Passing Public Option Via Reconciliation Gathers Steam

The effort to bring the public option up for a vote continues to gather steam in the wake of the Bennet Letter written by Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado - and orginally co-signed by Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon - to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to use the reconciliation process. Eighteen Democratic Senators have now signed the letter. Those who have signed on are Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Senator Roland Burris of Illinois and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.

The other development overnight is a bit of a mixed bag. Appearing on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show last night, Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the White House is willing to make a push for the public option if Senate Democrats decide to bring it up for a vote. 

"Certainly. If it's part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely," she told Rachel Maddow.

While welcomed, it is not exactly the strongest display of leadership. This I will if you will is passing the buck to Harry Reid when it should be the President that leads. Still, it perhaps merits taking a wait and see approach. The New York Times reports this morning that the Administration will put forward comprehensive health care legislation intended to bridge differences between Senate and House Democrats ahead of a summit meeting with Republicans next week.

Democratic officials said the president’s proposal was being written so that it could be attached to a budget bill as a way of averting a Republican filibuster in the Senate. The procedure, known as budget reconciliation, would let Democrats advance the bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.

Congressional Democrats, however, have not yet seen the proposal or signed on.

The House and the Senate each adopted a version of sweeping health care legislation late last year. But efforts to combine the measures stalled after a Republican, Scott Brown, won a special Senate election in Massachusetts on Jan. 19, effectively stripping the Democrats of the 60th vote they needed to overcome Republican filibusters.

“It will be a reconciliation bill,” one Democratic aide said. “If Republicans don’t come with any substantial offers, this is what we would do.”

Officials said that the White House would post the president’s plan on the Internet by Monday morning. But even as Mr. Obama tries to unite his party behind a single plan, it is unclear that Democrats can muster the needed votes in the House and the Senate given the tense political climate of a midterm election year.

Monday thus looms large. It may be a make or break day for the Administration and the progressive movement. Should the White House fail to show leadership on this, it may be time to take full stock of Administration that is long on rhetoric but short on delivery.

Tags: Public Option, US Healthcare Reform, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Sherrod Brown (all tags)




When and not if the public option passes and goes to signature it will be a defining political moment for America. It will redefine our country, and  save us big bucks.




by Trey Rentz 2010-02-19 10:11AM | 0 recs
"head for the exits"?

What does that mean?  Not vote in November?  Support a primary against Obama? 

Personally, I'd rather deluge the White House with calls and letters.  Still makes no sense to me why a policy proposal that is popular, does the job well, and would rally the base is having such a hard time. 

Then again, I would be okay with no P.O. if they really brought the hammer down on the insurance companies and regulated the frak out of them so they can't raise rates like this because they aren't making as much profit as they'd like.  They both achieve the same goal - making insurance companies work for their customers.

by dayspring 2010-02-19 10:59AM | 0 recs
RE: "head for the exits"?

Fair enough. I was hesitant to begin with on that phrasing since I go issue by issue.

I've made an edit that I think better reflects my thinking.

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-19 11:23AM | 0 recs
Good things happen when progressives take a stand

Good things happen when progressives take a stand. This new push for the public option would NEVER have happened if the Congressional Preogressive caucus had roled over and passed the crap sandwich that was being forced down their throat.

Now I watched Rachel Maddow's show last night. Kathleen Sebelius went on and on about the same old jaded points. When asked about the public option she tried to dodge the question to the best of her ability, but kudos to Rachel that she persisted with that line of questioning and got this reply. As you rightly point out Charles, this is not an example of stellar leadership.

Anyway the interesting part will be on Monday when the WH unveils its version of HCR. From what I read in the NYT article it will have the following:

The president’s plan would require most Americans to obtain health insurance or face financial penalties; it would bar insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions, and it would give tax subsidies to help moderate-income people buy private insurance.

Officials said the president’s bill was expected to include a version of the Senate’s proposed tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored insurance policies. It would reflect a deal reached with labor union leaders to limit the impact of the tax on workers.

So nothing about public option yet. With the momentum for passing the public option through reconciliation gathering steam rapidly in the senate, the worst thing the administration can do is come out with a proposal without even the hint of public option, basically undercutting these senators who are fighting for their constituents. The public option still remains very popular with the public.

by tarheel74 2010-02-19 11:38AM | 2 recs
RE: Good things happen when progressives take a stand

"Good things happen when progressives take a stand. This new push for the public option would NEVER have happened if the Congressional Preogressive caucus had roled over and passed the crap sandwich that was being forced down their throat."


I'll save NoFortunateSon the trouble:

"go back to freerepublic you Obama-derangement-syndrome Puma!!!!"


by jeopardy 2010-02-19 12:56PM | 1 recs

I don't pay much attention to his nonsensical ramblings.

by tarheel74 2010-02-19 01:12PM | 0 recs
I have a following!

