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Thread: Obama speech to Congress unlikely to be game changer

  1. #16
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Cracked

    by digby

    So, is this about cracking heads or kissing ass?
    ABC News has learned that President Obama will be meeting with 16 Democratic senators (and one "Independent Democrat") this afternoon at the White House.

    They are: Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Mark Warner of Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Tom Carper of Delaware, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, and Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

    The meeting is scheduled for 4:15 pm ET, in the Cabinet Room.

    Many of these senators have expressed concern about if not downright opposition to key elements of President Obama's health care proposals, particularly his push for a government-run public health care option to compete with private insurers to drive down costs.
    Obviously, nobody knows. But until we do, I will indulge my fantasy that Obama is going to be talking about this:
    [T]he time has come--and in fact, it is long overdue--for them to begin forcefully making the case that being a member in good standing of the party’s Senate caucus means supporting cloture motions on key legislation even if a given senator intends to vote against it.

    This case was, in fact, briefly made in July by Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin--but it gained little traction. Durbin’s argument should be revived in and outside the Senate. Right now, progressive groups around the country are in the midst of efforts to agitate for a “public option” as an essential feature of health reform, and eventually will devote enormous efforts to support final passage of health reform, if we ever get to that point. Wavering Democrats have been targeted for ads and other communications, with mixed results. A significant fraction of that pressure should be devoted to a very simple message: Democrats should not conspire with Republicans to obstruct a vote in the Senate on the president’s top domestic priority. Vote your conscience, or your understanding of your constituents’ views, Ben Nelson, but don’t prevent a vote.

    There are those who would respond to this suggestion by arguing that a senator voting for cloture but against the bill could be accused of flip-flopping or deviousness. Let them provide the evidence that voters understand or care enough about Senate procedures to internalize that charge. When John Kerry got into so much trouble in 2004 by saying that he “actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,” he was the one trying to explain arcane Senate procedures. “I voted against ObamaCare, but I didn’t try to keep the Senate from voting” should be a pretty easy sell for any Democrat, particularly since the contrary argument requires an explanation of cloture, not exactly a household word.

    The harder question is whether public pressure to support one’s party and president on a cloture vote could be supplemented by more tangible sanctions against senators who won’t at least let health reform or other critical legislation get to the floor--such as withholding choice committee assignments or party committee funds. But until Democrats begin to question the right of certain Democratic senators to maintain their tyranny, possible sanctions are beside the point.
    It's bad enough that these so-called Democrats have to be cajoled into supporting health care reform in any way. (If they can't get behind health care, it's very hard to see why they consider themselves members of the party they're in.)But if they can't even rouse themselves from counting their corporate cash and kissing the rings of Republicans to allow a majority vote, then the country should just give up on this experiment in democracy and allow whoever has the highest net worth to rule the country directly.

    All of this depends upon Obama and the congressional leadership having the nerve to do it something which would be unprecedented in the modern era: disciplining the conservatives. We'll see.
    Hullabaloo

  2. #17
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Hey hey hey now, don't go crapping on Fox, while every other news organization was dealing with that piddley health care stuff this morning, they rocked it by dedicating 2 hours to an explosive ACORN exclusive hard hitting expose - that's the stuff of serious news folks. I lasted 12.5 seconds before screaming and changing the channel, a personal best thank you very much.
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    (Replying to MontanaMama) This is some of the smartest shit I ever read

  3. #18
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    The 2 Acorn workers have been fired, whats next?
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  4. #19
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Beck gets fired for being a racist nutjob
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  5. #20
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    lol
    My grace is sufficient for you, for my my strength is made perfect in weakness...I love you dad!
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  6. #21
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Democratic leaders in Congress soften on public option
    Posted: September 10th, 2009 05:38 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate on Thursday signaled their willingness to drop a government-run public health insurance option from a final health-care bill.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in comments at separate news conferences, said they would support anyprovision that increases competition and accessibility for health insurance — whether or not it is the public option favored by most Democrats.

    They spoke the day after President Barack Obama called the public option a preferred but non-essential element of overhauling the nation's ailing health-care system. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the president's speech the night before to a joint session of Congress "reiterated the public option is not the be-all, end-all in health-care reform."

    Pelosi, who said as recently as Tuesday that a public option was essential for passing a health-care bill in the House, on Thursday used language on the issue similar to Obama's speech.

    "This is about a goal. It's not about provisions," Pelosi said, adding that as long as legislation meets goals of "affordability and accessibility and quality … then we will go forward with that bill."

    She said she still thinks a public option is the best way to achieve those goals, but when asked if inclusion of a public option was a
    non-negotiable demand — as her previous statements had indicated — Pelosi ruled out any non-negotiable positions.

    Reid was asked about a Senate proposal that calls for non-profit health insurance cooperatives instead of a public option.

    "The purpose of a public option is this: to create competition, which is so important, and create quality health care," he said. "… .So if we can come up with a concept of a cooperative that does just that — that is, it makes more competition and it makes the insurance companies honest — yes, I think that would … fill the bill."

    The non-profit public option has become the focal point of the health-care debate.

    Republicans are unanimous in opposing a public option, calling it an unfair competitor that would drive private insurers from the market and lead to a government takeover of health insurance. Democrats reject that claim as a false allegation intended to scare people.

    However, some moderate Democrats also reject or question a public option as too expensive and too much government intrusion in health care. At the same time, liberal Democrats insist on a public option as necessary to achieve true reform of the health insurance industry.

    In his speech to Congress, Obama invited alternatives that fulfill his requirement that health-care legislation must increase competition for insurance coverage to lower costs and expand accessibility.

    Democratic proposals passed by three House committees and one Senate committee include a public option, but a compromise bill being negotiated by six members of the Senate Finance Committee — three Democrats and three Republicans — has dropped the provision.

    In addition, the White House has been talking to moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the Finance Committee negotiators, about her idea for a trigger mechanism that would bring a public option in the future if health-care legislation fails to meet thresholds for expanding coverage and reducing costs, Snowe confirmed to CNN on Wednesday.

    Moderate Democrats who are uneasy with a public option, such as Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, have said they could support a trigger mechanism. Such support could gain a health-care bill the 60 Senate votes necessary to overcome any filibuster attempt by Republicans.

    "Obviously, there are details we haven't seen yet and those will be very important," Nelson said after Obama's speech. "It's not clear if public option is still alive and whether it will be upfront or in the back with a trigger or not in the plan at all."

    –CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this story
    CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Democratic leaders in Congress soften on public option « - Blogs from CNN.com

  7. #22
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Dropping the public option?



    He's shocked, shocked.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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  8. #23
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    what? the useless duo of pelosi and reid puss out at the last minute? NO FUCKING WAI IVE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE

    these people should be set on fire and skullfucked till they die

    holy fuckballs.
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  9. #24
    Elite Member olivia720's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Beck gets fired for being a racist nutjob
    If only he were just a racist nutjob. He's also the biggest moron on tv.

  10. #25
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    But many people (not you) already are changing that POV into 'Well, making insurance companies unable to use the pre-existing conditions clause and forcing businesses to insure their employees and providing gov subsidies for the poor' as a victory. So let's be happy with that.

    Yes, it's a victory, but for the insurance companies, not for us.
    From the perspective of the average person, ending the "pre-existing conditions" and bringing stricter regulation to the insurance business is an improvement. Yes, a public plan would be better and a Medicare for all would be better still. But the insurance reform still benefits the general public even without the public option.

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