Friday, March 19, 2010

I Am So In Awe Of Nancy Pelosi!


Today has been so exciting! One after the other, Nancy Pelosi and her team delivered all these lobbyist-oriented ConservaDems to the side of the people. And at this point the healthcare reform bill is as good as it's going to get, and it is clearly "the side of the people." It's got to pass, and no one is opposing it but dopes, hucksters, the GOP and their cutouts and shills. When Obama delivered Kucinich, that was the end of the game of opposing it from the left. Today Nancy had every Democratic interest group working at full throttle. Anyone who votes no is basically saying they're ready to join Parker Griffith in his own particular hell.

A couple days ago it started with Blue Dog Betsy Markey (D-CO), but her legend includes a bit about how there were tears in her eyes when the DCCC "forced" her-- a lifelong proponent of healthcare reform (if not of courage or character)-- to vote "no" last time. Poor thing was so distraught about being forced to vote against the bill that she ran out and joined the Blue Dog caucus. But now she's back on the side of the Democrats. Good.

But today... OMG! I can't believe what I saw. Weak, conservative, frightened John Boccieri (D-OH) flipped from "no" to "yes." Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN) announced he's in, and so did Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL) and Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ), and they were quickly followed by two of the House's worst lobbyist-driven corporate whores, Scott Murphy (Blue Dog-NY) and Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL).
After days of fence-sitting, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas of New Smyrna Beach said Friday that she would support a sweeping Democratic plan for healthcare reform that has divided the country even as it aims to bring health insurance to 95 percent of Americans.

Kosmas, one of 39 Democrats to oppose a similar bill in November, said in an exclusive interview with the Orlando Sentinel that she decided to change her mind because the latest version addressed some of her previous concerns about its effect on small businesses and the federal deficit.

“I’m going to vote for healthcare reform,” she said. “I know this is not a perfect bill. But in the scheme of things, it provides the best options and the best opportunities for my constituents.”

She just spent her entire first term in Congress playing footsie with lobbyists, but I guess when Nancy decides it's time to reel 'em back in for the sake of America, they get reeled back in. (I noticed that several labor unions have asked Kosmas to return their campaign contributions and that she has a plausible primary opponent, Paul Partyka.)

Meanwhile, Scott Murphy's upstate NY district went for Obama, albeit narrowly, and re-elected Kirsten Gillibrand in 2008 with 62% of the vote. But he's behaved as if he was in some Deep South district that voted overwhelmingly for McCain and for Republican congressional candidates. According to the Times Union Murphy decided to vote for the bill because it would shift the balance of power from insurance companies to patients and does a better job of reining in medical costs.
Murphy said the final health care package is “much more fiscally conservative” than the broader House-passed bill he opposed last November and would do a better job of reducing the explosive growth in medical costs that “our families and small businesses are facing,” while still expanding insurance coverage to roughly 32 million people.

“This bill is fundamentally different than the bill we voted on last November,” Murphy said, adding that while the measure “is not perfect,” he feels “much better” about it.

Murphy’s decision ends days of intense speculation about how he would handle the issue-- the signature piece of President Obama’s domestic agenda. Widely viewed as a potential swing vote, Murphy has been a top target for intense lobbying in the nation’s capital-- including a half-hour White House meeting with Obama-- as well as a fierce PR campaign in his mostly rural, upstate congressional district.

Ultimately, after a day studying the Democrats’ 2,000-page-plus final health care bill, Murphy said he decided that it was “going to make the system better than what we have now.”

And speakin' about Alabama, ex-Blue Dog Democrat-turned-Republican Parker Griffith will be voting against healthcare for his constituents tomorrow despite the shocking findings from the House Energy and Commerce Committee on AL-05. Although there are two conservative shills running for the Democratic nod-- each a Griffith doppelganger-- there is actually one real Democrat in that race, Mitchell Howie. I spoke with him last nigh,t and he told me that although he would be more comfortable if there was a public option in the bill, or if Alan Grayson' Medicare-for-all formulation was part of the package, he would vote for it, despite reservations that it "might end up being a give-away to the big insurance corporate interests that got our healthcare system into this ditch to begin with." He had a lot of reasons he thought this bill would be a good thing for his neighbors in northern Alabama:
In 2010, seniors whose drug costs put them into Medicare Part D's donut hole, will get a $250 rebate to help offset those costs. Next year, seniors in the donut hole will only pay for half of their prescription drug costs, and over the next ten years the hole will shrink. In a decade, all prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D will be paid for 75% by the program, and the donut hole will be closed.

I appreciate the fact that Alabamians will no longer be able to be denied coverage by their insurance companies, because of pre-existing conditions, and they'll be able to seek preventative care without worrying about exorbitant copays. Pulling this all off while reducing the deficit sounds like a pretty good deal.

Griffith, a multimillionaire who has dedicated his short time in Congress to trying to do away with the estate tax, has no interest in serving the people in his district who most need a hand from government.

Billy Kennedy, the Blue America-endorsed candidate in North Carolina, is also facing a Republican proponent of Greed and Selfishness, Virginia Foxx, who can't open her mouth without lying about the bill. Billy, a strong advocate for working families, wasn't letting her get away with it.
Virginia Foxx is betraying her constituents as she prepares to vote 'no' on the health care reform bill. It will be devastating for Northwestern North Carolina's working families if reform is not passed... I attended the Congresswoman's lone public forum on health care this week. I wanted to ask her why it was OK for taxpayers to subsidize a career politician's insurance with our tax dollars while she prepares to vote no on giving the rest of us more affordable access... This health care bill has a lot of compromises on all sides. It's not perfect, but doing nothing is unacceptable.

