Tuesday, 3/23/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

53 responses to “Tuesday, 3/23/10, Public Square

  1. David B

    Reposted… See what leadership looks like…

    Don’t miss this great insider story of how the Prez took control of the mess and won the day.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/22/AR2010032203597.html?hpid=topnews

    Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) launched into a tirade against David Axelrod, a senior White House adviser and one of Obama’s closest confidants.

    “I have been in a slow burn here, a slow burn!” the lawmaker hollered from the last row of the meeting room. “I’m just livid.”

    Lacing his commentary with profanity, Franken complained that the health-care campaign had been lackluster and leaderless, particularly in the tentative period since Brown’s victory.

    “Goddamn it, what’s the deal here?” he said, as colleagues, their spouses and aides looked on. “You’re talking platitudes, and we have to go home and defend ourselves. We’re getting the crap kicked out of us!””

  2. WSClark

    Day Two – the World is still turning, no sign of the apocalypse.

  3. I’ve read all about how the Republicans plan to support AGs in states where they’ll attempt to outlaw this bill (good luck there), how the Republicans in the Senate are going to be even more highly skilled obstructionists. Let’s see, this law (as soon as it’s signed this morning!) is going to be overturned, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi (at minimum) are going to be impeached, with even loonier Wingnuts calling for murder …

    Hmmmm.

    Will they spend all their funds at this endeavor or just their time?

    When Republican candidates need party support will they be too tied up and the coffers too depleted thus no help can be offered?

  4. Is This the End of Mitt Romney?

    It is conceivable that President Obama will be able to kill off one of his biggest 2012 rivals with a single sentence: “I would like to thank Mitt Romney for coming up with ideas on which I based health-care reform.” Indeed, although Romney was frothing at the mouth on Sunday—he practically accused Obama of treason—he implemented the basic tenets of “ObamaCare” in Massachusetts in 2004. That is, he restructured insurance markets “to remove those adverse-selection and moral-hazard problems that have broken our private insurance-based health-financing system,” as Brad DeLong puts it in The Week. At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall writes, “If the Republicans want to make Obama’s signature piece of legislation a centerpiece of their 2012 campaign (and it’s hard to imagine they won’t since what else will they run on?), they can’t very well run a candidate who supported and passed close to an identical bill… Can anyone explain to me why this doesn’t fatally hobble any GOP presidential campaign in 2012? And because of that make Romney close to impossible to nominate?”

  5. wicked

    Democratic offices in Wichita, elsewhere vandalized

    By JUDY L. THOMAS
    The Kansas City Star

    Authorities in Wichita and some other cities across the country are investigating vandalism against Democratic offices, apparently in response to health care reform.

    And on Monday, a former Alabama militia leader took credit for instigating the actions.

    Mike Vanderboegh, of Pinson, Ala., former head of the Alabama Constitutional Militia, put out a call on Friday for modern “Sons of Liberty” to break the windows of Democratic Party offices nationwide in opposition to health care reform. Since then, vandals have struck several offices, including the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita.

    “There’s glass everywhere,” said Lyndsay Stauble, executive director of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party. “A brick took out the whole floor-to-ceiling window and put a gouge in my desk.”

    Stauble said the brick, hurled through the window between Friday night and Saturday morning, had “some anti-Obama rhetoric” written on it.

    Vandals also smashed the front door and a window at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office in Tucson early Monday, hours after the Arizona Democrat voted for the health care reform package.

    Over the weekend, a brick shattered glass doors at the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. Attached to the brick was a note that said, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice” — a quote from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 acceptance speech as the Republican presidential candidate.

    And on Friday, a brick broke a window at Rep. Louise Slaughter’s district office in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Slaughter, a Democrat, was a vocal supporter of the health care reform bill passed by the House on Sunday.

    Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2010/03/22/1237045/democratic-offices-in-wichita.html#storylink=omni_popular#ixzz0j0SPRdFZ

  6. wicked

    Kansas abortion bill sheds mental health exemption

    BY JEANNINE KORANDA
    Eagle Topeka bureau

    TOPEKA — The Kansas House gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would prevent women from using mental health as a reason to receive a late-term abortion on a viable fetus.

    The courts have said that a woman’s mental health can fall under the definition of “irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” House Bill 2166 would specify that bodily function does not include mental or emotional functions.

    Abortion opponents said the change would bring the law closer to the late-term abortion rules’ original intent.

