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Your Breakfast Read, Monday Edition

Health Care Battle Waterloo Pseudo-reform Nightmare ?????

Can Democrats do anything right? Has there ever been a more incoherent group of people in the history of mankind?

Say What? Sebelius Touts Public Option on ‘This Week’, Throws It Under the Bus on CNN.

Please no! Not this “misspoke” nonsense. By the way, a politician who “misspoke”: Doesn’t that mean s/he said the truth inadvertently?
Administration Official: “Sebelius Misspoke.”

An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “misspoke” when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option “is not an essential part” of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president’s view, the most important element of the reform package.

Why was this insurance-industry-pet boy allowed to sabotage the whole thing from day 1, unencumbered?
Sen. Conrad: Public option a ‘wasted effort’

Conrad (D-N.D.), who supports setting up health insurance co-operatives with government seed money to compete with private insurers, described the public option as all but a lost cause.

At least some are holding firm but will they succeed?
TX Dem: Bill without public option ‘would be very, very difficult’

On the same day that a Cabinet member signaled the administration’s willingness to forego inclusion of a public health insurance option in the final version of health care reform legislation, a Texas Democrat who is also a registered nurse suggested that the public option might be a deal breaker for at least some House Democrats.

Meanwhile President Obama is back to what he does best: Fighting real Democrats and their agenda.
Obama picks fight with left on health reform

In backing away from its support for a public option in healthcare reform, the Obama administration is picking a fight with the liberal wing of the Democratic party
Liberal Democrats have insisted a public insurance option is necessary to ensure competition for private insurers
[…]
The left wing of the Democratic party already has been irritated by concessions its leaders have made on healthcare to centrists in the House and Senate.

Just compiling these stories gives me a headache. It’s early in the morning and I already need a drink. What a nightmare!


Around The Nation

Kinky sex and voodoo mark murder of Florida businessman
Who needs fiction when you have such real life saga?

The murdered man was having an extramarital affair, multiple law enforcement sources confirm, although no one can say if it had any bearing on his fate.

The victim is Ben Novack Jr., son of the founder of the Fontainebleau and a successful Fort Lauderdale businessman in his own right.

He was found duct-taped and bludgeoned on the morning of July 12 in Suite 452 of the Hilton Rye Brook, where he was overseeing an Amway convention. His wife discovered the body.

This guy is not gone already? Drip… Drip… Drip…
Sanford Aftermath: Where did the money go?

Gov. Mark Sanford has reimbursed himself more than $1,800 for expenses from his campaign account in the past 18 months. But Sanford won’t say what those expenses were.

Campaign records show Sanford reimbursed himself more than $1,100 about the same time as two 2008 trips to New York on which he said he met his Argentine lover, Maria Belen Chapur.

Isn’t this one of the things the new administration was supposed to “change” in Washington, DC?
New U.S. Envoy Takes Up Post

As Charles H. Rivkin prepares to take up the storied position of U.S. ambassador to Paris, a choice niche once occupied by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, he finds himself a particularly interesting case study in the long debate over America’s practice of appointing political favorites rather than diplomatic professionals to choice ambassadorships.

At 47, Mr. Rivkin is the youngest American envoy in Paris in 56 years. His father was a well-regarded diplomat, but the son has carved out his place in life in Hollywood. And, of course, he raised over $500,000 for Barack Obama in Southern California last year, and the palatial residence on the swanky rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré is his reward.


Economy Watch

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
Most health industry players would win under overhaul

When Congress and the White House began talking about a health care overhaul, the industries that profit from the $2.5 trillion system were understandably nervous.

But as the legislation takes shape, it appears much of the anxiety was misplaced. Most of the major health care players, including hospitals, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies, are likely to benefit – some handsomely – over the long term.

Is the world economy getting out of its tailspin?
Japan emerges from recession after year-long slump

Japan’s GDP grew 0.9 per cent in the April to June quarter, with annualised real growth rate of 3.7 per cent, breaking a run of four consecutive quarters of contraction. However, stock markets across Asia tumbled since economists had expected the world’s second largest economy to grow by 1 per cent in the second quarter.

