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Tango for one

Mark Mardell | 05:15 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The president's speech is the "final act" in healthcare reform, according to the White House. But I have a feeling that the president's latest speech will be more mood-setting theatre than a climax to this long-running drama.

He's written to Republican leaders saying that they have more in common with his Democrats than many think, and that he is looking forward to working with them to complete what he calls a historic achievement.

He tells them that they, the Republicans, had raised good ideas at last week's televised health summit. He's exploring four of them. They are: fighting fraud by under cover investigations, investigating alternatives to suing doctors for malpractice, paying doctors more for Medicade (health care for the poorest) and more health savings accounts.

I doubt this will temp anyone to change their vote. They are concessions, an attempt at compromise. But the big divide remains. The president believes that controlling insurance companies' costs, obliging them to insure everyone, whatever their medical circumstance and making health insurance virtually compulsory are all vital. The Republicans don't.

One Republican has been swift to reject any deal.

"I don't know if we should be insulted or humored at the president's feeble attempts to incorporate Republican ideas into his latest health care proposal," said Paul Broun from Georgia adding:
"Snooki, from the Jersey Shore, has more substance than President Obama's offer."

For the uninitiated Jersey Shore is an Big Brother style reality TV show and one of the stars Snooki is not considered to be one of the world's great intellectuals.

As they say, it takes two to tango, and this looks as if it is going to end up as a solo effort.

So beyond this rather doomed offer what is today about ? Last week Obama suggested that the American people would understand if this was decided by a simple majority vote. ABC suggests he won't get much further today and won't use the words "budget reconciliation", the device Democrats are likely to use to get round Republican plans to fillibuster.

All this suggests it will be left to briefers to make the way ahead clear when, according to some, House and Senate Democrats can't even agree who gets first bite of the cherry.

The president's aim must be to the win people over to his plan, but the longer it drags on, the more bickering there is, the more damage is done to his image.

Comments

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  • 1. At 05:55am on 03 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM wrote: The president believes that controlling insurance companies' costs, obliging them to insure everyone, whatever their medical circumstance and making health insurance virtually compulsory are all vital. The Republicans don't.





    Nothing compulsory will work with a majority of American voters.

    Whether they are Republicans or not.

    It's just not in our constitution.

    Remember Prohibition?

    ["Get you a copper kettle, get you a copper coil"]

    Not to mention certain mandatory tea tax hike?

    ["We, the People"]

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  • 2. At 05:59am on 03 Mar 2010, Edgeofurbania wrote:

    If the Republicans go along, they will be thrown out for sure. If the Democrats use "reconciliation" to pass this, then some will be thrown out. President Obama has his eye on a bigger prize than securing seats in the Congress. It is amazing that they can't at least implement some steps that they agree on, and build on it from there. Rome didn't fall in a day...

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  • 3. At 06:44am on 03 Mar 2010, d_m wrote:

    We require people to buy car insurance. Why not health insurance? If we can require them to buy car insurance, then surely we can require them to buy health insurance. Either that or car insurance is unconstitutional.

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  • 4. At 08:12am on 03 Mar 2010, Oldloadr wrote:

    d_m - The differences are: 1. you don't have to own a car; unless you try suicide, you are pretty much stuck with having a body. 2. The US gov't does not require you to purchase car insurance, that is the domain of the several states, which is why each state is slightly different in that area. Once again, there are many that feel that this is more about a left-wing, socialist power grab than peoples' health.

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  • 5. At 08:18am on 03 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "He's written to Republican leaders saying that they have more in common with his Democrats than many think"

    Yeah, they both want to get elected this November. The Republicans will find great political advantage in being able to point to the Obama Administration not having been able to accomplish anything in almost two years, espeially in consideration of the fact that they had unbreakable majorities in both houses of congress and controlled the White House. They'll be able to say that if nothing got done, don't blame them.

    So President Obama wants to narrow the gulf between Republicans and Democrats on health care. Instead of being 99% apart, they'll be 98% apart. Now that's meeting them half...quarter...er....it's a step in their direction even if it is just a tiny one. It's only taken a little over a year. At this rate they'll meet halfway in the middle about 2050.

    dm;

    "We require people to buy car insurance."

    Only if you own a car.

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  • 6. At 08:49am on 03 Mar 2010, LIbertarian wrote:

    #3

    There is a major difference between health insurance and car insurance. You are only required to have car insurance or to register a vehicle if it is to be driven on public roads. Public, as in paid for and regulated by the people and the government which serves to regulate the people's roads. As such, they have the right to regulate the roads and mandate car insurance. The comparison could only be brought over if the government required health insurance for the use of government controlled hospitals. A further difference between the two is that car insurance mandates are state based, not federal based. States have all regulatory rights not granted the federal government, and while the feds have the right to regulate interstate commerce, they cannot regulate intrastate roads. That same logic can be applied to health insurance mandates; states have the right to regulate or mandate health insurance for their citizens, the federal government does not. Now, if you want to get into whether or not it is constitutional on a state basis, that is a whole other animal, specific to each individual states' constitution, and in fact a decent minority of states have begun to consider making an amendment banning such mandates or public healthcare, exempting their citizens from a federal mandate.

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  • 7. At 09:14am on 03 Mar 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Marc:

    He says he is going to explore the Republican ideas not that he was going to adopt them.

    He will find an excuse not to put in major tort reform and other ideas.

    either that or whe will blame George Bush for the impasse.

    That is what happens when a political hack of small ability is elected.

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  • 8. At 09:41am on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 10:26am on 03 Mar 2010, Via-Media wrote:

    It is a dangerous fiction that certain elements of our society insist on maintaining, that "the government" is a separate, independent creature, divorced from and somehow opposed to the "people". The Federal government was established to be the true representation of the will of the people.

    It is fiction because we send, and generally support, our own elected officials to Congress, and they are sworn to work for the good of all citizens. And the civil servants hired to run the various Federal programs all swear oaths to defend the Constitution and to serve the people of this country. The system isn't perfect, the people in it aren't perfect- but it works, at least as long as we believe it can.

    It is dangerous because if we allow ourselves to really believe that we have no say, that we are ruled rather than represented, then civil society cannot continue, and we will end up with chaos or demagogues.

    Health care is no different than many other measures considered by Congress in recent years. It is not some foreign evil, but a measure still strongly supported by many Americans, and designed to bring the balance between corporate profit and individual need back into balance.

    Or, then again, it could just be the government has been taken over by foreign influences, and is working to subvert American freedom with godless commie pinko socialist policies to ruin us like it has Europe and Canada and Japan and Australia.

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  • 10. At 10:31am on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    6. At 08:49am on 03 Mar 2010, LIbertarian wrote:

    "There is a major difference between health insurance and car insurance."

    It's a false analogy. You may choose or not to own or drive a vehicle. And you choose in some cases whether or not to drive it in such a way as to risk injuring or killing those around you as well as yourself. The equivalent is not health insurance it is life insurance or home insurance. In all three you do not insure only yourself, but also against the consequences of your own individual actions impacting on other people.

    You do not choose, mostly, to suffer ill health, disease, or injury. Nor can you make an assessment yourself as to the real likelihood as an individual of becoming ill, disabled, contracting a fatal disease, or the potential costs involved as you can with the type of vehicle you drive, or the way you drive it, or the house you live in and the way you live in it.

    As so many of us -- only to be accused of 'interference' or 'telling the US what to do'--keep trying to ask, the question is 'why are so many people in the only developed industrialised country in the world not to have a form of universal health care available to each of its citizens so against it?"

    If it's just 'it's a capitalist profit-making system, so pay up or if it's too expensive for you, forget it', then I wish, for once, they'd all just come out into the open and just say so instead of obscuring a simple ideological view by going on about what the US Constitution allows or doesn't -- and anyway, it can be amended, can't it?-- or some numinous notion of what 'The American Way' is supposed to entail.

    Looks to me as though this whole reform attempt died months ago anyway. Someone, a few days ago, articulated the same puzzlement as I feel--might have been one of the Beeb's reporters--about how or why it is that the US is apparently so resistant to change when the same people who want to return to a strict, purely literal, reading of a 200+ year old documemt at the same time promote 'innovation'. When here in fuddy-duddy 'olde Englande' we've been relatively unconcernedly changing our constitution quite profoundly with things like devolution, changes in local government, and soon, probably, changes to the voting system for general elections.

    In other words, altering forms of government to suit changing circumstances because we all got a bit unhapppy about some of the ways they worked (or didn't work as well as we'd like). Nobody proposes we should reverse back to a line-by-line implementation of the 1688 Bill of Rights* or the Act of Union.

    (*Fortunately, because that also enshrined a 'right to arms', only it was specifically meant to be used against Catholics who weren't allowed it, and we gave that up eventually after the initial hysteria that got it in wore off. I can't remember how; perhaps we just forgot that bit or decided it was best to ignore it later on.)

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  • 11. At 10:43am on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    8:

    Hmm. I see the moderators have woken up again. I presume either because I merely mentioned, as an aside, a common family planning device readily available in most British loos (men's and women's), only speculating that I wished they were for mice. (Of which we ate suffering a bit of a plague in London at the moment.) Or because my alternative version of a certain Senator's recent exclamation wasn't obscure enough.

    Whose tender sensibilities is this prurient censorship for? The wives and servants who one even then out of touch barrister thought needed to be protected against Lady Chatterley's Lover 60 years ago?

    Well, I know one area where the BBC can easily save a couple of million quid on its website expenditure, and the sooner the better.

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  • 12. At 11:00am on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Some posts by the Squirrel Party Spokeshuman--who is feeeling irritable again, as if the mice nibbling at the acorns and leaving their disgusting [word removed to spare the moderatoprs' blushes] everywhere weren't enough to put him in a filthy temper-- may be available courtesy of the Squirrel Party.

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  • 13. At 11:29am on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Well. I'll have another go:

    08:12am on 03 Mar 2010, Oldloadr wrote:

    "there are many that feel that this is more about a left-wing, socialist power grab than peoples' health."

    Why?

