Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Saturday, March 20th, 2010.

Wingnuts Threaten Congress

Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Josh Marshall writes that “crowds of anti-Reform/Tea Party activists” are going through the halls of the Longworth office building “shouting slogans and epithets at Democratic members of Congress.” Also, “We’re now getting reports that other protestors yelled ‘nigger’ at Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).” And they think government is oppressing them.

Think Progress reports that protesters outside the Capitol Building are carrying signs threatening gun violence if health care reform passes.

I’d say they are behaving like baboons, but that would be an insult to baboons.

Update: Think Progress reports that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MD) was spit on by a protester. Several reports say they called Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) a “faggot.” Class to the end.

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“Deem and Pass” Rejected

Obama Administration

The House Rules Committee has rejected the “deem and pass” process and instead will put the Senate bill up for a vote tomorrow.

Here’s the plan: There will be three votes. The first is on a resolution that will set the terms for the debate. The second vote is on the amendments, and the third is to the Senate bill. The idea is that by voting for the amendments first the House wants to make it clear it is only passing the Senate bill as amended.

Meanwhile, the White House is working on an executive order meant to mollify the Stupak crowd. I hope it simply clarifies the existing bill and doesn’t open a door to further restrictions.

Update: I’m getting frantic emails from various feminist organizations calling for people to call the White House to stop the “capitulation” to Stupak. We don’t know what’s in the executive order yet. I suspect it’s just going to re-state the status quo, but we’ll see.

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Only 30,000

Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

The big whoop-dee-doo Tea Party anti-health care reform rally in Washington today has drawn only 30,000 people by wingnut estimates Given their normal rate of inflation, this means maybe three dozen people showed up.

Rachel Maddow said on television last night that the Movement was losing steam. It appears it has.

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Expect Insanity

abortion, Congress, Health Care, Obama Administration, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

First, everyone please call 1-888-876-6242. That’s the Families USA number that will route your pro-HCR phone call to your representative. Read about the right-wing threats against Families USA here.

Also, please note that the next several hours before tomorrow’s vote are going to be insane.

The anti-abortion block in the House remains the biggest threat. Steve Benen and Brian Beutler explain the contortions Nancy Pelosi is going through to get some of the Stupak gang on board. In a nutshell, the deal may be to allow for a separate vote on putting the Stupak amendment language back into the House bill.

Note that such a vote, if it happens, is extremely unlikely to pass, but that hasn’t stopped Jane Hamsher from using the issue to rally “progressives” against the bill.

Let us all reflect on how grand it is to have purity of principles when you’ve got plenty of money and insurance to pay for your cancer treatments.

Steve Benen writes that “There are still a few liberal Dems who voted for reform in November, including Massachusetts’ Stephen Lynch, who intend to vote with right-wing Republicans because they don’t see it as liberal enough.” If the more-progressive-than-thou types would stop grandstanding and get behind the bill, Pelosi wouldn’t need any of the Stupak votes. This is a wonderful example of how grandstanding is an indulgence progressives would be better off without most of the time.

If you aren’t disgusted enough yet, check out this Kate Pickert post at, which begins:

Marcelas Owens, a young boy who’s been appearing on TV and at press conferences with Democrats who are trying to sell their health care plan, is a new fascination for some right-wing pundits, who have been saying incredibly cruel things to and about the Owens’ family and tragic history. Owens’ mother died in 2007 of pulmonary hypertension – a rare condition that requires constant expensive medical care – after she lost her fast food restaurant job and her health insurance.

Pay special attention to the discussion in the comments on What Would Jesus Do about health care reform. My favorite:

Jesus wouldn’t go around forcing people to pay for someone else’s healthcare, either. Forced charity is theft, and it is not a Christian concept.

So who cares if a couple of talk-show hosts say something “mean” when the people they’re opposed to are committing evil?

In a just universe, the person who wrote that would spend eternity copying and re-copying the Beatitudes on parchment with a bad felt-tip pen.

Finally, Dana Milbank says a true thing — running on a promise to repeal health care reform is unlikely to be a successful strategy for Republicans.

Beyond that, it’s doubtful that opposition to the measure will ever again be as high as it is now. Fox News polling found that 45 percent of voters would favor repeal, while 47 percent say leave the reforms alone or add to them. With the big insurance subsidies years away, the initial changes stemming from the legislation would be relatively modest — and that should come as a surprise to an American public told by Republican foes of the legislation to expect a socialist takeover of the United States.

What Americans would see — or at least what Democratic ad makers say they’d put on Americans’ TV screens — are the benefits that would take effect this year: tax credits that encourage small businesses to offer health coverage; a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the prescription-drug “donut hole” (the checks would start going out June 15); allowing young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health policies; and, above all, a ban on refusing coverage to children with preexisting conditions.

There will certainly be ads this fall saying Republican Congressman X voted against tax breaks for small business and voted to deny Junior his life-saving treatments. These modest changes to the health system probably wouldn’t be widespread and noticeable enough to limit Democratic losses at a time of 10 percent unemployment. But, at the very least, voters would see nothing to justify the Republicans’ apocalyptic predictions.

I think that’s true, and I suspect enough of the troglodytes understand this is true, which is why they will stop at nothing to kill health care reform.

Update: I keep reading that there are something like 206 certain “yes” votes, and ten more are needed to pass. Wikipedia says there are 255 Dems in the House. If every Dem not in the Stupak gang would vote for the bill, then a compromise with Stupak would not be necessary to pass the bill. So why are people angry with Pelosi or Obama or me about Stupak? Why not get angry with the other holdouts?

Update update: It seems the Stupak attempt to use the HCR bill to further restrict abortion has been killed already. Everyone can stop hyperventilating.

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