Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health Care Law Includes.

NYT writes about some surprises that were included in the Health Care Bill.

Now this is definitely a Republican Idea.

ABSTINENCE MAKES A COMEBACK Abstinence-only education programs to prevent teenage pregnancy took a hit when President Obama took office and eliminated $115 million in funding, moving the money into more comprehensive programs that covercontraception and sexually transmitted diseases as well. Congress allowed another $50 million in abstinence-only funding to expire in June. The health reform law restores $50 million a year for abstinence-only programs for each of the next five years. But there’s a catch: states must match any federal funding they receive. “That may be significant,” said Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute. Last year, even before the previous $50 million expired, she said, “many states had already stopped participating.”

An Investment into our Youth.

NURSING A BOND BETWEEN MOTHER AND CHILD Pregnant teenagers who receive home visits by nurses once or twice a month before delivery and for a few years afterward learn parenting and coping skills that can cut child abuse and neglect nearly in half, according to research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The $1.5 billion that home-visiting programs will receive over five years is by far the biggest financial commitment made to those evidence-based programs, said David Kass, president of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nonprofit anticrime organization.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WTF Moment.

Fox News is a Joke.

Fair and Balanced?

Obama Administration Playing Hard Ball with States on Education.

Ezra Klien writes today about Delaware and Tennessee becoming the only States in the nation to be awarded Government "Race to the Top" Grants for education.

Wouldn't a Socialist give all the states equal education funds?

Klien writes.

Race to the Top is a $4.35 billion grant program created in the stimulus package. You can read the official description here, but the short version is that the states submit proposals to improve their education system to the federal government, and if the Feds approve, the states get a pot o' money with which to implement the plan. The idea isn't just to fund public schools, but to use the promise of federal money in a time of strapped state budgets to empower reformers. The program has garnered bipartisan praise, including a glowing column from David Brooks.

But it's hard to say no to states. A lot of people worried that the government wouldn't be very rigorous in its selection process, so there'd be little incentive for states to work for the funds. Think again. Out of 16 finalists, the administration only gave money to two of them (which, as Jay Matthews notes, will make the results easier to track). That means there's more than $3 billion left in the pot. And the efforts made by the winners are instructive: Tennessee's legislature, for instance, met in two special sessions and passed a law lifting the cap on charter schools. It also got endorsements from 93 percent of the state's teachers unions.

Give Klien's post a read, it is very interesting.

A Little Something for the Right Wing.

Saw this on the Daily Dish.

The Tax Foundation compares Obama-Care to President Bush's Medicare Part D expansion.

Back in 2004, President Bush and many congressional Republicans put into law a large entitlement increase in the form of expanding Medicare to include prescription drugs for seniors.

Last week, President Obama and Democrats in Congress put into law a large entitlement increase in the form of comprehensive health care reform, which critics have dubbed "ObamaCare."

Many Republicans, with the backing of the new tea party movement, have criticized the latter as a huge burden on future generations and something that our nation cannot afford. But many of these same Republicans supported a rather large expansion of Medicare back in 2004. This raises the question: which expansion of government in health care will cost more?

According to CBO, the gross cost of the coverage provisions of the new health care bill in 2019 (excluding reinsurance and repayments) will cost $192 billion. This includes Medicaid expansion and refundable/nonrefundable tax credits to subsidize health insurance coverage for certain people.

According to President Obama's most recent budget, according to the current baseline, Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefits) will cost $103 billion (after premiums), which is a little over half of the size of "ObamaCare" for 2019.

(I'm ignoring the financing of either bill and just looking at gross costs, as well as the fact that there are many regulatory provisions in the new health care bill that expand government's reach in health care.)

However, Medicare Part D, like much of Medicare, is likely to grow much faster than the new health care entitlement that went into law. Therefore, if the new health care entitlement grows at a rate of say 6-7 percent per year, whereas the prescription drug benefit grows at rate of say 9-10 percent per year, it will turn out that around 2040, the Republican entitlement will be costing more than "ObamaCare."

Of course, who knows what Congress is likely to do in terms of changing any of these policies going forward, meaning these numbers are totally back of the envelope. The point here, however, is that just like Obama will say one thing when it sounds good and do something that totally contradicts what he has said, many "small government" Republicans who are supposedly concerned about the future financial health of the nation will talk a good game about their philosophy until it becomes politically expedient to do otherwise.

