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Your Breakfast Read, Tuesday Edition

FUBAR

Oh! I should have known. It’s all 11-dimensional chess.
Obama’s healthcare trade-off

By dropping his insistence on a public insurance option, President Obama angered some of his most loyal supporters but sharply improved the odds of passing a far-reaching healthcare overhaul.

Three cheers for the real Democrats.
Liberals revolt over public option

A group of left-leaning House Democrats tells POLITICO that a bill without a public option simply won’t win enough votes in their caucus – a sentiment that raises fresh questions about the prospects to enact sweeping health care reform this year.

“A bill without a public option won’t pass the House,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of Energy & Commerce Health subcommittee. “Not only are they weakening their proposal, but they are also weakening their hand. This is legislative subtraction by subtraction.”

Privately, the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus sent the same message to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said Sunday that a public plan is “not the essential element” of comprehensive reform.

Are these guys just fooling with us now?

Senate Democrats Call Public Option Essential

Several leading Democrats voiced concern Monday about an apparent White House shift on health-care reform, objecting to signals from senior administration officials that they would abandon the idea of a government-run insurance plan if it lacked the backing to pass Congress.

Memo to Democrats: Republicans don’t want ANY type of health care reform. It’s not about how you call it or how you structure it. They WILL sabotage it, with the same argument they always use. You think by renouncing a true reform and opting for “a co-op plan” you’ll appease them and even get them on board? Think again. And wait until serial liar Betsy McCaughey gets hold of that plan too.
Republicans: A Co-op Plan Is Government-Run Health Care

The RNC forwarded a press release/research memo to reporters today claiming that a “‘public option’ by any other name is still government health care.”


Politics

Clinton Puts Spotlight On Women’s Issues

She plans to press governments on abuses of women’s rights and make women more central in U.S. aid programs.

But her efforts go beyond the marble halls of government and show how she is redefining the role of secretary of state. Her trips are packed with town hall meetings and visits to micro-credit projects and women’s dinners. Ever the politician, she is using her star power to boost women who could be her allies.

“It’s just a constant effort to elevate people who, in their societies, may not even be known by their own leaders,” Clinton said in an interview. “My coming gives them a platform, which then gives us the chance to try and change the priorities of the governments.”

Is it just another 11-dimensional chess? We are getting used to it.
Obama ’supports repeal’ of same-sex marriage ban, lawyers say

The Obama administration sent mixed signals on same sex-marriage Monday, frustrating both sides of the contentious issue.

In a legal brief filed Monday, Justice Department lawyers asserted that the administration “does not support” a law that limits the federal definition of marriage to heterosexual couples, calling it “discriminatory” and saying that the administration “supports its repeal.”

Yet in that same brief, Justice Department lawyers ask a judge to throw out a lawsuit against the that very same law, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Israelis sour on Rahm Emanuel

An observant Jew with deep ties to Israel, Emanuel is viewed as something of a native son, his rise through the ranks of American politics celebrated by Israelis who reveled in details such as his childhood summers spent in Israel and his volunteer stint during the first Gulf War in an Israeli military program for civilians.

When Emanuel was tapped to be Obama’s chief of staff, a headline in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz kvelled “Obama’s first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff,” while the Jewish news service JTA went with “Rahm Emanuel: attack dog, policy wonk, committed Jew.”

But in a dramatic emotional shift, Israelis have become increasingly disenchanted with Emanuel, and the disappointment is especially intense on the Israeli right, which supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his opposition to Obama’s call for ceasing settlement activity.


Economy Watch

Regulators Were Told of Stanford Fraud, Investors Say

Investors who lost their savings in certificates of deposit issued by the Antiguan bank of R. Allen Stanford told a Congressional panel Monday that federal regulators had ignored warnings as early as 2003 that the bank’s finances were questionable.

“These agencies along with Stanford have robbed me of my American dream,” Craig Nelson, a 55-year-old resident of Magnolia Springs, Ala., testified at a Senate Banking Committee field hearing.