Wow. I must have really gotten under your skin. I had read, but not even responded in this thread, and my name is mentioned.


by NoFortunateSon 2010-02-19 01:23PM | 0 recs
RE: I have a following!

well, you and Vecky have referred to me a number of times when I hadn't posted in a thread, so I guess that means that I was "under your skin".

But anyways, I was just trying to save you the trouble of having to make yet another post calling people names if they don't agree with everything Obama and the centrist supporters of the Senate Bill have done. A simple "thank you" would be nice.


by jeopardy 2010-02-19 01:29PM | 0 recs
You sure we weren't talking about the TV show?

If I called you out, then I'm sorry.

Criticism is a-ok. I have leveled plenty of criticisms myself. Criticism just has to be rooted in fact and has to be fair.

For example, here, I support the PO through reconcilliation. I have spent great time calling senators and the WH.

But if there is a Grand Canyon wide gulf between the current whip count and 50, nothing Obama can do will change that, and my concern turns to jeapordizing the whole effort.


by NoFortunateSon 2010-02-19 03:28PM | 0 recs
RE: You sure we weren't talking about the TV show?

The problem has been Obam's refusing to lift a finger to support the PO (in fact, there's ample evidence that he's been quietly trying to kill it for the last 8 months).

You can't use a lack of votes for the PO to defend Obama's lack of trying, and even trying to stop, votes for the PO this whole time. You are using profoundly circular logic.

by jeopardy 2010-02-24 07:13PM | 0 recs
Actually, the public option is unpopular with the public

Your last sentence seems disconnected from reality:

"The public option still remains very popular with the public."

There is no way you can make this case; a summary of polls over the last month by Real Clear Politics shows average support for "Obama and the Democrats" Health Care Plans at 38.1%, opposition at 52.9%:

While I'm sure you wish that there were public support for a public option, you would be hard pressed to offer any recent empirical evidence that this is the case. Moreover, the polls in the RCP summary are reasonably close (Post/ABC being the outlier), suggesting that public opposition to the plans in Congress is growing.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-19 04:18PM | 0 recs
RE: Actually, the public option is unpopular with the public


i'll just point out what is (should be) incredibly obvious: polls on "Obama and the Democrat's plan" is NOT the same as the popularity of the Public Option.


by jeopardy 2010-02-19 04:46PM | 0 recs
RE: Actually, the public option is unpopular with the public

If you read the details of each poll, you'll see that a couple actually specify the House plan when polling respondents. Last time I checked, the House plan included a public option.

Beyond that, do you really think that there would be this level of opposition to the bills pending in Congress.....and at the same time, strong popular support for a public option?


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-19 04:53PM | 0 recs
It's been pretty obvious

throughout this entire debate that there has been oppositon to the bills while at the same time support for the public option. No one is really sure why, but that fact dates back to like August.



by ND22 2010-02-19 07:30PM | 0 recs
Ignorance is not a virtue

Please read before you bloviate. Your reply is a classic example of a simpleton's answer to a serious debate. The only time people were directly asked about a public option was by the Quinnipac poll on Jan. 14, 2010:


28. Do you support or oppose giving people the option of being covered by a government health insurance plan that would compete with private plans?

Support              59      
Oppose 35

As you can see it is still overwhelmingly popular.

by tarheel74 2010-02-19 05:22PM | 0 recs
RE: Ignorance is not a virtue

Is this the Quinnipiac poll you were referring to?  It's dated 1/14/2010.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-19 08:20PM | 0 recs
Ignorance is not a virtue

CNN Poll Jan 10 2010:


38.    Now thinking specifically about the health insurance plans available to most Americans, would you favor or oppose creating a public health insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies?

Favor 54%

Oppose 46%

by tarheel74 2010-02-19 05:31PM | 0 recs
BJJ is a boon to this blog

He keeps us from becoming a total echo chamber and reminds us about the base hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that is the coin of both establishment and extra-curricular (read tea-thuggery) conservatism. 

Let's remember that when Republicans fight for their policy positions they are "principled" and when Democrats do the same they are "arrogant."  When Republicans wave polls they are simply being responsive to the "American people."  When Democrats do the same they are unprincipled, beholden to special interests (code for important constituencies such as Labor and Feminist organizations) and "governing by polls."  When dems fail to do so, they are detached guessed it...arrogant. 

BJJ never fails to remind us that Reagan was and is the answer, because tripling the deficit and neglecting infrastructure merits canonization.  Now, downthread, we find out that the real heroes of civil rights were conservatives.

It's hard to have "honest disagreements" with this ilk.  The democratic party, top to bottom, needs to wake up to the fact that bi-partisanship should be pursued by making better cases for our policy priorities, not by selling out to BJJ's heroes of hypocrisy on the right. 

by Strummerson 2010-02-22 03:35PM | 1 recs
Obama is, attack Reagan!

