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Afternoon in Snow

View from the back deck

Well, here I am, stuck inside while the snow piles up outside.  I had scheduled putting out the Christmas decorations in the yard today.  Nahgahappen.

But I have my rock salt, my ultrapasteurized milk, my snow shovel, a 46″ flat panel LCD TV with a bazillion channels of movies (Ooo! Star Trek!) and a couple of long burning crackly logs for the fireplace.  What I *don’t* have is comfort food.  Er, that would be beer, wine and bourbon.  I have one cup of pinot.  It’s good but one cup isn’t going to get me through the night.

Do I risk it and drive through the snow to the liquor store two miles away or do I sit here and continue to watch Tom Coburn on C-Span go off on a tangent about the 200+ programs the government has created to encourage students to pursue careers in math and science?  Since there aren’t any jobs in math and science anymore, he may actually have a point about government waste in that area….

I’d like to shout out to my township Post Office today.  They kept the line moving this morning.  I got almost up to the counter when I realized I left my money in my car.  I had to leave a growing line to go to the car and get it.  The line I had to rejoin moved very briskly and the Indian lady behind the counter was a model of speedy efficiency.  I was so happy I gave a waitress a 50% tip for lunch.  I guess I’m just happy that a very busy and successful year at work is behind me and I don’t have to go back to work until January.  I’m spending some deferred vacation days.  Yeah!!!

And I’m snowed in.


What are you up to?

Addendum:  Here’s a pic I took in Lahaina last August from the Mai Tai Bar on Front Street.  Guys, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Rico wants to know what your poison is.

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153 Responses

  1. NOW has come out against the Senate Bill. Statement by Terry O’Neill.

    I’m so glad I left the Democratic Party last year–this way I’ve only ripped out half of my hair instead of all of it.

    • Isn’t she a bit late with this complaint?

      • yup

      • Mebbe, but O’Neill wasnt president of NOW last year. Kim Gandy was So, yeah, O’Neill’s late but she’s more proactive than her predecessor.

        • Seems like she could have been on it a few weeks before it was a done deal, but yes, you are right, the blame belongs almowt entirely to Kimmy.

        • I don’t think we would’ve seen any press release if Kim Gandy were still president.

          • when Kim Gandy was on Bill Maher as a “Hillary supporter” during the primaries, she really didn’t make any case for Hillary. Pretty much the only thing she could think of to support Hillary was on the issue of abortion, and she barely said a sentence on that. I don’t know if she felt intimidated by the anti-Hillary atmosphere on that show or what, but it was really bad.

      • NOW came out against Stupak after it passed too.

        The weird thing was that before Stupak passed, NOW’s position was in support of the bill even with the screwy amendment.

        At the time I thought that was strange.

        But, I think maybe Terry O’Neill really was blindsided by the Dems and never thought they would sink this low and actually pass this Stupaksis crap.

      • I agree. NOW, PP, NARAL always end up behind the curve because they believe the lip service Dems pay to reproductive rights. Probably most of us knew yesterday that Nelson & Reid trying to reach “agreement” meant women were headed under the bus … again.

        • No, they were not blindsided. Or if they were, then they are the biggest fucking spineless co-dependent morons ever to walk the face of planet earth, and should resign in shame.

          I am TIRED of making excuses for these organizations. They get smacked in the face every time, but the next time a threat is made to smack women in the face, they always say, “He promised that this time he won’t, and we believe him.”

          Or they are, and have been for some time, more concerned with being one of the Left’s movers and shakers, and their access, and being part of the DC power brokers by sucking up to these misogynist creeps, than they have actual women.

          They are either CORRUPT or ABYSMALLY STUPID. Either way I have nothing but sheer contempt for any of them.

          • I agree that NARAL and PP are totally worthless, but Terry O’Neill is new leadership of NOW, who defeated Kim Gandy’s choice, and she *was* doing better than Kim Gandy up until now. I don’t know why she dropped the ball on Stupak and didn’t work harder to avoid this ever getting passed in the House to begin with. At first I found that very strange, very suspect, too, but after the way things have unfolded, I’m thinking it’s possible it really was an honest albeit incredibly stupid mistake.