    As I understand it (though [reference to deity deleted] knows the whole thing seems to get more obscure by the month) everything--the hospitals, the doctors, the clinics, the insurance companies--will still be private and profit-making. Nothing except that more people will be required to be insured, and that doesn't mean even 'wholly' insured' against all eventualities as far as I can see, otherwise changes.

    Except, clearly, as is already happening, without any form of overall regulation of the industry, everybody involved will be free to charge more than they did before, and everybody will have to pay more. Except the government when it has to buy from the private sector for Medicaid and Medicare.

    As I only very belatedly grasped, none of this 'debate' is really about reforming, or improving, or expanding health care for US population, it's only about expanding insurance cover.

    And if there is no legislative answer to the simple question "How do people ensure they are as adequately covered against ill-health or accident when they are unemployed, poor, old, or simply move from one part of the USA to another affordablyaccording, not to their wealth but their resources, then nothing will change will it?

    It seems to me the position of the American 'centre-right' (and not just the Republicans) simply ignores the latter issue and just boils down to "if you can't afford the free-market, unregulated cost", as Mr Bunning might put it, "tough [circumlocutory reference to byproduct of alimentary processes deleted]."

    What you end up with is the same lottery as before. It's the unspoken, but seemingly entrenched corollary of "All men were created equal": "but once they diverge in wealth, the devil take the poorest and least fortunate. [adj. meaning 'resilent, hard' and noun see abovedeleted]."

    (But then, I'm a not-very-good [ reference to non-Christian eastern pacifist religion deleted]--just put poison down against an invasion of mice we seem to be suffering in London at the moment, which is giving my conscience nasty pangs; we need a programme of free contraception for mice and rats, obviously, as  an alternative, I can't seem to find mouse-sized [commonly available prophylactics] anywhere--and a [nine letter word beginning with S associated with communitarianism, St-Simon, Robert Owen, Keir Hardie etc. and disliked by Republican posters deleted] , so obviously I can't be expected to understand, I  suppose.)

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  • 14. At 11:54am on 03 Mar 2010, Risforme wrote:

    The problem is the Democrats came to the table already compromising key parts of their plan. They can't negotiate with Republicans they already negotiated everything away. This bill should have never been about getting 60 or more votes. It should have been about getting a good bill that gets 50 votes plus Biden if that's what it took.

    Also the idea the Republican party would negotiate is just insane. They don't want a health bill, they want it to languish in the Public debate as long as possible. The more people talk about Health Care and Democratic infighting the more people will forget who masterminded the whole recession.

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  • 15. At 12:02pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    9. At 10:26am on 03 Mar 2010, Via-Media wrote:

    "It is dangerous because if we allow ourselves to really believe that we have no say, that we are ruled rather than represented, then civil society cannot continue, and we will end up with chaos or demagogues."

    Not necessarily. You may--and it actually begins to look not quite so implausible for the USA in the course of the next couple of decades--get the form of government properly called 'Anarchy'. (Note the capital letter.)

    I must say I'm intrigued to see how it'll work out. It's not really been tried on much of a scale before, so it should be an interesting spectacle to watch. Which of the last Republicans to leave Washington in a motorcade of armoured SUV's with Xe armed outriders heading for the wilds of Montana or the People's Socialist Dominion of Canada --or more likely the airport and a safer place like Tijuana, maybe-- will hoist the red and black flag over the White House Museum of Failed Democracy And Abandoned Hope I wonder?

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  • 16. At 12:26pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    It should be apparent by now that concessions are not going to influence the opinion of members of a party whose main goal is to derail the Obama agenda for political gain.

    The GOP knows that the insurance industry has succeeded in convincing the majority of the American people that providing medical coverage for all our citizens is an evil socialist ploy, and that modifying private healthcare insurance practices would compromise the quality of medical care in America...and would increase costs.

    There is simply no impetus for them to compromise, and moderate Republicans are well aware of the consequences of not demonstrating party discipline and working towards their stated goals: victory in November and taking the White House back in 2012.

    The options for Obama are a majority vote, which is not guaranteed considering the number of Democratic defections that are likely, and passing a save-face bill that only addresses the most blatant practices of the insurance industry, such as the pre-existing condition, caps, and offer portability. Even the latter, as benign as it is, would be transformed into an unacceptable demonstration of dictatorial powers.

    Some of the posts in the previous thread leave little doubt of how far the right wing of the Republican party is willing to go to achieve their goals.


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  • 17. At 12:28pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Why is Obama bothering to basically just puzzle over the kind of nail to fix the coffin lid down with?

    The important letter, it seems to me, is the one McConnell sent back, which I've just managed to unearth:

    "We encourage you to join with Democrats and Republicans in Congress in listening to what the American people have been telling us for more than a year now. Americans are telling us quite plainly that in order to reform health care, we should scrap the bills they have already rejected and start over with commonsense, step-by-step reforms we can all agree on. . . It’s time to listen to the people, and start over with reforms that lower costs."

    Whatever they might be. (He doesn't say. Except of course, he's borrowed the Palin cry of 'common sense' reform, again, whatever 'common sense' means apart from 'anything proposed by the elected President of the US or Democrats.')

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  • 18. At 12:38pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 14, Risforme

    "Also the idea the Republican party would negotiate is just insane. They don't want a health bill, they want it to languish in the Public debate as long as possible. The more people talk about Health Care and Democratic infighting the more people will forget who masterminded the whole recession."

    Right on! Hopefully, President Obama will realize sooner rather than later that he is dancing to their music and tries to reach a compromise within the Democratic party to get this legislation out of the way, without GOP support, so that he can focus his attention on the economy and reducing unemployment, which happen to be the top priorities for most Americans.

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  • 19. At 1:06pm on 03 Mar 2010, Jacques Bouvier wrote:

    These repubnics are just sore because they won't get credit when the plan benefits a large swath of American voters. They will vote to obstruct anything the dems offer, even if they know it is for the good of the nation.

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  • 20. At 1:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    As far as the 'current state of the Union' is concerned, looks as though we have the Welsh to blame:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State
    Washington, DC

    "On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Wales as they celebrate St. David’s Day on March 1. This is an opportunity to honor the culture and history of the Welsh people and reaffirm our enduring bonds of friendship.

    As an American of Welsh descent [my italics*], I have always had a special place in my heart for Wales – both the beauty of its land and the determination of its people. Welsh-Americans have contributed to the culture and prosperity of the United States since our earliest days. American Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Calvin Coolidge traced their heritage to Wales, as did icons like Frank Lloyd-Wright and Bette Davis."

    *I'll believe that when I see the You Tube video of her munching her way through a long raw leek. Now, there's St Patrick's Day (17th March) St Andrew's Day (November--did she claim to be part Scottish then?--, but there's apparently a 'Tartan Day' in the US in April if she forgot) and St George's Day (23rd April) coming along. Since our St George got de-haloed, handily it's Shakespeare's birthday too, so she can claim another kind of Bardic ancestry if recognising George would cause problems with Catholic voters. . .



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  • 21. At 1:42pm on 03 Mar 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    Talk about "baby steps"! Obama's incorporation of 4 Republican suggestions (some of which are bound to be expensive if added atop the bloated monster created to meet Obama's gold-plated Cadillac health overhaul) is a mockery in itself.

    Budgetary Reconciliation if employed would be a new low in American politics....just when you think it can't get any worse. The Democrats must bear full responsibility for this dreadful bill especially if it is forced upon the American people by reconciliation.

    As chief executive it is the Presidents duty to rebuke Congress for even considering such an inethical procedure. It is the Justice Department's clear duty to make it clear that the rules are not so elastic as to be stretched to cover this situation. It is the Supreme Court's responsibility to indicate that this proposed procedure is unconstitutional.

    What we are witnessing is the collapse of fair government in America!

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  • 22. At 1:53pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    18. At 12:38pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "Right on! Hopefully, President Obama will realize sooner rather than later that he is dancing to their music and tries to reach a compromise within the Democratic party to get this legislation out of the way, without GOP support, so that he can focus his attention on the economy and reducing unemployment, which happen to be the top priorities for most Americans."

    Why should he bother with any of that? There seem to be enough 'Blue Doggish' Democrats and Republicans to make any measures on financial reform, economic stimulus, federal spending and all the other things involved, impossible anyway. Neither party, and, seemingly, half the population at least, seems willing to accept any semblance of reform of anything.

    Why not just go out there and say to the electors "Look, in November 2010 you'll all get what you vote for then. It's up to them -- Republicans, Demoocrats or Tea Partiers, to tell you what they want to do. I offered, I tried, you either decided you didn't like what you voted for last November, or couldn't make up your minds any more. So if you don't like what happens, or doesn't happen in 2011, tough. It's your responsibility after that, not mine."

    That's the ultimate consequence when you have a system with the separation of powers and so little homogeneity of policies and ideologies within parties working as it seems to now.

    Seems clear that the way the American system is functioning at the moment, a President is effectively powerless, or at least uninfluential in the current party system. He did say once (or twice? Or three times?) that he'd veto any bill that didn't have this that or the other in it, but they've all gone by the wayside anyway, haven't they, so even that sanction is meaningless.

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  • 23. At 1:59pm on 03 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Republicans are the lap-dogs of the insurance industry..what else do people need to know. Their supporters with middle and lower incomes do not seem to realize that their costs will go up, services go down, decisions about care will continue to be made by corporate bureaucats. Everything they say they are against is the reality that they have.

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  • 24. At 2:06pm on 03 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 2:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Look, I'm willing to promise not to mention family planning for mice again if it speeds the moderation up.