This just illustrates the hysteria that was stoked by the right toward Health Care Reform. Who knows how the numbers will work out in the long run. But no matter what happens, Obama-Care took steps to pay for itself, while Medicare part D wasn't even attempted to be paid for. Now add that to the possibility that they could very well end up costing the same by 2040. Then ask yourself, which party talks a game about fiscal responsibility and which party actually tries to pay for their initiatives?

The GOP runs on fiscal responsibility and smaller government, but when was the last time they put that platform into practice?

Quote of the Day.

Found this on The Daily Beast.

Conor Friedersdorf writes about Michael Steele's GOP expense report scandal.

It’s time to stop enabling an ideological apparatus that pretends to abhor coastal elites, even while using their finest faux lesbian strip clubs as recruiting venues.

How could Steele allow this to leak? The GOP prides itself on being morally righteous, even though we know its bullshit. I'm sure this mistake will cost Steele his job one way or another.

5 Good Minutes (or less)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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What Does Slavery, Civil Rights and Health Reform Have in Common?

Sean Wilentz of The New Republic writes a fantastic article dealing with the issue of nullification and interposition, and how they are always used after a political defeat, such as what happen with the recent passing of Health Reform.

Wilentz points out how the basic sore losers use these tactics in a blatant attempt to get their way after a Democratic defeat, spitting in the face of Article VI of the Constitution.

Wilentz writes.

Now, as in the 1860s and 1960s, nullification and interposition are pseudo-constitutional notions taken up in the face of national defeat in democratic politics. Unable to prevail as a minority and frustrated to the point of despair, its militant advocates abandon the usual tools of democratic politics and redress, take refuge in a psychodrama of “liberty” versus “tyranny,” and declare that, on whatever issue they choose, they are not part of the United States or subject to its laws—that, whenever they say so, the Constitution in fact forms a league, and not a government. Although not currently concerned with racial supremacy, the consequence of their doctrine would uphold an interpretation of the constitutional division of powers that would permit the majority of any state to reinstate racial segregation and inequality up to the point of enslavement, if it so chose.

That these ideas resurfaced 50 years ago, amid the turmoil of civil rights, was as harebrained as it was hateful. But it was comprehensible if only because interposition and nullification lay at the roots of the Civil War. Today, by contrast, the dismal history of these discredited ideas resides within the memories of all Americans who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s—and ought, on that account, to be part of the living legacy of the rest of the country. Only an astonishing historical amnesia can lend credence to such mendacity.

It strikes me as funny, that the party who constantly accuses the Democratic party of stepping all over the Constitution, now wants to ignore it to get their way.

Read the article it gives perspective to what many GOP State Attorney Generals are trying to do.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Come On Tea Party!

Paul Krugman wrote an article today, framing the argument for Financial Regulation Legislation. Krugman does a nice job showing the need for reform, giving examples why and so forth. But something in the article rubbed me the wrong way.

Krugman writes.

But won’t opponents of reform fear being cast as allies of the bad guys (which they are)? Maybe not. Back in January, Frank Luntz, the G.O.P. strategist, circulated a memo on how to oppose financial reform. His key idea was that Republicans should claim that up is down — that reform legislation is a “big bank bailout bill,” rather than a set of restrictions on the banks.

Sure enough, a few days ago Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, in a letter attacking the Dodd bill, claimed that an essential part of reform — tougher oversight of large, systemically important financial companies — is actually a bailout, because “The market will view these firms as being ‘too big to fail’ and implicitly backed by the government.” Um, senator, the market already views those firms as having implicit government backing, because they do: whatever people like Mr. Shelby may say now, in any future crisis those firms will be rescued, whichever party is in power.

The only question is whether we’re going to regulate bankers so that they don’t abuse the privilege of government backing. And it’s that regulation — not future bailouts — that reform opponents are trying to block.

Where is the Tea Party on this? Where is Ron Paul? Does anybody see what is going on here? Or are they too busy cleaning their guns for the Beck Revolution that is going to stop the actions of our Socialist President? Good God wake up. The GOP is in "No" mode. Because it is working, they are polling well. But what about us? What about the inflation of the next bubble, and its subsequent explosion? Look I loved President Reagan like the next guy, but deregulating the banking industry proved to be not his finest hour. It turns out, it was like leaving the cookie jar in my 5 year olds bedroom.

