[Updated x2] Placations from the WH are not having the same effect

Fiasco? Yes. Intense tone deafness? Yes. Complete lack of leadership? Yes.

Even yesterday, much like snake-oil salesman, the President went on tv to sell this crap heap as a way of saving money. Give me a break!! You wanna save tax payer money Mr. President, stop giving billions in tax breaks to undeserving banks (see Charles' diary and the excellent analysis he has linked to). Today the progressives have started laying the blame of the fiasco where it partially belongs, at 1600 Pennsylvania where they had abdicated all leadership.

Here's Howard Dean explaining why claiming this bill saves money is akin to selling snake oil:

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Howard Dean: "Kill the bill"

Promoted. I can't imagine a worse development than mandating private insurance alone and calling that reform; what a political and PR nightmare. Jerome

What a fiasco!! Even now some "experts" say that this shit sandwich is worth voting for, I have to ask where is the reform in this bill? We sure as hell are not reforming health care and we are not reforming the insurance industry. The government, by authorizing a mandate, just gave 30 million new customers to the private insurers, WITHOUT specifying any premium caps or cost control measures. Wonderful!! Yesterday many in the left blogs called for killing this atrocity, today the progressives got a major boost from Howard Dean (yes the same Dr. Howard Dean who would have been one heckuva HHS secretary, instead of Ms. Bipartisan Sebelius).

Howard Dean "Kill the Senate bill"

In a blow to the bill grinding through the Senate,  Howard Dean bluntly called for the bill to be killed in a pre-recorded interview set to air later this afternoon, denouncing it as "the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate," the reporter who conducted the interview tells me.


"This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill."

Let me add here that unlike Dr. Dean, I did not think much of the medicare buy-in plan, because it would have burdened the State with an aging and less healthy population, but as far as reform went, it was still a tiny incremental step in the right direction. The bill right now is not a reform bill.

[Updated] White House pressuring Sen. Reid to cut a deal with Lieberman

Not long before some of the front-pagers started writing about the duplicitous nature of Lieberman, Politico ran this story:

W.H. to Reid: Cut deal with Lieberman

The White House is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), which would mean eliminating the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations.

But Reid is described as so frustrated with Lieberman that he is not ready to sacrifice a key element of the health care bill, and first wants to see the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the Medicare buy-in. The analysis is expected early this week.

"There is a weariness and a lot of frustration that one person is holding up the will of 59 others," the official said. "There is still too much anger and confusion at one particular senator's reversal."


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Drug money in banking sector and Healthcare debacle

The latest news today is that the banks that we the taxpayers saved, had been laundering drug money to stay afloat. So unwittingly, due to the largess of the Federal government, all of us might be complicit in saving companies that broke Federal racketeering law. This is explosive stuff and everyone should read this report in the Guardian.

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Screams the headline on Huffington Post. It has become evident that the White House is not only not doing enough for a public option but actually not fighting against the proposals being pushed. It might be surprising to some but the writing was on the wall for a long time.

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[Update] Alan Grayson issues an apology

So Alan Grayson issued an apology on the floor of the House for his earlier comment on the GOP health care plan. Here it is:

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The Democratic weaklings in Washington

Can anyone please tell me why this Democratic Congress and administration constantly cave to right-wing pressure? Today thousands on nut-jobs descended on Washington urged on by an alcoholic lunatic. Unfortunately instead of ignoring these lunatics and their leader this administration is actually appeasing them. This includes the entire goddamn administration, the WH, the Senate and the Congress.

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[Updated] Negotiating from Weakness on Health Care

It is becoming increasingly evident that right now due to a complete lack of leadership from the White House, the President is now negotiating from a point of weakness. Recently we heard that the President got in touch with the Progressive caucus and asked them how much are they willing to compromise on health care reform:

All in all it appears very much as if the President is feeling out how willing the House will be to support a bill that falls short of their earlier demands for a Medicare-like public option available to all consumers without any triggers.

Update [2009-9-5 16:24:26 by tarheel74]:

Please sign any or all of these following petitions:

Petition Online


Wired For Change

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[Updated x 2] The Dispensable Progressive Base

I am sure by now most people have read this article on Politico. But just to outline the salient points:

On health care, Obama's willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party's liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.

"We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition," an aide said. "There are lots of different ways to get there."

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[updated] Why the Public Option is essential: Reich, Krugman and more

This is in response to the many people I read over the last few days who are willing to forgo a public option for either a co-op or for a health care system modeled around then one in Massachusetts.  

Robert Reich and Paul Krugman both have excellent columns out today in response to the events this weekend. While Reich has been more tempered in his assessment, Paul Krugman's blog post is nothing short of an indictment of the way the entire health care debate has been mismanaged by the White House.

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