Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Public Option is Dead? Why No, NO It Is NOT!

Why is everyone assuming the Public Option is dead or should be dead? Just because a few talking heads and GOPers say it is? Since when have they ever counted for anything special?

I just can't believe we are just giving up so easily and neither does Robert Reich in this article in He says the same thing I do.. that just because a few pundits talk it up and say that it is so, just doesn't make it so.. and he goes on to say that now is the time to go big.

In addition, we've come to the point where healthcare incrementalism won't work. To be sure, the health-insurance industry is powerful and will fight reforms that threaten their profits. But they won't fight if they know their profits will be restored when everyone is required to have health insurance. (This isn't just conventional authoritative wisdom; it's political fact.) Obviously, in order to require everyone to have health insurance, tens of millions of Americans will need help affording it. The only way the government can possibly pay that tab is to raise taxes on the rich while also getting long-term health-insurance costs under control. And one of the surest ways to get long-term costs under control is to force private insurers -- which in most states and under most employer-provided plans face very little competition -- to compete with a public insurance option that can use its bargaining clout with drug companies and medical providers to negotiate lower prices.


Sometimes reform has to occur in a big way, everything or nothing, if it's to happen at all. That's the way it is with healthcare reform at this stage. Every moving piece is related to every other one. That's also why a public option is necessary.

So forget the authoritative sources. Mobilize and organize. We can get comprehensive, meaningful healthcare reform if we push hard enough. And we must.

The emphasis is mine, because I think it is well worth noting what he said in that last bit, this is what I have been saying for a long time. I still think there are enough votes to get this done and so does Dr. Dean.. or Gov. Dean..

At his web site, Democracy for America there is a Whipcount, which at this time stands with 45 definite YES on the Public Option, and a total of 16 Maybes... who can be persuaded to Yeses.. or I think most of them can be. If not, then lets get them out of office. They don't deserve to be Democrats if they can't support the Democratic platform of Healthcare for all.

Now, those 16 Maybes are these and some I think are Yeses and have just not been updated as need be, Mark Begich, (D, AK), Blanche Lincoln, (D, AR), Mark Pryor, (D, AR), Thomas Carper, (D, DE), Johnny Isakson, (R, GA), Mary Landrieu, (D, LA), Olympia Snowe, (R, ME), Max Baucus, (D, MT), Jon Tester, (D, MT), Kent Conrad, (D, ND), Ben Nelson, (D, NE), Ron Wyden, (D, OR), Mark Warner, (D, VA), Robert Byrd, (D, WV).

Now, again, I believe most of these and probably all of these can be turned..well all the Democrats.. There are 2 Republicans in this list..the one, Olympia Snowe..I am not sure about.. she may vote with the Democrats if it is put to her on a moral and a fiscal premise in strong enough premise. But, there are some I believe need to be updated...if you know of some of these who are not correct, please send Dr. Dean an update..

I think if we push the issue.. make the Republicans filibuster this and all of them vote against it.. all 40 of them.. and if they do.. they will pay the consequences in 2010 and beyond.

There is a push to rename the Health Care reform for Teddy Kennedy... The bill he wrote that the HELP (Health Education Labor and Pensions) Committee passed on July 15, 2009 is the counterpart to the House bill known as HR 3200. This bill has everything we need in it.. and it has been scored by the CBO as only costing $615 billion over 10 years.. that is over 400 billion less than anything else anyone has come up with.

Since he largely wrote this bill, and was the chairman of the committee, it is fitting this bill be named for him. This bill I believe could be passed and with 160 amendments in it from Republicans should be considered bipartisan.

The full text of the bill is here at the web site of the Senate site. There is also a condensed version that is available by going here.

Either way, both contain the Public Option and will do everything we need done in the way of Health Care Reform and Health Insurance Reform. No, I don't believe the Public Option is dead.. I believe the pundits, the media and the Republicans want us to believe it is, so we will give up and stay home, quit writing emails, quit calling our Senators and Representatives and just stay quiet.. But that we can't do.

We have to keep fighting for this. We have to continue to speak out, just as they are. We have not been loud enough, we have not been vocal enough. It is time for us to start to speak a little louder and a little longer...

Let our Teddy Voice be heard... let it ring in the debate and let it be what people remember in these next few weeks... don't let this chance die with Sen. Kennedy.. let his life's work be realized and let his voice continue on.. through us.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Patrick Kennedy Eulogizes Teddy Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy Eulogizes his father Edward M. (Teddy) Kennedy, as only a son can. He is quite touching in his speech, and in his honesty about his struggle with depression and addiction. About working with his Father on legislation in Congress and just knowing his Father in every way.

Edward M. Kennedy, Jr. Eulogizes His Father

This was the most touching Eulogy of the day. Patrick was also great and I will post it also, but Teddy, Jr just was something else. There is nothing more I can say.. Just listen.

Pres. Obama's Weekly Address

Pres. Obama's weekly address is about Hurricane Katrina and the lessons learned and how he is trying to right the wrongs and continue the recovery. I saw a piece this week where even Gov. Jindall is singing his praises about how he has helped the people and the city of New Orleans much more than the former occupant.

That's high praise indeed from Kenneth, I mean Bobby Jindall, who doesn't care for Pres. Obama and has always taken shots at him before for everything even when given the chance to answer a direct question.

Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina... if you can call it that.. certainly not a happy anniversary. But it is a day of remembrance.

I am sorry I am late posting this.. .got caught up in the Kennedy services and really forgot it was Saturday and the president's address would be up...Just being ignorant and dumb on my part.. I do apologize.

Now, while we are grieving for Teddy, let us also take some time to remember the victims and the horrendous damage that was done to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. They still need us and our support even now, because the ball was dropped and so little was done.

The victims of New Orleans were the exact people Teddy would have been the champions for. The downtrodden, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, and the ones just left behind. Those are the same people he tried everyday in his legislative life to help.

Now, here is the President...

Pres. Obama give the eulogy for Sen. Edward Kennedy

Here is the transcript of Pres. Obama's Eulogy for Sen. Edward Kennedy. TPM posted it in its entirety. I will post the video later if they put it up.. I think MSNBC may do so.. but I thought I would put this up now. It has been a very beautiful and moving service.

President Obama's eulogy for Sen. Ted Kennedy, as prepared for delivery:

Mrs. Kennedy, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy; a champion for those who had none; the soul of the Democratic Party; and the lion of the U.S. Senate - a man whose name graces nearly one thousand laws, and who penned more than three hundred himself.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: Father. Brother. Husband. Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, "The Grand Fromage," or "The Big Cheese." I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch; the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child, who bore the brunt of his brothers' teasing, but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn't know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked the newly-elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, "It'll be the same in Washington."

This spirit of resilience and good humor would see Ted Kennedy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of sixteen. He saw two more taken violently from the country that loved them. He said goodbye to his beloved sister, Eunice, in the final days of his own life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews, and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

It is a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for Teddy to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, "...[I]ndividual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in - and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves." Indeed, Ted was the "Happy Warrior" that the poet William Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote:

As tempted more; more able to endure,

As more exposed to suffering and distress;

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others - the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed -- the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act -all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy's life's work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

We can still hear his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fist pounding the podium, a veritable force of nature, in support of health care or workers' rights or civil rights. And yet, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did. While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that is not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world, nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw him. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect - a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that's how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hewing to principle, but also by seeking compromise and common cause - not through deal-making and horse-trading alone, but through friendship, and kindness, and humor. There was the time he courted Orrin Hatch's support for the Children's Health Insurance Program by having his Chief of Staff serenade the Senator with a song Orrin had written himself; the time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague; and the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas Committee Chairman on an immigration bill. Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the Chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the Chairman. When they weren't, he would pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support on a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for vote. I gave him my pledge, but expressed my skepticism that it would pass. But when the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes it needed, and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked how he had pulled it off. He just patted me on the back, and said "Luck of the Irish!"

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy's legislative success, and he knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, "What did Webster do?"

But though it is Ted Kennedy's historic body of achievements we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. It was the friend and colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, "I'm sorry for your loss," or "I hope you feel better," or "What can I do to help?" It was the boss who was so adored by his staff that over five hundred spanning five decades showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. Senator would take the time to think about someone like them. I have one of those paintings in my private study - a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office the first week he arrived in Washington; by the way, that's my second favorite gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories - the ones that often start with "You wouldn't believe who called me today."

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked after not only his own three children, but John's and Bobby's as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail. He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him. Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you the carefree youngest brother fell a burden a hero would have begged to be spared. We are all going to make it because you were always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted's love - he made it because of theirs; and especially because of the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted Kennedy to risk his heart again. That he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana. And she didn't just love him back. As Ted would often acknowledge, Vicki saved him. She gave him strength and purpose; joy and friendship; and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy - not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along. To one widow, he wrote the following:

"As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved one would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us."

We carry on.

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image - the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for what storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This is Why We Are Fighting, and He is and Should be Our Inspiration

Watch this and get fired up.. Ready to go.. This is what we need to remind us of everyday and all the time. I really can't say anymore than what this video says.

I got this from MoveOn and you can go there and check out their site and sign up for updates and news from them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Teddy

One year ago today... Denver, CO.. do you remember this? I do.. I was in tears then and I am in tears now. The tears are different, we have lost the lion of the Senate today. He will be sorely missed.

Damn you wimpy idiots for not getting these bills passed before the break so he could see Health Care done before he died... That's all he wanted this year. He worked so hard all his life to get this done.

I couldn't think of a more appropriate tribute to him than his convention speech from last year and his eulogy of his brother Bobby.. both of those are some of the greatest words. So here is my tribute to Teddy Kennedy.

From his eulogy of his brother there are these words.. I think we can all say them and feel we are his brothers today..

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

Now, get on the phone, get out the emails and let your Senators and Representatives know you want Health Care done. In the memory of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Comments on the Comments

A commenter told me he was disappointed in Pres. Obama and his list is included. I wanted a chance to refute his claims as to why he was disappointed and see what it was and if I could make him happier. Here is his list.. I will try to answer them after.. Please leave anything you would like to add in the comments.. Thanks all.

• Obama was anti-Iraq war when Bush started it, but he has been way too slow shutting it down.

He is still Anti-Iraq war and is following his time line and the time line he was given by the commanders and by the SOFA. Actually I believe they are going to be out sooner than they planned even so. It does take time to move men and equipment out of battle. It would be nice to be able to just say "Come Home" and they all magically appear.. but it doesn't work that way...

• Obama has expanded the foolish Afghanistan war. What are we accomplishing there?

This was something he said he was going to do.. There is nothing here that is new or not stated all along. Why are you surprised over this. He ALWAYS said he would do this. It was his intent all along to escalate the war in Afghanistan. He never hinted, stated or implied anything to the contrary.

• Obama has not shut down Gitmo, and has continued Bush rendition policies. A detainee has recounted recent torture under the Obama administration. Obama has continued Bush detention and torture policies.

No, he hasn't continued the torture policies. That is just not true. He is shutting down Gitmo and if he had been allowed to do it it would have been done. Congress is the one who blocked him, by refusing to grant him the money needed to get it closed. To lay all this on the President is just wrong. As for renditions, yes, but they weren't just Bush policies, those have been in place since Eisenhower.. They are policy going back years and years. Nothing is going to change them, I am afraid. Now they are just more in the open.

• Obama has been way too wimpy in this health care reform fight. He ought to tell the Blue Dogs to get on board or else, the way Bush or LBJ would have done. There's one instance where he should have followed Bush's example. I'm afraid his bipartisan stance is going to allow the Republicans to win.

Did you read my earlier post at all?.. He is doing much better than LBJ did when he passed Medicare. To say he is doing better is trying to rewrite History and is just plain wrong. LBJ got a mediocre bill passed and then with add ons later we got a decent bill that made Medicare what it is today. To say he has been way too wimpy is just being silly and rather obtuse.

• His economic recovery gave billions -- trillions to the banks without helping the little guy at all. The banks responded by tightening the screws on their credit card customers and giving huge tax paid bonuses to their top execs.

His economic recovery?? That started under BUSH... here we go rewriting history again. Remember that was in September of 2008, and there was nothing that Barack Obama could do except vote for or against it, he was still candidate Obama at that time. Since then yes, after the election he has had a little hand in some of this, and most of his policies have been geared toward Main Street.

Where's the Change We Can Believe In? Obama is even distancing himself now from Eric Holder's prosecution of Bush's War Criminals. He opposed publication of more torture photos. Bush's people did things we executed Nazis and Japanese for. Obama would rather let it slide. I am puzzled by Obama. He is a Constitutional scholar. I just don't get it.

This last one, I answered at your blog but will do it again here, Yes, Pres. Obama has distanced himself from AG Holder and the prosecution of any and all war crimes. That is considered Separation of Powers and is defined in the Constitution. He should do that. To do anything less than that would be to become more like Bush and that's not what we want. That's what Bush did.. was to circumvent the Constitution and politicize the Attorney General's Office, yet you are asking him to do just exactly that. Sorry, but that's not what I voted for and that's not what I would want him to do.

I hope I answered your questions and helped you some. I am not the only one who feels this President has done well so far and is getting a bum rap. There are several others who feel the same way.

I think there are a lot of people who are jumping on the Obama has failed bandwagon very early in this presidency. And for some reason they are on the left side of politics. Frank Schaeffer sees the same thing. Here is his take on it:

The Left Is Also Obama's Problem
Can the left learn to keep its mouth shut once in a while? Does the American left know how to win wars or just skirmishes? Does the left want change or does it demand perfection? You can't have both in this life.

No one has been a tougher critic of the Republican Party, the Religious Right and various wing nuts out to destroy the Obama presidency than me. Few ordinary Americans (that I know of) have taken more heat (and hate) for their support of the President than me either. Former right wing religious right leaders like me are never forgiven for joining the reality-based community!

Believe me, with my old "friends" on the right I don't need more enemies! (Just check out Fox News smearing of me last week with insanely out-of-context clips on the O'Reilly Factor lifted and edited from Maddow interviewing me.) So I'm hesitant to knock the left. I guess I don't like the idea of all sides pissed off with me at once. But in the light of how and why the debate over health care is being dominated by the loony right maybe the left is partly to blame for the stalemate on health care reform.

Last week the New York Times noted a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Obama's former foot soldiers when it comes to rising to the occasion and pouring on the support for health care reform. ("Health Debate Fails to Ignite Obama's Grass Roots," August 15.) Why the lack of enthusiasm?

It's because the left has made the classic mistake of going for a whole loaf and therefore risking getting nothing. The left has proved itself as impatient as the right and just as shortsighted, given that the lefty sniping at the Obama administration started almost from day one. And now after barely six months in office the people who worked so hard to get him elected have seemingly lost their enthusiasm for another fight on behalf of Obama.