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  • 26. At 2:28pm on 03 Mar 2010, arclightt wrote:

    All: I think that O is trying very hard to successfully enlist at least some Republican support because he knows well that if the reconciliation bomb is deployed, the Rs and their supporters will be white-hot angry and motivated to "bear any burden" to see that "their guys" are elected in November. Loss of one or possibly both houses of Congress will then be a real possibility, and should that occur Obama will have his head handed to him repeatedly until 2012.
    This is not the way the country should be governed, but it's been a very long time (since the beginning of the Clinton years) since this was EVER about governing. We've been in perpetual campaign mode since 1993, and there's no end in sight.
    This reminds me very much of the first Clinton term. He had the opportunity to do some real good early in his first term, and he frittered it away on issues that most Americans weren't really, really in tune with . That was the key to sustainable governing, and as smart a campaign as he ran, it's amazing to me that he didn't figure this out. If Obama had focused solely on (a) putting banks back in the lending business (making certain that they used bailout money for THAT and not for acquiring each other, or other stupid things), and (b) on getting the private sector to hire and keep employees, he could have built a D majority that would have lasted for a very long time. I'm afraid, though, that by biting off this mess, he's managed to stick himself with an albatross around his neck that may ultimately make him a one-term President. Even though aome "public option" will benefit me personally, I still think he should have put this to one side and focused on the fundamentals first, at least for the first couple of years in office.
    The Congress is mainly to blame here, however. Congress has 25,000 staff persons, and controls the budget, the tax code, and the law. Surely by now they'd KNOW the comparison of our healthcare system and other healthcare systems, and would KNOW how to change what we have to best fit our particular situation. That is, they would if this were actually a problem to solve. It's not, however--in the "perpetual campaign" world, it's just another opportunity to score points by creating cardboard caricatures of "those other cruds" and cheering at one's ability to kick them over. Big deal. They aren't all like that, for certain, but the rest of them must be afraid to say anything unpleasant to their constituents, like "The ship of state is sinking. You are required to help man the pumps.". Will they wait until the ocean comes over the railing before they stop playing political games and really try to enlist the American people?
    The ocean isn't waiting. While this mud-wrestling tango session continues, the GAO has once again warned the Congress about the financial trajectory of the nation. See (copy and paste link; I don't know how to do the hyperlink embedding yet) for the entire report, but the paragraph below should be sufficient. I emphasized a few items:
    "The federal government faces even larger fiscal challenges in the long term. As discussed in this 2009 Financial Report, the federal government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path driven primarily by rising health care costs and known demographic trends. The Statement of Social Insurance, for example, shows that the present value of projected scheduled benefits exceeds earmarked revenues for social insurance programs (e.g., Social Security and Medicare) by about $46 trillion over the next 75-year period. In addition, our most recent long-term simulations for all federal government programs show that absent policy changes, debt held by the public as a percentage of gross domestic product could exceed the historical high reached in the aftermath of World War II in a little over 10 years. Absent a change in policy, under this scenario, the interest costs on the growing debt together with spending on major entitlement programs could absorb 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue in 2019. Clearly, this is not sustainable. The federal government faces increasing pressures yet a shrinking window of opportunity for making policy changes regarding these challenges."
    Credit to O for at least trying to do something in this arena, by appointing the commission. It's kinda like using a Dixie cup to bail out the ship of state, but it's an effort that he deserves credit for, regardless of your political persuasion. Shame on the Congress and both political parties for continuing to shirk their responsibilities here; children have more maturity. If the ship of state were a real ship, we'd see O trying to man the pumps while the Congress (both parties) yells that they haven't received their meals yet, and complains about the "poor service on this cruise line".
    Enough Congressfolks opposed the commission plan that it's now clear that short of a massive change in membership, the Congress will NEVER address their spending habits. I wonder what it's like to live in a country that has defaulted on its debt?
    Gotta stop now...my voting arm is itching for November again.
    Regards,
    Arclight [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 27. At 2:35pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    Roil Toil Bubble and Boil,
    Capitol Burn, our Health Plans are Soiled.

    What a cursed play.
    You know, I really am very sick and tired of this whole drama. Unfortunately, given that I live and work and try-to-breathe in this here USA, I'm deeply concerned about bringing up "Sickness & Tiredness" to a professional, as my insurance provider is bound to "Deny and Delay" proper assessment of the symptoms.

    Good Grief, Charlie Brown. I really hope Obama ain't singin' a swan song, cause our (lack of) Health Insurance ain't just the Elephant in our Living Room and the Red Skeleton in our Closet, it's the Albatross that Hangs around our Necks.
    *shivers*


    You know --
    as I consider the great efforts that Obama has taken to invoke this great firekeg of Capitol House Cleaning, to pursue the matter with tenacious fervor, and now to dance 'the light fantastick' -- I wonder whether he is, in fact, building a great and wonderful Zax Bypass*. One can only hope.

    _______
    *Milton and Shakespeare are nice and all, but I must confess that I am much more familiar with the insightful and prophetic works of our own dear American, Dr. Seuss.

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  • 28. At 2:45pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    21. At 1:42pm on 03 Mar 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    "It is the Justice Department's clear duty to make it clear that the rules are not so elastic as to be stretched to cover this situation. It is the Supreme Court's responsibility to indicate that this proposed procedure is unconstitutional.

    What we are witnessing is the collapse of fair government in America!"

    Because a bill can be passed through a simple majority of elected members of a parliamentary assembly, instead of a somewhat arbitrarily selected numerical majority, or because you don't like it and would prefer unelected judges and unelectedlawyers to decide what legislation might be passed or not as long as you get your way?

    This is crazy logic.

    If the electorate doesn't like the result, presumably, enough people will stand for election in November saying they intend to repeal it. And, if those who are like McConnell who say the Americans as a whole don't want it are correct, they'll win resoundingly.




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  • 29. At 2:51pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    17. At 12:28pm on 03 Mar 2010, our dear squirrelist wrote:
    Why is Obama bothering to basically just puzzle over the kind of nail to fix the coffin lid down with?

    I don't know.

    On one hand, it's really important to give people the freedom to fail.

    We are so stubborn about our freedom, we don't want our government to tell us how do to ANYTHING - no matter how logical and good it might be.

    So - perhaps, once everyone haz Epic Fail, little baby governmental steps in a healthy direction might... um... pass?
    -- Who knows? I can only Hope.


    On the other hand haz Obama failed epically?
    *ShiversOffForgottenMedicalBills*

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  • 30. At 3:01pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    "One Republican has been swift to reject any deal."

    Any and Every

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  • 31. At 3:07pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    11

    Yes there is a way.
    I could recommend as well. Something short of the Nuke the blog action I was advocating yesterday.

    1"
    It's just not in our constitution.

    Remember Prohibition?"

    Are you saying prohibition is unconstitutional?

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  • 32. At 3:10pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:


    What we are witnessing is the collapse of fair government in America!
    *BangsHeadOnDesk*
    Ouch. Hmmmm... strangely, the damage to the Pariah-tul Lobe makes me... feel... better...
    *BangsHeadAgain*
    ooooooo... faaaast fooood... cooooool...


    _____________
    Of course, having worked for a living community for long-term-care brain damage patients - I acknowledge that this is actually serious business and apologize for any perceived flippancy.
    Rather, I would like to acknowledge how hard it is for such organizations to obtain financial payments from insurance programs who don't believe it when an actual DOCTOR diagnoses an individual with treatable neurological affectations. Insurance programs are MUCH more likely to recommend sedatives for persons with treatable disorders than to pay for prolonged therapy and treatment. It's cheaper.

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  • 33. At 3:16pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    I doubt reconciliation will work, the House won't vote for the Senate bill because it funds abortions. I half hope they do pass it that way though, guarantees Republican control in November and SCOTUS will shoot it down anyway.

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  • 34. At 3:17pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    25. At 2:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    "Look, I'm willing to promise not to mention family planning for mice again if it speeds the moderation up."

    Funny thing is I think it's a policy we can all support.

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  • 35. At 3:18pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    6 Libritarian.
    You should be required to maintain health insurance and use it to ensure you are healthy before entering a public building.


    Same as your argument about the roads.

    The Government maintains a lot. How can those driving on multiple medications be legal to be on those roads.
    Insurance is required to pay out for damages done, not prevent those damages from happening.
    Therefore in the preventative eye it would make sense to require all that drive to be physically and mentally able to control such a big piece of steel.

    Yes there are some restrictions along those lines for the elderly or those that have a "medical record" but there are millions like me that have no "pre-existing conditions" or" medical impairments " because we are not the same people that can afford o visit the Doctor.


    Speaking of which.

    Today I am off to see a dentist to have a couple of fillings dealt with.

    However I cannot have the two filled .
    I have to have an exam first.

    Dentistry rules require that the dentist do this exam.
    Bit like " we need to do a full, all test, analysis of you, to put a bandage on your knee"

    This would be argued as " See because of suits they need these tests"
    reality is that is bull.
    I will have to wait more days to fill the hole and waste an extra $80 on the exam knowing I just want two holes fixed.


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  • 36. At 3:26pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    20 what A Laugh. I dropped off some Daffs to a local Donut shop ( good stuff). Said Happy St Davids day.
    Got a look "what the hell are you on"

    I said "like St Patricks but for the other oppressed minority population that gets forgotten."

    I gave one to a woman and the person she cared for as she rolled by the front door.

    She was of welsh decent she said and how interesting.
    She said something about being from" Welsh England"
    I politely told her she better not say that to her welsh relatives and to enjoy the flower.


    (my spell check does not recognis Welsh. demands a capital letter for English but not for Welsh.That is discriminatory.

    Cymru.



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  • 37. At 3:26pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 22, squirrelist

    I am not convinced that giving up is the way to go. Yes, political opportunists and special interests more concerned with their political careers and profit margins than the welfare of the American people have the upper hand at the moment, but it doesn't have to be that way.

    The challenge for President Obama is to convey the need for change and expose the cynicism and weaknesses of the opposition in a coherent and sincere way that we can all understand and accept. Obviously, the status quo should be unacceptable to all, not only because of moral issues but because it is bankrupting us.

    Convincing a reluctant and suspicious populace at a time when we are enduring the effects of a major economic crisis is a daunting task, but he must try, if nothing else because it makes no sense for him and his party to be in power and not allowed to govern.

    Perhaps he should borrow a page from the GOP and use the same powers of persuasion they use on their members when they go astray, or hold a few unannounced votes in the middle of the night, weekends or while Congress is in recess like the GOP did when they were the majority...

    He has to stop being Mr. Nice Guy, conservatives see compromise as a sign of weakness and take advantage of it every way they can. Obama has to take his gloves off and fight dirty, which is the behaviour Republicans understand (if in doubt ask Selby, Bunning...), or he is history!

