On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity allowed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to baselessly claim that health care reform would "mean 5.5 million jobs lost and that's according to his own economist, Christina Romer." Hannity and Bachmann cited no evidence to support the claim, which Politifact has called false and "problematic"; the claim is further undermined by Romer's prediction that health care reform "would allow lower unemployment in the short and medium run."
From the December 14 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
BACHMANN: We need bipartisan reform, and we Republicans are there ready, willing, and able. We want bipartisan reform. Let's scrap what we have and let's move forward, because President Obama's bill will mean 5.5 million jobs lost, and that's according to his own economist, Christina Romer.
HANNITY: Congresswoman, you have the distinction of being the second-most hated Republican woman in the country. And I --
BACHMANN: Or second-most loved.
HANNITY: Or the second-most loved. That's fair enough. Does it bother you, all the heat and the criticism you've been taking?
Politifact: Claim is "problematic and contrary to how Obama's economic adviser said the model should work." According to PolitiFact.com:
Obama's economic adviser -- Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers -- has never said that a tax in the health care bill would cost up to 5.5 million jobs. Republicans have used her 2007 research to develop a calculation for job losses for any type of tax increase. If you have a number for tax revenues generated, then this model will give you a number of jobs lost. But there are factors that make this type of analysis troublesome when it comes to the health care bill. Romer's 2007 research, for example, said that tax increases that fund spending for social programs tend to balance out, and economic growth stays on an even keel. Another problem is that the Republicans take tax increases that happen over 10 years and treat them as if they happen in one year, which inflates the numbers of jobs that might be lost. Finally, this particular Republican analysis includes more taxes than just the surtax of page 336; it also includes the employer mandates of page 313. We find this analysis to be problematic and contrary to how Obama's economic adviser said the model should work. [PolitiFact.com, 11/4/09]
Romer: "Health care reform is an economic necessity." In a June 2, 2009, op-ed, Romer wrote:
Health care reform is more than a social imperative -- it is an economic necessity. A new study by the President's Council of Economic Advisers demonstrates that the current American health care system is on an unsustainable path. Without health care reform, American workers and families will continue to experience eroding health care benefits and stagnating wages caused by the pressure of escalating health insurance premiums. And without reform, rising spending on Medicare and Medicaid will lead to massive and unsustainable Federal budget deficits. [Romer op-ed, Yahoo! News, 6/2/09]
Romer: Health care reform will "allow lower unemployment." Romer also wrote in her op-ed, "Controlling health care cost growth would allow lower unemployment in the short and medium run, without putting pressure on inflation. Employment could be 500,000 higher for a number of years." [Romer op-ed, Yahoo! News, 6/2/09]
China’s completion of an historic natural gas pipeline with Kazakhstan bypassing Russia this week tightens the Asian behemoth’s grip on energy resources needed to fuel a burgeoning economy, a desire also forcing it on a quest for oil and gas wealth in other corners of the globe.China is not alone in this scramble for energy security. Hungry for oil and gas, world powers like Russia and the United States are also relying on different strategies to grab resource treasures but their efforts have raised questions about conflicts down the road.The U.S. Energy Information Administration describes China as the second largest energy…
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In the mid to late 1960s, the Black Arts Movement was begun by African American writers like Amiri[...]
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This evening's Rescue Rangers are grog, HoosierDeb, jennyjem, jlms qkw, and mtperson with shayera editing.
jotter has High Impact Diaries: December 13, 2009.
virgomusic has Top Comments - The Gravity of Bach Edition.
Enjoy and please promote your own favorite diaries in this open thread.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give in to all of Joe Lieberman's demands. So Reid did. We have a "health insurance reform" bill with no public option, no trigger, no Medicare buy-in. And it will[...]
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OK, so let's review where we are, painful as it is, I know...
The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Affordable Health Care for Americans Act early last month (with "Joe" Cao of Louisiana as the only Repug voting yes - kudos to him), and then it gets handed off to the U.S. Senate.
Which promptly makes an utter hash of the bill every way imaginable (and some ways I couldn't imagine).
First there was the horrible Baucus bill from the Senate Finance Committee without the public option (but not to worry, we were told, by Tom Harkin among others - the HELP Committee bill had the P.O. thanks to Ted Kennedy, the only Dem senator who really understood what was going on here), then the two Senate bills and the House bill started getting meshed together, and all of the elite punditry worried whether or not it would be supported by President Snowe (of course it wasn't).