What sapped the yes-we-can optimistic, hope-filled bedrock supporters' will? Who sapped it?

There is a connection between sniping from the left -- the drip, drip, drip of criticism, the demand for instant perfection, be it from those taking shots Obama's economic policy and claiming that the President is in the hip pocket of Wall Street -- and those saying he cut some sort of evil deal with pharmaceutical companies, and the lop-sided "debate" on health care. The right didn't sap anyone's will who voted for Obama. The left shot itself in the foot.

It seems to me that Obama's critics on the left just don't understand governing. If Franklin Roosevelt had had this quality of "support" from his bedrock constituency there would have been no New Deal and we would have never entered the war to defeat fascism. In fact today's left seems to have a death wish of exercising the "right" to snarky frivolity when it's time to get serious.

The American left has a choice: follow our moderately progressive Democrat president and support him when he most needs it most, or allow our whole project to be derailed by the far (increasingly fascist) right. If it is derailed, sure -- the Republicans played a part. But so did the know-it-all left, all because the left's pontificators -- including those right here in the Huffington Post -- would rather be heard than humbly offer their support to our President (or anyone else) and see change actually happen.


It strikes me that the left suffers from a sort of crazy First Amendment knee-jerk twitch comparable the the right's sick Second Amendment twitch! The right thinks it must collect guns, the left thinks it must express opinions, and damn the real world consequences. Hey, so Obama fails! Well at least I got my say!

The right is irredeemably sick. The left is just silly. Together the silly and the sick may just do us in. If Limbaugh gets his Obama-must-fail wish, look in the mirror.

On the right the election literally broke their racist brains. This is now the day of the old angry white men once again. And how has the left responded? Did we circle the wagons and hang tough with our young black president? No everyone waded in.

The open question is this: Is the left going to be dominated by its talkers or get on with governance that can only happen with near infinite patience and loyal support? Does the left know how to follow a leader and get something done?

Q: "You mean I have to behave like a regular citizen once in a while and let the people I elect do their job?!"

A: If our self-styled free thinkers decide loyalty is beneath them and have forgotten how to compromise and live in the real world, a few election cycles from now the left is going to find itself reduced to screaming down their far right opposition at town hall meetings.

We have a great president. We have a chance for real change and we'd better use it. Sarah Palin and company are waiting in the wings.

My old friends on the far right are counting on the stupidity of right wing white America to believe their lies. They are also counting on the left being so in love with the sound of its own voice that the left can't govern.

How different things would be right now had everyone who voted for President Obama stuck by him and his administration with total determination, and waited until he had a chance to implement -- and test -- his programs, before wading in with the nit-picking.

The left faces the implacable and loony right. The chips are down. Support the President.

And once again, from one of my favorite bloggers, Bob Cesca, and if you don't read him you really should.. he says this.. and this was a couple of weeks ago:

The Republicans, talk radio and Fox News are fabricating off-the-wall lies practically on a daily basis. The Healther crazies are mobilized by corporate lobbyists. Blue Dogs are holding up progress. The corporate press is all but signing the death sentence for Healthcare Reform 2009. And the public option? Jesus H, I long for the days when we were just fighting for that -- now it looks like we'll be lucky to get any sort of healthcare reform in general.

So what do we do when these enemies are so well defined and screaming out for razor-sharp counterattacks?

Why, we're liberals and progressives. We attack each other, of course!

For example, four of the eight Recommended Diaries on Daily Kos are screeds attacking the administration. I don't know quite what to make of this dynamic, but the overall narrative seems skewed and misguided right now. I can say for certain that, whether justified or not, there's a time and a place for everything, and, right now, there are a clear set of opposition targets and they're ripe for the picking.

Adding... To clarify, I don't have any problem with being critical of the Obama administration or holding him accountable. I've gone down that road many times. And I will probably flip my shit if he signs a healthcare reform bill without the public option. However, what drives me insane is this exaggerated whiny "he's betraying us!" or "he's just like Bush!" horseshit.

Bob goes on in that post to site this list, which comes from a commenter at DailyKos called jonnie rae..

He stabilized the markets, so 401Ks are starting to slowly come back and we are not about to meltdown anymore.

Unemployment numbers are coming down dramatically from when he took over.

GDP went from 6.5 shrinkage to 1 shrinkage since he has been in office.

Tens of thousands of state employees still have jobs, and services are maintained because of his stimulus.

He ended torture.

He IS closing Gitmo.

95% of Americans are receiving a tax DECREASE.

He provided unemployment, food stamps and a 65% reduction in Cobra for those who lost their jobs.

He set new emissions standards.

He protected wilderness land set for oil leases.

He got Pakistan to agree to fight the Taliban, which Bush never could. The top leader was taken out this week.

He nominated and got confirmed the first latina Supreme Court Justice in history.

He signed Equal Pay for Equal Work, Children's Health Bill and Credit Card Reform.

He has a first time home owner's credit, a modification of mortgage plan in place. (This needs work, but it is in place)

He has made it easier for students to get college loans. (UMass just gave a 1500 rebate to all students because of the stimulus money.)

He has improved America's image around the world, especially with Muslim countries.

He got the 2 NK journalists out.

He got the non-proliferation treaties going again, and he will chair the next meeting. Already an agreement exists to reduce Russia's and US's arms.

A significant amount of the bailout money is being paid back. This is a good thing.

He has taken on healthcare, the most difficult thing to pass in the US. I am not completely happy with how he is doing it, but he is doing it.*

He ended the abstinence only thing. And the law that said a pharmacist could refuse to give birth control pills to women if they so chose.

He is sticking to the timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq.

He got funding for the useless bomber cut.And those heliocoptors. He plans to make more weapons' cuts.

He has cut 2 trillion from the budget over the next ten years.

He has taken on energy, the second most difficult thing to pass in the US and it has already passed the House.

He saved the American auto industry. (Cash for clunkers is doing great too, both for the industry and jobs, and for the environment.)

He is building a green economy for the US. First steps in the stimulus, others in the energy bill.

More jobs will be created in transportation when rest of stimulus kicks in in 2010.

He is facing complete disrespect and vilification from the media and the wingnuts,getting more than 30 death threats per day,and still goes on, calmly and with determination and intelligence.

* He has no champions in the Senate, only a small group of obstructionists who seem to have been given all the power by Harry Reid. The insurance industry has convinced people that he is Hitler; and this is only the beginning. If Pharma gets into it, what do you think will happen to healthcare? They have way more money than the insurance companies. You want him to fight all the corporate interests which actually OWN this country, including the Senate and Congress,and you want him to do that virtually alone? The left has attacked him almost from day one. The right is throwing the kitchen sink right now.

Now, if this isn't enough there is also this article from the Washington Monthly and Steve Benen who quotes E.J. Dionne and they are talking about how Pres. Obama is not getting the credit he deserves for the financial crisis and how he handled it.

It is a great read and you should check it out. They lay it out that Bush got credit for how he handled 9-11 even though he mis-handled it before hand.

He also quotes Ezra Klein who states that because Pres. Obama didn't let the crisis get out of hand and stopped it before it went out of control people don't realize exactly what he did.

Those are my thoughts and some thoughts of others around the web.. let me know what you think. Tell me and we can fix this together..

Monday, August 24, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again****** UPDATE

Shades of 1990, no, I think it is shades of the 1960's and the battle to pass Medicare.

I was perusing the web and found some things I thought was interesting. Since people seem to think this is Pres. Obama's fault we can't get Health Care done, because he hasn't been strong enough, and hasn't spoken out enough about the Public Option, and that's why there are so many problems getting it done, I thought I would see how history treated things and compared to what was happening now.

