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AdLib On March - 21 - 2010

Watch the live feed below of The House’s historic vote on the HCR Bill and join the live blog below (I keep one window open with the feed and blog in a second window, minimizing them to put them side by side):

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

1,244 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    I must say good night friends , but I will leave you with this thought from the latest CNN poll:

    New poll numbers (PDF) from CNN. The topline number for the Affordable Care Act looks bad, 39% favor it with 59% opposed. Another way of looking at it, however, is that 43 percent think it

  2. whatsthatsound says:

    Killer quote from Nancy Pelosi, about Mr. Orange (Boehner):

    “Some people will do anything for the insurance companies.”

  3. PatsyT says:

    Health Care Reform in under 4 and a half minutes
    Starring Obama as the King
    Demint as the black knight


  4. Khirad says:

    I saw this somewhere else and thought it was perfect:


  5. bitohistory says:

    OK, kids Quiz time:

    Take a guess who had this to say:

    “This is the largest tax bill in history,” the Republican leader fumed. The reform “is unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted and wastefully financed.”

    And that wasn’t all. This “cruel hoax,” he said, this “folly” of “bungling and waste,” compared poorly to the “much less expensive” and “practical measures” favored by the Republicans.

    “We must repeal,” the GOP leader argued. “The Republican Party is pledged to do this.”

    I stole this, but who did say this and when , last week, yesterday? Mitch McConnell, Jim Demint…?

    For the answer, if you must: http://www.blogforarizona.com/blog/2010/03/the-specter-of-alf-landon.html

    • SueInCa says:

      OK I got it wrong, I was sure it was McCain

    • SueInCa says:

      Bito I was right and I did not cheat. He is such an idiot, I knew it had to be him.

      Remember?
      You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately,” McCain told the audience in the town of Moon Township. “And you know, I couldn’t agree with them more.” I couldn’t disagree with you. I couldn’t agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god-loving, most, most patriotic part of America, and this is a great part of the country.”

    • KQuark says:

      I bet Alf did not have a US Birth Certificate. Dems need to campaign confidently on HCR. Most people will eventually respect accomplishment over failure.

      “>

      • bitohistory says:

        😆 OK, KQ, but did you know? The script today is such an echo, I had no idea when I read the blog.

        • KQuark says:

          I didn’t know what Alf Landon had to say but I know Reagan repeated the same socialism script during the Medicare fight and the GOP that opposed Truman’s plan when on and on about socialism then as well. My steadfast rule is conservatives are always on the wrong side of history.

          • bitohistory says:

            No, KQ, they are always right! You may enjoy this blog by Yglesias ( I enjoy his writing, often a little chuckle.)

            One of the striking things about the modern conservative movement is how un-introspective it is. In the movement

            • KQuark says:

              I love when they say things like SS is a ponzi scheme while it’s been solvent for over 70 years and far into the future.

      • kesmarn says:

        😆 KQ, I forgot all about that Alf!

        Surely he and his brother, John Boehner, were separated at birth.
        They share that orange “color that does not occur in the natural world.”

        (Will never forget how Obama cracked up himself at that line he delivered at the White House press corp dinner…so funny!)

      • Khirad says:

        Seriously, need a soda warning for that. Just the other night I nearly choked for real at something [Cartman interviewed by NPR].

        This was about as hilarious to scroll down to.

        *Hide the CATS!*

    • Khirad says:

      Wow, never would have gotten that.

    • kesmarn says:

      Hey, my Pal! I confess. I had to cheat to find out that it was Alf Landon who uttered those cranky words!

      I have two wishes:

      1. May the Repubs of 2010 be as successful as Alf was in their efforts to repeal Progressive legislation.

      2. May the same landslide that buried Alf, bury whomever the Repubs dig up to run against our Pres in 2012.

      From the song: “What’s It All About, Alfie?”

      “Are we meant to take more than we give
      Or are we meant to be kind?
      And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
      Then I guess it’s wise to be cruel.
      And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
      What will you lend on an old golden rule?
      As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie,
      I know there’s something much more,
      Something even non-believers can believe in.
      I believe in love, Alfie.”