          • What I read was that they backed the House bill because they were privately assured that Stupak would be taken out in conference.

            STUPID move. You come out swinging, not compromising ahead of time. State boldly and publicly and firmly that we are OPPOSED to this bill, and will FIGHT to see it fail. You can always change your mind later if they remove the Stupak crap.

            They did it backwards. They cut a deal to not be too vocal, to keep their objections civil and tepidbased on a fricking promise that the language would be removed. That is NOT how you bargain. You loudly oppose UNTIL they remove it. You don’t back off FIRST, based on a goddamned promise.

          • That’s what I say WMCB. These so-called activist organizations seem to always be reacting, and always behind the curve. And I too am sick of them getting a pass every time they make a proactive statement that’s a dollar short. JUST WORDS!!

          • Completely ass backwards strategy, I agree.

            When it comes to the problems with the bill in general, same ass backwards strategy the way Howard Dean played this, and the way Michael Moore did, and really most of the progressives.

            Then they all fall back on some form of “oh but Republicans would be soooo much worse.” With wimpy voices like these, it any wonder that the Democratic party thinks its voters have no place else to go? If the problem is that elected Democrats cave, how do we solve the problem by caving and voting for them?

          • Yeah, for strategy nelson done pretty well. Naral has been following this path since 2004, when they elected the Montanan President. They just didn’t all know it at the time.

      • Actually NOW has been protesting Stupak for a month now. They’ve been asking me for money to fight this sh!t and I’ve been sending it. But I just can’t bring myself to join an organization that mistook the misogynist-in-chief for “what a feminist looks like” superman. Until they eat that cover I’m not signing up.

        • wasn’t that Ms. magazine?

        • yup–the media pays practically ZERO attention to what NOW has been saying, but as far as the three big women’s organizations go–they have been the strongest to come out against this abortion language since it passed the House. NARAL is “against” the language, but they’re opposition has been weak imho, and PP by far is the worst,thinking that President Obama is their “strongest weapon” against Stupak.

          • But when it comes down to it, NOW’s power and influence are negligible. No one was going to change his vote because of NOW. The only way to build up their influence is to support successful primary challenges, send a message that there will be consequences.

          • I know the media will ignore the women’s groups anyway, but at least they could have been making some noise by sending out e-mails and letters and getting women involved and protesting the bill that way. It couldn’t have hurt, right?

          • It couldn’t have hurt, but IMO the important thing is for them to focus all their resources on real power politics. They dropped the ball for sure, but it’s not too late to have a more significant impact.

          • actually NOW under O’Neill had been pushing hard for single-payer until the Stupak thing came up. Then for one day (before the Stupak vote) they said ok, the bill has some good stuff and is better than nothing. Then the Stupak vote and they snapped back into reality and have been against the hc bill(s) ever since.

            Also, I don’t know about other races but NOW was pretty strong supporting Coakley, including using their own membership to round up volunteers for phone-banking, etc. before the election. They’re the only one of the big 3 or 4 groups who have called Obama out by name.

            I have no idea what that one lapse was about — it was almost like Gandy got a hold of the press release password for a day or something. I doubt it was because they’d been assured Stupak would get taken out in conference since they did reverse course before conference (which hasn’t happened yet). If I had to guess I’d say they might have been told Stupak wouldn’t pass.

          • Valhalla: Good summary–I remember the singlepayer push, and that would be my guess as to the reason for the lapse, too.

          • Stupak came up pretty fast. If I recall correctly, O’Neill got a strong press release out after the Stupak amendment vote before the House cloture vote. It was a small window, so don’t think they had time for any other action. Would hope O’Neill spoke to Pelosi at least.

          • They’re going to get rid of it in “conference committee.”

        • and yes, it was Ms. Mag’s cover.

          • Campaign for Gender Equality Bulletin
            Posted by Jill Buntenbach
            From our friends at the National Organization for Women. Please take action.

