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Does Anyone Remember...

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2010-03-20 09:38:16 -0400. CTMan makes a good point. -- GH

President Alf Landon?

"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."

That was Republican presidential nominee Alf Landon in a September 1936 campaign speech. He based his bid for the White House on repealing Social Security.

Unless you have some kind of alternate universe revisionist history to go by, expect this kind of campaign lunacy to go over just as well in the next election cycle.

The Tea Party's Confused Waterloo

As we wind down to the end of the Healthcare Reform cycle we get a view of the the few Teabagrrrrs that bothered to show up in D.C. on March 16th to make their last stand in fighting against reforms that will likely be voted on tomorrow. New Left Media showed up with camera in hand and documented some of the embarrassingly empty talking points that make absolutely no sense at all. From TomK1960:

New Left Media has compiled one of the funniest (and most pathetic) videos in recent memory featuring interviews with Tea Baggers at the last health care protest in Washington D.C. Although sparsely attended.....the folks who do appear on camera exhibit the consequences of Fox News/Right Wing Radio/Glenn Beck influence to the point of parroting word for word what is preached by these people.

Prepare to be simultaneously amused and appalled at the misinformation you are about to be view in the GOP funded Tea Party Healthcare Reform Waterloo that comes up shorter than Napoleon both on the numbers that bothered to show up and the FOXified facts they toss around:

Instead of Real News

Instead of real news being reported on in the traditional media we get this BS.

I guess they aren't corporaty enough and refuse to follow the politically dictated media narrative so they don't deserve to be covered wall to wall like a bunch of ranting and raving lunatic teabagrrrs screeching a mouthful of insurance corporation nuts do.

Open Thread - Ridiculously Shrill Republicans on Reconciliation

The GOP is in full freak out mode because the Democratic party is going to use the budgetary process of reconciliation. But they are only harping on this because it is the Democratic party using reconciliation, and using it to fix healthcare if they do it right, and not the Republicans that use reconciliation far more often and to do things like mess the budget up by drowning the nation in debts with their Ronnie Reagan trickle-down voodoo tax cuts for the uber rich.

The GOP tried THE BIG LIE about reconciliation being the "Nuclear Option" in order to muddy the waters of the debate. But the little fact that the "Nuclear Option" was a Republican attempt to eliminate the filibuster altogether so they could ram through far right wing activist judges was just a little too fresh in everyone's memory and the fact reconciliation is a simple budget fix more often used by Republicans is clearly apparent. And as hard as it would be to believe that there were even more right wing extremist judges than the five GOP SCOTUS activist judges that handed election funding over to foreign owned corporations and their lobbyists recently, and as much as Bush's Alito and Roberts appointments deserved to be Borked
back to the typically extremist torture loving Federalist Society rocks these criminals crawl out from under, none of that had anything to do with budgetary issues and reconciliation as Healthcare Reform does.

More often used by the GOP than the Democratic party, as well. Though reconciliation is used to get around filibusters it has nothing to do with going nuclear on political appointees by completely eliminating the filibuster. Not even the Heritage Foundation can coherently make an argument for this stupidity.

A small part of Healthcare Reform is a simple budgetary issue and it will pass through reconciliation. Get over it.

While in the majority the GOP abused reconciliation to kick the poor and middle class just as the GOP have always abused the filibuster to kick Americans when they were in the minority. Just look at what Bunning was doing to the unemployed and Medicare with his recent filibuster.

The GOP claimed reconciliation should never be used for Healthcare Reform. Even though Republicans used reconciliation for Healthcare Reform often and the GOP used it to cut things like Medicare and Medicaid.

Reconciliation Usage – Republicans 14, Democrats 5

The Republicans will act as though they have never used reconciliation to get what they wanted when they could not get past the Democratic minority. Which, of course, is complete hogwash.


Reconciliation have been used 22 times, 19 times it has not received a presidential veto (reconciliation fun fact, President Clinton is the only president to have vetoed a reconciliation bill). Of those 19 times, can you guess which party was in control of the United States Senate for 14 of them? I will give you three guesses but you will only need one. That is
right, the Republican Party.



The Brookings Institution
was kind enough to put together a list of the bills that were passed using reconciliation, you can find it here. Here is a look at the top ten Republican usages:



1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act made major spending cuts into social programs including welfare and food stamps.


1982 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act reauthorized the welfare and food stamps cuts as well as making changes to the federal pay grades.


1985 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act actually did something good, it created the COBRA program. While COBRA is a often not affordable it is a good idea. And look at that, the Republicans where the ones that used reconciliation to create it.


Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act: This is the act that ended welfare. Enough said.


Balanced Budget Act of 1997:
This act was the first step of the Clinton Administration to balance the budget. It also included the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.



Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: Clinton era tax cuts that were passed by the Republicans in the Senate using reconciliation.


Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: President Bush’s first round of tax cuts for the wealthy.


Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003: President Bush’s second round of tax cuts for the wealthy.


Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: Made cuts to Medicaid and Medicare spending, as well as student loan programs.


Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005: Extended Bush Administration tax cuts including cuts on capital gains. It also included a temporary alternative minimum tax fix.


As you can see Republicans have not been shy about using this method of passing bills that could not beat a 60 vote threshold. They are not even consistent in their objections about creating health care programs as both COBRA and CHIP (not to be confused with SCHIP, which is a state program and created by Democrats) were created under their use of reconciliation.


This is a rule the Senate put in place and is allowed to use or abuse it just like the filibuster.

Now? Republicans want to complain about the Parliamentarian because they say he will side with Harry Reid when it comes to deciding what is and what is not allowed to go through reconciliation.

Did I mention that the Parliamentarian the GOP is complaining about was a Bush hire? Even More even shriller Republicans Below The Fold...

Reconciliation with McCain's Nuclear Addled Brain

Last year, speaking at the Heritage Foundation,
Sen. John McCain said that the Republicans laid the groundwork for reconciliation because of how they had used it:

MCCAIN: I fully recognize that Republicans have in the past engaged in using reconciliation to further the party’s agenda. I wish it had not been done then, and I hope it will not be done now that the groundwork has been laid.

But now that reconciliation, a simple up or down vote, is actually going to be used to pass a mish-mash of conservative GOP and Democratic ideas under Obama's watch? Suddenly it is the nuclear end of the world:

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Boehner v. Boehner, Rachel Maddow Edition

Rachel Maddow points out the stark reality: the GOP has no plan beyond saying "No" to health reform, and this is perfectly encapsulated simply by comparing the hypocritical criticisms of John Boehner -- first the plan was too long, now the outline for the healthcare plan is too short. If ever any person clearly earned the title of "Goldilocks" on the Hill, our man with the elephantine orange perpetual tint John Boehner is that person.

Watch:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Reality laps satire yet again.

This is an Open Thread.

Hat-tip to LordRag of DelphiForums for the catch.

Rep. Jim Himes On Healthcare Reform and Reconciliation

ePluribus Media - along with Connecticut Bob, Saramerica and AndersonScooper - had an opportunity to sit down and talk to Connecticut Representative Jim Himes and discuss various issues. This first part is on Healthcare Reform and Reconciliation:

Part 2 of the healthcare discussion gets a little more into what can be achieved through reconciliation and is below the fold. I will be posting more video from this as I finish editing and uploading it to YouTube.

Since Republicans Want to Kill Medicare...

and Social Security too, a fact that may upset some GOP activists
because they have to deal with that reality in the trenches and this is not something most of them want to talk to voters about leading up to the next round of elections. And given the fact that I am just a moderate little "i" indy with no party affiliation - I
just play nicer on the left/Democratic party side of the Blogosphere
because, much like myself and for the most part, they deal from the
reality
deck - I thought I would point to a story in The New
Haven Independent covering CT-05's Rep. Chris Murphy discussing the
issue of Healthcare Reform with activists that understand the problems
we are all trying to deal with.

To be blunt, Murphy thinks the Democratic party needs to come out swinging and drive reform through.

Instead
of running from health care reform, Democrats need to swing back, and
not dumb it down in reaction to right-wing talking points.

Myself,
personally? I agree. Healthcare reform has been one of my pet issues
for years. I have written about the fact that it is quickly becoming
the anchor that will sink the entire US economy. And it is precisely
because of the fact that the for-profit driven insurance madness
currently sucks up about 16 to 17% of the USA's GDP, an astronomical
number compared to almost every other nation that we have to compete
with in the global market.

In
2007 I wrote about the fact that "each vehicle assembled in the United
States cost GM $1,525 for health care; those made in Canada cost GM
$197."

But it is not just applicable to the
auto industry. The competitive disadvantage this puts us at in the
global market and in every industry is mind boggling. Meanwhile, while
we suffer the consequences of not only being at a severe competitive
disadvantage, the for-profit insurers deny care to an ever growing number
of people.

