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Countdown to HCR: Friday night cocktails and cameraderie at the Confluence watering hole

The clock is ticking. The whip count is changing fast and furious as arms are twisted and the administration pulls out the guilt card faster than a nun at a Catholic grade school.  The date is set; but the die is already cast.

We called this outcome many months ago.  In fact, several TC’ers – both frontpagers and commenters — accurately defined what the final terms would be.  I for one am not surprised.  It is a fait accompli’ and you can bet that a last minute Stupak deal will be part of the equation.  The good little Dems will roll over in submission while urinating on their own bellies and the progosphere will cheer the “historic” moment.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  However, we’ve come to this place before in troubling moments to commiserate and communicate our frustrations.

Let it out folks.  It’s going to be a long weekend.  Drinks are on me.  What are you having?



216 Responses

  1. A nice zinfandel

  2. I’d like Rico to hit me in the head with a hammer, please.

  3. I’ve been playing around with this tool — but the numbers don’t seem right to me.

    Does a single person really qualify for a subsidy at $44,000/year?

    • My calcs come up 0 for a single at 44K

      • OOps — Try 43,000. I forgot – that’s where the line goes.

      • I’m still getting zero. What age are you entering? I’m entering 40. And remember, if employer based HC is offered, as long as the employee contribution is less than 9.5% of income (over 4,000.00) no subsidy available.

        • Age 55 but, I wonder if it’s fixed. I’ll try it again.

          • The 55 year old and look at the premium cost, and then run the 40 year old:
            age 40 – premium cost: $3,500 (subsidy 0)
            age 55 – premium cost: $6,607 (subsidy 2303)

          • I’m still getting 396% of poverty at 43,000 — no matter what age. I’m using the Reconciliation numbers.

            But, you’re right — it’ll all change dramatically by the time it comes around.

          • Oh, I’m using the Senate bill because I think most of that extra fluff will go away. I’m betting the Senate bill is what survives.

          • My browser finally refreshed — there’s even a field that wasn’t there before (medium cost area)

            I think they were giving the %poverty of a family of 2 – not 1. Bu,t it’s fixed now.

    • Don’t even bother. Whatever it says now, by the time it’s implemented, there will be about a thousand loopholes and the number will have been “adjusted” 14 times. Any nobody will quite be able to explain why your claim was denied since you certainly seem to qualify.

  4. Any Mosel River riesling …

  5. All the A-listers are going to have Blackberry Thumb from all of the frantic Twittering today.

  6. Sanders says he’s fighting for Medicare for All by passing this bill, go figure…

    • Yes. True story.

    • Why isn’t Pelosi advocating a Public Option in this bill?

      • {{{slaps WV}}} wake up woman! where’ve you been?????

        • === that’s a “virtual” slap mind you. With a wet noodle.

          • Oh, I sometimes wonder where we went wrong, how could they believe that giving insurance companies a monopoly will reduce costs and provide care, while they trash the women folk’s rights?

          • They don’t believe that. They are corrupt and sold out.

        • I am heading for NO HOPEVILLE…with these Democrats, the ones I worked so hard to get elected. I just got off the phone with a friend and she and her partner were getting into it over this Bill. The men seem to buy all the bull, and it doesn’t seem to matter that women’s reproductive rights are being thrown out the window.

      • maybe she’d rather be publicly opted out of her speakership

        • I’m from the east bay area, but knew very little about Nancy Pelosi except she was a “liberal” dem. When she became Speaker, I was very proud to see an attractive (at the time) woman, who had climbed the leadership ladder to accept the gavel.

          Fast forward–Remember how excited those fools were at the “Roman columns” and Inaugural speeches? Double that for my excitement to see Ms Pelosi hand that gavel to the next Speaker.

  7. One ice cold fifth of Patron please. Oh and a Dos XX chaser.

    Here’s an interesting constitutional case against Demon Pass by former Appellate Judge Michael McConnell. The problem would seem to be not Deem and Pass but Deem, Pass, and Split

    Rep. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.), chair of the House Rules Committee and prime mover behind this approach, has released a letter from Yale Law School’s Jack Balkin asserting that a “rule which consolidates a vote on a bill and accompanying amendments, or, as in this case, a reconciliation measure and an amended bill, is within the House’s powers under Article I, Section 5, Clause 2.”

    But that does not actually address the point at issue. No one doubts that the House can consolidate two bills in a single measure; the question is whether, having done so, it may then hive the resulting bill into two parts, treating one part as an enrolled bill ready for presidential signature and the other part as a House bill ready for senatorial consideration. That seems inconsistent with the principle that the president may sign only bills in the exact form that they have passed both houses. A combination of two bills is not in “the same form” as either bill separately.