Come on Tea Party, stop listening to the Dick Armey's of the world, and start looking at who the GOP is consulting when making policy decisions that affect the people. A fat little red faced pollster, is driving policy for the party who can't wait to absorb you when you fail as a movement, and you will fail if you continue to believe everything that is said on Fox News.

Your movement has so much potential, but I fear you're unbridled anger at the White House over Health Care, which really is very much like the GOP counter plan devised by the Conservative Heritage Foundation in 1993-94, and Mitt Romney's Massachusetts's Health Care plan, is blinding your movement.

The GOP in my opinion is playing your movement like a fiddle, they have already enraged you over health care, and they plan to tell you that financial regulation is just another bailout for Wall Street. Will you again fall in the same trap? Blindly believing a party that tolerates you because they are out of power, hoping for your vote in November.

Come on Tea Party!

Was The Constitution Passed in a Sleazy Manner?

Rick Hertzberg of The New Yorker writes about the process behind the passing of the Constitution, and similarities to that of Health Care Reform passage.

He writes.

It occurred to me the other day that the Constitution itself was ratified in much the same way that health-care reform finally got passed.

The ratification fight was a few months shorter than the health-care fight, but it was at least as contentious. In many states approval was far from a sure thing. The ideological lines weren’t the same then as they are now—the French wouldn’t invent “left” and “right” for another couple of years—but some of the issues Federalists and Anti-Federalists tussled over still echo. Some skeptics of the new charter feared a big expansion of centralized power. Some worried that their liberties would be put in peril.

What emerged during the process was an informal but unmistakable promise by proponents to make adding a bill of rights the new national government’s first order of business. At the New York ratification convention—the one that the Federalist Papers were written to influence—Hamilton struck a deal to make ratification conditional on a recommendation that a bill of rights be appended. Even so, the thing passed by just three votes out of fifty-seven. Without a lot of such slip-slidey maneuvering the whole effort would have collapsed.

In other words, pass and patch. In other words, reconciliation.

Were the Founding Fathers Sleazy deal makers? I think not, what is interesting here is this occurred before the French even invented, the political Right and Left.

Which sheds light on an argument we have been having since the beginning of our Nation. The argument about the role of Government will forever be the flash point of partisan bickering, but just because one side succeeds within the framework of our political rule, much like those who ratified the Constitution, it doesn't make them Anti-American, or Socialists.

Medicare, Social Security, were battles fought almost exactly the same way. Ronald Reagan said this about Medicare.

“Write those letters now. Call your friends, and tell them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. And behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country, until, one day…we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this, and if I don’t do it, one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Reagan makes a passionate plea to stop the passage of Medicare. Which is fine, but he was wrong. Medicare is a government social safety net that makes our nation collectively stronger. Reagan knew that when he was President. That is why he never tried to repeal Medicare, a program he fought to stop. Because it works.

Of course these programs are not perfect, what in life, not just government life, is perfect? Things need to be adjusted and tweaked all the time. These programs are no different. But to say we are not as free a people because of Health-Care Reform, or Medicare, is simply rhetoric from an ultra free society.

Only the freest society in the world complains they are losing freedoms when the government passes a Health-Care Reform bill, that helps insure the uninsured and discriminated against.

Instead of using our children as a fear mongering tactic in terms of debt. Why don't we teach our children how to lose gracefully within the rules, so our next generation of leaders can bring politics back to a more civil era. We all too often teach our children, winning is everything. I would say many of the GOP leadership was taught that same lesson, and this blind attempt for political victory clouds their judgement toward what their job description actually entails. They are supposed to represent the people, not lie to them for their political gain in a mid term election.

My son and daughter will be taught how to lose gracefully, and win with respect. They will be reprimanded if they ever act like John Boehner who called Health Reform "Armageddon" when he knew the bill was going to pass. His actions were worse then my 5 year old when he loses at UNO MOO. The problem is I can teach my five year old how to lose with class.

But who will teach Representative Boehner?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Eric Cantor Scolds DNC for Politicizing Threats After Health Care Vote.