      Think we could substitute “Johnny” (McC) for “Alfie?”

      And now I’m afraid I’m going to have to call it a day. How does it happen that we no sooner say “hello” than it’s “good-bye”? These days are flying by faster and faster and I know it couldn’t possibly be because I’m moving slower and slower…. 😉

  6. bitohistory says:

    I called my Rep.’s (Gabrielle-Gabby-Giffords) office today and thanked her for voting FOR HCR. This is the thanks she got from some in her district.

    The glass front door of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

    • Khirad says:

      And, can you blame her and those in her situation for holding off on announcing their vote until late?

      I thought about thanking her too, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

      Seriously, we all need to do this!

      I just sent her an email. Sorry, I know phoning is more standard, but, I’m like that. :-)

      • bitohistory says:

        Khirad, If she would have announced last week--I can’t imagine what would have happened to her office and staff.
        Now I understand her holding off. Sheese, someone may have used that “dropped gun.” Just saying.

        • Khirad says:

          Yup, this was my thinking on another representative from my old district, as well.

          Turns out I was right -- and he kept silent until the last minute for the same concerns -- though Gabby is the only incident I know of so far -- besides the Slaughter one preceding the vote.

          Anyone remember me fearing this stuff?

          They seriously think the Republic is tearing apart.

          They are just completely oblivious they’re the ones doing it…

  7. KQuark says:

    Ed Schultz is talking about how this will be a boon for small business which is so true. 35% tax credits now and 50% in the future. Now people can start small businesses and hire better talent up there with the big corporations.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I’m watching him too, KQ. And he is doing the right thing to highlight the benefits for small business. That was one of the main reasons Nancy Pelosi said last night, her one word description of the bill was “Opportunity.”

      But watching him, I have to chuckle a little. He was so angry and frustrated with Obama last month. He was one of the purists, although he tried to tone it tone at times.

    • nellie says:

      Ed had a real turn around on this bill. Which is good — I think he actually influences the way a lot of people look at things.

      Small businesses will survive with this bill. And new ones will be able to start up. People will be able to quit jobs they don’t want and start their own companies. It’s freedom. Imagine — we were all being held hostage by insurance companies. Who would want to preserve that system — except insurance companies???

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I know this sounds like I am getting carried away, but anyway:

        I understand Einstein’s theory of relativity only very dimly. I think the same can be said about the way I understand Obama. He is a political theorist and leader almost on the level of genius. Or maybe it’s simply that the message of hope, combined with good and decent policy is in the end, an unbeatable combination--one that will prevail. There have been other principled leaders with good intentions, but he is beyond that. Or maybe it’s just time for the fortunes of America to turn for the better. I don’t know, but this guy is somehow very special.

        • FrankenPC says:

          The theory of relativity only applies to the unstoppable force impacting the immovable object. It’s a mass/energy equation.

          Rhambo is the unstoppable force in this case.

        • nellie says:

          I think he’s special simply because he doesn’t aspire to be in the in-crowd. That makes a person different. He’s all about the job, not about the cache. When he says he doesn’t care if he’s a one-tern president, I think he means it. He’s all about helping people.

          He just happens to be a really smart guy.

          When really smart people put their minds to something, they usually succeed. But it’s unusual to find smart people in politics who are all about community service. People in politics are usually about the entitlement — the feeling of “I know best, I’m going to do this and that.” Obama asked *us* to make things happen. He believes in doing things from the ground up. That’s rare in politics. Especially in the office of president.

  8. SanityNow says:

    Here is a highly cynical reaction to the passing of HCR, or Obamacare according the haters, (link below) forwarded to me by a former colleague with whom I have a rolling debate. He, the colleague, happens to be an ultra reactionary.

    http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2109-Health-Care-Arbitrage-Obama-And-The-Dems.html

    excerpt:
    ” * If you refuse to buy health insurance, you will be fined on a sliding scale that amounts to 2% of your AGI. So if you make $100,000 a year, you could be fined $2,000 for “refusing” to buy insurance.