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  • 38. At 3:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    Dear Squirrels: I'm so sorry the Mods are being picky again.

    Dear Brits, all: I've said before, our government grinds exceeding slowly. This time, glacially slowly...must be all that snow in Washington.

    The GOP has been racially motivated ever since the Nixonian "Solid South" strategy went into play 40 years ago. Although much of it has gone underground and into code language -- and the white sourpuss men in power point to their tokens with paternalistic pride -- racism is rife among Republicans and many of the worst of them are gravitating to the TeaParty (have you seen ONE black face in any of those pix?). The point here is that they are voting NO on WHATEVER comes up in Congress because the President isn't a white man and they want his Presidency to fail to justify their belief that only white men are capable of withstanding the pressures of the office.

    President Obama is too canny and too polite to acknowledge any of this in public. He is simply going to continue to pay out the rope and see if the GOP eventually hangs itself. Whether he has enough time for that strategy to come to successful fruition before election season is a serious political gamble.

    When the cherryblossoms bloom in Washington, DC, we'll begin to see something move...I hope.

    Dear Mods: I didn't swear, I didn't offend anyone's sensibilities. I just told the truth as I saw it happening before my 57 year old eyeballs. Please don't zzap me!

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  • 39. At 3:40pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Squirrel #25,
    You have no idea how great a help that would be.
    It is SO challenging to make those wee little rubbers. They are dreadfully expensive to package and distribute. And, the education necessary for proper use is truly disturbing...

    Might I remind you that "Health Education" as well has "Medical Coverage Policy" must be written at the 5th grade level and be polite enough for semi-formal dinner conversation... or screw it. It jus' ain't gonna happen. People will begin waving badly painted poster board around in order to obtain their 15 minutes of fame on FOXY News. It gets ugly.

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  • 40. At 3:45pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 26, arclightt

    "I think that O is trying very hard to successfully enlist at least some Republican support because he knows well that if the reconciliation bomb is deployed, the Rs and their supporters will be white-hot angry and motivated to "bear any burden" to see that "their guys" are elected in November."

    That's part of it. Unfortunately he is also being challenged by members of his own party and he knows that without a few GOP renegades his chances of passing the healthcare bill using the reconciliation process is far from certain.

    Hopefully he will do something soon because every day he spends on healthcare is a day the GOP will be able to highlight as a day the economy and unemployment were neglected.

    The GOP delay tactics have little to do with healthcare, they are part of a well defined strategy to win back Congress and the White House and, thus far, President Obama has been obliging them.

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  • 41. At 3:51pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    So have the GOP accepted that the need for care for all is there? yet?
    Reading these pages it seems like NO is the answer.

    Now they have tentative " malpractice reform" on the table despite that being responsible for less than 0.5% of the costs.
    (2% total if stretched for all malpractice and the system cannot be SO bad that more than a quarter of those are actually frivolous.
    but hell OK 1%)

    And still the GOP balk and squeek.

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  • 42. At 4:01pm on 03 Mar 2010, programmercraig wrote:

    Oldloadr, the larger difference between requiring health insurance and requiring car insurance is that any health problem I have is not going to cause you catastrophic financial losses that I can't compensate you for. That was the big problem with uninsured motorists. And people aren't really REQUIRED to buy car insurance. They can always choose not to drive :)

    Mark Mardell, I don't think you did a very good job of summing up Obamacare for the peanut gallery. If that was all Obama wanted - and if people believed that was all he wanted - he'd probably not have much trouble getting it.

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  • 43. At 4:10pm on 03 Mar 2010, Dakota_Erik wrote:

    If anything we were to be described as adding lipstick to a pig, this would be the time. Adding 4 pages of compromise legislation to the end of a 2700 page bill still makes it an ugly bill wearing lipstick. The problem that I and perhaps the majority of Americans have with the bill are that their proposal costs more money, and takes health care decisions out of the hands of patients. It is the opposite of what needs to actually happen to health care costs in the USA.

    Pelosi, Reid, and Obama have been working for over a year on different ways to skin this cat, whether it be co-ops, single payer, government option, whatever. The ultimate arrogance is that regardless of the swelling of a massive majority new grass roots movement in opposition to larger government, and run away spending, Congress continues to press this bad legislation forward. I thought we killed this thing already. It's the Freddy Krueger health care bill from hell, and maybe it will die this summer, and if not then near Halloween time for sure.

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  • 44. At 4:16pm on 03 Mar 2010, programmercraig wrote:

    What separates democrats from republicans on healthcare is the term "single-payer" aka nationalized health care. And everyone here knows it. Hence all the references to "just like they have in Canada" or "up to the standards in the rest of the industrialized world(aka Western Europe)". Even Obama is on YouTube admitting that reform is just a first step towards a single-payer system. If we here on this BBC blog can't even be honest with each other about what the debate is really about, how can we expect democrats and republicans to sort it out? Not gonna happen.

    Somebody mentioned resolving at the election booth earlier. I think that's a pretty good idea, but I think we should put it up for a national referendum. But we have to get Obama and the Democrats to say in plain English *and in writing) what it is *exactly* that they are planning with no loopholes, no backdoors, no future revisions behind closed doors, none of that typical sleazy stuntsmanship. Then we can vote "yes, I really do want government gealthcare" or "hell no, I want to keep what I have".

    Or alternatively we could put several competing healthcare proposals on the ballot and see which gets the most votes. Personally, I'd love it if the healthcare system could be reformed. So long as it isn't "reformed" by being placed under the control of the Federal Government.

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  • 45. At 4:23pm on 03 Mar 2010, AZsparrow wrote:

    The fact is that President Obama is out of touch with the American people on this, and beholding to his political party progressives. For months on end poll after poll shows the majority of the people are not behind this behemoth government plan, and it has only gotten this far with special deals and backroom political maneuvering for votes in Congress. He keeps saying, or fooling himself, that he just hasn't explained it well etc.; while in reality it is something he is determined to cram down people's throats whether they want it or not. There are many aspects that people could support, but his party insists on more government control of our lives at any cost. It isn't just Republicans that are against this, it's the majority of people in general regardless of party. This is a pure power play and Washington is not listening to the voters. They will pay come next elections if this is pushed through by a "reconciliation" ploy... and they should.

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  • 46. At 4:25pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    38. At 3:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, carolinalady wrote:
    "The GOP has been racially motivated ever since the Nixonian "Solid South" strategy went into play 40 years ago."

    Right, the Democrats opposed freeing the slaves, opposed civil rights reforms, oppose freedom in every way and its the Republicans that are racist. Not to mention the racist policy of affirmative action pushed by the racist Democrats.

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  • 47. At 4:28pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    37 St Dom. It is a shame that to govern the nation Obama has to drop the concept of consensus bipartisan democracy and adopt the ways means and tactics of the disgustingly obvious right wing that you describe.

    What a sad comment on the American people that they let it get to this stage. That they hid from saying anything while there was a majority and waited till there was none.

    Sad Sad Sad
    Now there are people looking over saying" they got the good guy and are trying to hang him".
    Welcome to the world portrayed in Dark Star comics "Give me liberty".

    But wait for it words of wisdom from the programmer. Lets take a guess. He will define America again for us.
    And say Jesus was into watching suffering.;)
    Or attack some left wing communist socialist posters.

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  • 48. At 4:31pm on 03 Mar 2010, accyq9 wrote:

    You know what my favorite thing is about President Obama right now? Neither side likes him. This is such an amazing sign to me, finally a President who is trying to do things FOR THE COUNTRY. Whether you agree with him or not is another story. He is not liberal enough for the left, he is not conservative enough for the right.

    If you think he is all about being re-elected, think again. He is taking on one of the most toxic subjects in politics: Health care. His party is losing votes because the leaders are NUTS (Pelosi and Reid) and the other side accuses him of being super Liberal...so they just say no to everything (Bohner and McConnell)...

    Republicans have gotten so bad that they are bashing the letter from Obama...and then admitting they haven't even seen the letter yet. There is a reason they are the party of "no." I believe Obama is trying to do what is right for the country, if you want to call me a KoolAid drinker, go for it. Everyone drinks KoolAid, it just depends what flavor. Someone always has the same thoughts and opinions as you, just because you believe in someone doesn't mean you drink their KoolAid.

    BTW...I do not like the Democrats either. I think they are spineless and too hands on. There are too many working on their private agenda to help themselves.

    Also, look at a political spectrum sometime, the most Liberal Democrats are to the right of center. Our country is is conservative, it's all relative. I hate "The Right" saying we are socialist or marxist, or whatever the new buzz word of the week is.

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  • 49. At 4:32pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    I think I might become a Democrat, it's fun to call anyone who disagrees with you a racist.

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  • 50. At 4:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    38 Carolina lady

    "You Rock"

    Yep, Government workers include a legal number of other races. Therefore Government workers are a legitimate target..
    Unions are also free of discrimination on the whole. Therefore they are attacked.
    There may be other issues but they all seem to get back to the colour of a mans skin(or woman).

    Post office. people don't like them because they have hired "those" people.

    But of course I will get derided for mentioning how correct you are.
    " President Obama is too canny and too polite to acknowledge any of this in public. He is simply going to continue to pay out the rope and see if the GOP eventually hangs itself. Whether he has enough time for that strategy to come to successful fruition before election season is a serious political gamble"

    Good warning.
    It is scary .
    No wonder you were worried about being Moderated.
    Your sort of talk is almost blasphemous here.

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  • 51. At 4:42pm on 03 Mar 2010, mitty_w wrote:

    It sounds like a psych game. The president is trying to alienate the hardliners in the GOP so that closet sympathisers(ok i know how ridiculous that sounds) in the GOP can say, "i'm a republican, but i think the president is right on this one. My colleagues are a bit unreasonable over this."

    In other words he's giving (or trying) the GOP some rope. Tea partiers can hang themselves and hail mary passers can use some safety rope.

    Well, that's what i WISH Obama was doing.

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  • 52. At 4:48pm on 03 Mar 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    38. At 3:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    He is simply going to continue to pay out the rope and see if the GOP eventually hangs itself.

