America Please Help To Send Every Frightened Conservative an Adult Diaper

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Adult Diapers for Conservatives

Seriously America, conservatives need your help. If you could take a few minutes of your time and a few dollars to send as many adult diapers to every conservative member of the House of Representatives and the Senate you would be performing both a great act of compassion and patriotism. Contact information for your Representative is here. Contact addresses to send your contribution of an adult diaper to Senate Republicans is available here.

GOP Rep Has No Explanation For GOP Hypocrisy

During a telephone interview on MSNBC today Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) failed to reconcile the hypocrisy inherent in Republican criticisms of President Obama’s allegedly soft or slow reaction to the attempted attack on flight 253. As MSNBC’s Milissa Rehberger pointed out, then-President George W. Bush took six days to issue a response to shoe bomber Richard Reid’s failed attack in 2001 — far longer than President Obama took to address flight 253.

Plus, Reid had a trial in civilian court — though Republicans have jumped all over the Obama administration for not trying Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a military tribunal.

After stammering momentarily to Rehberger’s question about the apparent double standard, Rep. Conaway offered an answer that didn’t address the question

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) deserves our compassion. Just as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) or Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) pissed themselves in stark staring fear at a failed terror attempt so has Rep. Conway. The poor dears are in an unhinged panic. And it’s not just conservative pols who need diapers, its conservative prognosticators also. Sometimes, failed or not terrorists succeed in their pysch-ops objective to make their opponents panic and it that regard Umar “Exploding shorts” Farouk Abdulmutallab has had a devastatingly effective episode in regards conservative politicians and pundits: the National Review, NR propagandist Marc Thiessen, Ann Coulter, Andrew Breitbart are leaving a trail of wet yellow stains wherever they go. ( Shouldn’t Breitbart be in jail for participating in an extortion and intimidation scheme against ACORN employees.) One guesses he is paying some penalty in walking around in those piss wet pants all day. Such horror filled fantasies that one might be blown up at any moment does tend to unhinge one from rational thinking. That is why we need your help America. You can send your adult diaper contribution to the National Review at National Review, 215 Lexington Avenue, ew York, New York 10016. Ann Coulter can receive her adult diapers via Townhall, where she is a regular at 1901 N. Moore Street  Suite 701,  Arlington, VA 22209 and You can send Bill Kristol his much needed diapers at The Weekly Standard, PO Box 96127, Washington, DC 20077-7767. Please do not be rude, these people, like most conservatives suffer from degrees of paranoia and delusional thinking. Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition

Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (au-thoritarianism, dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justifi-cation). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r .50); system instability (.47); dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (–.32); uncertainty tolerance (–.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (–.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); and self-esteem (–.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.

Conservatives are obsessed with death and dying from threats real, imagined or is generally the case, highly exaggerated. It might be the most misunderstood mental disorder in America today. Though most American show a tremendous tolerance of such a destructive and self-destructive malady.

Democrats are pointing out the obvious,

As GOPers begin increasingly using the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner to score political points, 2 Dems are blaming the Bush admin for events that led directly to the failed attack.

While many Dems stay silent and let the WH lead the way, DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) say the previous admin let down their guard.

“In general, we are facing the consequences of the Bush administration’s failures to deal with al Qaeda,” Van Hollen told Hotline OnCall. “The Republicans have no business in pointing fingers at the Obama administration on terrorism and national security.”

“The Obama administration has been much more aggressive about going after al Qaeda than the Bush administration, which turned its focus from al Qaeda to Iraq,” he added. The Obama admin has “been on the offense in places where the Bush administration had taken its eye off the ball.”

Meanwhile, Massa has taken on ex-VP Dick Cheney, who he says is directly responsible for releasing the top al Qaeda figures in Yemen who aided and trained the Nigerian-born suspect.

“I would remind the American public that the apparent leaders of the al Qaeda cell in Yemen were 2 terrorists who were released by Vice President Cheney in secret. I think there’s a level of accountability that has to be levied personally on the vice president,” Massa said in an interview. “He is personally responsible for that.”