Here is the Op-Ed Michael Steele, Chairman of the RNC had in the Washington Post today. He titled it Protecting Our Seniors GOP Principles for Health Care.

Americans are engaged in a critical debate over reforming our health-care system. While Republicans believe that reforms are necessary, President Obama's plan for a government-run health-care system is the wrong prescription. The Democrats' plan will hurt American families, small businesses and health-care providers by raising care costs, increasing the deficit, and not allowing patients to keep a doctor or insurance plan of their choice. Furthermore, under the Democrats' plan, senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have their treatment options reduced or rationed.

Republicans want reform that should, first, do no harm, especially to our seniors. That is why Republicans support a Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights, which we are introducing today, to ensure that our greatest generation will receive access to quality health care. We also believe that any health-care reform should be fully paid for, but not funded on the backs of our nation's senior citizens.

The Republican Party's contract with seniors includes tenets that Americans, regardless of political party, should support. First, we need to protect Medicare and not cut it in the name of "health-insurance reform." As the president frequently, and correctly, points out, Medicare will go deep into the red in less than a decade. But he and congressional Democrats are planning to raid, not aid, Medicare by cutting $500 billion from the program to fund his health-care experiment. The president also plans to cut hospital payments and Medicare Advantage, all of which will mean fewer treatment options for seniors. These types of "reforms" don't make sense for the future of an already troubled federal program or for the services it provides that millions of Americans count on.

Second, we need to prohibit government from getting between seniors and their doctors. The government-run health-care experiment that Obama and the Democrats propose will give seniors less power to control their own medical decisions and create government boards that would decide what treatments would or would not be funded. Republicans oppose any new government entity overruling a doctor's decision about how to treat his or her patient.

Simply put, we believe that health-care reform must be centered on patients, not government.

Third, we need to outlaw any effort to ration health care based on age. Obama has promoted a program of "comparative effectiveness research" that he claims will be used only to study competing medical treatments. But this program could actually lead to government boards rationing treatments based on age. For example, if there are going to be only so many heart surgeries in a given year, the Democrats figure government will get more bang for its buck if more young and middle-aged people get them.

Fourth, we need to prevent government from dictating the terms of end-of-life care. Many of the most significant costs of care come in the last six months of a patient's life, and every American household must consider how to treat their loved ones. Obama's government-run health "reform" would pay for seniors' meetings with a doctor to discuss end-of-life care. While nonthreatening at first, something that is quite normal for a family to do becomes troublesome when the government gets involved. Seniors know that government programs that seem benign at first can become anything but. The government should simply butt out of conversations about end-of-life care and leave them to seniors, their families and their doctors.

Finally, we need to protect our veterans by preserving Tricare and other benefit programs for military families. Democrats recently proposed raising costs for the Tricare for Life program that many veterans rely on for treatment. Republicans support our veterans and believe that America should honor our promises to them.

Barack Obama campaigned on "post-partisanship." As president, however, Obama has shown that he is beholden to his party's left-wing ideologues. It's not too late for him to honor his pledges for bipartisan health-care reform. Reversing course and joining Republicans in support of health care for our nation's senior citizens is a good place to start. Doing so will help him restart the reform process to give Americans access to low-cost, high-quality health care.

This is very similar to the argument that was given to people by none other than Ronald Reagan, back in 1961, however it was a Radio Address, rather than an Op-Ed and you can listen to it via the YouTubes if you like... He laid it all out, the scare tactics, telling everyone how Medicare was going to be "Socialized" medicine and would be the death of us all.. It would be the end of America as we know it, and it would be terrible for the Senior Citizens in our country.

Here is the hero of the right.. Ronnie Raygunz....

And then... there is the AMA, who unlike now, is on our side.. So even though Pres. Obama has failed as the CW is saying... he has brought them around.. But, in 1962, when John Kennedy and LBJ, who everyone keeps saying Pres. Obama needs to be more like, was trying to get Medicare done.. the AMA was working against them.. Click here to see a copy of an ad the AMA ran in the New York Times.

It calls Health Care a Hoax, Millions will be left not covered, there will be limited benefits.

Sound familiar?

They took out a huge, (for that time) buy on television, and tried to blanket the airwaves with the news that this was a takeover of the health care system by the government. All except Boston, and they were terribly upset that Boston wouldn't buy into their scare tactics.. lol

So, as you see, everything we are seeing is nothing new.. and for everyone to say that it is the President's fault this is happening, I think is just a little naive. Yes, he was a little slow maybe in hitting back at the Republicans, but that is his style, he did the same thing to Hillary, and to McCain.

He wouldn't be who he was, if he came out swinging, that's just not his style...

I truly hope the members of Congress after this break can come together and after hearing our voices will do what we the people want. We have spoken to them, now they just need to do the correct thing.



From one of my favorite bloggers, Bob Cesca, he says some of the same things I have pointed out here.. If you think I am wrong or have misstated how Pres. Obama has mishandled this health care, go read some of Bob's stuff.. but his take on FDR and LBJ and Jack Kennedy are here and he says the same thing I do.. it is way overrated to think they were any different than Pres. Obama has been. So to say he needs to be more like them is just not correct and is just being silly... they settled for way less than what the president is asking for...and then the bills were added to later. That's not what the President wants, that's not what he is trying to do.. if that's what he wanted, this could have been done a long time ago.

To say the President has mishandled this health care reform debate is just not correct.. he has handled it just as he is.. in his own way.. He is the man we elected and nothing more. To demand him to change now is just silly on our part.. That's not what I expected or thought he would do.

If you thought he was going to be different.. then YOU didn't know Barack Obama.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Weekend Trip and a Trip Around the Internets

My trip this weekend was for my uncle. He is 84 and is a veteran of World War II. He served proudly in the United States Navy, aboard what he calls a baby flat top.

He was on the USS Prairie first, then he was on the USS Saginaw Bay. During his time on the Saginaw Bay, he had such a wonderful fun filled time. You can check out the fun time he had by clicking the link if you would like. As an 18 year old boy, fresh from his upbringing in middle America, (Indiana, West Virgina, Kentucky and Tennessee) this was eyeopening.

He left school after the 8th grade to join a thrill show. He was a dare devil driver. He drove a car while another guy rode the fender through a burning wall.. of course it was green wood, so the sparks would fly and it looked pretty, but normally there wasn't much danger. Once someone used the wrong lumber and it didn't splinter like it should and it knocked the riders teeth out. The owners name was Crash Davis and the show was just Crash Davis and the Hell Drivers.

But, back to my story of the war...on the Saginaw Bay he was all over the Pacific Ocean, he was at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, Mariana and Palau Islands campaign and the Philippines campaign.

I tell you this, only to say.. it is my honor and my pleasure to give back to him, just a small part of my time.. any time and every time he needs me or asks me for anything. He gave us all so much, as did my dad in WWII and as did all of our veterans.

We may not all agree on the wars and on the efforts of our fighting men and women, but when asked they served, and they sacrificed, it is the least we can do to give back to them in some small way.

My aunt is buried here in the Chicago suburbs, which is where they settled after the war, he too will be buried here when it is his time. That's why he wanted to come up here, to visit her grave on her birthday and make sure everything was still ready for his arrival sometime in the future, whenever that may be.

Now, change the subject...

I have found some new blogs and some old ones that are well worth visiting or re-visiting.