    The provision is aimed at late-term abortions done on fetuses that could live outside the mother’s womb, said Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, an abortion opponent.

    “If we say our laws do not extend to protect those unborn children at that stage, it says something very deep, very dark and very disturbing about where we are as a culture,” Kinzer said.

    Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2010/03/23/1237421/house-abortion-bill-sheds-mental.html#ixzz0j0SyOl1f

    • With Brownback as our governor I expect to see Kansas drug back to the dark ages and then our nearly empty state coffers spent trying to make their case in courts, unsuccessfully I predict.

      I’m not sure Kansas lawmakers know anything about law.

      Federal law isn’t something states can mess with unless they’re willing to do what it takes to repeal or change the laws at the national level. Their goal seems to be getting something started in the courts that will eventually get to SCOTUS and accomplish that federal change. Have they thought about how long that takes? Do they expect the current makeup of the highest court to remain dominated by wingnuts?

    • indypendent

      If this law passes, what consequences will it have on other mental health issues? If mental health issues are not a part of bodily function, then what are they?

      The mental health health care providers already fight an uphill battle for their patients. How many years did our great Christian country hide their mental health patients in the ‘snake pits’?

      Maria Shriver’s mother (I can’t remember her name right now) had to fight for years to get the rest of America to even look at mental health issues in a different perspective.

      She was instrumental in getting the rest of America to view our citizens with mental health problems as fellow Americans with the same guaranteed rights that we all enjoy.

      So, I am just wondering what this new approach to outlaw abortion will do to the mental health issues of those who happen not to be pregnant?

      • indypendent

        Eunice Shriver was her name. I can always picture this woman in my mind but can never remember her first name. But I always remember what she stood for.

        I think that is the way I would like to be remembered – not by my full name but for what I stood for during my lifetime.

        If we all took only one lesson from the Kennedy family, it would be this: even those with immense wealth should be willing to be of service to others.

        Wouldn’t the entire word be a better place if less importance was put on gaining material wealth and more importance on how we treat one another?

      • wicked

        Speaking of the Kennedys they had their own battle with mental illness.

        Let’s face it. We all know the Rs have deemed themselves the saviors of the unborn. Yet these same saviors scream and throw bricks through windows (yes, the two are related) because of health care reform. “What?! Help crazies? Just lock them up and throw away the key. ”

        It’s forced birth, and what comes out of it is sometimes child abuse, neglect, and abandonment, because these women are unstable. Then the party of old white men can scream and yell and point fingers at everyone but themselves.

        It all comes down to the fact that they don’t care. Not really. They’ll give to charity because it looks good and gives them a deduction on their taxes. But they don’t care, they only want to appear to care.

        “I’ve got mine. Who cares if you have yours?”

      • You guys obviously haven’t heard that a brain is not part of the body – at least not for republicans…

  7. tosmarttobegop

    I finally, belatedly saw “Capitalism: A love story.” There were only 2 surprises for me. First, the “dead peasant” life-insurance policies.

    Zippy I am wondering if this is referring to something that Wal-Mart does?

    If an Associate has the life insurance that Wal-Mart provides, Wal-Mart is a unsigned rider on the policy.

    If you or another else who is covered by the policy dies then Wal-Mart gets money as a survivor.

    The thinking being that the Associate is like any other piece of equipment i.e. truck, forklift, sales fixture, or building.

    So by the death then Wal-Mart suffers a lost and should be compensated for the lost of equipment.

    And that even if the lost is a member of the Associate’s family that will mean that the Associate will be getting time off for a mourning period.

    So the Company will be losing the benefit of the Associates being on the job

    i.e. a lost of the use of the equipment for a period like if it had been damaged and was being repaired.

    I learned of this after leaving the employment of Wal-Mart and a good reason I do not want to work for that company again.

    • Zippy

      Precisely, though at the end of the movie, it said Walmart no longer does this, many companies may still. The phrase “dead peasants” is literally the language they use.

      http://deadpeasantinsurance.com/

      The fact they view employees as equipment is hardly a revelation. That is the reality of the 21st century.

      And the “customers”? Well, we have to keep the consumers spending to the stock prices up, the only “customers” are the stockholders.

      The rest are chattel to them.

      I suppose one could quibble as to the degree capitalism is always present, but Moore did a good job of point of the scary reality–how so many of the same players are running the show year after year, and becoming obscenely rich at our expense.