Another frequently encountered conservative mental impairment is the deep resentment toward accepting responsibility for anything. Cheney is something of a conservative jujitsu master in that regard. as far as I know he has never taken responsibility for a long career of dismally poor judgment – in his college career he started off with four deferments to avoid going to Vietnam, in the 80s he lobbied against sanctions against Iraq and while CEO of Halliburton did business with Iraq in violation of U.S. sanctions. Cheney has no official contact address, but since regularly appears to wet his pants in public on Sean Hannity’s show, you can send his diapers via Fox News.

update: More on Republican’s wildly exaggerated fears and how its hurting the country they claim to love, The degrading effects of terrorism fears

Jacksonville police hunting for suspects in fatal shooting – One man slain at Arlington apartment complex. Using Republican logic, why didn’t President Obama rush to Jacksonville, where someone was actually killed and make a speech.



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Another Day of Frightened Conservative Bed Wetters

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That attempted terror attack on Northwest Airlines was not a terror attack according to Conservative politicians, pundits and bloggers. Nope it was a good reason not to let TSA employees form a union. The logic? Everyone that belongs to a union loves to let people blow up stuff and hates the United States of America. Would Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) or Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) lie. They’re conservatives dammit and when they say America workers are anti-American it must be true. Right? DeMint is serious about not letting these pro-terrorist American workers organize. So serious he will not let President Obama’s nomination for administrator of the Transportation Security Administration go through. Now that’s taking terrorism seriously. Unless Uber Demigod DeMint gets a guarantee from the president that TSA employees will not be allowed to join a union, no Transportation Security Administration administrator for you. DeMint does appear to be at a loss to explain what a guy with explosive underwear on a flight started in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route to Detroit has to do with unions. Currently TSA employees are not allowed to be part of a federal employees union and Mr. Exploding Pants got on a plane anyway.

Pete “lives in constant fear” Hoekstra (R-MI), ironically an immigrant by the way- formerly head of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence . While Pete was playing security expert we had the Egyptian gunman opens fire at an El Al ticket counter in Los Angeles International Airport, the D.C. snipper attacks and a shooting at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Nut jobs seem to be immune from Pete’s magic shield of tough talk. Pete was in office on Sept. 11, 2001. What with Pete’s super terror fighting powers, could someone get him to explain how that happened on his watch. I’ve barely touched on the number of Americans that have been killed while Super Pete has held public office – he’s been peddling around on the tax payers dime for about 28 years – so won’t everyone please help Pete continue his abysmal career living off working Americans – Hoekstra Uses Airline Attack To Raise Money For Gubernatorial Campaign

In the United States where we’re supposed to have government by and for the people who do conservative bed wetters like DeMint and Hoekstra think is allowed to form organizations: Republicans of course – who have a literal welfare network of organizations. Tea baggers are organized by well-funded conservative astroturf groups. Working Janes and Joes, sorry they’ll be no freedom to organize for you in Con-America.

I’m sure it was a scary experience to be on that plane. An experience that we all wish no one would ever have to go through. The fact is that it is not an experience anyone is likely to go through. The Odds of Airborne Terror – by Nate Silver

Over the past decade, according to BTS, there have been 99,320,309 commercial airline departures that either originated or landed within the United States. Dividing by six, we get one terrorist incident per 16,553,385 departures.

[   ]…Therefore, the odds of being on given departure which is the subject of a terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 over the past decade. By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in 500,000. This means that you could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be struck by lightning.

On December 25th, the same day as the terror debacle a man was stabbed to death in Utah, a man stabbed a guest at his Christmas party in Maryland, a man was stabbed but managed to get help in Michigan today. The Today Show this morning devoted its entire first half hour to a picture of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab underwear and question begging with a banner about whether we need better airport security. People that have died over the past four days from stabbings and gun shot wounds from their fellow citizens – not a mention.

Obama condemns Iran’s ‘violent and unjust suppression’ of citizens

Obama condemns Irans violent and unjust suppression of citizensPresident Barack Obama on Monday strongly condemned Iran’s crackdown on protesters and called on the Islamic regime to immediately free those “unjustly detained.”

“The United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens,” Obama said in Hawaii where he is on vacation.

“We call for the immediate release of all who have been unjustly detained within Iran,” Obama said.

Obama promised to stand behind Iranians during the “extraordinary events,” saying that he was “confident that history will be on the side of those who seek justice.”

But he said that the events were “not about the United States,” which is vilified by hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or “any other country.”
Story continues below…

“It’s about the Iranian people and their aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves,” Obama said.

If the U.S. had followed the wisdom of neocons like Dick Cheney and John Bolton those reform protesters wouldn’t be protesting now, they would be buried under a pile of rabble from yet another shock and awe campaign.

