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Jul 24 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

If any of you were in any doubts as to what the Cons think of health care reform, let Sen. James Inhofe clue you in:

Appearing on Janet Parshall’s radio show yesterday, Inhofe argued that the defeat of President Clinton’s health care reform “started the demise of Bill Clinton that led to the 1994 Republican takeover of the House and the Senate.” He then added that he is now “tracking the demise” of Obama’s health care plans and it is making him “optimistic”:

INHOFE: They ought to know, they ought to know from history. This is a losing proposition for them. And for those out there who believe, that would like to have something optimistic to look at, we are plotting the demise on a week by week basis of where Bill Clinton was in 1993 and where Obama is today and his demise ratio is greater than Clinton’s was in 1993. So, he’s trying to do the same things, except more extreme.

[snip]

Inhofe also appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday, where he was asked if Republicans had the votes “to block health care, the radical stuff in the Senate.” Inhofe said he thought they did:

INHOFE: Oh, I think so. I really do. In fact, there’ll be a lot of Democrats…. [snip] And so we have all the issues on our side on this thing, and I think, you know, I just hope the President keeps talking about it, keeps trying to rush it through. We can stall it. And that’s going to be a huge gain for those of us who want to turn this thing over in the 2010 election.

The Cons don’t give two tugs on a dead dog’s dick whether you have affordable health care or not. All they want to do is kill this reform effort so they can take back Congress. And the dumbfuck Dems in the Senate are playing right into their hands:

The writing, it seems, was on the wall. Yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) signaled that a pre-recess vote on health care reform was unlikely, with members preferring to “take a little longer to get it right.” Even President Obama started talking more about getting this done “this year,” rather than “by August.”

Today, it became official.

The top Democrat in the Senate says lawmakers won’t vote until after August on health care, a blow to President Barack Obama’s ambitious timetable.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Thursday the Finance Committee will act on its portion of the bill before Congress’ monthlong break. Then Reid will merge that bill with separate legislation already passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The Nevada Democrat says the decision to delay a vote was made Wednesday night in the hopes of getting a final bipartisan bill.

Remember, the Republican strategy, which they’ve openly acknowledged, has been to force the delay in order to improve their chances of killing the bill. Conservatives and other opponents of reform will see this as a tactical victory, and evidence that the larger effort is in peril. It will be up to Democrats and reform advocates to prove them wrong.

The fucktard who’s become the major roadblock in the Senate has no motivation to prove them wrong. Not when his pockets are heavily lined with insurance industry cash:

Roll Call reported today that Senate Democrats are “increasingly frustrated by the secrecy and duration of Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) bipartisan talks on health care reform.” One unnamed Senator appeared irritated that Baucus ” is unlikely to run any deal by his caucus before he shakes hands on an agreement with Republicans.” OpenLeft then wondered how Baucus’s campaigns are financed and found that from 2005 to the present, the health insurance industry has significant representation among his top-ten donors:

baucus-funding
If Harry Reid weren’t such a wet reed, this wouldn’t matter so much. But ol’ Harry’s just not up to whipping his caucus into shape. His phone number is (202 224 3542). Give him an earful – let him know that our expectation is that the Dems don’t go home until that bill’s done. While you’re at it, sign the petition telling House Dems the same thing.

All of this just goes to prove we need better fucking Dems. We sure as shit don’t need more Cons. Especially not when this is their idea of “solving” the health care crisis:

When House Republicans go on the attack against health care reform, one of the more common responses is to ask, “OK, but where’s the Republican plan?” It’s easy to attack; it’s challenging to be productive.

Last night, The Hill reported that the GOP caucus has effectively given up on offering an alternative, and will instead stick to attacking.

Republicans who had promised last month to offer a healthcare reform alternative are now suggesting no such bill will be introduced.

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said, “Our bill is never going to get to the floor, so why confuse the focus? We clearly have principles; we could have language, but why start diverting attention from this really bad piece of work they’ve got to whatever we’re offering right now?”

Blunt, who is running for Senate, is chairman of the House GOP Health Care Solutions Group. Cantor made similar comments to The Hill in June, saying Republicans would eventually offer legislative language on healthcare reform.

Democrats on Wednesday called out Republicans, reminding reporters in an e-mail that Blunt had guaranteed that the GOP would introduce a bill.