Because of our dysfunctional system pitting
profits against the value of a real person's life or a real person's health, the uninsured have
zero access to basic primary and preventative care, the only care they
may have access to is costly hospital emergency room care, and a
growing number of people are seeing their private plans disintegrate in
value or being dropped completely by their employers. And the insured
still have to deal with ever rising co-pays that literally put access
to actually using their insurance out of their financial reach and have
to deal with insurance companies that pay bonuses to a herd of people
hired to do nothing but deny you care you already paid for in your
policy.

There are better answers. 

And these better answers come from the reality side of the aisle I was talking about earlier in the post. While not all in the left nor on the Democratic side agree with this action, it is an action that they all admit would work:

Single Payer in High Gear in PA

The race is on in Pennsylvania because they are seriously talking about Single Payer Healthcare. And though they are moving to try to eliminate ERISA roadblocks to get there, some are prepared to challenge the laws even if the US Congress will not act:

My state is moving closer and closer to passing single payer, as this excellent history of recent developments in the statewide movement explains.

It had been a good year for Single-Payer in Pennsylvania already.
HealthCare4ALLPA, the organization leading the fight (full disclosure:
the author is an unpaid officer of that organization and an unpaid
member of the Board of Directors) to enact single-payer healthcare in
the Keystone State. Our Bill, HB 1660 and SB 400 was picking up steam
(one blogger, in describing the scope of the bill, observed "you will
never see a more comprehensive plan."), and had been endorsed by City
Councils in Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, West Reading,
and Wilkes Barre, as well as by the Allegheny County Council. Together
those councils represent more than 3 million people, about a quarter of
the population of Pennsylvania. A study of the cost of employee
healthcare benefits paid by the combined governments and school boards
within our state had documented a savings of nearly $2.3 billion
dollars if the bill werer passed, and the study was getting noticed.
Our quest for funds to commission an Economic Impact Study that would
validate the benefits of instituting our bill were beginning to bear
fruit. In October more than a thousand people -- primarily from all
over Pennsylvania, but augmented by advocates from Rhode Island, New
York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and even
Washingtron State who journeyed to Harrisburg in a show of solidarity
-- gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on a Tuesday workday morning to
demonstrate for the passage of our bill.

As I wrote about here,
the bill for statewide single payer had a hearing late last year.  Not
only that, but the hearing was led by Republican State Senator Don
White, and that's not even the full extent of the bipartisan support of
this.  And Governor Ed Rendell has also pledged to sign the bill!  And
all five Democratic candidates for governor have expressed support of
the bill!  And both Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak have said that they
intend to introduce bills in Congress that would end ERISA and make it
much easier for states to establish single payer systems!

As far as the ERISA laws, here is a little more from a comment sent to Rossl, author of the diary excerpt above, by the author of the original OP Ed piece, Jerry Policoff, that is revving up single payer activists:

Elected officials continue to ignore the victims of American "healthcare"

If you have any doubt about that, just ask the people that are actually trying to make a difference:

And since the entitled political class feels no compulsion to come
and bear witness to the fruits of their morally deplorable conduct.
 Here it is for the world to see.

Meet Nicole Lamoureux, the heroine and executive director of the
National Association of Free Health Clinics describing being repeatedl
and serially smacked in the face, with  very invitation her
organization extends to the politicians to see the reality of the lives
of their constituents.

Note: Listen at the end of the tape (which I forgot to turn off),
Nicole's utter disgust and that they are working to find a location to
set up in Washington.

"We extend invitations to all the members of Congress, but they never come"

More below the fold.

Dem Wake Up Call: Reality Of Healthcare Reform and Getting Re-Elected

I have been saying that the numbers are pretty clear on what is missing from Healthcare Reform for a while, and is a political killer for Dem incumbents, has clearly been the fact that there was no public option in the final Senate bill that passed. All along the way you could see the politicians' numbers dropping like an anchor while the public option remained pretty darn steady in its popularity. While everyone is concerned about jobs and the government opening up the taxpayer's wallet to the greedy banksters, via Charles Chamberlain's diary, we get a pretty clear picture of what is pushing the people over the edge and will likely lead to a Dem salughter in the next elections:

This isn't just a strategy that makes good policy sense, it's the
key issue these Freshman Democrats need to pass to get reelected.
Here's the headline details of the voters Democracy for America and the
Progressive Change Campaign Committee had Research 2000 poll over the weekend.