The turnaround makes Japan the largest member of a growing club of developed economies that have managed to scrape their way back from successive quarters of economic contraction.

France and Germany last week became the first major European economies to make the leap back, while Hong Kong and Singapore have done the same in Asia.

Looks like it’s still to early to celebrate
The Signs Don’t Point To a Typical Recovery

The wounded U.S. economy has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. But many economists, who were caught off guard by the brutality of the downturn, are accentuating the negative, bracing for head winds that could cause the recovery to be weak.

Huge swaths of the financial system have been damaged, which could lock consumers and businesses out of loans for years to come. American families are saving more and relying less on borrowed money. In this global recession, no part of the world appears poised to lead a buoyant recovery. And the U.S. government’s aggressive stimulus efforts — including special Federal Reserve lending programs and full-throttle government spending — may need to wind down before the economy returns to solid footing.

The problem with a jobless and wageless recovery: The macros may all be pointing in the right direction but the people are just not feeling it. If you add to that a massive campaign of disinformation and distortion you get this:
Poll: 57% don’t see stimulus working

Six months after President Obama launched a $787 billion plan to right the nation’s economy, a majority of Americans think the avalanche of new federal aid has cost too much and done too little to end the recession.

Citigroup May Pressure Hall, Phibro Traders to Take Pay in Stock Not Cash

Citigroup Inc., under pressure from the Obama administration to reduce executive compensation, may try to persuade energy trader Andrew Hall to accept stock instead of cash in 2010 after paying him about $100 million last year, people familiar with the matter said.

Hall isn’t likely to accept such an offer because his pay is based on the performance of the Phibro LLC unit he heads, not the bank’s, making the sale of the business more likely as a way of placing him outside the government restrictions, the people said, declining to be identified because talks are still under way.


Op-ed Columns

This guy has a point: This is also who we are.
Democracy in action and the obnoxious

Don’t get too outraged, those of you who are looking down your noses at those unreasonable, misinformed anti-healthcare-reform town hallers. No matter what particular clan, tribe or party you belong to, you can’t really disown them any more than you can your own grandmother. You may not agree with them, but their brand of hotheaded, self-righteous, obnoxious, stick-it-to-the-manism is as American as apple pie.

Some of our commenters brought up the Swiss model when we were discussing what the US healthcare system could look like. Paul Krugman shares their opinion.
The Swiss Menace

Finally, the third route to universal coverage relies on private insurance companies, using a combination of regulation and subsidies to ensure that everyone is covered. Switzerland offers the clearest example: everyone is required to buy insurance, insurers can’t discriminate based on medical history or pre-existing conditions, and lower-income citizens get government help in paying for their policies.
[…]
If we were starting from scratch we probably wouldn’t have chosen this route. True “socialized medicine” would undoubtedly cost less, and a straightforward extension of Medicare-type coverage to all Americans would probably be cheaper than a Swiss-style system. That’s why I and others believe that a true public option competing with private insurers is extremely important: otherwise, rising costs could all too easily undermine the whole effort.

But a Swiss-style system of universal coverage would be a vast improvement on what we have now. And we already know that such systems work.

Are elections now turning into charades everywhere?
The Winner of Afghanistan Vote is Already Known

Most Afghans already believe they know who will win their nation’s presidential elections next week: the candidate chosen by the United States and its NATO allies.

The rest of the exercise will be merely elaborate political theater designed to show increasingly uneasy Western voters that progress is being made in the war-torn nation after seven years of US-led occupation.

To all those numbskulls who keep pushing that idiocy out there, stop it!
Hitler and Health Care Don’t Mix

[T]o deploy Nazi imagery as a matter of course diminishes one of humankind’s most potent lessons of its meaning and its power. The summer of 2009 has not been our finest hour on this front.


Around The World

Threats by Taliban May Sway Vote in Afghanistan

A group of Taliban fighters made their announcement in the bazaar of a nearby village a few days ago, and the word spread fast: anyone caught voting in the presidential election will have his finger — the one inked for the ballot — cut off.
[…]
Doubts about Pashtun participation are particularly injecting uncertainty into the campaign of the incumbent, Hamid Karzai. Five years ago, Mr. Karzai rode to an election victory on a wave of support from his fellow Pashtuns, who make up about 40 percent of Afghanistan’s population.

