Extremists in the GOP

Harmony in Blue White and Red

Paul Krugman:

To be sure, it was enjoyable watching Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican of California, warn that by passing health reform, Democrats “will finally lay the cornerstone of their socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.” Gosh, that sounds uncomfortable. And it’s been a hoot watching Mitt Romney squirm as he tries to distance himself from a plan that, as he knows full well, is nearly identical to the reform he himself pushed through as governor of Massachusetts. His best shot was declaring that enacting reform was an “unconscionable abuse of power,” a “historic usurpation of the legislative process” — presumably because the legislative process isn’t supposed to include things like “votes” in which the majority prevails.

A side observation: one Republican talking point has been that Democrats had no right to pass a bill facing overwhelming public disapproval. As it happens, the Constitution says nothing about opinion polls trumping the right and duty of elected officials to make decisions based on what they perceive as the merits. But in any case, the message from the polls is much more ambiguous than opponents of reform claim: While many Americans disapprove of Obamacare, a significant number do so because they feel that it doesn’t go far enough. And a Gallup poll taken after health reform’s enactment showed the public, by a modest but significant margin, seeming pleased that it passed.

[Click to continue reading Paul Krugman – Going to Extreme –]

I do hope nobody actually gets hurt in this days of pseudo-rage, and Rethuglican threats. Other than that, I’ve enjoyed the spectacle as well. Fun when the GOP doesn’t get its way, elections matter, remember?

When do we get to do pointed sticks?

From the Kansas City Star Editorial Board:

Even some elected officials have stepped over the line of reasonable debate. GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, of California, noted: “When you use totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy…I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it.”

[Click to continue reading Tea party’s lunatic fringe is alarming | Midwest Voices]

Greg Sargent on Mitt Romney supporting what he now opposes:

Here’s the key exchange:

MODERATOR: “You seem to have backed away from mandates on a national basis.”

ROMNEY: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”

To be clear, the individual mandate wasn’t the lightening rod for the right back then that it is these days. Romney appears to have merely been trying to appear consistent on the issue. But now that Obamacare has elevated the issue into an important one on the right, Romney is depicting the Federal mandate as a frightening abuse of power.

All this said, in a way the details of Romney’s position, or positions, aren’t really the point. Rather, the real problem for Romney here is that every time he goes on TV to bash Obamacare, he’s going to be asked to explain why he’s slamming a provision he signed into law himself.

[Click to continue reading Did Romney Endorse Federal Mandate? | The Plum Line]

The Gallup poll mentioned:

Nearly half of Americans give a thumbs-up to Congress’ passage of a healthcare reform bill last weekend, with 49% calling it “a good thing.” Republicans and Democrats have polar opposite reactions, with independents evenly split.

[Click to continue reading By Slim Margin, Americans Support Healthcare Bill’s Passage ]


George Washington was a socialist

If you use the same reasoning the Rethuglicans are using against implementing the individual insurance mandate, then George Washington was a socialist too

South branch of the river

Joe Conason writes:

One of the favorite complaints against the healthcare reform bill is that the founding document doesn’t permit the federal government to order anyone to buy a product or service. That supposedly renders illegitimate the individual insurance mandate that is part of the bill.

As every fervent advocate of gun rights ought to know, however, that argument suffers from a glaring historical flaw. Only a few years after the nation’s Founding Fathers ratified the Constitution, Congress approved the Militia Act of 1792, which was duly signed by George Washington, then the president and commander in chief.

Establishing state militias and a national standard for their operation, the Militia Act explicitly required every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45, with a few occupational exceptions, to “provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder..”

Within six months, every citizen enrolled and notified of his required militia service had to equip himself as specified above. There was spirited debate in Congress as to whether the state ought to subsidize the purchase of arms for men too poor to afford their own, so that everyone could serve his country. Subsidized or not, however, the founders saw no constitutional barrier to a law ordering every citizen to buy a gun and ammo.

[Click to continue reading So George Washington was a socialist, too! – Joe Conason –]

Ru-oh! Better warn the Texas Board of Education so they can scrub mention of George Washington from any textbooks…


Health Care Reform Will Affect Your Wallet

Seems like a reasonably non-partisan analysis. The new, welcomed Health Care Reform might have a small effect on a few of our unreimbursed deductions it seems. For years, our business has paid for our health insurance out of our heretofore1 meager profits, and despite nobody actually using the insurance to pay for anything, our premiums have skyrocketed each and every year. Last year alone, our Blue Cross Blue Shield premiums went up over 30%. Yikes.