    This POS may not survive an SC challenge. The AGs of South Carolina and Florida are set to file suit whenever it passes.

    • and a

      and finally

      Bottoms up!

    • Giving individual states different rules VIOLATES THE COMMERCE CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION.
      If the Democrat party were serious of this thing even holding up in court they would have never made this closed door deals.

      • I remember how the GOP would relegate the dems to closet-size rooms for meetings and adjourn meeting on the spot by walking out and turning off the lights. I read last year that Ms Pelosi actually had the locks changed on the conference rooms.

      • 14th Amendment challenge—equal protection under the law?

        Worked for Dubya in 2000.

  8. Has the vote been put on the schedule? If it hasn’t, they don’t have the votes yet.

    The fact that Obama is cold-calling Republican Rep. Cao makes me think the Democratic well is dry. What can they offer him? Running unopposed in November?

    • I got a phone message from Cao inviting me an event with him tomorrow morning with various health screening tests. I’m wondering how he’s going to be in two places at one.

    • Cao said he’s voting NO, this morning on the floor of the House.

  9. DemocratUndergound demands that we cowtow to vicki kennedy on this matter.

    This bill is will do little to solve the current problems, but Ted’s cohorts gave up the healthcare fight when they chose lightweight Obama.

  10. huffity puffity:

    Hoping to assuage progressive Democrats who remain disappointed with the content of the health care reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) committed on Friday to holding a separate vote on a public option in the coming months.

    How reassuring! I’m so relieved about the junk insurance mandate now.

  11. Get me your best Cabernet, please.

  12. It’s not going to be over at the end of this weekend! The Republicans will have a party dragging out every personal perk being given to twist arms, and, most importantly, will prevent several of the changes from succeeding under reconciliation, e.g., the delay in the Cadillac tax for union-members. Thus, having altered the bill it will all have to go back to the house…and so, the never-ending saga will continue— When the president goes on TV and says he doesn’t know what’s in the bill yet because of its being in flux…then he’s given a whole new weapon for opponents!

  13. OT 2morrow the texas dems holds it Senatorial convention
    im gona submit a Resolution to end that crazy texas 2step

  14. Yes, it can be much worse.

    Kite Surfer Dies After Shark Attack In Stuart

    The week before this attack, my grandson got bumped by a shark but not bitten at Stuart Beach. He and his Mom surf practically every day.

  15. The new F word.

    We will Primary You!

    • Not so new, Woman Voter. Remember how many of the super delegates were threatened during the primary?

      I lost respect for several.

    • The Dems need to just lose general elections due to the base not showing up. I don’t think they’ll learn any other way. Getting someone in during the primary stage doesn’t seem like enough at this point–that person will be a different politician by the time they go to Washington and are co-opted into the Deem-ocrat Borg.

  16. Some day in the not-to-distant future we will be doing a post-mortem of the Obama Administration and we will see former Obots claim it’s all Hillary’s fault.

    “If Hillary hadn’t run such a bad campaign I never would have voted for Obama!”

  17. Gupta is talking about upcoming changes.

  18. Rep. Kucinich: Not Bought Off, Not Given Anything for Health Care Reform Vote Switch (pssst, is that really him…?)

  19. Good news: Caprica was really, really good!

  20. Wow, looks like Nancy really went and did it. FDL Stupak Abortion Language to Be Substituted for Senate Language in Deal to Secure Health Care Votes.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a deal with Rep. Bart Stupak in order to secure his vote and that of other anti-choice Democrats for the health care bill, which is scheduled to be voted on this Sunday. According to a member of Congress who was briefed on the matter, Pelosi has agreed to let Stupak have a vote on his amendment either before or after the House votes to pass the Senate bill. It instructs the Senate to substitute the language in his amendment for the Senate language on abortion

    • I was just reading this (throwing up)

    • Is it too late to put a curse on her?

    • Is someone using the freakin’ Jedi Mind Trick here? First, Stupak si convinced that he can vote for this bill and the Senate will pass his change just because Nancy promised. Then, the entire pro-choice caucus figures that a sack of manure labeled “health care” is fine and dandy, even though it doesn’t really do anything.

    • Anyone know if this also covers employer plans that get tax breaks or other fed subsidies, or how about women who receive individual federal aid. Are they prohibited from using their own money for an abortion because the amendment deems the money fungible. That’s what they’re saying at FDL. This is outrageous.