It’s all very slow and very tepid, but something is going on in Iran.
Clerics’ Call for Removal Challenges Iran Leader

A group of Iranian clerics has issued an anonymous letter calling Iran’s supreme leader a dictator and demanding his removal, the latest and perhaps strongest rhetorical attack on him yet in the country’s post-election turmoil.

Russia Suicide Bomb Kills at Least 12

A suicide bomber exploded a truck at a police station in Russia’s restive North Caucasus Monday, killing at least 12 people and wounding nearly 60 others, officials said.


From The World Of Science

Finally some good news.
Cancer Advance Identifies Drug to Destroy Powerful Stem Cells

Scientists said they have found a drug compound that attacks in a new way the stem cells that fuel tumor growth, opening a path to a new type of anti-cancer treatment.


Odds & Ends

So this is how people learn their “lines”? Why do Chinese and Japanese hate Dollar bills?
Nearly 90% of U.S. money has traces of cocaine

A study that tested paper money from 30 big cities in five countries—including the U.S., Brazil, Canada, China and Japan—found that big metropolitan areas in both Canada and the U.S. have an alarmingly high presence of cocaine on their currency, with traces of the narcotic on 85-90% of bills. Brazil, coming in just behind the North American nations, had contamination on 80% of paper money. On the other end of the spectrum, in China and Japan, cocaine was present on a much lower 12-20% of banknotes.

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180 Responses

  1. All that balloon testing on the public option this weekend was such a farce.

    Obama isn’t playing 11 dimensional chess, he’s playing this…

  2. The whole healthcare debate and the mess Dems managed to create here is really exhausting.

    I really thought this time it would be easy.

  3. Um, what the hell is Paul Krugman smoking? The Swiss government sets prices. Massachusetts does not set prices. Further, they have certain baseline of coverage that is paid with taxes, employee/employer contribution, the MA plan does not pay premiums through taxes. There is no basic coverage plus supplemental. Jesus H Christmas, will he ever give up? This isn’t a Euro health care model. We don’t have even the culture for the kind of regulations they have in Europe. If MA is like the Swiss why do they pay 10% GDP for health per year, and MA has some of the most pricely health care in the country? And, will he stop arguing the BO talking point, “if we were starting from scratch”? Just a year ago he was asking why not expand Medicare.

    • The MA system is better than what we have in the nation currently. It’s not the absolute horror you describe here day after day. It’s actually a good starting point and then then tweak what has not been so great.

      the main problem here is that it’s much more expensive than anticipated for a variety of reasons.

      Btw, we are not starting from scratch. It’s just a reality we have to deal with, not an Obama talking point.

      • Well, it’s a horror story for me. Further, it’s three years old and they are already having to cut subsidies, cut state plan enrollments, they have people signing up when sick, they dumping when well, our premiums have risen faster than the national average. of course, MA has good rates of insured, we always did. It’s a relatively wealthy state. I wonder if you already had insurance before the MA law. I’ll guess you did.

        The scratch thing is certainly a talking point. We are starting from disaster. Building on what works would be building on our government financed health care system. We are the only industrialized nation that ties basic health coverage to employment. It doesn’t work.

      • Also, I think when the state’s largest safety net hospital is suing the state for diverting funds for free care for the poor, it’s a real problem. Of course, MA has better health finance and certainly better care than most of the country. It always has. But it’s not a model for national health system. And, it certainly will take more than “tweaking” to make it work. And, I really resent you demeaning my opinions. If you want to argue for national MA health care on the merits, go right ahead.

        • Where did I demean your opinion? I just disagree with the way you always present the MA HC.

          I don’t think it’s the model the whole nation should overtake 1 to 1 but it has strengths you tend to completely overlook.

          • Then present the strengths instead of chatting about what I do “over and over again”. Since I’m living here uninsured, I tend to overlook the strengths. It’s true.