“I feel the U.S. government is responsible for my loss,” Mr. Nelson said, words that earned a standing ovation from the audience of more than 250 Stanford investors in a crowded auditorium.

It’s not just greed that drives top bankers

The culture of the City and Wall Street – and increasingly big business – is about more than bald numbers. It is also about arrogance – the belief, for example, among Enron executives, that they were “the smartest guys in the room”. Paying vast sums, out of kilter with value created, feeds this attitude and distorts judgment on what’s best for the company.

Why be so modest with our money? Hey, we give AIG $100 billion in March to spend as they wish.
New Chief at A.I.G. to Be Paid at Least $7 Million a Year

How much will it cost the American International Group to keep its chief executive to help stabilize the troubled insurer? At least $7 million a year.

World markets recover poise after big sell-off


Op-ed Columns

Don’t tell it to Right-wing demagogues.
Free-Market Death Panels

“Death panels”? I’ll tell you about death panels. My husband faced one some years ago, and it didn’t involve any government bureaucrat. It was run by our private insurer, the sort of corporate entity that foes of health care reform say will give you anything you want.

Bob Herbert has been on a roll lately. What is he on?
This Is Reform?

It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

Robert Kuttner wonders where the Liberal protesters are.
Obama Keeps Progressives Silent on Health Care

Something is severely off when economically stressed Americans confront members of Congress about “death panels” in the Obama health plan. The rumors, fanned by talk radio with a little help from Republicans, are false and even delusional. Yet the anger, if misdirected, is genuine.

People should be plenty angry about their jobs and their mortgages and their health insurance. With health care, however, virtually all of the fears attributed to the Obama health reform efforts more accurately describe the existing private system.

It is private insurance companies that ration care by deciding what is covered and what is not. Private plans limit which doctor and hospital you can use, define “preexisting conditions” and make insurance unaffordable for tens of millions. For many, all this can cause suffering and sometimes even death. Our one oasis of socialized medicine, Medicare, has the most choice and the least exclusion.

For Afghan Women, Rights Again at Risk

When the United States and its allies went to war against the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, “liberating the women of Afghanistan” was often cited as one of the reasons to seek “regime change.” More than seven years later, however, the situation for Afghan women remains dire.

The views expressed in this column are solely those of Richard Cohen
What Is ‘Palinism?’

The former governor’s claims are either boldly demagogic or just plain loopy, but will any Republican stand up to her?


Around The Nation

Is this the new favorite leisure now? And why is the Secret Service allowing this?
Twelve Carry Guns — Including Assault Rifle — Outside Obama Event

About 12 people were carrying guns, including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle, outside a building where President Obama was speaking today.

No one was arrested outside the VFW National Convention in Phoenix, according to the Associated Press, where hundreds of people demonstrated both for and against health care reform.

Is this going to be fun or just bizarre? Maybe both.
Tom DeLay joins ‘Dancing With the Stars’ cast

In a move startling even by the outlandish standards of reality television, “Dancing With the Stars” announced Monday that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — a pugnacious politician under indictment for alleged money-laundering — will be a contestant in the upcoming season.

Have you seen some strange spending on your credit card lately?
3 Indicted in Theft of 130 Million Card Numbers

In an indictment, the Justice Department said that Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami and two unnamed Russian conspirators made off with more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from late 2006 to early 2008.

Prosecutors called it the largest case of computer crime and identity theft ever prosecuted. According to the government, the culprits infiltrated the computer networks of Heartland Payment Systems, a payment processor in Princeton, N.J.; 7-Eleven; Hannaford Brothers, a regional supermarket chain; and two unnamed national retailers.

Mrs Sanford takes her turn. (At the microphone)
Notes on a Scandal

“[M]y husband has got some issues that he needs to work on, about happiness and what happiness means. You wish it wouldn’t come to a crisis like this, but I think when a lot of men get to this midpoint in life, they start asking questions that they probably should have asked a long time ago.” A former investment banker and a stay-at-home, full-time mother, Sanford doesn’t share her husband’s angst. “Midlife aging is different for men than for women,” she says. “Mark is worried about what his next job is. He worries about making money, running for office again, his legacy. I know my legacy is my children. I don’t worry about that.”

