed to be able to organize the last few steps necessary to pass this. The republicans need to get a moderate candidate who will attract Independents in 2012 or we are looking at a two (2) tern POTUS.

  56. jbstonesfan

    I disagree, people really hate this bill. I have business collegues who are going to have no choice but to lay off a few people in the next month, they are cutting everything they can, and no longer have a choice, they will have to lay people off.

    and this is not just one business I know, I know several who are in this position. Also, there will be major corporations who will be relocating good chunks of their business overseas very soon. Most already know just bad the taxes are, and now the regulations. They just don’t want to deal with it anymore.

    People are not fickle about this, they will not forget nor will they forgive. This summer is going to be horrible for the economy, especially when states realise that their revenues have plummeted.

    This bill is not popular, and not I don’t mean mildly, it is hugely unpopular. And all the disgusting details aren’t even being headlined yet.

  57. Insurance stocks should be high.

    yep, while small businesses will trying to figure out who to lay off next.

  58. The Republicans could run an elephant named Ms. Peanuts in 2012, and she would clean Obama’s clock.

  59. Just wait for the discussions to start on the Cap and Trade bill, and immigration bill to see a broad consensus of anti-Demorat disgust.

  60. nomobama
    March 21st, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Just wait for the discussions to start on the Cap and Trade bill, and immigration bill to see a broad consensus of anti-Demorat disgust
    ———
    Yup, they are going to try and pass the Crap and Trap bill and every controversial bill though before November, before the people kick them out of office.

  61. the only good thing is, with 41 votes in the Senate, everything now can be filibustered. Immigration will not happen and crap and trap will not happen.

    we need a countdown to Nov.2 2010 and november of 2012.

    The country is essentially under seige by radical lunatics.

  62. jbstonesfan
    March 21st, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I think your giving obama way too much credit here…… he is no organizer….. he’s a vacationer while others do the heavy lifting kinda of guy

    HE IS ONLY THE MASK OF THOSE THAT ARE DOING ALL THE WORK AND ORGANIZING.

  63. Long time, no post. Just had to stop by and make sure the world hasn’t gone completely mad. Fucking Obama! This is criminal.

  64. JBStonesFan, we quoted your comment in the latest update and responded a bit.

    Latest update:

    Update VI: A little history might be in order. Some are saying that “the public is fickle and does not stay focused that long” and therefore Obama’s Dimocrats will be able to get away with by hook or by crook legislation. This is a variation of the “the public does not care about process” argument. We believe both are wrong.

    We wrote about “process” and the “fickle public” previously and concluded that ordinarily Americans do not care about the “process” for legislation, but that health care legislation is an exemption to that rule. We believe the “process” answer applies to the “fickle” argument too. It’s not just opinion versus opinion – there’s history.

    In 1989 the Democratic controlled Congress was warned by seniors against passing an alleged “expanded Medicare coverage” bill. Democrats were convinced “the people” would love the bill once it was passed and they passed the bill. Seniors revolted. Within months the same Democratic Congress was forced to repeal the law. Here’s a visual:



    Seniors in 2010 are expected to account for 54% – 56% of the vote. We suspect that today’s seniors will revolt against the Medicare cuts in Obama’s health scam just like the seniors in 1989 did.

    Tonight the Dimocrats will proceed with the Obama health scam. Republicans will continue the opposition unto November 2010 and 2012. Republicans will even pose as the defenders of Social Security and Medicare and the elderly. Amazing.

  65. Roll Call is reporting that House Democrats have now lined up the votes to push through their massive $1 Trillion+ government-run healthcare bill.

    Our leaders in Washington have betrayed the will of We The People, and our Constitution. So now we must “Vote Them Out”

    We launch the “Tea Party Express: Just Vote Them Out” tour in 6 days and will be launching campaigns to defeat these Members of Congress one-by-one, along with hundreds of thousands of supporters at our tea party rallies along the way.

    We still need to raise $36,000 to fund this effort. And we need your help – because we simply must “Vote Them Out.” They’ve betrayed us too many times folks. Now we must raise the money to defeat their re-election, and hand them a pink slip.

    $36,000 in 6 days – we can reach this goal, if we make this a team effort where every person reading this pitches in.

    To contribute online – JUST CLICK HERE.

    We’re still looking for 176 more Americans who can make a contribution of $100, $250 or $500 or more today to help us reach our goal. Will you please be one of these great patriots?

    Please make a contribution to the Tea Party Express III effort. You can contribute as little as $5 up the maximum allowed contribution of $5,000. Remember – we need to raise $36,000 by March 27th. Time is ticking away, and we need your support now.

    You can contribute online right now – HERE.

    If you prefer you may also mail in a contribution to our finance headquarters:
    Tea Party Express
    770 L Street #1020
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    And please join us for the “Just Vote Them Out” tea party tour. We’ll be having rallies in 42-cities across the country including the giant mega tea party rally to kick off the tour in Searchlight, NV on March 27th – to make it clear that “Target #1” is Sen. Majority Leader, Harry Reid:

    For more information on the “Tea Party Express III: Just Vote Them Out” national tour and our “Showdown in Searchlight” kickoff tea party rally, log on to our website: http://www.TeaPartyExpress.org

    **FORWARD TO FRIEND**

  66. I can’t stand this. This is making me heartsick. I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime.

    I recently caught your blog linked to Michelle Malkin’s site and thought I’d take a peak and had a blast! I’m a former Republican turned conservative independent and have had it with both parties. I trust neither but gotta say that these Dems have become the enemy of the People. As a military spouse, I will be effected just as badly. This bill doesn’t exempt Tricare and now we’re hearing that our premiums will be raised.

    I don’t know where they get off trying to dictate who should provide my healthcare and where I get it (and how much I pay for it). I already deal with that with Tricare.

    I know you don’t want to hear this but I feel like crying. I’ve been doing that a lot on Michelle Malkin’s blog because my husband and I recently decided to try for a baby and now what do we do? What kind of country will be there for our child? For us? For the elderly? For people of all political viewpoints?

    I know, I know… I have to breath and believe that somebody will step in and stop this insanity. I can tell you that my husband is sick of it… we are determined to watch a movie and try to avoid the insanity. I’m 34 years old and never thought I’d be seeing this. This is bad for all of us.

  67. “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion… We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each State. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?” –Thomas Jefferson to William S. Smith, 1787.

  68. djia:

    I’ve sent your Tea Party announcement to three different newspaper comment sections. Hopefully, it will do some good for the cause.

  69. “I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.

  70. Did anyone catch our first former female vp candidate and strong Hillary supporter during the primary on Fox
    today talking up the wonderful HCR plan….revolting. What happened to her? Did she have a lobotomy? Sad to say, she reminded me of Hillary during the campaign, pimping for BO. Sad, sad, sad.

  71. I question Stupak and the others’ IQ level. They caved on agreement to an Executive Order from the POTUS with disappearing ink.

  72. Don’t blame me I voted for Sarah!

    Got an email today from an old friend that is a RN, she asked me how I liked the healthcare bill, she said, everytime something goes wrong she thinks of me. LOL!! Well, when I get home I will email her back and tell her…DON’T BLAME ME I VOTED FOR HILLARY FIRST THEN SARAH, unlike most republicans, they voted for Obama twice, the first time to knock Hillary out and the second time for Obama cause they hated McCain…I hope they enjoy the healthcare bill.

  73. To all those who are “sickened”, “nauseated”, “dis-spirited”, “angry as hell”, about the proceedings of Congress over the next couple of days…

    Relax. Anyone caught aiding and abetting Obama is signing their suicide note.

    If it doesn’t pass, as I hope, because it is the worst kind of sausage-making legistlation in the past xx number of years, then bravo.

    If it does, there will be hell to pay.

    Do you know who votes in the heaviest numbers? Seniors.

    Do you know who is going to be livid about Medicare being “restructured”. Right, those same voters.

    As for the 20-something slackers who may have voted for the first time in 2008, they are probably annoyed that they’ll be forced to buy health insurance.

    We need a well-structured health care reform bill. This IS NOT IT.

    Watch the suicide watch.

    Oh, and watch for those too smart to slit their own wrists. Obama’s “threat” of witholding his support is a joke. Anyone whom he’s worked for has lost. If you want to be re-elected, the last mutha fukka you want showing up on your doorsteps is Mr. Transparency, who PROMISED THAT ALL LEGISTLATION WOULD BE POSTED FOR FIVE DAYS BEFORE VOTING.

    Right now, nobody knows what last second things are being negotiated in and out of the bill. Nobody can say what was stuck in or out in the past couple of weeks. The CBO’s analysis is “preliminary” because there is nothing solid to measure.

    Obama’s days of getting a free pass from the public, from the media, are finally at an end. He’s used up all of his get of jail cards. The suicide list is headed by Obama, who has made sure that he’ll not see a fifth year in office.

    The question is whether he can fill out the full four before being impeached / removed on one of many possible counts.

    Mmmmm, delicious.

  74. This whole weekend showcase in Capitol Hill was something worth MISSING…it was all theatre…everyone knew it was going thru….watch out HERE COMES CRAP AND TRADE!!! Like I said I voted for Hillary and then Sarah…the whiners get what they deserve!

  75. It might look simpler if we question the sincerity of everyone concerned, an d think they don’t worry about being found out by intelligent voters.

    What if Stupak was just grandstanding in the first place — getting attention and support from the anti-abortion people without caring about the practical result?

    He gets a lot of publicity, and whatever Obama gives him under the table. Now there are lots of headlines about an executive order supporting Stupak, so he gets to claim that as a victory.

    Obama gets some praise for what looks like creative problem-solving: an order he describes as ‘reaffirm the status quo’.

  76. Stupak was always a yes, he was grandstanding. Gatewaypundit has the video of him saying he would vote for this rationing bill no matter what, and his audienced booed.

  77. I have seen very little of this healthcare theatre…what I did see was many, many congressman with huge smiles on their faces as they voted and followed Pelosi to Capitol Hill…it was a setup deal and has been since 2008. WAKE UP AMERIKA!

  78. “Obama gets some praise for what looks like creative problem-solving: an order he describes as ‘reaffirm the status quo’.”

    Not from pro-choice women who make up the plurality of the Democratic base. But I suppose we chattel don’t count. At least not to the new Democratic Party.

  79. So, if the GOP is successful in challenging the reconcilation move, we are left with the Senate bill. What a bunch of suckers.

  80. sent to me by a friend:

    Courtesy of Congressman Scott Garrett:
    THE DEMOCRATS’ HEALTH BILL DOES WHAT?!!?!
    ELEVEN ALARMING TAX ISSUES

    1. Creates a special deal for union members. Starting in 2018, a single union worker in a multi-employer health plan would be completely exempt from the “Cadillac tax” (a 40% tax on high-cost plans) unless the price of that plan exceeds $27,500. In contrast, a single, non-union worker living right next door would start paying that Cadillac tax as soon as the value of her health plan exceeds $10,200.

    2. Makes a bad surtax worse. Twenty-two House Democrats opposed a surtax contained in an earlier version of the Democrats’ health care bill. That surtax would have started at a rate of 2% and would have applied to Americans earning over $280,000 for singles and $350,000 for couples. Under the current version of the bill, however, the Medicare surtaxes on both earned income (imposed at a rate of 0.9%) and investment income (imposed at a higher rate of 3.8%) feature far lower thresholds – $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples.

    3. Increases taxes on real estate investments. The 3.8% Medicare surtax would hit average, middle-class investors in real estate. A middle-class taxpayer who happens to sell real estate for a significant gain in a particular year would be liable for this new tax, regardless of how low her income might be in other, more typical years. The National Association of Realtors wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Levin urging that Congress reject this unfair tax increase, especially given the flagging economy.

    4. Vastly expands IRS powers. According to a new report, the Democrats’ health care bill vastly expands the responsibilities of the Internal Revenue Service and would strengthen the IRS’s heavy hand in dealing with ordinary taxpayers who play by the rules. If this bill becomes law, the IRS may have to hire up to 16,500 additional auditors, agents, and other employees just to enforce all the new taxes and penalties. The bill would empower the IRS to: (1) verify that Americans have “acceptable” health care coverage; (2) fine Americans up to $2,085 or 2 percent of income (whichever is greater) for the failure to purchase “minimum essential coverage”; (3) confiscate tax refunds; and (4) increase audits.

    5. Imposes new marriage penalties. Because the Democrats’ subsidies for health insurance are solely based on the federal poverty level, if two people make $32,000 per year, they would pay between $6,000 and $10,000 more for health insurance than before they said “I do.” This is because as singles they were poor enough to receive health care subsidies, but as a married couple, these Americans are too rich for federal assistance. A discussion of how a prior version of the bill would have imposed these marriage penalties can be accessed here.

    6. Breaks the President’s pledge on not taxing the middle class in at least a dozen ways. The Democrats’ health care bill contains at least a dozen direct and indirect tax increases that would break President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making less than $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples. These include: (1) a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost plans, (2) an individual mandate tax on Americans who do not purchase government-approved health insurance, (3) an increase in the 7.5% AGI floor for medical expense deductions to 10%, (4) limits on Flexible Spending Accounts in cafeteria plans, (5) increased penalties for nonqualified HSA distributions, (6) other restrictions on Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, and Flexible Spending Accounts, (7) a tax on tanning services, (8) an employer mandate tax, (9) a sales tax on medical devices, (10) a tax on health insurance premiums, (11) a tax on prescription drugs, and (12) a tax on insured and self-insured health plans.

    7. Ensnares a growing number of people in the Cadillac tax. The Cadillac tax in the Democrats’ health care bill would not keep pace with medical inflation after it comes into effect in 2018, meaning a larger and larger tax hit over time. Beginning in 2020, this tax would be indexed by only the consumer price index. Given that health insurance premiums will likely increase faster than CPI, the Cadillac tax would hit more and more plans each year and take a bigger bite from those already covered

    8. Repeats the mistakes of the AMT. Instead of learning the lesson of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which hits more and more Americans every year because the exemption level is not indexed for inflation, the Democrats’ bill repeats this mistake by failing to index the exemption threshold for the Medicare surtaxes on both earned and unearned income.

    9. Forces those with catastrophic costs to pay even more. Current law provides important tax relief to Americans who suffer catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenses, permitting a deduction for costs above 7.5% of income. The Democrats’ bill would raise that threshold to 10% of income in 2012 (2016 for seniors and the disabled). This is a particularly hard hit on those with the highest medical costs who can least afford to pay more taxes. And, according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, more than 95% of the revenue generated from this tax increase would come from taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

    10. Punishes investment in our economy. Under the Democrats’ bill, the Medicare tax would, for the very first time, apply to capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, and other investment income of singles earning over $200,000 and couples earning over $250,000. Currently, capital gains and dividends are taxed at a top rate of 15%, but those rates are already scheduled to rise in 2011 to 20% and 39.6%, respectively. When the expansion of the Medicare tax is coupled with the already scheduled rate increase, capital gains rates on these types of investment income, long-term capital gains rates would rise by almost 60% next year – from 15% to 23.8% – and the top tax rate on dividends would nearly triple – from 15% to 43.4%.

    11. Robs Peter and leaves Paul broke. The Senate-passed Tax Extenders bill (H.R. 4213, as amended) includes one-year extensions of important tax relief policies for both individuals and businesses that expired on December 31, 2009. These include the deduction for state and local sales taxes, the R&D tax credit, and numerous energy-related incentives. Just weeks ago, the Senate decided to “pay for” those provisions by making “black liquor” ineligible for the cellulosic biofuel producer credit and by codifying the economic substance doctrine into law. Yet Democrats have now chosen to steal those very same revenue offsets – totaling $28.1 billion – to help finance their trillion dollar health bill instead. This begs the question: To the extent Democratic Leaders decide to adhere to PAYGO on Tax Extenders, what new taxes will they raise to replace all that lost revenue?

    Health Care Takeover by the Numbers

    Congressman Garrett has compiled a list of important numbers relevant to Democrats’ Senate bill combined with the proposed reconciliation bill.

    $1.2 trillion: The total cost of the bill between 2010 and 2020 (though the real costs do not start until 2014), including $940 billion in coverage subsidies, $144.2 billion in additional mandatory spending, $70 billion in discretionary spending in the Senate bill, and $41.6 billion in unrelated education spending.

    $208 billion: The cost of a ten year patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) to prevent reduction in Medicare physician payments. This cost is hidden because it was included in the earlier Democrat bill, but was dropped to provide a better cost estimate. It is expected to move separately and would bring the true cost of the takeover to $1.4 trillion.

    $569.2 billion: Tax increases in the legislation, including $48.9 billion in new tax increases in the reconciliation bill alone.

    $52 billion: The amount of new taxes on employers who cannot afford to pay their employees health care, imposed at a time when unemployment is 9.7 percent.

    The number of new tax increases in the bill that violate President Obama’s pledge that, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase”:

    46%: The percentage of families making less than $66,150 who will be forced to pay the individual mandate tax.

    16,500: The estimated number of IRS auditors, agents and other employees that may be needed to collect the hundreds of billions in new taxes levied on the American people.

    $20 billion: The estimated amount of money that the IRS and HHS will need for the cost of additional regulations, bureaucracy, and red tape over the next ten years. This spending is not included in CBO’s cost estimate of H.R. 4872.

    $53 billion: The amount of revenue this bill raids from Social Security to appear as if it actually reduces the deficit.

    $202.3 billion: The amount of money cut from the Medicare Advantage program for seniors to help offset the costs of a new entitlement.