FRESHMAN DEMOCRATS FACE TROUBLE IN 2010 IF CONGRESS DOESN'T PASS A PUBLIC OPTION


Polls in 10 frontline freshman districts show:

  •    68% of voters want a public health insurance option
  •    By 5 to 1, voters want their Representative to fight to add the public option over simply passing the Senate bill
  •    By 3 to 1, persuadable voters are less likely to vote for
    local Democrat if Congress doesn't pass a public option as part of
    reform
  •    55% say Democrats need to do more to fight big corporations
  •    6% say Democrats haven't done enough to fulfill Obama's 2008 campaign promises
  •    52% of Democrats less likely to vote in 2010 if Congress doesn't pass public option -- Republicans more likely

 

These numbers are not a surprise to Americans out-side of
Washington, but you can be sure they are turning a lot of heads today
inside Washington.

Those numbers are about as damning to the Dems as Senator Nelson's strategy to kill health reform should be by now. Via slinkerwink:

The Republican party has even told you

to your face, Democratic party leadership, that you are being stupid. clammyc has an excellent post up today that covers some serious messaging and policy issues. This a bit of an extended excerpt from it:

No message, no base, no win

I’m not a believer in finger pointing.  However, I am a believer in
understanding why certain things happen so as to take stock and see
what can be changed in order to make sure that the desired outcome has
a better chance of happening.  Without understanding why
Coakley lost yesterday (and to a similar extent, Corzine and a lesser
extent, Deeds last year), there needs to be an honest discussion and
assessment of just what has gone wrong on over the past year or so.

Without specifically assigning "blame" to anyone, I’ve been thinking
about they way things have progressed over the past year or so – on a
level that resonates with "the average American" and not those of us
who dissect every vote or comment or action, and also not those who
have a laundry list of "feel good items" that most Americans don’t know
or really care about.

The key here is that in order to win – whether it be on an
idea, a bill or an election, there needs to be a connection with the
voter and American public
.  Essentially, it doesn’t matter if
Democrats, liberals, progressives, teabaggers or conservatives have the
best "answer".  What matters is:

  • Is it articulated in a way that resonates personally with the
    audience and their values (and not in a "family values" sort of way)?
  • Is it honest and believable coming from the messenger?
  • Is it being heard by the audience in the manner intended?
  • Is there a connection between the messenger and the audience that makes the audience want to help put that message into action?

There have been diaries over the past few days that have said that
corruption is the biggest issue or that GOTV is the most important
thing.  There was one saying that we have to get the republicans on
record – but THEY ARE IN THE MINORITY.  And while they are important
items, they are all secondary to the right message.  Without connecting
with voters and Americans, you won’t be able to "force" a GOTV effort –
you need people that WANT to help with that effort – that BELIEVE in
the effort and outcome.

Of course, with me being me and extremely pissed off right about now... I had to toss in my 3 cents worth:

Scott Brown's Political Machine is Lying To Tea Party Activists

And lying about knowing them too. From TPM:

Early this morning Tea Party Express organizers asked for donations to help Brown:

"We are in a fundraising drive so that we can buy as many TV ads supporting Brown as possible," they wrote to supporters.

"We must take action, for if we can pull out a victory, we stop the Democrats dead in their tracks in their effort to secretly ram through their socialistic healthcare plan," they wrote. "That's because Scott Brown wholeheartedly opposes the Democrat's government-run healthcare plan and has made his opposition to it a central part of his campaign."

No matter what happens in that election, the Democratic party already passed something in the Senate, as craptastic as it is, and if there is even a hint that the obviously addle-brained Brown won't join the rest of the Senate to pass anything the House adds to that?

The House will surely pass the Senate's junk if Brown wins. And there is absolutely nothing Scott Brown can do about it. Ever. And that is the naked truth.

Talk about trying to scare teabagrrrs into opening their wallets for a guaranteed nothing. And nevermind the fact that Brown voted for the same kind of "socialist" reform in Massachusetts when that came up in his state. Flip-Flop much?

Just like the Christianists, GOP operatives are trying to use the teabagers as an ATM machine for Brown's own political purposes with a blatant disregard to the tea party activists' own stated interests, as crazy as most moderates and the left find some of the teabagers' ideas are.

And all of this lying to the Tea Party activists while Scott Brown is simultaneously lying to the moderates and the left about his not knowing about the tea party despite the fact that his GOP political operatives are raising money for him from their well placed Tea Party operatives in the movement's leadership AND Brown having addressed the tea party at their events:

State Sen. Scott Brown told reporters in Massachusetts today he was "unfamiliar" with the "Tea Party movement," despite earning the endorsement from one of the groups who is raising money for his campaign to win the U.S. Senate seat Tuesday.

Are you gonna believe Brown about not knowing who and what the Tea Party is or your own lying eyes? Some video of Brown at a Tea Party event below the fold:

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