Read The Full Article:
Yesterday on CNN, Republican strategist and CNN contributor Mary Matalin railed against Democrats for pushing forward with health reform efforts. “They’ve been on this jihad for 70 years, and they’re going to throw over all their competitive seats to do it,” she said, adding:
And I don’t know what kind of party that is. That leaves left in the Democratic Party the urban centers, this is tyranny of the minority. Two-thirds of the country don’t want this. And one-third of these jihadists, these health care jihadists do. I guess that’s how democracy in the Obama era works.
Moments later, she smeared the prior efforts to establish Social Security and Medicare as “entitlement jihads” as well. Watch it:
Matalin has employed the concept of “holy war” in her political debates before. On Meet the Press in 2006, she attacked David Gregory for going “on a jihad” in covering the Vice President’s accidental shooting of his friend Harry Whittington. Gregory responded, “That’s an unfortunate use of that word, by the way. This is not what that was.”
MATALIN: They’ve been on this jihad for 70 years, and they’re going to throw over all competitive seats to do it. And I don’t know what kind of party that is. That leaves left in the Democratic Party, the urban centers, this is tyranny of the minority. Two-thirds of the country don’t want this. And one-third of these jihadists, these health care jihadists do. I guess that’s how democracy in the Obama era works.
And furthermore this is the worst thing. They’re going to strip out all the few good things that are in there and the entrenched things will stand. That’s what’s happened with every entitlement jihad from the ’30s and the ’60s and that’s what happened.
(with apologies to Clement Clark Moore)
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
Not a creature was stirring in Afghanistan.
The bedrooms were bunkered with piles of hard stones
To protect from attacks by the Predator drones.
The children were huddled, afraid, in their beds
While visions of night raiders danced in their heads.
Mama doffed her hijab and I doffed my hat
And we both settled down for a rest and a chat
When out in the yard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the door to see what was the matter.
While the Senate celebrated in the wee hours this morning for getting past another procedural hurdle, hopefully they are checking their triumphalism, and will keep in mind this week and during their holiday recess, as they approach the House conference, the message Tom Harkin sent on Saturday.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) vowed that Democrats will continue to work on health care reform and promised more legislative fixes in the future.
"What we’re building here is not a mansion. It’s a starter home. But it’s got a great foundation. ... This is not the end of health care reform, it’s the beginning of health care reform," Harkin said.
This is certainly the beginning, and since this bill solidifies the already broken private insurance structure, and at a hefty price, it would best be called health insurance expansion. So Democrats need to be very careful about over-selling his effort, and know that we're going to be holding them to the promise of actually enacting real health care reform.
They also need to spend a little bit of time thinking about how in the hell to keep Bark Stupak from blowing the whole thing out of the water.
BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Michael Winship
Never mind Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope. It's the audacity of the banks that takes your breath away. Mean old Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life seems like Father Christmas by comparison.
A recent report that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs may have received preferential treatment getting doses of the swine flu vaccine was enough to give Ebenezer Scrooge the yips. Then came news that in order for us to get back the taxpayer bailout money we loaned them, Citigroup is receiving billions of dollars in tax breaks from the IRS.
And there's a new study this week, "Rewarding Failure," from the public interest group Public Citizen, revealing that in the years leading up to the financial meltdown, the CEOs of the 10 Wall Street giants that either collapsed or got huge amounts of TARP money were paid an average of $28.9 million a year.
In 2007, that amounted to 575 times the median income of an American family. Now, thanks in part to the banks' monumental malfeasance that led to our economic swan dive, food stamps are now being used to feed one in eight Americans, and a quarter of all the kids in this country. A new poll from The New York Times and CBS News reports that more than half of our unemployed have borrowed money from friends and relatives and have cut back on medical treatment.
The Times wrote that, "Joblessness has wreaked financial and emotional havoc on the lives of many of those out of work... causing major life changes, mental health issues and trouble maintaining even basic necessities."
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," David Axelrod, Obama's top political aide, said the White House still favors drug re-importation and wants to move forward on it.Sure. Obama supported it during the campaign, then killed it during debate of the health care reform bill, and now he's in support of it again. And we're supposed to believe him.