    $436 billion: The amount of federal subsidies in the bill that will go directly to insurance companies to provide health care in the exchange.

    1 out of 22: The number of times the Senate has not somehow amended a reconciliation bill passed by the House, and thus required further House action.

    63%: The percentage of physicians surveyed who feel that health reform is needed, but are opposed to this sweeping overhaul legislation.

    $9 billion: The amount that the Ways and Means Committee estimated Medicare would spend annually after 25 years when it was passed in 1965. In reality, Medicare spent $67 billion in 1990, or seven times the initial cost estimate.

    $1.55 trillion: The projected FY 2010 deficit—11 times the ten year “savings” Democrats claim the bill will produce by spending more than $1 trillion for this government takeover of health care.
    Spread the Word

    Please share this information with anyone who will actively work to prevent nationalized health care; the links at the bottom of the page can forward this to others.

  81. Agree with Confloyd….Pelosi undermined Hillary’s campaign and made a deal with POTUS long ago imo….it seems almost too theatrical, too well planned, to be anything but a well orchestrated plan….

  82. Djia, that is an astonishing list. Predictibly, none of that is getting out in the mainstream media. My poor trusting elderly dad watches CNN exclusively througout the day. He doesn’t believe the things I tell him that are in the HC bill because it hasn’t been talked about my Anderson Cooper.

  83. Latest update:

    Update VII: The vote on the Senate passed bill will soon start. After that vote, there will be a last ditch Republican attempt to kill the bill by proposing a “motion to recommit”. The motion to recommit will “contain only language on abortion that Stupak originally had wanted to include in the Senate bill.” In November:

    Sixty-eight Democrats voted for Stupak’s language in a November vote. They could be portrayed as flipping if they now voted against it.

    If the Republicans don’t muck things up, as they did in November, this will be yet another time bomb to explode in November against the Dimocrats. Obama Dimocrats are celebrating today and one is walking around with a clown size gavel. As Pat Caddell describes it, ‘it’s a Kool-aid party’. A Hopium spiked Kool-aid party fit for a cult:



  84. Geraldo on Fox is in a Kool-Aid induced fervor on Fox stating that the Heath Care Bill is one of the most stunning political comebacks in history. He practically hyperventilating…..what an idiot!

  85. John Boehner just finished his closing speech before the vote. Presiding officer David Obey then made the joke of the day when he reminded the body to ‘remember the dignity of the House’. It doesn’t get funnier than that. 🙂

  86. Just listening to Nasty is almost more than I can take, best part is all the “boos” when she started talking about the leadership of the Fraud.

  87. Kruthhammer on Fox giving credit for the fact that the Dems used obscure rules etc to get health care back on the burner but says they will suffer the consequences as the bill is so unpopular. He said something about how they were doing this right in the “teeth of the unpopularity”

  88. Commentator on Fox says there won’t be any more big legislations by the Dems down the road as this has split them..

  89. american gal, are you sure it wasn’t “Hial Hitler”??? This is most ridiculous piece of theatrics I have ever seen. It was a done deal from both sides of the track with the media playing their role.

    Geraldo Rivera hyperventilating, well hold your stomach, I read that some papers in the am will be talking about the POWER of PELOSI….gag me with a stick…please!

  90. The vote to recommit debate has now begun. We’ll soon know what the text is and whether the Republicans have kept it clean or jammed all sorts of issues into their bill.

  91. I hope all the numbnuts that voted for the “one” realizes that all the insurance rates in border states will be higher than the inland states just like auto insurance is…people are ignorant! Oh, how I wish I could get on facebook tonight…at work!

  92. Keep posting what the republicans are doing…that is the interesting part…I can’t watch it..Is it on Cspan??

  93. can’t watch……… watching “new moon” with the kids instead

    US congress reminds me of vampires now

  94. Some of the better aspects of the bill come into effect immediately , and therefore, backlash may not be as dramatic as republicans think re 2010. Bottom line, America saw what a corrupt, bought and paid for Congress we have. I am ashamed to admit that I once admired Pelousy. Essentially “legal” bribery and thug tactics to get the first AA President a Health Care bill which he believes will get him on Mount Rushmore….or at least a turnpike named after him. Good night and good luck!!!

  95. Jen
    I wish but if the republicans are working silently with the democrats
    while putting on a ruse of being against.

    I doubt that will happen… just like the dim’s didn’t impeach GB

  96. In my opinion I don’t think the backlash will be mitigated by the good things that were passed into law. There is going to be a lot of significant continuing controversy about this bill. I believe that several states this very evening are filing legal challenges. And now the Republicans and others will be out spreading the word on it’s costs without the distractions of an upcoming vote. Even my clueless Dad is starting to focus in on the issue a little more this evening now that the vote part is over. Perhaps now, although it’s too late to change this vote, the details will really start to come out. Then we will see just how angry the American people really are…

  97. Intermission.

    Bill Clinton remarks at Gridiron dinner:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/03/21/clinton-returns-to-washington-needling-himself-obama-and-the-press/

    Elsewhere in his remarks, he noted he was speaking on the night before the start of spring, “otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming.” Of the current vice president, he said: “Vice President Biden, God bless his mouth.”

    He praised a speech given earlier in the dinner by the night’s Republican speaker, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, thusly: “Orin, he’s the wittiest of all the Republicans. That ‘s sort of like saying he’s the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs.”

    Mr. Clinton managed to get in a plug for his economic record as president, in a backhanded kind of way: “My only regret in creating 23 million new jobs is that two million of those jobs were for right-wing pundits.”

    But, perhaps inevitably given the capital’s fixation with the weekend effort by Democrats to push a health bill over the finish line, Mr. Clinton returned to that theme at the end. In a reference to Democrats’ controversial attempts to offer sweeteners to win the votes of wavering lawmakers, he cracked; “I flew here from Cleveland, and I flew out of the Dennis Kucinich Airport”—a suggestion that Ohio Democratic Rep. Kucinich must have gotten something flattering in return for his decision two days ago to vote for the Obama bill.

  98. I don’t like the Stupak language, it discriminates between the classes…only the rich will be able to have abortions. I am not for abortion except when the fetus is to be born with profound disfigurement or profound retardation or the health of the mother. The repugs forget how much all this things cost. They want them all born but don’t want to pay for them..It doesn’t make sense.

  99. “I flew here from Cleveland, and I flew out of the Dennis Kucinich Airport”

    LMAO – Thanks for the laughs, admin; we’re gonna need them…

    The Lemmings have landed…

  100. What part of the bill has to go back to the senate where Harry says he can get it passed??? I understand Obama will sign it tonight??
    Is there some significance to it being the day before spring??? You don’t think Obama will use the first day of Spring as a backdrop for signing the bill?

  101. Confloyd, they are trying to get it done before the Easter break which starts tomorrow. If people went home for the break, there may have been more people that voted “no.” Keeping the natives captive, just like Christmas Eve.

  102. Admin- Thanks for being here and providing a space where we can feel supported and understood during this very trying past couple of years. I know that it can be a lot of work keeping a site running and I am especially appreciative of your point of view. Everyone else – thanks for being here, it would be so much harder to have to deal with the MSM onslaught continually assuring us all that day is night, etc. had I not been visting this site (usually just reading) all along.

  103. Southern Born, and after the November elections when dozens of Dems will be voted out of office the American Public will be saying to Obama “no, this is what CHANGE looks like”.

  104. No one has said what Mathews and Olberman is saying right now…are they having tingling up their legs tonight for Obama??

  105. confloyd
    March 21st, 2010 at 11:56 pm
    How long do these jerks get off for Easter break?? I have never gotten Easter, have you Birdgal??
    ———————————————————————————————–

    I think they may get off for 2 weeks, but it might be one week. When I was in school, there was a one week Spring break.

  106. Nancy Pelosi makin her victory speech now. “This act honors our founders”…surely I heard that wrong.

    BO is a visionary…I can’t even write the rest of it…Lord, I hope we don’t have a week of this talk. And I’m watchin FOX.

    Didn’t realize until now that Nancy has one grating laugh. Give me what they all Hillary’s laugh ANY DAY. Give me Hillary any day!

  107. Latest update:

    Update VIII: The Senate bill passed the House (219-212); the Republican Motion to Recommit failed (182-219); the Reconciliation bill passed (220-211). The Reconciliation bill now goes to the Senate.

    The few “appealing” aspects of the bill (such as portability of insurance from job to job) that kick in rapidly will help Dimocrats marginally. But from now on every Medicare patient that is unhappy or has to wait for an appointment will, rightly or wrongly, blame Obama and the Dimocrats and will vote in November to punish for the massive Medicare cuts.

    All the magic promises will be magnified by unions and Dimocratic allied organizations with publicity stunts featuring “enrollment” drives and assorted distractions. But the magic will never materialize and the “bitter and clingy” mood of Americans will grow even more bitter and sour. Economic misery will have every American answering the question “Are you better off today than you were two years ago?” at the ballot box in November. The Arrogance! Incompetence! Corruption! Cowardice! of Obama and his Corrupt Dimocrats will be punished in November.

    By April 15, 2011 the new taxes will have to be paid, just in time for the preliminaries to the 2012 election campaign.

    Politico provides a handy guide to the Dims that will “walk plank with ‘yes’ vote.”

    “Some members of Congress will end up with primary challenges as a result. Others may have signed their own political death warrant. [snip]

    Members in this category include Reps. Harry Mitchell of Arizona, Chris Carney of Pennsylvania and Baron Hill of Indiana, each of whom was elected in the 2006 Democratic wave and represents a seat that George W. Bush carried twice.

    And virtually every freshman Democrat who won a marginal district in 2008 will need to mount a vigorous explanation of the benefits of a “yes” vote — especially members like Reps. Mark Schauer of Michigan and Dina Titus of Nevada, who won Republican-held seats.

    Some veterans — among them nine-term Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who hails from solidly Republican North Dakota, and West Virginia Reps. Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall — will also feel the heat.”

    Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey, Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus, Carol Shea-Porter, Thomas Perriello, John Boccieri, signed their death warrants too.
    Those running for higher office (Brad Ellsworth, Paul Hodes, Kendrick Meek) have also signed their death warrants. Bart Stupak and his ilk will face bipartisan loathing and defeat.

  108. Nancy is getting hers now. She is beside herself..she screwed Hillary to get this. I can’t stand Nasty.

  109. Just reading the comments is enough for me. I’m not watching any of this on TV. It is better for my blood pressure that I don’t watch this farce.

  110. They are making Nancy the HERO of the Obamacare fight…except for BO that is.

    They are all loving on her tonight. She may walk across the tidal basin on the way home the way they are talking about her right now.

  111. Whats wrong with Waxman’s nose…can’t he afford to get that thing fixed, he reminds me of a potbelly pig, or at least a porkbelly pig.

  112. Obama thinks he’s winning…

    He’s set off the fision chain reaction dooming himself and the Dems.

    There was a smart way to get some bill, perhaps even a good bill through. But they wound up with this Rube Goldberg piece of shit that does not pass the smell test.

    The aftermath won’t be “Obama’s dream realized”, but, “Obama and Conspirators Utilize dubious tactics to gain passage of legistlation open to numerous challenges”.

    Fuck these bastards. They will pay.

  113. Don’t worry about what nice things are being said about Pelosi.

    Look at her re-election polling numbers in a week, and lemme know where the bitch is.

    Same for fucking Reid, who’s getting flushed down the toilet as well.

    I am going to relish every minute between now and November, watching asshole Democrats squirm and die.

  114. We’re a more honest nation tonight. This fall, legislators will take responsibility for this. It’s a pivotal moment. It’s like the moment that Al Gore refused to fight to take the White House, and like Bush’s moment when he decided to invade Iraq. We’ve made our choice as a nation. Now, we’ll live with it.

    Whatever it is, it’ll be real.

  115. shadowfax, My Gosh, with the healthcare we pay for Waxman, we shouldn’t have to look up those nostrils.. I think we need to introduce legislation that if he continues to get on TV, he has to get that snoze fixed…its a matter of public service. LOL!! Seems like I remember him sticking the knife in Hillary’s back, hell they all did, they will pay in November.

  116. I wanted the public option, I really wanted to screw the insurance company. My daughter who had pneumonia is getting letters now that they won’t pay for her subsequent bronchitis because it was pre-existing. Hell she got the pneumonia at work in the damn hospital. I told her to fight it. She only makes 8 dollars an hour.

  117. Gallup has Obama up to 50% approval and 43% disapproval. Don’t know if this was taken tonight but upticks usually happen when there has been news events.

    They also did a poll on what Americans think the health care plan will accomplish. The majority thought it will help the poor and those without insurance but gave it low marks for helping the middle class or there families.

  118. I guess Nasty is breaking open the GreyGoose vodka on that jet we’re paying for. Her husband was there I guess he rides free with her. I saw him…he looked like a player to me!

  119. Sorry for the misspellings–time to go to bed…

    Also read somewhere that Bill Clinton worked the phones helping to sway votes for the bill–hope that isn’t true…

  120. And if BO does not get Cap and Trade or Immigration Reform through during his tenure, do you think he will “work the phones” for the next Dem president?

  121. Wish Gallop or one of the other polling organizations would call some of us for our opinion.

    Have any of you all ever been called for a poll?

  122. How do you think you will be affected if the health care overhaul passes? MSNBC–go vote! Take out the spaces on the H T T P

    h t t p://www.newsvine.com/_question/2010/03/21/4047432-how-do-you-think-youll-be-affected-by-the-health-care-overhaul-if-it-passes

    Current numbers

    59% I think this legislation will be detrimental to me and future generations….
    11.3% I don’t know how the overhaul will affect me….
    27.9% I think that health care reform will be a huge step for our nation…

  123. Got to go to bed…but one final thing..

    Check out this Facebook page of Pelosi’s challenger, John Dennis. People are posting like crazy there tonight…fun reading!

    h t t p://www.facebook.com/johndennis2010?ref=mf&v=wall

  124. American Gal,

    If Bill worked the phones, then it means there is something of value here and that he and Hillary have plans. If that turns out to be true, it’s good news.

  125. No Way…No Short term memory. 2010 and 2012 can not come fast enough!

    DEATH -PANEL: Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e…re-admissions). Page 280 Sec 1151
    DEATH -PANEL: Govt mandates “Advance-Care Planning Consult.” (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.) Page 425 Lines 4-12
    DEATH-PANEL: Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life! (Again — no choice!) Page 430 Lines 11-15
    DEATH-PANEL: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing! Page 272 SEC. 1145
    DEATH-PANEL: GOVT COMMITTEE decides what treatments/benefits you get Page 30 Sec 123
    DEATH-PANEL: The Govt mandates a program for orders on “end-of-life.” (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!) Page 427 Lines 15-24
    DEATH-PANEL: Rationing Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans Page 85 Line 7
    DEATH-PANEL: The Govt provides an “approved” list of end-of-life resources; guiding you in death. (Also called ‘assisted suicide.’)(Sounds like Soylent Green to me.) Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3
    DEATH-PANEL: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.Page 494-498 DEATH-PANEL: Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you Page 42
    DEATH-PANEL: An “advanced-care planning consultant” will be used frequently as a patient’s health deteriorates. Page 429 Lines 1-9 DEATH-PANEL: HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED Page 29 lines 4-16
    DEATH-PANEL: An “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans.. (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?) Page 429 Lines 10-12
    DEATH-PANEL: Govt mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want — rationing.) Page 335 L16-25 Pg 336-339
    DEATH-PANEL: Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of ’special needs people!’ Unbelievable! Page 354 Sec 1177
    DEATH-PANEL: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors. (Low-income and the poor are affected.) Page 239 Line 14-24
    DEATH-PANEL: GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.. (I wouldn’t want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!) Page 429 Lines 13-25
    DEATH-PANEL: Rationing Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members – your health care WILL be rationed!) Page 85 Line 7
    DEATH-PANEL: Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. (And it’s mandatory!) Page 425 Lines 17-19:

    ACORN: Payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & ACORN Page 65 Sec 164
    ACORN: Govt will use ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan. Page 95
    ACORN: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations, ACORN Medical Services Page 469

    Doctors/ American Medical Association – The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.Page 127 Lines 1-16
    Doctors: It doesn’t matter what specialty you have trained yourself in — you will all be paid the same! Page 241 Line 6-8
    Doctors: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!) Page 317 L 13-20
    Doctors: Govt sets the value of a doctor’s time, profession, judgment, etc. (Literally– the value of humans.) Page 253 Line 10-18
    Doctors: Govt creates more bureaucracy via a “Tele-Health Advisory Committee.” (Can you say HC by phone?) Page 379 Sec 1191
    Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission — the Govt will penalize you. Page 298 Lines 9-11

    Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll! Page 149 Lines 16-24
    Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!) Page 145 Line 15-17
    Employer with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn’t provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.Page 150 Lines 9-13
    Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees AND their families. (Employees shouldn’t get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.) Page 126 Lines 22-25
    Employers: Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure – Page 22
    Employers: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt monopoly. page 12 4 lines 24-25
    Employers: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the ‘Exchange.’ Page 84 Sec 203

    HOSPITALS: PROHIBITION on expansion. (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.) Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3

    ILLEGALS: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.) (Like always)Page 170 Lines 1-3
    ILLEGALS: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise. Page 50 Section 152
    ILLEGALS: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. (illegal aliens.) Page 91 Lines 4-7

    MARRIAGE: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin.. will have access to ALL Americans’ finances and personal records. (I guess so the government can ‘deduct’ their fees from your bank account)Page 195
    MARRIAGE: Govt will cover marriage and family therapy. Page 489 Sec 1308
    MARRIAGE: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer. Page 59 lines 21-24:
    MARRIAGE: Govt will have real-time access to individuals’ finances & ‘National ID Health card’ – Page 58

    MONOPOLY: Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. (Forcing people into the Govt plan) Page 341 Lines 3-9
    MONOPOLY: Govt mandates and controls productivity for “private” HC industries. Page 265 Sec 1131
    MONOPOLY: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. Page 102 Lines 12-18
    MONOPOLY: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. (Can you say ACORN?) Page 321 2-13

    NEW TAXES: ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.Page 167 Lines 18-23
    NEW TAXES: The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” (Yes, it really says that!) ( a ‘fee’ instead) Page 203 Line 14-15

    NO SHORT TERM MOMORY!