            Oppose Stealth Stupak Provision in Senate Bill

            Take Action NOW: Please call your senators immediately
            and urge them to oppose the Manager’s Amendment in the Senate health care reform bill, which will effectively make abortion coverage unavailable in health insurance exchanges and, ultimately, in private insurance policies as well. If the Manager’s Amendment passes, urge your senators to oppose the entire health reform bill.

            A nearly 400-page Manager’s Amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), being debated currently, contains a provision every bit as bad as the infamous House-passed Stupak-Pitts Amendment. The provision was drafted to gain the vote of abortion rights opponent Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and is a complicated variation of Stupak-Pitts. It allows any state to prohibit abortion coverage in health insurance exchanges. In addition, all funds that would pay for abortion services would have to be segregated from other private funds and federal subsidies. This requirement would apply to the tens of millions of women who would buy their insurance under the new exchanges and, in the opinion of expert health policy analysts, would mean that insurers simply would not provide abortion coverage in the exchange plans. Eventually, insurers would stop offering abortion coverage altogether.

            The Senate health care reform bill is highly flawed now, with the leadership
            having been forced by a lone senator, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), to drop the most important components of reform: a public option and the Medicare buy-in for persons ages 55 to 64. While there are remaining aspects of the legislation that are positive, these three factors — an abortion coverage ban, no public plan and no Medicare buy-in — make the Senate bill unacceptable, in our view.

            YOUR MESSAGE:

            Call your senators directly
            to their Washington, D.C., offices (please do not dial the main switchboard, as it is likely overwhelmed with calls from abortion rights opponents), and urge them to oppose the Manager’s Amendment. You can make the call by going to our website http://www.capwiz.com/now/dbq/officials/
            entering your zip code, and then clicking on the “info” link under each of your senators.

            If the Manager’s Amendment is adopted, ask your senators to vote against the
            entire bill. The Senate does not HAVE to pass this flawed bill before Christmas,
            but they MUST fix the bill to remove onerous abortion restrictions! And the
            senators should restore the public option and the Medicare buy-in as

          • I wonder if it would matter if I called mine.

    • too little too late from NOW

  2. Tom Coburn says it’s Tyranny! TYRANNY! to ask someone who makes $250,000/year to buy health insurance.
    It’s an outrage.
    I guess it’s OK to force someone who only makes $25,000/year to buy it.

  3. Rico, can you make this pinot stretch?

  4. Tom Coburn has a speech impediment. He keeps saying “dudn’t”. And he keeps talking.

  5. Oh, god, he’s tag teaming with John Thune. Where the f^%& is Al Franken when you need him?

  6. Didn’t DC get hit pretty hard? Are they all snowed in together at the Capitol?

  7. RD;

    I’m glad to catchy you here. I just wanted to let you konw: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

    I was here minding my own business and you kept writing obsessively about Mad Men and how great the show is.

    I had my cousin send me all 3 seasons as a Xmas gift and now whatever I had resembling a life left is gone. I’ve been watching the show every free minute I get. I take the DVD into my office laptop, which means a break is just an opportunity to watch part of an episode if I cant watch an entire. At home I go to bed even later that I normally did.

    It’s freezing here in Berlin and I’m currently watching episode 3 season 2.

    Thanks for ruining the part of my life the job didn’t take over.

    Btw, when’s Season 4 starting?

    • Brace yourself because this is going to be tough for a new MM addict to take: The new season doesn’t start until August 2010.

      Stop screaming.

      Put your head between your knees and breathe deeply. We’ve all been through it. We’ll help each other.

      No, there’s nothing good on TV.

      • I have lots of episodes left to watch. I decided to really watch them in chronological order.

        (OK, OK I cheated once. I couldn’t take it anymore and I went on Wikipedia, but tat was all.)

        AUGUST 2010??? What do they thing we’re supposed to do until then?

        • Well, there’s always xanax. You could get to know your family again. The Olympics are going to start soon. I love to watch curling.

    • Having seasons on DVD is cruel. If I get into a show I completely missed, any sense of discipline goes completely out the window. It’s virtually impossible to stop watching when there is no reason to wait, and they always provide a tantalizing hook at the end of each episode.

      • Plus, with Mad Men, you really have to watch an episode more than once to get all of the foreshadowing, symbolism, historical and cultural references and hook into the 60’s-2009 zeitgeist.