      • Yeah, if it goes to the Supreme court as a vote, how many of those catholic men are going to overturn a challenge any way. Certainly not the one that belongs to a society that practices self-flagellation… my guess is none of them The pope probably has them no speed dial; unlike the poor parishioners in Germany whose Children were raped by his priests.

      • Any insurance company that receives federal subsidies for insurance coverage is prohibited from covering abortions. FDL is right. It effectively outlaws abortion, except for people that have the financial means to go outside of the system (whatever that might be). Roe means NOTHING.

        • yup, that’s it.

          We have to LEAVE any disillusion we may have that the Democratic party is a friend of any woman if they do this. They need to know that every prochoice advocate walks with this decision.

          • Oh, but this is just Compromise! Progress requires compromise! /ugh

          • We’re so good at compromise that we capitulate on everything before we even get to the negotiating table where they strip out any remaining crumb. Lol What’s wrong with our negotiating strategy, I ask you?

          • “In legislation no bread is often better than half a loaf.”

            “Half a loaf, as a rule, dulls the appetite and destroys the keenness of interest in attaining the full loaf. A halfway measure never fairly tests the principle and may utterly discredit it. It is certain to weaken, disappoint, and dissipate public interest. Concession and compromise are almost always necessary in legislation, but they call for the most thorough and complete mastery of the principles involved, in order to fix the limit beyond which not one hair’s breadth can be yielded.”

            –-the late Robert M. “Fighting Bob” La Follette, Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator

    • Don’t worry, you guys! Stupak is “a non-starter.” Now 40 pro-choice reps are going to torpedo the bill. Oh, boy! Just you wait, this is GREAT news!

      • Universal healthcare is a non-starter. Remember John Kerry (the ultimate presidential candidate as non-starter) said so.

      • Oh Lord, if only …

      • I’ll believe those 40 will torpedo the thing when the final vote is counted. I just don’t believe it.

        • They won’t; this is just a cover-your-ass bunraku to say they tried to stop it. I’d be most happy to be proven wrong.

          • And it’s bunraku that just makes so much sense. They “tried” to stop it. But, just as they were reaching their little hands out toward “no,” which pretty much definitively would have stopped it–something happened. Something very mysterious…

          • It’s also part of Reid’s re-election loser campaign.

        • I was just kidding, I don’t believe for a second that the pro-choicers will stand up. It’s just another piece of alternative theatre. I wonder if paying attention to Congress counts as credit toward a drama degree these days?

      • Laura Ingraham is filling in for Bill O tonight and keeps doing her wingnut job well and bullshitting that this bill will put us on the path to Obama’s real wish, single payer/socialized medicine. One can only hopenpray that’s true. Funny how the wingnuts don’t sound much different than the Sanders and the koolaids who think they’re fighting for medicare for all by passing this bill.

        • They’ve got their talking point and are sticking to it. What a bunch of dumbasses.

          • If they ever stopped saying socialism, they might have some credibility, but whenever I hear that word, I just shut down.

        • I suppose the feds could force everyone to buy insurance then take over all the insurance companies.

          But I’m pretty sure the health insurers could buy the governemtn at this point.

    • Damn, they really didn’t have the votes. How about that?

      • They had them, this is just a little unnecessary Valentine to Stupak, because why the hell not?

        • The Democratic party’s heart belongs to stupak. Always has. They saved the best for last.

          • As George Miller told Rosa DeLauro, the (Democratic) House is pro-life. He seemed all broken up about it, too.

          • Not broken up enough to take a stand. He is in lockstep with Pelousy. He is full of the Hopium and Obama love. He is my congressman and at a townhall meeting last year, he was practically crying with joy at the historic win of Obama.

          • Again, I was just joking. 🙂 He wasn’t broken up at all, in fact he was yelling at her and threatening her to get on board because pro-choicers have no power. Sorry that he’s your Congressman. Ick! 😦

          • Yeah, I am sorry too. I used to think he was a good guy, but 30 years is too long to be a congressman. Unfortunately, his seat is as safe as Pelousy’s, but I can still vote against him, which I did during the last primary.

        • I don’t believe they had 216 firm or Stupak would still be on the outs.

          • No but they always had Stupak’s vote if they needed it.

          • Prove that please.

            One other possibility is that the WH is pushing this to get Cao’s vote as the lone Republican. If they had 216 that’s the only reason for this because it plays hell with reconciliation in the Senate. Pelosi is not stupid enough to buy extra trouble there.

          • that Cao part is a good point.