New fact: conservatives have very big erasers and very bad memories, On CNN, Matalin falsely claims “Bush inherited” 9-11 attacks and recession

On the December 27 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Mary Matalin falsely claimed that President George W. Bush “inherited a recession from President Clinton, and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.” In fact the 9-11 attacks occurred eight months into Bush’s presidency and more than a month after he had received a Presidential Daily Briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and the recession began in March 2001.

That August 2001 redacted memo is still on-line. Matalin could read it, but that would require some reading comprehension skills. She appears regularly on the librul media..

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Would conservatives try to exploit the story of a looser, who ended up sitting himself on fire, for partisan political advantage. Do pigs grunt? Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) Quickly Politicizes Attempted Terrorist Attack, Suggests Obama’s Clueless On National Security. Poor Peter is a fully accredited graduate of conservative clown school. Considering Pete’s flair for over heated comparisons its safe to assume his clown nose is on too tight – 2009 Twitter Incident and Resulting Internet Meme

On June 17, Hoekstra posted a twitter comment likening the brutal oppression of the Iranian people to the plight of House Republicans[17]:

Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.

As a result, Hoekstra faced public ridicule as twitter users worldwide began to criticize him for his comparison. This ridicule includes a blog, Pete Hoekstra is a Meme, which mocks Hoekstra’s statement by comparing mundane activities to past tragedies, as well as coverage on The Daily Show

When Pete gets a paper cuts he runs around his office yelling its just like what the Nazis did to the Jews. Then there was Pete and former senator Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) claim they found WMD in Iraq. Which turned out to be left over ordinance from the eighties. A public health hazard for our troops and the Iraqis, but once again a kool-aid addled WMD lie.

What with an economy in shambles, mainly courtesy of our former MBA president and conservatives like Peter Hoekstra, some conservatives are flocking to libertarianism in a game of ya can’t blame me cause even less regulation and less enforcement of regulation would have prevented the worse meltdown in 80 years. The  libertarian Reason Editor suggests his own magazine is lying

For the first half of the year, Obama’s right-wing opponents heaped praise on the CBO’s authoritative stature because, back then, the CBO was reporting that the Democrats’ health care proposals would increase the deficit. These same individuals then completely and shamelessly shifted gears once the CBO began reporting that the revised iterations of the proposal would actually decrease the deficit. And the “principled non-partisan libertarians” at Welch’s Reason led the way in this rank intellectual dishonesty.

Libertarians really should stick to writing about our draconian drug laws. It’s the only area of social policy they seem to have a clue about.

Palin: I’m Not the Biggest Liar of the Year

Responding to the initial Pants-on-Fire designation, Palin tried to have it both ways, claiming her phrase was metaphoric and accurate. In a Nov. 17 interview with National Review, she said she didn’t regret the remark:

“To me, while reading that section of the bill, it became so evident that there would be a panel of bureaucrats who would decide on levels of health care, decide on those who are worthy or not worthy of receiving some government-controlled coverage,” she said. “Since health care would have to be rationed if it were promised to everyone, it would therefore lead to harm for many individuals not able to receive the government care. That leads, of course, to death.”

“The term I used to describe the panel making these decisions should not be taken literally,” said Palin. The phrase is “a lot like when President Reagan used to refer to the Soviet Union as the ‘evil empire.’ He got his point across. He got people thinking and researching what he was talking about. It was quite effective. Same thing with the ‘death panels.’ I would characterize them like that again, in a heartbeat.”

Not literal, but accurate — as in, well, you know what I mean.

Now Palin is again taking issue with being called a liar. In a new Facebook posting, she scoffs at “Nancy Pelosi and friends who have tried to call ‘death panels’ the ‘lie of the year.’ ” She doesn’t mention it was the neutral PolitiFact.com that branded her statement the whopper of 2009. And she claims she has proof she was correct in the first place. The pending Senate health care bill, she says, calls for an Independent Medicare Advisory Board to find ways to cut costs. This, she writes, “is also known as rationing.” If that’s the case, then every insurance company and health care firm in America is a death panel, for that’s what they do each day: seek ways to trim costs to bolster profits.

But there’s more. Palin cites a letter Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week, referring to the bill’s call for reducing Medicare spending by 2 percent. “It is unclear,” Elmendorf noted, “whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.”