        • aww crap ~ I’m so screwed…..Mad Men is available instantly on NetFlix….. wife just said we should start it. See y’all in a couple of weeks. ….like I need another obsession.

  8. What can I make with Kahlua and absinthe?

  9. It’s a cool 65 on the edge of the desert; watching the palm trees sway in the breeze while I think of appropriate redress for Boxer and Feinstein.

    Here is the scenario I have thought up for all of them: The winter storm moves up from VA and hits DC with total gale force and piles of snow. It is a Donner Pass big blow. The congress is hunkered down in the halls of fame and blame but soon exhausts the stores of the House and Senate dining rooms. The HVAC shuts down. The pipes freeze. Debate grinds forward like a stuck snow plow. Communications are lost. Even Sen. Byrd is lost in the fray. Like the health care bill itself, no one knows what is going on. The pundits ponder. Will they resort to cannibalism? America waits.

  10. Well, well, well. Look what Dirty Harry snuck out of the bill in the dead of night.

    Reid also allowed health insurers to keep their current anti-trust exemptions, something House of Representatives Democrats did away with in their Nov. 7 version of the bill.

    Great, give them a captive market, and remove anything that can prevent them from monopolistic behavior. Doctors, BTW, are still bound by anti-trust statutes, so cannot collective bargain with the insurance companies. They can’t even discuss with one another what their contracted fee schedules are, for fear of lawsuits from Big Insurance accusing them of “colluding” to abuse the poor underdogs: Aetna and UHC and BCBS.

    Our Democratic Congress is bending over backwards to create the Insurers wet dream.

    I’m finally ready to say it: they are worse than Republicans. WORSE.

    • OK, that’s it. I was all in favor of fixing this POS. It’s got to die now.
      Kill the Bill!

      • Forgot my link – that was from Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1925705520091219

        I am so furious over that one, I could SPIT. These people are snakes in the grass.

        • “Additionally, a closely watched proposal that took aim at the use of doctors’ prescribing habits for marketing purposes was excluded. Such a measure had investors on edge since it would have been a major blow to IMS Health Inc (RX.N), which is in the process of bought in a deal worth $4 billion.”

          ….WTF? But dealing a major blow to women, seniors, lower-income, and middle-income ordinary citizens is OK. Guess we only count to Congress if we’re worth billions. Not that we couldn’t already tell we don’t matter.

          Scum, scum, scum.

      • There is no fixing it. For as long as these people are in charge they will try non stop to sneak in benefits for the special interests.

        • they’ve announced they have the 60 votes so it’s just a matter of getting it worked out in conference now.

          • What???

          • There isn’t going to be any conference by my guess. Nelson has said he won’t vote for cloture on any bill that is a change from the Senate bill.

          • This is going to be quite the battle! Bolt down the desks, the House will fight tooth and nail before approving the Senate version!

          • Oh, it’s not over yet by a long shot in the House. Why, they still have a week’s worth of empty blathering and posturing to do before they acquiesce! Don’t rush the important legislative process.

      • I mean, it’s so blatant – WTF? It’s like they got all those seats plus the Whitehouse, and are just drunkenly raking in all the dollars they can, selling votes to the highest bidder.

        Look, I have watched politics long enough to expect some corruption and favor-trading. I’m no political prude. But this is ridiculous. This is not some back door tete a tete, this is beyond anything I’ve seen before, form either party.

        I keep expecting a Wall Street ticker board to be on the wall of the Senate, with a rolling display of the bidding for their votes. It needs to be on CNBC: “Well, we’ve had a volatile day in the Senate Market, with Aetna purchasing an unprecedented number of shares of Reid just before the closing bell…”

      • BO says the insurers are very bad people. He’s not much more than a talking doll at this point. Emanuel and Axelrove have the strings.


  11. I’m hunkered down too. I ran around like crazy today, finishing up shopping, buying wrapping paper (very cheap at KMart!), and having a glass of pinot myself before I got trapped in the house. We’re supposed to get hit hard here in N’east NY/Western MA, so I have provisions, a warm blanket, “Julie/Julia” with Meryl Streep, and nowhere I have to be. I’m content.