Calvary Cemetery

  • Couples earning more than $250,000 a year, and individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, will see an increase from 1.45% Medicare tax to 2.35% starting in 2013.
  • Those with the higher income listed above would also see a 2.8% tax on unearned income (interest and dividends).
  • Starting in 2018, a 40% excise tax would be imposed on the portion of employer-sponsored “Cadillac plans” that exceeds $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families.
  • The threshold for deducting medical expenses (unreimbursed) would be raised to 10% of income from 7.5%, so many will lose the current tax deductions they tax advantage of.
  • Starting this year, those who make use of indoor tanning facilities will pay a 10% tax.
  • Starting in 2013, your tax-advantaged flexible spending account contributions will be limited to $2,500 for medical expenses.

[Click to continue reading How Will Health Care Reform Affect Your Wallet?]

the only real change I see is the 2.5% reduction in deducting health care costs we pay ourselves, which doesn’t translate to much real money, at least in our case, but I’m still scouring the details to see if there is anything else to worry about.

  1. we are still optimists – this year will the year we can set some aside for a rainy day. Yeah, this year []

Insurance Companies Not Automatically Included in Exchange

How badly do insurance companies have to be to their customers before they are banned from participation in the new insurance exchanges? General Electric bad? Monsanto bad? or Halliburton bad? Curious if the rules have been defined yet.

A second Hypnotic Mosiac - Garfield

A couple of hours after President Obama signed the health-care bill, an elated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with a group of columnists and commentators, issuing a warning to insurance companies…

Asked if insurance companies might raise their rates on health coverage and blame the increases on the new health-care bill, Pelosi said that the insurance companies should be aware that they’re not “automatically included” in the new health exchanges the bill creates.

“Unless they do the right thing, they’re not going in,” she said. “They will be relinquishing the possibility of having taxpayer-subsidized consumers in the exchange,” she said.

Under the new law, the health exchanges Pelosi referred to will be created in 2014. By pulling customers together, they will give individuals and companies a better chance of bargaining when they buy health insurance. Because the exchanges are expected to serve millions of new customers, insurance companies will want to be part of them.

[Click to continue reading PostPartisan – An ebullient Pelosi: watch out insurance companies, and Rahm is a ‘softie’ ]

Via Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars.


Health Reform Bill Instant Provisions

From Nancy Pelosi’s blog:

Killing People Is Rude

Under the legislative package the House passed on Sunday (the Senate-passed health bill as amended by the reconciliation bill) many key provisions take effect this year – here are some of them:


SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDITS—Offers tax credits to small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available. Effective beginning for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2014, small business tax credits will cover 50 percent of premiums.)

[Click to continue reading The Gavel » Blog Archive » What’s In The Health Reform Bill For You Right Away?]

A bunch more that don’t affect me, but might be of interest to you. Also an implementation timeline [PDF]


Health Care will Save Republicans Too

Michael Moore writes:

Eat me

To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:
Thanks to last night’s vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to last night’s vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

Thanks to last night’s vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we’ve made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you’re upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that’s a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I’m sure he could make that into a movie for you.

But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.
So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you’ll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.

[Click to continue reading The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too (An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore) |]

Can’t we opt the Republicans out instead? or opt out those districts that voted against the bill?


Stupak and the Executive Order

From my reading of the Executive Order (here’s an advance copy of it), doesn’t seem to restrict a woman’s rights any more than they were restricted yesterday1, with the so-called Hyde Amendment. Congressman Stupak either needed political cover to vote for HCR, or hadn’t bothered to read the bill carefully in the first place.

Family Planning protest w 50 foot Giant Virgin Mary

Pro-choice lawmakers greeted with reluctant acceptance news that President Obama (as part of a deal to secure anti-abortion votes for health care) had agreed to sign an executive order upholding the Hyde Amendment as law. Non-government groups who work on defending abortion rights, however, were “incensed.”

Approached in the halls of the Capitol shortly after the deal was announced by pro-life advocate Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-Ill.) said she understood why the executive order had to be made, even though she was not pleased with its message or content.