Shouldn’t we seriously consider a moratorium on all these executions?
Supreme Court Orders New Look at Death Row Case

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal trial court in Georgia to consider the case of Troy Davis, who is on death row in state prison there for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer. The case has attracted international attention, and 27 former prosecutors and judges had filed a brief supporting Mr. Davis.

Seven of the witnesses against Mr. Davis have recanted, and several people have implicated the prosecution’s main witness as the actual killer of the officer, Mark MacPhail.


Around The World

There is no equivocation here: We are completely withdrawing form Iraq.
US troops to return to Iraq despite Barack Obama’s withdrawal plan

The US military plans to send thousands of American soldiers back to the oil-rich north of Iraq to prevent a civil war between Arabs and Kurds.

The emergency move, which partially reverses a recent drawing- down, is the first major sign that President Obama’s withdrawal plan may not work. He wants all US combat troops out of Iraq within 12 months.

Pakistan Captures Taliban Spokesman

Security forces captured the Pakistani Taliban’s top spokesman in an operation near the Afghan border, a government official said Tuesday, dealing another blow to the militants following the reported killing of their leader earlier this month.

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121 Responses

  1. Firedoglake.com’s Jane Hamsher on Co-ops, Public Option, and the Politics of Health Care Reform

  2. Morning MAblue2! I am awake! The alarm company woke me up…what time is it in Germany?

    • It’s 12.15 pm here.

      • Good round up, just read the P one. No one wrote about the AR 15 at the Health Care Forum? I wonder if they will bring their tanks next?!? Are tanks legal?

        • Want to borrow an AK-47? Won’t be much help against a tank though.

          • Thank, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it, as I don’t own guns, more on peaceful protests and occasional yelling I will admit to (not to often though). In real life I have never even spanked my kids, and am of the philosophy of talking things through or staging silent marches (visually the message gets through).

  3. The DOMA statement was forced by Clinton’s.
    But, deliciously, Obama media now asks this question
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/could-hillary-have-been-right-about-obama/

  4. This cartoon summarizes Obama’s attitude

    You really want to go to a battle with this guy leading the troops?

    • didn’t anyone ever tell this guy that you can’t please all of the people all of the time?

      The guy wants to be loved by everyone – he wants to win all the time – believes his hype.

      He’s living in la-la land

      • I think that is O’s ‘fatal’ narcissistic flaw – wanting everyone to like him, being unable to take anyone not liking him or agreeing with him, makes it impossible for him to ever really take a stand, or ever really do something. He thought he could lead with ‘personality’, not needing experience, maturity or leadership qualities. (He thinks delegating is leadership. But even when one delegates, they must continue to oversee and lead.)

  5. Good morning, MABlue! Thanks for the great collection of links. The stories on the guns outside Obama’s town halls are starting to make me nervous. Aren’t there laws about protecting the President that could apply? The last thing we need right now is for some nut to get near Obama with a firearm. I can’t believe this is happening!

    • That whole thing is really getting creepy.

      You know that there’s a new book about the Secret Service (I’ll get the link later) stating that these guys are now stretched very thin because there are waaay too many death threats against Obama.

    • It is very disturbing. Can’t Secret Service do something about this?

    • I don’t think if anyone intended to harm Obama that they would be so conspicuous with their guns. They know the SS is watching their every move. Seems to me that it’s concealed weapons that are of concern because assassins keep themselves and their intentions hidden, based on our sad history of such events.These guys openly flaunting their weapons want attention for themselves and their “message” and to intimidate others around them imo.