It's funny that you open with accusations of "dishonesty", and before you're done, you've dragged out the tired old lie that President Reagan "tripled the deficit". Just go to the OMB website ("Budget of the United States Government") and you can get the real deficit numbers: 1981---$78 billion, (2.6% of GDP); 1989---$152 billion (2.9% of GDP). And it may be beyond your level of understanding, but most economists would adjust the 1981 number for inflation, to get an apples-to-apples comparison; that makes it $101 billion, vs. $152 billion. So pick the methodology you prefer; either way, Reagan didn't triple the deficit..... and the more important point here is that he grew the economy by a third.

Obviously, liberals never want to talk about the major, "bread and butter" economic metrics of the Reagan years--unemployment (7.6% in 1981, 5.5% in 1989), or inflation (13.5% in 1981, 4.1% in 1989). Or maybe interest rates? 18.9% in 1981, 8.2% in 1989. During his two terms, the economy added 17 million new jobs......which I'm sure liberals will criticize as "low quality jobs". You guys are nothing if not predictable.

Things were so horrible, it really does make you wonder how the President carried 49 states in 1984!

You all can attack President Reagan all you want, and blame everything bad that happens on George W. Bush. But it's time for Obama---and all who supported him---to own his failures. Your crying about "hypocrisy on the right" reminds me of a column I read the other day by Paul Krugman, where he whined that "our political culture....and the filibuster" had made the country "ungovernable".  Similarly, when Carter failed years ago, we heard that the job was "just too big for one man".

Well guess what? Filibusters and special interests have been around a long time---deal with it. Working with Congressional leaders of both parties in 1986 (Tip O'Neill, Bill Bradley, Bob Packwood, Dan Rostenkowski, Dick Gephardt), President Reagan achieved Tax Reform that most observers considered impossible, due to the entrenched special interests in Washington. It lowered tax rates and ignited an economic boom that lasted for 20 years. Working with Newt Gingrich, President Clinton achieved Welfare Reform. These two great Presidents had extensive executive experience, and something else that is critical: leadership. Sadly, Barack Obama---who travels the world bowing to foreign dignitaries and apologizing for America---couldn't lead a fart out of an asshole.

As President Reagan told Jimmy Carter on the campaign trail, there's no "crisis of confidence" or malaise with the people of this great country. There's a crisis of leadership---an incredible shrinking President named Barack Obama.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-22 08:44PM | 0 recs
RE: Obama is, attack Reagan!

More revisionist crapola...



by vecky 2010-02-22 09:20PM | 0 recs
RE: Obama is, attack Reagan!

Ooops.  You make a few grand mistakes here.  But I understand that it is quite difficult to read someones post while honing your talking points and compulsively asserting your superior historical knowledge.  Multi-tasking is indeed challenging.  Of course, this could be conscious obfuscation as well, in which case you share even more in common with the hypocrites whose stances you tout than I thought.  But regardless, here are a feew clarifications.

1. I did not "attack Reagan" because "Obama is failing."  This is really quite obvious from my post.  The crux of the matter here is that you assume I share your premise, i.e. that Obama is failing.  I do not.  This does not mean that I am sure he will not fail.  I think he has some successes and some failures so far.  But to judge his presidency at this juncture in toto as a failure is either foolish, partisan, or both.  In your case, I think it's the third option.  But given that I do not share your premise, the motivation you impute to me is nothing more than a figment or a polemical trick no one here is falling for.

2. Given that I do not share your premise that Obama has failed or is failing, my attack on Reagan might seem a bit out of left field...except that no one reading with an eye to comprehension would read this is an attack on Reagan.  Rather, it's an attack on you and your credibility as this is a staple of your participation here.  I raised Reagen because you compatriots in the GOP and the tea-thug movement do so more frequently than trappist monks invoke the name of Jesus Christ.

3. The bipartisanship you gesture to here is in both cases simply capitulation to conservative priorities, which is the only kind of bipartisanship you and your hypocrite leaders recognize, which is exactly why bipartisanship is largely dead in the legislative branch (not so with governors, by the way).  Reagan's tax reform and Clinton's welfare reform are examples of how conservative populism enshrines the priviliges and positions of elites while adding to the desperation of the weakest among us.

So continue to launch overdetermined partisan attacks on Obama as much as you want.  But don't pretend they are reasoned and principled critiques of political process and policy with the good of "this great country" in mind.  They are nothing more than promotion of conservative propaganda.  Everyone on this blog rrecognizes you for what you are.  The distance between you and those who paint Obama as a Leninist-Islamist-NAZI who hates America only a little less than he aspires to install himself as Dictator of a Global Government is growing smaller with every comment you type.