  12. The wind is howling but the satellite signal is strong. The Legend of the Seeker is on my DVR.

    • It was good, but not as good as the book series. I like Terry Goodkind. I went looking for a British political satire film today called “In The Loop” that I really want to see. Found out it’s not out on DVD til next month, though.

      I did buy a new sci-fi novel, so will curl up with that later.

      • I’ve never read the books. The reviews on amazon and audible seem to be that Goodkind made his characters really juvenile and immature.
        So, I’ve decided to watch the series instead! Where the characters are a bit less juvenile and immature.
        I really like the way this story puts impossible choices in front of the characters. Can you love someone of your own free will if that person has the capacity of turning you into her eternal boy toy? How long can you resist the arrogance of power built into your own DNA? If you’re a wizard and you know a prophecy is likely to come true, does standing back or interfering result in its fullfillment? And why does the beautiful babe with the torture device and ability to resurrect people hang back from taking over the world? ‘Cos I know *I* would.
        Stuff like that make it interesting. Kahlen kicking butt in her corset and white dress keep me coming back.

        • The books were a little shallow, but still enjoyable. Better than a lot of the “I’m like Tolkien, except more treacly and formulaic, with no talent” crap that passes for fantasy. If you like sci-fi/fantasy, some of the best character development ever is in C.J. Cherryh’s stuff, especially her Foreigner series. Genius.

          • Ooo, I’ll have to check it out.
            Yeah, Tolkien really is the gold standard. I never get tired of him.

          • If you like “harder” sci-fi, I’d also recommend Peter F Hamilton’s “The Naked God” series. The Neutronium Alchemist, The Reality Dysfunction, etc.

  13. Aw, man! My battery is low. I have to get out from under the couch blanky to get the power cord.
    Can someone take a pee for me?

    • The hubby is all excited that he gets to use his new “big boy” toy snowblower, but he can’t find his Elmer Fudd hat that covers his ears so he’s tearing the house apart looking for it. If you have a knit beanie cap I can borrow to spare me the work of putting everything back he’s tearing out I’ll trade ya for a couple of bottles of Jack Daniels mixed with my “special” egg nog.

  14. I’ll trade you my wool beanie—red with mickey mouse logo and tassles on top—for some of that “special” egg nog—with a dash of Jack.

    • I’ll take it. He’s now rooting through MY stuff. Hurry! {{egg nog’s in the punchbowl on the bar. Help yourself}}

  15. BTW, theneighbor just called to “invite” us to their Christmas soiree. Hmmm…mebee cuz the snow kept all their guests away and we were their “desperate” call. Yeah, like they had a spontaneous gathering in the middle of blizzard.

    I thanked her for the “after” thought and told her I had plans. Company is better here.

    • How did you hold back saying “How’s that hope and change working out for you now?” to them???

  16. We were supposed to pick the daughter up at school today but she’s down near philly and they’re expecting 2 feet! Holey cow I hope we can get her tomorrow. The dining hall is closed and all she has is soy crisps.

    • What? No secret stash of ramen noodles and an electric hotpot?

      • I told her yesterday to head over to the co-op and get something for today but noooooooooo….she preferred calling us today at 3 to tell us she was starving with no food source while we’re 130 miles away with 2 feet of snow keeping us from getting her.


        • No veggie/vegan options in the vending machines? Sometimes they have healthier options hidden behind a stack of Hostess pies.

        • Unless she has a blood sugar problem, I think you should let her starve. What does she think you are? The Red Cross?
          This will learn her real good to go to the co-op next time. What was the message on the coffee mug? “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”?

      • I don’t suppose we could ride that new snow blower the whole way to Philly.

    • Louis Freeh was a pain in Clinton’s ass from the getgo. Same with Janet Reno. They were a littke like Frank Burns and Hotlips Houlihan. Damn, Zoe Baird and her nanny problem.

