Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

December 21, 2009

MONDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* Tehran: "Iran's most senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has died, his grandson said Sunday. He was 87. Nasser Montazeri said his grandfather, who was seen as the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement, died in his sleep overnight."

* Hopefully, a good sign: "The hiring of temporary workers has surged, suggesting that the nation's employers might soon take the next step, bringing on permanent workers, if they can just convince themselves that the upturn in the economy will be sustained."

* The American Medical Association formally endorses the Senate health care bill.

* President Obama's Passenger Bill of Rights: "The federal government will impose big fines starting this spring on airlines that keep passengers waiting on the tarmac too long without feeding them or letting them off the plane. Airlines that let a plane sit on the tarmac for more than two hours without giving passengers food or water, or more than three hours without offering them the option of getting off, will face fines of $27,500 a passenger, the secretary of transportation announced on Monday."

* Counter-terrorism: "On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson."

* Health care reform is going to save a lot of American families a lot of money.

* We know about the ways in which the Senate health care bill got worse (it lost the public option), but in a variety of other ways, it got much better.

* Jane Hamsher writes up 10 specific reasons she'd like to see the Senate health care bill defeated. Jonathan Cohn and Ezra Klein write up specific rebuttals to Hamsher's list.

* CNBC's John Harwood is taking cheap and unnecessary shots at progressive opponents of health care reform. Completely uncalled for.

* Joe Klein takes down Tom Coburn.

* Tim Fernholz takes down Robert Samuelson.

* Reimportation obviously didn't come together this year. The White House isn't done with the idea, though.

* I shouldn't be surprised, but prominent right-wing bloggers probably shouldn't publish posts hoping for senators to die.

* John McCain feels comfortable telling us what Ted Kennedy would have thought. Remember when McCain had class? It's been a long time.

* How did South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) avoid impeachment?

* When the federal government takes a more active role in education.

* Watching the Senate become cruel: "The Senate hasn't just lost a bit of its collegiality. It's become heartlessly ferocious -- a place where the death of an honored friend presents an opportunity to kill his legislation, and in which the infirmity of an ailing colleague is seen as a potential path to procedural victory.... At this point in its history, however, consensus is a laughable goal. Basic decency doesn't even seem achievable. And if the behavior of the Senate has changed, then so too must its rules."

* Mike Huckabee compares Ben Nelson to Judas. Wow. (thanks to K.Z. for the tip)

* Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight.

* A well deserved honor for Glenn Beck.

* And similarly, the Politifact Lie of the Year was probably an obvious choice, but the editors made the right call.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (53)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I'm not conceding I'm happy about HCR in its current form, nor the effects of the stimulus up to now, but one thing should be recognized when considering the grand scheme of things:

All of this has been accomplished despite having an opposition party dedicate itself to undermining every single initiative taken on by the new administration. Despite having the self imposed 60 vote super majority. Despite having a 24/7 cable news channel dedicated to undermining the President.

Yes, despite all of this, some of the biggest legislation in American history has been and is on the precipice of being passed into law.

Now just imagine what we could accomplish if we could work together.

Posted by: citizen_pain on December 21, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Per Ezra Klein's rebuttal of Hamsher, Steve, I think this was one of the most apropos comments (not mine) on his site:

This conclusion is the essence of why you and Jane are talking past each other. Jane is comparing the bill to an ideal bill- though it's not clear to me why the simple addition of a public option or Medicare buy-in suddenly makes it that much closer to ideal- while Ezra is comparing it to the status quo. Jane, despite her talk of alliances with the right-wing, isn't saying don't do health care, she's saying start over and make it more ideal. Ezra is saying if you don't pass this, you're not getting the ideal, you're getting nothing for another 20 years. It's a political question, not a policy question.

So it's better than what we currently have? Sure. Is it good? In my opinion, no. It's not.

Posted by: Balakirev on December 21, 2009 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

yeah, well if obama was really a progressive, he would have done away with all airline delays altogether.

/snark over/

Posted by: mellowjohn on December 21, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

You sorta wonder if the Right and the Blue Dogs haven't essentially been bringing
a gun to each and every snowball fight.