“This is not something we are rejoicing over in any way because we were reluctant in the first place,” the Illinois Democrat, an abortion rights advocate, told the Huffington Post. “We had language that made sure there were no federal dollars. But right now if this will make the bill pass and it doesn’t further erode women’s reproductive rights we can live with that.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) another abortion rights advocate said: “I have never been a supporter of the Hyde language and I’m not a supporter of the Nelson amendment. From the outset of this debate there were pro choice and pro life Members who believed that abortion should not be litigated on the health care bill. And the goal when the issue was being raised was, ok, what we do is than to maintain current law. And I believe that is what the executive

[Click to continue reading Health Care: Pro-Choice Reps Reluctantly Accept Abortion Deal]

Amanda Marcotte adds on the same topic:

My annoyance at Obama being forced to make some kind of formal declaration of women’s second class citizenship to mollify Bart Stupak and his woman-hating crew is moderated significantly by two major factors:

1) That this is some impressive political jujitsu. Having the President reaffirm what was already the law of the land in order to secure a vote from Bart Stupak, who has clearly never read the bill he’s so fucking concerned about. Did they come up with this brilliant plan after Stupak has made it clear that his contempt for women’s opinions applies even to nuns? Is it possible that Nancy Pelosi called up Obama and said, “Look, I’ve been telling him and Sebelius has been telling him there’s no federal funding for abortion in this bill. He apparently needs to hear it from a man, so can you give us a hand?”

2) That this worked on Stupak means he’s as stupid as he seems. My sense that he’s a useful idiot being played by his Republican friends in the C Street Family has only strengthened. He clearly feels he doesn’t need to know shit about what he’s talking about to take a grand stand on it. Realizing he’s just a stupid tool may not matter that much in the grand scheme of things, but it gave me clarity, which I appreciate.

[Click to continue reading – we are the public option]

Sounds plausible to me

  1. or last week, or last month []
health politics

Health Care Reform and November 2010

What will happen in the ensuing months now that Health Care Reform has actually become law of the land, and not a socialist bogeyman? Will the Republican shouters control the message? Or will the issue fade due to the short attention span of the American public?

Last minute lobbying blitz for spring

David Corn writes, in part:

In a column written hours before the House passed the bill, neoconservative David Frum referred to health care reform as the GOP’s “Waterloo.” He noted that “it’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November” because “by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.” Frum’s j’accuse! blamed “conservatives and Republican ourselves” for making a poor strategic decision: “We would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing…We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.” Republican legislators who wanted to cut a deal, he notes, were trapped and pinned down by “conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio.”

Frum speaks for no one but himself. Like the Pope, he has no troops of his own. But if his comments reflect a wider sentiment within Republican circles, it’s possible the GOP could be struck by an internal division over the health care reform fight: Do Republicans move on, or do they act like those fabled Japanese soldiers stranded on deserted islands at the end of World War II who never realized the war was over and that they had lost?

And then there is the other end of the Republican political spectrum: Sarah Palin. The day before the vote, the woman who decried the non-existent “death panels” began tweeting that the health care bill would undercut medical plans for military personnel. Representative Ike Skelton, the Democratic chairman of the House armed services committee, says this is not true and would introduce legislation to guarantee this. But it appeared as if Palin was looking for another killer talking point. Other strategists and leaders on the right will be doing the same.

And think of all the anecdotes-as-ammo to come. Both sides in the months—and probably years—ahead will be trolling for stories that will bolster their positions. A government bureaucrat makes a wrong call about anything related to the health care overhaul, and Republicans and their talk show allies will go to town. Democrats, for their part, will embrace any testimonials from Americans whose lives were saved due to changes brought about by this bill.

[Click to continue reading Health Care Reform: All Over… But the Shouting | Mother Jones]

Too early to tell, but worth paying attention to


Health Care Vote Finally

Let the finger-pointing begin, looks as if Congress has the necessary votes to pass the long argued Health Care Reform bill, or whatever it’s called1.

¡Viva Obama! 2008

The House on Sunday took the most critical step yet toward adoption of legislation to overhaul the nation’s health care system and guarantee access to medical insurance for tens of millions of Americans, all but assuring a hard-fought but politically risky victory for President Obama and his party.

