Sunday, April 04, 2010

Republicans Who Oppose Health Care Reform Don't Care......

If medical insurance companies deny coverage to both adults and children for pre-existing conditions;

If millions of Americans are pushed into bankruptcy because of unpaid medical bills, bills that are either unpaid because the people couldn't afford insurance or because they exhausted their insurance benefits;

If medical insurance companies can raise rates with impunity;

If millions of Americans can't afford health insurance;

If medical insurance companies rescind policies when claims are made; or

If small businesses can't afford medical insurance coverage.

How do I know this? Because they are working to repeal the health insurance reform act which addresses all of these problems. Because in the six years that they controlled the Congress and the White House, they didn't do one damn thing to address these problems. Not one.

In the final analysis, those Republicans just don't care what happens to the millions of Americans who can't afford health insurance under the present system. Their attitude, by the way, is why I am not a Republican.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Senate Republicans Don't Want to Work a Full Day, Do They Need Naps

The Senate Republicans are now attempting to block all work by the Senate after 2 pm. How are they doing this? By objecting under Senate Rules to any committee hearings that take place after 2 pm. Now, since most of the work in the Senate is done in committee, this means that committee hearings have to stop by 2 pm.

Now, apparently the Senate Republicans want the media to think that they are doing this as some sort of retaliation for the Democrats passing health care reform by reconciliation. We think, however, that they just want to take afternoon naps. Think about it, your average Republican Senator is a white guy who is in his late 50s or 60s. They need naps. They want naps. This is a good way to get naps.

When, however, you are blocking unemployed workers from getting benefits, it doesn't look too good to want to cut short your own work day, but, hey, if that's what they want, then they should go for it. Of course, Democrats need to point out to voters the desire of Republican Senators to avoid doing a full day's work for more than a full day's pay.

Palin Targets Boccieri, Let's Back Him!

It seems that the half-term governor of Alaska, or the half-wit governor, whichever you prefer, has targeted Representative John Boccieri with defeat in the 2010 elections. This is, of course, because Boccieri decided to stand with the people of the 16th Congressional District and not the insurance companies in the recent vote on the House floor.

As readers of this blog know, we were pretty critical of Borrieri when he voted against the health-care reform plan when it first came up for a vote. We thought that his vote was a betrayal of promises he had made to Medina County Democrats when he asked us to support him in 2008. We weren't happy with the explanations he gave to a group of Democrats who met with him in December in Medina.

We were very pleased, therefore, when he voted for the health care bill when it came back from the Senate. We were happy when he voted for the bill amending the act, and we were happy when he voted for the final package of amendments late Thursday.

Us being happy, however, isn't going to help him win re-election. What will help him win re-election is Democrats supporting him, both financially and with time. This morning, we donated to his campaign. We urge all Medina County Democrats to do the same.

You can donate to Boccieri's campaign by clicking here. You can sign up to work for his re-election by clicking here. Don't let Palin win this November! Let's tell her that it is our district, not hers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Call Congressman John Boccieri and Tell Him Thanks!

Contact Representative John Boccieri and tell him thanks for voting for health care reform:

Boccieri District Office

300 W Tuscarawas St.
Suite 716
Canton, OH 44702
(330) 489-4414
(800)826-9015

Boccieri DC Office

1516 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3876

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Congressman John Boccieri To Vote Yes on Health Care Reform Bill

Representative John Boccieri, OH-16, announced yesterday that he will be voting for the health care bill when it comes up for a vote on Sunday. Previously he had voted against the health care bill when it came up for a vote last fall. Since then, there have been changes made to the bill in the Senate that addressed concerns that Boccieri had regarding the cost of the bill.

In the last week, several Democratic representatives who had voted against the health care bill have announced that they are now supporting the health care bill. This group includes Dennis Kucinich as well as Representative Boccieri.

Readers of this blog know that we were critical of Boccieri's "no" vote on health care reform last fall. We are very happy that he has decided to vote "yes" on Sunday. We realize that he will be criticized for this vote from opponents of health care reform,and we realize that voting for the health care bill will result in Boccieri being subjected to right-wing vilification. We are confident, though, that when the final returns come in next November that he will be re-elected, in part because he did the right thing on health care.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Republican Position on Health Care: 'I got mine, screw you."