Aha, Palin proclaims: This reduced ” ‘access to care’ and ‘diminish[ed] quality of care’ – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor.” (She’s back to calling it a metaphor.)

Not really. As Greg Sargent has pointed out, Palin is changing her definitions. When she first referred to “death panels,” she was portraying them as medical tribunes that would decide the fate of specific individuals. (“You’re IQ is too low, so no dialysis for you!”) Now, she’s essentially claiming that any cost-cutting that might influence access to care constitutes establishing a “death panel.” Not only is she being shifty; Palin is poisoning one policy debate that the nation needs to have about health care. Does this ardent foe of socialism really believe that the U.S. government ought to pay for any medical procedure that a Medicare recipient might want? What if a treatment costs several million dollars and at best can extend the life of a dying patient by a week? If you question such a practice, then, in Palin’s book, you’re for rationing and can be a charter member of a “death panel.”

The issue of Sarah Palin’s grasp of what constitutes the truth might be an issue for psychiatrists or philosophers of ethics to ponder. I tend to think she honestly believes her own obvious and contradictory lies. That does qualify her to be a conservative, but is also reason to keep her away from sharp objects and any position of responsibility.

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Senate approves landmark health-care bill

The Senate approved a landmark health-care bill Thursday morning that would provide coverage to more than 30 million people and begin a far-reaching overhaul of Medicare and the private insurance market.

Vice President Biden presided over the 60-39, party-line vote, which brings Democrats closer than ever to realizing their 70-year-old goal of universal health coverage.

For the first time, most Americans would be required to obtain health insurance, either through their employer or via new, government-regulated exchanges. Those who can’t afford insurance plans would receive federal subsidies. And Medicaid would be vastly expanded to reach millions of low-income children and adults.

For someone who tries to stay away from predictions this makes two posts in a row. Pretty much my quota as the year ends. For those that think the Senate bill will undergo some drastic improvements through the reconciliation process after the first of the year – hope for the best, but expect 90% or more of the bill to remain as is. We’ve all been witness to the truly ugly process and compromises that it took to get to that insufferable magic 60. If the House tries shoe horning in a public-option or a Medicare buy in option, kiss 60 goodbye. And remember these famous words for 2010 and 2012,

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) vowed to wage an even tougher battle when Congress returns in January and Democrats attempt to merge the House and Senate bills. “This fight is not over. This fight is long from over,” McConnell said. “My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law.”

[  ]…Gregg (Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, continued, “Let’s come back next week, after New Year’s, and take up this bill and have some amendments and correct this problem, if nothing else, so that our seniors don’t end up getting stuck and our kids don’t end up with all this debt.”

McConnell and Gregg both whined and complained about the deficit for 7 years and did nothing. They did nothing to cut the deficit or to raise revenue. They acted like children who resolved to leave a mess for the adults to clean up. Both Senators were senior committee members and Republican Senate leaders for most of Bush’s term. What did they do to get millions more children health care? Nothing. What did they actually contribute to the current efforts to reform a terribly broken health care system – urban myths and misinformation.

Maybe Jane Hamster wants to punish President Obama for the Senate’s health care reform bill by trying to get executive staffers fired – the motives are questionable, but the least she could have done is proceed without partnering up with Grover Norquist. Norquist filing a complaint about anyone’s ethics is like listening to Lex Luthor complain about Superman’s cape, Probe Links Norquist, Abramoff – The anti-tax activist helped funnel tribe money for the lobbyist, a Senate panel says.

In Jack Abramoff’s world, prominent Washington tax-cut advocate Grover Norquist was a welcome conduit.

Moving money from a casino-operating Indian tribe to Ralph Reed, the Christian Coalition founder and a gambling opponent, was a problem. So lobbyist Abramoff apparently turned to longtime friend Norquist to provide a buffer for Reed.

The result, according to evidence gathered by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, was that Norquist’s nonprofit group Americans for Tax Reform helped to channel more than $1 million from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to Reed’s operation, and Norquist, a close White House ally, took a cut of the transaction.

The Senate panel found numerous instances of nonprofit organizations’ apparent involvement in activities unrelated to their missions as described to the Internal Revenue Service.

The panel’s 373-page report on Abramoff’s influence-peddling, released Thursday, said some nonprofits transferred money from one entity to another in an effort to obscure the source and eventual use of funds, and to evade tax liability.