  126. As far as I am concerned. All the Dems that changes their votes from yes to no did it with the company approval because of Nov races. We must throw the lot of them out.
    ******************
    ELEVEN ALARMING TAX ISSUES

    1. Creates a special deal for union members. Starting in 2018, a single union worker in a multi-employer health plan would be completely exempt from the “Cadillac tax” (a 40% tax on high-cost plans) unless the price of that plan exceeds $27,500. In contrast, a single, non-union worker living right next door would start paying that Cadillac tax as soon as the value of her health plan exceeds $10,200.

    2. Makes a bad surtax worse. Twenty-two House Democrats opposed a surtax contained in an earlier version of the Democrats’ health care bill. That surtax would have started at a rate of 2% and would have applied to Americans earning over $280,000 for singles and $350,000 for couples. Under the current version of the bill, however, the Medicare surtaxes on both earned income (imposed at a rate of 0.9%) and investment income (imposed at a higher rate of 3.8%) feature far lower thresholds – $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples.

    3. Increases taxes on real estate investments. The 3.8% Medicare surtax would hit average, middle-class investors in real estate. A middle-class taxpayer who happens to sell real estate for a significant gain in a particular year would be liable for this new tax, regardless of how low her income might be in other, more typical years. The National Association of Realtors wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Levin urging that Congress reject this unfair tax increase, especially given the flagging economy.

    4. Vastly expands IRS powers. According to a new report, the Democrats’ health care bill vastly expands the responsibilities of the Internal Revenue Service and would strengthen the IRS’s heavy hand in dealing with ordinary taxpayers who play by the rules. If this bill becomes law, the IRS may have to hire up to 16,500 additional auditors, agents, and other employees just to enforce all the new taxes and penalties. The bill would empower the IRS to: (1) verify that Americans have “acceptable” health care coverage; (2) fine Americans up to $2,085 or 2 percent of income (whichever is greater) for the failure to purchase “minimum essential coverage”; (3) confiscate tax refunds; and (4) increase audits.

    5. Imposes new marriage penalties. Because the Democrats’ subsidies for health insurance are solely based on the federal poverty level, if two people make $32,000 per year, they would pay between $6,000 and $10,000 more for health insurance than before they said “I do.” This is because as singles they were poor enough to receive health care subsidies, but as a married couple, these Americans are too rich for federal assistance. A discussion of how a prior version of the bill would have imposed these marriage penalties can be accessed here.

    6. Breaks the President’s pledge on not taxing the middle class in at least a dozen ways. The Democrats’ health care bill contains at least a dozen direct and indirect tax increases that would break President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making less than $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples. These include: (1) a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost plans, (2) an individual mandate tax on Americans who do not purchase government-approved health insurance, (3) an increase in the 7.5% AGI floor for medical expense deductions to 10%, (4) limits on Flexible Spending Accounts in cafeteria plans, (5) increased penalties for nonqualified HSA distributions, (6) other restrictions on Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, and Flexible Spending Accounts, (7) a tax on tanning services, (8) an employer mandate tax, (9) a sales tax on medical devices, (10) a tax on health insurance premiums, (11) a tax on prescription drugs, and (12) a tax on insured and self-insured health plans.

    7. Ensnares a growing number of people in the Cadillac tax. The Cadillac tax in the Democrats’ health care bill would not keep pace with medical inflation after it comes into effect in 2018, meaning a larger and larger tax hit over time. Beginning in 2020, this tax would be indexed by only the consumer price index. Given that health insurance premiums will likely increase faster than CPI, the Cadillac tax would hit more and more plans each year and take a bigger bite from those already covered

    8. Repeats the mistakes of the AMT. Instead of learning the lesson of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which hits more and more Americans every year because the exemption level is not indexed for inflation, the Democrats’ bill repeats this mistake by failing to index the exemption threshold for the Medicare surtaxes on both earned and unearned income.

    9. Forces those with catastrophic costs to pay even more. Current law provides important tax relief to Americans who suffer catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenses, permitting a deduction for costs above 7.5% of income. The Democrats’ bill would raise that threshold to 10% of income in 2012 (2016 for seniors and the disabled). This is a particularly hard hit on those with the highest medical costs who can least afford to pay more taxes. And, according to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, more than 95% of the revenue generated from this tax increase would come from taxpayers earning less than $200,000.

    10. Punishes investment in our economy. Under the Democrats’ bill, the Medicare tax would, for the very first time, apply to capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, royalties, and other investment income of singles earning over $200,000 and couples earning over $250,000. Currently, capital gains and dividends are taxed at a top rate of 15%, but those rates are already scheduled to rise in 2011 to 20% and 39.6%, respectively. When the expansion of the Medicare tax is coupled with the already scheduled rate increase, capital gains rates on these types of investment income, long-term capital gains rates would rise by almost 60% next year – from 15% to 23.8% – and the top tax rate on dividends would nearly triple – from 15% to 43.4%.

    11. Robs Peter and leaves Paul broke. The Senate-passed Tax Extenders bill (H.R. 4213, as amended) includes one-year extensions of important tax relief policies for both individuals and businesses that expired on December 31, 2009. These include the deduction for state and local sales taxes, the R&D tax credit, and numerous energy-related incentives. Just weeks ago, the Senate decided to “pay for” those provisions by making “black liquor” ineligible for the cellulosic biofuel producer credit and by codifying the economic substance doctrine into law. Yet Democrats have now chosen to steal those very same revenue offsets – totaling $28.1 billion – to help finance their trillion dollar health bill instead. This begs the question: To the extent Democratic Leaders decide to adhere to PAYGO on Tax Extenders, what new taxes will they raise to replace all that lost revenue?

    Health Care Takeover by the Numbers

    Congressman Garrett has compiled a list of important numbers relevant to Democrats’ Senate bill combined with the proposed reconciliation bill.

    $1.2 trillion: The total cost of the bill between 2010 and 2020 (though the real costs do not start until 2014), including $940 billion in coverage subsidies, $144.2 billion in additional mandatory spending, $70 billion in discretionary spending in the Senate bill, and $41.6 billion in unrelated education spending.

    $208 billion: The cost of a ten year patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) to prevent reduction in Medicare physician payments. This cost is hidden because it was included in the earlier Democrat bill, but was dropped to provide a better cost estimate. It is expected to move separately and would bring the true cost of the takeover to $1.4 trillion.

    $569.2 billion: Tax increases in the legislation, including $48.9 billion in new tax increases in the reconciliation bill alone.

    $52 billion: The amount of new taxes on employers who cannot afford to pay their employees health care, imposed at a time when unemployment is 9.7 percent.

    The number of new tax increases in the bill that violate President Obama’s pledge that, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase”:

    46%: The percentage of families making less than $66,150 who will be forced to pay the individual mandate tax.

    16,500: The estimated number of IRS auditors, agents and other employees that may be needed to collect the hundreds of billions in new taxes levied on the American people.

    $20 billion: The estimated amount of money that the IRS and HHS will need for the cost of additional regulations, bureaucracy, and red tape over the next ten years. This spending is not included in CBO’s cost estimate of H.R. 4872.

    $53 billion: The amount of revenue this bill raids from Social Security to appear as if it actually reduces the deficit.

    $202.3 billion: The amount of money cut from the Medicare Advantage program for seniors to help offset the costs of a new entitlement.

    $436 billion: The amount of federal subsidies in the bill that will go directly to insurance companies to provide health care in the exchange.

    1 out of 22: The number of times the Senate has not somehow amended a reconciliation bill passed by the House, and thus required further House action.

    63%: The percentage of physicians surveyed who feel that health reform is needed, but are opposed to this sweeping overhaul legislation.

    $9 billion: The amount that the Ways and Means Committee estimated Medicare would spend annually after 25 years when it was passed in 1965. In reality, Medicare spent $67 billion in 1990, or seven times the initial cost estimate.

    $1.55 trillion: The projected FY 2010 deficit—11 times the ten year “savings” Democrats claim the bill will produce by spending more than $1 trillion for this government takeover of health care.

  127. March 21, 2010
    House passes first of three ObamaCare votes
    Thomas Lifson

    The House just adopted a rule to govern the discussion and voting to follow, making the 216 votes they needed. According to Carl Cameron of Fox News, when the magic number was reached, a number of Congressmen voted “no”, as if they would have voted “yes” had their votes been needed, but were given permission to vote with their districts once the majority was secured for the Democrats.

  128. Ap, so disingenuous. When the Tea party march’s with a million, a mile Long it’s what, a few thousand, three blocks it’s 10,000. Get ready for the 2 million illegal alien march. Sick…
    Throw them and the Dems out by Nov.
    ******************

    Tens of thousands rally for immigration reform
    Buzz up!92 votes Send
    AP – With the Capitol in the background, farm workers from West Palm Beach, Fla., march and chant while attending …
    Slideshow:Immigration Reform Debate By SARAH KARUSH, Associated Press Writer Sarah Karush, Associated Press Writer – 5 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – Frustrated with the lack of action to overhaul the country’s immigration system, tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied on the National Mall and marched through the streets of the capital Sunday, waving American flags and holding homemade signs in English and Spanish.

    Supporters traveled from around the country in hopes the rally would re-energize Congress to take up the volatile issue. Some lawmakers oppose any attempt to help an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants become U.S. citizens while others insist on stronger border controls first.

    President Barack Obama, who promised to make overhauling the immigration system a top priority in his first year, sought to reassure those at the rally with a video message presented on giant screens at the National Mall. The president said he was committed to working with Congress this year on a comprehensive bill to fix a “broken immigration system.”

    Obama said problems include families being torn apart, employers gaming the system and police officers struggling to keep communities safe.

    The president, whose comments were released as he worked to get last-minute votes on a health care overhaul, said he would do everything in his power to forge a bipartisan consensus on immigration reform. The House was expected to vote on the landmark health care legislation late Sunday.

    Some demonstrators were disappointed there hasn’t been more action a year into Obama’s term.

    “I understand it may not all be his (Obama’s) fault,” said Manuel Bettran, a 21-year-old college student from Chicago. “I am frustrated. I really wish not just him, but everybody, would take it more seriously. ”

    Bettran arrived in Washington on Sunday morning after a 13-hour bus ride. Like many, he had a personal connection to the issue. His parents were once illegal immigrants but were able to take advantage of an amnesty in the 1980s.

    “Fortunately, they were able to become citizens during the last amnesty, but I know many people that weren’t that lucky,” said the American-born Bettran, adding that his brother was never able to gain legal status and had to leave the U.S.

    Lawmakers failed to agree in 2006 and 2007 when they last tried to overhaul the immigration system, and the political climate is even tougher now.

    Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., released an outline of a bill last week that calls for illegal immigrants who want to get on the path to legal status to admit they broke the law by entering the U.S., pay fines and back taxes, and perform community service. They also would be required to pass background checks and be proficient in English before working toward legal residency, required before becoming a citizen.

    Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a speaker at the rally, said the activists no doubt got the attention of lawmakers by converging on the mall “on the one Sunday Congress was in session.”

    “I think you’ll see a response in the following weeks,” he said.

    Authorities in D.C. don’t provide crowd estimates, but the mall was full of people for three blocks.

    People held signs with slogans such as, “You need us as much as we need you,” and “No Human Being is Illegal.” Many waved American flags, and a few also carried the banners of their countries of origin.

    One group from Queens, N.Y., displayed a giant papier-mache family — a mother and two crying children. The creation, meant to symbolize the way immigration problems have split up families, was the work of teenagers in an after-school program, said Natalia Aristizabal, arts and media educator for the group, Make the Road New York.

  129. 59% I think this legislation will be detrimental to me and future generations….
    27.9% I think that health care reform will be a huge step for our nation…
    ============================
    It always gets back to that 2 to 1 ratio. Twice as many strongly oppose as strongly favor. Twice as many think this legislation will be detrimental to them than think it is positive.

    It is important to differentiate between the problem and the solution. We all agree there is a problem. The question is how to solve it. This is the worst solution imaginable.

    Lest we forget–this legislation:

    Obamacare legislation:

    Cuts Medicare for seniors by $500 billion

    Concerning death warrants consider the case of the Pied Piper of Hamlin:

    The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the subject of a legend concerning the departure or death of a great many children from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in pied (multicolored) clothing, leading the children away from the town, implicitly to their death.

    Will lead to doctors – and medical institutions – refusing to treat Medicare patients

    Forces every American to buy health insurance under the penalty of a fine or jail

    Establishes a Medicare Advisory Board of government bureaucrats empowered to ration health care for seniors, cut their benefits

  130. 59% I think this legislation will be detrimental to me and future generations….
    27.9% I think that health care reform will be a huge step for our nation…
    ============================
    It always gets back to that 2 to 1 ratio. Twice as many strongly oppose as strongly favor. Twice as many think this legislation will be detrimental to them than think it is positive.

    It is important to differentiate between the problem and the solution. We all agree there is a problem. The question is how to solve it. This is the worst solution imaginable.

    Lest we forget–this legislation:

    Cuts Medicare for seniors by $500 billion

    Will lead to doctors – and medical institutions – refusing to treat Medicare patients

    Forces every American to buy health insurance under the penalty of a fine or jail

    Establishes a Medicare Advisory Board of government bureaucrats empowered to ration health care for seniors, cut their benefits

    Concerning death warrants for those who signed this fraudulent piece of legislation consider the following analogy:

    The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the subject of a legend concerning the departure or death of a great many children from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in pied (multicolored) clothing, leading the children away from the town, implicitly to their death.

  131. I think the Big Zero expects a P.R. bounce out of this to start the 2010 campaign season, and Big Media will comply with fake festivities, etc. (as it always did for GWB). I believe he is in for a big surprise. The bounce, if any, won’t last long, and the media’s adoration will go over like a lead balloon. I live in a very Democratic area. Even my local CBS station–very pro-BO–was subdued in their coverage of the bill on the late night news, and most of the comments the station received were negative.

  132. SactoDem, your observation regarding your “very Democratic area” is much like what we are hearing from all over.

    Even the hate emails we get and the nasty wannabe commenters lack the bite, bile, and buffoonery, of old. We used to get very long and energetic diatribes which showed some effort in what sophomores consider sophisticated put downs. The diatribes usually included “just you wait and see how great Obama is going to be, you will be sorry” type defenses.

    Now our hate emails and hate commenters are just pale displays of desperation at our continued publication and demands we go away – the primaries are over dontcha know. No defenses of Obama other than uninspired “he’s doing the best he can, it’s those darn Republicans and you as purported Democrats should know how bad Republicans are, so shut up and get with the program.”

    Maybe the Hopium supplies are running low? Maybe Chicago is hoarding the Hopium for future use? We almost feel sorry for our dispirited, disheveled, walking-into-walls, haters. What can we do to help the poor dears?

  133. Like others have said, thanks for having the stomach to do the dirty work and reporting on the nauseating proceedings that took place today. I know that I won’t be watching any TV news for a long time and that I’ll be getting all of my information at Big Pink.

  134. Admin,
    I can tell you what I won’t do to help them, and that is to soft-pedal my opposition just so their feelings won’t be hurt. Forcing people to buy insurance from private companies is just wrong! I, the consumer, have no control in this situation.

    Poor Obots. They don’t understand that no amount of hoopla can overcome an entire year’s failure, including some super mistakes like bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia. People have come to dislike BO and that is going to stick. Their dislike will manifest itself now in criticism of HCR.

  135. admin
    Maybe the Hopium supplies are running low? Maybe Chicago is hoarding the Hopium for future use? We almost feel sorry for our dispirited, disheveled, walking-into-walls, haters. What can we do to help the poor dears?
    ——-
    Nothin’ honey. They voted for the Fraud and we are all paying the price. I guess we could move over under the bus and make room for them when they finally realize that the health insurance they just got is no pink pony and they will be fined if they don’t pay for it. Or if they are adults, that if the economy doesn’t pick up soon, our country will be in deep sh!t for decades with the O’wild spending.

  136. DemoRats are all happy about passing health care legislation, but that piece of sh!t bill will leave a bad taste in American’s mouths that will remind them to vote
    against DemoRats in November. I will sit back and watch all
    the dirt come out concerning what is really in the bill, and how it was passed without paying heed to the cast majority of Americans, and then relish the day that Americans have their real say in November. Additionally, I would now like to see if those DemoRats who sacrificed themselves with their yes votes continue to be browbeat to support other contentious bills like Cap & Trade which will cause energy prices to skyrocket, and the immigration bill which people will come to see adds millions more to the healthcare pot. I also would like to see if this bill causes an uptick in illegal immigration totals as sick foreigners try to take advantage of Obama’s flacid victory. I wonder what the reaction would be if this were to happen? Will the immigration bill address new immigrants or those who have been here for years? My guess is that there will be a surge of new illegal immigrants who will believe that
    they will be entitled to free health care even if that were not true.