Earlier this week we published a piece entitled "Whose Side Are You On?"You can read the prior post by clicking on the link in the previous sentence.

In that piece, we opined that if you aren't for health care reform, then you are with those who really don't care if 30 million Americans don't have insurance, or are denied medical insurance because of pre-existing condtions, or have their medical insurance policies rescinded when they make a claim.

This position led to a writer who calls himself/herself "Be Responsible" writing to protest that he/she doesn't fit into either of the categories that we set forth in our above menioned blog entry. Here is his or her's comments:

I am not on either side that you mentioned and either are millions of other citizens. Older people don't want their services cut by half a billion dollars as in the senate package and people like me and teachers want to keep their present health care coverage.

For example, I was sick 3 months ago, called my doctor's office at 8:05 AM, he saw me at 8:30, examined me, wrote a prescription, I paid my co-pay, and took my first pill before 9 am. Sorry, I don't want to lose that !

If anyone thinks that I will get that same care by adding 30 million people and subtracting all the doctors, like mine, who said he would quit, is fooling themselves. Yes, EVERYONE wants the Fraud and rates to come down.

What's wrong with making the insurance companies actually compete?

By opening up all 50 States to all the insurance companies watch the rates drop !!

And stop the ridiculous law suits with Tort reform.

We don't need another big inefficient bureaucracy.

And we can not add to the debt anymore or all our money will be totally worthless.

Be Responsible's comment is all about him or her. It is typical of the attitude that most Republicans have, "I got mine, screw everyone else."

Nowhere does Be Responsbile talk about the needs of those who have no medical insurance, or get denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, or see their medical insurance rescinded just when they need it most. Nowhere does Be Responsible talk about the thousands of people who are forced into bankruptcy because of a lack of medical insurance or the thousands of people who die earlier than they would have to if they had medical insurance.

Be Responsible talks about how tort reform and allowing medical insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines will somehow miraclously lower health insurance costs. Of course, what Be Responsible doesn't talk about is how the Republicans had both the Congress and the White House for six years. During that time, we didn't see national tort reform, we didn't see legislation passed to allow the selling of medical insurance policies across state lines. What we did see was an unpaid for expansion of Medicare drug benefits with absolutely no payment mechanism.

Here's question for Be Responsible and all the other Republicans who badmouth Obama's plan: What did you do for the six years you ran the national goverment to lower medical costs, or expand coverage, or increase competition in the medical insurance industry. Oh, that's right, not one damn thing.

So here is a news flash to Be Responsible: The lack of health care for every American is am moral issue, not just an economic one. It is a national shame that this country can't do what every other Western country, including Japan and Germany, our former enemies, have managed to do and that is cover every citizen with adequate health care.

All of the misery the present system is causing to millions of Americans apparently doesn't matter to Be Responsible as long as he/she has his/her medical insurance. Personally, we think that most Americans are bigger than that, but we shall see.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Whose Side Are You On?"

A prominent Ohio Democratic politician recently commented on what he considers to be the crucial question in any election. The question is: "Whose side are you on?" That question is really at the heart of most domestic policy and political disputes. It is seen in the health care debate.

If you are opposed to the Obama plan, then you are for maintaining the status quo. Sure, you can say that you want a single-payer plan, or Medicare for all, or some other plan, like the plan offered by Senator Ron Wyden, but the reality is that its either the current plan or the status quo.

Why do I say that? Because it is obvious that there aren't the votes in either the Senate or the House to get a national payer plan. There aren't the votes to expand Medicare to all Americans, regardless of their age. As far as the Wyden plan goes, there probably aren't the votes to pass that plan either, especially once people realize it does away with the employer paid health insurance benefit.

So, its either the Obama plan or the status quo. Now, if you are for the status quo, then you are on the side of the insurance companies. You are on the side of those people who don't care if 30 million Americans are without health insurance, or if Americans are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or if insurance companies try to rescind coverage just when people need it most. If you are against the Obama plan, then that's the side that you are on.

Now, if you are on that side, then you are not on my side, or my family's side, or my friends' side, and, if you are a U.S. Congressman running for re-election, then I am not voting for you. If this attitude results in the election of a Republican, I can live with that. The Republican won't be on my side, but either are you, so there's really no difference. Further, if you are defeated in 2010, then there's a chance the Democrats can nominate and elect a Democratic who is on my side in 2012.