  6. THAT is the final straw……
    Delay? on MY DWTS????? WTF???
    My letter writing campaign starts NOW.

  7. Ok, I thought the DOMA thing was good too. Then i read this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-rubysachs/obama-administration-atte_b_261624.html

    And, now I’m confused. 😦

  8. You have the wrong link on the Kuttner post. Here is the right one:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/17/AR2009081702363.html

  9. Now here is something I know a bit about — Allen Stanford — Sir Allen — from Antigua — or Texas.

    The July 09 issue of Vanity Fair had a long article about Standford — Pirate of the Caribbean.

    I’ve traveled through Antigua several times — and the Cricket Fields are right next to the airport. (Cricket — that English sport — something like baseball) Standford was a huge promoter of Cricket — and his bank, you could not miss the bank. Everything he did was in your face grandiose. I guess he didn’t give enough to the 0bama campaign?? So he got shut down. Meanwhile 0bambam is sheltering Goldman Sucks and who know who else?

    Anyway Standford managed to bamboozle a whole lot of people. According to the Vanity Fair article — he started out on a neighboring island — one that had the corner on Off Shore banking or instant bank set up — in the lawyer’s office. He got kicked out of that island and moved to Antigua — where he was knighted and given the keys to the island. I’m not really sure how he was knighted — because Antigua is a FORMER British colony and I thought that Antigua would have lost their “knighting” privileges when they went independent.

    Caribbean politics is so interesting — somewhat like Chicago politics.

  10. It’s not rocket science with those numbers.

    • 78% of the people (used to) support comprehensive reform.

      • SoD:

        You get it all wrong.

        It HAS TO be bipartisan or it doesn’t count and David Broder is not going to like it.

      • what? and actually HELP the American people?????
        whattaya smokin’ and why aren’t you sharing?

    • SOD: He does not have 60 votes in the Senate.

    • I’m beginning to think Obama had no intention of keeping any of the primary campaign promises made, and that Pelosi, Dean, Reid, and Kennedy were in on the joke.

  11. Memo to Democrats: Republicans don’t want ANY type of health care reform. It’s not about how you call it or how you structure it. They WILL sabotage it, with the same argument they always use. You think by renouncing a true reform and opting for “a co-op plan” you’ll appease them and even get them on board? Think again

    Indeed . They talk about Hill’s “mistakes” , the only real one was trying to accommodate the GOP as if they had good faith protests. Nope, their object was simply sabotage. She actualy answered thier “concerns” a few times before the bill became the lumbering thing people pretend it started out as .

    The other thing was Dems on the hill did nothing to support it…but that was true for just about everything Bill did. However Hillary had to court the GOP for votes back then, today’s Dems do not. So one really cannot compare the accommodating factors between then and now. If POTUS Hillary Clinton had the majorities Obama enjoys, and the support within the Dem ranks he commands, imo we would have at least a robust public option, if not single payer. But that’s exactly why Hillary was blocked from 1600 PA ave by the elite of both parties and their backers.

    • Only problem is that not only would HRC have republicans and members of the Back Stabbing Wing of the Democrat Party against her, she would have to put up with the likes of Dowd, Olberman, Matthews and the AP.
      Such is the CDS that she couldn’t get anything done.

      • True… But she and Bill faced that before and won quite a bit t and have since learned alot. Somethings would get done…a public option in a properly written bill at least. But you are right over . If she was simply almost stopped from 1600, and was , today, in the oval office , the same crew would try to stop her every move , every step of the way.

        • She’d go around them like she did in the primary. Straight to the people.
          She”s smarter and tougher than she was in 1993.

      • oh well thank ‘God we have Obama then….

        We were told she was too divisive, that joe 6 pack wouldn’t vote for her, etc…. none of that was true. So I am not afraid of what snotty media would do. Them we can handle.

        • The snot bag media is what helped to defeat Al Gore and John Kerry.
          We know better but Joe and Jane Sixpack still think Al is a serial liar. Seems they were right about the sell out Kerry though.

  12. oh! and excellent round up mablue2, thanks!

  13. Bob Herbert ….So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

    hmmm…. kind of sounds like the bank bailouts…and I maintain they are alike. Insurance is part of the financial service industry after all …. the sick people are not considered beyond how best to jettison them .