    I think they have more than enough rope already. Political ads featuring the word "NO" coming out of some Republican's mouth whenever the voice over asks a question about why some important piece of legislation didn't happen is all Obama needs. And he's already got plenty of that.

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  • 53. At 4:52pm on 03 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    d_m (#3), More to the point, being as it is federal, we also require most people to buy retirement insurance (Social Security).

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  • 54. At 4:54pm on 03 Mar 2010, smileytm303 wrote:

    Mark I just heard your report on Radio 4. We do know what's in the bill. If you already have insurance nothing will change. What will change is, 30 000 000 people without insurance who cost the taxpayer huge amounts of money through ER usage will be insured.

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  • 55. At 4:56pm on 03 Mar 2010, smileytm303 wrote:

    Not to mention certain mandatory tea tax hike?

    ["We, the People"]

    --actually, the tea party protested a tax CUT. Ironic, isn't it?

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  • 56. At 4:57pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    27
    I was thinking what could help the economy more than nationalising the health care. I thought health care costs were part of the equation rather than a distraction from it. Like you say it is the elephant .

    Elephants have a bad rep. to be associated with being the un- moveable bulk that is the GOP.
    Elephants all over the world Are writing to the Squirrel party to see if there can be some co-operation if they can form a sub party.

    They also dislike mice.
    Or so it is said.

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  • 57. At 5:09pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    34. At 3:17pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    "25. At 2:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:
    "Look, I'm willing to promise not to mention family planning for mice again if it speeds the moderation up."

    Funny thing is I think it's a policy we can all support."

    What about the state funding abortion on demand for mice? I didn't promise not to mention that. (It's me that's demanding it, btw.)

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  • 58. At 5:11pm on 03 Mar 2010, dceilar wrote:

    Meerkat @1

    It's just not in our constitution.

    Considering that quite a few Americans talk about how free they are, they are quick to point out things they're not allowed to do because it's not written down on a two hundred year old piece of paper!

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  • 59. At 5:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    39. At 3:40pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    "Squirrel #25,
    You have no idea how great a help that would be."

    Squirrelpost:

    There you are; the Squirrel Party rides to the rescue. Mouse er, erasers (?), can be a whole new job creation and export endeavour

    Now which party will tack that onto a bill, and which party would block it without insisting that mouse trap manufacturers and rodent control operatives got huge tax breaks or subsidies, or a Boeing or GM factory built on federal money in their states to compensate for job losses in their industries?

    Will cats converge on Washington in thousands to protest against loss of hunting privileges and invoke their constitutional right to bare claws?

    Should mouse health education be federally funded and protected against future cuts, or will faith groups be expected to promote mouse celibacy in lieu? Or left to be decided by a Proposition 1,438 Vote in California. Would mouse poison manufacturers lobby against mouse family planning and buy (sorry, contribute to campaign funds of) lots of Congressmen to preserve their profits?

    Should mice be encouraged to marry instead of procreating randomly all over the place? Should unmarried mice who have baby mice be penalised through the tax system? Is mouse overpopulation just another liberal global warming myth? Should gay mice be allowed to come out of the mousehole and marry?

    Oh dear, we can see what we thought was a simple idea could get horribly complicated and bogged down in your Congress and party politics for years.

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  • 60. At 5:50pm on 03 Mar 2010, U13817236 wrote:

    If "president's latest speech will be more mood-setting theatre than a climax to this long-running drama"...then it will be perfectly consistent with everything else he has(n't) done. It is the job of the figurehead president to be a 'mood-setter' and to follow the orders of his corporate overseers, regardless of nominal party affiliation, whatever the issue may be. It's utterly unnecessary to underscore the obvious by writing "to Republican leaders saying that they have more in common with his Democrats than many think." Amerika is a one-party state with a two-party facade that exists to hoodwink a gullible public into acquiescing to corporate grand larceny of the Treasury. Bush was their puppet yesterday, Obama is their puppet today. The only "drama" is to see who can best serve corporate interests and put the public in the mood to accept it. Without a single-payer public plan there is no "reform" - only another sellout to predatory insurance giants.

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  • 61. At 5:54pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    49 Guilty conscience?


    Someone shouts racist you jump up screaming "not me"
    Who said it was you.
    Who directed the racist comment at anyone specifically.?

    Surely "but we are not all racists" would have done.

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  • 62. At 5:59pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    44 And I assume you will require the Republicans to be truthful about the real risks to households that exists in a spiralling cost health care climate.

    How ten years ago many were covered at work and that number is not increasing.
    How costs and deductibles are so high most that pay for insurance have it for catastrophic problems like being hit by some idiot driving as they walk but who was not polite enough to stick around.



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  • 63. At 6:00pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    38. At 3:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    "I didn't offend anyone's sensibilities."

    Umm, looking at just a couple of the all too predictable reactions, I think you just did. . .(apart from me and Almightynonsense and I rather suspect neither of us count.)

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  • 64. At 6:03pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    58. At 5:11pm on 03 Mar 2010, dceilar wrote:
    "Meerkat @1

    It's just not in our constitution.

    Considering that quite a few Americans talk about how free they are, they are quick to point out things they're not allowed to do because it's not written down on a two hundred year old piece of paper! "

    The Constitution is a set of negative rights in a sense; it lays out what the government can't do. These protections are designed to thwart tyranny so many people do take it seriously when the Constitution is ignored.

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  • 65. At 6:07pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    D Ceiler I am waiting for the reply on that constitution forbidding prohibition.
    I suspect that the obvious comment that if it were true Pot would be legal might be holding things up.
    If it is so I am curious to hear how the people of both parties can explain why when the constitution is such a rock that they depart from it on the issue of drugs.
    They allow the seizure of property the unreasonable searches , the imprisonment and sometimes cruelty for a law that is basically unconstitutional as hell. But then scream about how health care is unconstitutional.
    Have you seen the teaparty constitutionalists out there demanding to save billions on the war on drugs?

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  • 66. At 6:08pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    57. At 5:09pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "What about the state funding abortion on demand for mice? I didn't promise not to mention that. (It's me that's demanding it, btw.)"

    I wouldn't support the feds in the US doing it but I would for any state or city that had a large mouse problem.

    To give you an example of why I can't stand the left in this country I will give you an example of how your words would be treated if you were a Republican politian. It would be along the lines of comparing vermin to poor minorities.

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  • 67. At 6:17pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    NO

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  • 68. At 6:18pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    @ squirrelist

    Perhaps a one child policy should be enforced on the mouse population of England?

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  • 69. At 6:22pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    56. At 4:57pm on 03 Mar 2010, almightynonsense wrote:

    "Elephants have a bad rep. to be associated with being the un- moveable bulk that is the GOP. Elephants all over the world Are writing to the Squirrel party to see if there can be some co-operation if they can form a sub party."

    Squirrelpost:

    Why not? We've never understood this slur on elephants. In the Ionescu play it was a rhinocerosthat no-one could see, not an elephant. We will happily help to campaign to put the rhino back in its proper place among Republicans. After all, they fit better: overweight, bad tempered and liable to charge at people and trample all over them without any compunction or warning just on the assumption they're 'the enemy'. And they're short-sighted as well, aren't they?

    (But since elephants are said to be afraid of mice, we'll obviously have to try to stamp out the current infestation at party headquarters ourselves first; would a rhinoceros help, do you think? Or would it be invisible to everybody including the mice?)

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  • 70. At 6:28pm on 03 Mar 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: Magic 7:

    Thank you, Magic. That was light and satisfying.


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  • 71. At 6:35pm on 03 Mar 2010, amaryr wrote:

    Squirrelist at 59. Mickey for President! No-one say anything about him being bi-racial, tho' I believe a precedence has been set........

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  • 72. At 6:37pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    61. At 5:54pm on 03 Mar 2010, almightynonsense wrote:
    " 49 Guilty conscience? "

    Quite the opposite, I am so sick of the race card being played by Democrats on any issue no matter the topic. In response I have begun to do the same in an effort to show how idiotic it is. There is no point to saying I am not racist because the response will be that only a racist would say that. It's big gotcha game in this country that has lost all meaning. Most true racists I meet are Democrats that are over 50 or 60 years old.

    Besides when I look at who is doing the name calling (the Dems) and who they are accusing (anyone who is not a Dem) it is starting to take on a badge of honor quality.

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  • 73. At 6:42pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    65. At 6:07pm on 03 Mar 2010, almightynonsense wrote:
    "D Ceiler I am waiting for the reply on that constitution forbidding prohibition."

    They passed (and later repealed) a Constitutional Amendment to get prohibition, the drug laws in this county are indeed unconstitutional without such an amendment.

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  • 74. At 6:43pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    "Have you seen the teaparty constitutionalists out there demanding to save billions on the war on drugs?"


    YES

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  • 75. At 6:51pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Squirrelpost:

    Oh dear, we have got ourselves into a bit of bother here.

    We seem to recall MM's children being fond of mice in Brussels, and we wouldn't want to upset them with our current anti-mouse campaign. Only they were tame mice, we think, and not the wild ones we're having trouble with. And now it dawns on us suddenly that tame mice are white, so we have to insist that we're not prejudiced just because wild ones tend to be brown mostly. . .

    Oh dear, oh dear. We'd better make it clear we're calling for contraception and legal abortion for all mice, regardless of colour. Or politics. (But we suspect ours probably have Republican or Tory inclinations. if they were socialist mice they'd have a nice commune and a co-operative somewhere and not be after stealing our food or burgling their way in through our skirting boards.)

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  • 76. At 6:53pm on 03 Mar 2010, hadamsUSA wrote:

    National health care insurance in American has a long and troubled history. When Medicaid/Medicare was past in the 1965 no one was sure if doctors would accept payment so the concept of fee for service was created in order to entice doctors to participate. Basically doctors on an honor system sent in a bill for what they believed was a just fee, and the US government would pay it. Well the program turned out to be a hit with doctors because they had been providing a great deal of free care for the elderly up until that point. When the budget number started rolling in the Johnson administration knew they had created a monster, and actually wanted to change the reimbursement structure in 1968; however, politically it was impossible because the medical community loved the program. The program operated like this for the next 30 years until an economist came up with an idea on how to calculate the reimbursement fees. The problem is formula would allow for cuts in fees based on technological advancements, and doctors have the political clout to stop the reimbursement cuts.

