Paul Krugman appeals to the conscience of so-called centrists.
Everyone in the political class — by which I mean politicians, people in the news media, and so on, basically whoever is in a position to influence the final stage of this legislative marathon — now has to make a choice. The seemingly impossible dream of fundamental health reform is just a few steps away from becoming reality, and each player has to decide whether he or she is going to help it across the finish line or stand in its way.
….For conservatives, of course, it’s an easy decision: They don’t want Americans to have universal coverage, and they don’t want President Obama to succeed.
….Should progressives get behind this plan? Yes. And they probably will.
The people who really have to make up their minds, then, are those in between, the self-proclaimed centrists….I’d just urge them to take a good hard look in the mirror. If they really want to align themselves with the hard-line conservatives, if they just want to kill health reform, so be it. But they shouldn’t hide behind claims that they really, truly would support health care reform if only it were better designed.
For this is the moment of truth. The political environment is as favorable for reform as it’s likely to get. The legislation on the table isn’t perfect, but it’s as good as anyone could reasonably have expected. History is about to be made — and everyone has to decide which side they’re on.
As Kevin Drums eloquently understates the issue. The public-option along with scores of other measures aimed at efficiency and cost control are “modest”. That Mitch McConnel(R-KY) has taken up once again the health-care reform will kill you meme, a reminder how far off the mental reservation conservatives are. The U.S. health-care system is a rag tag mess of out of control costs in which fewer and fewer people have access. Republicans controlled all three branches of government for six of the Bush years. The let’s help Iraq, but not America party, had six years to do something about health-care and punted. Just like they did on a sane fiscal policy. In a dozen ways conservatives backed the bus over America and lack the sense of shame and humility to admit they really have nothing relevant to contribute to the health-care debate or any other facet of government policy. Judging from their support of a unhinged right-winger in New York the only lesson they learned was they were not further out from the mainstream then they should have been.
Anyway John Dickerson has a run down of the road ahead for Senator Harry Reid and the pursuit of 60 votes. Why 60 Is the New 50. How many votes will it take to pass health care reform in the Senate?
The Senate is the most unrepresentative of the two chambers of Congress. That’s one of the reasons a health-care reform bill with a robust public option would have sailed through the House. Republicans who would rather eat glass then do anything to help working Americans aside, the unrepresentative Senate, with its arcane rules, is why health-care reform is being held hostage by Joe ‘Kamikaze’ Lieberman and a couple contrarian Democrats.
Conservative Orly Taitz, an immigrant, has apparently tried to get witnesses to lie in one of her “birther” lawsuits and without the slightest humility accused just about anyone who does not support her cause as being a traitor. Judge: ‘Birther’ lawyer may have urged witnesses to lie on the stand
A US District Court judge in California has dismissed one of “birther” leader Orly Taitz’s lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama’s right to be president, and expressed “deep concerns” that the lawyer urged witnesses in the case to perjure themselves.
[ ]…As Rachel Slajda noted at TalkingPointsMemo, the judge poured heavy criticism on Taitz’s actions during preliminary court proceedings.
“Plaintiffs have attacked the judiciary, including every prior court that has dismissed their claim, as unpatriotic and even treasonous for refusing to grant their requests and for adhering to the terms of the Constitution which set forth its jurisdiction,” Carter wrote. “Respecting the constitutional role and jurisdiction of this Court is not unpatriotic.”
So a group obsessed with a conspiracy that has possibility been the most thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory in our political history, is herself involded in an actual conspiracy. While she is probably going to eventually find herself in jail for contempt or perjury, I kind of wish Orly luck, its like watching an old episode of the Twilight Zone.
Fox News Viewed as Most Ideological Network
Nearly half of Americans (47%) say they think of Fox News as “mostly conservative,” 14% say it is “mostly liberal,” and 24% say it is “neither in particular.”
Remember the character Frank ( played by Chris Cooper) in the movie American Beauty, the guy that thought battering his son and collecting Nazi memorabilia was all perfectly normal. The Franks of America are that 14% that think Fox is liberal. The rest of the news programs from the networks – CBS, ABC etc are lazy corporate infotainment programs. They only seem liberal to some viewers because Fox in addition to right-wing radio and print has set the bar so low – if you’re not dispensing conservative propaganda then you’re liberal.