      • I think Louis Freeh was a little more than a pain. I say he was involved in something akin to treason. He couldn’t be bothered doing the real job that the FBI should be doing, but instead he was trying to implement his political vendetta against the Clinton’s . Freeh was in it big time ….the Federalist BS and that guy who was a spy, what was his name…Hansen. They were involved in some religious thingy…creepy. Louis has many skeletons in his closet.

    • Why is this crap coming up now. Who the hell is this author from Duquesne, and why did it take him nine years to write this stupid book. I’m thinking people are trying to keep Bill from going rogue on this bill like Dean. Whatever.

  17. Trotting out Lewinsky and Bill? The opportunities to deflect attention just never hits the bottom does it?

  18. Passing you guys a bucket to puke in first…

    Krugman quoting Yglesias to defend this bill:

    Matthew Yglesias makes a good point: The health care bill

    represents a return, after fifteen years, of the idea that congress should be trying to pass major legislation that tackles major national problems. And even beyond that, it restores an even longer-lost tradition of congress trying to pass major legislation on specifically progressive priorities.

    More than that, it represents a rejection of the view that the solution for all problems is to cut some taxes and remove some regulations. In that sense, what’s happening now, for all the disappointment it represents for progressives, is a historic moment.

    • Translation:

      “We like this because it proves some esoteric ideological point about how different we are from the Republicans. We are patting ourselves on the back because we created a “new govt program”, and that really pisses off the right, and that is a VICTORY, regardless of who it screws over. Now excuse me while I go sip a chardonnay in my ivory tower.”

      • That fucker can join the rest of the useless progressive hordes. Damn what a load of shit that was.

      • Krugman is so transparent. He thinks he has hidden it well behind all this bullshit, but it is very obvious that he just doesn’t want the GOP to score a win on this.

        The rest of his post gets much much worse. He describes the Senate bill as a wonderful, deficit-neutral bill, that tries all the cost containment ideas that have ever been suggested.

        • I don’t understand how he can scold disingenuousness and then praise the bill as a historic triumph for progressive ideals because it manages to be deficit neutral on the backs of older people and non-wealthy people with halfway decent insurance. That’s progressive? At least when Brooks makes the same stupid argument about deficit–he’s pretty conservative.

        • You summed up Krugman nicely there. He’s placing party before principles. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a denizen of Whole Foods Nation. I just thought for a while that Krugman was one of the few WFN liberals who was smart and established enough to write in the service of the American citizenry and not the crooks in the White House. Krugman will regret he supported this monstrosity.

      • He’s taking over from Olbermann as admin media cheerleader.

    • “historic moment” — hand me that bucket.

      Historic f*ck-over of the American people. And that Obot vocabulary is transparently obvious. What, do they have an email connection right into Krugman’s brain now?

    • If Krugman is quoting Yglesias, does that mean Yglesias owes him half his payola?

      Krugman should check in with Brooks every so often. Just yesterday, Brooks was crowing that the swell part of the bill is that it’s deficit neutral and newly insured persons will be paid for with Medicare cuts and taxes on better plans.

    • only an o-sheep would say something that crazy

  19. where’s the clown tonight?

  20. Stupak and McConnell

    This is precious. Tell me again why people would vote for a Democrat. Heh.

    An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D. Mich.) coordinated opposition this morning to a Senate compromise on the place of abortion in health care legislation this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, the Conference Catholic Bishops, and other anti-abortion groups, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO.

    The emails show that Stupak — who has so far remained silent on language accepted by Senator Ben Nelson (D. Neb.) and faces intense pressure from the White House to accept it — is already working behind the scenes to oppose the compromise.

    They also demonstrate a previously unseen degree of coordination between Stupak and the office of Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

    Like women weren’t already far enough the bus.

  21. they vote for Democrats so they can “Stand with Dean” under the bus

    • He’s trying to get the NRA on board.

    • maybe they’re like Goldman Sachs (i.e. they’d rather be able to exercise their 2nd amendment rights than pass meaningful reform) ?

    • That sounds kind of ominous, frankly. Don’t health and wellness programs cover things like domestic violence and psychiatric counseling, where the disclosure of firearms in the home might be kinda relevant?

