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AdLib On November - 13 - 2009

DEBATEThank you everyone who joined us for Debate Night Live, we hope you enjoyed it. The conversation now continues here on this post.

Please vote for which side you think won the debate then join in on the discussion here on the issue, the debate and your reviews, comments and suggestions on our new feature, Debate Night Live!

[poll id=”7″]

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."

169 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. javaz says:


    From the New York Times:

    “”In the official record of the historic House debate on overhauling health care, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with similarities. Often, that was no accident.
    Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world

    • nellie says:

      Wow, great find, javaz. This is why I push back when people say the NYT is useless. This is great work by Robert Pear. I’m starting to collect the names of reporters who are still doing tough, honest journalism.

      I’m not surprised by this story. Watching those proceedings, it looked like the GOP has all been giving the same crib sheet. But it’s nice to see it pointed out for people who didn’t have the time to spend all day in front of C-Span.

  2. seehowtheyrun says:

    Hi: I’m sorry I missed the debate, I had to work. From he comments I’ve read, it seems to have been a thought-provokingly wild success. I hope I can catch the next one.

  3. AlphaBitch says:

    Sorry I missed the debate; we had out of town company and were in “entertainment” mode. It is a great idea, and it seemed to have really generated some very thoughtful conversation. Thanks, Planet!

  4. BigDogMom says:

    I am so disapointed that I missed this, we lost power for a little while last night due to the storm. It looks like reading the comments here that the debate went off pretty good, oh, well next time….

  5. KQuark says:

    Goodnight and a huge thanks to KarateKid for debating me on the Planet. I know I was sure on my heels but I know most importantly we agree in much of the same principles on healthcare. My personal situation just makes me look at the situation much more pragmatically.

  6. nellie says:

    Well, folks, I must turn my attention to the household.

    Thanks, this was fun. Have a good night everyone. And sweet dreams.

  7. Athena says:

    Bringing up Abortion is the right wing

    • KQuark says:

      That’s what is so shitty about the Stupak amendment it brings up an issue that will divide Dems now on the issue of healthcare. Because face it Repubs are just a non-factor in the healthcare bill because that’s what they want.

    • nellie says:

      It’s so annoying that the right wing is never called out for this ploy. They had the White House, the House, the Senate, AND the Supreme Court for years and didn’t whisper the word abortion. Now, all of a sudden, it’s front and center.


      • Khirad says:

        Also why I laugh whenever they bring out their so-called HCR alternatives. Yeah, ’cause it was such a priority for them all those years…

    • AdLib says:

      Exactly. Wedge issues are all that the GOP has had pretty much since Nixon.

      I will say this, people have underestimated and thought the worst about the Dems and Health Care reform but in the end, they’ve overcome what others said they couldn’t.

      I think they will moderate the amendment to simply leave things the way they are and throw a bone to the Blue Dogs to say, “See, we won’t use this money specifically for abortions?” even though women will be free to have plans that provide abortions.

      Let’s see. I do remember when the public option was declared dead too. Let’s not underestimate the gamesmanship of the Dems and Obama.

  8. nellie says:

    Thank you KQuark and Karate Kid for pioneering this fun, new PlanetPOV event. I look forward to more of these.

  9. KevenSeven says:

    Anyway, the long and the short of it is that Stupack fucked us.

    This amendment is golden for the thugs, regardless of it being in or not.

    A win-win for reactionaries.

    • AdLib says:

      What Pelosi agreed to is only that she would allow him to put his amendment up for a vote. She did that, there was no commitment to keep it in the bill, especially in conference.

      The Dems have a handicap, Blue Dog douches who would rather see thousands of Americans die every year than not be re-elected.

      They need to either join the GOP and stay in the minority or start believing in evolution and evolve into 21st century human beings.

    • nellie says:

      It may not survive the conference. We need to see what happens in the senate.

      Maybe they should start talking about the Catholic church’s tax exemption….

      • KevenSeven says:

        The repugs benefit if the amendment stays in, the repugs benefit if the amendment is dropped.


        • nellie says:

          I think the GOP loses when this bill passes — in whatever form. That’s why they’re so hysterical right now.

          • Khirad says:

            You mean when the people whipped up in a frenzy realize that the USSA never materialized and that they were duped?


            Then again, some of those hardcore loons already think it’s here. No hope for the fringe. I’m just talking about bystanders that have fed into this scaremongering crap, but may come around.

            My grandma was funny when I visited this past fall. Really conservative, especially socially (she moved to live across the street from her evangelical church). But, she also lived through the Depression and just put it: what, do people really think the government is going to treat them worse than the health insurance companies?

            I think there’s more people out there like that who don’t think of the gov’t as the enemy, and that’s why the Repubs depend upon social wedge issues.