[snip]

What’s more, the Republican track record on alternative solutions is truly abysmal. The GOP budget alternative was a humiliating failure (you may recall, it lacked numbers). The GOP stimulus alternative — tax cuts and a five-years spending freeze — was so ridiculous, even some conservatives labeled it “insane.” With this in mind, there’s no need for the party to humiliate itself with a health care plan.

No, they’ve humiliated themselves quite enough as it is.

And before theCons head out to dance on the Dems’ graves, they may want to have a listen to one of the lone voices of sanity in their party:

“If we don’t do something on health-care reform,” [Sen. Chuck] Grassley said, “the voters are more apt to blame Republicans than Democrats.” Grassley also expressed his disagreement with the Republican Party of Iowa, which called health care reform an “experiment Iowa cannot afford.” “I would suggest there have been some Republicans who haven’t been looking at the polls,” Grassley said in a weekly conference call with Iowa reporters, in which he announced he would continue to seek a bipartisan bill:

He referred to a poll showing voters would assign blame 30 percent to the health industry, 22 to Republicans, 11 percent to Democrats and only 4 percent to Obama.

So it seems to me that we have a responsibility to the Republican Party not to be seen as destroying or at least not talking about things that people believe are wrong with the present health-care system,” Grassley said.

They’re ready to party like it’s 1994. Only Grassley seems to realize it’s 2009. Things are a little different. Americans threw the bums out last time health care reform failed, and got con artists instead. I’m pretty damned sure the Cons will suffer more than the bums this time.

Even with the chance that they’ll get their long-demanded delay, you can tell they’re worried. You know they’re up against a wall when they’re resorting to “But health care reform is unAmerican!” attacks, and even Michael Steele’s telling the Dems just to pass this shit already. I’m tasting blood in the water. Most of it tastes like elephant, not donkey.

This could possibly be the coup d’grace:

From the “whodda thunk” files:
In a first-of-its-kind study, the non-profit Rand Corp linked the rapid growth in U.S. health care costs to job losses and lower output. The study, published online by the journal Health Services Research, gives weight to President Barack Obama’s dire warnings about the impact of rising costs if Congress does not enact health care reform.

That’s gonna leave a mark. Makes it kinda easy to answer the “what’s in it for me?” question, doesn’t it just?

The Happy Hour drink specials have been a little heavy on the health care side, so let me put some fine Con hypocrisy on tap for you. Remember Rep. Marsha “Can’t Cry Emergency Every Time There’s a Katrina” Blackburn? Well, you’ll never ever in a million trillion years guess who’s been crying emergency:

I’m sure that any time a disaster threatens her state of Tennessee, she won’t cry emergency and bother to get federal funding to help people in need. I’m sure that-

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding on April 10, 2009.

[snip]

Well, OK, fine, but that’s the President, I’m sure Marsha Blackburn HERSELF never requested emergency funding for her state of Tennessee–

Members of Tennessee Delegation Urge Disaster Declaration for Five Counties Affected by Flooding

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representatives Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn. 4), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn. 6), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn. 7) have joined Governor Phil Bredesen in requesting that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issue a federal disaster declaration for five counties in Tennessee “to help farmers who have suffered crop losses and damage to farm equipment and structures as a result of excessive rain and extensive flooding that occurred in May.” The five counties are Bedford, Hickman, Lewis, Moore and Perry.

According to their letter to Secretary Vilsack, a declaration would allow qualifying farmers “to apply for a variety of federal farm disaster programs – including supplemental farm revenue payments, livestock assistance and low-interest emergency loans – through their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency office.”

OK, one time, fine, but there’s no history of this—

Title: Letter to The Honorable Mike Johanns, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Date: 07/12/2007

Alexander, Corker Join Tenn. Delegation In Requesting Disaster Declaration For Drought
from the Office of Senator Bob Corker

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker joined other members of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation Tuesday in asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to issue an agricultural disaster declaration for all 95 Tennessee counties due to the results of the ongoing drought.

Marsha Blackburn
Member of congress

What’s your point? That Marsha Blackburn is a rank hypocrite whose statements don’t match her actions?

Is that, or is that not, some of the finest Con hypocrisy you’ve tasted this week?

You’re welcome.