On the other hand, I hope you got some rest last night.  Cheney's latest medical scare must have caused you great distress.  I wish him a speedy recovery and a very healthy retirement.

And you still haven't produced your birth certificate. 

by Strummerson 2010-02-23 12:09PM | 1 recs
Now THERE'S a sloppy BJ for Zombie Reagan

And here I thought necrophilia was illegal in all states.

by JJE 2010-02-23 05:34PM | 0 recs
RE: Now THERE'S a sloppy BJ for Zombie Reagan

Hey JJ.....check out Charles Lemos' diary posted earlier today, "Obama's Failure of Leadership". It's a very good read. Later, bud.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-23 07:50PM | 0 recs
What does that have to do

with you exhuming Reagan's corpse to have another go at him?

by JJE 2010-02-23 08:08PM | 0 recs
You're more dense than usual tonight

Sometimes, it seems that the name "JJ" really does suit you....

The word "leadership" is what connects my commentaries with Charles' diary. Just yesterday, I wrote the following:

"Well guess what? Filibusters and special interests have been around a long time---deal with it. Working with Congressional leaders of both parties in 1986 (Tip O'Neill, Bill Bradley, Bob Packwood, Dan Rostenkowski, Dick Gephardt), President Reagan achieved Tax Reform legislation that most observers considered impossible, due to the entrenched special interests in Washington. It lowered tax rates and ignited an economic boom that lasted for 20 years. Working with Newt Gingrich, President Clinton achieved landmark Welfare Reform, one of the signature achievements of his Presidency. These two great Presidents had extensive executive experience, and something else that is critical: LEADERSHIP! Sadly, Barack Obama---who travels the world bowing to foreign dignitaries and apologizing for America---couldn't lead a fart out of an asshole.

As President Reagan told Jimmy Carter on the campaign trail, there's no "crisis of confidence" or malaise with the people of this great country. The problem isn't with the people, the problem is with the leadership---an incredible shrinking President named Barack Obama.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-23 08:37PM | 0 recs
No BJ master

Your talking points, while remarkable in their predictability, have not grown more persuasive over the months, as they strongly resemble something a none-too-bright college freshman might put in a half-assed essay for an intro history class.  But I do like how you've taken to random capitalization.  Let me try it; Reagan's signature achievement was Selling Weapons to Iran.  Damn, written like that it does seem impressive!

by JJE 2010-02-23 11:21PM | 0 recs
Only one answer for you, JJ

You've obviously read precious little about politics, business, and economics....and your understanding of American history is feeble, at best.

So you shouldn't be here attempting to appear educated, trying to banter insults with people who obviously know more than you do. Because if you were so bright, JJ, you wouldn't have jumped aboard the Obama bandwagon last year. I told you then that he would ultimately fold like the $2 suitcase that he is. And look where he is today; failing miserably. Begging for help from the Republicans this Thursday, like a blind man selling pencils on a street corner.

So take it from the Gipper---a real President, and an authentic leader:


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-24 12:33AM | 0 recs
Fold like a $2 suitcase?

lol wut.

by JJE 2010-02-24 01:05AM | 0 recs
not gonna happen

The White House won't include a public option in their proposed legislation on Monday unless they are forced to. That would take Reid and more like 40 Senators. Both of my Senators support a public option through reconciliation, though Cardin is out of the country and can't sign the letter. If you want this to happen call your Senators, don't place any hope in Obama pushing for it.


by tib 2010-02-19 12:01PM | 0 recs
RE: not gonna happen

Unfortunately I agree with you. This WH never fails to disappoint because it is in love with its own bipartisan image which it won't sacrifice for anything. How unfortunate!! I am a little pessimistic now after reading Ezra Kleins columns here and here. If this WH does not show leadership now, seize the initiative and corrall the votes for public option it will be a very serious breach of public trust and very bad politics.

by tarheel74 2010-02-19 05:53PM | 1 recs
RE: not gonna happen

Well it will happen if a couple of "liberal senators" with-hold their support for a reconciliation fix without a PO. Of-course they could have taken that stand with the Senate Bill as well, so i'm not holding my breath.

by vecky 2010-02-21 06:41PM | 0 recs
Because leadership is... tarheel exactly what they want (a pony, in this instance).

The two are very different things.

Fighting for HCR, with or wothout a stupid PO, is still fighting for HCR. The PO, which can be added any time through budget reconiliation, does very little, and I'd rather see Medicare for everyone.

The man's put his entire political fortune on the line to fight for this, and is fighting hard and not giving up, and you just believe, because you didn't get everything you want, all that tireless fighting isn't going on.