    Fast forward to today and 22% cuts to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements have not taken effect (around $250 billion dollars) and the medical community has to write-off lots of bad medical service debt because of lack of insurance.

    The Obama care bill does not have substantial cost controls in the language, so people are worried it will throw tons of money at an even more inefficient setup.

    Mr. Obama’s party has the majority in the House and Senate so they don’t need Republican votes to pass this bill.

    Simply put Mr. Obama’s party own party has help setup the bill up in a way to defer blame, and block passage.

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  • 77. At 6:58pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    66. At 6:08pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:
    57. At 5:09pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "What about the state funding abortion on demand for mice? I didn't promise not to mention that. (It's me that's demanding it, btw.)"

    I wouldn't support the feds in the US doing it but I would for any state or city that had a large mouse problem.

    To give you an example of why I can't stand the left in this country I will give you an example of how your words would be treated if you were a Republican politian. It would be along the lines of comparing vermin to poor minorities.
    ---------------------------

    Context.


    69 Squirrelist
    Yes they are short sighted and likely to charge at anything.
    No worries on the mice though the elephants will settle them down.

    As to Rhino's
    Interestingly according to Wiki
    " relatively small brains for mammals this size"


    I suspect the woolly rhinos will remain invisible.


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  • 78. At 6:59pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    68. At 6:18pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    "@ squirrelist: Perhaps a one child policy should be enforced on the mouse population of England?"

    Unfortunately we do not yet have a Communist Party like the Chinese one in control; and we'd rather not, given what they've done to their health service, ta very much.

    At the moment we rather favour a 'no mouse left behind' policy.

    (i.e. no mouse left behind anywhere. Especially skirting boards. At all.

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  • 79. At 7:07pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 38, carolinalady

    "The point here is that they are voting NO on WHATEVER comes up in Congress because the President isn't a white man and they want his Presidency to fail to justify their belief that only white men are capable of withstanding the pressures of the office."

    Racism is a factor, but I don't believe it is the main reason or even a major factor in the opposition to President Obama's agenda. This is all about winning elections and by now it should be obvious to everyone that reform and everything else is nothing more than a tool used to highlight weaknesses and failures in the opposition to regain control of Congress in November and the White House in 2012.

    I woould not be surprised if many "conservatives" deplore the fact that fellow Americans are being affected by their political decisions, but since their modus operandi is based on the end justifies the means casualties fall in the acceptable collateral damage category and are soon forgotten.

    Don't forget, President Clinton was white and the attacks against him were as vicious as those against President Obama...and much more frequent and far reaching. If anything, the GOP has behaved relatively well towards President Obama, if you take into consideration how low they have gone in the past.

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  • 80. At 7:10pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    @ squirrelist

    I think I have a solution, where I live we have a feral cat problem so we just to catch and them and ship them your way. No harm has ever come from introducing a species to contain another, I promise. ;)

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  • 81. At 7:10pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    66. At 6:08pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    "To give you an example of why I can't stand the left in this country I will give you an example of how your words would be treated if you were a Republican politian. It would be along the lines of comparing vermin to poor minorities."

    Because they're as poor as church mice?

    I'm not proposing mice should pay. Or that there should be any discrimination on grounds of income or ethnic origin. It'll be free on the MHS (Mouse Health Service) to everymouse, including any foreign mice that sneaked through the Chunnel past the Border Agency cats on the quiet. No restrictions because pregnancy is a 'pre-existing condition' or not covered in an insurance policy, either.

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  • 82. At 7:11pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    73 Gator

    Thank you.
    So considering the vast wealth wasted on these unconstitutional and therefore illegal operations on American citizens I would expect you ALL to spend a bit more time campaigning for the repeal of the drug laws.
    Yet strangely I have heard Very very very very very little from the right on that matter. Only a little on the left and just a tad more from the "libertarians" because they can see a disenfranchised portion of the electorate when it is standing right in front of them.

    But will undoubtedly keep screaming "health care is illegal" even when it is being planned.
    No effort for " The laws we have in place already are illegal. We have wasted billions on an illegal war against our own citizens."

    I was just hoping to see some consistency from you. seeing as until this moment you have said nothing on this outrageous and continuing waste of money lives and effort I think you could be described as "disingenuous"



    72 You played the race card there. The Race card exists.
    Deny it and you prove your own blindness.
    I would also deny being racist. but then I would also not accuse someone of being racist unless they had suggested they were.

    That you suggested" Most true racists I meet are Democrats that are over 50 or 60 years old.

    Besides when I look at who is doing the name calling (the Dems) and who they are accusing (anyone who is not a Dem) it is starting to take on a badge of honor quality."
    is quite amusing.
    yes I would agree that most americans in that age group are a little racist.
    No problems with saying it.
    Either party.
    Though those on the left admit that that was how they were brought up and they are trying. And are sorry. Those on the right however make comments about badges of honour.
    Then you spout the same line. So without calling you a racist I would suggest that you look like one in hiding.

    But of course you are not.
    you are however a little defensive. And I understand why. there is no badge of honour in being called racist.
    Any decent person would know that.

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  • 83. At 7:16pm on 03 Mar 2010, Mike wrote:

    If you really understood lobbying (corporate America, backing political figures, to influence their votes) I have no idea why any American would ever vote Republican?

    They seem to gain power, through campaigns of lies, smears, scare mongering, mistuths, and seem to specialise in taking advantage of uneducated hicks in the south.

    And once they get in power, they just use their position, to politik for the corporations that paid for them to be there.

    Whatever the Republicans try to claim, their main problem with healthcare reform are:

    1: Healthcare is a huge capitalist industry in the United States, and any reform would cost the pharaceuticals billions.

    2: Healthcare is a huge capitalist industry in the United States, and any reform would cost the pharaceuticals billions.

    3:Healthcare is a huge capitalist industry in the United States, and any reform would cost the pharaceuticals billions.


    You know, I don't use the word corruption lightly, but I think the American political system is as close as you can get in the western world.

    American citizens pay twice as much as any other country for healthcare. Why? They have no choice. The system is just set up to rip them off.

    Obama has been campaigning about how cynical the corporate lobbying system is in America for years. Since 2004, before he was even a senator.

    How medical insurers, lobby congressman, to get them to back their business interests in congress.

    Republican senators happy to sell their consituents out, to make sure these businesses keep making money.

    Obama comes along, wanting to help US people out of this corrupt, corporate trap.

    What do the republicans do? Just make a load of false, scare mongering advertismennts, to spook people out of realising that the Democrats are just trying to make healthcare cheaper for them.

    It really makes my blood boil. Watching one man try so hard to take on corporate America, and being blocked at every turn.

    You know. Americans get ripped off for healthcare. And the Pharaceutical companies lobby the republicans to make sure that the laws stay in place, so that they can keep this lucractive operation going.

    It's one of the great corruptions of the modern age. And I don't even consider the Republicans a political organisations to be honest.

    They are for sale

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  • 84. At 7:17pm on 03 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    74. At 6:43pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:
    "Have you seen the teaparty constitutionalists out there demanding to save billions on the war on drugs?"


    YES

    Cool show me the campaign. We have seen the no health care campaign.
    Bring it up.
    Show me the party position.
    Advertise that.

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  • 85. At 7:19pm on 03 Mar 2010, Mike wrote:

    "Have you seen the teaparty constitutionalists out there demanding to save billions on the war on drugs?"

    ========================================================================

    The "Tea Party" movement is one of the biggest myths in American political history.

    It was set up, funded and organised by the Republicans. They try and make it look like a "grass roots" organisation, but it's not.

    It's been labelled an "astroturf" movement in the states. As in, fake grass-roots.

    As in, it's ll run, funded and organised by the republicans. Most of the people there are either party members, or party activists

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  • 86. At 7:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, dceilar wrote:

    csgators @ 64

    The Constitution is a set of negative rights in a sense; it lays out what the government can't do. These protections are designed to thwart tyranny so many people do take it seriously when the Constitution is ignored.

    How about protecting citizens from the threat of corporations? Some corporations are holding citizens for ransom over healthcare! You already have death panels: you are judged by the health insurance companies whether you live or die!

    almightynonsense @65

    Good to hear from you. I fear that these tea-baggers are the same as the Christian nuts who take the bits from the bible they like and ignore the bits they don't. They use the constitution when it suits them and ignore it when it doesn't. It's the same with public spending and as well as drugs. How that killer drug tobacco is legal and safer ones are not is beyond me.

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  • 87. At 7:24pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    82. At 7:11pm on 03 Mar 2010, almightynonsense wrote:

    " I was just hoping to see some consistency from you. seeing as until this moment you have said nothing on this outrageous and continuing waste of money lives and effort I think you could be described as "disingenuous""

    It honestly hasn't come up; to be clear I am a Libertarian, the only consistent political party in America. I can bash the right as much as the left but it doesn’t appear to be needed on this blog.

    I agree %100 with a statement made by one of the creators of South Park, to paraphrase:

    “I hate the Republicans but I really, really hate the Democrats.”

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  • 88. At 7:24pm on 03 Mar 2010, jobsw32 wrote:

    If anyone gives me a gun I'm shooting the other person.

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  • 89. At 7:34pm on 03 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    80. At 7:10pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:
    @ squirrelist

    I think I have a solution, where I live we have a feral cat problem so we just to catch and them and ship them your way. No harm has ever come from introducing a species to contain another, I promise. ;)

    The Squirrels say:

    Heard that one before. We're off cats anyway. (Mere or otherwise.)

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  • 90. At 7:38pm on 03 Mar 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 85, Mike

    You are probably right, but I suspect that many moderate Republicans are having second thought about the TP movement and that some now believe they created a monster. Some moderate Republicans running for re-election, including none other than Sen. John McCain, are facing tough opposition from TP ultra conservatives and are being forced to spend a lot of time and money to win nominations that were once considered to be 100% safe.