And doing nothing is exactly what skunk-at-the-picnic John Barrow is proposing to do. This reactionary Blue Dog announced he would stick with his GOP allies, like Virginia Foxx and Parker Griffith, and vote against the healthcare bill, despite representing a Democratic-leaning district that gave Obama a 54% majority in 2008. This wasn't unexpected. Barrow, despite the fact that Obama saved his ass in 2008, has been opposed to most of the Democratic agenda, and in fact voted against healthcare in committee votes and on the floor every single time it's come up. Does this pipsqueak of a clown actually think he can run for the U.S. Senate? Not even in Georgia, baby.

Last year Obama rescued Barrow from a progressive and energetic Savannah state senator, Regina Thomas. Obama's ad reassured core Democratic voters that Barrow was on the right team. It would be difficult to imagine Obama doing any such thing for Barrow in 2010. And Regina Thomas is running again. May I strongly recommend that you consider sending the Democratic Party a message that we don't want any more John Barrows shoved down our throats? If we want conservatives ruining our nation, they already have their own party they can vote for. Barrow deserves to be defeated, and Regina Thomas is an excellent replacement with a proven progressive track record.

You know how its supposed to be dangerous to stick up for working families in "red" districts? NC-05 has been a red district but it doesn't look any different from anywhere else where people are waking up to being oppressed by Big Insurance and the corporate pawns from either side of the aisle-- whether Virginia Foxx or John Barrow.

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At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!
Ronald Reagan
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Ronald Reagan

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth said...

DownWithTyranny - I admire how informed, involved and excited you seem about these issues, however, I don't admire the rude comments you also chose to include against Conservatives. As a moderate, I enjoy hearing from all sides about issues, but hate when people get personal and disrespectful, ie calling those opposing the new Bill "dopes." If you don't agree with someone or something - fine! Disagree! But do it without joining in on low-class mud-slinging; that's how animals resolve things.

I find the constant insults people throw down (on all sides politically mind you) unnecessary, uncouth, counterproductive, and well, ANNOYING!

We teach children to share their opinions with respect, but why then do most politically active adults seem to find this task to be an impossibility?

To all of those adults affected by this disorder, I urge you: Show yourself to have more self-control and courtesy for others than a child does.

To DownWithTyranny: You seem to be a smart and sensitive person. Why not cut out dumb insults next time? Please!

At 9:09 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Let me jump in here, Elizabeth, though this is Ken rather than Howie speaking.

I admire your moderation, but what are we supposed to do when we're convinced, as both os us are, that we're not talking about differences of opinion anymore? We believe we're talking about an entire side of the political spectrum having either: (a) abandoned reality in favor of inanity or thoroughgoing imbecility or (b) put itself in position to manipulate the dopes and loons for predatory personal gain.

"Dope" isn't meant as an insult but as a simple and perhaps too-kind description.

If you want these dimwits and thugs to be treated with undeserved respect, you've got the entire Infotainment News Media at your disposal.

As for what we're teaching our children, politeness is all well and good, but shouldn't we worry more about the fact that we're teaching our children to be either predators or morons? I'll have more to say about this in a morning post.

Thanks for commenting.


At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Elizabeth,

As a longtime reader, I've found the primary reason DWT is rude to Conservatives and their views is because the authors are informed. Every reference they made could be linked to a post about gross, Conservative malfeasance.

We teach children to share their opinions with respect, but they are children with underdeveloped frontal lobes and a general lack of knowledge of the world around them.
Children often have crazy notions about how the world works. Having those same notions as an adult is dangerous. Adults aren't children and shouldn't be treated as such. We must demand more from people's opinions.

At the end of the day, the issues being discussed represent things like 48,000 Americans dying. If that doesn't motivate someone to act or change one's views, their opinions don't reserve respect.

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Nancy Willing said...

Go Ken!

If people are easily offended, they should know better than to come here for reading pleasure. (I would hesitate to link to this post for certain audiences).

Pelosi will go down as the best House Speaker in history when this is said and done on Sunday.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger shekissesfrogs said...

Yeah, all those women getting thrown under the bus right now.. dopes... okay. democrats twisting arms to ensure poor women have as many unnecessary hurdles as possible to exercise their reproductive freedom.
Way to go nancy! The bishops will be proud.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Nancy Willing said...

shekissesfrogs - yes, you are correct that I have ended up deciding that 'to pass this bill is better than passing nothing'.

Your insinuation that I like the language in this bill that limits abortion is unfortunate for both of us because
1). I certainly do not like the language in the bill that limits abortion contrary to your statement
2). Your purist beats my pragmatist by only a few weeks --I fought like hell against this bill right along side of you until there was no obvious recourse but to pass it now --for a myriad of reasons that shouldn't be ignored.
3). Your insinuation glides right over the fact that I am an ally in whatever work progressives will do to repair the problems in this bill going forward and
4). Your anger at how this bill will effect low-income women requiring abortions is perfectly justified but it shouldn't blanket out the fact that these 'last days of rage' have opened a new chapter in 21st Century activism for challenges to the status quo. The new mantra is that the DEMs are trading in triangulation and going for the base.

The left has gotten as charged as the recently-splintering right in that we are seeing immense support for a reactionary primarying from the left and activism against blue dog DEMs by big-payers like the AFL-CIO and SEIU and others.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Pelosi will go down in history as the Speaker that allowed the most corrupt, closed door deals, and the most spending of any Speaker ever. The Obama administration will go down in history as the worst, most fiscally irresponsible presidency ever. When you are broke, you don't spend more you cut back. Once this monstrosity of a Health Care Bill is in place, it will be very difficult to go back. Name calling is not needed, there is no reason to be impolite, but there is great cause for concern when we are not following the Constitution of the United States. You can not force Americans to buy something, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!


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