Maybe it's because he makes it look easy...

by NoFortunateSon 2010-02-22 10:16PM | 0 recs
heading for the exits

If this fails--lots of Dems will be in 2010, followed by Obama in 2012.

by esconded 2010-02-19 02:06PM | 0 recs

I am thinking some of you are just not being realistic. The health bil in general is on life this point, the idea that a public option is suddenly going to be reintroduced is delusional. Its not going to happen. As it is, the bill that currently is being pushed and even the one Obama is supposedly putting together includes mandates with penalties. What do you think the public reaction to that will be. Mark my words if a bill with mandates is pushed through, and a bill in it current form that is.....democrats who are already in trouble this November are done. Voters want a focus on the economy, jobs and out of control spending. Thats where the focus needs to be....frankly pretty much every one of these crooks in the senate and congress neesd to be booted from office...

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-02-19 06:13PM | 1 recs
RE: huh?

People would still go for mandates if they had something like a public option. I would not mind being mandated to buy into a government run wholly non-profit insurance plan but I'll be pissed if I am forced to buy from private insurers. That is corporate welfare.

by tarheel74 2010-02-19 06:46PM | 0 recs
RE: huh?

Voters want a focus on the economy, jobs and out of control spending. Thats where the focus needs to be

Since healthcare costs are a HUGE factor in the economy, job market, and out of control spending, that's precisely what we've been doing.

by ND22 2010-02-19 07:32PM | 0 recs

Most voters dont understand that. Most voters are more concerned about the here and now. Any healthcare plan passed wont kick in for several years. The bills beign considered are crap in that they have mandates, penalties and do nothing to improve the overall quality of healthcare. If Obama and congress hasnt figured out that voters are totally pissed off and more interested in economic measures they can see and ho wit affects jobs, than they deserve to be booted. And as I said, the best we could ask for is for 90 percent of these sleaze bags to be booted from office....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-02-19 07:47PM | 0 recs
Jobs bill vote is Monday

the Senate can do two things at once. Besides, in a few years down the line, when the people see how this bill changed their lives for the better, they'll put the Democrats back in office.

The Labour Party got booted in part for establishing the NHS, they've never regretted it and neither did the British people.

I reject your assertion that these bills don't nothing to improve the overall quality of healthcare, they expand healthcare reform to nearly everyone, thereby eliminating the insane cost the uninsured have on the government (not that you particularly care about those people), they ban recession, which would kick in immediately, but then again, you're someone who thinks healthcare can be solved by eating a pear.

You don't have to tell me about the short-sightedness of the average American voters. One of my biggest criticisms of people in this country is their apparent inability to think beyond tomorrow. 

by ND22 2010-02-19 08:49PM | 0 recs
RE: Passing Public Option Via Reconciliation Gathers Steam

There you go again......just ignorant or clueless, not sure which. As for the pear comment, you know what thats not what I said, you just choose to ignore the basic concept that if people would do a better job of takign care of themselves, including eating right, than we would see a huge reduction in obesity related diseases....of courswe as a liberal you think people cant help themselves...only the government can do that. Maybe after the party loses in a landslide you will figure it out.....liek most liberals your completely clueless....

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-02-19 10:03PM | 0 recs
You're right

I don't think people can help themselves and do think they need the government to help them...and we've been proven right in history over and over and over and over again. Proven over and over again that Americans are gullible to lies and scams, vote and support policies that only hurt them, and find themselves repeatidly fucked in the ass by corporations and the wealthy and then are curious as to why? They are forced to fall back on the government to help them out of the crises they create and then are angry when the government wants to try to prevent said crises from happening again. When people come along and try to help them, they reject them because they're too radical, and the cycle repeats itself.

At this point, I couldn't care less if the party loses in a landslide, I'll still believe what I believe and in a few years down the line, I'll be vindicated...again.

I always am Buckeye. ALWAYS! Remember that in ten years when our fine country is reduced to dwindling embers.

But hey, I'm clueless, just like I was clueless about it being a mistake to invade Iraq. Just like I was clueless about the danger of privatizing social security. Just like I was clueless about the Bush tax cuts doing nothing but helping people who don't need help and breaking a deficit wide open with nothing to show for it.


by ND22 2010-02-19 10:22PM | 0 recs
I'm a liberal and I'm an American

and I feel my country is in dire straits and I think I have good ideas on how to fix it and I'm tired of people like you, who have no principals and no true beliefs and shift your views more often than the sands in a fucking hurricane, demonizing people like me because we believe government has a place in our society and can do a better job providing things like healthcare to its people. I have history and facts on my side, there's a reason why our healthcare system ranks lower than others with government involvement. 


by ND22 2010-02-19 10:30PM | 0 recs
Your right

History shows that liberal ideas have failed....looked at the enormous welfare state that was created, look at how we have forced people to depend upon the government. Your ideas have failed while more conservative principles have enabled this country to succeed. Your put your faith and hope in Government instead of where it belongs, in yourself and God...