Think of it as a example of single-issue voting, only from the Left, not from the Right.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Call John Boccieri and Tell Him to Support Health Care or You Won't Support Him

The Columbus Dispatch ran a story yesterday that said that Congressman John Boccieri is now "undecided" on whether to vote for the Senate healthcare bill when it comes back to the House. If you live in the 16TH Congressional District, and want healthcare reform, now is the time to make sure that Bocceri hears from you. The numbers to call are:

Boccieri District Office

300 W Tuscarawas St.
Suite 716
Canton, OH 44702
(330) 489-4414
(800)826-9015

Boccieri DC Office

1516 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3876

As always, be police and civil, but let the staffer know that you are willing to consider not voting in the Congressional race if Bocceri votes against healthcare reform.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Does it Really Matter if Either Brunner or Fisher Win?

Okay, so Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher want us to think that their election to the United States Senate will make a big difference in our lives. Well, here is a question for them, and for that matter, for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee: What evidence do we have that it will make any difference whatsoever?

I mean, look at the the situation we are in at the present time. The Dems have a nine vote majority in the Senate, a 78 or 79 vote majority in the United States House of Representatives, and a Democratic President. With all that legislative power, what have they accomplished?

Well, they passed a stimulus bill that probably avoided a second Great Depression. They passed the Lily Ledbetter bill. They passed a budget plan, and that's about it.

Health care reform: not passed
Financial regulatory reform: not passed
Energy bill: not passed

All the above big bills, by the way, passed the House, but either haven't made it out of the Senate, or in the case of health care reform, got passed by both Houses and is now stuck in the House-Senate limbo.

We are told that electing Lee or Jennifer will make everything better. Well, no, it won't. We will still not have 60 votes. We will still have to put up with Leiberman, Nelson, and all the rest of the so-called "moderate Dems." In short, the only thing that will be different is that one of them might be able to call himself or herself an United States Senator.

Well, maybe its just me, but I personally don't care if Lee or Jennifer get to be a United States Senator UNLESS they can get Democratic legislation enacted. If they want my vote, or my money, or my support, then they better start addressing that issue.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Why Health Care Matters to so-called "Democratic Moderates" like John Boccieri

We have a friend who has donated in the five figures to Democratic candidates since late 2003. He has donated to gubernatorial candidates, senatorial candidates, congressional candidates, and presidential candidates. He has worked extensively for Democratic candidates for president, governor, senator, and representative. Recently he made the following observation:

He pointed out that Democrats have reached a 78 vote majority in the United States House of Representatives, a 9 vote majority in the United States Senate, and have a Democratic president. They have passed a health care bill in both the House and the Senate. They could pass a health care bill right now by having the House adopt the Senate bill without any amendments. Or, they could pass the Senate bill in the House, and then make changes by reconciliation. Either one he could live with.

But here's what he can't live with: Not passing a health care bill. If there isn't a health care bill passed, then he says he's done. No more contributions to Democratic candidates. No more working on Democratic campaigns. He will spend his time and his money somewhere else.

Now our friend can live without a health care bill. He has insurance. His wife has insurance. His children have insurance. But, he considers health care to be a universal human right. He is very distressed that we don't have affordable health care for all Americans. He has worked for Democratic candidates because he wants health care reform. So, to come this close, but not get there, is a big, big blow and calls into question just why in the world he worked so hard for Democratic candidates in the first place.

See, here's what our friend gets that so-called Democratic moderates like Representative John Boccieri don't get. People like our friend don't give money or work for candidates because they want those particular candidates to have political power. They work for them because they want certain policies adopted, certain laws passed, and certain results obtained.

A lot of Democratic moderates seem to think that it is some big thrill for us if they win political office. Well, here's a thought: Most of us don't give a crap if John Boccieri is a Congressman, we give a crap if he is a Congressman who is voting on issues the way we would vote if we were in Congress.

So, when he does something like vote against the health care bill in the Congress, and then thinks that we will vote for him anyway because he is supposedly better than the Republican running against him, he shows he doesn't get it. He does't understand that for some of us, like our friend, there are votes that are absolutely critical for continued support and health care is one of them.

Gallup Sees Most States As "Blue"

Gallup has an interesting poll up showing that the Democratic Party has a marked advantage in party identification on a state by state basis. You can read about this poll by clicking here. The map below is from the article:

Job Losses Under Bush and Obama

Below is a chart prepared by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office showing job losses under Bush and Obama since December of 2007. The point is obvious: Fewer jobs have been lost since Obama took office as compared to the final year of Bush's second term. Since both the media and Republicans are factually challenged, we are not sure how much play this will get, but we thought we should share it with our readers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ol' Deficit Hawk George Does It Again

Today, January 28, 2010, the United States Senate took up the amendment to impose pay- as-you-go requirements on the United States Congress. This requirement, known as PAYGO, was credited by President Obama with helping achieve balanced budgets in Wednesday's State of the Union speech.

It works like this: If you are a Representative or a Senator and you want to propose a new Federal program, you have to come up the way to pay for the program. If you want to propose tax cuts, then you have to come up with spending cuts to balance out the tax cuts. Sounds simple, right? I mean if you were a deficit hawk, which is how George Voinovich describes himself, then you should love this idea.

Except, of course, George, along with the other 39 Republicans voted "Nay." Now why would they do that? Well, here's the situation they are in: They want to propose more and more tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations, but they don't want to cut Federal programs to pay for the tax-cuts. Instead they want to keep running up the Federal deficit.

So once again, we see, just like we saw in 2001 and in 2003 with Bush's reckless tax cuts for the rich, which Ol' Deficit Hawk supported, that George Voinovich's claims to want a balanced budget are just so much Deficit Hawk bird poo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Game Over in Massachusetts

Yesterday we published a piece called "Game On in Massachusetts". Well, as you can see from the headline above, the game is over in Massachusetts and we lost. Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley lost by about 2% of the vote. So now the junior Senator from Massachusetts is a Scott Brown who is determined to take America back to the Bush-Cheney years.

Now, part of the blame can be laid on Coakley herself. According to an online article, while Brown conducted 66 campaign events between the primary and election day, she only held 19. She came across as elitist and out of touch. Combine her campaign style with a bad economy, and it is easy to see why she lost.

Part of the problem is the way the Democrats handled health care. The Senate took way too long to pass the legislation; the need to get all 60 Senators who caucus with the Democrats to vote in favor of cutting off debate meant that conservative Dems like Nelson, Landrieu, and Lieberman had an enormous influence on the final product. This led to a dropping of the public option and pork-barrel politics that wasn't pretty to watch.

So was the refusal of the Obama administration to put the argument for the health-care reform issue in moral terms. For some reason, Democrats are reluctant to do that, while no such reluctance hinders their opponents. This is rather amazing because the moral argument is easy to make.

Studies from respected institutions like the Harvard Medical School put the number of Americans who die because of a lack of health insurance at 18,000 to 44,000 per year. This means that at least six times the number of people who died on 9-11 die each year because of how we structure medical care in this country.

So, this is what Republicans who oppose the Democrats on health care are for:

-Thousands of people needlessly dying
-Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions
-Medical bankruptcies
-Families devastated by uninsured illnesses

They recognize the political vulnerability of their position. You can tell it from the mantra they keep repeating, "We aren't against health care reform, we are just against this health care reform. We want to do it right." Which was exactly what Brown said last night during his victory speech. Only, guess what, he never tells you what that health care reform would look like because they don't have a plan. The shock isn't that Republicans campaign by being nihilists, the problem is that we don't call them on it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time to Get Rid of the Filibuster

The reason why we are all holding our breaths today about the vote in Massachusetts's special election can be summed up in one word: filibuster If it wasn't for the filibuster and its requirement that motions to stop debate get 60 votes, then we wouldn't care. We wouldn't care because the Dem majority would go from 10 to 9 and, frankly, while it would be embarrassing to lose Ted Kennedy's old seat, it would not be critical. No, it is only critical because the Senate has the filibuster.

Now, the filibuster is not dictated by the United States Constitution, unlike, say the requirement that every state have two Senators. It was contrived by the Senate itself and has been used by reactionaries to make an institution deliberately designed to be conservative even more conservative.

Of course, just as it was used by Dixiecrats to stop civil rights legislation, it is now being used by Republicans to stop progressive legislation, or, in the case of the health-care reform bill, to take liberal legislation and turn it into conservative mush.

So, how do we get rid of it? Well, two Republicans who used to work for Bill Frist when he was Republican Majority Leader wrote an article for the Harvard Law Review on what they referred to as the "constitutional option." Click on the link to read the article. Then, contact Senator Sherrod Brown's office and tell them that you think the filibuster should go.

Game On in Massachusetts

Very early Sunday morning I was watching the Cavaliers play the L.A. Clippers. With about four minutes to go the game was tied. Austin Carr, the color commentator for Fox Sports during the Cavaliers broadcasts, said, "Game's on now."

This is the situation we are now in regarding the Massachusetts Senate race. All the polling, all the political robocalls, all the ads end today and it is in the hands of the voters.

According to a posting at Boston.com, both sides expect a heavy turnout today. That is good news for the Dems. If you like at the polling done in this race, especially the polling of "likely" voters, the pollsters were expecting a relatively low turnout election. That is the model they used in their polling. If, however, the turnout is closer to a normal election in Massachusetts, then that helps the Democrats.

So, right now, Game is On in Massachusetts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

George Voinovich Is At It Again

Once again, when there is a Democratic President who wants to spend money on people as opposed to giving tax cuts to the wealthy, George Voinovich becomes a "deficit" hawk. We saw this before during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

When Clinton was President, George Voinovich talked about the need for a balanced Federal budget. Although interestingly enough we don't remember a lot of praise for Clinton from Voinovich when the Clinton administration left a surplus for his successor to squander.

But when Bubble-Boy became President and wanted to pass his reckless tax cuts in 2001and then again in 2003, where was Voinovich? Well, ol' deficit hawk George was right there with him, agreeing to his cuts in 2001 and 2003. Now in 2003 the deficit hawk is given credit for helping to cut Bush's tax cuts in half, although half of budget busting tax cuts is still half too many. Ol' deficit hawk George, however, then voted to extend the expiration date of tax cuts which had the effect of undoing his work in 2003.

By this time you may be wondering why in the world we are ranting about George Voinovich on Martin Luther King Day. Let's face we could be ranting about the Massachusetts special election or talking about what King meant to America, why are we ranting about George?

Well, it is because we read this article in the Plain Dealer about how George is trying to cap off his career by helping create a budget commission to control Federal spending. Once again the PD is acting like the public relations officer for George's Senate office and telling us how great George is for caring about deficit and the Federal budget.

Although, come to think about it, at least in this article the reporter does point out how Voinovich supported Bush's tax cuts. That is something new for the PD, acknowledging, however obliquely, the hypocrisy of Voinovich on budget deficits when Republicans are in power.

Hey, no matter what happens in the race for the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio, at least we won't be treated to the PD creaming their jeans for Voinovich anymore. (See, and you probably thought this article was going to end on an angry note.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Was Bobby Kennedy Right About Liberals?

Years ago I read a biography of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy in which the author wrote about Kennedy attending a liberal Democratic meeting on the West Side of Manhatten. After listening to them bicker among themselves for a long time, Kennedy, who had been invited there to talk about supporting a reform candidate for Judge of the Surrogate's Court, told one of his aides that he thought that his father had been right about liberals all along. What he meant by that was that his father believed that liberals demand too much perfection from candidates they support, and when they don't get it, they stop supporting them.

Flash forward to the 2010 special election in Massachusetts for the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. On the political blogs there is a lot of talk about whether liberals such as Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake would rather have Martha Coakely lose then win. The reasoning goes that a victory by Brown, who is a very conservative Republican, and who is dedicated to stopping the health care bill, would actually be beneficial. Their thinking goes that the defeat of a bill they see as too corporate friendly would then lead the Democrats to somehow get together and pass a much more liberal bill, say, one that had a public option.

Here's my take on this issue. The defeat of the health care bill won't result in a better bill, it will result in no bill. Democrats like Nelson, Lincoln, and Bayh won't come for a more liberal bill, they will take the position that the status quo is what they should support. Why? Because they are not going to be persuaded that the loss of a Senate seat in Mass. means that people want a more liberal bill. They are going to think to themselves, "If freaking Mass. voters don't want a health care bill, then the residents of my state, which is far more conservative, don't want a health care bill."

I saw this in 1980, when liberal friends of mine supported first Kennedy over Carter and then John Anderson over Carter. What did that get them? Eight years of Reagan. Then in 2000, people like Nader said there was no difference between Gore and Bush. What did that get us? Eight years of Bush. Now, the same types are saying that there is no difference between Obama's health care bill and the status quo? What will that get us? More of the status quo.

If you are against this health care bill, and there is plenty of things I don't like about it, then this is what you are for:

1. Continued discrimination based on pre-existing conditions;
2. Continued caps on medical insurance benefits, which will result in more Americans going bankrupt;
3. The unavailability of medical insurance to the approximately 31 million people who would be covered by this plan; and
4. The continued deaths of 44,000 Americans per year because they don't have health insurance, according to a study from the Harvard Medical School.

That's your choice. The choice is not between some hypothetical health insurance bill that is never going to get passed, the choice is between the current bill and the status quo. That is what is at stake on Tuesday in Massachusetts.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tell Us Who You Are Backing for United States Senate

We are taking a completely unscientific poll as to who our readers are supporting for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat being vacated by George Voinovich. Tell us if you are supporting Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher or Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner. You can take the poll by clicking on the answer in the box on the right hand side of this page. You can also leave us a comment on why you are supporting one or the other.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

When a Democratic Congressman Votes Like a Republican, Dems Apparently Shouldn't Get Mad

This is one of the comments to a previous post about John Boccieri possibly getting a primary opponent from the left over the issue of health care reform:

Isn't it nice that a supposed democratic blog/website is being used to undercut our democratic congressman in one of the most highly competitive districts in the country. I'm sure Jim Renacci will be much more aligned with MCDAC's health care positions than John Boccieri.....

So let's see if have this right: Boccieri can come to Medina County, assure Medina County Democrats he supports health care reform, accept campaign contributions from Medina County Dems, have us work for him by canvassing for him, putting up yard signs, etc., but, when he turns around and votes like a Republican on health care reform, we aren't supposed to be upset with him?

Hey, here's a question for the anonymous person who posted the above comment: Why aren't you upset with Boccieri for voting against the health care reform bill? Why is your anger directed at this blog and not at Boccieri?

Since we have noticed that everytime we post a story on Boccieri, there are people who read it through the United States House of Representatives' servers, could it be it is because you work for the Congressman?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Will John Boccieri Get Primary Opponent?

There is a rumor going around Medina County political circles that a prominent local Democrat may take out petitions to run against Representative John Boccieri in the 16TH Congressional District primary. Supposedly there was a recent meeting on the west side
of Cleveland with some labor leaders in which he told them of this possibility. Apparently a number of local labor leaders in the Cleveland area aren't happy with Boccieri's vote on health care reform. Stay tuned for further details.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Republican Definition of Hypocrisy

This is the American Heritage Dictionary definition of hypocrisy:

hy·poc·ri·sy (h-pkr-s)
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.
[Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, play-acting, pretense, from Greek hupokrisis, from hupokrnesthai, to play a part, pretend : hupo-, hypo- + krnesthai, to explain, middle voice of krnein, to decide, judge; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]

This is the Republican definition of hypocrisy:

hy·poc·ri·sy (h-pkr-s)
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice by a Democrat of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.
[Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, play-acting, pretense, from Greek hupokrisis, from hupokrnesthai, to play a part, pretend : hupo-, hypo- + krnesthai, to explain, middle voice of krnein, to decide, judge; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Republic Reports Dems Are Going to Avoid Conference Committee on Health Care Reform

Jonathon Cohn of The New Republic is reporting on the magazine's website that Senate and House Democrats are going to avoid a formal conference committee to merge the two versions of the health care reform bill. Instead of convening a separate conference committee, they are going to negotiate informally, merge the two bills, and then vote on a final bill in each chamber.

If this report is true, this is very good news for a lot of reasons. One is that it will speed up the process and allow the Congress to pass health care reform and then move on to other pressing business. Another reason is that it will show Republican Senators that their obstructionism won't stop the Dems from passing health care reform. A third reason is that this will greatly encourage the Democratic base voters that the Senate and House aren't going to let Republicans set the legislative agenda by obstruction.