Eric Cantor is an empty suit. He scolds the Democratic Party for reporting threats after the populus was whipped into a frenzy by rhetoric from his side of the aisle.

Then he acts as if he has been attacked when Virginia police say it was a stray bullet that struck his office.

Maybe Mr. Cantor, you should have waited to see if you were actually attacked before you went to the press with your political fantasy of being shot at.

His home town newspaper writes.

RICHMOND — A bullet that hit a window in Republican U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor’s office building was fired randomly into the air, police said Thursday.

Cantor announced at a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday that a shot had been fired into his Richmond campaign office.

In addressing reporters, he denounced threats and vandalism against Democrats who passed sweeping health care reform legislation that has angered conservatives, but accused senior Democrats of inciting retribution against Republicans.

“It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain,“ Cantor told reporters.

Cantor scolds the DNC below.

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The Consequences of Doing Nothing.

Obama is Having a Good Week. Finally!

The Health Reform fixes passed the House last night. Giving Obama a huge Legislative victory at home.

While today he has reached an agreement with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on a mutual reduction of our nuclear arsenal. Giving Obama a victory abroad as well.

The Washington Post writes.

The treaty calls for both sides to reduce the stockpiles of their most dangerous weapons, those already deployed and ready to launch at long-range targets, by about 30 percent, allowing each side to retain about 1,550 such missiles.

Of course the GOP may have a problem with such a treaty.

But the deal now faces some skepticism in the Senate, where it will need Republican support to get the 67 votes required for ratification. Several key GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have recently expressed concerns about the treaty's impact on the U.S. missile defenses program.

Can anyone say Politics as usual. God forbid if we only have 1500 long range nuclear missiles. Does the GOP need a win so bad that they would block such a treaty?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

WTF Moment.

Is that a Midget riding Kirk?

Blogger Fight!

Megan McArdle of the Atlantic wants predictions of what the Health Care Bill will look like in the not so distant future, not as a gotcha moment if it doesn't happen, yeah right!

I'm sure if every prediction doesn't come true, we won't see a "I told you so" article 20 years from now.

She writes.

However "imperfect" this bill is, you got what you wanted: virtually all the uninsured are covered, and those who aren't covered probably aren't particularly unhealthy. So now you should be willing to state that all the marvelous things you claimed would come to pass, will actually come to pass. Over a reasonable time frame. You cannot tell me that we will save hundreds of thousands of lives over a fifty or sixty year time frame. I mean, you can, but then I don't take you seriously. That's a few of thousand lives a year, far lower than the number of American lives claimed annually by "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin"--at a cost of $200 billion a year, or $70-100 million per life saved. I know, every life is priceless, but US policy cannot actually be operated as if this were true. Moreover, when you stretch out the time frame this way, your theory is non-falsifiable: a few thousand lives a year is too small to be distinguished from statistical noise

Ezra Klien is willing to make some Health Care Predictions.

He writes in response.

I'm a little confused by this post Megan McArdle has written saying that I refuse to make testable predictions regarding the eventual impact of health-care reform. As I told her in the e-mail exchange that led to her post, I believe that by 2030 we will have "peer-reviewed research" that will have quantified at least tens of thousands of lives saved. As research tends to take a few years to collect, I expect that will only cover about 10 or 15 years of the bill. To quote again from my part of the e-mail, I believe we will have research showing that this law "prevent[ed] a hundred thousand insurance-amenable deaths within 30 years of full operation.

Klien doesn't stop there, here is the rest of his top 11.

I don't think that's exactly ducking the question. It seems like a testable prediction to me. And I'll make a few more:

1) The excise tax will go into effect on schedule, but it might be indexed to inflation plus one (or even two) percentage points, rather than just inflation.

2) The Medicare cuts will also go into effect with very few, if any, changes.

3) There will be at least one policy in the bill that will be a very effective cost control but that we're not thinking of. One contender for this is the provision penalizing hospitals with high infection rates, which could save quite a lot of money in terms of readmission and recuperation costs if it's effective.

4) There's a very good chance that the difference between the bill's spending and its cost controls/revenues/reforms will prove greater than what the Congressional Budget Office is predicting. To make this a bit clearer, I think there's at least a 60 percent chance that the bill saves in excess of $1.5 trillion between 2020 and 2029.