    * You cannot buy a catastrophic policy any more. The “cheapest” acceptable policy will cost somewhere around $15,000 for a single person, and over $20,000 for a family. This is, for most people, more than five times the maximum possible fine -- each and every year. The law makes it effectively impossible to maintain an existing catastrophic policy as they “renew” every year, and should any change be made you are then forced to buy something “acceptable” in the law (or pay the fine.)

    * When the “pre-existing condition” bar comes down you cannot be charged more or denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

    * I fully expect 20-50% premium increases immediately, and for the next three years sequentially, in all existing policies. This is precisely what the banks did in front of the CARD act becoming effective, and it will happen here as well. That is the cause of the short-term rocket shot in the health-related stocks this morning.

    * In addition the capital gains tax changes will do severe damage to capital formation immediately, and these changes will become especially severe starting in 2014. The market will anticipate these changes and react accordingly, although you certainly wouldn’t know it today.”

    Further, “Forget it folks -- this is the end of the health industry in America, and I will be looking for the recognition in the market (as expressed by technical analysis on the stocks in this sector) that the efficient market will come to the fore.

    The intention of The Democrats (and liberals generally) in this legislation is clear and impossible to hide -- they intend to completely destroy private health care in favor of a fully-government-run single-payer system. The efficient market guarantees this outcome given the law they passed, and they know it.”

    so the solution for some seems to be that they will do whatever they think they can get away with to circumvent and profit from the system, even if it means debilitation of that system.

    These people are parasites and have no sense of community or social responsibility.

  9. choicelady says:

    Breaking news: Rep. Lynne Woolsey (D-CA) will introduce a public option bill tomorrow as the President signs the existing health care reform bill!!!!!!

  10. Chernynkaya says:

    God, I love that David Plouffe is back!!

  11. Khirad says:

    I can’t stand Firebagging trolls.

    Help me out with the proposed PO options.

    I can’t stand them ’cause all they do is whine as if this is already all over and final. Doom and gloom bullshit. I want help to prepare a standard C&P response. Give them information, and myself into as well, to get of their whiny butts and pursue the things they claim they support. Seriously, they piss me off, the smug purist assholes.

    Otherwise, how is everyone? :-)

    I hear that DeMint’s Facebook is being inundated with ABBA. I haven’t checked myself, though.

    • bitohistory says:

      The bill leaves a lot of bad aspects of our system in place. But not passing the bill would leave all the bad aspects of our system in place and help no one.

      http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/03/noam-chomsky-in-the-veal-pen.php

      http://rawstory.com/2010/03/noam-chomsky-health-bill/

    • choicelady says:

      The PO is not alive anymore, Khirad. It was in the reconciliation master bill for about 15 hours, then eliminated in the Amendment that is what passed in the second major vote yesterday.

      Reid has promised to raise it very soon, and WE who lobby understand that there ARE the votes to pass it, but getting past filibuster will be, as always, highly difficult if not impossible. We cannot do reconciliation since there is one bill per year, and we just did it. But if Reid has any gumption, he will call for filibuster to be the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” version -- reinstating the “be on your feet and keep talking with everyone else locked in” status it used to have.

      Filibuster as a “oh, by the way, I’m filibustering and off to Aruba, see ya” is obscene. Let’s make PROCESS an important part of our advocacy? These things have to mean something, not just be forms of obstruction for obstruction’s sake alone.

      • KQuark says:

        The PO is alive every time the budget comes around.

        I just don’t think they’ll every break up a filibuster especially when Dems lose some seats in the midterms.

        From what I understand the Dems are not going to take up anymore tough votes this year. Dems are for the most part going to work on a couple small jobs bills and be in campaign mode. That’s why I knew Dems had to pass HCR now or never.

        I love Aruba. We took a cruise from there once. Have loads of fun!

        • bitohistory says:

          KQ, In today’s WH press conference, Gibbs stated that the President expects to sign a financial reform bill before years end. Wishful thinking?

          • KQuark says:

            I would like to see everyone have access to exchanges with a non-profit option, preferably a Medicare type option.