  137. UnLadyLike- THANKS for the facts! Can’t get that on CNN! You are the coolest unladylike lady ever!

  138. admin: superb coverage on this. Hope you’re getting lots of well-deserved rest right now.
    Although TV coverage is now too much to bear, I did catch this interesting (warning, it is paraphrased) headline spoken twice by Diane Sawyer on the 6:30 pm ABC news: The House is about to hand President Obama his victory.

  139. New Reuters vote on the Health Care Bill-you can vote at thet link below.

    h t t p://blogs.reuters.com/ask/2010/03/22/poll-do-you-agree-with-the-healthcare-reform-vote/

    The results as of 6:23 am CST:

    Do you agree with the House of Representatives vote to pass the health care bill?

    No 63%
    Yes 35%
    Not sure 2%

    How will the health care reforms affect you overall, including the impact on your family and employment?

    Negatively 60%
    Positively 28%
    No change 7%
    Not sure 5%

    How would you describe your understanding of the reforms?

    Good 42%
    Excellent 37%
    Fair 14%
    Poor 4%
    I don’t understand them at all 3%

    Will the passage of the reforms influence your vote?

    More likely to vote Republican 58%
    More likely to vote Democrat 27%
    No change 12%
    Not sure 3%

  140. I saw this on the web as a comparison since Obama et al are going to push that their health care bill is like the passage of Social Security..

    Never before in American history has a measure of such importance been imposed on the country by the majority party over the unanimous opposition of the minority. Democrats have continually sought to create a halo effect for Obamacare by associating it with Social Security and Medicare. But the reality is that both of those landmark programs were approved with strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and House. The Senate vote on Social Security in 1935 was 77-6, with 64 Democrats being joined by 14 Republicans. In the House, the 373 votes for Social Security included 77 Republicans. When Medicare passed in 1965, the 68-21 Senate vote included 13 Republicans, while 65 Republicans were among the 313 affirmative House votes. Such bipartisan consensus was what the Founders sought with the Constitution

  141. Repeal the bill petition

    To Members of Congress & Conservative Candidates for Office:

    Congress is now pushing through an awful government-run healthcare plan that “We The People” oppose, pushes this nation further in its slide towards socialism, and that runs against the Constitutional limitations placed on the role of the federal government.

    We are calling for a repeal of this legislation. Those who work to repeal it will enjoy our support in the tea party movement. Those who have either supported this legislation, or who do not work to repeal it, will hear from “We The People” in the upcoming November 2010 congressional elections. You’ve been put on notice, and you should not underestimate our power at the polls.

    Signed,

    “We The People”

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/repealhealthcarebill/

  142. rgb44,

    OUTSTANDING comments!

    admin, thanks for the play-by-play. It kept my TV from the trash bin.

    Here’s my two cents.

    I blame the repubs, especially Snowe and Collins for this.

    If they hadn’t gone along with the senate dims oh so many months ago . . . .

    And wtf didn’t the repubs plan for the Stupack cave-in? Seems like their efforts to stop the bill were pure smoke and mirrors.

    I’m about ready for anarchy. They’re all FOS.
    Impeach Squat and the whole lot.

  143. This is the first funny thing i’ve read in a couple of days.

    From bev at hillbuzz:

    Stupak spelled backwards = KAPUTS!

  144. Do not miss this.

    Secretary Clinton To Deliver Remarks for World Water Day

    Posted: 20 Mar 2010 04:18 PM PDT

    On World Water Day, March 22, 2010, Secretary Clinton will deliver remarks at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero will introduce Secretary Clinton. The event is co-hosted by National Geographic and Water Advocates. Watch Secretary Clinton’s remarks streamed live here on DipNote and state.gov.

    One out of every six people lacks safe drinking water and two out of every five people lack adequate sanitation. By 2025, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will be living under water stressed conditions and approximately one billion people will face absolute water scarcity. Implications are widespread ranging from health, gender equity, child survival and education to the environment, poverty and peace and security. World Water Day raises public consciousness of these challenges and seeks to ensure that safe, affordable and sustainable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is accessible for all people around the world.
    _———————————————–

  145. Reminder

    —————————————————–

    This program has not yet aired.AIPAC Annual Conference Opening SpeechesMar 22, 2010
    American Israel Public Affairs Committee

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee held its annual policy conference. Speakers at the opening plenary session included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Representative Jim Langevin; Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, Former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan; and Mr. Howard Kohr, Executive Director, AIPAC. PROGRAM:8:30A VIDEO .. Read More

  146. I read that Mr. Transparency will be traveling some time this week to explain how much good just transpired. In other words, look forward to the Obama 2010 Gloat Tour.

    Shameless.

  147. AND NOW, ANOTHER EPISODE OF, “AS THE SHIP SINKS”

    csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0318/Scott-Brown-effect-Could-Senator-Barbara-Boxer-lose-California

    Scott Brown effect: Could Senator Barbara Boxer lose California?
    ===================

    Incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer of California has lost a double-digit lead in the polls since January in the race for her reelection. Political analysts say such voter restlessness so early in the race may mean change is on the horizon.

    Daniel B. Wood
    March 18, 2010

    The dramatic shift in poll numbers in the California Senate race – a surge for former US Rep. Tom Campbell for the GOP nomination and a double-digit drop for Senator Barbara Boxer (D) since January – has serious national implications, according to political analysts.

    A California Field Poll released Thursday shows Mr. Campbell running ahead of businesswoman Carly Fiorina by six points and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore by 19 points among likely GOP primary election voters.

    Perhaps more important, say analysts, is that more voters now have an unfavorable than favorable view of the incumbent Ms. Boxer, and she is essentially tied when matched against Campbell (44 to 43 percent) or Ms. Fiorina (44 to 45 percent).

    Poll director Mark DiCamillo told the Sacramento Bee that “the tenor of political discourse” has clearly changed in California since Republican Scott Brown registered an upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race in January. Others agree.

    “The fact that three-term Barbara Boxer is in such deep trouble early in an election year is a warning signal to both Democrats and long-time incumbents,” says Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “The voters are restless and in a surly mood. Wherever the country is going this year, California could get there first.”

    Steven Schier, a political scientist at Carleton College in Northfield Minn., agrees that the state poll’s implications are national.

    “The unpopularity of the current Congress is affecting races all over the nation. This has given the GOP a major boost in California and other states as the November elections approach. The national unpopularity of Democrats is now hurting the competitive standings of once-safe incumbents like Boxer.” Inside California, says Schier, the GOP has gotten some much needed optimism about their standing in statewide races. Now, he says, “the GOP may have a future in statewide Senate races after a long string of decisive defeats.”

    Others are calling the Boxer race a key litmus test on the implications of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision on independent expenditures in the Citizens United case, which President Obama criticized in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address.

    “This will be one of the first big tests of the implications of the Citizens United decision,” says Jessica Levinson, political reform director for the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS). “I think the public should be looking to see whether corporations and labor unions are now willing to dump more money into the political marketplace to try to sway this important election.”

    Levinson agrees with political scientist Matthew Kerbel from Villanova University and others that it’s important to remember that it is still very early in the election cycle – more than two months before the primary – and that 40 percent of Republicans remain undecided.

    “It’s very very early,” says Mr. Kerbel. “It’s certainly a clear indication that the GOP is in position to regain control of the US Senate. That is numerically tough to do, but there is no way it can happen without California. This keeps that possibility open.”

    “There are 8 months to go before the election, so things can change, particularly if the economy is in recovery mode,” says Robert Stern, president of CGS. “Also, the health care debate will have ended, one way or the other, and people may be feeling somewhat better about Congress and their members.”

  148. Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women’s Rights

    Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

    March 21, 2010

    As a longtime proponent of health care reform, I truly wish that the National Organization for Women could join in celebrating the historic passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It pains me to have to stand against what many see as a major achievement. But feminist, progressive principles are in direct conflict with many of the compromises built into and tacked onto this legislation.

    The health care reform bill passed by Congress today offers a number of good solutions to our nation’s critical health care problems, but it also fails in many important respects. After a full year of controversy and compromise, the result is a highly flawed, diminished piece of legislation that continues reliance on a failing, profit-driven private insurance system and rewards those who have been abusive of their customers. With more than 45,000 unnecessary deaths annually and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies each year due to medical bills, this bill is only a timid first step toward meaningful reform.

    Fact: The bill contains a sweeping anti-abortion provision. Contrary to the talking points circulated by congressional leaders, the bill passed today ultimately achieves the same outcome as the infamous Stupak-Pitts Amendment, namely the likely elimination of all private as well as public insurance coverage for abortion. It imposes a bizarre requirement on insurance plan enrollees who buy coverage through the health insurance exchanges to write two monthly checks (one for an abortion care rider and one for all other health care). Even employers will have to write two separate checks for each of their employees requesting the abortion rider.

    This burdensome, elaborate system must be eliminated. It is there because the Catholic bishops and extremist abortion rights opponents know that it will result in greatly restricting access to abortion care, currently one of the most common medical procedures for women.

    Fact: President Obama made an eleventh-hour agreement to issue an executive order lending the weight of his office to the anti-abortion measures included in the bill. This move was designed to appease a handful of anti-choice Democrats who have held up health care reform in an effort to restrict women’s access to abortion. This executive order helps to cement the misconception that the Hyde Amendment is settled law rather than what it really is — an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill. It also sends the outrageous message that it is acceptable to negotiate health care reform on the backs of women.

    Fact: The bill permits age-rating, the practice of imposing higher premiums on older people. This practice has a disproportionate impact on women, whose incomes and savings are lower due to a lifetime of systematic wage discrimination.

    Fact: The bill also permits gender-rating, the practice of charging women higher premiums simply because they are women. Some are under the mistaken impression that gender-rating has been prohibited, but that is only true in the individual and small-group markets. Larger group plans (more than 100 employees) sold through the exchanges will be permitted to discriminate against women — having an especially harmful impact in workplaces where women predominate.

    We know why those gender- and age-rating provisions are in the bill: because insurers insisted on them, as they will generate billions of dollars in profits for the companies. Such discriminatory rating must be completely eliminated.

    Fact: The bill imposes harsh restrictions on the ability of immigrants to access health care, imposing a 5-year waiting period on permanent, legal residents before they are eligible for assistance such as Medicaid, and prohibiting undocumented workers even to use their own money to purchase health insurance through an exchange. These provisions are counterproductive in terms of controlling health care costs; they are there because of ugly anti-immigrant sentiment, and must be eliminated.

    Fact: The bill covers only 32 million of the 47 million uninsured in this country, does not contain a meaningful public option and provides no pathway to a single payer system like Medicare for all. Democratic negotiators crumpled before powerful business interests and right-wing extremists, and until they get a spine there will be no true competition to help rein in costs.

    The bottom line is that everyone — citizen and non-citizen, undocumented immigrant and visitor — has a fundamental human right to health care. This right has been denied in the U.S. for far too long, while the rest of the industrialized world moved ahead to assure universal and affordable care for their people.

    We call upon President Obama and elected officials in both houses to commit to a process of steady improvement of our health care system that will result in true reform with universal coverage, realistically affordable rates and no discrimination. We still have a lot of work to do before we can genuinely celebrate.

    ###

    http://www.now.org/press/03-10/03-21b.html

  149. EPITATH: “They came, they tried to rule, they shot themselves in the foot. R.I.P. 2010 Democrats”

    Money quote excerpt from below:

    “Privately, many Democratic insiders acknowledge that the party’s outlook is increasingly bleak for the fall. Health care reform, once seen as a party strength, has turned into a significant liability, and few think the economy will turn around far enough or fast enough to help Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.”

    cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003618954&topic=Rothenberg

    For Democrats, This Isn’t Simply Another Chicken Little Story
    =======================

    By Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call Contributing Writer

    For Democrats, the sky is falling, according to two national polls, one conducted by Peter Hart and Bill McInturff for NBC News/Wall Street Journal and the other by OnMessage Inc. for the Republican National Committee.

    The results of the two surveys are very much in sync and present an increasingly disturbing picture for Democrats.

    OnMessage’s March 9-11 survey found President Barack Obama ’s job rating at 49 percent approve/47 percent disapprove, while the Hart/McInturff survey (March 11, 13-14) found it at 48 percent approve/47 percent disapprove.

    Both found far more Americans believing the country was headed off on the wrong track (66 percent in OnMessage and 59 percent in Hart/McInturff) than in the right direction, and both found the once strong Democratic advantage in the generic ballot, which measures how people plan to vote in November (OnMessage) or which party they would like to control Congress after the next election (Hart/McInturff), has narrowed or disappeared.

    The Hart/McInturff poll shows only 35 percent of respondents saying the February 2009 stimulus legislation was a good idea, while 42 percent said it was a bad idea.

    Even worse for Democrats, by 61 percent to 30 percent, Americans now say it is better to have different parties controlling Congress and the presidency rather than to have one party controlling both branches — a significant increase in the “different parties” response compared to the October 2008 Hart/McInturff poll.

    On specific issues, Democratic numbers have weakened dramatically, according to NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling when asked which party would do a better job dealing with health care, the Democrats’ 31-point advantage in July 2008 has slipped to a mere 9 points now. The party’s 16-point advantage in July 2008 on dealing with the economy has evaporated completely, and the parties are now even. And on taxes, the Democrats’ 1-point advantage in July 2008 has turned into an 11-point GOP advantage.

    No matter what happens with the health care bill (and it may well have been passed by the House by the time you read this), the issue has severely damaged Democratic prospects for the fall.

    Not surprisingly, the OnMessage survey shows Democratic support for the bill and Republican opposition, but it also shows 2-to-1 opposition from voters who identify themselves as undecided about which party they plan to support in the midterm elections. In question after question in the OnMessage poll, these “generic undecided voters” look like very much like Republican voters.

    After scouring dozens of polls over the past couple of weeks, I have found only a few poll questions that can give Democrats much hope for November.

    First, the Republican brand still stinks. Voters aren’t clamoring for Republicans to run anything in Washington, D.C., and polls continue to show that Americans still think that former President George W. Bush bears more of the responsibility for the nation’s economic pain than anyone else.

    Unfortunately for Democrats, their own brand has fallen like a rock.

    In April, almost a year ago, the Hart/McInturff poll found 45 percent of Americans with a positive view of the Democratic Party and 34 percent with a negative view. In the most recent Hart/McInturff survey, the Democratic Party’s positives have sunk to 37 percent and its negatives have risen to 43 percent. Yes, those numbers are slightly better than the GOP’s (31 percent positive/43 percent negative), but not enough to help Democrats in the fall.

    As for Bush, he won’t be on the ballot or in the public’s consciousness in November, so Democrats will have to spend a great deal of time (and money) trying to make the midterms a referendum on the former president rather than on the sitting president. The chances that most Democratic candidates will succeed in that effort are exceedingly small.

    Privately, many Democratic insiders acknowledge that the party’s outlook is increasingly bleak for the fall. Health care reform, once seen as a party strength, has turned into a significant liability, and few think the economy will turn around far enough or fast enough to help Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.

    Even before this election cycle started, midterm election turnout trends put Democrats at something of a disadvantage. But now, every poll that I have seen suggests that Republicans are dramatically more motivated than are Democrats, which means a more conservative and Republican electorate this year than in 2008, as well as much-improved Republican prospects.

    I have been hesitant — and I remain hesitant — to get too far in front of the election cycle, since circumstances can change and Democrats could well have an important financial advantage in the key post-Labor Day time period. But let’s be clear about what is developing: Obama and the Democratic Congressional leadership have dug themselves into a deep and dangerous political hole, and the only question right now seems to be the severity of the drubbing.

    As one smart Democratic strategist told me recently, “All of the elements are in place for a disaster like 1994. But it could be even worse.”

    As for Bush, he won’t be on the ballot or in the public’s consciousness in November, so Democrats will have to spend a great deal of time (and money) trying to make the midterms a referendum on the former president rather than on the sitting president. The chances that most Democratic candidates will succeed in that effort are exceedingly small.

    Privately, many Democratic insiders acknowledge that the party’s outlook is increasingly bleak for the fall. Health care reform, once seen as a party strength, has turned into a significant liability, and few think the economy will turn around far enough or fast enough to help Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.

    Even before this election cycle started, midterm election turnout trends put Democrats at something of a disadvantage. But now, every poll that I have seen suggests that Republicans are dramatically more motivated than are Democrats, which means a more conservative and Republican electorate this year than in 2008, as well as much-improved Republican prospects.

    I have been hesitant — and I remain hesitant — to get too far in front of the election cycle, since circumstances can change and Democrats could well have an important financial advantage in the key post-Labor Day time period. But let’s be clear about what is developing: Obama and the Democratic Congressional leadership have dug themselves into a deep and dangerous political hole, and the only question right now seems to be the severity of the drubbing.

    As one smart Democratic strategist told me recently, “All of the elements are in place for a disaster like 1994. But it could be even worse.”

  150. birdgal
    March 22nd, 2010 at 10:05 am
    Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women’s Rights

    Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
    &&&&&&&&&&&&

    Birdgal, Excellent find.

    We will continue to wonder why all these points of view were so mute before the bill. Now everyone is going to come out of the woodworks with their legitimate gripes.