Some of the new ones..or maybe I should say least new to me and maybe to This one is called All the good names were taken.. and it is great. She writes about a variety of things, including politics and just life in general. Yesterday, her post was about, Garbage in her inbox..and it summed up what I feel some days... I think most of us can relate in one way or another.. let me quote a bit of what she said:

I do know, however, that it is truly bizarre that I am getting these e-mails from (and there's no polite way to put this) dumbfuck cousins who don't see just how incredibly stupid it is for them to fear a theoretical government-run health plan when the family tree is full of relatives who have struggled with medical bills for many years. My idiot cousin Wayne, for example, got to watch his sister totally stress out over her inability to pay her bills while she was dying of breast cancer. On what planet is it more acceptable for a dying woman to have to beg friends to put on spaghetti feeds and hold bake sales to raise money to pay her bills than it would be for her to have access to a system that would eliminate the bills to begin with? And this was a woman who had a decent job (school teacher) and the health insurance that came with it. So much for the private sector always doing a better job than the government.

One of the other people who sent me the anti-government health plan propaganda is a woman who's also dealing with cancer -- and she's past 70 now so her bills are all being paid by Medicare.

As I said, we all have relatives and friends like this, the RWNJ's who send us the emails about Government take over of Health Care and such...while they get Yeah, I know... Like my daughter, avid Fox listener, believes everything they say and it doesn't seem to matter how far out it is.. She told my uncle the other day that he was going to start being charged for his health care at the VA.. yeah.. remember..that was discussed back in what March..well that has resurfaced..

Now you see the tie in with my What a lot of people don't realize is that VA does charge the veterans for their medicine copays. So, when the president asked about the VA charging the insurance companies for their health care.. it was a reasonable request..they do charge Medicare already.. Bet a lot of people didn't know that either. My uncle gets a bill from VA for anywhere from $16.00 to $64.00 a month from the Veterans Administration for his Prescriptions every month.. always has..and will until and unless he gets 30% disability service connected.

Ok, back to the blogs..

The next "New" one in my list is Helloooo Mr President, and again she speaks her An example:

For those conservatives who will say "oh yea right, like we can believe", this same question was asked in a poll by NBC news and the Wall Street Journal,
If you have something smart to say about them then tough shit!

Mr. President I sure hope you are on board with this, Your job is on the line, the people are speaking loud and clear!
The progressives are banding together, Pelosi is bargaining, and I know this bill will happen, it will have a public option!

Republicans are supporting the insurance companies, not Americans. Their scare tactics will not work this time. Election after election we have listened to their fearmongering, we have looked at their ugly faces on commercial after commercial, NOT THIS TIME! Your death panels aren't believeable, we aren't listening to you when you say money will fund abortions, we aren't listening to you when you say illegals will have free coverage! We aren't afraid of you when you come to townhalls with your precious guns strapped to your legs. We don't read your stupid signs, ya know the ones that say NO PUBIC OPTION! Yes that was how the sign was printed, not my spelling mistake! LMAO!!! These wingnuts are stupid and we will never back down and let the likes of Palin and co. get the upper hand. Not as long as we have Barack Obama in the White House!!! Go get 'em Mr. President!!!

This is a newer blog.. and I think she has a bright future ahead of her.

Now, another one that I found, well actually was referred to me by one of my older blogs I read..TheMom.. You should check her out too.. she is pretty good.. Well her son has a new blog, check him out.. it is funny and pretty good.

He calls it Past the Velvet Rope and it includes Guest Lists ... it is funny and wonderful. I love his insight..and he is looking at it from the outside.. He is in Egypt. They are just getting started and only have a few posted so far..but with all the nonsense out there.. they have plenty of stupid to choose from.

Of course they are all in my blog roll off to the left.

One of my oldies but goodies is Talking to Tango.. if you really want the truth about Canadian Health Care.. that's a great place to check out.. He told his story a few posts back.. Tango's Daddy is a great man and a wonderful writer.. He has been blogging our story and our situation here for a long time.. Worth the time to read and read again..

One of the best new finds is Frank Schaeffer, I am sure most of you remember him from Rachel Maddow's show... He wrote the book Crazy for God and has exposed the so called Religious Right as the hypocrites they are..

Well, I hope that gives you some food for thought.. some things to look at and an idea as to what I have been up to this weekend.

As I said, it is my honor to help my uncle, just as it was to help my dad. WWII was a different time and I guess a different war than what we are in now, I don't know.. I still feel that we have to help and serve our veterans no matter what.. They and their families sacrifice and give what others can't and don't. We may not always agree with it, and we may not think it is correct, but we can still give to them after they serve.

I don't think anything that is done for or given to the Veterans is a waste or too great of an expense..that's just my opinion. When I see what they have given up and given to us.. what they have to go through to get what little they can get, for all they have done.. it is worth it.

My uncle still fights the war, at night in his sleep, in the day in his mind sometimes. Yet he can get nothing from the VA, we are still fighting them for compensation. I think 60 plus years is long enough to fight for what you were promised.

President's Weekly Address August 22, 2009

This week President Obama again speaks of Health Care. From his address this are the closing lines and the heart of the subject. My words can say no more than this. People must decide on their own.

President Obama debunks the myths around health insurance reform, and discusses the public option proposal in which many of them are rooted -- but he focuses his address on the stark moral and historical turning point at which we find ourselves: "This is our chance to march forward. I cannot promise you that the reforms we seek will be perfect or make a difference overnight. But I can promise you this: if we pass health insurance reform, we will look back many years from now and say, this was the moment we summoned what’s best in each of us to make life better for all of us. This was the moment we built a health care system worthy of the nation and the people we love. This was the moment we earned our place alongside the greatest generations. And that is what our generation of Americans is called to do right now."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going Out Of Town

I am going to be out of town for a few days.. I will have my lap top with me but am not sure of the connections available..

I will try to update as I can, but will have to see how time and events go...

In the meantime, you still have the list in the previous post.. emails please... to all of them.. reminding them we want the PUBLIC OPTION in our Health Care.. It doesn't matter if you have sent one.. send two.. or three.. or fifteen.

Hope you have a great time over the weekend and I will try to update as I can.


Monday, August 17, 2009

What's Actually Going on With the Public Option?

Yesterday evening and this morning that was the question on everyone's mind and tongues. Was the President backing away, is he dropping the Public Option. Has he sold us out?

That was the topic of conversation at the places I frequent the most on the web. Everyone had their opinion and most of them was that the President and Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary had sold us down the river and done away with the Public Option, and gone the way of the Co-Ops.

Ezra Klein wrote about it today in his column at the Washington Post and he said about what I felt about it.. it is much ado about nothing, to borrow a phrase. People are so used to being screwed over they are parsing every word and can't wait for this President and everyone around him to just dump on them.

This happens every few days or about every other week. Here is what Klein said,

I wish I'd had the foresight and vision to keep a Word document tracking every time the administration "hedged" or squirmed or twisted on the public option. I've lost count of the number of headlines and blog posts I've read accusing the White House of throwing the public option overboard. This week, the big news is that Kathleen Sebelius said the public option should not "be the only focus of the conversation." Which is, you know, true. She also telegraphed an openness to Kent Conrad's co-op compromise. This story is currently on A1 of The Washington Post, the New York Times, and pretty much everywhere else.

But is it news? I remember when the problem was Nancy-Ann DeParle saying the president supported the public option because you needed a way "keeping the private plans honest," but then qualifying that statement by saying, "if there are others ways of doing that [than a public option], he’d be open to talking about it." That was in April.