            I just don’t see the PO as that big a deal if only the uninsured have the option to buy it. Like I said it could become a dumping ground for high risk patients.

            I never was pollyanna on this reform as some people think. Insurance companies are going to try and game the system and test it for loopholes. But the most horrible practices they use today will be eliminated.

            Not to sound too conservative but it forces insurance companies to compete in a hostile regulatory environment. The NYTs had a good article. The providers who teamed up with this reform are going to be the big winners in this, but the insurance companies not so much.

      • Khirad says:

        Oh, so maybe they have a point…

        That doesn’t mean it can’t be raised in the future, though, right?

        These are things I want to get right.

        • choicelady says:

          Definitely WILL be raised -- Reid promised. See Sanity’s recommendation below. I will check that out because if it can be passed by majority vote and not blocked by filibuster, that would be HUGE.

      • SanityNow says:

        CL, are you absolutely sure about the PO language being amended out? Did you get some inside confirmation of that?

        and, if you are correct, wouldn’t the PO being brought to the floor of the Senate by Leader Reid fall under the Byrd Rule allowing it to be up for a simple majority vote? It would have a positive impact on the HCR law, which is the main criterion. Of course, they would probably need a CBO score to ensure that this was indeed the case.

        • choicelady says:

          Hi Sanity -- yeah, sorry to say, it’s out. I have the 153-page amendment that eliminates ALL the original Reconciliation Bill language that had the PO in it. Once the Amendment trumped the original bill, the PO and some other provisions (allowing undocumented immigrants to purchase insurance in the exchange) were dead for the time being.

          Now -- you raise a MOST tantalizing issue with the Byrd rule -- but since it is not part of the reconciliation act (one per year is all we get)it can’t pass that way. HOWEVER, I wonder if you’re on to something crucial if it’s an AMENDMENT to that act and could fall under the simple-majority Byrd rule? Clearly a PO has major budget savings implications!

          VERY clever, Sanity -- I will check that out! I freely admit that while I understand a lot about CA political process, Congress baffles me with its arcane rules. I will definitely toss that out to my allies and see what happens! WISE words from you, and many thanks! I will keep you all posted.

          • SanityNow says:

            well, if you are correct it is out and we only get to bring one reconciliation amendment per year, then I say bring up the PO in 365 days from the time 4872 is passed by the Senate and put it up for a 50+1 vote. We waited 100 years to start reform, we can easily wait an additional year to improve reform with the PO.

            • choicelady says:

              That is certainly the most probable option, but if you’re right about this as an amendment to reconciliation and it can be passed with simple majority -- then WOW! I just don’t know those rules and will ask around about that.

              If so, if you’re right, then we don’t have to wait a year. Reid said he’d raise it SOON, and I’m thinking he might not have said that if it were to be filibustered, so you really may be on to something.

              Keep the hope!

            • choicelady says:

              Reply to below-can’t click anymore!

              I think you’re quite right, and that the CBO could make a solid case for a PO inclusion as a responsible budget issue!

            • SanityNow says:

              well, just like the CBO estimates for 4872 essentially ensured that 4872 could be legally passed by reconciliation, I think a CBO estimate will also be needed to add the umph necessary to pass a PO as a reconciliation action item as well.

    • escribacat says:

      Khirad, do you mean the leftie extremists? They are my pet peeve as well.

      • PepeLepew says:

        “I didn’t get everything I wanted from the political process!”

        “Why can’t I get everything I want?”

        When has anyone ever gotten everything they wanted from politics. Do you think the extreme right wing really actually got everything they wanted under Bush?

        • KQuark says:

          Nope Bush wanted to privatize SS remember. The tax cuts were also about a third smaller than Bush wanted and they aren’t permanent.

          Bush’s heaviest lift was passing Medicare Part D which Republicans hated.

          So know not only did Bush not get everything he wanted by a long shot he did things the right wing hated.

        • FrankenPC says:

          There are a ton of those types at HufPo. It’s gets just as old as the troll rants.

      • Khirad says:

        ‘This bill should have been killed! Then America would have taken to the streets and we’d have REAL HCR!’

        ‘Insurance stocks going up.’