    Mrs Stanford has some words of wisdom there. Seems concidering her children ground her…perhaps he should think about them a little. It might help

  14. Thanks, mablue2 – great summation of what’s going on it the world today!

  15. I do not buy into the argument that Republicans want to destroy any health care reform. They think about reform in a different way—they are probably going to like the co-op model because it is individually (theoretically) owned and driven. The Repubs have their own internal divisions—those who are small business oriented and do not like the big corporations, banks and Wall ST—the mains street Repubs and those who do like the corps—the Wall St. /east coast repubs.

    I think Repubs would like to see a kind of Wal-Mart solution to health care. I realize this is not what progressives want but a lot of those Wal-Mart shoppers are the same folks who are going to Townhalls. They do want price competition; they don’t want it to be government driven.

    I do not contend this is a good solution. I just believe that is the thinking pattern and it is why I think you have to be careful about saying Repubs want no reform. It’s like saying Dems don’t want reform and planned to fail on this current effort—you do not plan a big political failure as a strategy for winning—that makes no sense, even for The One.

    • When have Republicans ever spoken seriously about HC reform? Isn’t their usual argument that “we have the best health care in the world”?

      They think about reform in a different way—they are probably going to like the co-op model because it is individually (theoretically) owned and driven.

      You have missed the news because Republican are already calling it “government takeover of health care”.

      • I heard Repubs on a Huckabee piece saying exactly the opposite—that they thought the co-ops were a good idea and could gather Repub support. I do understand that some Repubs have said the opposite. But then we get that mixed message from our side to—sometimes from the same person in the same speech!

    • I don’t believe they want to destroy any and all health care reform, either. Actually there’s been a few good ideas offered, opening up state lines of insurance so competition will be increased and cost will go down. Making catastrophic care insurance available with high deductables and cheap rates to prevent bankruptcies. And suggesting a bill that requires congress be part of whatever plan we come up with may have been political posturing, but it was a good idea.

      • How does high deductible insurance stop bankruptcies?

        • Because at least a couple of the R plans have proposed half of that deductible be paid by the employer into an HSA, and if needed, a govt subsidy for the other half.

          Truthfully, I want public insurance, but if that’s off the table, and the ONLY thing we are left with is “reforming” the insurance industry, then some of the R plans do a slightly better and less confusing job of that than HR3200 does.

          • If you get an illness that’s serious enough to force you into bankruptcy, your HSA account ain’t going to stop that.

          • The proposals I’ve seen have paired the HSA with catastrophic insurance that kicks in when the HSA is exhausted.

            Not nearly as good as a public option, but again, if we stipulate that we are ONLY discussing reforming insurance at this point, I don’t see where the Dems have any better ideas than the Repubs do in that regard.

          • MassLib, I don’t think any of the R plans are by any means a solution. I’m just pointing out that once you remove public option, their “plans” make just as much sense as the Dem ones do, and sometimes more.

            So tell me again why I should support the Dem versions, other than the desire to give them a “win”?

          • This is somewhat preferable to HR3200 since not so much money will be directed to the insurance companies bottom line.

            Probably does a better job for the uninsured while they’re at it. There’s even some incentive to save a few bucks since the HSA rolls over every year and anything remaining goes to the account holder.

            But remember all Republicans are evil rat bastards who want you to die with no insurance.

      • The Dems have (there to fore) done the heavy lifting for many years when it comes to social reforms…and the GOP could sit back snip , sabotage , and see to it the compaines were cared for before anything else. Perhaps some time ago it was different, however I have never heard them say anything but, as mablue2,says ” we have the best health care in the world” …end of discussion . …if pressed, then a few tweaks come out

        But now we have the Dems working the GOP’s corner and looking out for the insurance compaines…. we got GOP 1 and GOP 2.

        Actually there’s been a few good ideas offered, opening up state lines of insurance so competition will be increased and cost will go down

        Yes except the insurance compaines are against to that , so GOP 1 and GOP 2 ( formally known as the Democratic party) will be as well. I’m thinking.