By a vote of 224-206, the House approved the key procedural measure necessary to pass the legislation, showing that Democrats and Mr. Obama had succeeded in cobbling together the votes they need to achieve a goal sought by presidents and progressives for more than a half-century.

[Click to continue reading Democrats Predict Slim Margin in Health Vote Sunday –]

Don’t see how it can be halted now.

The main bill before the House was passed by the Senate on a party-line vote, and if the House approves it Sunday, it would go to Mr. Obama for his signature. Assuming the Senate passes the separate package of changes, possibly as soon as this week, that measure would then also go to Mr. Obama, whose signature would bring the process to an end.

Obama 2008 - Pilsen Paletero

What will it actually mean to you and me? Only the Noodly Appendage knows. I haven’t read the damn thing, have you?

The bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 16 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $938 billion over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office says.

The bill would require many employers to offer coverage to their employees or pay a penalty. Each state would set up a marketplace, or exchange, where consumers without such coverage could shop for insurance meeting federal standards.

The budget office estimates that the bill would provide coverage to 32 million uninsured people, but still leave 23 million uninsured in 2019. One-third of those remaining uninsured would be illegal immigrants.

The new costs, according to the budget office, would be more than offset by savings in Medicare and by new taxes and fees, including a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans and a tax on the investment income of the most affluent Americans.

  1. H.R.3590 – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
    An act entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act []

David Brooks Caught in a Lie Again

You would think the fact checkers of The New York Times would stop liars like David Brooks from publishing factually erroneous columns that embarrass the NYT brand. Apparently not. Differing opinions is one thing, but out and out lies?

Mr Rabbit

Ezra Klein writes:

The factual statements Brooks uses in his argument are wrong. Not arguable, or questionable, or suspicious. Wrong. And since everything else flows from those wrong facts, the rest of the column can’t be taken seriously.

“Reconciliation has been used with increasing frequency,” writes Brooks. “That was bad enough. But at least for the Bush tax cuts or the prescription drug bill, there was significant bipartisan support.” The outcome of letting reconciliation go from rare and bipartisan to common and partisan is that we will go from a Senate where “people are usually pretty decent to one another” to a Senate that “bleaches out normal behavior and the normal instincts of human sympathy.”

Chilling stuff, huh?

But none of Brooks’s evidence is true. Literally none of it. The budget reconciliation process was used six times between 1980 and 1989. It was used four times between 1990 and 1999. It was used five times between 2000 and 2009. And it has been used zero times since 2010. Peak reconciliation use, in other words, was in the ’80s, not the Aughts. The data aren’t hard to find. They were published on Brooks’s own op-ed page.

Nor has reconciliation been limited to bills with “significant bipartisan support.” To use Brooks’s example of the tax cuts, the 2003 tax cuts passed the Senate 50-50, with Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. Two Democrats joined with the Republicans in that effort. Georgia’s Zell Miller, who would endorse George W. Bush in 2004 and effectively leave the Democratic Party, and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson. So I’d say that’s one Democrat. One Democrat alongside 49 Republicans. That’s not significant bipartisan support.

[Click to continue reading Ezra Klein – Everything David Brooks says about reconciliation is wrong ]

Mr. Klein continues on this vein, with examples and proof and EVERYTHING. You should click the link.

I’m quite curious as to how the editors of the NYT will handle this gaffe. Will there be a correction in tomorrow’s paper? An appended comment to the Op-Ed? or will they just ignore the egg on their faces?

A Little to the Left

Jonathan Chait adds at The New Republic:

Oh, the humanity!

So using a majority vote procedure to pass legislation that the minority party has used strict partisan discipline into whipping its members into opposing is fundamentally about denying the humanity of the Other. It is a sad thing, and both parties sadly share some blame, but on the matter before us, the Republicans are in fact correct.

In reality, Brooks’ conclusion is absurd. Does he really think that passing changes to the health care bill through reconciliation will materially effect how parties act in the future? He believes that the next Republican administration with more than 50 but fewer than 60 Senators would decline to pass a tax cut through reconciliation, but will now do so because the Democrats did it? I doubt even Karl Rove could say this with a straight face.

