Archive for July 5th, 2009

by jhwygirl

…and for that ever-so-brief reprise from Michael Jackson.

Plenty’s been written out there – hell, some people are even wondering why she did it. Me? I merely grateful and hope it is a harbinger of her truly floating down that stream like a dead fish.

NYTimes opinion section had two great pieces (at least) since her bizarre press conference, both of which were quite entertaining. I wanted to share.

Gail Collins’ Sarah’s Straight Talk included a few gems, including this one:

Smiling manically, she looked like a parody of the woman who knocked the Republicans dead at their convention. She babbled about her parents’ refrigerator magnet, which apparently had a lot of wise advice. And she recalled her visit with the troops in Kosovo, whose dedication and determination inspired her to … resign.

Then there was Maureen Dowd’s Now, Sarah’s Folly, who kicks it off with this gem:

Sarah Palin showed on Friday that in one respect at least, she is qualified to be president.

Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy.

Usually we don’t find that exquisite battiness in our leaders until they’ve been battered by sordid scandals like Watergate (Nixon), gnawing problems like Vietnam (L.B.J.), or scary threats like biological terrorism (Cheney).

Good funny reads for your Sunday evening enjoyment. Anyone got more that shouldn’t be missed? Please, add them in the comments. I’m in need of some funnies.

On another note – my prediction is that there is another scandal brewing in Wasilla – which is probably why she is probably why she is looking forward to heading out to sea.

by jhwygirl

Figure this as Part II of a previous post, titled Beware of Public Option Smokescreens.

A little over a week ago, Jane Hamsher, principle blogger behind firedoglake whipped out with what is being called The Whip Project. It is/was a call to action for progressives to contact any and all Blue Dog Democrats and gain commitments from them for meaningful health care reform that includes a strong public option. They’ve had some success, most recently gaining commitments from Senator Kay Hagan (North Carolina), Sen. Ben Nelson (Nebraska) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (New York) for strong public options or a no vote.

Many advocacy groups have taken up television ads in Washington DC and the home states of those electeds being targeted. This has obviously caused some consternation amongst those Blue Dogs and their protective staff. So much so that one primary Blue Dog – Montana’s very own Sen. Max Baucus – agreed to meet with one such group (Laborers’ International Union of North America) upon their promise to take down an ad it had been airing.

Other groups, too, have removed ads with promises of meetings. Big groups have conceded their ads (for now): AARP, the American Medical Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Federation of American Hospitals and AdvaMed. As Roll Call reports (sorry, subscription required):

Several major industry stakeholders, however, will be noticeably absent from the advertising airwaves over the July Fourth recess….AARP, the American Medical Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Federation of American Hospitals and AdvaMed all say they are sitting out this recess when it comes to advertising campaigns.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America will be running positive ads touting health care reform.

The groups have been holding their fire in response to threats from the staff of Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and White House aides, who have warned that any groups that run ads attacking reform efforts before the bills have been crafted would lose their seats at the bargaining table.

Say what?! More threats? A month ago Baucus warned K Street to stay away from anti-health care reform electeds.

At least his staff are equal opportunity threateners (sic), right?

Not to be outdone, Obama has gotten into the fray, too: Washington Post reports that just yesterday, in a strategy call with half a dozen Senate and House Democrats, Obama complained that liberal advocacy groups ought to drop their attacks on Democratic lawmakers and devote their energy to promoting passage of comprehensive legislation:

We shouldn’t be focusing resources on each other,” Obama opined in the call, according to three sources who participated in or listened to the conversation. “We ought to be focused on winning this debate.

Boy – what to say about that? Most doctors and nurses agree – hell, even the AMA recently came out saying the same – that a public option was necessary for meaningful health care reform.

What’s increasing clear is that getting that meaningful public option means whipping a whole bunch of Dems into committing to a strong public option.

So why Obama would be critical of progressive groups seeking to ensure, essentially, meaningful health care reform leaves me a little perplexed.

Half-assed reform-in-name only isn’t why I voted for Obama – and I’m pretty darn sure it isn’t why a whole bunch of others voted for him either. There are other reasons, certainly, why I cast that vote for Obama – but let me just say that breaking another (Gitmo, anyone?) “big one” would be a tremendous disappointment.

On another note – that WaPo article mentioned that in that Friday-before-the-Saturday July-4th-holiday call, leaders of both chambers expressed optimism that they will hold floor votes on legislation to overhaul the $2.2 trillion health system before Congress breaks in early August.

So what do I take out of all of this? I take out of it that continual calls and emails to Baucus, Tester and Rehberg are having some effect. I take out of it that donations, however nominal that you can muster, to organizations like Democracy for America, Move On, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Progressive Change Campaign Committee – groups that are keeping the pressure up and have the infrastructure to
mount the massive effort needed – are helpful also.

Let them know politics have changed. That they were elected to represent, and that they represent you – not PhRMA – and that failing to recognize that will have dire consequences for their re-election.

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