The report said some tax-exempt organizations were used as extensions of for-profit lobbying operations.

In February, the committee forwarded to the Senate Finance Committee 108 documents about the nonprofits, of which 28 documents dealt with Norquist’s group.

Norquist’s office says its tax-cut mission is the same as that of the Choctaws, who were funding a grass-roots campaign by Reed’s organization to block potential casino competitors.

Nell Rogers, a planner for the Choctaws, told the Senate that the arrangement was never intended as a contribution to support the general anti-tax work of Norquist’s group. Rogers said she understood from Abramoff that the group was willing to serve as a conduit, provided it received a fee.

In an e-mail obtained by the Indian Affairs Committee, Abramoff told Reed: “I need to give Grover something for helping, so the first transfer will be a bit lighter.”

I have not read every one of Jane’s posts, but enough to know that some of the issues she has with the Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is based on ethical concerns. That does not square too well with teaming up with a corrupt far Right ideologue like Grover.




A Health Care Reform Update

This is Ezra Klein take on the plus and minuses of the Senate’s version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Otherwise known as imperfect health-care reform. A few other voices have chimed in striking the it is not perfect, though it is progress: Pandagon has a particularly nicely written post –  If it’s one or the other. BlueOregon does the pluses and minuses ( tons of links) and with a final “it’s still a substantial improvement on the status quo”. The Kaiser Foundation has a piece up that uses a concrete example that some may find worth printing out to explain how the PPAC will affect an average family, The Senate Bill Saves Families Money

Let’s imagine it’s 2016 and you are an administrative assistant, a garage mechanic or perhaps trying your hand at consulting for the first time. You’re married, just turned 40 and have two kids to feed on a household income of around $50,000. You want to buy health insurance, but can’t get it through an employer. How much will it cost? And how much–or how little–protection will it provide?

If reform doesn’t pass, according to Gruber’s figures, the average premium for the non-group market–that is, the market for people buying coverage on their own–will be around $12,000 a year. Right off the bat, you’re spending a fifth of your income on health insurance.

[   ]…So what happens if reform does pass? For starters–and this is no small thing–the insurance company will have to sell you a policy, no matter what pre-existing conditions your family brings to the table. And you’ll know from the start that the policy will cover basic services because the government will be defining a basic benefits package. That package is going to include a broader range of services than the typical non-group policy would without reform. So when your doctor recommends a standard test or procedure, you won’t have to panic it falls into some hidden policy loophole.

But what will that coverage cost? The basic premium is roughly the same, according to Gruber’s calculations that he extrapolated from official Congressional Budget Office estimates. But that $50,000 income means you’re also eligible for federal subsidies. Large federal subsidies. In fact, the government will cover about two-thirds of the price, so that you’re left owing just $3,600.

This chart may also be helpful,

Click here for a larger version of Health Care Cost Projections.

Glenn Greenwald is correct to a large degree (Jane Hamsher is also even though some of her interpretations of the parts of the bill are incorrect) that the PPAC is in some ways a gift to corporate America. What Greenwald describes as a triangulation between Clinton-DNC centrism, the government and corporate insurers/health-care providers. This is not an issue to be minimized, but it is something that needs work and elections, not blown fuses. Democrats, for those that remember directly or from history had a pretty good track record from FDR to the early nineties when we had the so-called Republican Revolution. In other words, the paleo-neocons( starting with Nixon, Kissinger) had a long way to go get their agenda into play. Genuine progressive government for the common good was never likely to happen with the election of one president or a simple majority in the Senate. I’m not an eternal optimist or a pessimist, I’m a pragmatist that does not believe in giving up, ever. I can understand why conservatives continue to contribute nothing to the national discourse, but vitriol – Republican strategist Matalin slurs health reform advocates as ‘health care jihadists.’ ( any thing that pisses off rabid ideologues like Matalin cannot be all bad), but there is no reason to think that progressive Democrats cannot actually pick up seats, Kamikaze Democrats?

I see a meme developing among conservative-ish opponents of healthcare reform:

Megan McArdle: “Democrats are on a political suicide mission; I’m not a particularly accurate prognosticator, but I think this makes it very likely that in 2010 they will lost several seats in the Senate — enough to make it damn hard to pass any more of their signature legislation — and will lose the house outright.”

Sean Trende: “I don’t think they’re close to finding their Grail.  I think the better analogy is probably that they’re close to their Moby Dick. And we all know what happens to Captain Ahab once he finally harpoons his white whale.”