Talk about obstructionist, talk about killing off possibilities.

Posted by: Insanity on December 21, 2009 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised this didn't get mentioned in the news roundup, but, Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage. So, let's see . . . it's legal in the entire country of Canada, five states and one municipality (DC) in the U.S., and one municipality in Mexico. We're way behind Europe, obviously, but North America is at least making some progress . . . slooooooooooowly . . .

Posted by: The Caped Composer on December 21, 2009 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ben Nelson *is* Judas! (snark)
Oh, that Senate HCR Bill! I am back from the funeral of a campaigner/assistant for Bobby Scott (D-VA-3), and Rep. Scott finds the bill disappointing. He corroborates many of the worries of people like Howard Dean: mandate to buy from private providers with questionable cost controls and no real competiton in the midst of subsidies, anti-trust exemption still on, how to correct wrongs, and so forth. The rules limiting overhead/profit help, but enough? The trouble with subsidies of course is not being seen by the insured, so what limits the premiums? And allowing selling across State lines just incites moves to the lowest regulation State.

Maybe this can be adequately improved in the reconciliation, but that can't produce just whatever you want or no side effects.

Posted by: neil b on December 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

"So it's better than what we currently have? Sure."

For insurance industry stock holders? Absolutely. For anyone else? Oh, god, no.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

(BTW, selling across States was not in the Bill, it is just a worry that conservatives would enable that if get in power. Note also the improvements in the Bill. I think it's incredible it's even that half-assedly almost good, considering the lobby money and the damn Senate holdouts adding "droppings" to the sausage. With that kind of pressure and the worst legislative calculus - to have something that even half of liberal commentators can stomach is surprising.
Vote for Democrats or things will be very much worse.)

Posted by: neil b on December 21, 2009 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Who gives a flying f@ck what JokeLine says about "Doctor" Coburn.

And condemning Harwood's remarks as "uncalled for" is exactly the kind of stupid, ineffective language that has "the left" sitting in the corner diddling.

Come on, Steve, you can't bring a snowball to a gunfight.

Posted by: karen marie on December 21, 2009 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Vote for Democrats or things will be very much worse."

Queue Monty Python quote- "Worse? How could it be worse? Jehovah, Jehovah, Jahovah!"

Look the dems had the numbers and the muscle to push through a public option. They would have had to use a lot of arm twisting and underhanded politics but they could have done it. They chose not to. It just wasn't that important to them.

With that kind of mentality it doesn't matter if they had 60 senators or 99. They're just not that into us.

More dems helps nothing so long as the dems refuse to actually try.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

A Passenger Bill of Rights

Unfortunately, the bill allows exceptions: if the pilot determines that "safety, security or normal airport operations would be adversely affected" by returning to the gate, they won't be fines.

Possibly, in all but the most extreme cases, nothing will change at all.

After you take one steps aboard an airplane, they OWN you. Insist on being let off and you will go to jail. (They even can, and sometimes do, spray you with pesticides).

Posted by: flubber on December 21, 2009 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK
Steve: "Joe Klein takes down Tom Coburn."

"For God's sake, definitely I didn't write it."
- Joe Klein, to the New York Times in February 1996 regarding then-increasing speculation that he was the "Anonymous" author of Primary Colors

Nuf ced.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 21, 2009 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

I like the way Ezra Klein just hastily glosses over the abortion restriction issue.

Posted by: kc on December 21, 2009 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

"John McCain feels comfortable telling us what Ted Kennedy would have thought. Remember when McCain had class?"

I could swear Mr. Benen did this himself just a couple weeks ago.

Posted by: flubber on December 21, 2009 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

CNBC's John Harwood is taking cheap and unnecessary shots

Well, John Harwood is a cheap and unnecessary guy.

Posted by: kc on December 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Tlaloc, it may be the folks in DC just aren't that into you because (a) "us" as you define it is less than 10% of the general election vote (and I'm likely being generous) and much less than that of the funding; (b) because "underhanded politics" are generally contra the Progressive movement's "good government strain; and/or (c) you come across as a belligerent, repetitive, dogmatic pain in the ass, which is hardly a way to make them (or us for that matter) be "into you."