"Let me be clear. The president supports re-importation. As he said, safe re-importation of drugs into this country. There's no reason why the Americans should pay a premium for pharmaceuticals that people in other countries pay less for," Axelrod said. "We will move forward on it."
The progressive blogosphere has been reduced to what Churchill called "bouncing the rubble," indulging in irrational overkill of the shattered remnants of Brand Obama. What the ProgBlogs don't seem to grasp is that the truth they are obsessively[...]
Read The Full Article:
ThinkProgress is experiencing web server problems this morning. We apologize for the inconvenience.
On a 60-40 party-line procedural vote early Monday morning, Senate Democrats held ranks to pass a procedural motion that moves health reform legislation closer to an expected final passage on Christmas Eve at 7 pm. The vote took place shortly after 1 am ET, following 12 hours of ?acrimonious debate.?
“The Fed’s failure to foresee the crisis or to require adequate safeguards happened in part because it did not understand the risks that banks were taking,” a Washington Post analysis found. The “central bank’s performance has sparked a great debate about” its future as regulator since it “failed to protect borrowers” and banks “from the consequences of subprime lending.”
Since 2000, “stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange have lost an average of 0.5% a year,” making the last ten tears the worst decade ever for the stock market. “Investors would have been better off investing in pretty much anything else, from bonds to gold or even just stuffing money under a mattress,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.
“The hiring of temporary workers has surged,” a sign that companies may be willing to “take the next step, bringing on permanent workers, if they can just convince themselves that the upturn in the economy will be sustained. … Last month 52,000 temps were added, greater than the number of new workers in any other category.”
Taxpayers are footing the bill for “more than $40,000 per month on office space, staff, cell phones and a leased SUV for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, even as he works as a lobbyist for private corporations and foreign governments.” The payments are “perfectly legal” as long as Hastert never uses these perks for his lobbying work, a separation that is “hard to maintain.”
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said that military force would have only limited effect in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. While Mullen told his staff that force remains an option, he also said he believes that regional security could be best achieved through political means.
“Tens of thousands” of mourners attended the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a leading Iranian dissident and reformist cleric, today. The funeral comes as there have been numerous reports of new crackdowns on dissident journalists and reform movement leaders.
And finally: A snowball fight in the nation’s capital is all fun and games…until a police officer pulls a gun.
Follow ThinkProgress on Twitter.
It has taken seventy years to get here, but we have finally arrived. At 1:00 a.m eastern an historic vote was taken in the Senate, and when the Democrats and both Independents voted for cloture, healthcare reform moved to the inevitability of an up-or-down vote.
Seventy years. That is unconscionable. And the closer the Senate got to achieving the elusive goal they met last night, the more ridiculous, disconnected from reality, desperate and venal the republican attacks against it became. It was ridiculous for Lamar Alexander to bitch about the timing of the vote. "It's obvious why the majority has cooked up this amendment in secret, has introduced it in the middle of a snowstorm, has scheduled the Senate to come in session at midnight, has scheduled a vote for 1 a.m., is insisting that it be passed before Christmas - because they don't want the American people to know what's in it," he brayed, conveniently forgetting that the timing was determined by republican obstruction.
The most despicable and venal comment by a republican came from Tom Coburn, the pro-life and anti-healthcare reform wingnut physician from Oklahoma, who urged Americans who oppose healthcare reform to pray to god that not all the Democrats would make it to the chamber to vote. It was clear to all what he meant: Pray to God that the Senate's oldest and longest serving Senator, the 92-year-old Robert Byrd of West Virginia be struck dead by the hand of God to stop 31 million Americans access to health insurance that could deliver the coverage that could save their lives.
I have to wonder if some of the desperation is because the republicans know that very few of those 31 million will ever vote for a republican again, and their only hope is to make them so disgusted they won't vote for Democrats, either?
Read The Full Article:
Most people will say this was awful &
As bad as the rigged election.
Dick Cheney will tell Fox, "It's severe
But a step in the right direction."
VERSE CASE SCENARIO
Tony Peyser provides daily poems and weekly cartoons for BuzzFlash and also writes the BuzzFlash column, "Blue State Jukebox." He was a daily cartoonist for the L.A. Times from 1994 to 1997. You can e-mail Tony at email@example.com.