      • Also, people who buy through the Connector pay between3.5-4.5 percent of their health costs to Connector employee pay alone:

        http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/august/health_care_agencys.php

        And, if you think the reforms worked, you only one of 4 who does. And people who make between 25k-50k, the people the reforms were supposed to help most, are the least likely to think the reforms worked. So, please do not patronize me. I do not think the reforms are a success that only need tweaking. I think they have failed to deliver and have pushed more of the cost of health finance onto the middle class. I argue this day after day because they are basing a national plan on one that was only fully implemented 18 months ago and is already showing signs of distress. I’d rather not see more Americans go through what I have gone through. Think they are getting relief only to find they still can’t afford private insurance and now face a fine.

        • I don’t know all the details of the MA plan but all I know is that with Obama’s plan even with a public option, as Lambert at Corrente said this morning, only 2% more Americans will get public insurance four years from now. If that doesn’t sound like a huge fail then I don’t know what is.

  4. I’m wondering what Hillary and Bill are thinking about this health care mess…..

  5. Meanwhile the Congress etc. has one of THE best health care plans — meanwhile 50 million are without Insurance of any kind.

    And the people who THINK they have the “best” won’t think so when they really need help.

    Anyway we all know this . . . and we all knew what the outcome would be. Mrs. Bambam is a “health care” industry insider — she was paid an obscene salary to make sure that the poor were bused any where but HER hospital.

    So far we are quickly learning where 0bambam’s campaign war chest came from — Goldman Sucks — & the bonus/parasite guys and gals of Wall Street — oh and let’s not forget the Banking big boys. Now it appears that the health insurance guys want their cut of the pie as well.

    —————————–

    Back to the news round up — Yep — Afghanistan was and still is a mess. Stupid bush just had to go and blow the place up — and his stupid brother now wants to continue the stupid mess. Patriarchy at it’s worst — yep that’s the US, Iran, Afghanistan — oh crap make that most of the world.

    ———————-

    Interesting facts about Switzerland. Of course they are well prepared for any invasion.

    • Included in the 46M uninsured are employees who WORK for small businesses that can’t afford to offer employees health insurance.
      The public option would be great for small businesses and their employees!

      • Now those same businesses that still won’t be able to afford HC will now have to pay a penalty on top of that. Which of course means, you guessed it, dropping some workers or going out of business. If a small business is struggling so much that they can’t handle HC, they probably can’t handle the fines. Guess it’s their fault they’re not a bank or insurance company but instead are painting houses, or doing laundry, or similar.

      • A family of three costs annually 15,600.00, and it is estimated that it will go to 26,000.00 in less than ten years. I tell you Health Care will break the American Economy, while they protect the RICH!

        Plain and Simple, the economy is tied in to the Health Care Crisis…NO JOKE it is!

  6. I mean, is even Krugman walking away from his line in the sand on not just a public option, but a widely available Medicare-like public option? Because that is what it sounds like, and if so, that is truly sad.

    Obama was NEVER committed to any pub. opt.:
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1916813,00.html?iid=tsmodule

    Further, this isn’t a trial balloon. This is slowly giving the left the bad news.

    You will never get a Mark Warner, or a Kent Conrad to vote for a plan with a public option without the WH lobbying strongly and persistently for it, otherwise they have no cover with their more conservative constituents. The idea here is sickening. They are essentially saying this is a must-have for the House but not for us, so it is up to liberals in the House to come to terms with this and pass it anyway.

    One more thing about Krugman and his vaunted Swiss system. The “regulations” Obama sees as a must-have to pass reform have all been encouraged and suggested by the insurers in exchange for the mandated market, no exclusion of pre-conditions, no cherry picking, no underwriting. We don’t have a system of capitalism where we can either effectively regulate health finance companies, nor where we can trust health finance companies. This ain’t Switzerland.

    • More to the point, we are not the Swiss. Our cultures are as different as mice and men, not to mention the corporate malfeasance here that the Swiss would not tolerate.

  7. was that really matt lauer holding dr. dean’s feet to the fire over the public option reversal this morning? and did he really show the opposing quotes from the president and essentially ask WTF??? and did he really say to dr. dean but you said you wouldn’t support the president’s plan without the public option so what’s it going to be howie????

    It was before my coffee so I could have imagined the whole thing…. I mean it is NBC.