In any case, we don’t have to guess about the future. We can look to precedent. Bill Clinton passed the signature domestic achievement of his presidency, the 1993 deficit reduction bill, through reconciliation with zero Republican votes. Sadly, Brooks was not there to explain how this denied the Republicans’ humanity. In 2001, George W. Bush did get some Democrats to support his tax cut, most of them after it was a fait accompli. Why did he go through reconciliation, rather than regular order? It certainly had costs — he had to sunset the whole thing after ten years. He did it because he didn’t want to make the compromises he would have needed to get 60 votes. And if you think he would have given up the tax cut if a handful of Democrats hadn’t jumped aboard, you’re delusional.

[Click to continue reading David Brooks At His David Brooksiest | The New Republic]

If you want a laugh, you can read David Brooks for yourself


Process Matters Little to Voters

As Ezra Klein points out, the sausage making of legislation is not that interesting nor memorable to most of the country. Results are much more important than process.

Valleys outside of Neptune

Here are some things that happened on the night the GOP pushed the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit through the House of Representatives:

A 15-minute vote was scheduled, and at the end of 15 minutes, the Democrats had won. The Republican leadership froze the clock for three hours while they desperately whipped defectors. This had never been done before. The closest was a 15-minute extension in 1987 that then-congressman Dick Cheney called “the most arrogant, heavy-handed abuse of power I’ve ever seen in the 10 years that I’ve been here.”

Tom DeLay bribed Rep. Nick Smith to vote for the legislation, using the political future of Smith’s son for leverage. DeLay was later reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee.

The leadership told Rep. Jim DeMint that they would cut off funding for his Senate race in South Carolina if he didn’t vote for the bill.

The chief actuary of Medicare, Rick Foster, had scored the legislation as costing more than $500 billion. The Bush administration suppressed his report, in a move the Government Accounting Office later judged “illegal.”

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a “no” vote, spent the night “hiding on the Democratic side of the floor, crouching down to avoid eye contact with the Republican search team.”

Rep. Butch Otter, who provided one of the final votes after hours of arm-twisting from the Republican leadership, said, “I thought there was a chance I would get sick on the floor.”

Remember all this? Probably not. There wasn’t much reporting on it at the time. It wasn’t a major controversy, despite resulting in multiple official investigations.

[Click to continue reading Ezra Klein – Lessons from the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit vote ]

Bottom line, Democrats currently have a majority in both House and Senate, so they should use this majority to pass health care reform. By 2012, hardly anyone will care how the bill got passed, just that it became law1.

  1. or it didn’t. The Democratic leadership has shown, time and time again, they lack the ruthlessness of the Republican leaders []

Reading Around on February 23rd through February 24th

Leaning in the Wind - Ilford Delta

A few interesting links collected February 23rd through February 24th:


Neckties Seen as Flu Risk

Another reason to avoid the damn things like the plague they are probably carrying:

The list of things to avoid during flu season includes crowded buses, hospitals and handshakes. Consider adding this: your doctor’s necktie.

Neckties are rarely, if ever, cleaned. When a patient is seated on the examining table, doctors’ ties often dangle perilously close to sneeze level. In recent years, a debate has emerged in the medical community over whether they harbor dangerous germs.

Several hospitals have proposed banning them outright. Some veteran doctors suspect the antinecktie campaign has more to do with younger physicians’ desire to dress casually than it does with modern medicine. At least one tie maker is pushing a compromise solution: neckwear with an antimicrobial coating.

[Click to continue reading Nothing to Sneeze At: Doctors’ Neckties Seen as Flu Risk –]

Suited and Bored

Other than tradition, why the hell would anyone choose to wear neckties? They constrict your throat, and collect germs1 – for what? To conform to Renaissance fashion trends? We don’t wear bloomers anymore, either, or powdered wigs, so why cravats?

Wikipedia’s brief history lesson on these abominations:

The necktie traces back to the time of Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) when Croatian mercenaries from the Military Frontier in French service, wearing their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs, aroused the interest of the Parisians. Due to the slight difference between the Croatian word for Croats, Hrvati, and the French word, Croates, the garment gained the name “Cravat”. The new article of clothing started a fashion craze in Europe where both men and women wore pieces of fabric around their necks. In the late seventeenth century, the men wore lace cravats that took a large amount of time and effort to arrange. These cravats were often tied in place by cravat strings, arranged neatly and tied in a bow.