5) This policy will be very popular in 10 or 15 years. The GOP will not talk of repeal, and will instead argue that they will do a better job administering the health-care system than Democrats.

6) Premiums will grow more slowly inside the exchanges than has been the historical average for the individual and small-business markets.

7) There is a chance -- say, 30 percent -- that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (the Medicare commission) becomes an extremely, extremely important government body.

8) There will be significant supplementary reforms by 2018.

9) Most Americans will not find America to be a substantially more tyrannical, totalitarian or socialist country come 2020. The frenzy over this bill will be something people quote to discredit future frenzies, not to give added weight to tomorrow's hysterical predictions.

10) There will be strong evidence that this bill led to important quality improvements in medical care, particularly in terms of hospital-acquired infections and cost-effectiveness of treatments.

Only time will tell who is the winner of this Blogger Fight.

Should The Pope Resign?

Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Dish has written extensively about the scandal within The Catholic Church, including the Pope. What he wrote today was so very insightful I recommend everyone to give it a read.

Sullivan really gets to the heart of the problem, conjuring his own demons as a young gay teen, to explain his point of view.

Here is an excerpt from his post, Sin or Crime?

These men are too objectively disordered to run a church. They bask in self-denial, while they wage a culture war against gay men who have actually dealt with their sexuality, who have owned it, and celebrated it and even found ways to channel it into adult relationships and even civil marriage.

We all know this game is now over. The current Pope is now found directly responsible for two clear incidents of covering up or ignoring child abuse and rape. As head of the organization that took responsibility for investigating these cases for so long, his complicity in this vast and twisted criminal conspiracy is not in dispute. If he were the head of a secular organization, he would have already resigned and be cooperating with the police.

But he is the Vicar of Christ on earth.

It's hard to imagine a deeper crisis for the Catholic hierarchy than this. If the church is to survive - and it will because it is the vessel of eternal truth - it will have to go through a wrenching transformation.

Beginning with the resignation of this Pope and an end to priestly celibacy.

Give his post a read. He provides an insight to this issue that is very rarely given.

Urban Meyer Goes Off.

Here is the Article from Jeremy Fowler of The Orlando Sentinel

Follow the Money: Big Bank Defender, John Boehner

I would have never guessed John Boehner gets his bulk of campaign contributions from the Financial, Energy, and Health Industries.

Who knew?

Is Wall Street in Ohio?

This information is from Open

Sectors, 2009-2010

Energy & Natural Resources$112,500
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate$212,390
Lawyers & Lobbyists$26,100
Misc Business$122,250
Based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Sunday, February 21, 2010.

Someone Tell Beck, Churchill Was For Universal Health Care.

Crazy man Beck has been quoting Churchill quite a bit lately, in defense of his hatred of health reform. But something tells me you wont see this quote on the Beck show.

Winston Churchill March 1944;

The discoveries of healing science must be the inheritance of all. That is clear. Disease must be attacked, whether it occurs in the poorest or the richest man or woman simply on the ground that it is the enemy; and it must be attacked just in the same way as the fire brigade will give its full assistance to the humblest cottage as readily as to the most important mansion. Our policy is to create a national health service in order to ensure that everybody in the country, irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation, shall have equal opportunities to benefit from the best and most up-to-date medical and allied services available

Good God Beck! Churchill was a Socialist, or a Communist, or maybe your argument is riddled with lies and hyperbole.

WTF Moment.

This was faxed too Bart Stupak's office.

An Open Letter To The Tea Party

Dear; Members, Leadership, and Activists

I believe your movement is at a crossroads, many in your movement were motivated by an honorable mission statement, with the goal of bringing America back to a time of cohesiveness that resembled 9-12-2001, when all Americans stood together after a catastrophic event in our nations history.

Unfortunately that mission statement is becoming tainted by a number of members and local leadership that threatens to render your movement moot.

Your very movement is encouraging and acting out against the very democratic process that makes our country great. You were heard in town halls across America, you almost got your way, but in the end, the Senate passed Health Care Legislation with a 60 vote super majority, the House passed the Senate bill, and it became Law. That is how our system works. Budgetary issues within the bill are currently being dealt with, by using a reconciliation process that is part of our political fabric, and has been used many times before now. In polls across America, the health care issue is a basic 50/50 split, and is trending toward approval.