      • Yes, if a patient is suicidal of homocidal, health care providers always ask, if there is a gun or weapon in the house, If so, health care providers ask the family members to remove it, both for the patient’s and family’s safety. Does this clause mean that health care providers can no longer ask for the firearms to be removed?

        • Yes, it would sound that way to me. They won’t even be able to ask about the possession of a firearm I don’t think,

          • WOW! That is really bad. Why would they do that??

          • if that’s what it is, that is very messed up and I don’t understand why gun rights groups would be in favor of that.

          • Why is a good question but when you format it, ther is little doubt what about it says.

            A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D)
            may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—
            (A) the presence or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or
            (B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

          • The 2nd amendment stuff actually goes on for about 2 pages. I posted just a snippet. It’s pretty extensive quite frankly

          • Well, physicians have mixed feelings on this – they are concerned about safety, but don’t wish to be a) social workers or b) forced to be an arm of an overly snoopy govt. . Notice that it doesn’t say doctors can’t ask, it says they cant be required to ask on a simple wellness exam survey.

            I actually don’t have a big problem with this one. Doctors really have no business poking into whether you own a gun unless there is REASON to do so (i.e the aforementioned suicidal patient). There is nothing here to prevent them inquiring if they think it necessary. They just won’t be required to ask for no particular reason.

    • hes sucking up to bluedogs .

    • I thought that was very strange.

  22. Al Franken sez he’s very happy:

    The Senate Democratic caucus is unified following a Saturday meeting and poised to pass a much-weakened health care reform proposal before Christmas day.

    “The mood was great,” said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of the party gathering earlier Saturday. “It was a very, very good mood, even [among] those of us who have disappointments about what is and isn’t in.”

    Though it’s far from what progressives and, according to surveys, most voters wanted in a final bill, Franken, in an interview with the Huffington Post, said that it’s “an enormous step forward.”

    “I’m convinced this will pass. I believe we have the 60 votes,” he said. Franken was encouraged that he and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) were able to insert into the final bill a provision that would require insurers, for individual and small group plans, to spend 80 percent of the money they take in on health care. Large plans would be required to spend 85 percent.

    “This is something that a lot of states have tried unsuccessfully to put on medical loss rations and insurance companies fight them and they fight this for a reason. So I’m very, very happy with this. I think it’s a big, big way to keep them in check,” said Franken. “I think it’s one of the biggest tools.”

    • I’m glad they had a nice party.

    • Wait, wasn’t it 90% last week?

      • Yes, it was 90 %. I think the Reuters link, listed above said that it was reduced, because the CBO said that 90% would be nationalization of the insurance companies.

        • Yes it was reduced to 80% for corporate plans and 85% for personal plans, or vice versa. Whatever the CBO wanted is what they set.

          And by the way, Fuck Al Franken along with the rest. He just plays a better senator on c-span.

        • And that would be a problem because….?

    • and here we sit in that lonesome alternative universe called reality, where everyone else points and laughs until the kool-aid wears off.

  23. C-Span replaying the president’s remarks today. He keeps looking down at his piece of paper. Apparently this bill is about deficit reduction and healthcare coverage for people is a footnote.

    • Thus, cutting Medicare and taxing people who are fortunate to have good health care coverage, is all about reducing the deficit. Silly us, for thinking that it was about health care coverage for the uninsured.

      Social Security is next.

    • Of course it’s about costs. They put that nasty little section in there that will completely remove Medicare from Congress’ supervision, and put it under the control of an executive-appointed board that can make whatever cuts they want, whenever they want.

      If this passes, we just handed then the power to completely dismantle Medicare without any of that pesky legislation and voting involved.

      • I assumed HHS administers Medicare and manages the trust fund. Is the Fed really going to get into this. Guess they bailed out AIG, so why not. Concerning.

    • Seems like deficit reduction may be the theme for the coming months. The Pelosi mantra now is “jobs reduce deficits, jobs reduce deficits.” Would be surprising if Krugman piles on here, but who knows these days. Don’t know who the deficit hawk is on the economic team. Saw this today about China backing off US treasuries. Think they’ve been quietly trading out of their dollar reserves.


  24. There’s a new thread up top. I’m out of my end of semester coma now.

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