        Crappy cable bills in the 90’s were sold on the idea competition will cuts costs…I’m still waiting for that to happen. They run that by to grease bills along it seems.

    • I believe one of the issues that Republicans are talking about is something about letting people buy insurance across state lines. I don’t understand it exactly but have heard it mentioned several time.

      Forget trying to have a converation where Republicans are not evil rat-bastards that want citizens to go without health care and die. It won’t fly here.

      I believe that my congressgritter Paul Ryan had quite a conprehensive plan that was never even mentioned in the media because it is so much easier to say that Republicans have no plan than to explain what their plan is. But then media doesn’t explain what the Democrats plan is either..

      I don’t agree with Republicans most of the time. But once you start with the “Republicans don’t want reform of any kind” drivel, I stop listening.

      • But surely you understand, if it’s not reported in the New York Times it simply didn’t happen.

  16. 11th Dimensional Chess = We’re f*cking you and you’re loving it.

  17. What an uplifting article on Hillary.

    “She talked chickens with female farmers in Kenya. She listened to the excruciating stories of rape victims in war-torn eastern Congo. And in South Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a housing project built by poor women, where she danced with a choir singing “Heel-a-ree! Heel-a-ree!”
    Clinton’s just-concluded 11-day trip to Africa has sent the clearest signal yet that she intends to make women’s rights one of her signature issues and a higher priority than ever before in American diplomacy.”
    ………

    “It is striking how much time Clinton dedicates to women’s events on her trips, even ones that receive little public attention. In South Africa, a clearly delighted Clinton spent 90 minutes at the housing project, twice as long as she met with South Africa’s president. “It feeds my heart,” she explained. “Which is really critical to me personally since a lot of what I do as secretary of state is very formalistic. It’s meetings with other officials.”

    Hillary really does bloom where she is planted

    • I am referring to the one MaBlue2 linked to above.

    • Well, this was her campaign promise as President. FP will focus on womens rights. Everyone said, oh, they all say that, but there’s Hill living up to her campaign promise, and she didn’t even get the top spot.

    • ” It feeds my heart,” she explained.” Great Hillary quotes there. This sort of thing has been Hill’s modus operandi for nearly 40 years. Listening to people , doing what she can and highlighting women. Bless her.

    • So glad that stupid story about her response to the student is not being blasted 24/7. Meanwhile, the stories about what she is really doing are so inspiring.

    • And there’s this cute thank you to Hillary Clinton for “dragging us into the 21st century and also for helping us grow up” on behalf of South African women.
      http://www.theherald.co.za/opinion/article.aspx?id=456009
      (h/t TexasTigress)

  18. I think Richard Cohen trying to compare Palin to McCarthy is over the top and hysterical. A woman questioning the president’s health care policy is not equivalent to rounding people up and accusing them of communism.

    • Richard Cohen is probably the worst columnist writing for a major paper.

      • Thank you for saying that! I’ll never forget his stupid column wherein he excoriated Hillary for her involvement in the flag-burning bill as opposed to the great constitutional lawyer Barack Obama, a column for which he had to print a retraction the following week because Obama supported the same bill.

        Or perhaps my all-time favorite http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2006/02/15/BL2006021501989.html of his, the one wherein he bemoaned the fact that high schools have math requirements (apparently not a strong suit of his) and then then smugly declared: “Writing is the highest form of reasoning.” What an idiot. He’s his own living refutation of that assertion.

    • Palin goes over the top, sure. But then, I find it funny that the likes of Cohen and Keith O and Tweety and Rachel and Michael Moore are shocked – shocked and APPALLED to find DEMAGOGUERY occurring in public debate! Horrors!

      Demagoguery is part and parcel of politics. BOTH sides do it. BOTH sides have many who do it subtly, and a few who do crassly. Neither has a leg to stand on getting all offended and prissy-pure that the other side is spouting hyperbole. Gimme a freaking break.

      • Yeah, I read Palin’s piece and thought it over the top, but I do understand, and to some degree sympathize, with her concerns. And I’m so getting tired of the argument that “any reform” will be better than what we presently have, as if Obama’s insurance-industry-friendly plan = Medicare = Social Security, or whatever socially ameliorating program you want to name. Obama’s plan, which leaves the private insurers still calling the shots and, indeed, gives them greater standing to deny coverage based on “outcomes-based assessments” of advised procedures, is scary to a lot of people, and quite possibly for good reason.

        I happen to think that Palin, whether you like her or not, has been deeply affected giving birth to Trig, who has Down Syndrome. As someone wrote on a health care blog.

        I think people are making a serious mistake when assume that everyone who raises lowered care for the disabled or elderly as worries as being products of the GOP or right-wing. I spent two years working on end-of-life legislation changes in state government. I saw disabled activists who told me — to my face — that they feared that there were doctors who wanted to let disabled people die because of their low “quality of life”. This rather shocking sentiment was not coming from rank-and-file members or the fringe of the group — it was coming from the leadership of some prominent disability rights groups. These were not right-wingers, but leftists who drew support from Democrat elected officials.

        This is what these folks believed, for better or worse, and it drove their stands on end of life issues. Nothing I could say would change their minds, either.

        I learned that there are a lot of people out there who distrust both the government and the medical system when it comes to care for the disabled and the terminally ill. This fear is real and it is not confined to Sarah Palin. Discount her, if you will, but understand she is saying things that a number of disability activists are likely applauding (right or wrong).

        Link

        • end of life counseling and those discussion are intensely private and the government has no business sticking it’s nose in. Doctors are already doing it when appropriate and paying them extra to have that discussion will only encourage them to do it when inappropriate. Right now social workers in most hospitals are handling this and that is probably as it should be. They show up and ask if you have a living will and would you like someone to come by and help you make your choices known.

          Sarah Palin may be using hyperbole, but she is kicking ass and getting things done and the left freaking hates her for it. They fear her and so they try to destroy her. I do not like the politics of personal destruction from the right or the left.

  19. Hope someone caught Rep. Anthony Weiner on Morning Joe. He laid out a good case for Medicare for all. He’ll be back on Thursday. Joe says he disagrees with him but loves the way he lays the issue out so well. Go Anthony!

  20. Thanks for the links, mablue2. I still disagree somewhat with your framing of the health care debate, though.

    I don’t think the Obama’s fatal flaw is that he is trying to appease Republicans. That’s dumb politics for sure, but it’s just the kabuki part. The fatal flaw is that he wants to appease the for-profit insurance industry.

    Let me put it this way: even if Obama were to stand up today and say he was giving up trying to get any Republican votes and was going with a bill with just Democratic votes, the end result of the bill would be bad policy. Why? Because he has already promised the for-profit insurance industry that he is not going to sign a bill that inflicts pain upon them. And the only meaningful healthcare reform that will actually improve people’s lives is one that inflicts pain on for-profit insurance.

  21. I don’t think the Obama’s fatal flaw is that he is trying to appease Republicans. …The fatal flaw is that he wants to appease the for-profit insurance industry.

    lol! Indeed. But usually that meant same thing . GOP = for-profit insurance industry . The new wrinkle today is the Dems have taken over the GOP corner of comforting the comfortable….we have two parties vying for the right to work for the upper crust .

    And the only meaningful healthcare reform that will actually improve people’s lives is one that inflicts pain on for-profit insurance.

    No doubt about it…but no one in DC wants that job.

    • … and this time around the Dems have won Wall Street’s “What Have You Done/Will You Do For Me Lately” contest with big campaign cash prizes.

  22. So Obama is a corrupt corporate Chicago scumbag.

    Quelle surprise!

    Who knew!

  23. That Richard Cohen piece is classic inside the Beltway elitist condescension, and it is what is giving the Dems a bad image.

    Case in point: Palin’s use of the term “death panels” is McCarthyist, but he doesn’t mention anything about Harry Reid calling protesters “evil-mongers,” and Pelosi calling them “un-American.” The New Dems are idiots. I’m liberal, and even I can’t stand them and their blatant narcissistic hypocrisy. His patronizing attitude only fuels the opposition. They are so tone deaf.

    • I couldn’t agree more. They go on about ” dumb tea baggers” …well hell they fell for Obama, how smart does that make them? It’s a class thing as well.

    • I’m liberal, and even I can’t stand them

      That sums it up for me, too fif. Putting policies aside, I can’t stand most of the Dem politicians and media boobs, just as persons. They reek of a thoroughly grating condescension. If I didn’t have very solid principles on policy that kept me in the liberal camp (and I DO), I’d have defected to the R side long ago. Why? Because I’m SICK of being talked at like I’m a mildly retarded and backward child.

      • Hear, hear – actually I’m pretty sick of the whole lot of them – there has to be a better way. 😕

    • Yes, isn’t it ironic that it’s Dem politicians who are calling protestors ‘evil-mongers’ and ‘un-American’ and yet Cohen doesn’t label the politicians McCarthyist? No, in his warped view the government’s trashing of protestors isn’t McCarthyist, it’s the protestors, the private citizens who are McCarthyist. Someone needs to call him out on his stupidity, illogic, and hypocrisy but of course columnists can say anything and are beholden to no one; they’re utterly shameless.

  24. I was just at Cinie’s place – her post “Screwed” is enlightening. She said

    “Why not a “private option” to a guaranteed government single payer health care program?”

    That is just what I’ve been hoping for – That’s basically what many seniors have today – Medicare with a secondary that they got from their employer – or elsewhere.

    This clip that Cinie has on the site is very interesting

  25. We can take out the mix the for-profits insurance compaines before we all go broke , or after we are all broke and they fall away.

    I’m hoping for before we all go broke…but I guessing it will be after

  26. wmcb, on August 18th, 2009 at 11:46 am Said:

    MassLib, I don’t think any of the R plans are by any means a solution. I’m just pointing out that once you remove public option, their “plans” make just as much sense as the Dem ones do, and sometimes more.

    So tell me again why I should support the Dem versions, other than the desire to give them a “win”

    Oh, I don’t support either of their plans. they are all based on a failed market system that no other industrialized country utilizes. I think they both suck.

  27. and now – from wheeling, wv – it’s
    “Hey! Hey! We’re The Humans”


  28. Ok, so now Obama is back to supporting the public option. Would be nice if somewhere along the way someone would define it.

  29. Has everyone heard that Robert Novak died?

  30. I will be kind here and say nothing. Except to note Noak’s rather mysterious role in the outing (and subsuquent flaming) of Valerie Plame. Odlly, Novak was never called to account for his public outing of a secret agent.

  31. actually, if you wanted to know what the Republican insiders were really thinking, Novak was they key. Ill miss him in that respect.

  32. WTF?

    Former US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Tuesday there is no room for a Palestinian state “in the middle of the Jewish homeland” and that Israel should be able to build settlements wherever it wants.

    That would be ethnic cleansing

    • The GOP must believe they have a shot at the Israeli lobby with Rahm dropping the ball and everything.

      I don’t know why you are so shocked myiq. These were the same people who felt Saddam was hunky dory as long he was acting in their interest. They are also the same folk who were conned by Chalabi. Huckabee still believes that Saddam had WMDs for cripes sake(even though he has no evidence). Jeebus, their side of the aisle is a train wreck regarding foreign policy.

  33. On the Tarmac in Phoenix. The worst Mexican food I have ever eaten can be found in the phoenix airport. This is something I wish I didn’t know. The adolescent is practicing her middle school insults on me. I have learned some new ones. In six hours, I’ll be in Maui, a place I haven’t visited since my 6th grade field trip.

  34. Oh, come on, Myiq! We’re having some fun here too!
    And so does Murdoch
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/murdoch-gloating-tabloid-and-wsj/

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