Ross Douthat: “Public opinion has turned dramatically against the bill, and every swing-state Democrat who votes for it is courting political suicide.”

Everyone gets pissed at people getting something they do not deserve – AIG, Bank of America, etc – and the PPAC is not what Obama campaigned on ( though literally millions of Americans lives will be saved), but come election day 2010 the issue will be jobs, jobs and jobs. Bush and Republicans were that giant flushing sound for American jobs for eight years. So if I read the meme correctly from the Right, some centrist Democrats didn’t undo the mess they made in eight years, in two years, vote the corrupt bunglers back in to do some real damage. While some on the liberal spectrum think progressives should stay home in 2010 and let the expert flushers back in because the shiny new bicycle was not shiny enough.

I just noticed a post by Nate Silver regarding the Senate’s bill and corporatism, Insurance Stocks Rise on News of Health Care Deal; What’s It Mean?

The bottom line is that, by the stock market’s estimation, the private health care industry appears as though it will benefit if the Senate enacts its plan. But the benefit — about $16 billion in discounted cashflows — is small as compared to the total magnitude of the program, and likely reflects an increase in the size of their customer base rather than any anticipation of higher profit margins.

update: Senator Obama did campaign on the public-option. The one thing that stood out in my memory was Obama’s promise to make drug companies price their drugs competitively. The Senate bill (which just passed as I write this) does not address the drug pricing issue. As Ezra points out Obama would have done better in terms of consoling liberals if he had not denied he campaigned on the issue and simply said that there was no way a public option would pass the Senate and pleaded the realities of compromise.

Strange Times – National Organization for Women and Conservatives Want to Kill Health Care Reform

Jonathan Cohn on the Senate’s progress on a final health care reform bill, The Starter Home

But let’s not kid ourselves: If and when a bill goes to President Obama for signing, it’s not going to look radically different than the measure Reid put forth today. Ben Nelson, the sixtieth vote, made that clear when he warned that he was prepared to change his vote if the bill came back from conference looking radically different.

That’s frustrating. But it shouldn’t take away from what a huge accomplishment this is. As Dodd reminded people in his remarks, this measure is going to make life better not just for millions, but tens of millions of people. Those without insurance will get it; those with it will have guarantees of financial security they never had before. The government will begin creating an infrastructure for making our health care system focus on better quality care, even as it tries to make the system less expensive.

With the added reminder that like Social Security and Medicare health care reform will get tweaked oer the years and will be a better bill. TPM looks at the Nelson compromise,

But what he did get might still draw the ire of pro-choice activists and legislators. According to a senior Senate leadership aide, under the Nelson compromise, “[i]ndividuals receiving subsidies will have one premium that they pay with two distinct transactions.”

Put another way: If you’re buying insurance with help from the government, and the policy you want to buy covers abortions, you have to write two checks (or authorize two credit card transactions, etc.) for your plan. If the plan costs $1000 a month, and the insurer plans to sequester $50 to put into a pool that covers abortions, you have to make one payment of $950 and a separate payment of $50.

Or put yet another way an individual woman will have to buy separate coverage. While I have no reason to believe that the National Organization for Women is arguing in bad faith they may not understand the full implications of arguing to blow up the bill completely. As Paul Krugman notes, blowing this opportunity will mean trashing health care reform for perhaps a decade,

And here’s what happens if a bill isn’t passed now: Democrats lose seats — maybe a lot of seats — in the 2010 midterms. A weakened President Obama wins reelection, maybe – but even that isn’t certain. No way he has the votes for another try at health care before 2015. Quite possibly, there isn’t another chance until 2021.

Some people say that we should throw it away and start over; is this what they have in mind? Because that’s the reality of what would happen.

If the bill is passed, it will make health insurance available to millions of people who can’t get it now either because of preexisting conditions, or because they just don’t make enough: community rating and the subsidies — remember, we’re talking about almost $900 billion in aid — will make a huge difference. Yes, there will be some people forced to buy insurance by the individual mandate; everything I’ve seen says that the number of people for whom this will be a real hardship will be far less than the shouting suggests.

