Tag Archives: Health Care Reform

Sarah Palin, Influence and Influencing

STEPHON JOHNSON: So, Sarah Palin wants us to hold her to a different standard than she holds others? Why am I not surprised?

CHRIS PUMMER: All of the events of the last two weeks probably don’t shift any opinion about Sarah Palin. Not an inch for anybody.

AKIE BERMISS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ultimately we, the people, are responsible for those we put in power. In our representative democracy the masses are the king-makers. Yes, they may be being manipulated by the powerful few on high, but they can only be manipulated if they allow themselves to be manipulated. I say all this because I don’t think its fair to simply blame Sarah Palin for being Sarah Palin. While I think she is a deplorable person politically and probably a dangerous person to give any kind of serious power, I also think that Sarah Palin was created by some subset of “the people” and, ultimately, she therefore represents some subset of our society. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

McDonald’s and Health Care

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: After threatening to drop its health insurance plan for its lowest-paid employees, McDonalds has asked for and gotten an exemption from the federal government to keep offering the plan, despite the fact that it doesn’t meet the new health care law requirement that 85% of the premiums paid go toward providing health services to the payees. After seeing the plan, however, I have to ask: who, exactly, is benefiting from this, or has McDonalds discovered yet another way to fleece the poor?

DAN SZYMBORSKI: Perhaps McDonald’s can develop their new insurance policy. If you’re working at McDonald’s and probably eating McDonald’s food. you probably don’t have a long to live anyway. After tasting a Big Mac, I think Sarah Palin should swoop in because McDonald’s greasy food is akin to a culinary death panel. Continue reading

Posted in Humor, News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Democratic Loyalty

AKIE BERMISS: Last week, after Vice President Biden’s exhortation of the Democratic base, there was great deal of blow back from liberals across the board. I spent nearly an hour on twitter arguing with a friend and fellow-blogger as to whether liberals should or should not abandon the party. Biden was characteristically crass and undiplomatic in his speech and what stuck in many Democrats craws was his demand that we all “stop whining.” While I think that may have been quite possibly the worst way to put it, I do basically agree with the sentiment. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Aesthetics of Pledge to America

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: The Wall Street Journal informs me that President Obama will be making a tour shortly “to attempt to dismantle the Republican party’s “Pledge To America” governing platform.” Attempt to dismantle? Either the WSJ has a poor view of our President, or Obama has really lost his edge. Face it, folks; this thing can be dismantled by a hay-fever-ridden twentysomething with an 80s-vintage word processor. Allow me to demonstrate.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Lots of people have commented on the meaning behind the written content of the Pledge to America, but I’d like to talk about the pictures that have been included in the downloadable .pdf document. Does it strike anyone else as odd that 15 of the 48 pages in are devoted to pictures? Is this a doctrine or a children’s book? Continue reading

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dennis Kucinich

HOWARD MEGDAL Kudos, I suppose, to Dennis Kucinich for announcing that he would support President Obama’s health care legislation on Wednesday morning.

However, if Kucinich were most interested in progressive legislation, rather than his moment in the sun, he wouldn’t have needed convincing.

DAN SZYMBORSKI: Kucinich may be a complete pain at time for the Democratic party, but in a two-party system, parties are always going to have a struggle between their most and least centrist members on legislation that can get a majority instead of merely a plurality.

In Kucinich’s case, he’s always had a streak of idealism that has been at odds with pragmatism. However, being a stubborn hold-out isn’t exactly necessarily at odds with being pragmatic in a lot of cases.

JESSICA BADER: While Kucinich’s decision to vote for the healthcare reform bill is welcome news for all but the Jane Hamsher wing of the progressive movement, it doesn’t let him off the hook for his vote against the original healthcare reform bill that passed the House last November, or his vote against the House’s version of financial regulatory reform, or his vote against cap-and-trade. All of those bills passed the House by extremely slim margins, and there is a strong case to be made that by opposing those pieces of legislation from the left, Kucinich indirectly pushed their content to the right. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Health Care Reform Bill Posted

JESSICA BADER: The Great Democratic Freakout of 2010 appears to have run its course as the final preparations for Thursday’s bipartisan summit on health care reform are made. Perhaps bolstered by the profoundly unsurprising revelation that a big chunk of the opposition to reform comes from those who were never going to vote for a Democrat anyway, Congressional leaders have committed to the strategy that was the obvious path to take once the Democrats lost the 60th Senate seat needed to end a filibuster – have the House of Representatives pass the health care reform bill that already passed the Senate in December and use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to iron out some of the differences between that bill and the one that the House passed in November.

HOWARD MEGDAL: The bill released by the White House Monday occupies a very different political space than the ones passed by the House and Senate, respectively. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

On Health Care and Compromising

JESSICA BADER: There has been a lot about the healthcare reform debate, especially in the Senate, that has frustrated me to no end – the objections by conservative Democrats to even a weakened public option, the immense leverage that a single Senator can have over the entire process, the way that filibusters have gone from a rarity to the norm, the way that opponents of abortion rights have used the debate to impose further restrictions on access to a legal medical procedure – but in the end, I cannot condemn the tactics used by those who have shaped the legislation in ways contrary to what I would like. My basic philosophy of political negotiation is to take what you can get, but up until the take-it-or-leave-it moment fight like hell to narrow the gap between the world as it is and the world as you’d like it to be. That seems to me to be exactly what Ben Nelson did.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It’s never made much sense to me that people find it difficult to sell the idea that elections matter. But clearly, the re-election of Joe Lieberman in 2006 may well have cost Americans an incalculable amount of money, since Ned Lamont was certain to be for a public option. More concretely, Lieberman instead of Lamont has clearly resulted in the inability of those 55-64 to buy into Medicare. These most vulnerable in the health care system were set adrift by Joe Lieberman. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments