Black Thursday

Nancy Pelosi says there aren’t enough votes in the House to pass the Senate health care reform bill.

Josh Marshall: “In other words, plug pulled. Health care reform over.” That’s how I see it also. Greg Sargent is more hopeful:

The key is that Pelosi said the bill can’t pass the House “at this time” or “right now.” What’s more, this doesn’t address another possibility being studied by House leaders right now: Passing the Senate bill while simultaneously creating a mechanism that would make it possible, or even mandatory, to fix the bill later through reconciliation, meaning those fixes would only require 51 votes in the Senate.

The roller coaster is too much for me. I want to go somewhere quiet where there are puppies and kittens to play with. Let me know when it’s over.

In another blow to progressive hopes, the Supreme Court today overruled prior rulings that allowed government to restrict how corporations and special interest fund candidates. They can now spend all the money they want expressly calling for candidates’ election or defeat. And just in time for the midterms!

Once again, Justice Kennedy was the swing voter who sided with the troglodytes Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Dissenting were Stevens, Bader Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor.

26 thoughts on “Black Thursday

  1. I think the House Dems are making a big mistake, we’ll see. I say if your gonna pull the plug than pull it, no sense in fucking around for another year.

    I like how the Supreme Court’s Corporate power giveaway decision comes two days after the MA. election, any politics involved?

  2. Like many, I was somewhat on the fence about HCR – I fortunately did not personally need it to pass, and its horrible compromises made a lot of good progressives nervous or even against it. That said, I wanted it to pass, simply to move the ball forward, help others, help the Democratic cause, and so on.

    I didn’t like Brown’s win in Massachusetts the other day, but he did win fair and square.

    In contrast to these two events, I am completely horrified by the Supreme Court ruling. This is an unalloyed disaster.

  3. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the US has just become a fascist (corporatist) country. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us now.

  4. I read somewhere that when Germany invaded Poland, some of the defenders attacked the Nazi force on horseback. They lost because they failed to recognize that warfare had changed. The House democrats are following ‘conventional wisdom’ which dictates a run to the center and do as little as possible while positioning yourself to take both sides of the issue. Practice in front of a mirror –

    For a liberal crowd : “I’m in favor of health care but, I thought the Senate bill was insufficient.”

    Now again, for a conservative crowd, “I’m in favor of health care, but I thought the Senate bill was excessive.”

    Great! Since you didn’t let the matter come up for a vote you got your ass covered and you can take any position you want. God forbid, if you had actually DONE something you would have to explain it. The political tactic that worked for decadesis now as suicidal as Polish horsemen charging Nazi tanks.

    Is I suggested in a lengthy comment yesterday, CONVENTIONAL WISDOM doesn’t apply! Americans in Oct. elected a Democrat in upstate NY in a district that was GOP owned for a century. Americans elected a card-carying teabagger to the Senate in Massachusetts. The ‘better’ candidate won in both cases – ‘better’ meaning more engaged with the people of the district/state.

    Brown cared enough to show up for campaigning. Coakley didn’t. Voters are throwing out phony candidates – the ideology is NOT important. You can be FOR HCR and get elected – you can be AGAINST HCR and get elected. But you have to convince the voters you give a flyin’ f$%.

    Conventional wisdom dictates that you position yourself to be simultaneously FOR and AGAINST HCB and the voters will not allow it. When a teabagger comes along and sounds real and sincere and interested in the voter (and Brown did a good job of that) – he will clean your clock at the polls. Conventional wisdom won’t work, because the independent voter, who makes up 43% of the electorate, is voting character, not issues. If you were against HCR from the start, you can safely run on that. If you voted FOR HCR and you wimp out on the issue, the independent voter is going to smell sleazy politician – and you go down if flames.

    The voters rebellion has been going on since since 2006 – but nobody has figured it out. The voter isn’t more liberal since 2006 and they did not turn conservative in the new decade. For the past 5 years they have become disgusted and nauseated with the stench of a 2-faced politician – who says one thing and does another.

    We are way past the point where you can say, “I voted for it before I voted against it.” Not if you want to get elected. Running for the center is the most dangerous thing you can do – because the voters want representatives who stand for something and they don’t much care what it is. If you have no backbone, you better find one, buy one, or steal one before November.

  5. As someone elsewhere on the Interwebs already pointed out, of course the Teapartiers are silent on this appalling decision by the SCOTUS. I guess it’s in line with their whole Randian/libertarian “the rich are rich cause they’re better, so let em do whatever they want” train of thought.

