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.

Lake Lodge Winter wallpaper

Lake Lodge Winter wallpaper

Some good back and forth on health-care reform with and without a public option or a Medicare buy-in by Nate Silver. 20 Questions, 20 Responses

I’m happy that this debate seems to be evolving into something a little more civilized on all sides. This is my response to Markos Moulitsas (DK) at Daily Kos and Jon Walker (JW) at FireDogLake who were kind enough to respond to the 20 questions I posed earlier.

Nate is of the side that thinks there are quite a few benefits, real and political, to accepting the health-care reform package without the public option. Kos and Firedoglake are not so inclined. There are lots of comments on the post. Some of them smack of concern trolling, but those aside many good points are made. Ezra Klien looks at the cost controls in the package sans the public option, Five cost controls in the Senate health-care bill

1) Bundled payments: A lot of the focus has been on cost controls that work through the insurance system. But costs aren’t rising because insurance is expensive. They’re rising because health care is expensive. The experiments with bundled payments are an attempt to begin addressing those drivers directly. Right now, hospitals get paid for each procedure they conduct. If you come in with symptoms of a stroke, they get one check for the diagnostic, one check for the stroke medication, one check for the surgery, etc. And if you have to come back in two weeks, they get more money for that, too.

Under bundled payments, the hospital would receive one check for everything related to your stroke over a single period of time. That means they make more money from doing less, rather than more money from doing more. It also gives them an incentive to coordinate care when you’re out of the hospital…

Again, some of the comments are worth reading.