  151. rgb44hrc
    March 22nd, 2010 at 10:22 am
    birdgal
    March 22nd, 2010 at 10:05 am
    Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women’s Rights

    Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
    &&&&&&&&&&&&

    Birdgal, Excellent find.

    We will continue to wonder why all these points of view were so mute before the bill. Now everyone is going to come out of the woodworks with their legitimate gripes.
    ————————————————————————————

    NOW did come out against the bill beforehand, but obviously not very loudly. NOW has been under new management since June 2009 (I think) and Terry O’Neil is much more supportive of women than Kim Gandy.

    I found the article over at The Confluence. Riverdaughter has a great post up about this.

  152. TASTING THE TIRES…UNDER THE BUS

    voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/03/now-naral-displeased-with-obam.html

    NOW, NARAL displeased with Obama-Stupak deal
    Updated 10:20 p.m.
    By Garance Franke-Ruta
    The president of the National Organization for Women said her group is “incensed” about the impasse-breaking deal between President Obama and a group of anti-abortion Catholic Democrats that seems likely to allow historic health-care reform legislation to pass the House later Sunday night, saying the planned presidential executive order “breaks faith with women.”

    Other reproductive rights groups, as well as abortion opponents, are also displeased with the compromise.

    In 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign had promised abortion-rights supporters that he would work to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which NOW President Terry O’Neill said Sunday would instead be given fresh weight by Obama’s executive order.

    “Through this order, the president has announced he will lend the weight of his office and the entire executive branch to the antiabortion measures included in the Senate bill, which the House is now prepared to pass,” she said.

    “Obama does not support the Hyde Amendment,” his campaign staff told RH Reality Check in response to a questionnaire from the reproductive rights group. “He believes that the federal government should not use its dollars to intrude on a poor woman’s decision whether to carry to term or to terminate her pregnancy and selectively withhold benefits because she seeks to exercise her right of reproductive choice in a manner the government disfavors.”

    On the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 2008, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, he again laid out his commitment to abortion rights: “I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president,” he said. That act would bar discrimination against exercising abortion rights in benefits, facilities, services or information.

    But the deal struck with Rep. Bart Stupak (Mich.) and other antiabortion Democrats saw Obama promising to issue an order declaring: “The act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges.”

    Said O’Neill: “President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law — it is an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill.”

    She added: “NOW has a longstanding objection to Hyde and, in fact, was looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end to these restrictions. We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated. The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn’t disagree more.”

    The National Right to Life Committee is no happier with the deal, and issued a statement saying it remains strongly opposed to the legislation and warning that “a lawmaker who votes for this bill is voting to require federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that will pay for elective abortion, and voting to undermine longstanding pro-life policies in other ways as well.”

    The group called the legislation a “pro-abortion bill” and said: “The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill.”

    The NRLC sees seven objectionable pro-abortion provisions in the legislation.

    NARAL Pro-Choice America shared NOW’s objections. “On a day when Americans are expected to see passage of legislation that will make health care more affordable for more than 30 million citizens, it is deeply disappointing that Bart Stupak and other anti-choice politicians would demand the restatement of the Hyde amendment, a discriminatory law that blocks low-income women from receiving full reproductive-health care,” NARAL President Nancy Keenan said in a statement.

    The Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued a statement of regret but did not go as far as NOW and NARAL in condemning the deal.

    “We regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an Executive Order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health-care reform bill, originally proposed by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska,” said Cecile Richards, president of PPFA. She also said her group is “grateful” that the executive order does not “include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak had insisted upon.”

    As a consequences of the deal, Frances Kissling, the former president of Catholics for Choice, called for abortion rights supporters to renew their push to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

    “I hope the choice movement now decides to play hardball with Democrats, including the President, and insist that an all out effort to overturn the Hyde Amendment is required if Democratic office holders and candidates want our vote in 2012,” she told The Post. “I for one have decided that I simply will not vote for another elected official until Hyde is overturned and I hope others will do the same. There is no reason for prochoice voters to accept Democratic pussyfooting around on repealing Hyde.”

  153. BARF ALERT: JONATHAN CHAIT FELLATES FLUENTLY

    tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/obamas-place-history

    Obama’s Place In History
    ======================

    excerpts:

    “Obama, who helped pull the country out of a depression and reshaped the health care system, has already accomplished far more than Clinton.”

    “Historians will see this health care bill as a masterfully crafted piece of legislation. Obama and the Democrats managed to bring together most of the stakeholders and every single Senator in their party. The new law untangles the dysfunctionalities of the individual insurance market while fulfilling the political imperative of leaving the employer-provided system in place.”

  154. The only victory here is the victory for corruption. In 2007, Republican majorities in the Michigan and Florida legislatures crafted bills that moved the primary dates up in violation of Democratic party rules. In Florida, to get Democrats on board, the Republicans included a measure mandating the paper ballots that likely would have proved Gore the winner in their 2004 presidential election. In Michigan, after court challenges, the bill ultimately passed into law without a single Democratic vote, and was signed by the Democratic governor. And James Roosevelt, CEO of Tufts Health Care and Chairman of The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic Party, used those historical events to dock the winning candidate half of the delegates she had won in those two states, and in Michigan, to arbitrarily hand four of her delegates as well assign all of the uncommitted over to a candidate that had removed himself from the ballot. Because of those actions, we now have the health care plan that Roosevelt himself has lobbied for publicly.

  155. For working artists all over the nation, this is a black day, indeed. What this does is shove the financially marginal into the shadows. if we can’t afford the premiums, we’ll simply disappear further and hope not to get caught. I’m sure the goal here is to create a situation where we never show up for health care to avoid the fines and penalties.

  156. OH NO, NOT MORE SPEECHES??

    I found the article about Bloviator-in-Chief’s scheduled Gloat Tour.

    Apparently, the legistlations’ image needs to be reshaped, which I guess means that he will tell us why his shit pie tastes so good.

    Also covers how Repubs intend to fight it in the Senate, and bludgeon Dems in the Fall. And it includes this quote:

    One Democratic lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be considered critical of the president, said such support has been extremely limited. He said opponents of the legislation have run nearly $1 million worth of ads criticizing him, while supporters have spent about a tenth of that. Organizing for America “has been a paper tiger in my district,” he said.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/21/AR2010032103130.html?hpid=topnews

    Obama plans blitz to boost public opinion of health-care effort
    ================

    By Michael D. Shear
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, March 22, 2010

    President Obama is set to begin an immediate public relations blitz aimed at turning around Americans’ opinion of the health-care bill.

    Planning inside the West Wing for the post-vote period has proceeded quietly, even as the president and his allies on Capitol Hill were fighting for the measure’s passage.

    Reshaping the legislation’s image will take place in three phases, White House aides said: the immediate aftermath; the seven months until the November midterm elections; and the several years that follow, during which many provisions in the measure will gradually take effect.

    Driving the message during those periods is the belief among Obama’s top advisers that Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner with unanimous opposition to the legislation and talk of a repeal.

    “The Republicans have way overshot the runway in their criticism of health reform,” said White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

    Turning up the heat
    ————-

    Demands from conservatives and “tea party” activists that the GOP leadership seek a quick repeal are “not a political winner” for them, a White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss plans that have not been announced.

    Republicans have made clear that they intend to keep the pressure on throughout the election year, using the legislation — which they contend is highly unpopular almost everywhere — to batter Democratic officeholders and candidates.

    “There’s an overwhelming likelihood that every race in the country is going to be a referendum on this issue this fall if this passes,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last week.

    Senate Republicans say they intend to mount a fierce assault on the bill of “changes.” If they succeed in killing it, that would leave Democrats with the original Senate legislation, which even many Democratic lawmakers dislike.

    If they do not succeed, Republicans plan an almost daily reminder of the tax increases and Medicare cuts in the new law.

    “They are either stuck with a group of sweetheart deals in the original Senate bill, or the deals in the reconciliation bill and even more Medicare cuts and tax hikes,” said one Republican staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss party strategy.

    Conservative talk show hosts and activists are already targeting members and planning protests. And Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a conservative Republican, said he would file a lawsuit challenging the law within hours of its passage.

    Republicans have made clear that they intend to keep the pressure on throughout the election year, using the legislation — which they contend is highly unpopular almost everywhere — to batter Democratic officeholders and candidates.

    “There’s an overwhelming likelihood that every race in the country is going to be a referendum on this issue this fall if this passes,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last week.

    Senate Republicans say they intend to mount a fierce assault on the bill of “changes.” If they succeed in killing it, that would leave Democrats with the original Senate legislation, which even many Democratic lawmakers dislike.

    If they do not succeed, Republicans plan an almost daily reminder of the tax increases and Medicare cuts in the new law.

    “They are either stuck with a group of sweetheart deals in the original Senate bill, or the deals in the reconciliation bill and even more Medicare cuts and tax hikes,” said one Republican staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss party strategy.

    Conservative talk show hosts and activists are already targeting members and planning protests. And Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a conservative Republican, said he would file a lawsuit challenging the law within hours of its passage.

    Obama has said he would sign the legislation within days, in a ceremony whose details were being kept secret because of the sensitivities of appearing to take for granted the Capitol Hill deliberations, officials said.

    In the coming days, Obama plans to take several trips across the nation to counter what Democrats expect will be an onslaught of criticism and misinformation about the overhaul.

    Administration officials are also preparing talking points and fact sheets that lawmakers can take home with them on their Easter vacation, Obama advisers said. Those documents are being developed with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, aides said.

    That immediate help — along with efforts by the Democratic National Committee, its Organizing for America project and outside groups that supported the health-care legislation — could be critical to Democrats’ hope of retaining control of Congress in the November elections.

    At the Democratic National Committee, officials running the Organizing for America project said they have received pledges of 9 million hours of volunteer work on behalf of candidates who supported health-care reform.

    Information campaign

    White House officials say Obama will not make health care a daily topic for the rest of the year, shifting quickly to financial reform and the economy. Hearings on revamping financial regulations will begin Monday.

    But officials said there will be several key moments before November’s elections when popular parts of the health-care legislation — such as the provision that prevents children from being denied coverage and changes to the “doughnut hole” for seniors — will take effect. Obama will build high-profile public events around those moments, they said.

    White House officials said the public’s dislike of the legislation is bound together with suspicions about Washington and the historically low approval ratings of Congress as an institution.

    Turning around that sentiment will require the law to be implemented smoothly, officials said, with no major problems.

    “People have a deeply held skepticism about government’s capacity not to screw it up,” one senior adviser said. “You have something incredibly complex and personal in the hands largely of people with political ratings in the 20s.”

    The adviser added: “The key here is there’s going to have to be a very aggressive, well-thought-out and comprehensive public education campaign that helps people understand it as it comes on line.”

    White House officials have studied the implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, which initially created confusion and anger for millions of seniors.

    Among the questions officials expect people to have about the new law are: How can they enter the health insurance exchange? What will their subsidy be? How can they get it? How can they fill out their tax forms correctly?

    The administration is discussing programs that could help answer such questions, officials said.

    And it could not come soon enough for some nervous House members, many of whom have been disappointed by the weak support they have received from the administration and Democratic groups.

    One Democratic lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be considered critical of the president, said such support has been extremely limited. He said opponents of the legislation have run nearly $1 million worth of ads criticizing him, while supporters have spent about a tenth of that. Organizing for America “has been a paper tiger in my district,” he said.

  157. above article chopped off, continued here:

    At the Democratic National Committee, officials running the Organizing for America project said they have received pledges of 9 million hours of volunteer work on behalf of candidates who supported health-care reform.

    Information campaign

    White House officials say Obama will not make health care a daily topic for the rest of the year, shifting quickly to financial reform and the economy. Hearings on revamping financial regulations will begin Monday.

    But officials said there will be several key moments before November’s elections when popular parts of the health-care legislation — such as the provision that prevents children from being denied coverage and changes to the “doughnut hole” for seniors — will take effect. Obama will build high-profile public events around those moments, they said.

    White House officials said the public’s dislike of the legislation is bound together with suspicions about Washington and the historically low approval ratings of Congress as an institution.

    Turning around that sentiment will require the law to be implemented smoothly, officials said, with no major problems.

    “People have a deeply held skepticism about government’s capacity not to screw it up,” one senior adviser said. “You have something incredibly complex and personal in the hands largely of people with political ratings in the 20s.”

    The adviser added: “The key here is there’s going to have to be a very aggressive, well-thought-out and comprehensive public education campaign that helps people understand it as it comes on line.”

    White House officials have studied the implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, which initially created confusion and anger for millions of seniors.

    Among the questions officials expect people to have about the new law are: How can they enter the health insurance exchange? What will their subsidy be? How can they get it? How can they fill out their tax forms correctly?

    The administration is discussing programs that could help answer such questions, officials said.

  158. The need for so many MSM types to constantly say how great Obama is compared to Clinton is very telling…besides their overt bias and lack of journalistic integrity, it suggets to me that they know Clinton was far more effective then they would like to give him credit for, Clinton guided the nation, despite rabid republican attacks, to period of peace and prosperity. Obama has divided a nation, passed a questionable stimulus package, and while yes, the HC bill is historical, he did little to advance it until the very end, and the dems were simply fortunate enough have procedural rules in place and just enough votes to get it done. I wonder how Bill and Hillary feel being slighted by not only MSM, but Obama ?

  159. EJ DIONNE JOINS JON CHAIT: “GET READY FOR THAT FIFTH BIG HEAD ON MT. RUSHMORE”

    Bart alert. Do not read. “Yes, they made history”

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/21/AR2010032102642.html

    Effusive praise for a job well done.

  160. Basement Angel. If you can get that to traitor James Roosevelt by email or snail mail then I think you should do it.

    It is too late to mince words. The man is a traitor. Here is why I say that.

    His father was the commander of a marine raider division in world war II, his grandfather fought big business on behalf of the American People yet his grandson is in bed with big business bending the political system to their will, and disenfrachising the American People.

    It is akin to the old saying in business which is that the first generation builds the company, the second generation manages it and the third generation squanders it.

  161. wbboei,

    I’m a working class artist. Assholes like Roosevelt would rather see me dead. I’m too marginal for him to care about.

  162. Newton’s Laws of Motion also apply to the world of politics–especially I and III.

    I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

    II. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

    III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  163. I would not worry about the “9 million” hours that have been committed to the YES votes. I work with volunteers all of the time and we are lucky to get a tenth of what they have “promised.” Once they get started there are always a million reasons why they could not finish up or even show up. Maybe 3 in 100 follow through like they “commit to.” No matter how supposedly passionate they are about the issue. I work with other volunteer organizations and the pattern is always the same. They probably think that all of those unemployed people can be compelled to work for them and all I have to say to that is, LOL! That’s what we thought too. Gonna have to do a lot more than give them “walking around money” too. That will get them to show up, but it won’t get them to actually accomplish much.

  164. The need for so many MSM types to constantly say how great Obama is compared to Clinton is very telling…besides their overt bias and lack of journalistic integrity, it suggets to me that they know Clinton was far more effective then they would like to give him credit for, Clinton guided the nation, despite rabid republican attacks, to period of peace and prosperity. Obama has divided a nation, passed a questionable stimulus package, and while yes, the HC bill is historical, he did little to advance it until the very end, and the dems were simply fortunate enough have procedural rules in place and just enough votes to get it done. I wonder how Bill and Hillary feel being slighted by not only MSM, but Obama ?
    —————————————
    They have no audience–except for FOX. They are like mad King Lear howling at the wind.

  165. 9 million hours of volunteer work on behalf of candidates who supported health-care reform.
    ———————————-
    There is great confusion here. You can have the volunteers and buy the ads but what good does it do you if your message is toxic? Larkspar is right that this 9 million volunteer hours is an illusory promise, but it goes even further than that. The volunteers who do show up can call constituents as often as they like but if those constituents are mad to begin with it will only make them madder. Everyone over 60, and everyone with parents over 60 will pay the price for this. There is another factor at work here too. When people are in a gloomy mood to begin with and one side gives them a positive message about the health care, and the other gives them a negative message which has months to sink in, do you really believe the positive message will be competitive? If so would you care to bet your life on it. That that his precisely what these dims have done here. It is bad enough to be gone, but even worse to be hated for what you did to the constituents you were elected to serve.

  166. says, I can not help but wonder what the aftermath will be and how the pieces will be picked up after the economic collapse of Greece, after the economic collapse of Spain, after the economic collapse of California, and after the economic collapse of the USA – then the rest of the world. Will China and Venzueala be the only ones to survive? As sure as God made little green apples, it is coming. Mark your calendar.

  167. NOW and NARL thrown under the bus.

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

    What Hillary says about this deal is metatalk–not to be taken seriously.

  168. Please Hillary and Bill stay away from this mess. Do not let yourself be roped into something that would be detrimental to you.

  169. I think the Big Zero expects a P.R. bounce out of this to start the 2010 campaign season, and Big Media will comply with fake festivities, etc. (as it always did for GWB). I believe he is in for a big surprise. The bounce, if any, won’t last long, and the media’s adoration will go over like a lead balloon. I live in a very Democratic area. Even my local CBS station–very pro-BO–was subdued in their coverage of the bill on the late night news, and most of the comments the station received were negative
    ———————
    Correct. All it will do is confirm the pre-existing bias against the media and the certain knowledge that they are committed to putting the entire burden of the economic dislocation caused by globalization and improvident banking strategies on the middle class. The Washington elites are happy about that because it means somebody else will pay.