        They live in a world crafted of their own fantasy.

        I’m serious e’cat they are really getting on my nerves and I’m exhausted from responding to them individually. If they want to C&P crap, I’ll have my own prepared statements as well.

        This is what I used yesterday:

        Two conflicting memes from the Right and the Left:

        1) Government takeover
        2) Corporate gift

        Both agree in scrapping the bill and “starting over”.

        Latter’s critique I sympathize with, BUT they should support Senators Sander’s and Merkley’s PO to be introduced within the month or explain how we can “start over” or build off of nothing to improve this in the future -- not only speak of legitimate mistakes that were made. This is not cynicism. It is fatalism. Stop whining, start working to primary conservadems, or to improve this bill after passage, or explain why that isn’t feasible -- but starting over from nothing IS? If it isn’t obvious by now, there were too many forces against single payer. This will not be easy. It is frustrating and disheartening. But, if all I hear is whining and no constructive goals -- you are no better than a friend of Norquist and Repubs and will be treated as such.

        I want to scrap this and craft an accurate, bullet-proof reply.

        • KQuark says:

          It’s a center left bill in that order. But that’s a hell of an achievement in a center right country.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Khirad

          • KQuark says:

            Health insurance companies where hurt but providers are better off now. People like me will have insurance so the hospitals and doctors won’t have to write off our bills because the insurance company will have to pay them. So if you look at the composite healthcare stocks providers went up insurance went down.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Yeah. I was providing Khirad with a reply to those firebaggers who claim this bill sucks because the Ins. co. stocks went up.

            • KQuark says:

              For profit insurance no some day they will be competing with a large not for profit entity some day but for the companies that play it smart their are profits to be had but just not the unmitigated profits they made before. Companies like FedEx, UPS compete quite well with the government. They just need to understand this change is permanent and the companies that adapt will prosper.

          • Khirad says:

            Thanks, Cher. 😉

        • AdLib says:

          I don’t know how you can reason with people who don’t want to live in the present or reality.

          Whining about what should have happened is as deluded as Repubs claiming death panels.

          There are no time machines, the America we are living in now has HCR passed. The whiners’ choice is to either work constructively towards adding a PO and Single Payer in the days ahead or throwing themselves on the floor and continuing a tantrum that is getting more irrelevant and pathetic every day.

          • FrankenPC says:

            I believe it’s time to put LSD in the water supply and blast Break on Through from the Doors.

            I know of no other way to get people to pay attention to reality.

            • SueInCa says:

              Better yet, sell Alice B Toklas Brownies at the next CPAC, TeaParty Rally or Value Voters Summit

          • choicelady says:

            Khirad and AdLib -- I totally agree. At the health forum yesterday, one of my friends who is a total single payer fanatic just would NOT deal with the impending vote but kept saying it “only” covered 32 million people. He kept insisting it would leave OUT the newly unemployed who probably raise that figure to 46 million. I finally got exasperated and said the bill did not have numbers but conditions and that it would help everyone without health insurance. I then reminded him this is precisely how Germany and Switzerland started. He pooh-poohed that saying we “should” know better.

            Well, we aren’t there yet. Single payer needs a new name (and at the state level Medicare doesn’t work) and a LOT more advocacy and education for ordinary people. I’m working my butt off in CA for the bill, but we are not going to get it nationally save through incrementalism. That is how America WORKS. We aren’t France and England and places that have wage and incomes policies, national planning, etc. We ARE different in our sense of self and government, and it’s no use banging one’s head against it. Smart cookies look to how one works with what one has.

            Don’t whine! Organize!

  12. FrankenPC says:

    So…has fat boy left the U.S. yet?

    • Kalima says:

      Last thing I heard, he was refusing to pay the extra on two 50 kilo suitcases filled to the brim with OxyContin and Viagra. Sarah Palin is stuck in traffic on her way to help him out, signing autographs for her yet unwritten second book titled “All I know, I learned from my moose -- 10 easy steps to con people out of their money.”

  13. PepeLepew says:

    So, unfortunately, I was very busy tonight.

    Did I miss anything? 😀


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