Archive for July 31st, 2009

by JC

— so says Paul Krugman as he describes Max Baucus’ drive to find some votes in the Senate Finance committee.

Krugman points to the fact that neighboring Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, is the 8th most conservative member of the Senate:

Aside from the fact that Enzi, like Baucus, represents a mountainous state with very few people, it’s hard to see what possible common ground Baucus thinks he’ll find.

The central fact of the health care debate is that there is essentially no agreement on anything — values, philosophy, vision of how the world works — between the two sides. Progressives want universal coverage, and see an expanded government role as essential to getting there. Conservatives believe, in the face of all evidence, that free markets are the answer.

A fool’s errand if I ever did see one. And of course, Enzi is part of Baucus’ infamous Gang of Six.

But it points to the fundamental problem of “getting to yes,” in that there really is no point of compromise that can bridge the chasm between progressives and conservatives–even if you take single payer off the table so that the starting point for compromise is a public plan.

And the compromise position between a public plan and a private solution is not a coop framework. That would sort of be like saying that the result of mixing red with blue can be green, when everybody knows it is purple.

And I have a treat for you, if you click on the full article link below!
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by JC

Rick Gold over at at Montana Legal Eagle reminds us today that the Montana Constitution also guarantees “the rights of pursuing life’s basic necessities” to all people in the state. His recent article, “Security vs Liberty in Missoula MT” gets right to the point:

So maybe, the real issue is this: Missoulians giving up more of our essential liberties on the pretext that our police don’t have enough laws at their disposal to deal with aggressive and/or intimidating behaviors, downtown (only during the summer, of course).

Well, in Missoula, we simply call this situation mere political bull pucky playing ….

Bull pucky indead! Add a Montana State Constitution violation to the list of travesties that the proposed ordinances are going to foist on Montanans. So not only is the sleeping in public ordinance an 8th Amendment violation, it most likely violates the state Constitution.

And welcome to the local blogosphere, Rick. I’ve seen your emails come across the intertubes over the years, but hadn’t seen your digs yet. For those who don’t know Rick, he’s been waging a personal battle here for quite a while:

“My purpose with this blog is to help flesh out the issues in equal protection in Montana’s Court system for low income people in protecting Montanan’s Civil Rights.”

And you can read all about it over at Montana Legal Eagle’s Blog.

And don’t forget that Aug. 12th is the next date for the City Council to take up its two new ordinances in Committee, I believe. Nothing up on the city website yet.

by Pete Talbot

I picked up Thursday’s Missoulian and the Missoula Independent at the same time yesterday. Both had lead stories on Sen. Baucus and health care reform.

The sub-head on the Indy piece reads: Is Sen. Max Baucus the sellout the left portrays or the savvy centrist poised to finally reform health care?

They teach folks in law school to never ask a question in the courtroom if they don’t know the answer. After reading Mike Dennison’s story in the Missoulian, I can safely say I know the answer to the Indy question. Baucus is a sellout.

Here’s how he sold us out this time: there will be no public option, there will be no requirement for businesses to provide health insurance and there will be no tax increase for the wealthiest Americans to help pay for expanded coverage.

And here’s another (probably) rhetorical question: can anyone beat Baucus in the Democratic primary in 2014? The pundits I spoke to say no way. Even though Baucus has failed his constituents, he just has too darned much campaign money.

This all makes me sad. Very sad.

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