    Obama is a historic figure in one respect: since world war II every president has gotten elected by appealing to the American Middle Class. He has done the opposite. He may have no discerable political philosophy, but I believe he hates white people and he hates the middle class. It comes out time and again in his loose comments and there is no denying it is there.

  170. basement angel, assholes like Roosevelt, Obummer and their ilk want me and all baby boomers (except them, of course) to die quickly. We are going to overburden the system, but it is okay for illegals and those who have never contributed to the system to live. Where did I put my government issued red pills?

  171. THE STUPAK DOUBLE CROSS
    By Dan Perrin

    Late Saturday night I began to get “a bad feeling” about Stupak. As of Sunday morning, none of the GOP staff on Capitol Hill in pro-life offices that I talked to had any idea about any possible Stupak Executive Order, or where the pro-life groups stood on that question. No one had heard anything. (The distribution process of the position of the pro-life groups had failed.)

    Further, the threat-perception was low because Stupak himself kept convincingly and repeatedly denying any deal had or was going to struck. Throughout the course of Sunday morning and afternoon, I had various intermediaries go directly to Stupak, and face-to-face asked him if there was a deal. These included reporters, staff and other Members of Congress.

    HE LIED TO ALL OF THEM.

    Further, the Catholic Church had been cut out and cut off by Stupak towards the end of last week — they realized as they could not reach him.

    Rep. Stupak traded his and his followers’ vote for a piece of paper that will be shredded by the first judge to decide between the law and the Stupak Executive Order.

    The law Stupak voted for will win the coming lawsuit by pro-abortion groups over the differences between the law and the Executive Order, obviously. Then, thanks to Rep. Stupak, taxpayer funded abortions will be legal and underway.

    Stupak’s claim that he and his folks was willing to be responsible for killing ObamaCare, was a lie.

    Stupak not only double crossed his allies and his colleagues, he double crossed the innocents.

    But for the Stupak double cross, it was clear that the Dems would have lost the vote, and ObamaCare would have been dead.

    I did my best to stop this bill, and accurately reported the vote count, and as the vote approached Sunday afternoon, it was clear to everyone that the Red Queen did not have the votes — until the Stupak double cross.

    Now, it is time to make the Dems to feel the same political pain they have inflicted on us. This is not a matter of revenge, it is a matter of principle. They have ignored the public and betrayed their word — they must be unelected.

  172. Wbboei, you are correct. Bill and Hill are as someone pointed out the faces of “halthcare ghosts” of the past. They seem very irrelvant to todays dims. No sense of what they had to endure in order for BO to have achieved, for better or worse, what happened yesterday.

  173. To all of my great cohorts in the drive to see BO in an early exit from the purloined and ill-gotten position as HOCUS POTUS I must post this interview of Hillary by Vlladimir Posen while in RPress Releases: Interview With Vladimir Pozner of First Channel Television
    Mon, 22 Mar 2010 09:42:27 -0500

    Interview With Vladimir Pozner of First Channel Television

    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State
    Moscow, Russia

    March 19, 2010

    ——————————————————————————–

    SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress.) There is no satisfaction and no harder job that I’ve had in my life than being a mother.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible): “Do you have any artistic talents that you would like to employ?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: For instance, she writes, “Carla Bruni records songs. Would you like to play in a movie, for instance?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, a movie would be fine, but don’t ask me to sing, and probably not to dance either.

    QUESTION: Dimitry Meyer: “What is your favorite book? Do you have one?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s interesting. I was asked this question at Moscow University when I was there in October, and I have many favorite books. But because I was in Russia and I was speaking with young people, I talked about how The Brothers Karamatov had so influenced me as a young person, and I stick with that.

    QUESTION: Have you reread it?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I’ve reread it several times. Not recently, however.

    QUESTION: I have, and really, it’s an amazing book.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It is —

    QUESTION: How he gets inside people is unbelievable.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: The combination of his psychological insight and his political understanding is really unmatched.

    QUESTION: That’s right. (Inaudible), can feminism be a negative social force, number one. And number two, with whom do you find it easier to work, with men or with women?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I find it easier to work with people who are open, transparent, collegial, either men or women. The question about feminism – I think any “ism” can be a negative, and you have to always try to keep in balance. And certainly, I consider myself a feminist. I believe strongly that women deserve equal rights with men and equal responsibilities. And I’m very keen on helping women to continue to progress around the world.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible.) He writes, “I’m a second-year student in the city of Sochi. I’m interested in the acknowledgement of genocide committed by the Ottoman empire against the Armenians. Why does President Obama not recognize Resolution 252? During his campaign, he promised that the U.S. would recognize the genocide, but now that he’s President, he seems to have forgotten.”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t think anyone has forgotten, but what has happened that is of great import is the work going on between Turkey and Armenia. In fact, I was in Zurich last fall with the foreign ministers of Turkey, Armenia, Russia, France, other countries to witness the signing of a set of protocols to normalize relationships between Armenia and Turkey. And in those protocols, there was an agreement between the two countries to establish a historical commission that would look at all of the issues that are part of the past.

    And I think that’s the right way to go, I think, to have the two countries and the two peoples focusing on this themselves. I have said many times we cannot change the past we inherit. All we can do is try to have a better future.

    QUESTION: Does that commission exist now?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: They’re working to create it.

    QUESTION: They’re working on it. I see.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

    QUESTION: I see. Alexander Smirnoff: “Why is the possibility of travel between our countries without visa a long way off, as you’ve said? What is being done to make it easier for Americans to come to Russia and for Russians to visit America?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we want to encourage a lot more travel and a lot more exchanges. And as we move forward and we get more experience between our two countries in facilitating business travel, tourism travel, education travel, every kind of travel, I think it will become, at least I hope, easy and easier. And many of our businesses want to have their business leaders come and have open-ended visas. And similarly, a lot of Russians want to be able to come and have as much time as they need. That’s what I would like to work toward.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible.) She writes “How do you understand the meaning of double standards in politics?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I usually think of it in terms of men and women, but it can also be thought of in terms of countries or groups. I think anyone who believes that their voice is not being heard, that they’re being marginalized, that they are somehow being treated as a second-class citizen, the victim of hypocrisy, we feel as though there’s a double standard. And I’ve seen it in many different settings over the time of my life in politics.

    QUESTION: Could it be applying different standards to different countries?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It could be, or to different ethnic groups or religious groups, or between the genders.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible): “Being a strong woman and devoted mother, what advice would you give to your daughter regarding a balance between family and career?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: We’ve talked a lot about that because my daughter has come of age when a lot of the barriers that used to exist, that even I experienced as a girl growing up, are no longer there. The legal barriers have been pushed away. But there still has to be a balance in your life, and it has to be a balance that I think looks at what is lasting and most important. And for me, that comes down to family and relationships.

    And I tell my daughter and her friends and the young women who work for me that it is very important, if you decide you want to have a career, a profession, to do it, go for it. But never forget, at the end of the day, no one on his or her deathbed ever says “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

    QUESTION: Alexander (inaudible): “What in your view is America’s place in the modern world? Is it a force aimed at supporting the world’s equilibrium? Or is it a force aimed at changing the status quo?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s both in this way, Vladimir. It is a force to sustain an equilibrium that permits countries and individuals to progress, to become more self-realizing. I mean, we want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, competent, prosperous, stable Russia is, we think, in the interests of the world. But at the same time, there are countries and places where the status quo is just not acceptable. Last summer, I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo. I went to Eastern Congo where 5.4 million people had been killed in the last 15 years, the greatest death toll since the Second World War. We don’t want that status quo to be sustained.

    QUESTION: Dimitry (inaudible). He writes: “Have you got an ideal person in politics, past – it doesn’t matter when – but someone who you feel is what you would call the ideal for a politician?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there are many people who I admire, including my husband, I have to add. But I think Nelson Mandela is someone I especially admire. Think of what he went through coming out of a struggle against apartheid, trying to, in effect, overthrow the Government of South Africa, the all-white government.

    QUESTION: Yes, yes.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Being in jail, and I’ve been to his jail cell, which was about as big as this table, coming out of jail after 29 years or so, and finding it within himself to not only forgive what had been done to him, but to lead his people in a positive direction. We need more of that in the world. We need leaders who are not prisoners of the past. We need leaders who can imagine a different future. We need leaders who can cut across all the lines that divide us in the world today. And no one exemplifies that more than Nelson Mandela.

    QUESTION: I have one more question from a lady who says her name is Ana: “In your opinion, is American mass media independent? How true is it they show viewers and who controls it? In the case of the Russian-Georgian events of a couple of years ago, do you think the American TV channels provided a true picture of what was going on? I think that the Russian media provided a totally different view. Who are the people to believe?”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: In this time of mass media, that’s a very profound question. And it’s not only about the American media or the Russian media; it is about all media. I think our country has very free media. In fact, it’s almost an excess of freedom in some people’s minds because our media now basically can say whatever it chooses to say, show whatever it chooses. And there are some in our country who regret that, who wish that there were – there was more discretion about what is shown on our media.

    But it is fair to say that everybody comes to any event by looking at it through their own eyes. So I might have 10 Russians and 10 Americans looking at the same thing, but seeing it differently.

    QUESTION: Interpreting it differently?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Interpreting it differently. And I think part of the challenge – and that’s why I’m so grateful for this chance to be on your show – is that we have to do more to make sure we see through the other person’s eyes, so we don’t just say, “Well, this is the way I see it, this is how I interpret it; I’m right, you’re wrong.” No, we have to say, “Well, why did you think that?” And “Let’s try to make sure we understand each other better.”

    QUESTION: Well, I hope this interview is going to help a little bit, but now we’re going to take a break. We have a little bit of advertising to do.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, yes. I understand that, too.

    QUESTION: So don’t go away.

    (Break.)

    QUESTION: Looking back a little bit, in your book Living History that came out in 2003, you wrote that preserving your marriage with Bill and running for senator were the most difficult decisions of your life. Could you explain that a little bit?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as I write in the book, there were many things going on at that time in my life and at that time in my country’s life. And trying to balance the personal and the public was extremely difficult. I come from the point of view that at the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you. You cannot make decisions that are being promoted by the press or by other political persons; you have to get very quiet and think about what’s important for you. And so there was all kinds of advice coming in at me from all directions. I think I made the right decisions.

    QUESTION: Was your decision to run for president – was that also a difficult decision?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It was, but not as hard, because I worried greatly about what had happened in our country the prior years of the last administration. It’s not a secret that I disagreed politically and I thought that there were a lot of ways that America needed to be strengthened and put on a track that more resembled who we are, what our character is, and that I could make a contribution to that debate. And so I’m very happy I had the chance to run, and it was an extraordinary opportunity. And much to my amazement, the man I ran against so hard for so long, President Obama, asked me to be in his Administration.

    QUESTION: And that’s another thing I wanted to ask you. During this – the debates that went on, so you said some pretty hard things about now-President Obama. Did you have any problem at all accepting this offer, actually? You know.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Well, he said some hard things about me.

    QUESTION: Oh, absolutely. That’s the point.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: But that’s what politics in campaigning often is about. It was a hard job to accept because I wanted to return to being a senator from New York. I was very anxious to go back to representing New York in the Senate. And when now-President Obama asked me, I was amazed. I couldn’t believe that he was offering me this very important job. And at first, I said, well, I’m not so sure; you should think about this person or that person, someone else. But he was very persistent and he kept coming back to how, despite what superficially appeared to be a tough campaign, underneath that we had so many fundamental agreements about what needed to be done in our country. And at the end of the discussions, I concluded that it was really about serving America.

    QUESTION: Right.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: And when I started traveling as Secretary of State, it was the most common question people asked me, from Indonesia to Korea, all places around the world: How could you work with and for someone against whom you had campaigned? I said because we both love our country. That, to me, was the bottom line. What can we do to continue to serve?

    QUESTION: And I take it you have no regrets.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: None. No, I have no regrets.

    QUESTION: When you were writing or decided to write Living History, did you already know that you were probably going to run for president?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I really didn’t. I know there are people who —

    QUESTION: I’ve read, but that’s not the point.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I know. There are people who say that. I didn’t know it. I knew people had talked to me about it and had encouraged me, but it’s such a grueling experience to run for president, and the job is practically impossible.

    QUESTION: Pretty grueling experience to write the book.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is but we have one president who embodies head-of-state, head-of-government. You have a president and a prime minister. Other people have the same system. Some people have a king or a queen and a prime minister. We have one person. So that one person bears the entire load of symbolizing the country and running the government. So I thought long and hard about it, but it – at the end of my deliberations, I decided I would try because I thought I could contribute.

    QUESTION: The book was the book and that decision was that decision —

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

    QUESTION: — and there was no —

    SECRETARY CLINTON: No connection.

    QUESTION: Okay. Let’s take a look at U.S. foreign policy.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

    QUESTION: You wrote an article for the November-December issue of Foreign Affairs back in 2007 and you blamed George W. Bush for the fact that the U.S. kind of had lost the respect and the trust of even its closest allies and friends. Has there been a change now? Do you feel that you’ve overcome what happened during those years?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I do. And here’s why. What I have seen in the last year started with relief that the prior administration was gone and a new administration was in place, a lot of excitement and anticipation about President Obama and what he symbolized and his brand of leadership, and we have worked very hard at rebuilding relationships. Just today in meeting with President Medvedev, we acknowledged that we’ve come a long way in doing that. We still have work to do because these problems are never ending. I think there’s a difference – what some people confuse. There’s a difference between being able to have an open, frank , constant communication which we now have with Russia and other partners in the world, and agreeing on everything. We’re not going to agree on everything.

    And sometimes people look at me or look at another foreign minister and say, well, if you’ve got such a great relationship, why don’t you agree? Well, that’s the wrong way to look it because what we want to do is find the areas where we can agree and move forward together, like we are with the START treaty that we’re about to finish. And where we have disagreements, more of those through the kind of honest communication that we now are engaged in.

    QUESTION: One of the things that you seem to disagree with is the idea of spheres of influence.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

    QUESTION: You’ve said that that’s old fashioned, 19th century, whatever and that’s something the United States does not accept. And I was thinking about the resolution that was adopted by the Congress back in 2005, which specified the right of the United States to have pretty much unlimited access to communications centers, the key areas, global resources. What’s the difference between that and spheres of influence? It sounds pretty much like the same thing.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t know exactly what the Congress meant in that resolution five years ago. But what we mean is that, of course, great countries like Russia and the United States are going to have influence. They’re going to have influence globally. When your president or prime minister travel, they don’t just travel in a few places. They travel globally. And they make a case and they negotiate over all kinds of matters. So do we. But there shouldn’t be any automatic presumption that any country because of geographic proximity is within a – quote – “sphere of influence.” We have many countries to our south in the Western Hemisphere. We’re obviously going to try to influence them, but they’re independent countries. They get to make up their own minds about the direction of their foreign policy, for example.

    QUESTION: Is the Monroe Doctrine still alive in your mind, which says pretty much stay out of here; this is our part of the world?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: No. No. I mean, we recognize the new reality that in a globalized economy, you’re going to have China, Russia, the European Union. You’re going to have constant trade flows and business deals and investments. You’re going to have bilateral foreign policy agreements in the Western Hemisphere, in Africa, in Asia, everywhere in the world. The United States is going to do our best to make sure that we’re in there; we’re not going to cede any ground to anyone. But we don’t expect our partners in the Latin American region to say, “Oh, I can’t talk to Russia because I’m in America’s sphere of influence.” We don’t expect that. We think that is old fashioned and we need to move on so that every country is being given the opportunity to chart its own course.

    QUESTION: Do you support the famous adage of Theodore Roosevelt about speak softly but carry a big stick?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s a pretty accurate description of what American foreign policy has been off and on for the last hundred years. We know we have a lot of influence and power. We know we have a very strong military. We have extensive economic relationships. But I think what you’ve seen with President Obama is an emphasis on the “speak softly” part. How do we engage better? You’ve seen that very clearly with respect to Iran. When President Obama came in and said, “We will extend our hand if you unclench your fist,” and then directed that we all began to try to reach out, talk with Iran, get Iran to engage with the rest of the world. But at the same time, we always had the possibility of a second track of engagement, which are the kind of sanctions and pressures that we think the time has come to impose.

    QUESTION: Since you brought up Iran, I was going to ask anyway: In a worst-case scenario – in a worst-case scenario, do you think it would be possible to use force in Iran?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that would not only be a worst case; that would be a very last resort. No one wants to see that.

    QUESTION: Understood.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: And that is why we’re working so hard to persuade Iran to change its behavior. If you look at Iran – we were just talking a few minutes ago about looking through others’ eyes.

    QUESTION: Right.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: If you look at Iran through the region, the neighbors in the area, they see an aggressive force coming out of Iran that is trying to destabilize other countries —

    QUESTION: You’re speaking about Israel or you’re speaking about –

    SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I’m speaking about the Arab world.

    QUESTION: The Arab world, right.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: We hear this all the time. North Africa, Morocco just expelled the Iranians because they were proselytizing and fomenting against the regime in Morocco. It’s very broad, Vladimir, and so it’s not just the United States saying this. I think, as President Medvedev said, no one likes sanctions, but they may be inevitable when you try to change behavior. Our goal is to change Iranian behavior; to have them stop supporting and exporting terrorism; to have them stop proselytizing in ways that destabilize other countries of the region and the broader Islamic world.

    QUESTION: But the main thing is the nuclear program, is it not?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It is the main thing, because, if they get a nuclear weapons program, that will launch an arms race in the Middle East the likes of which we’ve never seen.

    QUESTION: And it might even provoke a nuclear confrontation.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, heaven forbid. We want to avoid that at all costs.

    QUESTION: The relationship between the U.S. and Israel is a very close one. And the United States has always supported Israel, to the point where some people think it allows Israel to thumb its nose at the rest of the world. There are some people who look at it that way. Now, when Vice President Joe Biden was going to visit Israel, right on the eve, the Israeli Government announced that they were going to build 1,600 new housing units in Eastern Jerusalem, which provoked a lot of anger and you were not happy with that. And you spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu, making it very clear that that was the case. You were very critical. And now according to what I’ve read about a week later, you’re tone was much more conciliatory. Why?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, because we’ve seen the Israelis recognize that the resumption of negotiations between them and the Palestinians must begin. And, therefore, they are looking for ways to improve the atmosphere and to take steps that will produce a positive reaction, not just from the Palestinians, but from all of us who are trying to create this negotiation that will lead to a two-state solution. I think that – we had a meeting of the so-called Quartet here in Moscow that Foreign Minister Lavrov called. And at the table was, of course, Russia, the European Union, the United Nations, the United States, and the Quartet representative, former Prime Minister Tony Blair. We, once again, in a statement, condemned what Israel had done. And we, once again, called for everybody to get back to the main business at hand, which is charting the way toward a state for the Palestinians and security for the Israelis.

    QUESTION: I think it was in April in 2008, you were on Larry King. And you spoke about the enormous problems facing the new President, whoever he or she might be. And among others, you said it included winning the war in Afghanistan and ending the war in Iraq. Now, in 2002, you were among those who voted “aye” for giving Bush the right to use force in Iraq. A, do you have any regrets about that today looking back? And B, are you satisfied with what has happened in Iraq, in the sense, do you feel that democracy now is established there and when the U.S. pulls out its troops, it’s going to be all right? And finally, what does it mean to win in Afghanistan?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, with respect to Iraq, I have expressed very many criticisms and regrets about the way that the Bush Administration took the authority and used it with respect to Iraq. Where we are right now is that Iraq just went through another election, which by all accounts is credible, legitimate, an astonishing accomplishment in that region.

    QUESTION: All things considered.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: All things considered. As they form a new government, as they begin to make these decisions that every democracy has to make about how to allocate resources, we are hoping that they stay on the course that they have begun. Right now, they present at least room for optimism about where they could end up. But at the same time, we know how hard this is. I mean this is tough work trying to bring feuding parties together, people who have not worked in any kind of collegial way, get them all on the same page going forward on behalf of their country. But we’ve seen some signs that are very promising.

    QUESTION: But you are confident that the U.S. will pull out its troops?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, we have made a commitment. We have signed an agreement with the Government of Iraq. Now, we will have a normal relationship where we will continue to support the Iraqi Government. We will provide aid as they request, but we are going to be withdrawing our combat troops from Iraq. On Afghanistan, nobody knows better than the Russians, what a very difficult situation is presented. I think, though, we are seeing progress in creating the environment for a political solution. This is not a conflict that can be won decisively, but enough ground can be gained that the people’s confidence in supporting political reconciliation can be obtained. And that’s what we’re looking for.

    QUESTION: Do you accept the idea of working with the Taliban if the Taliban is willing to talk to you?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Under certain circumstances, we do. You cannot make peace with those who will not commit to peace.

    QUESTION: Obviously.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: You can’t make peace with those who won’t put down their weapons and participate in the political process. But if members of the Taliban renounce violence, renounce al-Qaida, commit themselves to the constitution of Afghanistan, as with many conflicts around the world, then there can be a negotiation.

    QUESTION: There’s a question that a lot of Russians have brought up and I figured I’d ask it myself, because I’ve tried to bring in everything that was asked. What really is the difference between Kosovo – which was since ancient times part of Serbia and yet is now independent thanks to support by NATO and, of course, the United States – on the one hand and, on the other hand, Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia, which were part of Gruzia of Georgia and are now independent, thanks to the support of Russia. What is the point of the principal difference if we’re speaking about what we call the integrity of a country, the territorial integrity, in both places? It’s a problem, isn’t it? What makes it okay for Kosovo and not okay for the others?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I think the circumstances are very different from, again, the way we see it. With respect to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, when the component pieces were breaking up and there were efforts to create independent states, there was a great demand on the part of Kosovo to become independent, because if felt like it had been put into Yugoslavia in a way that was not commensurate with its ambitions or its identity. People basically did not accede to that, but there was internal turmoil within Serbia, which led to the ethnic cleansing that was so demonstrably upsetting to have it take place in Europe. And then, of course, Kosovo decided it wanted to be an independent state.

    The way we see Georgia is that Georgia was a much more integrated country. There were different groupings of people as there are in the United States or anywhere else in the world; and that it was meant to be a country where those different experiences, cultures, ethnic identities come together. Now, we understand that from the Russian perspective and from the perspective of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, that’s not perhaps how they saw it. But we see a significant difference and we regret the break-up of Georgia, because we think that an integrated, whole Georgia is much more in the interests of everyone who is in the component parts of it.

    QUESTION: Except those who don’t want to be.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s a problem everywhere. I mean we all face that.

    QUESTION: All right. Okay. In your view, is the protection of human rights still the cornerstone of the U.S. foreign policy?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It is one of the cornerstones.

    QUESTION: One of the cornerstones.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, it is. Absolutely.

    QUESTION: Do you find that it hinders your relationship with China? The reason I ask is because the State Department has issued a paper where China is the number one country that does not respect human rights, followed by Russia, according to the State Department papers. So the feeling, again, a lot of Russians get is that you make an exception for China because the U.S. is so involved financially in China, has such a deep interest in China, but you kind of – you say the words, but you don’t really follow up when it comes to China.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s not the case. What we are trying to do with both China and Russia, is to have such broad and comprehensive relationships that they don’t rise or fall on any one issue, no matter how important. So we always raise human rights with China. We have a very significant difference over Tibet and the treatment of Tibetans; over religion and the suppression of religion; over the treatment of dissidents, lawyers who stand up for the rights of small farmers, people who spoke out against problems after the earthquake. We constantly are raising their concerns and bringing them to the attention of the world as well as to China.

    But our relationship with China is very broad. And one of our goals in the Obama Administration is to keep relationships on track. If you get – if you have a hundred things that are important, but you only talk about one of them, well, of course, everything’s going to be seen through the prism of that one, no matter how significant it might be.

    So let’s take our relationship with Russia. We have spoken out against the murders of journalists. We have spoken out against some of the oppression of dissidents, because we think Russia is a great enough country that it can absorb dissident expression, that people can express their views and that it adds to the dynamism of Russia in the 21st century. But even while we speak out against that, we’re hard at work in Geneva to continue to finish the START agreement on nuclear weapons.

    QUESTION: Is that going to happen soon?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, it is going to happen soon.

    QUESTION: The reset button?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

    QUESTION: What is necessary, in your view, on the Russia side for it to really work? And what is necessary for it on the American side to really work? Because it can’t be that one side says to the other, “Well, it’s going to work only if you do this.” And the other side says, “No, I’m sorry.”

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I think both of us have to change our mindsets and our attitudes about the other. We live with an inheritance of feelings and historical experiences. We were allies in World War II; we were adversaries during the Cold War.

    QUESTION: Indeed.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: We’re now in a new era. I think one of the best changes that each of us could entertain is looking toward the future instead of constantly in the rearview mirror.

    One of the fears that I hear from Russians is that somehow the United States wants Russia to be weak. That could not be farther from the truth. Our goal is to help strengthen Russia. We see Russia with the strong culture, with the incredible intellectual capital that Russia has, as a leader in the 21st century. And we sometimes feel like we believe more in your future than sometimes Russians do.

    We have 40,000 Russians living in Silicon Valley in California. We would be thrilled if 40,000 Russians were working in whatever the Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley is, providing global economic competition, taking the internet and technology to the next level. But in order to achieve each of our goals in our relationship, we have to break with the past. We have to be committed to an open and honest and dialogue. We have to be very honest about our differences, and I think we’ve begun to establish that level of communication. And we have to find ways of working together.

    A couple of weeks ago, the State Department sent a delegation of business leaders from the high-tech industry plus a famous American actor. They “Twittered” their way through Russia. I don’t know if you had a chance to talk to any of them.

    QUESTION: I didn’t, but I read about it.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: They met with really smart young innovators. They met with academics. They came back blown away. They said some of the smartest people they’ve ever met are in Russia. But then we asked then, “Well, do you want to do business in Russia?” And they said, “It’s really hard to do business in Russia. It’s hard to get through the bureaucracy. It’s hard to set up the kind of arrangements that we need.” We want to break down barriers. We want to create more free flow of people and information.

    QUESTION: On the 12th and 13th of April in D.C., there is going to be a global summit on nuclear safety. I wanted to ask you, do you believe it’s possible to create a nuclear-free world. And are you not of the opinion that it’s only thanks to mutually assured destruction, MAD, that there was no war between the U.S. and the USSR?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a great question Vladimir. I share the vision that President Obama outlined in Prague last spring of a world without nuclear weapons, but I believe it’s a long time off in the future. What do we have to do today to move us closer to this world? This nuclear security summit is one means of bringing together the world to try to do more to safeguard nuclear materials.

    The United States and Russia are the leaders, and therefore we are the stewards of the nuclear arsenal that exists in the world. Mutually assured destruction or effective deterrent worked in part because we never stopped talking. We had summits all the time, even during the depths of the Cold War. We had an understanding that each of us was a rational being. Now, we might disagree with your system; you might disagree with our system. But we thought we had kind of common understandings of how human beings think about the world. We didn’t think either one of us was suicidal. We fear adversaries in the world today who are suicidal, who would obtain nuclear material and use it to such great destruction in your country, my country, elsewhere in the world.

    So it wasn’t just the fact that we both had huge arsenals of nuclear weapons; it was who we were as a people, how we thought, the premium on rationality. We might see the world differently, but at the end of the day, we chose to survive and to live and to raise families and to build a better future. We can’t count on that with some of the actors on the world stage today, which is why it’s so important what we’re doing in Geneva on START, and it’s so important that we work together to move toward a time in the future.

    QUESTION: One of the sticking points in the relationship today is this whole thing about the deployment of an antiballistic missile system in Europe on the part of the United States. And it seems that the United States doesn’t really understand why the Russians are so disturbed by this. And I was (inaudible) ask you what if the Russians deployed a system like that in Venezuela, saying that would protect Russia from somebody out there. Don’t you think it would rub people the wrong way, that they would see a kind of a danger there?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, if that is the perception, then you can see where that chain of reasoning leads. But here’s what we believe and what we are saying. When we look at the threats in the world today, as we were just discussing, we don’t see a threat from Russia, and we hope Russian doesn’t see a threat from us. What we do see is the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, an arms race in the Middle East with no telling who’s going to be in charge of the weapons, instability in other countries, the extremist violent terrorist network, the syndicate that al-Qaida is a part of, seeking every day to get a hold of nuclear material, development of missiles by states like North Korea and Iran that can reach Russia, can reach the rest of Europe. We have offered and we continue to offer the fullest cooperation with Russia to jointly develop missile defense.

    Honestly, we don’t see Russia as a threat. We believe that those days are behind us. But what we do see is the potential for others to fill that danger gap, if you will. So that’s what we would hope for in the future, is to build enough trust that we would enhance our early warning signals and our alert systems, that we would be in constant communication between our militaries, our intelligence communities, that we would have our experts working to jointly create missile defense, because it’s a sad commentary that we’re working so well together, but unfortunately the world that we helped to create, a world that does have nuclear weapons, is now being inhabited by those who don’t necessarily have the same values that Russians and Americans do.

    QUESTION: We’ve been talking about U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-Russian relations. I’d like to ask you something about the United States. In your view, what is the most serious problem, or what are the most serious problems, facing the United States? And let’s keep the rest of the world out of this, just the U.S., the American people.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Right. I think we have several challenges. One of them is very general, and that is to make sure that our democracy, which is the oldest in the world, continues to function well and deliver results for people. Therefore, our gridlock in our political system is deeply frustrating to Americans. They look at our Congress and they say, “Why can’t you get anything done?” And our leadership, our political leadership at all levels of government, have to be able to promote – get over their partisan differences and their ideological, philosophical differences, and work for the betterment of the people. That’s the kind of general challenge we face: How do we make sure our system works for the next 200-plus years the way it has for the last.

    We also, on the economic front, have to be sure that our economy continues to function for all Americans. I mean, one of the great achievements of the American economy was how broadly wealth was shared, that you could be born into a very poor family and work your way up and be a successful professional in business.

    QUESTION: Called the American dream.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: The American dream, exactly.

    QUESTION: Is it still alive?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: It is still alive. But as with any dream that is lived out in the real world, the world in which we are awake, you have to constantly be updating it. And we have a problem now, which I think is common to all advanced economies. Many of the jobs that we used to take for granted that employed people, gave them a good middle class life, we no longer can afford to do them. They’re being done in China or they’re being replaced by technology as productivity increases. Take airlines. Airlines during the global recession laid off all kinds of people who worked behind counters. Well, now they’re coming back and their business is picking up, but they’re saying, look, more people are using the automatic machines. They’re sticking their credit card in. We don’t need all the people behind the counters. We’ll never have those jobs back again.

    We have to keep creating jobs because we have to keep the work ethic alive. We have to give people meaningful work that they’re proud to do, that provides a living for them and their families. That’s a big challenge for us.

    And then we always work on our equity issues. We believe in equality. It is one of our founding values. We can’t ever permit there to be such a huge gap between those who are at the very top and those who are —

    QUESTION: The rich and the poor.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: The rich and the poor. And to us that’s an article of faith, but it should be to any democratic economy. You’ve got to keep generating jobs and wealth and a meritocracy so that people feel like they can climb the ladder to success.

    QUESTION: Thank you. I am now going to give the floor to (inaudible) to have a few questions. I spoke to him this morning and he —

    SECRETARY CLINTON: How’s he doing?

    QUESTION: Well, he’s doing pretty well.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well good. Good.

    QUESTION: He’s still quite famous.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m glad to hear that.

    QUESTION: All right. What human quality do you most admire?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Forgiveness.

    QUESTION: What human frailty would you be most likely to forgive?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Stupidity. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: What would you not forgive?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Meanness.

    QUESTION: What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Impatience.

    QUESTION: What do you most regret?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t have any regrets, honestly.

    QUESTION: To you, what is happiness?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Feeling fulfilled in all aspects of my life, public and private.

    QUESTION: What is your favorite word?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Love. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: What quality do you most value in a woman?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: The same that I value in a man: humanity.

    QUESTION: When you appear before God, what would you say to him?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m glad I made it. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: (In Russian), Hillary Clinton. Thank you very much.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

    ussia.It is very long but it is perhaps the most revealing and amazing picture of what America and the world gave up when this fraud was carried out.This interview is the true picture of the world’s most admired woman.Her story must be told.

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  174. RIDDLE ME THIS…

    If all this health care was SOOO good for the public, why are hospitals, big pharma, and insurers to a lesser extent, rubbing their greedy little palms with glee?

    Or does the bill defy mathematical laws?

    nytimes.com/2010/03/22/business/22bizhealth.html

    In Health Care Reform, Boons for Hospitals and Drug Makers
    ======================

    By REED ABELSON
    Published: March 21, 2010

    With a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, Congress would be giving the health care industry as many as 32 million additional paying customers in the next few years.

    That would mean millions more Americans buying private health insurance and better able to pay for their hospital stays, doctors’ visits, prescription drugs and medical devices.

    And some analysts said as the vote neared that the final legislation was shaping up as much kinder to the industry than many initially feared. Hospitals and drug makers, which supported the final legislation, would be clear beneficiaries, analysts say, even if the outlook for insurers was less certain.

    Yet the bill would not create the thing that insurers feared most: a government-run public option, a health plan that would compete with the private insurers.

    Over all, the legislation would be a positive for much of the industry, said Les Funtleyder, who oversees health care strategy for Miller Tabak & Company, a New York investment firm.

    There is no question that insurers would face the most strikingly different business environment, with drastic changes in the way insurance is sold to individuals and small businesses, one of the industry’s most profitable areas. There would also be much heavier regulation.

    “It’s a huge business risk,” said Rick Weissenstein, a health care policy analyst at Concept Capital, which follows developments for investors. “There are going to be some insurers that aren’t going to adapt very well.”

    But insurers are expected to benefit from the influx of new customers after years of shrinking enrollments. About 16 million of the newly insured are expected to enroll in private plans. The rest would become eligible for Medicaid, the state-administered program for the poor, but some of those would probably sign up for privately run Medicaid plans available in different states.

    One place where the rules of the insurance game may shift most significantly is in a new kind of state-supervised marketplace, called exchanges, in which insurers would be required to sell their policies for individuals and small businesses. The exchanges are expected to involve much greater regulatory oversight than insurers now typically face and to alter their business models drastically. Currently, insurers seek to protect profits by trying to enroll only the healthiest individuals, while also charging enough to recoup the expense of covering sick people. But the legislation requires insurers to cover even people with potentially costly pre-existing conditions.

    The new law would also place strict limits on how much more an insurer could vary premiums among the people taking out the same policy, largely to factor in age differences.