            I can’t prove it other than their willingness to do it at the 11th hour suggests to me that it was never off the table. Ever since HCR came back after the Scott Brown speedbump, I’ve felt the Dems were prepared to bring back Stupak. I think for it to get included they had to hold off to the end–they built up fait accompli momentum instead of letting negativity over Stupak fester for weeks. Pelosi was so adamant at the HC summit “this bill isn’t about abortion” — I felt like that was laying it on thick, another one of their setups before the fall (kinda like Kucinich announcing “I’m a firm no” first). I actually hope you’re right Ralph and that they don’t have the votes. I would prefer for my instincts to be wrong about all of this and that this house of cards comes crashing down.

          • There is one worse possibility. If they have more than enough votes Pelosi may think the Stupak Blok is safer than other blue dogs and can afford to vote yes. So she’s making this deal to get them aboard and will be able to let others off the hook who really need to vote No or be a certain loss in November.

            That to me is the worst possibility since it means this thing is really a done deal in the House. Stupak has a presser at 11 am tomorrow and it should be interesting.

          • We can’t prove it, but everytime anyone starts to believe it’s real, we get slapped upside the head with something that shows it’s all been kabuki from the get-go. Ellsworth’s publicly committed to voting yes, and I personally can’t fathom why he’d throw away his chances at Bayh’s seat without at least being sure this was a lock to pass.

          • It’s better when you vote Yes on unpopular legislation that it doesn’t pass. Does you a lot less harm as a candidate.

          • It’s the public announcement part. It almost doesn’t matter what happens, he’s screwed now. He could have quietly voted yes and if it went down he could weasel out of, but committing himself like that is a hell of a gesture and Coates is already all over it. If he did it knowing it would fail or thinking it might, he’s a moron.

  21. Does anyone have a good link for Alegre’s Corner? Our’s seems to be out of date.

  22. Yes, Nancy sold the pro-choice women to Stupak, but Hillaryis44 is saying that some women bolted out of the meeting. So it is not a done deal. Even if Obama charms the women (like he did w/ Ohio’s Kaptur), it looks like it is difficult to do procedurally. Stupak wants to vote on an amendment to put his language back in senate bill, then vote on reconciliation and then stich it back to senate bill, Huh? That can’t be a law – it is swiss cheese and even a hungry rat won’t eat it.

    Nancy doesn’t have the votes. She is desperate and she is going to lose her plane.

    • I can’t imagine that there is a progressive left who hasn’t had to clean a horse head out of their bed already. Those Pro-Choicers aren’t going to go through that again. If they’ve already caved – they’ve caved.

    • Hard to know if this is real or not. Who can tell at this point.

      The vote prompted an angry backlash from members of the Pro-Choice Caucus, who vowed to kill any future healthcare bill containing the Stupak language, which they say goes beyond current law and places more restrictions on abortion than already exist. Leaders of the Pro-Choice Caucus, some 30 minutes after storming into Pelosi’s office, renewed that threat.

      “This concurrent resolution which Congressman Stupak and several others have filed, from the position of the people who signed my letter back in November, is a non-starter,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a Pro-Choice Caucus co-chairwoman. “We compromised to the concept ‘no federal funding for abortion,’ which is current law — we don’t like that. And so if Mr. Stupak and a few members, along with the Republicans, decide to use this to take healthcare down, then that loss on healthcare coverage is going to be on their hands.”

      DeGette said a move allowing the enrollment resolution to go forward would put “somewhere between 40 and 55” pro-abortion rights votes at stake.

      That math was also leading to counter-rumors, including from aides of anti-abortion rights Democrats, that Pelosi could not realistically be putting even a dozen votes from the left at stake for the sake of Stupak and his allies.

    • It doesn’t seem this can fit into reconciliation. To even get it to the Senate as part of demon pass, the Stupak vote would have to come first. Even then I’ll bet it requires unanimous consent in the Senate and it won’t get it from the GOP.

  23. I’m kind of wishing that there WAS such a thing as 11th dimensional chess … and that you get Medicare for Everyone when you win.

  24. A message from Health Justice–

    This crap is going down just as I mail my $4,000 + Medicare Supplement insurance payment….


  25. Shame on you Riverdaughter.
    This bashing of the Catholic Church is horrible.
    Fuck abortion!

    • Yes yes, women are evil, sex is evil, blah blah, the little choir boys made me do it, we’ve heard it before. Though the expression “fuck abortion” is pretty darn funny when you think about it.

    • Go solve the problem of war and only then come back and wring your hands over abortion.

    • Who’s bashing the Catholic Church?

    • dontcha just lurve how is all Riverdaughter’s fault!!!