So then the talk turned to what kind of a public option? With or without triggers? Would the triggers be "automatic"? Then there was the supposed "opt out" of the public option, or whether or not there would be a Carper-sponsored "co-op" with or without a "trigger" in place of the public option (and would the exchanges be federal or by state).
Then, recently, it all got shitcanned to expand Medicare eligibility to anyone 55 or older, though younger voters would still supposedly be allowed to enroll in an exchange which provided coverage (that is, unless the for-profit carriers didn't do that, in which case the government would provide coverage instead...somehow).
I've actually tried to make sense of this ridiculous kabuki exercise up until now. And then along comes The Last Honest Man with his version of "52 Pick Up" over "Medicare For All" which he supported because he was forced to in 2006 when he ran against Ned Lamont (and, of course, which he no longer does now, as noted below).
And if this bill dies (or worse, is signed into law with neither a public option nor an expanded Medicare provision), thousands of Americans without health coverage will die (oh, but as noted here, Ezra Klein is nothing but a dirty, stinking, liberal pinko blogger for pointing out that plainly obvious fact - h/t Atrios, who is another one, of course...and more Lieberman deceit is here).
Every time I think I cannot possibly be more disgusted with the Democratic Party, they prove me wrong.
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Joe Lieberman - putting the "dick" in "vindictive".[...]
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There's been a little bit of revisionist history in the post-mortem over the public option. The fact is that progressives did very, very well to get to within a handful of votes in the Senate on a weak-ish public option -- perhaps as close as one or two votes on the latest compromise, the Medicare buy-in.
Exhibit A: At least four Democratic Senators had declared relatively unambiguous opposition to the public option as early as mid-June, when the health care debate began in earnest:
Blanche Lincoln -- June 18th:
LITTLE ROCK ? U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., says she prefers private insurance cooperatives to a government-run provider that would compete with the private sector in reforming the nation?s health care system.Mary Landrieu -- June 9th:
Count Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) as a "no" vote on the public insurance option.Joe Lieberman -- June 14th:
"I am not open to a public option, however I will remain open to a compromise - a full compromise," Landrieu told reporters Tuesday. "A public option is not something I support I don't think its the right way to go."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said this weekend that he opposes a public option plan for consumers in a healthcare reform plan to emerge from the Senate.Ben Nelson -- April 30th:
"I don't favor a public option," Lieberman told Bloomberg News in an interview broadcast this weekend. And I don't favor a public option because I think there's plenty of competition in the private insurance market."
Sen. Ben Nelson said Thursday that he will oppose the creation of a government-run health insurance plan as part of a health care overhaul, contrary to the position held by many of his fellow Democrats.Exhibit B: As of August 12th, the number of clear yesses in favor of the public option stood only at about 43.
Nelson, D-Neb., said he may try to assemble a coalition of like-minded centrists opposed to the creation of a public plan, as a counterweight to Democrats pushing for it. He said he does not believe a majority of the Senate supports the idea.
Rasmussen keeps it streak alive (on more than one level), a pair of national polls paint bad...and good...news for Democrats, one exploratory campaign jumps in while another jumps out, and should we take anything from the fact that one New York pollster isn't even bothering polling Rudy Giuliani anymore? All that, and more, in the Monday edition of the Wrap...
NY-Gov: Dems Now Favored to Hold Gov's Seat, Even With Paterson
It has been quite a while since we were able to use the words "good news", "poll", and "Governor David Paterson" in the same sentence. And while his numbers are still frightful by traditional political standard, his new numbers in the month poll from Siena (PDF File) represent some improvement for the Governor. His favorabilities are up to a poor-but-no-longer-pathetic 36/53, and he now trails potential Democratic primary rival Andrew Cuomo by only forty-four points (67-23). Don't laugh: last month, Cuomo had nearly a sixty point edge (75-16). Meanwhile, Paterson also now leads the only name-brand Republican in the field, sporting a two-point advantage (42-40) over former Congressman Rick Lazio. Cuomo has, not surprisingly, a considerably wider edge (68-22) over Lazio. What was notable in this month's incarnation of the Siena poll is what was missing--they did not poll Rudy Giuliani this month, a sign that his decision to accept a job with the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee (as a security consultant) has actually relegated him to the sidelines in 2010.
IL-Gov/IL-Sen: New Polls Show Clear Frontrunners In Primary Races
With just over seven weeks until the first elections of 2010 (the primary elections in the state of Illinois), the Chicago Tribune decided to take an early reading of the competitive statewide races in the Land of Lincoln. It is worth pointing out that, without exception, the betting favorites are doing fairly well. Alexi Giannoulias leads the competitive Democratic U.S. Senate primary with 31%, followed by both Cheryle Jackson (17%) and David Hoffman (9%). Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Mark Kirk has a nearly insurmountable lead, holding 41% of the vote while his nearest rival (Patrick Hughes, the supposed darling of the tea-party right) is sitting at just 3% of the vote.