    As a result, the insurers, whose main trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, vehemently opposed the legislation, have been quite vocal about their concern that young and healthy people will not enroll because the new requirements will make their premiums higher to help subsidize the older and sicker.

    To help spread the costs and risks of insurance, the legislation would eventually require most Americans to have insurance or pay a federal penalty. But insurers have worried that the penalties are too low or will not be enforced.

    Insurers have also complained that the legislation calls for the government to begin paying them much less in federal payments for the private Medicare Advantage plans that they sell to older people as an alternative to traditional Medicare.

    The insurers are also subject to a range of new fees, although the timing has been delayed.

    Indeed, for anyone assessing the impact, it is important to remember that few of the legislation’s main provisions would take place immediately, noted Jason Gurda, an analyst with Leerink Swann. “Most of the health care provisions that would impact the health insurers do not kick in until 2014,” he said. “From an investment horizon, that’s a long time.”

    Hospitals have little to fear. The number of newly insured is expected to decrease significantly the amount that hospitals now lose each year when they provide care to people with no means to pay.

    But the expanded enrollments in the low-income Medicaid program could be a mixed blessing, analysts say, because Medicaid typically pays hospitals less than the actual cost of care. So the question becomes whether hospitals were already treating many of these patients without any reimbursement at all, or whether they will now see an influx of new money-losing Medicaid customers.

    For their part, the hospitals agreed to help defray the costs of the legislation by agreeing to contribute $155 billion over 10 years, largely by accepting lower payments under the Medicare program for older Americans.

    Doctors are another group likely to benefit from more paying customers, which is a reason that the American Medical Association last week began publicly supporting the legislation.

    Yet doctors must still wait for Congress to handle the sharp payment cuts they perennially face under Medicare as a result of the formula the government uses to pay doctors. In recent years, Congress has annually stepped in with a so-called doc fix to stave off those cuts.

    “The fact that there’s not a physician fix leaves in limbo physicians,” said Paul Keckley, the executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a research unit of the consulting firm.

    Drug makers, meanwhile, may have the most clear reason to celebrate the legislation. Pharmaceutical companies are going to be asked to contribute $85 billion toward the cost of the bill in the form of industry fees and lower prices paid under government programs over 10 years. But they can look forward to tens of billions of dollars in additional revenue as more people with insurance visit doctors and fill prescriptions.

    The legislation will also eventually close the gap in Medicare drug coverage, known as the doughnut hole, in which elderly patients must pay for prescription drugs rather than having them covered by the government. Many chose to stop taking their medicine or switched to lower-price generics.

    And significantly, the legislation allowed the drug industry to “avoid any of the issues that were particularly of concern — price control or more regulation by the federal government,” said Barbara Ryan, an analyst with Deutsche Bank.

    As a result, the pharmaceutical industry has been a significant proponent of the legislation, in sharp contrast to its behavior when the Clinton administration tried to pass a similar overhaul. The industry spent an estimated $100 million in TV advertising, grass-roots organizing and other marketing efforts to promote reform.

    The generic side of the drug industry had somewhat less to celebrate. Legislators left intact a bill provision giving name-brand drug makers 12 years of marketing exclusivity on expensive medications called biologic drugs, which are made out of living cells. Many of those drugs, including cancer treatments, cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a year.

    “Real reform could have expanded access to affordable medicine to patients in need,” Kathleen Jaeger, the president of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, said in a statement.

    But generic makers stand to benefit from Congress’s omitting a provision that had been proposed and that would have placed new restrictions on patent settlement agreements. Under such deals, some name-brand drug companies have paid or otherwise compensated generic makers to delay introducing new generics.

    Critics, including the Federal Trade Commission, argue that such deals are anticompetitive. Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, said last week that consumers would suffer if Congress allowed such deals to continue.

    “The big winners are some of the branded pharmaceutical companies who have engaged in these deals and some of the generics who have done the same,” he said. “The big loser is the American consumer, who is going to have to pay an extra $3.5 billion a year in much-needed drugs.”

  175. EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BUY A CONGRESSMAN, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK

    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703775504575136133814210008.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

    Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory
    ===============================

    Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak sold his anti-abortion soul for a toothless executive order.
    &&&

    By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
    Last week Republican Rep. Mike Pence posted on his Facebook site that famous Schoolhouse Rock video titled “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” It’s clearly time for a remake.

    Never before has the average American been treated to such a live-action view of the sordid politics necessary to push a deeply flawed bill to completion. It was dirty deals, open threats, broken promises and disregard for democracy that pulled ObamaCare to this point, and yesterday the same machinations pushed it across the finish line.

    You could see it all coming a week ago, when New York Rep. Louise Slaughter let leak a breathtaking strategy whereby the House would not actually vote on the unpopular Senate bill. The House would instead vote on a “reconciliation” fix to that bill, and in the process “deem” the underlying legislation—with its Cornhusker kickbacks and Louisiana purchases—passed.

    The Slaughter Solution was both blunt admission and warning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not have 216 votes to pass the Senate bill, there never was going to be majority “support” for it, but they’d pass it anyway. The final days were a simple death watch, to see how the votes would be bought, bribed or bullied, and how many congressional rules gamed, to get the win.

    President Obama flew to Pennsylvania (home to five wavering House Democrats), Missouri (three wavering), Ohio (eight), and Virginia (four) to hold rallies with small, supportive crowds. In four days, Mr. Obama held 64 meetings or calls with congressmen. The goal was to let undecideds know that the president had them in his crosshairs, that he still had pull with the base, and he’d use it against them. By Saturday the tactic had yielded yes votes from at least half the previously undecided members of those states.

    As for those who needed more persuasion: California Rep. Jim Costa bragged publicly that during his meeting in the Oval Office, he’d demanded the administration increase water to his Central Valley district. On Tuesday, Interior pushed up its announcement, giving the Central Valley farmers 25% of water supplies, rather than the expected 5% allocation. Mr. Costa, who denies there was a quid pro quo, on Saturday said he’d flip to a yes.

    Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (whose district is home to the Kennedy Space Center) admitted that in her own Thursday meeting with the president, she’d brought up the need for more NASA funding. On Friday she flipped to a yes. So watch the NASA budget.

    Democrats inserted a new provision providing $100 million in extra Medicaid money for Tennessee. Retiring Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon flipped to a yes vote on Thursday.

    Outside heavies were enlisted to warn potential no votes that unions and other Democrats would run them out of Congress. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee liberal challenging Blue Dog Florida Rep. Allen Boyd in a primary, made Mr. Boyd’s previous no vote the centerpiece of his criticism. The SEIU threatened to yank financial support for New York’s Michael McMahon. The liberal Working Families Party said it would deny him a ballot line. Obama deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand vowed to challenge South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin if she voted no. New York’s Scott Murphy was targeted as a part of a $1.3 million union-financed ad campaign to pressure him to flip. Moveon.Org spent another $36,000 on ads in his district and promised a primary. Messrs. Boyd and Murphy caved on Friday.

    All the while Mrs. Pelosi was desperately working to provide cover with a Congressional Budget Office score that would claim the bill “saved” money. To do it, Democrats threw in a further $66 billion in Medicare cuts and another $50 billion in taxes. Huzzah! In the day following the CBO score, about a half-dozen Democrats who had spent the past months complaining the bill already had too many taxes and Medicare cuts now said they were voting to reduce the deficit.

    Even with all this, by Friday Mrs. Pelosi was dealing with a new problem: The rule changes and deals winning her votes were losing her votes, too. The public backlash against “deem and pass” gave several wary Democrats—such as Massachusetts’s Stephen Lynch and California’s Dennis Cardoza—a new excuse to vote no.

    Mrs. Pelosi jettisoned deem and pass. Once-solid Democrat yes votes wanted their own concessions. Oregon’s Pete DeFazio threatened to lead a revolt unless changes were made to Medicare payments to benefit his state. On Saturday Mrs. Pelosi cut a deal to give 17 states additional Medicare money.

    By the weekend, all the pressure and threats and bribes had left the speaker three to five votes short. Her remaining roadblock was those pro-life members who’d boxed themselves in on abortion, saying they would vote against the Senate bill unless it barred public funding of abortion. Mrs. Pelosi’s first instinct was to go around this bloc, getting the votes elsewhere. She couldn’t.

    Into Saturday night, Michigan’s Bart Stupak and Mrs. Pelosi wrangled over options. The stalemate? Any change that gave Mr. Stupak what he wanted in law would lose votes from pro-choice members. The solution? Remove it from Congress altogether, having the president instead sign a meaningless executive order affirming that no public money should go to pay for abortions.

    The order won’t change the Senate legal language—as pro-choice Democrats publicly crowed within minutes of the Stupak deal. Executive orders can be changed or eliminated on a whim. Pro-life groups condemned the order as the vote-getting ruse it was. Nevertheless, Mr. Stupak and several of his colleagues voted yes, paving the way to Mrs. Pelosi’s final vote tally of 219.

    Even in these waning minutes, Senate Democrats were playing their own games. Republicans announced they had found language in the House reconciliation bill that could doom this entire “fix” in the Senate. Since many House Democrats only agreed to vote for the Senate bill on promises that the sidecar reconciliation would pass, this was potentially a last-minute killer.

    Senate Democrats handled it by deliberately refusing to meet with Republicans and the Senate parliamentarian to get a ruling, lest it be unfavorable and lose House votes. The dodge was a clear dereliction of duty, but Democrats figure the Senate parliamentarian won’t dare derail this process after ObamaCare passes. They are probably right.

    So there you have it, folks: “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” at least in Obama-Pelosi land. Perhaps the most remarkable Democratic accomplishment this week was to make the process of passing ObamaCare as politically toxic as the bill itself.

    President Obama was elected by millions of Americans attracted to his promise to change Washington politics. These were voters furious with earmarks, insider deals and a lack of transparency. They were the many Americans who, even before this week, held Congress in historic low esteem. They’ll remember this spectacle come November.

  176. POTTERY BARN:

    WSJ analysis.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703775504575135881813148208.html

    The Doctors of the House
    ======================

    A landmark of liberal governance whose price will be very steep.
    &&&

    House Democrats last night passed President Obama’s federal takeover of the U.S. health-care system, and the ticker tape media parade is already underway. So this hour of liberal political victory is a good time to adapt the “Pottery Barn” rule that Colin Powell once invoked on Iraq: You break it, you own it.

    This week’s votes don’t end our health-care debates. By making medical care a subsidiary of Washington, they guarantee such debates will never end. And by ramming the vote through Congress on a narrow partisan majority, and against so much popular opposition, Democrats have taken responsibility for what comes next—to insurance premiums, government spending, doctor shortages and the quality of care. They are now the rulers of American medicine.

    Mr. Obama and the Democrats have sold this takeover by promising that multiple benefits will follow: huge new subsidies for the middle class; lower insurance premiums for consumers, especially those in the individual market; vast reductions in the federal budget deficit and in overall health-care spending; a more competitive U.S. economy as business health-care costs decline; no reductions in Medicare benefits; and above all, in Mr. Obama’s words, that “if you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan.”

    We think all of this except the subsidies will turn out to be illusory, as most of the American public seems intuitively to understand. As recently as Friday, Caterpillar Inc. announced that ObamaCare will increase its health-care costs by $100 million in the first year alone, due to a stray provision about the tax treatment of retiree benefits. This will not be the only such unhappy surprise.

    While the subsidies don’t start until 2014, many of the new taxes and insurance mandates will take effect within six months. The first result will be turmoil in the insurance industry, as small insurers in particular find it impossible to make money under the new rules. A wave of consolidation is likely, and so are higher premiums as insurers absorb the cost of new benefits and the mandate to take all comers.

    Liberals will try to blame insurers once again, but the public shouldn’t be fooled. WellPoint, Aetna and the rest are from now on going to be public utilities, essentially creatures of Congress and the Health and Human Services Department. When prices rise and quality and choice suffer, the fault will lie with ObamaCare.

    While liberal Democrats are fulfilling their dream of a cradle-to-grave entitlement, their swing-district colleagues will pay the electoral price. Those on the fence fell in line out of party loyalty or in response to some bribe, and to show the party could govern. But even then Speaker Nancy Pelosi could only get 85% of her caucus and had to make promises that are sure to prove ephemeral.

    Most prominently, she won over Michigan’s Bart Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats with an executive order from Mr. Obama that will supposedly prevent public funds from subsidizing abortions. The wording of the order seems to do nothing more than the language of the Senate bill that Mr. Stupak had previously said he couldn’t support, and of course such an order can be revoked whenever it is politically convenient to do so.

    We have never understood why pro-lifers consider abortion funding more morally significant than the rationing of care for cancer patients or at the end of life that will inevitably result from this bill. But in any case Democratic pro-lifers sold themselves for a song, as they usually do.

    Then there are the self-styled “deficit hawks” like Jim Cooper of Tennessee. These alleged scourges of government debt faced the most important fiscal vote of their careers and chose to endorse a new multitrillion-dollar entitlement. They did so knowing that the White House has already promised to restore some $250 billion in reimbursement cuts for doctors that were included in yesterday’s bill to make the deficit numbers look good. Watch for these Democrats to pivot immediately and again demand “tough choices” on spending—and especially tax increases—but this vote has squandered whatever credibility they had left.

    Mrs. Pelosi did at least abandon, albeit under pressure, the “deem and pass” strategy that would have passed the legislation without a vote on the actual Senate language. We and many others criticized that ruse early last week, and the House decision to drop it exposes the likes of Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and other analysts who are always willing to defend the indefensible when Democrats are doing it.

    All of this means the Senate’s Christmas Eve bill is ready for Mr. Obama’s signature, though only because rank-and-file House Members also passed a bill of amendments that will now go back to the Senate under “reconciliation” rules that require only 50 votes. Those amendments almost certainly contravene the plain rules of reconciliation, and the goal for Senate Republicans should be to defeat this second “fix-it” bill. It’s notable that Democrats didn’t show yesterday for a meeting with the Senate parliamentarian to consider GOP challenges, no doubt because they fear some of them might be upheld.

    Though it’s hard to believe, the original Senate bill is marginally less harmful than the “fixed” version, not least because the middle-class insurance subsidies are less costly and it would avert the giant new payroll tax. That’s the White House increase in the Medicare portion of the payroll tax to 3.8% that Democrats cooked up at the last minute and would apply to the investment income of taxpayers making more than $200,000.

    If the reconciliation bill goes down, Big Labor and its Democratic clients would be forced to swallow a larger excise tax on high-cost insurance plans, and it would also forestall the private student-loan takeover that Democrats included as a sweetener. In other words, they’d be forced to eat the sausage they themselves made as they have abused Congressional procedure to push ObamaCare into law.

    We also can’t mark this day without noting that it couldn’t have happened without the complicity of America’s biggest health-care lobbies, including Big Pharma, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the Business Roundtable and such individual companies as Wal-Mart. They hope to get more customers, or to reduce their own costs, but in the end they have merely made themselves more vulnerable to the gilded clutches of the political class.

    While the passage of ObamaCare marks a liberal triumph, its impact will play out over many years. We fought this bill so vigorously because we have studied government health care in other countries, and the results include much higher taxes, slower economic growth and worse medical care. As for the politics, the first verdict arrives in November.

  177. yea i didn’t care for that either….. but i just clicked exit.. it still registered my name without a donation

  178. …AND AS EXPECTED…

    news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100322/pl_nm/us_usa_healthcare_states

    States launch lawsuits against healthcare plan
    ==========================================

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Less than 24 hours after the House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping overhaul of healthcare, attorneys general from several states on Monday said they will sue to block the plan on constitutional grounds.

    Republican attorneys general in 11 states warned that lawsuits will be filed to stop the federal government overstepping its constitutional powers and usurping states’ sovereignty.

    States are concerned the burden of providing healthcare will fall on them without enough federal support.

    Ten of the attorneys general plan to band together in a collective lawsuit on behalf of Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

    “To protect all Texans’ constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation’s founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government, the State of Texas and other states will legally challenge the federal health care legislation,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, in a statement.

    The Republican attorney generals say the reforms infringe on state powers under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

    Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, who plans to file a lawsuit in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, said Congress lacks authority under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce to force people to buy insurance. The bill also conflicts with a state law that says Virginians cannot be required to buy insurance, he added.

    “If a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person by definition is not engaging in commerce,” Cuccinelli said in recorded comments. “If you are not engaging in commerce, how can the federal government regulate you?”

    In addition to the pending lawsuits, bills and resolutions have been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures seeking to limit or oppose various aspects of the reform plan through laws or state constitutional amendments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    So far, only two states, Idaho and Virginia, have enacted laws, while an Arizona constitutional amendment is seeking voter approval on the November ballot. But the actual enactment of the bill by President Barack Obama could spur more movement on the measures by state lawmakers.

    As is the case on the Congressional level, partisan politics is in play on the state level, where no anti-health care reform legislation has emerged in Democrat-dominated states like Illinois and New York, according to the NCSL.

    Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican candidate running for governor, said the mandate would cost Florida at least $1.6 billion in Medicaid alone.

    All states would receive extra funding to cover Medicaid costs that are expected to rise under the reform, including 100 percent federal coverage for new enrollees under the plan through 2016.

    Medicaid is the healthcare program for the poor jointly administered by the states and federal government.

  179. So now they want to begin immigration reform…OMG….now they will approve the HB-1 visas and it will cut the wages of nurses, lab techs, xray techs…there just seems to be no end to Obama’s assault on America.

    I wish I knew how this bill will be affecting health care jobs???

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