  26. Here’s StupidStupak, the Man of Principles, during a townhall last year

    • I don’t know if that’s proof enough for ya, Ralph, but I don’t buy for a second Stupak was gonna be left out of HCR if it got close to passing.

      • Tell me why you believe he would want in on HCR, without his amendment. That’s counterintuitive for unpopular legislation.

        Where do you get the idea he likes everything else about this bill except for the abortion language? Earlier this week he said the best thing for him would be to vote his conscience, which was a No, on a bad bill even though it would pass anyway. Pick one, he’s a politician.

        • It’s counterintuitive for anyone to support this bill, but that isn’t stopping them. Why do you think Stupak is more principled or rational than all the others who’ve sold out their principles and doomed their careers? They all seem to have decided to tie themselves to Obama and pray for a miracle.

        • The Hill:

          “You know, maybe for me that’s the best: I stay true to my principles and beliefs,” he said, and “vote no on this bill and then it passes anyways. Maybe for me is the best thing to do.”

          Beyond the abortion issue itself, Stupak said he feels conflicted because he has always supported healthcare reform.

          Stupak sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which authored much of the House’s healthcare bill, and chairs its powerful Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. Stupak chaired memorable hearings last year at which he and his fellow panelists took health insurance executives to task over the practice of rescissions, or canceling policies when a patient’s bills get too high.

          “It’s caused a lot of internal conflict. ‘Am I doing the right thing,’ you know?” he said. “I believe everyone should have healthcare. In all my correspondence — I’ve been saying for years — it’s a right, not a privilege.”

          Stupak has never signed up for federal health benefits because he promised voters in 1992 that he wouldn’t until universal healthcare was enacted.

          He also said was denied coverage for a pre-existing injury when he got his insurance from the Michigan Legislature: “I can identify with those people who have been before my committee.”

          But in the end, the abortion issue has trumped other concerns. “It’s a belief for me, so it’s easier to do. And it’s a belief for my district, so I guess it’s easier to do,” he said.

          It sounds like the abortion language is the sticking point for him–not the rest of the bill. And, that he wants the bill to pass whether he votes for it or not. So if he got the amendment he wants, why wouldn’t he vote for it? I don’t know why Dems support this bad bill when it’s so counterintuitive, but they still seem to think Obama will bring them electoral fortunes if they just stick it out long enough. They’re gamblers chasing their losses. It doesn’t make sense, but there it is.

      • I buy it as much as I buy that liberal Senators are going to actually consider Stupak a deal breaker. 🙂 “Well, we tried, but….”

  27. The amount this new Democratic party sucks is even beyond what I previously thought, assuming this crap passes.

    I even understand the cretin gas bags for stealing what they can and sucking up to the oligarchy, but what’s hard to take are the complete fools who actually think this is good. They’re actually happy as they walk off the cliff. Jeebus.

  28. I’m escaping into psychedelia.

  29. I figure the healthcare bill will pass, if only because the Republicans want it to.

    I believe the Republicans secretly want the bill to pass so they can use it as an issue. They know the Dems have given them a golden opportunity. (They’ve been obstructing the bill in order to extract more concessions.)

    The Obamacrats might as well leave off their arm-twisting. This bill is a done deal. If the Repubs want something passed, it gets passed.

    • LOL, so true. They also want this to pass because it was like their bill. They basically proposed this bill in 1994 in response to Bill Clinton’s bill with it’s employer mandate.

  30. Granted this book is by Jonathan Alter, who’s vying to be Obama Ass-Kisser-in-Chief, but this preview is pretty amusing, particularly the account of Rahmbo’s tirade about Bo the First Dog.


    • During the campaign, according to Alter, Obama told David Axelrod that he thought being president would be an easier adjustment than being a candidate.

      That explains a lot.

      • You have to wonder, after seeing how visibly Clinton and Dubya aged in office, how any intelligent person could think such a thing.

    • Thanks for the link, kamiron.

    • Emanuel’s continual F-bombing is also well documented, if not exactly surprising. During the campaign, according to the book, Rahm told Bill Clinton to “stop acting like the fucking hack-in-chief.” Even Bo, the Obamas’ dog, was a recipient of Rahm’s rage. “A few weeks after the first family got a dog, Rahm Emanuel ripped into Bo, whose household accidents were consuming valuable presidential time in cleanups.” Alter reports Rahm saying, “I’m going to kill that fucking dog.” In one meeting with a junior staffer, Rahm apparently yelled: “Take your fucking tampon out and tell me what you have to say.”

      What a classy guy.

  31. forget the healthcare clusterf…k for a moment, and send me one of those ricos. don’t bother with the giftwrap, he looks mighty fine to me.

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