  8. howie completely backpedaled of course….. public option is not the only thing we’re working for, health insurance reform is different than providing a public option, what we’ve done here in vermont blah blah blah etc etc etc

  9. One good thing coming out of all of this. Americans woke up!! The remainder of this clown’s time will have the eyes of America on him.

  10. We’re all just doing great here.

  11. Sex games, voodoo, duct tape, Amway and murder. Poor Ben.

  12. I say let’s go for the Swedish model. They have universal coverage that only costs them 7% of GDP. PLUS there is paid leave for sickness factored into those costs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Sweden

  13. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

  14. Someone suggested – placing “freedom” in the name of the health care bill – and it would pass quickly!
    lol

  15. Here is what is going to happen next:

    The WH is going to turn the whole thing into “them” (insurance companies) against “us” (voters). It will be sorta like…”pay no attention to the insurance companies behind the curtain”…

    The WH cannot get past the angry voters that are turning out in droves at the townhall meets.

    The reason people are so angry is that they are tired of being railroaded. First, it was that it would be “UN-American” if there was so much as raised an eyebrow about going to war. Now, it is “UN-American” to not support healthcare reform.

    It looks like people are waking up to the real Bams. Hopefully, they see thru any guise.

    • Here is what is going to happen next:

      The WH is going to turn the whole thing into “them” (insurance companies) against “us” (voters). It will be sorta like…”pay no attention to the insurance companies behind the curtain”…

      This has already been happening. Obama, Pelosi, etc. have been trying to do this.

      • Indeed. These days “breaking news” is always, in fact, history. Everyone has to sign off on it and that takes time. That’s why any real surprise development requires days for the MSM to gin up their ” narrative “

  16. Rachel Maddow on Meet The Press – Sums up Obama’s legacy on health care effort

  17. Sen. Kent Conrad of Blue Cross & UnitedHealthcare says Public Option is Dead (Via http://crooksandliars.com ) Sen. Kent Conrad told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that there are not enough votes in the Senate to pass a public option for health insurance. “The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been,” said Conrad.

  18. Fox’s Talking Hemorrhoid, Wallace, Resuscitates Debunked Rationing Bogeyman (Via http://www.mediamatters.org ) On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly advanced the conservative talking point that Democrats’ health care reform proposals would create a system of rationing care, omitting the fact that rationing already happens under the current system. Indeed, Wallace did not acknowledge that rationing already occurs, even after his guest, American Medical Association president J. James Rohack, said, “[T]here’s a myth that rationing doesn’t occur right now. … That’s why this bill’s important. It gets rid of some of the rationing that’s occurring right now.”

    • YO, you dufuses, HR 676 Single Payer wasn’t even in President BOWING to the GOP OBama’s bill…STOP DOING SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Obama is you guy, he isn’t listening to 76% of AMERICANS that want a Public Option.

      • White House numbers –
        202-456-1111 & 456-1414

        • For the White House press 1, to leave a message press 1, now we are unable to take your message blah, blah….

          I don’t think they want to hear from us. I say we give our legislators 1/2 a vote because that is what co-ops do, see how that works out for them.

  19. Political Courage WHO has it?

  20. MUST WATCH!!!-Doctors Protest Senate for Single-Payer HealthCare-2/3 White House numbers –202-456-1111 & 456-1414

    • Wow – Baucus called the Police and had the single payer advocates removed!

      • Ayup! And the Obama Cheer Leaders didn’t give them any coverage! Baucus also laughed about it.

        Say, is Twitter down?

      • Arrests on Capitol Hill over Single Payer Health Care Issue On May 5, 2009, eight activists were arrested at a health care hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, in the Dirksen Office Building, Room 106. As soon as the Committee Chair, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), opened the proceedings, the activists began in turns to stand and to make comments, like: “Why isnt a single payer at the table?” They were immediately “escorted” out of the room by the Capitol Hill police and placed under arrest.

        • Dr. Flowers: “Stop this Abusive Health Care Situation!”