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-02-20 12:50PM | 1 recs

And we did not have hundred years plus of unbridled capitalism that lead to the great depression. Yes we should embrace conservative ideas, repeal Brown V Board of Education, start teaching creationism, bring back segregation, do away with the income tax, repeal all Wall Street regulation and start corporate welfare because you know the markets regulate themselves. We never had the depression or the current recession or Ronald Reagan never increased our national debt and taxes, those are just events in the alternate dimension of kooks.

by tarheel74 2010-02-20 05:58PM | 0 recs
You really do need to study history

I guess in your world, tarheel, the Soviet Union is alive and well....even thriving. And you're probably unaware that China has begun to embrace capitalism, which accounts for their booming economy....many economists feel that China is more friendly to capital today than is the United States. It's quite a contrast with what's happening in Europe, where the PIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) are facing fiscal crisis because of unbridled entitlement spending. The latest protest in Greece was staged by workers who were angry that their retirement age may be raised from 61 to 63; the horror of it all.

As to your crack about segregation, you're probably unaware (a perpetual state for you) that LBJ had to turn to Republican leader Everett Dirksen to get Civil Rights legislation passed, when he was rebuffed by his Democratic colleagues. Your world view---liberals are the good guys in white hats, conservatives evil people in black hats---is incredibly simplistic. It reveals someone who lacks education, and worse yet, is unwilling to learn.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 05:38PM | 0 recs
RE: You really do need to study history

Gosh, more disconnection from reality. The problem in Greece were caused by dishonest accounting practises, ala Enron, under the previous rightwing-conservative government. Just goes to show that conservatives aren't fit the govern the world over - sharing as they do the view that the publics finances are their own personal piggy-bank.

by vecky 2010-02-21 06:52PM | 0 recs
RE: You really do need to study history

Ah yes....Greece's problems are all because of....drumroll please.....GOLDMAN SACHS! The bane of liberals' existence. And the fact that Portugal had a bond auction fail earlier this months was because of....well, of course, Goldman Sachs.

Before it's all over, I'm sure you folks will be blaming the Climate-Gate scandal---and subsequent collapse of Cap and Trade---on the folks at Goldman.

Seriously, you shouldn't believe everything you read on liberal blogs.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 07:39PM | 0 recs
RE: You really do need to study history

Not really, Greece's problems are because of dishonest accounting undertaken by the previous conservative administration. Certainly Goldman colluded with them to make a profit, but that's what Goldman always does. As they say capitalism has no moral compass, that's the way it's always been.

Now I never mentioned Goldman in my post so I wonder what deep  psychological reason would cause you harp on them. Me thinks your obsessing on them too much. Can't be healthy.

by vecky 2010-02-21 08:15PM | 0 recs
RE: You really do need to study history

P.S: If you want to learn some more about Greece"s problems, go here:

Sorry, no mention of Goldman. you'll just have to learn to get over them.

by vecky 2010-02-21 08:17PM | 0 recs
uh, you do know

that Everett Dirksen's Civil Rights compromise was NOT rebuffed by Democratic colleagues, it actually passed and that Dirksen, being a LIBERAL on the issue, had always supported Civil Rights from Day One and put together the compromise with Humphrey to get the votes of six Republican Senators since the holdouts on the Democratic side were hopeless.

We should only be so lucky as to have Republicans like Dirksen in the Senate.

"It reveals someone who lacks education, and worse yet, is unwilling to learn."

You should talk sweetie. You didn't even know Dirksen's bill got passed. Who lacks education and is unwilling to learn?

by ND22 2010-02-21 07:09PM | 0 recs
There you go again.

Wow, that's as ignorant as your screw-up the other day on the Reagan-Carter debates in 1980.

My comment didn't even address the issue of whose Civil Rights bill got passed; as usual, you're in the weeds. Bottom line, President Johnson got much needed support from Dirksen to make it a reality. Period.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 07:32PM | 0 recs
No need to get defensive

because you were caught looking stupid.

So Democrats rebuffed Dirksen's plan, but passed it anyway? Nice attempt to save yoursell from looking stupid, but it's too late sweetie.

Bottom line, President Johnson got much needed support from Dirksen to make it a reality. Period.

Absolutely, no one is doubting that, thank God for people like Dirksen who put principal over party interest and did the right thing. If he killed Civil Rights, he could've killed the Democratic majority and gotten himself elected Majority Leader, but no, Dirksen felt it was better to go against the interests of his party, who at the same time were supporting a Presidential candidate opposed to the bill, and do the right thing. Too bad Republicans like that don't exist anymore.

I'm sure you would've probably said Civil Rights is some sort of radical liberal agenda item that "the people don't want"



by ND22 2010-02-21 08:06PM | 1 recs
Nice try.