          • Kalima says:

            I agree 100% nellie, they lose big time and so will their benefactors from the competition. Can’t wait for more miserable Repub faces in Washington.

          • KevenSeven says:

            Now there I agree. I guess I was talking tactics, not strategy.

      • Khirad says:

        Like with the LDS.

      • escribacat says:

        Now wouldn’t that be a nice “amendment” to cram in there? Let’s pay for this by getting rid of tax exemptions for religious groups.

        • Lance says:

          Chuckle, Chuckle, Snort, Snort.

          That would be SO cool.

        • KQuark says:

          Fucking ay right.

        • nellie says:

          It’s the Catholic church that pushed for the Stupak Amendment. If they’re going to start playing political hardball, I want them to make their proper contribution to our revenue stream.

          • escribacat says:

            I didn’t know that. Yet another reason to feel the way I feel about them.

            • nellie says:

              They did some major threatening.

            • nellie says:

              Good question. It’s hard to say, but considering their revenue intake — a lot.

            • AdLib says:

              PatsyT, don’t have numbers but my rough guess is that it could pay for single payer insurance for All Americans with plenty left over.

            • PatsyT says:

              I have a question??
              What kind of $$$
              are we looking at if some of the
              “churches” pay some tax dollars?

          • AdLib says:

            The original concept behind not taxing the church was separation of church and state.

            Now that “church” is no longer separated from involvement in “state” by their own volition, why should they get tax exempt status when they’re not keeping their end of the deal?

            Think how many poor people and children could be helped by social services and education spending if the churches paid taxes.

            Jesus would approve.

            • AuntieChrist says:

              Who needs Satanism when “Christianity” exists?

              With apologies to all good Christians who practice those lessons from the sermon on the mount.

            • Kalima says:

              Apology accepted AC because I know exactly what America is up against.

            • KevenSeven says:

              This was a mixing of church and politics.

              Nothing new there.

            • escribacat says:

              Absolutely. After all, they provide a “product” and generate income like all other corporations.

              I wonder if the LDS have to pay taxes on all the bucks they make off of ancestry.com.

            • Khirad says:

              It said volumes when I first visited Temple Square and saw their corporate building next to the Temple. They’ve covered themselves on that stuff, legally.

  10. KQuark says:

    Adlib one of the technical problems I had was that my first statements were cut short by the chat limitations. There was obviously a limit on the number of characters in a chat line. I will put that limit in my debate notes for next week so the people debating knows it.

  11. nicole473 says:

    Good night everyone! And thanks again to KK & KQ for tackling this divisive issue.

  12. KevenSeven says:

    Well! That was fun!

    When AdLib offered this to the charter members, I offered a few suggestions. AdLib said he would consider them for the next time out. I think he is considering them now!

    KQ had his arguments lined up and delivered them.

    KK, you know I love you and all, but you did poorly. Attacking with “that is just speculation” and “you are throwing X under the bus” is weak, weak, weak.

    Of course it is fucking speculation. KQ is not God. Anything KQ says about the future is speculation. “The sun will rise in the East tomorrow” is speculation. You need to anticipate your correspondent’s “speculation” and knock it down with logic.

    And this whole “throw under the bus” meme is so tired I cannot express it. KQ did not offer the damned coat-hanger amemdment, nor did he author the dynamic of humanity that makes compromise necessary to achieve progress.

    I don’t like this bill, not even a little bit. And coat-hangers are a small part of my disdain.

    But I want the victory. I will hold my nose and live to fight another day.

    Or perhaps we can elect a Rethug Congress again?

    • bitohistory says:

      Lord, I’m going to sound like the old fart again…but K7 I agree! Legislation is nearly always incremental. Bills for social justice are always incremental!
      Hold your nose and get your foot in the door. Universal health care, as proposed in 1912, is a bit too long to not have gotten this close and let die.

    • KQuark says:

      I think you are being a bit hard on KK. I think the format was too loose. The only reason I was more prepared was because I got tips from my wife who was debate champ at one time. But still the format limited much of what I wanted to express. I would be willing to put together a few debate tips we can post on the planet for the next one.

      But KK had me on my heals for sure.

    • AdLib says:

      I think you’re being too harsh on KarateKid. Going in, he knew he had the minority opinion and didn’t hesitate to accept the role.

      That was exceptionally cool of him.

      Also, in the after-debate chat, there were members who appreciated KK’s stand on principle.

      So, though most here were predisposed to favor KQuark’s side, I think KarateKid deserves big props as well.

      • PatsyT says:

        My head is with KQ but my heart is with KK
        So I voted for KK
        Only so that the stronger the voices of KK are,
        that will fortify the Position of KQ.
        In other words
        The more the most progressive voice is broadcast-
        the more the middle will move to the left.

        • Khirad says:

          You summed it up for me. I have my personal convictions, but I also have pragmatic considerations.