      One wonders: Tea Party, Coffee Party etc., I don’t think either represent the real anger out there. The Tea Party has simply adopted the anti-tax GOP nonsense without question, and the Coffee Party sound likes a bunch of comfortable people sharing a latte over lunch.

      I just wonder if those who are truly opposing these radical international criminals have given up all hope.

      Michael Moore may be a polemicist, but too much of the story is old-hat true at this point. And neither can he do it alone.

  8. — snip —

    “Obama’s legislation comes from an alternative idea, begun under the Eisenhower administration and developed under Nixon, of a market for health care based on private insurers and employers. Eisenhower locked in the tax break for employee health benefits; Nixon pushed prepaid, competing health plans, and urged a requirement that employers cover their employees. Obama applies Nixon’s idea and takes it a step further by requiring all Americans to carry health insurance, and giving subsidies to those who need it.

    So don’t believe anyone who says Obama’s health care legislation marks a swing of the pendulum back toward the Great Society and the New Deal. Obama’s health bill is a very conservative piece of legislation, building on a Republican rather than a New Deal foundation. The New Deal foundation would have offered Medicare to all Americans or, at the very least, featured a public insurance option.

    The significance of Obama’s health legislation is more political than substantive. For the first time since Ronald Reagan told America government is the problem, Obama’s health bill reasserts that government can provide a major solution. In political terms, that’s a very big deal.”

    http://robertreich.org/

  9. indypendent

    As for the vandalism at Democratic offices, why am I not surprised?

    Newt Gingrich compared the passing of health care reform to the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

    And since it is a known fact that White Southern Democrats fled the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law.

    The only things missing in this latest episode of vandalism are the white hoods and the burning crosses.

    I’m not blaming racism entirely but the Republican so-called leaders like Newt referrsing to the Civil Rights Act passage does not help the situation.

    • The party of old white men needs to pay attention!

      I refer you to a recent thread —

      March 18, 2010…9:39 am
      A look to the future

      https://iggydonnelly.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/a-look-to-the-future/

      Lots of great demographic info in the article linked in the thread header.

      • indypendent

        What is so ironic is that the party of old white men were the major players in the race to exploit minorities for cheap labor. These white men were only concerned about their own wealth.

        I guess they never thought these minorities would have the same needs and wants as their white slave corporate masters.

        Now that the minorities have increased their population, the party of old white men are losing their grip on them. With this loss of power over minorities, the same old white men become very fearful.

        And fear that runs rampant is a recipe for disaster.

        But it is kind of funny to think that these white men don’t even recognize or even acknowledge what caused their fear.
        They only know how to whine, complain, yell, scream, threaten or intimidate to get what they want.

        Tea anyone?

  10. indypendent

    It is not only racism but religious intolerance is at the core of some of this Republican’s hatred.

    A majority of those White Southern Republicans are also Evangelical Christians involved in the so-called Religious Right Movement.

    Racism + religious intolerance = hatred of a magnitude that will cause death and destruction to everything it comes into contact with.

    The only way to get rid of this hatred is to hold up a mirror to it’s ugly head every time it sees fit to raise up.

    Evil happens when good people do nothing.

    • tosmarttobegop

      Normally I would agree, but I have met enough people who have commited some vile acts and they always felt that it was justified.

      No shame or second thought about it.

  11. tosmarttobegop

    Well since this looks to be the last good day of the week.

    I am getting the motor cycle out and running some need to do in Wichita.

    LOL OK there is something in Wichita I want to get and finally came up with enough need to do to justify going for a ride!

    ( I can’t fool ya can I?)

    Later people.

  12. (paraphrasing)

    “Singing this bill on behalf of my Mother who argued with insurance companies while she battled cancer…”

    That statement by the president brought tears to my eyes. I know many people who have had to fight with insurance companies during poor health, when all their energy should have been on getting better. Some of them didn’t get better.

  13. wicked

    “I’ve got mine. Who cares if you have yours?”

    This is what I heard repeatedly on the call-ins after the bill passed in the House. Oh, not in so many words, but it was there.

    “I have insurance, so why don’t those people just pull themselves up by the bootstraps, get a job, and pay for their own insurance?”

    “I have insurance, so why don’t those people just go to the ER when they get sick?” Quickly followed, of course, by, “I don’t want to pay higher hospital fees because I have to pay for the people who don’t have insurance and go to the ER, then never pay their bill!”