One of my favorites, from the ND22 rant-against-Reagan hit parade:

"His "Are you better off now than you were four years ago" rang as almost "This could've be worse"

For many people who voted for him, the answer to that question was "no, we aren't better off in 1984 then we were in 1980" but they voted for him anyway, because they were certainly better off in 1984 than they were in 1982."

Might have made sense if you had the election cycle right, not to mention the dates. Just out of curiosity, what did you have in mind?

Talk about looking stupid........

by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 08:16PM | 0 recs
RE: Nice try.

I'm not sure... are you trying to make yourself more stupid than usual? On purpose? I really have to hear this new attempt at an arguement: "if you had the election cycle right, not to mention the dates". What is that about now...

by vecky 2010-02-21 08:45PM | 0 recs
RE: Nice try.

Actually, it doesn't really concern you. The comment was a reply to ND22, about a comment he made last week.....

You must have a lot of time on your hands!

btw...spelling: arguement, sb argument. Might have asked you this before: did you make it through high school?

by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 09:01PM | 0 recs
RE: Nice try.

It's sunday and I'm watching the hockey. Besides this a free board and if you can't take the heat on being called ou on your BS, maybe you should stop the BS?

I'll note you still ain't answering the Q...

by vecky 2010-02-21 09:03PM | 1 recs
RE: Nice try.

glad to see you're sticking up for ND, since  he's having a hard time defending himself. Guess it takes two liberals to take on a conservative......


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-22 12:38AM | 0 recs
RE: Nice try.

It doesn't seem so much as "taking on" as a roll-over.

I'll note you still ain't answering the Q... typical conservative... always tries to change the subject when losing.



by vecky 2010-02-22 01:55AM | 0 recs
Typo flames

Thanks, BJ, for providing that brief moment of 1997 Usenet nostalgia.

by JJE 2010-02-23 05:52PM | 0 recs
So no response

to what I said about Dirksen huh?

The last refuge for the defeated Conserative, desperately try to grasp at any attempt to discredit my opponent. Bring up things from a long time ago if you have to.

It would be sad if it weren't so fucking funny.

Let's do this again real soon, it's been a real pleasure embarassing your ass.

by ND22 2010-02-21 08:57PM | 0 recs
"Long time ago"?

Dude, it was only last week! Even the site moderator had to come in and correct you.

As to the great Dirksen treatise, I'm still trying to figure out what your point is. Will get back to you when I figure it out.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 09:06PM | 0 recs
I think my point

is pretty obvious to anyone who reads this blog. Tell us again how Dirksen's compromise was "rebuffed" by Democrats?

by ND22 2010-02-21 09:09PM | 0 recs
RE: I think my point

Actually, I think that "the Dirksen Compromise" warrants its own diary. Something this topical shouldn't be confined to our back-and-forth; let all the readers of MyDD in on your findings. Should you write it, I promise to recommend it.

Think about it: such a diary would deflect attention from Obama's health care debacle, Cap-and-Trade's failure, Climate-gate, unemployment, not to mention the upcoming 2010 would be a service to liberals everywhere.

Just be sure to check your dates and facts when you're done, ND.....


by BJJ Fighter 2010-02-21 10:45PM | 0 recs
RE: I think my point

More gobbledygook! How about answering the question or admitting you know zip, and doing a subsequent google search?

by vecky 2010-02-22 02:01AM | 0 recs
RE: Your right

looked at the enormous welfare state that was created, look at how we have forced people to depend upon the government.

Oh wait, so now we're a welfare state? I thought that was unamerican? Funny how now we're apparently the "welfare state" everyone is afraid we're going to become. Liberal ideas have "failed." We haven't seen a liberal idea incorporated since the 1960s! 

Or do you mean the "welfare state" countries? You mean the ones that are mulling through while we barely hold on? I don't know if you're been to a country like Canada, Norway or Sweden lately, but they're not doing nearly as bad as we are bucko. If that's failure, then I say, keep it coming!





by ND22 2010-02-20 06:55PM | 0 recs
RE: Your right

Your ideas have failed while more conservative principles have enabled this country to succeed. Your put your faith and hope in Government instead of where it belongs, in yourself and God...

Comically delusional. Yeah dude, my healthcare bills would've just gone away if only I had prayed more.

by ND22 2010-02-20 06:57PM | 0 recs
RE: Your right

Well, maybe if you prayed more you wouldn't have gotten sick! G-d is punishing you for your lack of faith. Just return to the fold and tithe 10% of your income to the church and all will be well (after your dead only tho).

by vecky 2010-02-21 06:56PM | 0 recs
PO Hasn't a Snowball's Chance

Progressives are deluding themselves if they think Rahm and Obama support any PO bill.  

by TJ1 2010-02-20 09:22PM | 0 recs
RE: Passing Public Option Via Reconciliation Gathers Steam

*sigh*, the WH webiste has had "The Obama Plan" up for months which includes a PO.

by vecky 2010-02-21 08:51PM | 0 recs
This isn't the one he's releasing tomorrow is it?