It’s actually strange the Right is trying to paint the bill as a way to subsidize abortion contrary to the Stupak (D-MI) amendment. NOW says it undermines a woman’s legal right to choose. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Patty Murray (D-WA) are the reliable sources in this case. The bill let’s a woman use her own private funds to buy abortion related coverage. Conservatives will have to oil up the spin machine to explain why an individual American should not be allowed to enter into private contracts with free market entities. In some comment sections and rabid right blogs I’ve already read the argument that tax money located in the mere proximity of someone who might exercise domain over what to do with their own body is forcing tax payers to pay for something they do not like. We do not have tobacco subsidies anymore, but I and every tax payer has to help pay for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program. I personally do not mind, but others might object to helping subsidize the tobacco industry abet indirectly for four more years. Tobacco kills actual human beings, which people like House Republican leader John Boehner have no problem with. I have mixed feelings about nuclear power. The energy itself is clean, but waste disposal remains a genuine problem. Nuclear waste kills and yet regardless of one’s feelings about the issue tax payers are forced to subsidize the nuclear power industry directly or through guaranteed loans. We know that lack of health insurance kills 44,000 Americans a year. We also know that women suffer disproportionately from our current broken system – if conservatives really cared about women and children ( born or unborn) they would support health care reform. As usual, conservatives in reality are pro zygote, but do not care very much about living breathing citizens. AMA president says pregnant women are barred from buying individual health policies

In 39 states, listed here , insurers can turn down anyone for virtually any reason. It can be because you have a pre-existing condition, like cancer or diabetes. And pregnancy almost always counts too, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which represents the state government officials who regulate insurance sold within their borders. So if you’re pregnant and living in one of these 39 states, you’re very likely out of luck in securing individual health coverage. You’ll have to pay for your care out of your own pocket or seek out charitable assistance.

And the coverage isn’t much better in the remaining 11 states. These states have “guaranteed issue” laws that say insurers cannot turn applicants down based on their health or risk status. But there’s a caveat: Even if an insurer must offer you a plan, it can place exclusions on what the plan covers. Typically, the NAIC says, these exclusions last from six to 12 months, which rules out most or all maternity coverage.

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The Peak of Hypocrisy – Defence Spending and Conservative Convictions

Senate Democrats block GOP filibuster

Republicans have said their goal is to delay the bill and force Senate Democrats to go home and face their constituents, hoping for some supporters of the measure to return after New Year’s too fearful to back the legislation.

If the filibuster on the $626 billion defense bill had succeeded, Democrats would have had to scramble to find a way to fund the military operations, because a stopgap funding measure for the Pentagon will expire at midnight Friday. Such an effort to come up with another stopgap defense bill might have disrupted the very tight timeline on health care.

Score one for Harry Reid (D-NV). As the WaPo notes it was not long ago that cons accused Democrats of not supporting the troops when they  delayed a similar defense spending bill trying to get Bush to agree to a withdrawal timetable for Iraq. Democrats signed off on the check and Bush came off looking like the supposed tough leader – later Bush agreed to a timetable that the Iraqi’s insisted on. Bush and Republicans in Congress did not care about the troops as much as they cared about keeping up conservative’s faux image as the tough guy party. Who else would use the troops to hammer Democrats while negotiating with the Iraqis. Conservative Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) wrote on his web site in 2007,

Last week, House Republicans released a report exposing Democrats’ record of failure on national security and notes “there is still time to do the right thing: fully-fund our troops without strings attached.” Whatever Democrats “tactical” reasons are for delaying funding for our troops in harm’s way, their intransigence is having a real and negative impact on the ability of our troops to wage the Global War on Terror.  It is time for Democrats to do the right thing: bring up a clean troop funding bill without strings and without pork.

Leave it to John to fake some outrage at Democrats as Bush spoke out of both sides of his two faces. Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell, a perennial disgrace for his lack of leadership or knowledge, declared on the same 2007 defense spending bill,

“We owe it to our troops to protect them by providing the funding they need without further delay or grandstanding,” McConnell said.

Who was Mitch really looking out for in 2007. Not the boots on the ground in Iraq. He was looking out for the image of the conservative movement. here it is a short two years later and suddenly filibustering a defense spending bill is good for the troops. Because John, Mitch and the tea smokers think getting more Americans better access to health care is a bigger threat to America then the country they previously called “the front in the war on terror”. Conservatives and their bizarre examples of equivalence has been a game for some time, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: Al Qaeda A Greater Threat Than Nazi Germany. Of course we’ve all heard the tea baggers flatly state that health care reform is the same thing as Nazism.