  1. and food, occasionally []
Links Photography

Reading Around on November 3rd

Some additional reading November 3rd from 00:59 to 12:47:

  • BizarroBlog: Scary Health Care Reform

    “I’m also self employed, so no one provides any kind of insurance for me, I have to buy it. Health insurance costs vary from state to state, but here in NYC, the cheapest I can find for my wife and I, with a large deductible, is over $1000 a month. That’s another mortgage payment each month, into the pockets of super wealthy insurance execs, in all likelihood for nothing. Statistics show that if I ever want to use that insurance there is an excellent chance they’ll find a way to deny me. That’s how they make their profits”

  • Create a font from your own handwriting – – “Create a font from your own handwriting

    At you can create a font from your very own handwriting. There’s no software to download and install, all you need is a printer and a scanner”

    wonder if my handwriting has changed much since the 1990s when I last did something similar

  • Randomizer – a set on Flickr – 23 Random Photos for your viewing pleasure

    Set automatically created by dopiaza’s set generator on 3rd November 2009 at 6:56am GMT

government health politics

Strong Public Option and Weak Democrats

The Public Option and the Democratic members of the House who don’t support it, even in Congressional Districts that are “safe”:

There are 65 Democratic members of the House who have said that they will vote against any bill that does not have a public option. But there are 55 more Democrats in districts that have a 10 point Democratic advantage or more. What about them?

Over the past two weeks, readers narrowed the field to the 11 members they thought should be insisting on the inclusion of a public option in any health care bill, but aren’t. They are saying one thing and doing another. Do their lobbyist contributors have anything to do with it? Over three days, our community will take a look at those conflicts and vote on the these members to see who moves to the next round.

[Click to continue reading | Vote For Member Who Just Won’t “Walk the Talk”]

Beer Money at the MCA

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake sent me an email about Rep Danny Moonie-Lover Davis that reads, in part:

your member of Congress has been voted as one of the top 11 people who should insist on a public option, but has so far refused to do so.

Why are they are saying one thing and doing another? Do their lobbyist contributors have anything to do with it? Why won’t they do what’s right for their district – and their country – and hold the line on a public option?

As a constituent of these members, I need you to call their offices and ask why they won’t hold the line on a public option without triggers or co-ops.

Here are the first members up, including yours. Can you call your Representative’s office now?

Mike Thompson (CA-01)
DC: (202) 225-3311
Napa: (707) 226-9898

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL-20)
DC: (202) 225-7931
Pembroke Pines: (954) 437-3936
Aventura: (305) 936-5724

Danny Davis (IL-07)
DC: (202) 225-5006
Chicago: (773) 533-7520
Broadview: (708) 345-6857

When you call, be sure to say your city and state, and that you see no reason why your member shouldn’t commit to a public option. State that they represent a safe district, and they owe it to their constituents to hold the line on a strong public option without co-ops or triggers.

It’s not enough for the member to just say they support a public option – you have to ask them if they’ll commit to hold the line and not vote for anything but a strong public option.

Your member of Congress lives in a safe Democratic seat. This should be a no-brainer: a strong public option is something 77% of Americans want, but your member refuses to hold the line. What gives?

Can you call your member of Congress? It’s really important that your representative hears from you about a strong public option.

[BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois HQ]

More on Danny Moonie-Lover Davis:

Danny Davis: Davis was elected to Congress in 1997 and the district has a D+18 PVI. A cosponsor of H.R. 676, he is also the CBC’s Health and Wellness Task Force. He is a signatory to a letter to President Obama dated September 3, stressing the need for”a strong public health option that will allow the nation’s more than 46 million uninsured Americans more than half of whom are people of color to finally have access to affordable, meaningful health care coverage no later than 2013.”

How hard will he fight for what he believes in? Well, apparently not at all. The letter doesn’t mention what he said at an August 6 DFA meeting:

Davis said that he told the members of the Progressive Caucus that, “President Obama lives too close and is too popular [for Davis to vote against Obama’s bill].” He then said he hopes the President “sticks to his guns.”

Davis has taken $33,000 from health care interests this cycle, including PAC donations from AHIP, The American Hospital Association, Amgen, Baxter Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. If he winds up casting a vote that gives them everything they want, he apparently plans to hide behind the President.

[Click to continue reading Campaign Silo » Contest Semifinals: Vote for Member Who Just Won’t “Walk the Talk”]