By the way, the DSCC, anticipating that Kirk will be the eventual nominee, is having some fun at the Republican's expense. Taking note of the Congressman's
flip-flopping...ahem...ideological flexibility, they have launched this rather amusing video.
Meanwhile, over on the gubernatorial side, the high-profile race is the Democratic primary, while the larger and more competitive field seems to reside in the GOP. On the Democratic side, incumbent Governor Pat Quinn has a solid lead over state Comptroller Dan Hynes (49-23). Meanwhile, the Republican primary is a bit more wide open, with the leader (former state Attorney General Jim Ryan) leading at just 26% of the vote. Three other candidates (Andy McKenna, Bill Brady, and Kirk Dillard) all are around the 10% mark, and there are still loads of undecideds. Election day in Illinois for the primaries is on February 2nd.
PA-Gov: Rasmussen Sees GOP Lead in Open Seat Gubernatorial Race
Rasmussen keeps its streak alive with new numbers from the Keystone State: almost cartoonish differences in the favorabilities between Republicans and Democrats, and huge Republican leads in 2010 trial heats. This particular poll has Republican frontrunner Tom Corbett with a double-digit lead over all Democratic comers. State Auditor Jack Wagner comes the closest, trailing Corbett by thirteen points (43-30). Corbett, according to the Ras, has a +41 split in his favorabilities (59-18), while not Democrats score better than a +7 split (Wagner--37/30). Not to sound like a broken record, but this would be yet another poll where Rasmussen sees the race in starkly more amenable terms for Republicans than comparable pollsters.
CO-Gov: Rasmussen Sees GOP Lead In Incumbent-Held Gubernatorial Race
The pro-Republican trend from Rasmussen continues, regardless of the presence of incumbency. In Colorado, Rasmussen gives Republican Scott McInnis an eight-point lead over Governor Bill Ritter (48-40). While most pollsters have had McInnis either tied or barely leading Ritter, it is noteworthy that this is yet another example of Rasmussen tending towards the pessimistic for Democratic candidates or officeholders. Another piece of evidence--32 surveys in 2009 have shown Democrats trailing in the Congressional Ballot test. Twenty-Eight of them have been from Rasmussen, versus just four by any other pollster.
NATIONAL: Dems Lead Generic Ballot, According to Two Pollsters
A pair of new national polls show Democrats hanging on to narrow leads on the generic Congressional ballot for 2010. In the case of the Gallup Poll, the three point Democratic edge (48-45) is pretty good news, since the same pollster had a four-point Republican lead last month. One piece of good news emerging from the Gallup survey: it looks like Democrats are finally staunching some of their bleeding with Independents. According to Gallup, most of the seven-point swing over the last month has come from Independent voters. While the poll should be heartening for Dems who have been accustomed to bad news as of late, it actually should also raise an eyebrow, since virtually no pollsters have seen favorable movement for Democrats on any level in the last four weeks of polling.
More in line with other pollsters were the new national numbers for PPP, which showed Democrats still leading the generic ballot by a couple of points (44-42). While still a Democratic lead, that is an erosion of the Democratic lead since last month, when the blue team was staked to an eight-point edge (46-38). Bear in mind, by the way, that these leads would still be predictive of Republican gains in the House in 2010. Democrats led the GOP by approximately seven points in last year's balloting, and would likely need a lead of around the same margin to avoid shedding at least some seats in the House.
IN OTHER NEWS....
Will they be able to bounce back from the dead or is it all just part of the spin to build pressure? Or perhaps some of both? The Guardian:
A fraught day in Copenhagen yesterday saw disputes cause the loss of five vital hours of negotiating time and the UN and Danish organisers accused of sidelining developing nations by holding informal consultations with selected countries.
"The disaster has already begun because we have not closed the gap an inch. We have not moved," a senior Asian negotiator said. "We are just trying to paste over it with political rhetoric."
The rancour that has run through the summit between developed and developing nations broke out again when the Africa group of countries and others accused the UN chair of the conference of trying to "kill" the Kyoto protocol. The issue is that Kyoto is the only legal treaty compelling rich nations to slash their greenhouse gas emissions. But rich states complain that Kyoto makes no demand on developing countries, particularly China and India, whose carbon emissions have risen fast and will dominate future growth.