          At a press conference in the House Rayburn Office Building, on May 13, 2009, Dr. Margaret Flowers shared her feelings about her role as a member of “The Baucus Eight,” and its importance to the cause of Single Payer. She said: “It is time to stop this abusive health care situation” in the country! Along with seven other activists, Dr. Flowers was arrested for challenging, on May 5, 2009, the current rigged system in the Senate Dirksen Office Building. On that date, Single Payer advocates were barred from having their voices heard by the undemocratic Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, one Max Baucus (D-MT). Only the “Fat Cats” from the HMOs, Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industries were welcomed at Sen. Baucus table.-liamh2

    • How do you solve a problem like Baucus….how do you catch a cloud and pin it down….How do you find a word that means Baucus? A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

  21. AFL-CIO’s Trumka at SMWIA: Which Side Are They On? h/t http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/ Labor to Blue Dogs: Stab Us in the Back at Your Own Peril! (Video)

  22. Wonder if Michael Moore is SICKO and angry at being lied to and made totally irrelevant?

    • He’s too busy promoting his big enchilada (his next documentary). Not sounding like he is going to expose Obama on anything.. I am getting the feeling Moore is going to make a movie to make people feel oooohhhh poor Obama, look what kind of monsters he was up against.

    • “This is the big enchilada. This is about the thing that dominates all our lives — the economy. I made this movie as if it was going to be the last movie I was allowed to make.” Oh, and by the way, Moore adds, “it’s a comedy.”

      • I guess a few obots will see it. Serious liberals now consider him a complete buffoon and a waste of time. May very well be his last one.

      • Why should any liberal listen to a guy who continually makes the wrong decision, votes for the wrong people on the left, gives crypto-Republican Dems a pass while going after Gore and the Clintons, is foolish enough to buy into hope and change propaganda, and wrongly accused the Clintons of using racism in last year’s campaign? Liberals should boycott his movies until he stands up to Obama and demands single payer. If Bush was still in office and gave Wall Street the same bailouts Obama did, Moore’s documentary about the economy would be Bush & Co. but I’d be surprised if he places any blame on Obama in his next movie.

        • I often think MM does all that in order for him to make his movies. You can’t make those films if Gore or Hill are in as readily as you can with Bush and Obama.

          It’s good for his million dollar business to keep the Republicans and crypto-Republican Dems in power.

      • I made this movie as if it was going to be the last movie I was allowed to make.”

        If so, it’s because he will not do a movie exposing Barry

  23. Great article!
    Jane Smiley – What Now?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-smiley/what-now_b_260659.html

    • Thanks. I really enjoyed the comments too. Some people are seeing “a pattern” at last. A few are still doing the “poor poor Obama. Give him a chance, help him” etc.

      It doesn’t really help until we recognize that it’s not about Obama anymore. It’s about us – the American people. And it’s up to us. I want Fair Elections Now legislation to get representatives who are more responsive to their constituents. http://www.fairelectionsnow.org/

  24. Someone above said Dean flipflopped…according to HuffPuff, he didn’t…I didn’t watch it and I’ve only glanced at this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/17/howard-dean-on-public-opt_n_260851.html

    • Dean is now saying that the Secretary was wrong, that Public Option is essential to Health Care Reform. 😯 IN FIGHTING? Well, it’s about time.

      The losers:

      *47 Million uninsured

      *Seniors due to medicine deal (leaked MEMO)

      *25 Million under insured

      *2/3 of bankruptcies will continue to be due to medical bills.

      *60 Americans will continue to die each day due to lack of Health Care (why doesn’t Palin advocate on their behalf?)

      So, we will pay more and get no real reform.

    • Here’s the video

      Howard Dean on health care plan

      Aug. 17: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean talks with TODAY’s Matt Lauer about President Obama’s proposed health care reforms.

      http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/32444884#32444884

      • CNBC, “A controversial part of his Health Care- Ann Curry”, why isn’t the continued MILKING US DRY ‘controversial’.

        I totally think the media does a disservice by supporting anything Obama does.

  25. Totally off any topic here but… Tom DeLay is going to be on Dancing with the Stars? WTF?

  26. I just logged on so there may already be a reference but there was a link just a few days ago to Rahm Emanuel, the president in chief, saying that it was competition that is essential in health care reform not a “public option”. Sorry I do not have that link but since Rahm has said it, it must be so.

  27. I’m finally getting an idea why the town halls happened.
    It seems to me, the left was rightfully lukewarm for the Obama shit care bill….but get the right wing out to protest it ( and have the media pretend they are the only ones doing so ) and then the left may well support whatever Obama does because they don’t want to agree with “those people” . Other wise the town halls made no sense . This crowd doesn’t want to listen or explain…they want to stir up the bases . imo

    • You’re spot on!

    • I agree there was a secret agenda to the town halls. Obama isn’t into transparency. I don’t think Obama anticipated the huge amount of people against the bill but he must have planned different outcomes that would favor his agenda. Either he thought this would be as easy as campaigning to get people on board. Or as you said, getting misinformed right wingers riled up would allow team Obama to bring up the race card and vilify Americans against his plan in order to round up liberal support to defend the president in whatever he passes.

      • It might get dem supporters on board to see right wingers ( in the media) protesting the bill even if those dems think it’s shit too… It’s almost a reflect reaction to protest for whatever ” those people” are protesting against . The actual object is almost non important at that point. It’s also about riling up the bases to give the DC dems cave in cover….there aren’t enough GOP in DC to do the job. The bases still have differances…but the elite part of each party both want the same things for the companies : more money and less sick people .

  28. I’m still trying to figure out why Conrad has such a big voice at the table. This guy is senator of a state that has fewer people living in it that maybe 4 square blocks of Manhattan.

    • TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS and BIG DONATIONS…my assessment!

    • I’m guessing it’s cause he’s doing what they all want to get done and will have the fewer pissed off constituants to deal with….. a similar question could be why has the Dem Senate leader been from a small in population , red states for so many years.

    • I said months ago that there was something very wrong about the Senate Finance Committee deciding on health care. That’s supposed to be the job of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, isn’t it? Just take a look at the makeup of the two committees. HELP has a few actual liberals on it: Patty Murray, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken–and chaired by Ted Kennedy. Then take a look at who is on Finance. What it tells me is that Congress is still trying to make decisions based on what the program will cost, not what people need.

      • I don’t think they have ever looked at what a program will cost which is why we are in the mess we are in. You can not ignore that question. Our wants and needs are just about limitless; our resources aren’t.

        They sure as hell could spend more time figuring out what this country really needs and then financing it. They could more than fund our health care needs if they reversed every earmark that has been approved since Jan. 20, 2009.

  29. Tom DeLay is going to be on Dancing with the Stars???!

    Okay, I think it’s time for us to call up England and see if they’re still interested in running our country. Obviously we’re all too stupid to govern ourselves.

  30. The Signs Don’t Point To a Typical Recovery
    Economic Head Winds May Weaken Comeback

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/16/AR2009081602249.html

    “Traditional economic models are built like a rubber band: You pull it hard and it will snap back,” said Martin Neil Baily, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I find it hard to see where that will come from in this case.”

    In other words, the downturn may be so severe, global and transformative that this time, the rubber band popped.

  31. Now we know why the wording changed from Health Care Reform to Insurance Reform.

  32. Drudge says that the WH is giving Fishy the axe, e-mails are bouncing back.

  33. Yuck:

    “It appears that President Obama is making great progress on climate change, he is changing the political climate in the country back to Republican,” Pawlenty said during a speech to the second annual GOPAC conference in Chicago.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26138.html

  34. I see frequent reference to polls that say 70-76% of the American people support a single payer system. What is the source of these polls? I don’t think this is adding up. When were the data collected? It seems like the movement and opinion of the American people is not to have anything government run because it is just going to be a mess and another big add on to the national debt.

    Does anyone have a Pew Research or Gallup poll or even Rasmussen?

    • Yup, but their media actually reports what is going on, here we have seniors out yelling and don’t even realize that under a Public Option/ like HR 676 Single Payer they would get increased benefits with a bigger pool of folks and more medication coverage.

      • There is no public option like HR676 in any of the bills, other than HR676 itself! It’s more elusive than death panels. Why keep saying this when it’s just not true,

        • Yeah, McCaskill says it’s not even in any bill, she “apparently” (cough cough ahem) doesn’t even know about HR676.