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  • 91. At 7:40pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    You know what I have no intention of defending the Tea party, they are essentially pulling an Obama, stay vague and let people project their own beliefs on you. There have been many people speaking out about governemt abuse for a long time, some have begun recently but I became a Libertarian in collage 15 years ago and have found reason to change. So you can say that some of the people fighting the health monster are inconsitant but I am not.

    Oh and I also think we should pull our troops out of Germany and Korea, get out of Iraq ASAP, and turn the Pakistan/Afghan border into a free-fire zone until OBL is found (or as likely his remains.)

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  • 92. At 7:44pm on 03 Mar 2010, jobsw32 wrote:

    I give up it's a tragedy.

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  • 93. At 7:45pm on 03 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    #36 almightynonsense.

    This ones for you a little number from Wales,& no you can not keep her she is ours.Just a touch of Dylanesque to blend for American tastes but Welsh never the less..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIKnNJyLFDA&feature=related

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  • 94. At 7:47pm on 03 Mar 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    csgators #'s46 and 72: You must be younger than I am. Yes, you are correct: way back when the Whig Party disintigrated and Abraham Lincoln became the "first" Republican, his loyal opposition were the Democrats. The DISLOYAL opposition, of course, seceeded. After the Civil War, things fell out that the Southern Democrats supported segregation and Jim Crow laws and all sorts of nasty things that we don't like to think about any longer. For almost a hundred years, most African Americans who managed to vote in the US, voted Republican because the Republican Party was the MORE PROGRESSIVE party during the early years of the 20th Century...who'd a thunk it?

    That changed in the tumult of the 1960's, with Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King and the Voting Rights Act. The Southern Democrats (nicknamed "Dixiecrats") felt outraged and betrayed by their own party and eventually (Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and other ilk) CHANGED PARTIES TO THE GOP!

    Richard Nixon gets credit for spotting that trend and for creating what came to be called the Solid South strategy. He was no dummy: he recognized the fear and loathing southern whites felt at the potential loss of power they perceived if the entire mixed population of blacks and immigrants was allowed to vote and to participate in civil life on equal footing. Republican strategists and party officials have cultivated this strategy in all their elections since the late 1970's and guess what? It worked. It gave us the RED SOUTH up until the last Presidential cycle when Virginia and North Carolina went purple.

    What does it mean? It means that racism isn't dead in the US; it just went underground, into the realm of code language and conservative misdirection of our attention to other things so we don't see the little man behind the curtain. My African-American friends know it's there, still. Believe me, there is nothing more humbling than having all the liberal bona fides in the world and STILL being tripped up by one's own latent, unacknowledged racism. We have to battle it every day.

    #50 almightynonsense: no I don't rock...I'm just trying to be as good a person as I can be.

    #63 squirrelist: I haven't offended anyone who counted ;-)

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  • 95. At 7:54pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Gator dear:
    I ain't callin you no racist, Honey! And, even though I voted Democrat in the past election, I really really do love you. I usually vote Green!
    -- Go Green Green Gators, Go!


    ForTheRecord:
    I am a Southern Born (Northern Dwelling) American Working Mom, and I support Mice Contraceptives, Mouse Procreation Education, and the Mouse-Choice!

    Theologically, I'm pro-life. Politically I'm pro-choice.
    How do I do this? Easy.
    I am a firm believer in the separation of Church and State.

    Heck- I'm so pro-life, I believe in Women's Health!
    So, this family planning butcher shop was recently closed in North Philly. The conditions were not clean. Infections happened. Women got very very sick. Surely we should be above this. Really.

    *BangsHeadOnDeskAgain*

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  • 96. At 8:07pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    For some context on the hypocrisy of the race baiters:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMdPTpOyUk4&feature=player_embedded

    It's actually a really funny spot.

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  • 97. At 8:19pm on 03 Mar 2010, jobsw32 wrote:

    why bother with the due process of law when they kill each other in the street anyway. Look on the one hand they want law and order but deep down inside they want to kill the criminals they lock them up in jail and then get upset they are still alive and then get upset when we shoot them as well so what are we supposed to do?

    Well i've spent years being persecuted and hassled by people and nobody has come to my rescue if it is my lot to be tormented for the amusement of others then I can do nothing about it.

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  • 98. At 8:20pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Jobsw32 #88,
    Heavens, honey! Don't shoot! You have so much to live for!
    May I recommend a good therapist to help you develop more productive ways of dealing with you're anger?

    oh wait - most therapist groups aren't approved by corporate insurance. But if you can get a therapist with a corporate sponsor... your provider will still only approves a very few sessions (if any)... oh... well... nevermind.
    Sorry. You're on your own.
    Fortunately, I know a few gun shops where you can get handguns w/in 24 hours, no questions asked!!! yay!

    I'm soooo glad we have our priorities straight!
    Just like our good christian republican citizens. Straight. Never Gay. And always, ALWAYS married before making-merry-mouselings. Always.

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  • 99. At 8:28pm on 03 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    carolinalady (#94) "way back when the Whig Party disintigrated and Abraham Lincoln became the "first" Republican, ..."

    Actually, the first Republican candidate for president was John C. Fremont in 1856:

    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h85.html

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  • 100. At 8:29pm on 03 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    95. At 7:54pm on 03 Mar 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:
    "Gator dear:
    I ain't callin you no racist, Honey! And, even though I voted Democrat in the past election, I really really do love you. I usually vote Green!"

    I wasn't taking it personally; I am just tired of it being brought up. When I hear someone say "Healthcare for whites only” I’ll believe they are a racist. But just because our President is black does not mean that all who oppose him are racist or (though more likely) bigots.

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  • 101. At 8:52pm on 03 Mar 2010, jobsw32 wrote:

    Therapists don't understand me. I'm the uk and we have little confidence in the economy which is just about turning around and I've got an ex girlfriend stalking me and i'm about to run out of money and there's no work and every one is an evil predator of one kind or another plus I've heard all the stories about families falling apart and I wanted to make sure I was financially secure before i tied the knot but it simply hasn't happened yet. And then people just marry you to ram raid you through the courts. never get married in the law I think. and I'm not sentimental or romantic unless I've got something to be cheerful about. That doesn't involve media hysteria world war 3 and being dragged through a nightmare hell of paperwork that makes no sense. sorry. and my home is a tip and I'm a messy lazy sod and I can't be bothered with anything.

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  • 102. At 9:18pm on 03 Mar 2010, Lincoln Hawk-s wrote:

    I President Obama will have considered scrapping the current bill and "starting over" on a true bi-partisan bill with the Republicans but would the Republicans actually enter into it and try to come up with a fix for US healthcare or would they continue to obstruct progress and hold reform up for months and years to come, giving them a weapon to beat Democrats over the head with in the coming election AND 2012.

    Republicans cannot allow ANY progress to be made under a Democratic President, they need to make government look inept so that they, the party of "small government" become the only logical choice

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  • 103. At 9:19pm on 03 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Therapists don't understand me. (from post #101)

    Nor does anyone else, I'll bet.

    I'm the uk ..."

    Thank heavens! (I'm in the US)

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  • 104. At 9:27pm on 03 Mar 2010, jobsw32 wrote:

    I understand that republicans are trying to discredit the democrats but I thought it was the responsibility of christians of any denomination to support the incumbent government regardless of partisan politics. They get to enact their policies when they are elected. Otherwise we are meant to hear and obey, Sir.

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  • 105. At 02:11am on 04 Mar 2010, Via-Media wrote:

    15 squirrelist

    Anarchy's nice in theory, but it'll only work til the guy with the bigger gun or the bigger horde decides that you need to pay for him to protect you. Or wants your horse. Or your family. Or your house.

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  • 106. At 08:11am on 04 Mar 2010, d_m wrote:

    OldLoader, MAII, Libertarian, squirrelist
    The states regulate their own car insurance laws, but the fact is that if requiring people to buy car insurance was unconstitional then the states wouldn't have anything to regulate because the Supreme Court would have declared it unconstitutional long ago.
    I still suspect that if you can require people to purchase car insurance you can require them to purchase health insurance. And largely for the same reason: the policy holder is indemnifying others against liabilities he may cause. In the case of health insurance that would be the cost of care the uninsured leave the governmet (us) to pay.
    Finally, the federal government is required by the constitution to promote the general welfare, which might be construed to be health insurance.

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  • 107. At 09:24am on 04 Mar 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    106. At 08:11am on 04 Mar 2010, d_m wrote:

    "the federal government is required by the constitution to promote the general welfare"

    Quite. The 'general welfare', being a nice vague undefinable phrase, covers, it seems to me, potentially quite a lot. The point is that it is a positive good. And it's not restrictive. And preserving the health of a population by whatever means is generally considered -- outside the US, anyway-- as exactly that. It doesn't say the general welfare as the phrase might be interpreted at its most minimalistic, or according to an 18th century dictionary, or how Rousseau might have thought of it, or according to how much money you've got, or for only some proportion. Or only in some circumstances or some of the time; or not if some states don't want to.

    (The late lamented Fluffy was keen on pointing to that line, and was pretty viciously derided for it.)

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  • 108. At 11:19am on 04 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    No, not all men (and clearly: women) were created equal.

    [A simple IQ test or a beauty contest can prove that]

    And they were not endowed by their creator with inalienable rights to welfare, mandatory health insurance and taxpayers suppported cable TV.

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  • 109. At 11:25am on 04 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    An explanation for assorted welders and plumbers' helpers:


    I have not written:

    'It's not our Constitution', but "it's not our constitution".

    [to be dictated to]

    Somebody obviously flushed a dictionary during a repair, as well.


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  • 110. At 3:39pm on 04 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    94 Oh but Carolina Lady you do rock almost as much as the lovely lady from Wales sent to us by UKWales.

    These so called independents (anyone but Obama) (not just tea ba...ba... party people)

    "What does it mean? It means that racism isn't dead in the US; it just went underground, into the realm of code language and conservative misdirection of our attention to other things so we don't see the little man behind the curtain. My African-American friends know it's there, still. Believe me, there is nothing more humbling than having all the liberal bona fides in the world and STILL being tripped up by one's own latent, unacknowledged racism. We have to battle it every day."


    Well said. The comments by the gator seem to me to sound like the same excuses and throw away "badge of honours" as I have seen in the real world.
    I used disingenuous because I was called it and it made me think.My god that word was the perfect word to describe these posters that deny the blatant racism found here in the states.( yes but the rest of the world doesn't claim to be the "melting pot of the world ,flag wavers)

    Anyone that has read this blog long and says" I can bash the right as much as the left but it doesn’t appear to be needed on this blog"
    Is forgetting that it is not the voices of the right that are no longer here.


    Gators your funny link.
    Really "True conservative" might comment on the reality of the tea party non racism.
    You bring a few blacks and latinos that seem to always be standing right next to the podium. they do not pan the crowd for a sea of mixed faces.

    The latino community voted in GW because of the moral ground of the conservatives.That was common knowledge.

    There is a term for those of a kind that lead the others to their deaths because they will stay safe.

    So death ,not being the way of racism to subjugate in the USA these days, I am sure they are not as bad.

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  • 111. At 4:41pm on 04 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    d_m (#106) "Finally, the federal government is required by the constitution to promote the general welfare, ..."

    That's not quite right. The federal government is empowered to provide for the general welfare:

    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; ..." (Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution)

    Put your point is essentially correct. Since the Social Security Act cases in 1937, the US Supreme Court has broadly interpreted the "general welfare" power of Congress.

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  • 112. At 4:45pm on 04 Mar 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#107) "(The late lamented Fluffy ... )"

    You are being disingenuous. He never goes away for long, and I think you know this.

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  • 113. At 5:13pm on 04 Mar 2010, csgators wrote:

    110. At 3:39pm on 04 Mar 2010, almightynonsense wrote:

    " You bring a few blacks and latinos that seem to always be standing right next to the podium. they do not pan the crowd for a sea of mixed faces."

    Actually the point was the hypocrisy of MSNBC...the lefts flag bearer. You also seem to have some reading comprehension issues, I said almost when making the badge of honor comment, it was meant to point out that if people continue to use a word without regard to the meaning of the word, the nature of the word changes. The more they scream racism the more the word losses its power, my point is it should be reserved for when it actually applies.

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  • 114. At 6:46pm on 04 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    113

    The point is to use a few examples of gullible individuals to pretend a party based mainly on race hatred is a genuine political party.
    As Keithy boy pointed out.

    If it were not for the spoken comments of the self proclaimed tea ba.. ba.. ba.. party people I would not have assumed they were racists.
    But then they make no effort to get rid of the racists in their midst.

    Then that is nothing new.

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  • 115. At 6:58pm on 04 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    I'm not sure if a post went missing or I posted it on another thread. but GATORS

    When I have heard from the mouths of self proclaied tea party people that our health care will go to help QUOTE
    "those brown skinned little xxxxers that crawled under the fence"
    And there was a joke published here from one teaparty to someone that was not so inclined (where is DC)

    One that had lots of descriptionless cats until it got to the one "big black fat cat that ate the food drank the drink and claimed to be too ill for work"
    there are plenty of other examples. Charity and Parity will tell you about the lovely people that convinced her to change names.
    That you pretend so hard there is no racial subtext is what gives you away as either Ignorant as can be or maybe a tad uncaring of the plight of other colours.


    You can claim the racists exist in the dems and the GOP. there may be but it seems to me the GOP can thank the Teaba ba ba party for creating a diversion for all the racists.
    IF the tea ba ba ba party was any more than a fake organisation as was described by others here.

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  • 116. At 5:28pm on 05 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #112


    Monikers change often. IPs and physical addresses - not. :-)

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  • 117. At 6:32pm on 05 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    Apply label. Then ban.

    Who would label people to get the persecuted. Bigots?

    Lets see. So far GH , Interested foreigner, Powermmercat,and LaGavriel poste have all accused me of being a fluffytale.

    Are you all paranoid schizophrenics ?

    When would they stop accusing others and start leading others. Are they all so afraid of being contradicted that they have to resort to trying to create a new form of bigotry.
    "Fluffyist"

    Stop just throwing out random accusations about people when you have no evidence and start answering the points made.
    Otherwise you seem to act like the very nazi people who pointed next door when there was a knock on their door.


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  • 118. At 12:26pm on 06 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Just recently the CYBER COMMAND has finally been created in the U.S.
    (as a part of the Strategic Command).

    Which is able to give as much as we receive (from some quarters). And some.

    One of its rudimentary capabilities is an ability to identify miscreants who hide behind false identities, phoney monikers, proxy servers, etc.

    And then...:)

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  • 119. At 8:29pm on 06 Mar 2010, McJakome wrote:

    118. At 12:26pm on 06 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Just recently the CYBER COMMAND has finally been created in the U.S."

    To use [and I hope correctly] a British expression, "not before time!"
    We should have had that years ago, and should have used it on the spies and saboteurs, wherever they hailed from. I just hope it really exists, that it really works and that none of the parts are marked "Made in China."

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  • 120. At 8:56pm on 06 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 12:36pm on 07 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #119JMM

    No strategically important U.S. hardware has ever been made in China.

    Not even in the Republic of China. :-)

    regards,

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  • 122. At 3:10pm on 07 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #119 Post scriptum...

    Don't be under any illusion, JMM, that the fight is going to be easy.

    PRC has literally hundreds of highly capable hackers at its disposal.

    Thy're not directly employed by MOD or Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    Which is done on purpose.

    So when confronted, Beijing can claim that "those are some miscreants, such as exist in any other country, Chinese government cannot control."

    [if you want to believe, id est, that there's something Beijing regime does not control in China. Or Tibet. Or Uighuria. Or Inner Mongolia.]

    But yes, there are countermeasures which can be effectively used if (or rather when) push comes to shove.

    P.S. Btw. Russia is behind PRC in efforts to penetrate by hook and by crook key American institutions and installations, including national labs, monetary constraints becomning recently one of moderating factors.

    But that does not mean at all that GRU and SVR efforts are insignificant.

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  • 123. At 3:11pm on 07 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    wow so the morning banning is already on. first comments removed. like the one with not much but two links to warren buffet showing someone is wrong.
    Kitty is complaining.

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  • 124. At 3:26pm on 07 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    Power still having to complain when your points are countered?
    Why not debate the points raised that contradict yours rather than complaining.
    American need it's wealthy to pay up.
    If not they will be trying to run little Kingdoms as the country collapses.
    Is that it. You are rich and have a bunker.
    You think you will be impenetrable.
    I know some otherwise sane people here doing their best to create castles to resist the onslaught of the hoards from the cities.
    sad. if they spent half that money on help not guns and ammo they might stop the problem happening. But hell this is america.
    And all will be banned from contradicting the rich.

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  • 125. At 5:11pm on 07 Mar 2010, U14373801 wrote:

    122 it seems that the GOP or someone has a bunch of well funded bloggers that fill forums with continual misdirection.
    Do they hack as well?

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  • 126. At 7:32pm on 07 Mar 2010, U14373952 wrote:

    Powermeerkat. you seem to be focusing on China a lot. I though that this was a page about America.

    Look !At the top! It is!. You must be lost. Healthcare and Obama have nothing to do with the PRC.
    But feel free to discuss how others are not on topic while you go on and on about the PRC at every turn.

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  • 127. At 7:56pm on 07 Mar 2010, U14357051 wrote:

    119 JMM
    Probably not China but are there any other countries we could use that we could trust.

    Will the new building in London be as bug free as the new embassy in Moscow was.

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  • 128. At 03:25am on 08 Mar 2010, pravahan wrote:

    When one tunes into the healthcare debate in america it is easy to wonder if this is a mature democracy. There are many who dismiss healthcare reform as a socialist plot intended by the govt to control the lives of the citizenry. This at a time when 1 in 7 american cannot afford any sort of health coverage, tens of thousands die each year for lack of treatment and coverage and several thousands go bankrupt paying their medical expenses which keep rising rapidly. The most cited argument against the healthcare reform is that in a free enterprise system the should limit its role, size and spending. However in doing so they seem to portray healthcare as a commodity that sold in the markets. This is very unfortunate since affordable good quality heathcare is a hallmark of an affluent and developed country.If the free enterprise approach was the most effective one then the healthcare coverage in america wouldn't be in such dire straits. In fact over the last 2 decades it has only gotten worse.
    The very mention of public healthcare or public health insurance raises shrill cries of socialism. As if socialism is a dirty word. Most people who cry hoarse about socialism probably may not be able to define. Often such people based on the information they had equate it to communist regimes in the former USSR and China and of course Cuba (which incidentally has a much better healthcare coverage system). They cannot see the democratic socialism in scandinavian and west european countries. And before we paint all of them with the same brush it is important to note that they all have different ways of making the healthcare system work. But the basic premise is that the government works to provide healthcare (often directly) to shield its citizens from financial ruin due to unexpected illness or misfortune. America doesn't have to copy a given healthcare system but, it can make its own by borrowing some ideas form some of its allies like UK, japan, Taiwan and Germany. Adopting a greater govt role in healthcare doesn't mean the end of free enterprise or privately funded healthcare. It will however, provide a credible alternative for those unfortunate ones who cannot secure or are denied health coverage. However arrogance, fear or simply inertia comes in the way of many americans accepting better ideas about healthcare.

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  • 129. At 12:13pm on 08 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: "Powermeerkat. you seem to be focusing on China a lot. I though that this was a page about America."



    Yes it is. And a loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs to Communist China and BHO's Administration basically tolerating dumping of cheap (in every sense of the word) Chinese goods on U.S. market is of paramount importance.


    The November election is not going to be about health care.

    But about loss of manufacturing JOBS.

    Make no mistake about it.

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  • 130. At 12:19pm on 08 Mar 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re "Often such people based on the information they had equate it to communist regimes in the former USSR and China and of course Cuba (which incidentally has a much better healthcare coverage system)"



    Have you ever actually BEEN to Cuba?

    Well, I have.

    So please, stop this disinformation campaign based on official press releases
    of Castrate Bros' homicidal Commie regime.

    [All Cubans who believe they can make it to Florida Keys have tried and will continue to try to escape from Fidel and Raul's "workers paradise".]

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