    One more thing to mobilize the rest of us, though.

  6. I think the corporate powers are working so effectively in the shadows with their lobbyists that they won’t jeopardize their position of power by coming to the light. I personally think it would be the kiss of death for any candidate to be perceived as a bought and paid for lackey for any corporate giant…Who’s going to vote for Bank of America’s or Goldman Sachs’ candidate? The prospect of mega corporations funding a candidate is frightening, but I don’t think the reality will be as bad as the potential.

    There’s an awful lot of us po folk who are carrying some major resentments against corporate America and wouldn’t hesitate for an instant to vote opposite of what some corporations might endorse and financially support.

  7. I’m with Josh, the Dems are sitting out. They will deliver, compromise and give to republicans but they won’t deliver for the people that voted for them.

    Yep, the Supreme Court turned our government into corporate run brothel.

  8. I think the Democrats lose everthing in the next 4 years including the whitehouse. War with Iran and Yemen. Zero taxes for the rich. No Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Why such they worry since there are enough old fools to vote for them and enough young fools who don’t vote.

  9. Breathe, people. Pelosi didn’t say HCR is dead, she said she doesn’t have the votes to pass the (seriously flawed) Senate bill yet. That’s just stating the obvious: The progressives won’t commit to passing the Senate bill until it’s clear there is no way forward that gets them something better. I wouldn’t either, in their place. If the legislative options for passing the current bill while sending a reconciliation bill to improve it over to the Senate don’t work out, I would not be surprised to see the progressive caucus bow to circumstance and vote for what they can get.

    HCR has taken a gut shot, but it’s a long way from dead, so everybody chill. Write your congressperson, but chill.

  10. Evan, my congressperson is Bill Posey. Posey is a ‘Teabagger”.
    I wrote him recently, the response was a form letter spewing crap about the evils of socialism. My district is full of people who continuously vote against their own best interests, but are pissed that they’re getting screwed over.The main industry here in Orlando(Kissimmee), is tourism. The unemployment rate is large due to the drop in tourism, the amount of money the tourists who do visit spend, and due to a glut of recently built homes sitting vacant because people bought at or near the top of the market, and can’t afford the payments.The glut means no new construction, the bottom falling out of the real estate market means no home equity loans for other projects that people used to do, like vacations, buying cars, etc.
    Local politicians are trying to get hi-tech jobs going here, but the companies they are courting are “defense” contractors. You’d think they’d be trying to get some”green” stuff going, but the “green stuff” they want has nothing to do with sustainable Ag or energy. Some day we will learn that you can’t eat gold.

    Central Florida begs for innovation. Aquaculture and green energy projects could launch a new economy, but apparently there is more money to be made in “defense”.

    “one more thing to mobilize the rest of us ,though”
    Joan, I think progressives are like cats, and righties are like dogs.
    Cats may sit in a group, but the dogs run in packs; the cats sit around and hiss at each other while the dogs rule the street.They react to the “silent whistle” we cats can’t hear. We may be smarter, but smart without action is just as bad as dumb.
    How does one mobilize a bunch of cats?

  11. Thanks Supreme Court!
    R.I.P. U.S.A.
    Hello C.S.A. No, not Confederate, but “Corporate States of America.”
    Each state will have it’s corporate sponsor. It’ll be “The State of Exxon (formerly known as Texas),” and The State of Blackwater (formerly known as North Carolina).” And they’ll duke it out as for who they’ll want as President.
    Meanshile, China can, through some corporation, create a true “Manchurian Candidate” to pay for, and win election, as POTUS.
    Corporations are now 1st class citizens. We 2nd class “citizens” will still be allowed to vote, depending on credit rating, an how much we contribute to the corporate lobbying kitty – I mean, the corporation doesn’t want to pay ALL of the advertizing and lobbying fees! We “other” citizens should have to contribute to our country, too!.
    We are sell, and truly finished. Unless Congress can have the balls to get a Constitutional Amendment passed that declares that “Corporations Are Not Entitled to the Same Rights as Humans,” and you know that ain’t gonna happen! And even if they do, it still has to be voted on around the country and, guess what? The corporations can pay for all the advertizing they want to make sure that people vote against their best interest once again.
    Game. Set. MATCH!!!

  12. Oops, should be ‘”well” and truly finished’ not ‘”sell and truly finished.’
    Freudian slip, anyone?

  13. How does one mobilize a bunch of cats?

    The sound of a can opener? Problem is, I’m not sure that’s a metaphor for anything useful, politically. “Gettin’ stuff done,” perhaps. Congressional Dems are perceived, perhaps 70 percent correctly, as not getting anything done in the past year. A cat can stare at a dithering object for a very long time, but it ain’t a mobilized cat then, is it?

  14. Bloody hell. So another right wing jerk beat another incompetent lefty in an election. I think the commentator Doug Hughes is really right on with the idea that voters are looking for officials who appear to care about what they are doing, not taking vacations *!!!! this vacation was over Christmas! Isn’t it reasonable to have a vacation over Christmas?** Their was an article in Thursday’s paper here in Montana about how residents of the county south of mine are asking local government employees and county officials to sign the following “pledge”

    Among the highlights are that local officials should ignore the EPA in the future (the EPA is not constitutionally mandated), ignore any law restricting access to firearms, the sheriff should create a county wide militia to protect them from enemies (both foreign and domestic), and require any federal employee to have written permission from the county sheriff before speaking with a citizen of the county. Have a look at the pdf – its a hoot!

    The point is – their is a whole lot of crazy around rural Montana (is it the water?) if Doug is correct – and people just want candidates to be straight and honest with them then we could just see some wackjobs coming out of the ground right now. Buckle up people, its going to be a bumpy ride.

  15. Chief, there are several interesting articles and videos posted at “Democracy Now!” related to the last several Maha postings.

    Joan R, Yep, a can opener. My cats come a runnin’; the sound of the plastic wrapper on sliced turkey does the trick also.
    Thanks for the laugh!

    • The thing with cats and can openers — Miss Lucy has lived with me now for about five years, and the moist food I give her has always come out of those single-serving cans with a tab top opener. But when I open a can of beans for myself she comes running. I assume whoever she lived with before opened her food with can openers. But do cats have long-term memory? Or is this a kind of evolved instinctual behavior, the way most border collies try to herd everything even if they’ve never seen a sheep?

  16. Well, things do look pretty grim, I’ll give you that. A commenter here wrote about his/her Ukrainian/Tartar heritage, I’ve got pretty close to the same. Ukrainan/Slovak. At times like these I wish I had more of my late mother’s fighting Irish. Instead of getting out my grandfather’s kindjal, I tend to get sullen or schmaltzy, it’s just in my nature.

    But, I spent too much of the horrific Bush years under a dark cloud and I’d rather keep fighting than go back. It’s been a “emotional roller coaster” and its time to lick our wounds, but it’s not time to quit. Most of us are old enough to have seen this movie before in various guises. Maybe like my wife says every other day, “We’re too stupid to survive.” Our intelligence is limited, and the elements of our darker nature, stupidity, anger and bat shit craziness seem in infinite supply. But, that’s probably always been the case.

    The corporations are going to have a field day, but I recall some Czech friends I had in college. They had scores of jokes ridiculing Soviet propaganda and I got the distinct impression that most Czechs accepted it as part of the landscape, but saw through it readily. Sooner or later, corporate propaganda will be like that. (Well, I’ve got to cling to a little hope, don’t I?)

    I don’t disagree with Doug Hughes’ point at all, but it reminded me of an old documentary I saw about the battle of Stalingrad. (I knew someone who actually fought there in the Soviet army by the way.) There was footage of a formation of cossacks with on horseback with their kindjals drawn, overrunning a line of German soldiers, who by then, had run out of ammunition and were resisting with bayonets. They didn’t stand much of a chance. My friend was directing artillery. He said every available gun in Russia was there. If there is a point to this, it is that sometimes you have to fight with everything you have. They did, and broke the back of an invincible army.

    Whoa! Okay, that was the schmaltzy part, obviously. I’m going to play my bodhran for an hour or so, it’s too early for the Luksusowa.

    Buck up, buddies!

  17. “When I open a can of beans for myself she comes a running”
    When I open a can of beans for myself EVERYONE around here runs………..

  18. goatherd,
    That Ukrainian/Russian would be me!
    Luksosowa is good stuff! I used to drink it, back when I could afford it….
    Now, all I can afford is rot-gut.
    btw- My mothers family spent 50 days in a shell hole during the Battle of Stalingrad. Because my Grandmother was half–German, they were allowed to excape with the Wehrmacht. They had to, if my Grandfather had stayed, he would have been shot on the spot for deserting the Red Army Tractor Plant, where he was a foreman, when he decided to stay with his family and try to help them survive, than report to the factory and be killed.
    I’d grab my bandura, but I can’t play one. 🙂

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