What will you do? Will you continue to give out false information through Tea Party websites, like that of the Danville Virginia chapter of the Tea Party? Which gave the address of Representative Tom Perriello's brother, thinking it was the Congressman's address. The Congressman's brothers propane tank line was cut soon after. Is this what the Tea Party stands for?

Your movement is at a crossroads. Your movement has a decision to make. Will your members, leadership, and activists, actively denounce and remedy the actions and behavior of your movement toward violence and intimidation? Or will you resemble the moderate faction of Islam, that is largely afraid to condemn the radical behavior that taints their worldwide image?

The legitimacy of your movement hangs in the balance. Will you use the examples of successful protest by the likes of King, and Gandhi? Or will you continue down this same path? The choice that is made in the next couple of months will be the one that marks the possibility of adding a legitimate third party to our political landscape, or the beginning of the end, of a movement that was hijacked by its radical activists from within.


William Armstrong

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is Anybody Still a Republican?

If you still believe you are a Republican, look at the company you share.

This is from a new Harris poll which surveyed 2230 people.
  • 67 percent of Republicans believe that Obama is a socialist.
  • 57 percent of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim
  • 45 percent of Republicans agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was "not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president"
  • 38 percent of Republicans say that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did"
  • Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans say that Obama "may be the Antichrist."

Does anybody find this disturbing? I hate to say this, because it is alarmist, but I fear for the Presidents life.

The Beck Crazy Talk Continues.

Apparently the Obama Administration has broken three of the Ten Commandments because Health Reform passed. He warns that the Administration may break another Commandment and kill him for speaking the truth about reform.

I think Beck should do his show with tin foil on his head, just in case Obama is trying to read his mind.

Is The Repeal Momentum Already Over?

Ezra Klien writes.

So in about 12 hours, the GOP's position has gone from "repeal this socialist monstrosity that will destroy our final freedoms" to "there are some things we don't like about this legislation and would like to repeal, and there are some things we support and would like to keep."

"We always said there are things that we can all agree on in the bill," said Rep. Brett Guthrie.

At this rate, they'll be running on expanding the bill come November.

Quote of the Day.

This is from an article in the Economist. The quote is answering conservative writer Ross Douthat's latest column.

If he wants to help make sure that health-care reform doesn't increase the deficit, he can start encouraging Republican members of Congress to vote to make sure Medicare payments actually get cut, and to make sure that the tax on Cadillac health-insurance plans actually kicks in. It would be much better for the country if Republicans devoted their energies to working to improve the health-care reform that's just been passed, rather than sitting back and watching with the intention of blaming it on Democrats if it fails

Health Reform Has Support Despite What You Hear on Fox News

Recent Gallop Poll Results here.

More results here.

What Will Health Reform Do?

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When The Fox News Inmates Run The GOP Asylum

Fox News Even Believes The Health Care Rhetoric is Over The Top

Mr. Steele fails to admit that it was Rep. Boehner who was talking about Armageddon, not the people.

Armageddon, Seriously?

I love it.

Even O'Reilly talks about the Hysteria conjured by the right.

Watch it Bill, you may lose your time slot to Beck.

Now For Some Over The Top

This is classic Beck. The a-hole who makes 23 million a year, is calling this person a loser.

A reader writes in:

I do not understand how this bill will affect my family and me. I am a self-employed single mother. I cannot afford health care for myself and my children. I made $38,000 last year and I expect to make less than $35,000 this year. What does this health care reform mean for me? Will I be able to get coverage for my children and myself in this first year?

Not in the first year, necessarily. But when the bill goes into effect in 2014, your situation will change dramatically. Using the Kaiser Family Foundation's premium calculatorand a slightly stylized version of your situation (the calculator is not terribly flexible), here's what I can say:

First, you'll be buying insurance on the exchanges. That means no discrimination based on preexisting conditions, insurers who are being watched and regulated, lots of choices, and the buying power that comes from being part of a large risk pool rather than being on your own.

More specifically, your income would make you eligible for substantial subsidies. About $11,571 worth, to be precise (this is keyed to a family of four, I should say). The cap on your premium payments as a percentage of your income would be 4.4 percent. You'd be paying about $1,540 a year.