As much as I'd like to see a public option, I'm not sure it would be wise for him to include it in the plan he's would stunt it's momentum in the Senate IMO.

Yeah, yeah, I know, flame me guys.

by ND22 2010-02-21 08:58PM | 0 recs
RE: This isn't the one he's releasing tomorrow is it?

No, it's the one that been on the WH website since Sept. Rather odd for a president you dosn't support the PO don't ya think?

by vecky 2010-02-21 09:05PM | 0 recs
RE: This isn't the one he's releasing tomorrow is it?

vecky, there's ample evidence that Obama has been quietly trying to kill the PO this entire time:

by jeopardy 2010-02-24 07:15PM | 0 recs
Where is the Conservative Option...

I'll add - I don't know what Obama will do. I just hope he doesn't go and pull a Reid by adding the PO without having the votes for it. By all accounts the presidents plan will be some sort of a merge between the House n Senate bills.

But in all this discussion of Obama's Plan we're missing the real point of this summit - the GOP plan. So far I haven't seen one, not even a rumor of one. 72 hours before the summit is coming up conservatives...

by vecky 2010-02-21 09:17PM | 0 recs
Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

From the hated FDL:

"The White House finally made official what we have known for a long time:

President Obama is against the public option.

How do we know this? Because Obama, for the first time ever, released his own official health care reform proposal — and it does not contain a public option.

You can’t claim to support an idea if you are unwilling to make it part of your own proposal..."


by jeopardy 2010-02-22 04:11PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

Not clear that he is personally for or against the PO.  He has decided not to fight for it.   Whether this reflects his opposition or his political calculus is unknown. 

by Strummerson 2010-02-22 06:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

Well I guess we'll all just forget about his Joint session speech, his numerous press-confrences and town halls defending the PO then...

by vecky 2010-02-22 09:51PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

can you find even a single, just one single instance, of President Obama saying that the PO is what we need?

Because I can find multiple instances of him saying that it is not necessary.

how "supportive" of the PO is it to say it is not that important, not putting it in your first specific plan, and never saying that it needs to be in the bills?

You are either in serious denial about Obama's "support" of the PO or you are intentionally trying to mislead people about it.

by jeopardy 2010-02-22 10:10PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

You can't have everything first. Obama's primary goal is to provide increased coverage (reversing the trend of the last several decades), bend the cost curve and not increase the deficit. Those are his lines in the sand.

Now your right that he has not made the PO a make or break issue. But he has spoken out in support of it and defended it numerous times in public when other democrats were largely silent. That's the reality, I can't mislead people about something that is so well documented.

by vecky 2010-02-22 10:33PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

ok, for future reference, "support" means dDoing something that increases its chances, not doing stuff that hurts its chances. Stuff like including it in your first and only specific bill proposal instead of leaving it out when there is increasing momentum to pass it.

you know, like what Obama just did with the madate (increasing the penalty, in fact).

by jeopardy 2010-02-22 10:44PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

Looks like nothing will make you happy. Maybe you should review the tapes from Obamas Presser in July, his Town Hall in Red Montana or his Joint Session speech. I guess none of that "increased the chances" of HCR, let alone HCR looked deader than a doornail on numerous occasions.

Progressives can choose to make the PO a make or break issue, but so far they haven't. Is that "support'? We all know the dynamics in Congress, just one small group of House members or one or two senators can put their foot down and demand a PO or no HCR. Let's not loose hope that it will be included by the senate now, but let's not let it be a distraction either. Perosnally I prefer the medicare buy-in for 55+, but that's just me.

As for the mandate it is now at the level of the House Bill. How is that an increase from what?

by vecky 2010-02-22 11:05PM | 0 recs
RE: Well, There was no PO in Obama's plan

i've been pretty damn clear about what would make me happy - a strong, firm, public commitment by the WH for a PO.

But I was still supportive of this thing with just the 55+ Medicare buy-in as well. I have not been inflexible, as you are insinuating.

And the mandate is an increase from the Senate bill. The house bill had a PO, btw, which makes the mandate far more acceptable to many of us.

forcing me to pay into the commons is much different than forcing me to pay my money to private companies that have been abusing us in the name of huge pay for rich executives.

by jeopardy 2010-02-23 01:11PM | 0 recs
Why On Earth Not A Public Option?

Why, exactly, not?

What's the real problem?

It's less than what 90% of Europe gets. Are we worth less than them?

by blues 2010-02-24 11:29PM | 0 recs


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