I hope it all makes sense now.

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 21, 2009 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama's Passenger Bill of Rights

If Obama really wants to help passengers start rationalizing the idiotic TSA rules. The kabuki theatre of airport security does nothing to improve security and causes needless delays, violations of privacy and costs huge amounts of money that could be better spent on law enforement.

Posted by: thorin-1 on December 21, 2009 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

More "scientific" rebuttal, Tlaloc:
If Dems had say 65 Senators, they could tell a few like Littleman and the former insurance exec. to go to hell. BTW arm-twisting usually means giving them goodies which may stink on their own. The favor given to Nelson - special treatment just for his State - was a laughing stock. I am not denying the defects of the Bill which e.g. Rep. Scott admits, but your political calculus and assessment. We can't afford another billions-of-dimes-worth-of-difference election like 2000.

PS: I wrote a term paper on Aztecs and remember Tlaloc well. He brought water, but also demanded child sacrifice.

Posted by: neil b on December 21, 2009 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

FDL already have their rebuttle to Klein's "rebuttle" out. Funnily enough, they didn't complain about his answer to their first point.

Klein's argument there, paraphrased, was that only people who don't have insurance will be forced to get insurance.

The FDL counter-rebuttle was concerning Klein's suggestion that the excuse tax would only apply to really, really, expensive plans, rather than plans that people are likely to have.

This is the intellectual integrity the bill's defenders have. Unwilling to admit that those who have severe problems with the bill might have a point, they pretend this is all about ideology or they ridicule the issues raised without actually addressing them.

You're not going to be forced to have insurance, because you probably already have it via your employer.

Ezra Klein is a tool. There, I said it.

Posted by: squiggleslash on December 21, 2009 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, forgot the link:

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12/21/ezra-klein-defender-of-the-free-market-economagic-health-care-myths/

Posted by: squiggleslash on December 21, 2009 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

I ran across this on CNN.com. How does this play with the "Pro-Life" anti-birthcontrol/abortion crowd? It seems that this General is advocating for the use of, at minimum, artificial contraception and at worst, abortion. What do you think? Do you hear the Republicans/Stupac(sp) crowd speaking out?
U.S. soldiers in Iraq could face courts-martial for getting pregnant

Posted by: st john on December 21, 2009 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Tlaloc, it may be the folks in DC just aren't that into you because (a) "us" as you define it is less than 10% of the general election vote (and I'm likely being generous) and much less than that of the funding; (b) because "underhanded politics" are generally contra the Progressive movement's "good government strain; and/or (c) you come across as a belligerent, repetitive, dogmatic pain in the ass, which is hardly a way to make them (or us for that matter) be "into you.""

Fair enough, just don't bitch when this 10% does nothing for your next election.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

"More "scientific" rebuttal, Tlaloc:
If Dems had say 65 Senators, they could tell a few like Littleman and the former insurance exec. to go to hell."

I'll repost this since some people seem to have no idea that politics isn't beanbag:

here's how you pass a robust public option It's easy-
you start by declaring that you are passing a single payer. That sets the starting point for negotiation so that the right and lieberman have to fight you for "just" a public option. While doing that you make a number of smaller bills, one on recission, one on pre-existing conditions, another for subsidies, and so on. The popular ones you put up for votes by themselves and use as cudgels against the right if they vote no. The unpopular ones you attach to other bills to get through. Then you take the popular ones the right fillibustered and you attach those to popular bills to get them through too.

You keep changing the environment so the right has no clear target to focus on. Change the name of the bill every time you make a small change. Bludgeon the right on every vote against popular items like recission to keep them on their heels. You keep up the pressure constantly.

Introduce bills meanwhile that are controversial with the right and especially ones that lead to infighting between conservatives and libertarians. Both help to distract them and take their focus of health care. Immigration and Climate Change are good starters. If they're making headway against health care you switch focus to the climate and vice versa.