I guess that is Government Cheese. I guess this person doesn't deserve insurance because she has been priced out of the market. I guess she isn't working hard enough. This is exactly what idiots like Beck do not understand. It is the hard working person who has been either priced out of the individual market, can't get in the individual market because of pre-existing conditions or have been kicked out of the market because they have been dropped. Glenn Beck is trying to make it sound like a hand out, but he is dead wrong.

The GOP Never Wanted Health Reform.

As I have been saying for almost a year now, the Republicans never wanted Health Care Reform. They wanted to use this issue as a rallying cry for the 2010 election, facts be damned. They should be applauded for the conformity of message, no matter how false many of the claims were, but this still doesn't excuse their politics as usual approach to an issue that is vitally important to Americans.

Ezra Klien wrote today about Former George Bush economic speechwriter, David Frum's commentary about the Republican approach toward killing Health Reform. It really is a tired story, but so many still don't believe this was the GOP plan all along. They still believe that they were shut out of health reform negotiations when the GOP actually walked out on them.

David Frum writes.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

That is a Republican on record saying the bill is based on many Republican ideas. This is a Republican on record saying the Republican plan was to stop the plan at all costs. This is a Republican on record saying the GOP made a mistake playing politics as usual, instead of coming to the table in a bi-partisan fashion.

The GOP made a calculated decision to stop health care. They put the success of their party before the American people. Health Care is an issue that needed the full support of the Senate and Congress to try to fix a problem that has huge long term implications on our society. But the GOP decided to play political games with the issue. The GOP willfully overlooked the 18,000 to 45,000 Americans yearly who die because of lack of health insurance, and for what? More seats in the House and Senate. Well hopefully between now and November the voting public begins to understand what the GOP really stood for over the past year in terms of Health Reform.

The main reason the Health issue was so clouded is simple. The Democrats had a caucus of a number of competing ideas. Some believed in Single Payer, some believed in a Private and Public answer, and still others like the President believed the answer lied within the current system of Private Insurers.

While the Republicans had it easy, they were resolute in stopping the Presidents Health Care agenda no matter what it held, that was decided before any health reform plan was even conceived. Do you see how much easier that is? Just pick at the parts of any legislation and call it bad for America. Muddy the waters, calling it Socialism, or a Government takeover, make up things like Death Panels, then when the bill is almost ready to be passed try to intimidate, with Racial slurs, Gay slurs, Spitting on members, in a last ditch effort to stop a plan that helps cover over 95% of Americans with health insurance.

What happens from now on will be interesting to say the least. Many hardliners and basic sore losers are going to rail on repealing the bill. The Beck's, Hannity's, and Limbaugh's will see ratings skyrocket as they ramp up the rhetoric. While the realists like Krauthammer understand repeal is an unlikely scenario.

But the real question is, will the GOP again follow a blind initiative to stay resolute, against anything Obama, while they could be adding real Republican standards to future legislation. I believe issues such as Energy, Financial Regulation, and Education, can be truly bi-partisan when the GOP realizes they work for the American people instead of trying to use them to push an agenda that gets them re-elected.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Market Sleeps While the World Ends!

Paul Krugman writes.

Andrew Leonard has a good point: if Obamacare is such a disaster for the economy, where’s the market reaction?

More broadly: the perceived probability of passage, as indicated by Intrade, was only around 30 percent a month ago (which is why I’m still rubbing my eyes). So the expectations of what we’re told would be a great disaster have risen dramatically. And the market has yawned.

Were Doomed!

The World Will Never Be The Same Again.

Watch the Beck's, Limbaugh's and Hannity's go Bat Shit the night after health reform passes.

Let the Crazy rhetoric begin.

Limbaugh says the President believes in infanticide, even though he put out an executive order saying other wise. Even though the Hyde Amendment is still in place. Even though the pro choice crowd is pissed.

The Fat Man wasn't done yet. He ran the numbers, and there are only 12 million people who can't get Health Care. Who knew? By the way we are all now totally dependant on Government and that's the way we like it. That is the way we want it. Just because we endorse health care reform.

Apparently we want to impress Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, and that is why health reform was passed, actually Democrats hate America always have and this is the Dr. Evil plan to destroy America! Universal Health Care is going to ruin America......hahahahahahahah!