          If anything, we could have been more progressive in the beginning. I still would like to know where the Dem leadership learned their haggling “skills”…

          • escribacat says:

            Yes. If you’re aiming for 5 you should start out asking for 10, not 5.

            • PatsyT says:

              Dems are not used to having the power.
              It’s like they have the whole amusment park to themselves and are just standing around saying
              -- I can’t believe how empty this place is !-

              Get over it & get busy
              Those rides have no lines, go get on them already!

        • escribacat says:

          I agree with you Patsy. Even though I take a more centrist position on this issue (and others), I am glad there are people further to the left of me fighting for movement toward the left. I often don’t like listening to their complaints about the centrist position, but I’m glad they’re there anyway.

      • javaz says:

        Going in, he was a man.

        Maybe next time you want to debate a woman’s issue, you’ll invite a woman to debate.

        • AdLib says:

          Coming out, he was a man too. 😉

          As was said, the debate turned to focus solely on the Stupak Amendment. That was not the focus of the question for the debate (though that’s fine), the question was did the Dems compromise too much.

          So, I would agree, if the Stupak Amendment was the debate issue, a woman’s POV would have been ideal to have since only women are directly affected by it.

          FWIW, I don’t think there is any way that it will be in the bill that Obama signs.

          • KQuark says:

            I knew going in the Stupak amendment was the weakness of my position, because it is the worst compromise in the bill. The Art of War says attack your enemies weakness mercilessly and that was the weakness on my side. It think the weakness in the pro side was history and the uninsured and that’s where I attacked his argument. I was also deliberately repetitive with the 15 years history/prediction to leave people with something they would remember from the debate.

        • KQuark says:

          My point is it should not be a woman’s or man’s issue because it should not be an abortion bill.

          • escribacat says:

            Exactly. It’s a health care bill. The Stupak amendment is a red herring — I think designed to put a stop to the bill.

            • nellie says:

              It’s a poison pill. Happens all the time. I don’t think congress should take the bait. Pass the bill. Revise it later.

            • escribacat says:

              Sounds like a plan.

            • KQuark says:

              Like I said during the debate if you missed it I think it’s worse, pure extortion.

        • nicole473 says:

          You have a point. But, most of the women here were fine with KQ arguing their side. I don’t think that men are incapable of understanding our issues.

      • escribacat says:

        I agree with you Adlib. I agree with KQuark’s position so I am predisposed, but KK made one argument that I thought was the best I’ve heard against the bill — which is that we could conceivably take out the best bits — outlawing pre-existing conditions, dumping sick people, caps out payouts, and other important things — and pass those laws independently, without all the compromised bits.

        I haven’t changed my position — I’d still like to see the bill passed and the exchange created and I still think this bill is just a foot in the door — as KQ pointed out, that’s how they got Social Security and MediCare in — but if things go very badly and the Stupak becomes a permanent wrench in the works and we end up with nothing…maybe it’s possible to switch to that as a plan B. Optimistic, perhaps.

      • KQuark says:

        Absolutely he did have the tougher position based on the folks here as well. I completely understand the principle progressive position in this case but I know the hard realities not only academically but through my life experience.

      • nicole473 says:


      • KevenSeven says:

        I think I was critiquing his technique, not his humanity.

        KK clearly did not anticipate KQ’s argument.

    • nicole473 says:

      “But I want the victory. I will hold my nose and live to fight another day.”

      Ditto that. And I would add that no major legislation (soc. security, medicare, etc.) has ever been passed in this country that didn’t smell to high heaven on it’s signing. These laws were all amended for the better after the fact, and that is what will happen with HCR IF we can be fucking adults, STOP the in-fighting, and GET THIS BILL THROUGH.

  13. bitohistory says:

    Wow!! that was good! WOW, I lost the site! Can I just vote this time as just good for all? This is a really good story on Sen Casy about the “Stupak add” he released a statement to saying in part:

    Senator Casey has been a vocal supporter of health care reform and voted for the HELP Committee bill in July. He supports the public option to increase competition and reduce costs. And he is offering amendments to improve health care for children. Senator Casey thinks that health care reform should not be used to change longstanding policies regarding federal financing of abortion which has been in place since 1976.

    Read more @http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/13/casey-stupak/

    Pretty interesting for a staunch pro-lifer.

  14. AdLib says:

    So…thoughts and suggestions about the Debate Night Live function? What did you like, what didn’t you like, what would you like to see next time?

    • Khirad says:

      Be prepared across the threads next time, and maybe allow a roll call (or not, we could see members who were there I guess), within reason.

      I was finishing up another thread and got there less than 10 minutes late myself, and am perhaps just trying to excuse my tardiness!

    • Athena says:

      I have reread the opening Pro/Con statements by KQ and KK. Neither one made a clear argument that specifically answered the debate topic. The debate topic was regarding the DEGREE OF COMPROMISE -- acceptable or not acceptable. KQ was stronger in his con argument (i.e., the Democrats did not compromise too much. )
      I never got a strong sense that KK was arguing that the DEGREE of COMPROMISE was so extreme that the bill was ruined. Other issues got tossed into discussion so that the arguments got very muddy.

    • KevenSeven says:

      Well, I think that we need more than ten minutes…..

      And I think that if the two of them had warmed up, had had a debate off line, then we could have avoided some of the personal chatter.

      And I still think teams of two might make it better.

    • PatsyT says:

      Like ? Love that you all put all this effort into this.
      How about a longer box and maybe the type a bit larger.

    • Kalima says:

      I might be the only one but I don’t text, never have so it all just moves too fast for my eyes to follow. Not a complaint, only a personal observation.

      Well done to both debaters btw.

      • AdLib says:

        Sorry about that, I had meant to throttle back the speed of posting after the debate, finally did towards the end of the open chat.

        I will see if I can enlarge the font, don’t know right now.

        • Kalima says:

          Please don’t fret on my part, it wasn’t the font size, just the speed, I can’t focus with the left eye so it takes longer to read.

          I can sit it out, the Chat I mean, read through it later and then comment on a thread like this later if I have anything to say that is.

        • bitohistory says:

          What Kalima said!

  15. PatsyT says:

    This is the kind of debate that needs to be out there.
    Thank you KK and KQ.

  16. AuntieChrist says:

    I couldn’t follow the debate until I launched Safari, but by then the debate was ending (it looked like it was moving along at a brisk pace…

    damn firefox.

  17. nicole473 says:

    KK & KQ,

    Thank you both for giving this your best effort……..kudos!

    • KQuark says:

      Thanks it was more nerve racking than I thought it would be. I think next time we should stick to 30 minutes for the individual debate with questions all by the moderator.

      • Lance says:

        That might be a lot better.

        Writing out some ideas on NotePad before the debate would be a good idea too, is you don’t consider that cheating.

      • Athena says:

        You are right, the time pressure to get statements posted AND respond to other post made everything hard to follow.
        The initial debate period needs to be slower. Pro has 3 minutes to write, Con has 3 minutes to respond, something like that.

    • AdLib says:

      Seconded, cheers to KarateKid and KQuark for launching Debate Night!

  18. AdLib says:

    So, back to the conversation, if the Stupak Amendment really has no chance of continuing in the bill or being signed by Pres. Obama, doesn’t all of this just give aid and comfort to the GOP?

    • AuntieChrist says:

      I don’t like the fact that Stupak is intentionally introducing restrictions to our national health care system which could put the rights of a woman’s reproductive rights in control of the Vatican, due to his amendment.

      • Athena says:

        Bringing up Abortion is the right wing’s fall back position. They haven’t contributed constructive elements to the Health care debate so they want to change the subject. No ideas on curbing our rising health care cost and providing coverage to more, it is easier to change the subject to pro-life vs. pro-choice. It diverts attention from their lack of a concrete position about solving the healthcare crisis to the same old ideological debate over abortion.

        • AuntieChrist says:

          The fact that Stupak introduced it makes me question his motives.

          Why would a Dem who moved into C Street want to introduce such an amendment to the health care bill when health care is the number one priority for the President who is of the same party as this scum?

          Although, Stupak, being a Roman Catholic (possibly an adulterer?) would be against birth control… wouldn’t he?

          One must wonder how many women who’ve engaged in unwed sex with all of those “Christian” Representatives from C Street have had abortions without any questions asked.

          …and were they paid for with our tax dollars?

          No doubt… As they’ll continue to be.

      • AuntieChrist says:

        Fuck those hypocrites!

    • johnie2xs says:

      I don’t think so. For all intents and purposes, the GOP is irrelevant. The only two parties are the Dems and the Conserva Dems. IMHO

    • PatsyT says:

      I know Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) voted for the Bill, how did she vote on Stupak?

    • KQuark says:

      Yes it does create a fissure in the Democratic Party that did not have to happen. It’s really the conservative Dems fault for trying to make the bill about abortion rights or lack there of in the first place.

  19. KQuark says:

    Hiccup, huh?

    • AdLib says:

      You could hear me from there? Yep. server again, guess you and KK were burning up the server!

      Actually, we need the dedicated server to handle all the powerful opinions here, it’s overwhelming the current one. Should be on the new one shortly.

  20. escribacat says:

    I just had some technical problems … just me?

  21. AdLib says:

    Howdy all! Man, I need a beer now!

  22. Kalima says:

    Getting their knickers out of a twist.

  23. Lance says:

    You think one of them deserves my vote? Please…

  24. Khirad says:

    Hello, where is everyone?

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