    “I have insurance, so why don’t those people just go to the free clinics?” So tell me just how a person can have a job that doesn’t pay enough to pay for insurance premiums and still be able to take a day off, often without pay, to sit in the waiting room of a free or reduced rate clinic to be seen…or sometimes not seen, only to return the next day to do it all again. [rant over]

    I was talking with my liberal Texas friend that night, the one whose husband is a retired neurosurgeon. He has Parkinson’s, and when she finally made herself take over their finances, she found that if she didn’t cut back somehow (she’s downsized their living space three times) there’d be nothing left of his retirement. Even with Medicare, they’re paying hundreds every month in co-pays, prescriptions (they’ll hit the annual limit soon and have to pay all out of pocket), and the cost of the insurance, itself. Her son has Crone’s and she has to deal with caps and rising costs for him.

    It isn’t just the lower-middle class or the lower class that has been dealing with the cost of health care, it’s those who thought everything would be hunkydory, until life gave them a new twist.

    In the past, she supported Rep. Chet Edwards, but he voted “no” on the health care bill, following along like a good little Republican. She also sent him a scathing email.

  14. Zippy

    And the sad thing is, even if it works, it will take until 2014 for most of the provisions to take effect. That will come to late for many people.

    When I read in David’s link that Obama though the process got away from him I was going “duh, dude.” He’s shown he can cut deals and get legislation passed when it was thought doomed. He’s shown he can talk intelligently off-the-cuff, and inspire people.

    What’s missing is not some liberal wishlist, but a little more steely resolve for the people, not just for what will ever pass at the moment. Perhaps that’s become political suicide–you don’t turn on your erstwhile allies, I guess. And perhaps I’m unrealistic about what can be accomplished in AmeriCo.

    But there is that potential still, and I don’t think we dare ignore it.

  15. David B

    So as we celebrate this great day, I want to invite you to add your name where it belongs: alongside mine as a co-signer of this historic legislation. Organizing for America will record the names of co-signers as a permanent commemoration of those who came together to make this moment possible — all of you who refused to give up until the dream of many generations for affordable, quality care for all Americans was finally fulfilled.

    So, if you haven’t yet, please add your name as a proud health care reform co-signer today:

    http://my.barackobama.com/cosigner

    Please accept my thanks for your voice, for your courage, and for your indispensable partnership in the great work of creating change.

    History, and I, are in your debt.

    President Barack Obama

  16. David B

    Like Joe said today, “This is a big fucking deal.”
    woohoo, my thoughts, exactly!

  17. Will this attract Republican dollars, or will it backfire and rally liberals to these districts? Sarah Palin has published a list on Facebook of 20 Democratic representatives she wants conservatives to target in November. In order to qualify for Palin’s hit list, these Democrats had to vote “yes” on health care and also come from a district that the McCain-Palin ticket won in 2008. “We’re going to fire them and send them back to the private sector, which has been shrinking thanks to their destructive government-growing policies,” Palin threatens. She directs readers to her website, sarahpac.com, to donate to the cause.

    • indypendent

      Sarah Who? Seems she is becoming irrelevant more and more with each passing day.

      Isn’t she too busy hawking some reality show about Alaska?

      I thought about that the other night when I was watching a show on Discovery Channel about Alaska. I learned everything I needed to know and I sure don’t need some ex-beauty queen doing some fancy pageant walking, waving and winking to enjoy the show.

      In fact, I would probably turn off any show that had to sink to that level of some airhead beauty queen has-been to sell their show.

    • wicked

      Oh, gee, he dropped the F-bomb. I’m so glad the news people don’t live at my house. They’d wear out the batteries on their (bleeping) bleepers.

      (Thanks for the video, fnord!)

      No, I’m not that bad all the time, but I have a daughter whose habit has come to the point where I have to give her one of those mom-glares, now and then. She’ll get better. Age does that. Age also can make it worse. 😉

      Then there’s my 2 1/2 year-old grandson, who called to tell me Friday night, “It’s frickin’ snowing out there!” Yes, those were his exact words, over and over and over… He also called everyone else in the family.

  18. Worth noting that when Joe drops the “F” bomb it isn’t to denigrate anyone, and it’s happy not mean. 🙂

  19. This will make you think twice about drinking bottled water!

    http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/

  20. tosmarttobegop

    I had to bust a gut before leaving this morning and then again after I got back.

    The way Political argument go is hilarious!

    Here is the Liberals/Democratic arguing personal responsibility, that it is not fair that everyone has to support and pay for some one who chooses to not get insurance and going to the hospital for treatment and care.

    That mandating that they have to get insurance is the fair thing to do!

    Meanwhile here are these Conservatives/Republicans arguing it is not fair to force people to buy something that is their responsibility to do what it takes to care for themselves. And it is the right of every citizen to get health care at the hospital even if they do not have insurance!

    Me personally I do hope the A.G.s win their suits, the mandate is as an example one step too far.

  21. wicked

    “Me personally I do hope the A.G.s win their suits, the mandate is as an example one step too far.”

    Really? I’m not sure it matters. The world ends in 2012 anyway.

    Seriously, as far as I’ve read on this, the mandatory doesn’t kick in until 2014. (Two years after 2012, when those of us left will be living on the plains of Africa, after our ark has landed there. Movies ARE real, right?) By 2014, the Republicans will have “taken back the country,” and will have been busy for the previous 2-4 years–with a new Congress and President–changing everything, and there won’t be a mandate at all.

    I wish there’d been a way the intelligent Congress members could have slipped in the public option part, while the Rs weren’t looking, and passed it without them knowing it. Now that would have me in the streets throwing confetti. If they’d done it the way Dubya did the Patriot Act, no one would be the wiser for months. 🙂

    Let’s face it. The Rs are so far removed from reality that they have to make up facts and history as they go along. They refuse to accept that their Congresses and their Presidents, not to mention their corporate buddies, are the ones who put this country in one of the biggest and deepest holes since it began. They will spout whatever is necessary to make it appear they are for the people. But when it comes right down to it, they’d slaughter us all, if they could, and cling to their Bibles, their guns, and for some of them, their wealth. But their Bibles and wealth won’t save them, and their guns will kill them. Hmmm, karma rears its pretty head. 😉

    I’m going to take a nap.

    • tosmarttobegop

      Really? I’m not sure it matters. The world ends in 2012 anyway

      Wow I am glad that I am not the only one who is banking on that!

  22. It will either be improved or scrapped — only time will tell. It won’t be repealed by this bunch of reactionary obstructionist Republicans. They may be able to fool their constituencies but people able to think know they’re blowing smoke.

    It’s too bad for all Americans their only political strategy was to prevent President Obama and the Democratic majorities anything that may be perceived as a victory. They could have been a part of this, they could have improved it, they could be enjoying a victory lap right now. As recently as Feb 25th there was a ‘health care summit’ televised for all to see, and at that point they could have been cooperative, they could have had ideas and plans and solutions.

    They didn’t! And America was watching!

  23. It seems the Republicans have faced reality a little more today. Yesterday they were off the edge of the cliff, but I think they’ve calmed down now.

    I’m sad that they didn’t realize way back in November of 2008 (16 months ago!) that elections have consequences. I’m sad that they didn’t pay attention. They would have known the agenda if they’d paid any attention. They would have known what the voters wanted if they’d paid attention.

    Our country needs everyone to make her strong!

  24. tosmarttobegop

    You and me too wicked!

    It really is hard for me to find anything to call a real victory in this bill.

    Several superficial things that needed to be fix were but they were secondary achievements.

    There really was not reason why a better and more effective bill was not being enacted.

    I am disappointed with the Republicans and the Democratic.

    It is maddening to watch the Senate hearings and debates, OH NOW the Republicans are starting to come out with real observations and solutions. But it is all in order to get one word changed which might not be such a bad thing since it would go back to the Congress.

    Sen. Brown actually tried to introduce the Public option again, but hit resistance from his fellow Democrats.
    That would mean the bill going back to the Congress and another round there…. change one word!

    Public option or single payer and you could keep the mandate!

    • wicked

      I was talking to my daughter’s boyfriend, SO, whatever he is tonight on the phone, and he said something about those who didn’t earn enough to pay for health care, depending on family size, etc., would be added to Medicare. (Maybe he meant MediCAID?) But he also said there was a nifty thing on the front page of the Eagle this morning that helped determine where a person would fall in the mix. Unfortunately, I don’t get the paper, so I couldn’t look, and I couldn’t find anything similar online this evening. Does anyone know where something like that can be found?

      There are good things about this bill. I won’t deny that. How good it is will be something we’ll have to wait and see.

      • wicked

        Why didn’t I check to see if there was a paper available when I stopped at QT tonight? Just too blonde for my own good. 😦