You take Lieberman into your office and let him know that he's on board. Not that he has a choice, he's on board or for the rest of term he's out. Out of his posts, out of the loop, out of everything. Oh and he can kiss any earmarks goodbye. And god forbid he introduce any bills because every damn one will have a secret hold (or thirty). You'll also have to reassign his office, some kind of fire code thing, but no worry there's a cubicle in the basement he can work out of. In fact every one of his perks as a senator is going to have some kind of fire code violation. Weird that. His nuts- your fist.

It's standard (i.e. dirty) politics. It's how you get things done. And the dems have more than enough muscle to do it, it they weren't utter pussies.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

~/: you have often made good, detailed, and well cited arguments about defects of the Bill but I'm asking people to reduce the heat on the fighting over it. Most nations have a mandate, main problem is our having to buy from the private sector with inadequate controls. The plan is to limit what % of income you have to pay for HI. So it seems to me the bigger problem is controlling the base premiums rather than what the little guy will pay of it - and thus subsidizing big premiums.

As for taxing benefits: if your employer pays X$ to get whatever for you, that is close to giving you the money. If you get a car from them, it is taxed. Why not your health insurance? Maybe a lower rate, but still - and the proposed tax doesn't start at the bottom anyway.

Posted by: neil b, on December 21, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

OK, you will just have to copy & paste the link:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/21/iraq.us.soldiers.pregnancy/index.html

Posted by: st john on December 21, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Tlaloc, tx for the effort put into imagining how it could have been done better. At least there's some specifics there. I suppose it could have happened, maybe not as easily as you think. It still would have been easi-er with a better majority.

Posted by: neil b on December 21, 2009 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure there are some, but I can't think of any laws that require a citizen to buy something from a private company. Liability insurance is one but you can choose to not have a car. You can't choose to not be alive...well, easily.

Posted by: Dale on December 21, 2009 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, Tlaloc, it would have been so easy based on your scenario. Why, oh why, weren't you there when we needed you!?! I suggest you put down the Doritos, change out of those pajamas, get your butt out of your parents' basement, and head to Capitol Hill right now! Demand a meeting with Reid and tell him exactly how to kill the bill and do it right this time!

Posted by: converse on December 21, 2009 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

here's how you pass a robust public option It's easy-

Tlaloc, back away from bong, dude. Seriously, just step back.

Posted by: AK Liberal on December 21, 2009 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Damn, Tlaloc, it would have been so easy based on your scenario. Why, oh why, weren't you there when we needed you!?! I suggest you put down the Doritos, change out of those pajamas, get your butt out of your parents' basement, and head to Capitol Hill right now! Demand a meeting with Reid and tell him exactly how to kill the bill and do it right this time!"

So you've chosen to be part of the problem, then? Alrighty. Statistically you do seem to have picked the winning side.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

That's right. I'll go with a necessary sixty vote majority, rather than lose everything.

But I'm sure that you, like most super-heroes, prefer to remain the underdog.

Posted by: converse on December 21, 2009 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

"That's right. I'll go with a necessary sixty vote majority, rather than lose everything."

So you think that coming off of two huge electoral wins, with a 60% majority in both parts of congress and the presidency that the current bill was the best one possible? Really? You're sure that the best we could do was to undermine health care reform for at least the next several decades? Or are you still in denial that that's exactly what the senate bill does?

There's just no chance that a big democrat majority that was willing to actually work for what it wanted could have done a little better?

Cause to me that sounds like utter bull&^%$.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Quoth the meme:
"Mark my words, a Broder column is on the way, this time not about Reid's need to compromise reasonably with Nelson but about how reasonable HCR is, and how us crazies are too extremist to seize the moment."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_12/021526.php#1697474

As predicted, here is the column:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/18/AR2009121802140.html?sub=AR

Posted by: memekiller on December 21, 2009 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

I pay close to $500 a month for an individual plan with Blue Cross that includes no dental, no vision.

Yes, that's 6,000 a year.

And there is NO HOPE NOW that I will find competition and looks like this could even go up!