Of course, this is only one report on one website, and it will be interesting to see if other news organizations start to report the same thing. All in all, though, a very good sign.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Medina Dems Go After Boccieri on Health Care Vote on Talking Points Memo

Two Medina county Democrats who go by the initials "DB" and "JK" reported to Josh Marshall at www.talkingpointsmemo.com about the recent meeting that Congressman John Boccieri held to discuss his "no" vote on the House health care reform bill. You can read their report here.

What has to be understood is the sense of betrayal that is evident in the article that the two Medina County Dems sent to Marshall. In 2008 then State Senator John Boccieri assured Medina County Dems that he was for health care reform. Yet, when the vote went down, he backed the GOP and voted against the Democratic bill. This vote has cost Boccieri much support in Medina County.

Just to make it clear, we are not talking about casual supporters. These are people who threw fund raisers for him; who canvassed for him; and who helped him take Medina County while the county was voting for John McCain over Obama. There is a very simple way for Boccieri to get this support back and that is to vote for the health care bill when it comes out of conference committee.

Comparing Bubble-Boy's First Year vs Obama's First Year on Terror Attacks

Okay, so let's get this straight: During Bubble-Boy's first year of being President, his administration ignored a warning regarding al-Qaeda's plans to attack America and approximately 3000 Americans died. In Obama's first year of being President, according to the right-wing pundits, his administration ignored warnings about the Nigerian who attempted to destroy an American airliner and no Americans died. Yet, amazingly, according to the right-wing pundits, it is the Obama administration and not the Bubble-boy administration that failed the national security test in its first year.

Here's what Democrats need to start saying: In Bush's first year of being president we lost 3,000 Americans to organized terrorism. In Obama's first year of being President, we lost zero Americans to organized terrorism. That simple fact, repeated over and over, says everything that needs to be said about which administration did a better job of protecting the American people.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

What Would Be Republican Response to a 9-11 Attack Today?

On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered a horrible attack under George W. Bush's presidency. Over 3000 Americans died. Democratic politicians in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate publicly supported President Bush. They didn't criticize him for the hours it took him to respond; for the fact that he flew around in Air Force One most of the day before returning to Washington, D.C.; they didn't call for investigations into what his administration knew before the attack; and they certainly didn't send out fund-raising letters in an attempt to raise campaign contributions from the death of thousands of Americans.

Nor did former Vice-President Al Gore issue denunciations of the Bush Administration's strategy for dealing with terrorists. Vice-President Gore did not emerge from some dark lair to say that all that mattered to the Bush Administration was getting tax cuts for their rich contributors and that this preoccupation had led to lax security for Americans. Indeed, given the fact that Al Gore had lost a presidential election because of a United States Supreme Court that was dominated by Republican appointees, two of which were appointed by his opponent's father, Gore's response was incredibly generous, at least by today's standards.

Now, contrast the Democratic response to 9-11 with the Republican response to the attempted attack on the airliner over Detroit. We have heard Republicans use the attack to try and score cheap political points at the President's expense and we have seen the sickening sight of Republicans using the attempted attack to raise campaign funds. We have seen the propaganda arm of the GOP, otherwise known as Fox News, criticize Obama for using words like "allegedly", as if using that word was somehow in itself a weakness.

And, of course, we have seen former Vice-President Cheney give at least one interview in which he claimed that Obama's pre-occupation with "transforming" American society had somehow led to the Detroit attack.

So here is my conclusion, and it was difficult for me to come to, but I believe that if a 9-11 attack took place under Obama, we would see a much different reaction from the GOP than we saw from the Democrats on that fateful day. We wouldn't see statements invoking national unity or calling for support for President Obama. We wouldn't see former Bush administration officials calling on Americans to support President Obama. Instead we would see Republicans Representatives and Senators rush to the studios of Fox News to denounce Obama. We would see campaign consulting firms grinding out fund-raising letters for Republicans even as Americans were burying their dead.

It pains me to come to this conclusion. I hope that we never have to find out if I am right, and if such a horrible tragedy occurs again, I hope that I am wrong about the Republican response. But given their actions over the last week or so, what other conclusion can I come to?