          • Haha. She seems to deny what’s not in her version of true life. Then again maybe if it’s not in a Senate bill it doesn’t exist on her side of the capital. 🙂

    • One problem in this country is that Obama and the Dems have attempted to demonize the opposition. In order to get health reform, you have to win over hearts and minds, you have to address people’s concerns.

      In other countries people are pretty united about their health care. You don’t have this dynamic where Republicans are viewed as mutant troglodytes who shouldn’t even be allowed a seat at the table.

      • Canadians were very divided about their proposed system. Change doesn’t come easily anywhere and we’re no different. The uniting comes later after the angst has lessened.

        If Repubs don’t want to be viewed negatively, they should stop frightening people with lies and put forth some rational ideas. The Dems won the election, people voted against 8 years of Repub mismanagement(to put it kindly) and in favor of a different national direction. The Repubs need to embrace that message, not continue to ignore the majority of us in favor of the rabid few. Health care is a crucial issue for this entire country. Those who are addressing it honestly and rationally can sit at the table and obstructionists can just go stand outside somewhere as far as I’m concerned. And, yes, Obama has forfeited his seat, in my mind anyway, by virtue of his dishonesty.

    • What facts? Lies about the United Kingdom’s NHS? Lies about Canada’s medicare? Or lies about the consequences of providing all of us the benefits of our Medicare program which is working so well for our senior citizens and individuals with long-term disabilities?

      The British and Canadians have identified the lies and are waging a campaign to set the record straight. We need to greatly intensify our efforts to do the same here. http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/08/17/conservative-leader-david-cameron-on-the-nhs/

      They make a good point here, and frankly I would take Medicare any day…IT WORKS!

  35. Oh noes, Krugman effed up. The Swiss system does not let for-profit insurers play in the basic health coverage market:

    UPDATE: Krugman neglected to note that Switzerland does not allow for-profit insurers in its basic healthcare market. Per Russell Mokhiber: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/03-7

    Last year, former Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid made a great documentary for the PBS show Frontline titled Sick Around the World.

    Reid traveled to five countries that deliver health care for all – UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan – to learn about how they do it.

    Reid found that the one thing these five countries had in common – none allowed for-profit health insurance companies to sell basic medical coverage.

    […]

    Reid’s bottom line for health care reform – don’t let health insurance companies profit from selling basic health insurance.

    They can sell for-profit insurance for extras – breast enlargements, botox, hair transplants.

    But not for the basic health needs of the American people.

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/7283

    • Reid’s bottom line for health care reform – don’t let health insurance companies profit from selling basic health insurance.

      That’s the big problem they are all dancing around. They WANT the obscene for profit companies to stay… They are all that matter to our public officials .

      But they are also the problem. What we are seeing is like if doctors were presented with a cancer patient and their solution was to cut off off some limbs to keep the tumor healthy . Hmmm that don’t work…but that’s what the DC crowd of both parties want.

  36. (Here Comes the) Public Plan! (SHUCKS SHORT LIVED SONG)

  37. Walk for Healthcare from Chicago to D.C. Nearly 50 million Americans lack health insurance; many more are grossly uninsured. Every American deserves healthcare and as a matter of public health, economic security, and simple human dignity, healthcare is a common good. As a nation, healthcare for all makes us greater; as individuals it helps us each to reach our full potential.

  38. incoherent is exactly the word i have been searching for in describing my thoughts toward this health care debacle as lead by the dems. i watched obama this past weekend and between his dislocating his shoulder patting himself on his back for his accomplishments so far and his muddied explanations of basing savings on americans improved health because the are following him in droves in putting down their cigs and drinks and substituting broccoli and bluleberries is …. incomprehensibly incoherent.

  39. A MINOR CORRECTION: Above a link is posted to Buffet’s market moves to leave energy and get into some health and drug stocks—specifically Johnson and Johnson. However the impression is that he has been buying health insurers. In fact if you read that post you will see that Buffet has sold health insurers including Wellpoint and a couple of others. My guess is he sold because he figures the fundamentals are not there for them and they have gone up as much as they are going to.

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