Posted by: Insanity on December 21, 2009 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Well, then if the Villagers say it's a good bill that might help ward off some election defeats - but I hate for that to be the reason. Yeah, I think the Democrats could have done better but they weren't IMHO horrible enough *on the whole* to be cut loose. Just REM also it's not about "Democrats" unless the top ticket - you have all those local races. As for Obama: he made some specific promises that disappoint, but he did campaign as a "centrist" who wouldn't scare middle America. Maybe we were hoping and conservatives feared (and propagandized) he'd be more liberal, but that's the impression Obama gave. I really do think he should have had better advisers and not that Rahm/Geithner/Summers crowd, but he can't pick the SML etc.

Posted by: neil b on December 21, 2009 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

The hippies want peace and love, and all they got was civil rights and us out of Vietnam, and they got cynical because they thought we failed.

May we be similarly disappointed.

Posted by: Memekiller on December 21, 2009 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Neil - you're right, I was responding to a particularly patronizing (and absurd) attack on FDL and more generally those with serious concerns about this bill, which I took more personally than I should have done.

I'm still amazed by the number of people who post as if the objections by liberals have to do with ideology or some primary belief that the bill could easily be more liberal.

Posted by: squiggleslash on December 21, 2009 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Or are you still in denial that that's exactly what the senate bill does?"

IDK, tlaloc, have you stopped beating your boyfriend?

That's the kind of bullshit argumentation that makes me pretty sure that MoveOn, FDL, et al, have taken this on with the primary motive of raising money and rallying troops for their own selfish purposes. "Policy be damned! LOOK AT ME! Send me $5!"

Posted by: converse on December 21, 2009 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

The family that makes 36k a year does not have health insurance. They probably don't have a bank account. And they will be hacked at having to pay a couple grand a year in premiums.

Posted by: Nat on December 21, 2009 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Nat, those are the people right now who don't go to the doctor when they're sick because they don't have insurance to pay for it. Or who maybe end up going to the ER at the last minute and costing everyone ten times as much. People are dying from these kind of situations. I guess we should just kill the bill and keep everything like it is. Forty thousand or so people a year dying because they don't have insurance; really, it's not a lot.

Posted by: converse on December 21, 2009 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Forty thousand or so people a year dying because they don't have insurance; really, it's not a lot."

And it'll be exactly the same next year and the year after that. This bill does nothing to help them. It does however do a lot to hurt those same people, apparently for giggles.

Posted by: Tlaloc on December 21, 2009 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Steve: pretty good response on FireDogLake to Ezra Klein's objections to Hamsher's 10 reasons to kill the bill--far better than mine, above. You can read it here:

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12/21/ezra-klein-defender-of-the-free-market-economagic-health-care-myths/

I don't like the way the commentators treat Ezra, but it has to be said that he's ignoring some hard data in order to make his point (and yours) that the Senate health insurance giveaway is palatable. Please, check it out.

Posted by: Balakirev on December 21, 2009 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

"This bill does nothing to help them."

You've now proven that you know absolutely nothing about this bill. What's the point.

Posted by: converse on December 21, 2009 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic, but does anybody know a way to suppress the "Conservative T-Shirts" ad that keeps appearing at the top of this blog? I'm getting real tired of those women.

[If you are running firefox you can install adblocker and flashblocker plugins. That should take care of it. --Mod]

Posted by: Chris K on December 21, 2009 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

The way John McCain dumped his first wife was exceptionally classy. So, 30 years ago, anyway, he clearly had class.

Posted by: rabbit on December 21, 2009 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

If part of Obama's strategy is to get us all riled up to rally DC around bills sooner than they'd be apt to, I'm more than willing to throw a hissy fit on cue. I'm good at it and enjoy it, so I'm more than happy to denounce Obama and his policies when called upon to do so.

What concerns me is a) the blind followers who helped shift the bill rightward by staying united behind Obama for so long and b) that the ones throwing a hissy fit seem so sincere about it. I never, for one minute, believe the tea baggers are a result of genuine outrage, but in our case, I fear it may actually be.