And I remember Sebelius saying that "you could theoretically design a co-op plan that had the same attributes as a public plan.” That was in June.

As far as I can tell, there's been no change in the administration's position. It has always supported a public plan option. It has never claimed it essential, or the only path to competition in the insurance market. The one deviation came in July, when Obama said the words "must include" in a sentence that also had the words "public option." But it's not clear whether he was talking about the health insurance exchange or the public option. And that only happened, to my knowledge, once. That statement, not this one, was the deviation.

The question has never been whether the White House supports the public option. It's whether Congress -- and, in particular, the Senate -- has the votes to pass it. Sebelius's statement this week does not change the administration's position. But it is being widely reported because it comes in context of the sagging popularity of health-care reform, and the changing conventional wisdom on the legislative politics. Namely, many think it increasingly likely that the White House will have to compromise on the public option because it will not be able to find sufficient votes in the Senate and is growing more desperate for a deal. That may or may not be true, but that's the actual story here. Blowing up Sebelius's comments is just a backdoor way of getting at it.

I agree with Ezra.. There was no change.. but it caused the White House or Gibbs or some other spokesperson to have to come out and say forcefully that the President still supports the Public Option and has not changed his mind.. Yet, the papers and blogs and all the cable channels this morning are still screaming that he has.

People, get a grip... the media is not our friend. Don't believe what they say. They are in the pocket of big business and they are going to do whatever they can to kill Health Care reform. Listen to the President when he speaks. Listen to Dr. Dean, to Pres. Clinton, but don't listen to these idiots who are out there making a buck trying to interpret what the President is saying.. like Chuck Todd.. Who said today and Saturday and Friday, the Public Option is dead. The Co-Ops are what we are going to have.

Sorry, Chuck.. I think you are very, very wrong.

I believe we have the votes in the House to pass a bill possibly HR 3200, which is a pretty good bill all things considered, with a strong Public Option.

In the Senate, Bob Cesca has a piece up and he writes that Guru Nate Silver has it all figured out:

According to Nate Silver and Chris Bowers, there are currently 43 senators who support the public option. There are an additional five who appear to be convincible. And there are seven who are against the public option, but who haven't said they'd vote against a reform bill with the public option included. Lumping the convincible five on top of the 43 definites, that's 48. Two more and Joe Biden gives us a majority.

The blue dogs could actually, in a back-door way, vote for the public option without literally voting for it. Ten of them could vote against the GOP filibuster and against the final bill. There just needs to be the political will from the White House and congressional leadership to thread this needle.

So, all the gnashing of teeth, wailing, whining and pulling of hair is really just us reading the papers and listening to the talking heads and playing right into the Rethuglican hands. That's all it is.. As long as we think it is dead and roll over and let them have it, they win...

So, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and stop it.. quit listening to every word out of everyone's mouth like it is stabbing you in the heart. Trust me, NO ONE.. NO ONE is giving up or dropping the Public Option. Got that...

Let me repeat that... One more time..


Now, that doesn't mean we should just sit back and do nothing... We need to stay involved and stay busy... so here is what we need to do. Again, I go back to Bob Cesca, because he put this all together for us, Bob does great work and I appreciate it immensely.

The New Coalition of the Corrupt & Spineless:

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Harry Reid (D-NV) (just because)
Phone: 202-224-3542
Fax: 202-224-7327

Max Baucus (D-MT)
Phone: 202-224-2651
Fax: 202-224-0515

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) (supports public option, but needs reinforcements)
Phone: (202) 224-5521

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) (supports public option, but needs reinforcements)
Phone: (202) 224-4843
Fax: (202) 228-1371

Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Phone: (202)224-5824
Fax: (202) 224-9735

Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Phone: (202) 224-2043
Fax: (202) 224-7776

Joe Lieberman (I-Douchebaggia)
Phone: (202) 224-4041
Fax: (202) 224-9750

Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Phone: (202) 224-5623
Fax: (202) 228-1377

Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Phone: (202) 224-6551
Fax: 202-228-0012

Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Phone: 202-224-5274
Fax: 202-228-2183

Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (supports the public option, but needs reinforcements)
Phone: (202) 224-6542
Fax: (202) 228-3027

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954

Tom Carper (D-DE)
Phone: (202) 224-2441
Fax: (202) 228-2190

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Phone: 202-224-3441
Fax: 202-228-0514

Mark Warner (D-VA)
Phone: 202-224-2023
Fax: 202-224-6295

Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Phone: (202) 224-2353
Fax: (202) 228-0908


Overall: 72 percent
Dem: 87 percent
Ind: 73 percent
Rep: 50 percent

Overall: 76 percent

Overall: 83 percent support

Lake Research:
Overall: 73 percent
Dem: 77 percent
Ind: 79 percent
Rep: 63 percent

Consumer Reports:
Overall: 66 percent

Kaiser Health:
Overall: 67 percent
Dem: 80 percent
Ind: 60 percent
Rep: 49 percent

Now, my advice is this... Go to Senate Locator and then find the EMail addresses for each of these Senators, then open your email program, write a short email and use the poll numbers in your email.. Remind them that you are a Democrat and so are they. DO NOT MENTION THAT YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT. THAT'S WHY I AM SAYING TO USE YOUR PERSONAL EMAIL, IF YOU USE THE FORM ON THEIR WEB SITE IT WILL ASK FOR YOUR LOCATION AND IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT THEY WILL IGNORE YOU.

Keep your emails short, courteous, and polite, thank them and sign your name. Again... only your email address.. no phone number, no home address..

Now, you have your marching orders... lol Thanks to Bob Cesca, Ezra Klein and everyone else for all your hard work... Don't be discouraged... and please.. don't parse words.. The President has not changed his mind, neither has anyone else..

Just to show how funny this all is.. someone even said that Kathleen said the same thing over and over again... So she is consistent... So what made yesterday different that threw everyone in a tailspin? That's what Ezra Klein was pointing out in his article.

Thanks, and get to work.

One more thing... again from Bob..

-House Ways & Means - PASSED - "Strong" public option
-House Education & Labor - PASSED - Public option
-House Energy & Commerce - PASSED - Public option

-The reconciled final House "Tri-Committee" Bill passed with a strong public option.

-Senate HELP Committee - PASSED - Public option
-Senate Finance Committee - The name for our pain

Just a reminder....We have a bill from the House.. All we are waiting on is the Senate Finance Committee.. then Reconciliation. So, why are we worried?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rachel Was On Meet The Press

No, I won't post it.. I won't give Gregory that much attention.. but I will post this after interview he did with her and her alone.. The reason I won't post the MTP is because Dick Armey, Tom Coburn and Tom Daschle were on with her and I just don't want to give the Rethugs any more face time.

They have had enough, it is time to stop giving them a voice and the time to spout their lies any longer.. because that is all they are doing.

But, this was good with Rachel.. even if she did have to talk to

So, here it is.

Dana Gould on Bill Maher

The absolute best part of Bill Maher last night was this part with Dana Gould. He interviewed some of the people at Rep. Adam Schiff's Town Hall, and then he talked to some people who were at the RAM medical event at the Forum.

Dana Gould is wonderful in this piece.. He is funny, bright and plays his part well with the idiots at the Town Hall, and gets the story. I think it is great that he nails them with the facts of their thought processes, they are so wrapped up in Ronald Reagan they can't see anything else.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

President's Weekly Address August 15, 2009

Real conversations about Health Care Reform, that's what we need to have. Not the shouting matches that we have seen at some of the Town Halls.

Real back and forth..honest conversations. Give and take, with respect and honest, truthful answers. If everyone would do that, we could have Health Care for all, and it would be passed with a majority of votes in both houses of Congress.

But, we can't have an honest conversation, because there is too much big money involved and too many Senators and Representatives paid off and too many lies being told that have to be debunked by someone.

Finally, some of the other Democrats are starting to push back too, so at least the president isn't the only one that is really putting truth to the lies out there, but when you are competing with a Cable Network, most of the other media outlets who can't call out a lie, almost all of the opposition party, and Insurance Companies and their lobbyists to boot, you need every voice you can to refute those lies.

But, the president has been doing a very good job of it I think.. and here he is again, putting himself out there to have a real talk about Health Care. He speaks truth, he speaks clearly, he speaks eloquently. Watch..

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jon Stewart Does it Again.. Why Can't Our Real Media Do This?

One more thing I want to add.. A picture I found that needs to be seen...The difference between protests on the left and the right.. We protested for the lives of people, the right is protesting against the lives of people..

Where is the media in this country? Do we have any reporters left? Any real media at all? No wonder this man(Jon Stewart, that is) is called the most trusted in news. Even Damon asked the President better questions than most of our so called main stream media, talking heads.

It appears that Glenn Beck had surgery in January 2008, and he didn't like it.. He wasn't happy with the care he received and went on his show, then on CNN and talked bad about the state of our health care system in America.. I am embedding the clip from his show on Headline News.. just so you can see nothing was taken out of context.. and I have to say, what a WATB..he had Hemorrhoid surgery for pity's sake.. you would think he had his entire rear cut off or something.. Geeze, I have had 5 abdominal operations and have never acted like he is acting... Give me a break you weak kneed sister.. But watch..

Of course, now.. it's different.. We have the best health care in the world. Because he is on Fox, and because Pres. Obama and the Democratic Congress wants to fix it. Tell me this isn't scripted.. His entire act is scripted.. from start to finish.. What a crock of lies this man is feeding and people are buying it.

I feel so sorry for the people who are buying into this garbage.. they are mostly older statistics show, and they are very vulnerable. So, if your grandparents or parents are one of the ones buying this crap.. tell them, show them.. he is lying to them.

We have to just continue to show these people for the fools and liars they are. That's the only way to get the point across and further the health care agenda. We will pass reform this year. Be positive, that's something I am sure of, and never more so than after listening to Pres. Clinton last night and Dr. Gov. Dean this morning at Netroots Nation.

That was some awe inspiring speechifying let me tell you.. actually Dr. Dean was a Town Hall type but still it was great.. I have always liked him..and still do.

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Like I said.. now things are different.. Best health care in the world.. yeah right.. Of course there is also the fact that now people are beginning to call them out for their lies too.

From a Town Hall in Washington we get Rick Larsen pushing back against the lies and answering like this:

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) was asked, "Why are all Americans being forced into a government-run health care and insurance plan when only 46 million out of 312 million are uninsured?" The questioner went on to suggest that most people without insurance could get it without government assistance and concluded, "I'd be willing for the government to buy insurance policies for the 8.2 million chronically uninsured, but the other 37.8 million are not the responsibility of the American citizens and ... and I am unwilling to throw my present health care away for them."

Larsen responded: "With regards to the first comment about being forced to buy health care, I'll say it again... The bill does not force anybody to buy health care ... The bill does not force people to change their health care plan. If you're in a plan, you will not be forced into the public option. You will not be forced into the health insurance exchange. Now folks will say that's not true, but I've got facts on my side and you've got Glenn Beck on your side. It's just not going to play out that way."

There is also video at this site. They had moved from an indoor location to a minor league ball park because of crowds and this woman was reading from a script printed out. This is the debate we are facing. But we are winning, if we keep pushing back.

Dr. Dean said this morning we have to just keep pushing the Democrats, even the so called Blue Dogs, to support their "Democratic President, and his Democratic Health Care with Democratic Support and to get it done". The emphasis is his not mine.

He also said emails, not phone calls or letters were the best.. to each of the Blue Dog Coalition Democratic Senators and House Members on the list at Bill Press's site and at his, Dr. Dean's site. He said if you call, they don't have to talk to you if you don't live in their area...but emails they have to take. Letters the same thing. They will ignore them if they aren't from within their district.

Sean Hannity got a wake up call too. Media Matters has a video of him getting some push back from a "focus group" he had on his show and people started telling him they were tired of the misinformation on the Health Care Reform. Watch:

Now, I can't stand Hannity, I think he is about as low as Rush..but this is probably the best thing that can start happening to these low life's.. That and the sponsors leaving Beck's show.. I think it is up to 8 on that now. That's some of the best work we have all done.. but we can't stop.. it has to continue. Keep pushing the advertisers. Red Lobster is one of the only ones still there.. that I know of.. call them, write them.. let them know you aren't happy with them.

Damon Weaver Interviews Pres. Obama

Damon Weaver finally got his interview with Pres. Obama. This young man has been waiting for this interview since last year before the election. I remember seeing him on MSNBC and Norah O'Donnell talking with him and trying to help him get to see the president around the Inauguration.

Well, he finally got his interview. This is one of the reasons I love my President. He treats this young man with all the respect and gives credence to him and the questions as he would if it was Brian Williams or Katie Couric asking him the questions. Instead it is Damon Weaver, 11 years old from Pahokee, Florida.

Watch, you will see what I mean.. Oh, and Damon gets a special announcement and breaking news too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Dumbing Down of America

I know I have talked about this before, but it has never been more evident to me than it is now. Just in the last few days, seeing the Town Hall events our Senators and Representatives are holding around the country.

On Hardball last night, Lawrence O'Donnell was sitting in for Tweety, which let me make a disclaimer the ONLY reason I watched it.. lol.. and he featured Katy Abram from Sen. Arlen Spector's Town Hall in Lebonan, PA. Now I have to give her credit for coming on the show. But, again, I think that shows how truly uninformed people are, and how dumb we have gotten.

She is such a low information person she couldn't even carry on a decent conversation with Lawrence really. She claimed to have no clue how much money her and her husband made in their small business and whether they would be subject to the tax break promised by Pres. Obama, or whether they had gotten one already. Which I think was a lie, I think she knew, she just didn't want to admit.

Then, when he asked where she was for the last 8 years, she started talking about 1991 and when Pres. Bush 41 took us into Iraq the first time, and said it seemed like we had been at war ever since.

This, THIS is the sleeping giant she threatened Sen. Spector with?

Here is a blog post from a commenter at Think Progress called Zooey, and their take on it.. great piece by the way.. and I had to give them a shout out and link to them.

When he asked her what it was she wanted, she stated she wanted to go back to what the "Founding Fathers" wanted this country to be. These are nothing more than Glenn Beck talking points. So he then challenged her with Medicare and Social Security. That's when she really let her lack of knowledge shine through. But, Lawrence was gentle with her, he didn't belittle her, he didn't berate her as Tweety would have done, he just asked her questions and let her show herself as the true simpleton she was.

She even stated, that she had stayed with friends the night before and they told her she was wrong..but she wouldn't budge from her position. Oh, and just in case you think it is just her.. Here is a picture of her husband from the Town Hall in all his glory.. Just in case you think she is the only backwards one in the family. I just pity the kids.

So, these are the "Sleeping Giants" that are finally awakened, by of all things, Health Care Reform.

They slept through 9-11, the destruction of Habeas Corpus, Afghanistan, lying us into Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Attorney firings, Scandals out the wazoo, the financial collapse, two of the most contentious elections ever, and then the election of the first black President. And it took Health Care Reform to wake these "Sleeping Giants"?

Damn they must sleep soundly. That's all I can say.

Here is the video of Lawrence and her.. and for a bonus.. there is also video of her on Faux News.. lol Just for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Free Health Care in LA, 8,000 Today, Goes for 7 Days...UPDATE

They are doing free Health Care in Los Angeles today and for the next 7 days. 8,000 people lined up and camped out overnight to have eye exams, dental work, health screenings, all done free in the stadium at Inglewood, CA.

It is at the Great Western Forum, where the Lakers used to play. They do have private rooms for some treatments so there will be some privacy as needed.

This video is from CNN..that's the only video I have seen I got this from a comment I found on TPC. They are short doctors and dentists because they can only use ones from in state.

Yet, we have no crisis in Health Care... If this doesn't say we have a crisis, what does it say? 8,000 and they expect this many every day for 7 days. That's sad.

UPDATE***************** From Alternet..... we get this:

I just heard on TV that they think nearly 100,000 people showed up for this event. I don't know if that's true, but the crowd was much more vast that the above report indicates. Of course, there are three million uninsured in LA, so that's really just a drop in the bucket.

Just WOW... that's amazing to me in a way.. then again it isn't, we knew it was bad right? maybe people will start to see how bad it really is.. if only we had a media in this country that would show it.

Jon Stewart Takes on Teh Crazy at The Town Halls

Here is Jon Stewart's take on the Town Halls and Teh Crazy that is out there.

What made this funny was that Zirgar at his blog had put up a post that referenced Healther Skelter.... and that was what Jon Stewart called his piece. Z and I talked about it briefly on Twitter later on...

Here is Jon if you didn't see it.. He is brilliant as always.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
Daily Show
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Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Death Panels, Health Care Reform and Craziness

It's really getting crazy in this mess with the Health Care Reform. Last Friday Sarah Palin weighed in on her Facebook page with her talk of "Death Panels" by Pres. Obama and how they would kill her parents and her son Trigg who has Down Syndrome. She now has 6,346 people who "like" her note, as it is called.. now I am not sure what that means.. if it means they agree or what..but that's what it says. There are also 2,205 comments and they are NOT all in agreement.

Some of those commenter's actually say to her she is a liar and that she is just ignorant, some even go so far as to ask where she came up with something like that. Of course there is the usual bad mouthing back and forth..but that happens when you get Palin supporters involved in anything.

However, lets go on from there and look what has since developed. Newt Gingrich was on This Week on ABC Sunday and of course agreed with Palin, which prompted even George Stephanopolous to tell him he was wrong. Joan Walsh does it better than I could ever do it by taking down Gingrich.

It gets sillier: Now we have two potential candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, spewing the worst sort of lie about President Obama's health plan: That it will establish "death panels" to decide who deserves medical care and who deserves euthanasia.

Clearly the GOP has decided this issue is a winner. Older Americans are still more reliable voters than middle-aged and young voters, and Republicans are seeing political value in scaring them with threats of mandatory euthanasia and a Medicare collapse. It was amusing to see Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, no big Medicare proponent, warning hysterically Sunday that the Democrats want "a half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts." This from the party that's also railing about how the Obama plan will add to the deficit, and is opposing every reasonable effort to curtail dangerously out-of-control healthcare costs, whether public or private.

On ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopolous," Gingrich was given a chance to reject Palin's false and vicious claims about "death panels." Part of me expected Gingrich to take that opportunity; whatever else he is, Gingrich doesn't seem demonstrably stupid, and the "death panel" rhetoric seemed beneath him. It also might have been a good way to distinguish himself from a possible 2012 rival.

Once again I gave too much credit even to a Republican I dislike. Gingrich declined Stephanopolous' generous offer, and instead allied himself with Palin's take on Obama's plan: “You're asking us to decide that the government is to be trusted ... You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there are clearly people in American who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards."

There is also video of the matter there, with Howard Dean on the other side of this equation. In the video that Joan has up Howard doesn't get a chance to put Newt down but George does push back on him very hard, yet Newt still gets his Stupid on and tries to lie his way to the Hall of Fame of Liars.

But to get back to Sarah's Death Panels... Mike Madden at Salon makes another very good point. They are already here.

The future of healthcare in America, according to Sarah Palin, might look something like this: A sick 17-year-old girl needs a liver transplant. Doctors find an available organ, and they're ready to operate, but the bureaucracy -- or as Palin would put it, the "death panel" -- steps in and says it won't pay for the surgery. Despite protests from the girl's family and her doctors, the heartless hacks hold their ground for a critical 10 days. Eventually, under massive public pressure, they relent -- but the patient dies before the operation can proceed.

It certainly sounds scary enough to make you want to go show up at a town hall meeting and yell about how misguided President Obama's healthcare reform plans are. Except that's not the future of healthcare -- it's the present. Long before anyone started talking about government "death panels" or warning that Obama would have the government ration care, 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, a leukemia patient from Glendale, Calif., died in December 2007, after her parents battled their insurance company, Cigna, over the surgery. Cigna initially refused to pay for it because the company's analysis showed Sarkisyan was already too sick from her leukemia; the liver transplant wouldn't have saved her life.

That kind of utilitarian rationing, of course, is exactly what Palin and other opponents of the healthcare reform proposals pending before Congress say they want to protect the country from. "Such a system is downright evil," Palin wrote, in the same message posted on Facebook where she raised the "death panel" specter. "Health care by definition involves life and death decisions."

I would say that qualifies as a "Death Panel", some faceless, nameless, person deciding if my procedure is going to be covered and if I qualify for everything I am paying for.

It wasn't a matter of life and death, but just recently I had a problem with my insurance coverage.. all due to either a data entry problem or a coding error, I have no idea. I had a routine test, well what they consider a routine test for us older had all my pre-authorizations and everything done and had it done and about 3 weeks later got my first bill. Not covered.

Let me back up, since I am disabled, I have Medicare and so I have very good insurance, first of all.. sorry I should have mentioned that.. My fight for reform is for the millions of you who have nothing, and for the meds I have to take which are not covered under the wonderful (snark engaged) Part D, that Bush gave us without paying for it.

So, I called to see why my procedure, which is normally covered, other than a co-pay was not covered, and I was being billed over $2,000. It seemed it was covered, but as I said, it was either someone had given it the wrong name (coded wrong) or it was entered wrong on the computer. After a 15 minute phone call it was fixed, and the bill was resubmitted to the insurance and all was well. That was the easy one.. sometimes they aren't that easy.

Today... Greg Sargent brings out another problem Sarah may have, her OWN "Death Panels" left over from when she was in office in Alaska.

State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found…

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

Seems like Sarah better back up.. oh wait she did.. After so many called her a liar, said she was being inflammatory and ginning things up.. she came out Monday and said we needed to not be so hostile in our rhetoric. Yeah, way to cool things down Sarah. Shut that barn door after the horse is out. Makes sense to me.

Just a quick footnote.. but only because I think he is wonderful... Dr. Dean weighed in on Palin and her foolishness too.. at Huffington Post.. Here are his thoughts on her and her Death Panels and the media response.

In fact, these kinds of claims are lies. There is no nice way to say it. This kind of stuff is far beyond the usual politicians' tricks of shading words and imputing meanings that aren't there. To quote a famous American who began the process of ending the McCarthy era in the fifties I address the MSM: "At long last, Have you no sense of decency?"

Well said Dr. Dean.. Well Said.