The problem is that we didn't turn up the outrage meter soon enough when Rahm called upon us to do so, and waited until we actually were mad for realsies to give Obama the room to maneuver. Imagine if we had progressives pushing progressive policy rather than reflexively supporting our President, and therefore started send out the mass emails for us to tear our hair out over dropping single payer. Then we'd probably have Lieberman screwing us by substituting the public option.

Posted by: Memekiller on December 21, 2009 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Congressman John Conyers released a statement, basically saying the Senate bill SUCKS and needs a major overhaul, including:

* Repeal of the anti-trust exemption for the insurance companies

* Addition of the Public Option because there is no competition for the insurance companies in the Senate bill

* Expansion of Medicaid to 150% of the federal poverty level instead of the 133% level in the Senate bill

* Substitution of the tax on millionaires for the tax on middle-class healthcare policies

* More generous subsidies for Americans who cannot afford health insurance

CALL CONGRESSMAN CONYERS AND TELL HIM YOU GOT HIS BACK:

202.225.5126

Posted by: Joe Friday on December 21, 2009 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Tlaloc, your elaborate bill-passage-through hardball tactics scenario... say you tell Joe Lieberman all those things, and he still tells you to fuck off. So you really do follow through and do them, because you have to show you mean business, and it feels rather satisfying. Fuck Joe Lieberman! Yeah! Hellz yeah!

But you still have 59 votes, not 60, and it still won't pass. Now what?

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on December 22, 2009 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

With that kind of mentality it doesn't matter if they had 60 senators or 99. They're just not that into us.

More dems helps nothing so long as the dems refuse to actually try.
Posted by: Tlaloc

So what's your alternative? Republicans? The Dems do not have 60 members; they have 58. Sanders of course is a reliable liberal vote; Lieberman, as has been clearly demonstrated, is anything but. Throw in a handful of Blue Dogs and you're quickly down to 53 or 54 votes, clearly enough to pass a public option on a straight floor vote, but not enough to get you there. Do away with the filibuster? Good idea! Where are the votes going to come from? Perhaps they could try reconciliation, assuming rules allow it. You're not going to get any of the Blue Dogs and you might lose other moderates who don't like the idea of bypassing regular procedure for a bill they may or may not like very much. Got your 50 votes? Maybe. Maybe not. You throw it up and you lose, what do you have? A year wasted and zero odds of passing it any time in the next decade. You throw three more Democrats into the Senate mix during the 2010 election and you got a chance to strengthen what this Congress is likely to pass. Take away a few seats and what do you have? Gridlock. Michael Steele will send you a thank you note.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on December 22, 2009 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans will threaten to destroy the collegiality of the Senate if the 60-vote cloture rule is rescinded. They don't seem to have noticed that they already have.

Posted by: bob h on December 22, 2009 at 6:56 AM | PERMALINK

Remember when McCain had class?

You mean like back in the early '90s when he publicly called his wife a "cunt".

Posted by: cwolf on December 22, 2009 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ezra makes a lot of great points here... that will convince the millions of voters who have advanced degrees in both public policy and health economics that the current bill is going to be a big improvement. I especially like the digression on the counterintuitive effects of the excise tax--great fodder for bumper stickers.

It's just mindboggling how little the pointy-headed liberal policy wonks have learned from the Republicans who have been regularly wiping the floor with them for the last 30 years, and are likely about to do again in 2010. To not have started with the simplicity of single payer, even if you knew you might not end up with it, was a stunning act of political suicide, particularly when populist rage against fat cats has rarely been keener. The fact that the Dems have ceded that advantage to the Republicans pretty much sums up the structural reason why this party will just keep on losing, except in times of extremely heightened economic insecurity when everyone feels like running to mommy and crying in her lap.

Posted by: jeff on December 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hey. Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it. Help me! Could you help me find sites on the: Ahoy mate baby boy bedding. I found only this - frog baby bedding. Brands are here shown through a lee software " evidence, bedding. Bedding, discovery real timediscovery learning is a gene of valuable hurricane and is worked a theoretical deleted support to demand. Waiting for a reply :o, Shunnar from Bulgaria.

Posted by: Shunnar on March 8, 2010 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly