Pini di Roma

Via Appia antica

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the road fell out of use; Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration. A new Appian Way was built in parallel with the old one in 1784 as far as the Alban Hills region. The new road is the Via Appia Nuova (“New Appian Way”) as opposed to the old section, now known as Via Appia Antica.

Pini di Roma (English “Pines of Rome”) is a 1924 work by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, and is considered one of the masterpieces of the Roman Trilogy of symphonic poems along with Fontane di Roma and Feste Romane. Each section portrays the location of pine trees in the city during different parts of the day.

The first performance was given under conductor Bernardino Molinari in the Augusteo, Rome, on December 14, 1924.

1 “I pini di Villa Borghese” (Pines of the Villa Borghese)
2 “Pini presso una catacomba” (Pines near a catacomb)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan.The Symphony Hall, Osaka,1984

3 “I pini del Gianicolo” (Pines of the Janiculum)

4 “I pini della Via Appia” (Pines of the Appian Way)


144 Responses to “Pini di Roma”

  1. blessedistruth Says:

    I’ve never seen a conductor conduct this way before.


  2. blessedistruth Says:

  3. blessedistruth Says:

  4. blessedistruth Says:

    Cuando calienta el sol

    Cuando calienta el sol aquí en la playa,
    Siento tu cuerpo vibrar cerca de mi;
    Es tu palpitar, es tu cara, es tu pelo,
    Son tus besos, me estremezco, oh, oh, oh!
    Cuando calienta el sol aquí en la playa,
    Siento tu cuerpo vibrar cerca de mi,
    Es tu palpitar, tu recuerdo, mi locura,
    Mi delirio, me estremezco, oh oh oh!
    Cuando calienta el sol.
    ..aquí en la playa…
    ..cerca de mi…
    Es tu palpitar…(se repite)

  5. blessedistruth Says:

    Victor Jara has one of those voices that just brings me to tears.

    I’ve often said that in 1973 in Chile, I would have been a communist, too.

    And I’d still be one, if communism worked.

    But it doesn’t.

    Free will is a gift from God.

    I’m not an extremist, but this is a natural law.

    Break it at your own peril.

    Even my vanity plate says, “UNIDO”

    As in “El Pueblo Unido.”

    As in “The people united” can never be defeated.

    That cuts both ways.

    I get pulled over a lot.

    And they always let me go.

    Having said that …

  6. blessedistruth Says:

  7. blessedistruth Says:

    On the morning of September 12, Jara was taken, along with thousands of others, as a prisoner to the Chile Stadium (renamed the Estadio Víctor Jara in September 2003).

    In the hours and days that followed, many of those detained in the stadium were tortured and killed there by the military forces.

    Jara was repeatedly beaten and tortured; the bones in his hands were broken as were his ribs. [4].

    Fellow political prisoners have testified that his captors mockingly suggested that he play guitar for them as he lay on the ground with broken hands.

    Defiantly, he sang part of “Venceremos” (We Will Win), a song supporting the Popular Unity coalition[4].

    After further beatings, he was machine-gunned on September 16, his body dumped on a road on the outskirts of Santiago and then taken to a city morgue.

    Jara’s wife Joan was allowed to come and retrieve his body from the site and was able to confirm the physical damage he had endured.


  8. blessedistruth Says:

    I remember back in late 2006/early 2007 when Bill and I were in the midst of relocating.

    One of the women who was helping us was from Central/South America.

    And I was playing Victor Jara and Inti Illimani while we were working.

    She said, “If we were caught playing this music …”

    And then she motioned as if her throat was being cut.

    The lesson that I took away was that we have much to fear from extremists.

    Extremists on the right.

    But just as much to fear from extremists on the left.

    Maybe more.

    I think it depends on the time and the place.

  9. blessedistruth Says:

    February 13, 2010

    A lot of deletions and additions.

  10. blessedistruth Says:

  11. blessedistruth Says:

  12. blessedistruth Says:

    Kyl: Dems have already decided how to force health bill through

    He quoted a recent Wall Street Journal article that asserted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has “set the stage” for using reconciliation to pass the bill.

    That controversial legislative tactic could allow the bill to pass the Senate with 51 votes instead of 60 as usually required to break a filibuster.

    “What that means is they’ve devised the process by which they can jam the bill through that the president has supported in the past, without Republican ideas in it,” Kyl told CNN host Candy Crowley.

    “Reconciliation is not the process for comprehensive bills like this. It’s for balancing the budget…

    I don’t know why we would be having a bipartisan summit down at the White House if they’ve already decided on this other process by which they’re going to jam the bill through.”

    Instead, Kyl called for redrafting the legislation from scratch — another common GOP claim in recent weeks — and argued that it should start with limits on medical malpractice lawsuits.

    “It’s not a matter of taking this or that out of the Senate-passed bill or the House-passed bill, it’s a matter of starting with basic principles and going one step at a time, solving particular problems,” Kyl said.

    “For example, everyone believes there’s this ‘jackpot justice’ system we have and we need medical malpractice reform.”

  13. blessedistruth Says:

    At this point, the Obama team is insisting they will show up on the 25th with a final Democratic health reform bill in hand, and the House Republicans, backed incidentally by the considerable weight of the American people, are demanding that Obama and the Democrats disavow their backroom health care takeover.

    This would certainly be entertaining political theatre, but the stakes transcend politics, pitting “we, the people” against Obama’s big government leviathan.

    In response to six months of fierce public rejection of their agenda, the Democrats have mashed the gas pedal to the floor.

    The House Republicans appear determined to stand in the way.

    Let the games begin.

    (I certainly hope some Repubs are smart enough to understand that if they simply don’t show up, the Dems will drive home the point that Republicans are simply obstructionists. And most Americans will believe them. Most Americans aren’t paying that close attention to this issue. They’re tired of it.)

  14. blessedistruth Says:

    Though Kyl criticized the summit, which will be broadcast live in its entirety, he had previously advocated for a transparent health care negotiation process.

  15. blessedistruth Says:

    Republicans, getting wind of another Democratic go-round, began assailing the idea last week that Senate Democrats might use the budget reconciliation process to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill with 51 votes.

    But Senate Democrats are not talking about passing the health care bill itself with budget reconciliation.

    They are talking about how to achieve an improved bill from combining and amending the House and Senate versions.

    (No, they’re talking about the House passing the Senate bill “as is” and then amending the Senate bill with a reconciliation bill which only requires 51 Senate votes.)

    And, yes, they’re talking about using budget reconciliation to put purely fiscal amendments on the measure in the Senate by 51 votes.

    But some Democrats resist that, including Blanche Lincoln, Democrat of Arkansas, who is in so much trouble for re-election at home, where Obama has a near-60 percent negative rating, that she is running even from her Blue Dog shadow.

    As always, the challenge is daunting.

    That’s because two changes Democrats are talking about would cost the plan money, meaning those funds would have to be made up elsewhere to keep the measure fiscally defensible.

    First, Democrats are discussing that the way to handle Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s getting that offending special Medicaid deal for his state would be to extend it to all states.

    In other words, benefits paid to new Medicaid enrollees dictated to states by this bill would be paid for in full indefinitely, not merely for the first few years, by the federal government.

    It’s not that much money in the grand scheme of things.

    (Ha ha!)

    It would be favorably received by the states.

    And it would help nationalize a part of health insurance.

    It could be seen as Public Option Lite.

    (Medicaid IS government-run HC! And we need less not more of that.)

    Second, this so-called “Cadillac” tax on high-benefit health insurance plans, intended to tap fat cats, would be dropped, at least for union plans.

    (Oh, that’s fair! – sarcasm)

    This “Cadillac” turned out instead — irony of ironies — to apply to some union workers who, in negotiations over the years, were persuaded to give up generous raises in exchange for better health insurance benefits.

    You’d have to replenish that money in both cases, and seniors have been frightened enough already with cuts in the rates of growth in Medicare reimbursements.

    Some in the House still like the idea of a surtax on the very highest personal incomes.

    But tax increases aren’t so much in vogue in the current climate.

    (That’s the understatement of the year!)

    How all this plays politically depends on the extent to which Obama, who needs to get front and center, can explain the Democrats and their bill and get understood amid the noise.

    (This writer considers us to be just mere “noise.”)

    The emergence of yet one more delicate and complex Democratic congressional negotiation simply won’t cut it.

    (“one more delicate and complex Democratic congressional negotiation” — the problem with this phrase is that one cannot find the word “Republican” in it)

  16. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats increasingly have looked to reconciliation as viable option since Republican Scott Brown won a special election last month in Massachusetts to become the state’s new U.S. senator, depriving Democrats of their 60-vote supermajority and sidelining the health care reform bills passed both the House and Senate late last year.

    If Democrats decide to use reconciliation for health care, House Democrats first would have to hold their nose and approve a Senate bill that was passed Christmas Eve, sending it along on for President Obama to sign. Then the Senate would use reconciliation to make the changes that address some of the major substantive concerns that have been raised.

    Senate Democratic leaders prefer not to go the reconciliation route. Moderate Democrats are resistant, and Republicans are urged Democrats to abandon the idea.

    But some Democrats believe the threat of reconciliation will be an effective negotiating tool going into the bipartisan health care reform summit scheduled for later this month.

    Fox News

  17. blessedistruth Says:

    I Can See For Miles

  18. blessedistruth Says:

  19. blessedistruth Says:

    Is Health Care Overhaul Doomed to Failure?

    Fate of President Obama’s Health Care Agenda Hangs in the Balance as Democrats and Republicans Remain Skeptical of Bipartisanship

    Experts say the president made a mistake by stepping away from the debate and leaving it up to lawmakers. He now has to take the lead and play “hardball politics,” Baker said.

    “I think President Obama will have to work very, very aggressively … [and] be prepared to pull out all the stops. That’s the most likely path,” Baker said.

    “If he could basically shame some of the more moderate Republicans such as [Maine Sen.] Olympia Snowe into coming on board in a public session and try to put them on the line, I think that might be a way he gets bipartisanship.”

    Sen. Judd Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, has also been billed as another GOP leader who has shows signs of bipartisanship on the health care front.

    But the senator from New Hampshire is also calling for the administration and lawmakers to start from scratch.

    “I say, let’s step back, let’s start with a blank sheet of paper. And let’s start putting on that sheet of paper things we can agree about,” Gregg said in an MSNBC interview Friday.

    Overwhelmingly, experts say Republicans need to be more specific about their ideas.

    “I don’t think Republicans have clear a vision as the administration and the Democratic leaders and party,” Butler said. “It’s because they’re not in power.”

    Reinhardt pointed out that even among themselves, Republicans have too many different ideas and at least three different proposals on the table, some of which are right along the lines of what Democrats are already saying.

    Sen. Tom Coburn’s, R-Okla., bill, for example, is highly regulatory, Reinhardt said.

    “Eighty percent of what Coburn wants is in the [Senate] Democratic health care bill,” he said. “And they seem not to have a vision.”

    At the same time, Reinhardt said the Democrats’ bill has “a lot of garbage in it.”

    Nevertheless — whether the president likes it or not — health care has become a case of political posturing, Baker said.

    “I think President Obama really lost control of the process early on when he made the decision that he would drop it in Congress’s lap,” he said. “[Now] he’s paying a price for it.”

    Experts agree that the president has to take back control of the health care push, and more importantly, convey it to the public in simple terms.

    Even though a majority of Americans now disapprove of the way Obama is handling four out of five major issues

    — the economy, creating jobs, health care and the deficit —

    an astounding 63 percent said lawmakers in Washington should keep trying to pass a comprehensive health care reform plan, rather than giving up on it, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

    Obama seems to sense the public fatigue.

    “What I agree with is that the public has soured with the process that they saw over the last year,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I think that actually contaminates how they view the substance on the bills.”

    The White House may want to start fresh on health care overhaul, but it remains to be seen whether a new push can be successful and a health care bill passes.

  20. blessedistruth Says:

    Sen. Judd Gregg (R., N.H.), for example, said that if Democrats resorted to budget reconciliation, “you’re talking about the exact opposite of bipartisan. You’re talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement, and throwing them in the Chicago River.”

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) told the Salt Lake Tribune that such a move by Democrats would be “one of the worst grabs for power in the history of the country.”

  21. blessedistruth Says:

    Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and me

  22. blessedistruth Says:

  23. blessedistruth Says:

    Japanese Astronaut Soichi Noguchi has been “tweeting” pictures of Earth from the International Space Station. Here are his pictures and thoughts, as well as other photos from the starry plane.

  24. blessedistruth Says: – Mardi Gras! Galveston, TX, USA.

  25. blessedistruth Says:

  26. blessedistruth Says:

    A few thoughts on Evan Bayh’s stunning retirement announcement

    1) It helps move the prospect of a GOP Senate takeover from a fringe idea to consensus. Not there yet, but getting there.

    2) Why does that matter? It could help nudge more Democrats to retire, particularly in the House and help Republicans recruit better candidates. (George Pataki in NY for US Senate?) And a big plus for Republican fundraising.

    3) Forget talk about Bayh challenging Obama in 2012. Now, if Bayh was president with a lousy economy, then a challenge from the left (like Obama) might be a possibility. Intra-party centrist insurgencies are stuff of reporters’ imaginations.

    4) A year ago, Dems thought they would gain seats in 2010. A few months ago, they thought they would hold the 60-seat supermajority or maybe lose a couple. Now a loss of seven seems quite reasonable.

    5) Again, keep watching the unemployment rate and Obama’s approval rating. Washington insiders certainly are.

  27. blessedistruth Says:

    The Afghan Taliban’s leadership cadre have long operated from within Pakistan.

    The Taliban’s leadership council, called the Quetta Shura, has operated from the Pakistani city of the same name for years, according to Afghan and US officials.

    Last fall, the Quetta Shura, and Mullah Omar himself, were reported to have been relocated to Karachi.

    Baradar’s arrest, if confirmed, creates problems for the Pakistani government.

    Numerous Pakistani government, military, and intelligence officials have repeatedly denied the existence of the Quetta Shura and have disputed claims that it had moved to Karachi.

    But Baradar’s arrest in Karachi would provide the strongest evidence that the Quetta Shura is now in the Pakistani port city.

    The Inter-Services Intelligence agency has long been accused of sheltering the Quetta Shura, as it views the Afghan Taliban as its greatest asset in regaining influence in Afghanistan.

    The terror group would also serve as strategic depth, or a reserve, against India and Indian influence inside Afghanistan.

    General Ashfaq Kayani, the top military leader in Pakistan, refuted claims that Pakistan supports the Taliban for influence in Afghanistan.

    In an interview with foreign reporters, Kayani said that Pakistan merely wants to train the Afghan military.

    “We want to have strategic depth in Afghanistan, but that does not imply controlling it,” Kayani said, The Washington Post reported.

    “If we have a peaceful, stable and friendly Afghanistan, automatically we will have our strategic depth because our western border will be secure, and we will not be looking at two fronts.”

    The Pakistani military has refused to take on the Haqqani Network, a dangerous Taliban group allied with al Qaeda and based in North Waziristan, and other Taliban leaders who support the fight in Afghanistan.

    The military has ruled out an operation in North Waziristan over the next year.

  28. blessedistruth Says:

    Interesting Discussion Here:

  29. blessedistruth Says:

    Marines and Afghan National Army making final preparations, receiving a final brief from their leadership and embarking on helicopters into the city of Marjah as part of Operation Moshtarak. Interviews in English and Pashtu with translations. Operation Moshtarak, RCS2010. Produced by Cpl. Jennifer Calaway.

  30. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:

  31. blessedistruth Says:

    The American Spectator’s Phil Klein explains:

    One of the many implications Sen. Evan Bayh’s retirement could have is to make it even more difficult for Democrats to pass comprehensive health care legislation.

    In the broader sense, news of a strong moderate Democrat feeling the need to step aside could make other red state Democrats even more nervous than they already are about reelection and thus uneasy about casting a tough vote.

    But more specifically, the most obvious Democrats to seek Bayh’s seat are Indiana’s Democratic congressmen: Reps. Brad Ellsworth, Baron Hill and Joe Donnelly.

    All of them have already voted for the original version of the House health care bill, and it’s unlikely that any of them would want to cast another vote for the bill during a difficult race for the Senate.

  32. blessedistruth Says:

    … the resulting compromise legislation will be so modest that there would be no need to raise the revenue from the excise tax, suggests a far different bill than what passed the House and Senate.

    If the White House holds to its word, we’ll know before the Feb. 25 summit what they have in mind.

  33. blessedistruth Says:

    Paul Ryan

  34. blessedistruth Says:

    Gregg: Obama spending ‘unsustainable’'unsustainable'&articleId=895ead67-0336-412b-b222-b70c47edee92

    To fix the problem, Gregg pointed to a bipartisan task force he and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) put before the Senate in January. The proposed task force, which the Senate rejected 53-46, would bring together Democratic and Republican members of Congress to make recommendations on how to create fiscal stability.

    Gregg said the committee would go a long way toward restoring public confidence in the federal government’s approach to its debt.

    “We wouldn’t close this gap, but we would do enough so that the American people – and equally important the world community – would know that we stepped up to the issue,” Gregg said.

    In a speech that touched on a number of federal issues, Gregg said health care could be revived – if both sides bring a blank slate to the President’s nationally-televised health care meeting on February 25.

    “You’ve got to go in and the sheet’s has to be clear and then you have to see what you agree on,” Gregg said.

    Gregg also spoke about his decision not to run for reelection next fall. Gregg said a desire to try something different, rather than a partisan political atmosphere, influenced his decision.

    “There’s a lot of activity across the aisle. You don’t see it, visually, because it’s member-to-member and it’s not the leadership,” Gregg said. “The leadership has, unfortunately, a little different agenda that is necessary because they’re leadership. And their agenda is to keep power or get power.”

  35. blessedistruth Says:

    February 16, 2010

  36. blessedistruth Says:

    One of my favorite pieces. Often neglected.

  37. blessedistruth Says:

    I purchased the score for this music for Fernando.

    He had zero interest.

    Hopefully, he’s grown into it.

    Honestly, he played enough Chopin for me to last a lifetime.

    I’m not complaining.

  38. blessedistruth Says:

    I saw that ragged soul take flight!

  39. blessedistruth Says:

    “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

    New Dem idea: Hey, let’s use reconciliation to pass the public option

    Anything Democrats can say or do to get some political traction for passing a bill, they’ll say or do, and the public plan would certainly help bring House progressives around.

    It’ll also drive tea partiers berserk, of course, but tea partiers are already itching to toss the Dems out so that risk is priced in.

    Also, with Bayh gone and pundits now speculating about the GOP taking back the Senate, increasingly November looks like a doomsday scenario for Democrats — and if the asteroid’s about to hit, why not throw caution to the wind and pass the plan you really want?

    (Bennet’s already committed himself to political suicide in the name of the public option.)

    The nutroots would be thrilled too, needless to say, so that’ll help with turnout among the base.

    And you could even sell it, kinda sorta, as “starting over on the bill,” which will make the GOP go ballistic but oh well.

    Teeny tiny insignificant exit question:

    Er, can reconciliation be used to pass something like the public option?


    (Pretty sure this has been covered ad nauseum. Also pretty sure the answer is, “Hell No!”)

  40. blessedistruth Says:

    20 Senate Democrats On The Record Favoring Reconciliation

    The only way for the health care bill to pass is for the House to pass the Senate bill with fixes achieved through a reconciliation “sidecar” process.

    There is no other path to 218 votes in the House, without changes to the Senate bill.

    Thus far, 20 Senate Democrats are on the record supporting the reconciliation process, with one maybe (Mark Pryor) and only two definite no’s (Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh).

    What’s more, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Al Franken have backed the effort started yesterday to pass the public option through the reconciliation process, making it 8 Senators on the record for that.

    Both of these responses need 50 yes votes out of the 59 Senate Democrats, because reconciliation cannot be filibustered.

    This crowdsourcing effort has just begun, and I’ll be both monitoring the progress and participating to see how many Senators will go on the record about using this tool available to them to pass health care.

    (The public “option” which is government-run HC just won’t seem to stay dead. Die, public option, die!)

  41. blessedistruth Says:

    As a substantive matter, I don’t think the public option is likely to make a comeback this late in the game.

    Things are too fragile to reopen that controversy, and most Democrats, for better or worse, want to show they’re willing to make concessions to bring Republicans aboard.

    Resuscitating the public option is going in the opposite direction.

    This is, however, a reminder that reconciliation could be used to bring the public option up for a vote in the future.

    (Not necessarily.)

    It’s also a reminder of the power of primary challenges.

    Both Bennet and Gillibrand are facing challengers from the left, and so they’re signing their names to liberal priorities you might otherwise expect them to avoid.

  42. blessedistruth Says:

    The ObamaCare Nuclear Option

    “Foster argued that the Vice President, who serves as the President of the U.S. Senate, “could in effect commandeer the reconciliation process in the Senate to force through a number of controversial aspects of health-care reform.”

    Foster’s piece quotes Dove’s explanation of how the V.P could abuse his authority to pass the reconciliation aspect of ObamaCare in the Senate with a simple majority.

    The bottom line is that the Vice President could, with a conspiracy of 50 members of the Democrat caucus, ignore the rules of reconciliation to pass ObamaCare with minimal debate and avoiding the Senate’s filibuster rule.

    Conservatives need to be wary that the liberals are not done trying to pass ObamaCare.

    This may be a desperate last ditch effort to pass President Obama’s signature item of his first two year, so be ready for this scenario to play out after the summit, if the summit does not bear any fruit.

    For those of you that thought ObamaCare had been laid to rest, remember that it is not over.

    “if the summit does not bear any fruit” — then make sure that it does bear fruit!

  43. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats May Lack Reconciliation Votes to Push Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

    A new article in Salon finds Senate Leader Harry Reid will need to put pressure on 11 Democrats to make sure they stick with the reconciliation process.

    Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is viewed as one of the most likely members to defect from the health care bill under reconciliation.

    Reid had to make changes to the bill to get his vote and there is little guaranteeing Lieberman will stick with it.

    “As far as the reconciliation vote goes, he may as well be the 42nd Senate Republican,” Salon notes.

    Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was once against reconciliation but he was also once against funding abortions in the Senate bill, too, before changing his mind.

    He has recently indicated he may support reconciliation but with his numbers in the conservative state waning he may realize the need to save his own political future and vote no.

    Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is facing a very difficult re-election bid who has already made it clear she will not support reconciliation.

    She said last month:

    “I am opposed to and will fight against any attempts to push through changes to the Senate health insurance reform legislation by using budget reconciliation tactics that would allow the Senate to pass a package of changes to our original bill with 51 votes.”

    Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana has called reconciliation “ill-advised” but the new lame duck now faces no pressure to not vote for it.

    But his reputation for wanting bipartisanship may make it so he doesn’t stick with the one-party rule.

    Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana said a few weeks ago,

    “I’m not for using reconciliation for healthcare — I’m just not,” and with her tenuous standing in the state she may decide to protect her political hide and vote no.

    Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia is a fan of the health care bill but he also loves Senate procedure and could oppose the process for that reason.

    Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas has been noncommittal but also faces the same political pressure from his place in a conservative state.

    Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware has talked about using reconciliation but if a public option is included he may become a no vote.

    Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia has been quit on reconciliation but the former Republican may go against the hyper-partisan idea.

    And Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska hails from a republican state and may sense a political opportunity to make good with conservatives there by voting no.

    Ultimately, pro-life advocates will pull out all the stops to kill the reconciliation effort because it will likely not fix the massive abortion funding and other pro-abortion problems with the legislation.

  44. blessedistruth Says:

    1 Lieberman

    2 Ben Nelson

    3 Lincoln

    4 Bayh

    5 Landrieu

    6 Byrd

    7 Pryor

    8 Carper

    9 Webb

    10 Begich

    I count 10, not 11.

    Who am I missing?

  45. blessedistruth Says:

    Conrad, he’s the 11th.

    The 11 to watch:

    Salon’s Mike Madden does a good job boiling down the swing Dem votes in the Senate, if the Dems try to pass big parts of health care via reconciliation.

    His 11 Senate Dems to watch:

    Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Lincoln, Bayh, Landrieu, Byrd, Conrad, Pryor, Carper, Webb and Begich.

  46. blessedistruth Says:

    Public option or not, reconciliation requires 50 senators.

    if all eleven say no to reconciliation 59 minus 11 is 48.

    if ten say no, 59 minus 10 is 49.

    Pray that ten or eleven just say no!


    I say get these eleven Dems together with eleven Repubs.

    A Gang of 22 to get something done.

    And then a Gang of 44 in the House.

    If HCR doesn’t happen, blame House progressives.

  47. blessedistruth Says:

    February 17, 2010

  48. blessedistruth Says:

  49. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:

  50. blessedistruth Says:

  51. blessedistruth Says:

    Melinda Leslie, chock full of info.

    But I really want to hear more about hybrids.

    If this really is happening, and I believe that it is, then why is this happening?

    Why are we still trying to convince people of the reality of this?

    We need to look into the deeper meaning.

  52. blessedistruth Says:

    No time to read this. But I will.–Why-might-ETs-be-interested-in-humanity–Part-1–Why-might-ETs-be-interested-in-humanity–Part-2–Consciousness–Why-might-ETs-be-interested-in-humanity–Part-3–Consciousreunity

  53. blessedistruth Says:

    Republican holds out hope on health care overhaul

    Reforming health care in a way that reduces costs and making sure that Medicare doesn’t create an excessive burden for the next generation

    Gregg’s plan exists not in formal legislation but as a set of proposals grouped under the acronym CPR, for Coverage, Prevention and Reform.

    It parallels some of the key ideas in the Democratic plans, but it is more aggressive in trying to control costs and less ambitious in extending the federal government’s role as an insurance regulator.

    Similar to that the Democrats, Gregg’s plan would require everyone over 18 to carry at least basic coverage.

    And he would provide federal subsidies for households making up to three times the federal poverty level, or about $66,000 for a family of four.

    The plan would be financed by taxing employer-sponsored coverage above certain limits.

    That’s a nonstarter for many Democrats, but economists say adopting such a policy would begin to push down health care spending, allowing for expanded coverage without busting the budget.

    Gregg would also encourage employers to offer discounted premiums for workers who take steps to live healthy lives, and his plan shifts payments for hospitals and doctors to reward quality care rather than sheer volume of procedures and visits.

    Though he would like to apply a projected $500 billion in 10-year Medicare savings to a Medicare solvency fund, Gregg said he would be willing to split the difference with Democrats, using $250 billion to shore up Medicare and using the rest to fund expanded health coverage.

  54. blessedistruth Says:

    Ezra Klein

    New York, NY: Senator Bennet’s public option letter has been gaining signatures at a pretty fast pace.

    Do you think that including the public option in the likely reconciliation bill might help improve chances of health reform being passed?

    It could add an additional selling point to the public (i.e. we’re doing reconciliation to scrap the backroom deals and provide you a public option) and that could motivate Senators to pass the bill.

    Is anyone in Washington thinking that way?

    Ezra Klein: Right after Brown was elected, I made the argument that the Democrats might retrench to a simple, populist bill: Medicare buy-in, Medicaid expansion, maybe a public option, and funding through a tax on the rich.

    The political theory for that was that the Brown election had shown that Democrats had lost control of perceptions of the legislation, and they needed to reel that back.

    But that wasn’t what Democrats did.

    Instead, they took the position that it was important to regain control of the perceptions of the process, and that meant being more bipartisan, and being more open, and making fewer deals.

    My judgment, for now, is that this public option letter is a red herring.

    It’s very good organizing work on the part of the PCCC, but nothing in my talks with Democrats has convinced me that there’s an appetite to cut a reconciliation deal restoring the most politically controversial and polarizing element of the bill.

    Maybe there is, or there will be within a week.

    But it’s so far from the preferences Democrats have recently expressed that I’d caution people to keep hold of their skepticism.

    “nothing … has convinced me that there’s an appetite to cut a reconciliation deal restoring the most politically controversial and polarizing element of the bill”

    “the most politically controversial and polarizing element of the bill” — that would be a public “option” or more government-run HC

  55. blessedistruth Says:

    The New Party of “No”

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently introduced the “Roadmap for America’s Future” [1], a plan to reduce federal spending, pay off the national debt, and ensure future American prosperity.

    Attacks have mainly focused on Rep. Ryan’s changes to Medicare, claiming they reduce benefits for seniors.

    This argument dismisses the fact that, as the population ages, unfunded Medicare obligations threaten to drive the program into the ground.

    This would clearly be detrimental to those who expect to receive benefits in old age, but would also cripple generations to come with insurmountable new debt.

    Refusing to act is thus morally bankrupt on two levels:

    first, it promises aging Americans benefits which may not exist;

    second, it does so by piling debt onto future generations.

    The Roadmap directs entitlements towards long-term solvency to ensure their existence for decades to come, recognizing that runaway spending cannot be reversed by tax hikes alone.

    If entitlements are left untouched, CBO predicts tax rates would double [8] to cover the cost.

    By 2080, some Americans would pay up to 88 percent of their income in taxes, and even the lowest tax bracket would pay 25 percent.

    William Gale of the Brookings Institute [9] estimates new revenue sources, such as a value-added tax of 15 to 20 percent, would be necessary to close the budgetary gap.

    The economic ramifications of this level of taxation would be tremendous.

    If President Obama’s 2011 budget is any indicator, Democrats will not get serious about spending any time soon.

    The proposed budget will put the country $2.5 trillion further into debt by 2020 than would current law, leaving annual deficits above $1 trillion. [10]

    This alone is irresponsible, but criticizing a solid proposal while offering no solutions of their own marks Roadmap opponents as the foe of a sustainable and economically viable future for America.

    “no solutions of their own” — I guess that would make Dems the party of “no”

  56. blessedistruth Says:

    US Rep. Ryan responds to concerns about his balanced-budget roadmap

    In recent weeks, TaxVox has posted a couple of articles (here and here) that expressed concerns about US Rep. Paul Ryan’s dramatic fiscal plan aimed at balancing the budget and eliminating the national debt by the end of the century.

    Today, the Wisconsin Republican issued this response.

    We raised two specific issues.

    The first was that Ryan’s tax proposals are unlikely to generate enough revenue to accomplish his goals, even after he makes major reductions in spending.

    The second was that, rather than fully analyzing Ryan’s Plan, the Congressional Budget Office, at the congressman’s request, scored only the spending provisions and simply assumed the tax portion would raise the revenue Ryan claimed.

    In his response, Ryan says he asked both CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation to formally score his tax plan, but neither did so.

    His also lays out his case for why his tax plan would raise the amount of revenue he projects–about 19 percent of GDP.

    I hope we can all keep the discussion going on this critical issue.

  57. blessedistruth Says:

    2007 2010 2011 — 62 92 100 “public debt”

    (Page 3)

    More and more it seems the investor class is waiting Obama out.

    Too much uncertainty.

  58. blessedistruth Says:

    Just because I believe

    Don’t mean I don’t think as well

    Don’t have to question everything

    in heaven or hell

    ready to shape the scheme of things

    I don’t stand in my own light

  59. blessedistruth Says:

    Know Your Enemy

    The Long War Journal: Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son killed in North Waziristan strike: report

    Yesterday’s airstrike in the Taliban-controlled tribal of North Waziristan in Pakistan is thought to have killed a son of the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network.

    Mohammed Haqqani, one of 12 sons of Jalaluddin Haqqani, is reported to have been killed in the Feb. 18 airstrike in Danda Darpa Khel just outside of Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

    Four Haqqani Network fighters were initially reported killed after an unmanned US Predator fired two missiles at a compound and a vehicle in the town.

    Pakistani intelligence officials and a Taliban commander told AFP that Mohammed was one of four people killed. Mohammed was first reported killed late last night by Daily Times.

    “Mohammed Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, was killed in yesterday’s attack along with two foreign operatives and a local tribesman,” a senior Pakistani security official told AFP.

    “Mohammed was not actively involved in the movement but his place was used as a hideout for Arab foreign militants.”

    “It is a big loss for the family and for the Taliban,” Nek Daraz, a Taliban official in Miramshah said. “We will take revenge for his death on US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.”

    US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said they were aware of the reports of Mohammed’s death and indicated they believe the reports are true.

    The US officials also said Mohammed was not a senior leader in the Haqqani Network, but was a military commander.

    “We would really have liked to have killed his brother instead,” a military intelligence official said, referring to Siraj Haqqani, the dangerous military commander of the Haqqani Network who is slated to take over for his father.

    “Siraj was the target, he is the one we are after,” the official continued. “Getting Mohammed is a good sign, but we felt we’ve been close before.”

    (If the Pakistanis won’t do it, we will.)

  60. blessedistruth Says:

    From Narad

    Way to go USA. Thank you for annihilating the b@stard. Now just get rid of the other haqqani b@stards as well, the bombers of our embassy in Kabul and have a good night sleep.

  61. blessedistruth Says:

    Joseph Farah on Glenn Beck

    One of the most frequent questions I hear is why – why do folks like this insist on berating others for pursuing these legitimate concerns?

    Here’s what I think about that – and, granted, my theory requires a little amateur psychoanalysis:

    Some of them just plain don’t understand the evidence for the concerns of so-called “birthers.”

    They accept at face value the word of one virtually unknown Hawaiian bureaucrat who has proclaimed Obama as a “natural born citizen” – despite the fact that this political appointee has never faced serious questions or provided any documentation for her claim.

    They cite the digital certification of live birth as proof, despite the fact that there were any number of ways to obtain such a document without an actual Hawaiian birth.

    And, lastly, these folks who have so little understanding of the way birth information finds its way into major newspapers, cite the announcements of Obama’s “birth” in the Honolulu dailies.

    So why do I continue to push this issue?

    I don’t believe the concerns of tens of millions of hard-working Americans should be reviled and ridiculed.

    When politicians go to extraordinary lengths to avoid accountability, there is usually a reason. It’s as sure as the old adage, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

    And, most of all, I believe strongly in the sanctity of the Constitution. Without it, this nation loses its moorings.

    (Glenn Beck has turned into a horse’s ass.)

    (One can make the argument that it’s not a winning issue and to please let it be. But when Glenn Beck starts using Truthers and Birthers in the same sentence, he’s gone too far.)

  62. blessedistruth Says:

    To: SatinDoll

    Do you think he might have feared that the left would blame that whackjob airplane nut on him?

    I noticed too, and I was thinking thats why he railed about birthers. Maybe to show fair and balanced BS.

    It was weird and I hit the mute for the whole show. I don’t really care if he takes on the birth issue. I do care if he attacks people who are interested.

    93 posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 7:26:39 AM by indylindy

  63. blessedistruth Says:

    Here, Glenn Beck continues his long career of making an intellectual ass out of himself (of course, as he would be quick to tell you when you outsmart him, he’s purely an entertainer).

    Finally, he places “birthers,” “truthers,” and anarchists together with fascists (saying they’re all huge government people…hmm…) in a ridiculously stupid and useless diagram.

    (I heard a rebroadcast of this after midnight and I couldn’t believe my ears. I’ll tell you who’s bad for Repubs winning elections — Glenn Beck!)

  64. blessedistruth Says:

    For all that, I’d still bet against the public option.

    For one thing, there’s sharp resistance to this idea in the White House.

    The administration has just spent weeks rebranding itself as a bipartisan outpost in a sea of bickering hacks.

    Resuscitating the most controversial element of the bill and running it through reconciliation looks less like reaching out and more like delivering a hard left cross to the opposition.

    One way or another, however, Senate Democrats and the White House need to choose their path and communicate it clearly.

    If Democrats want to use the public option to reinvigorate their base and attack the insurers and push this bill over the finish line in a final blaze of populist fury, more power to them.

    If they decide that the process is fragile and Americans want bipartisanship and this is a bad time to introduce uncertainty into chaos, that makes sense, too.

    But it would be murder to leave the public option hanging in the middle of the process with too few votes to pass, too many supporters to kill, and enough bitter controversy that Republicans can just hammer away at Democrats forever and ever and ever.

    A zombie public option debate could well drag health-care reform into the grave as well.

    (sounds like Ezra really wants to say to his fellow lefties, “Don’t go down this path!)

    (I wonder if Obama — Reid — Pelosi have decided they like the threat of the public “option” but in the end will settle for reconciliation WITHOUT it.)

    (It’s unclear if Reid could even use reconciliation to pass a public option. It’s also unclear if Reid could even round up the required 50 votes for passage WITH or WITHOUT a public option.)

  65. blessedistruth Says:

    We know the White House wants a bill in the end, and they’ll resist anything controversial that might leave them with no bill.

    But they’ve consistently allowed Congress to take the lead, and they know Reid won’t touch the public option unless he has majority support, so they’ll back it on the back end.

    All we’ve learned is the path forward: a reconciliation sidecar, with the Senate bill as the baseline.

    We do not know if such a strategy will pass, particularly in the House, because nobody wants to talk about the other roadblock.

    From the NYT piece:

    Democrats said it was still unclear how the president would deal with other disagreements, including the issue of insurance coverage for abortions.

    Abortion remains “a wild card,” said a Democrat on Capitol Hill.

    Ignoring that element does not make Bart Stupak disappear.

  66. blessedistruth Says:

    In stark contrast to recent reports of a deal that would pass comprehensive health care reform, Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) told supporters this week that a comprehensive bill would not pass, and the best alternative option would be to get Republicans on the record with a series of smaller bills, building incrementally to a full set of reforms.

    Massa said that the House would begin that next week, when they finally take up the delayed (by snow) vote to repeal the insurance industry’s anti-trust exemption.

    Massa didn’t vote for the House bill, being focused entirely on a single payer solution.

  67. blessedistruth Says:

    George W. Bush is back — at CPAC, at least. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) got a big cheer Friday for putting up a picture of the former president with the caption “Miss me yet?”

    “I like it too,” she proclaimed. The image first appeared mysteriously on a billboard in her state earlier this month. It turned out to be the work of a group of small business owners.

    Shirts bearing the Bush image are also selling well online, according to the New York Daily News.

  68. blessedistruth Says:

  69. blessedistruth Says:

    February 19, 2010

  70. blessedistruth Says:

    Beautiful music here.

    I know I have followers who want to listen to what i listen to.

    Not interested in what I have to say about … whatever.

    That’s okay.

    We can be united in this way, too.

  71. blessedistruth Says:

  72. blessedistruth Says:

    Never Let You Down!

  73. blessedistruth Says:

    Interesting Glenn Beck discussions here:

    To: altura

    If CONSERVATIVES aren’t voted into office & control the Congress the “birther issue” becomes irrelevant because the Republic is doomed, IMO. Conservatives controlling Congress last 2 years of Obama’ term could lead to all sorts of hearings on this issue.

    286 posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 8:03:37 AM by TheStickman

    To: presently no screen name

    If CONSERVATIVES don’t win back control of Congress in 2010, Obama’s birth-certificate isn’t going to matter because he will be free to finish killing off the Constitution completely. Get Conservatives in control, stop the insane spending, roll back/unfund some of his insane executive orders and THEN take up the birth issue.

    137 posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:19:25 AM by TheStickman

  74. blessedistruth Says:

    To: TheStickman
    Your points are valid, Stickman.

    A lot of “birthers” have moved on.

    We still believe Obama is hiding something, not sure what exactly.

    But time is precious, so why waste it?

    I, especially, don’t like being lumped together with Truthers.

    And I do believe Beck has made himself a liability not an asset.

    138 posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:34:16 PM by rosettasister

  75. blessedistruth Says:

    The Glenn Beck Love-Hate Fest Continues Unabated

    To: ronnie raygun

    Your right it is the message…and Glenns message is always third party.

    He likes to call birthers nuts but is a Mormon who rejected is earlier faith to get laid.

    He definitly can present a good case at times, but soon thereafter makes a fool of himself.

    14 posted on Sunday, February 21, 2010 5:38:15 AM by DainBramage

  76. blessedistruth Says:

    Check it out! Citizen Wells on YouTube!

    Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Fox news are protecting Obama.
    Not only have they not covered the Obama eligibility issues,’
    they have insulted concerned Americans who abide by the US Constitution and who ask serious, realistic questions about Obama’s eligibility.

  77. blessedistruth Says:

  78. blessedistruth Says:

    Does my poor heart good! Zach Jones comments at Citizen Wells’ blog


    zachjonesishome // February 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

    February 19, 2010An Interview With Phillip Berg, Birther Lawyer

    zachjonesishome // February 20, 2010 at 8:28 am

    …..What does Barack Obama say? Basically nothing, but by saying nothing, he is saying that I’m walking all over the Constitution, that I don’t care about the Constitution, and I think it’s a disgrace. Also, who’s a disgrace, the national media. I was interviewed by the New York Times about six months ago and said that I wished I could sue the natioal media for not vetting Obama. Look what they did to Sarah Palin, they went behind every door and under every rock asking lots of questions. What do they do with Obama? Nothing. They have asked him nothing about his past and it’s like — a taboo topic. And the reason it’s a taboo topic is because the major media is owned by three or four corporations. And they say — stay off this birth certificate issues. And that’s why I think a Birth Certificate March on Washington is really going to identify so many people, the initial response in overwhelming…people contacting me, can I help, can I get buses, so we’re gonna pick the date soon…

    This was a good interview. I hope Berg gets a chance to confront Beck today at CPAC.

    Have a Great Day! Zach

    zachjonesishome // February 20, 2010 at 8:30 am


    March on Washington to tell president to quit
    ‘It is time to motivate the citizens of U.S. to expose ‘hoax’ of Obama’

    Posted: February 20, 2010
    12:15 am Eastern

    By Bob Unruh
    © 2010 WorldNetDaily

    Organizers of a new march on Washington are offering Americans the opportunity to show President Obama their birth certificates and declare that unless he produces documentation of his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office, he should quit.

    The event is headed by Philip Berg, the first to bring court challenges to Obama’s eligibility under the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that presidents be a “natural born citizen.”

    citizenwells // February 20, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Berg in Beck’s face.
    Would love to see & hear it.

    zachjonesishome // February 20, 2010 at 8:32 am

    The Original Birther Makes the Rounds at CPAC
    By David Weigel 2/19/10 5:45 PM It’s been almost exactly 18 months since Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania lawyer and Hillary Clinton supporter, filed a lawsuit demanding that his state keep Barack Obama off the presidential ballot until he provided satisfactory proof that he was born in America — something Berg said Obama couldn’t do. Today Berg appeared at CPAC, handing out a leaflet promoting his ObamaCrimes website (it argues that the president is a “citizen of Indonesia”) and seeking out reporters to promote his case.
    I stumbled upon Berg as a Belgian TV station gave him a pretty polite and short interview — anyone’s guess whether they were genuinely curious or whether they were humoring him so they could move on. But as he spoke, Berg drew some more onlookers, including another reporter who taped the interview and gushed about what a fan he was of Berg’s work.

    “These are people who really support this particular issue,” said Berg of the CPAC crowd. “This issue transcends party lines.”


    There is also a video of interview.

    zachjonesishome // February 20, 2010 at 8:32 am

    zachjonesishome // February 20, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Hey CitizenWells. It’s at the above link. Good interview. I do wish Berg would go into the possibility that even if Obama was born in Hawaii he is not a NBC because of the cititzenship of his father.

  79. blessedistruth Says:

  80. blessedistruth Says:

    She’s wonderful!

  81. blessedistruth Says:

    Kissed Her Father. Met Her and her child.

  82. blessedistruth Says:

    Geez, her arms are as big as mine!

    Once I was trolling the corridors of the Miami Arena when a wrestling event was going on.

    One of the coaches got a look at me and said that he wished that his wrestlers’ arms were as big as mine!


  83. blessedistruth Says:

  84. blessedistruth Says:

    Enjoying Arizona.

    Wish you were here!

    I will say this.

    Senator McCain, please don’t go there (birthers) as you wage your primary campaign.

    I trust you are smarter than Glenn Beck, sir.

  85. blessedistruth Says:

    What if all of these faces were to welcome us in?

    What a place this would be, what a place to live in!

  86. cynkading Says:

    Hi Rosie!! I was thinking about you wanted to stop by. I continue to read here and appreciate your info. I wanted to tell you that I was thinking of you when I created the thread that is currently up over at rosettasister. Maybe you would like to check it out. I wanted the theme to be focused on the blues and the artists that made it in the music business who were from Arkansas. I love all of the music. Hope you and yours are doing good. Take care.

  87. blessedistruth Says:

    “I was thinking of you when I created the thread that is currently up over at rosettasister. Maybe you would like to check it out.”

    cyn, I sure will!

  88. blessedistruth Says:

    February 23, 2010

    I have added links for music that seem to get a lot of hits.

    If it’s not the music, then honestly I don’t know why that thread is getting so many hits.

    BTW, if you click on green arrow at end of each line, you will be provided with a link.

  89. blessedistruth Says:

    Like this one

  90. Troy Says:

    Foxie Rosie! 😀

  91. blessedistruth Says:

    Good morning, Troy!

    Thanks for the link!

    My best to the RosettaSister Gang of Liberty Lovers!

    Foxie Rosie

  92. blessedistruth Says:

    Levin: Beck ‘acting like a clown’

    But on his show Monday night, Levin called on Beck to “stop dividing us” and suggested he “stop acting like a clown.”

    “What I see across the horizon today in my 40 years or so of conservative activism is unity like I’ve never seen before,” the popular radio host and author said, which was first flagged by the blog Radio Equalizer.

    “It’s unity not because of hate for [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell or [House Minority Leader John] Boehner or whatever.

    It’s contempt for this president and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and what they are doing to this nation.”

    “That’s what’s happening. That’s what’s going on,” he continued. “If Republicans deserve a lashing they should get it. But they are holding the fort and they deserve reinforcements.”

    Levin also warned Beck to be wary of the mainstream media and told the Fox News host to stop “acting like a clown.”

    “The mainstream media is not your friend. It will promote you for the purpose of destroying you,” he said, seemingly alluding to the somewhat favorable coverage of Beck’s speech.

    “Be careful playing footsie with the mainstream media.”

    “Decide what you are,” Levin added, “A circus clown, self-identified, or a thoughtful and wise person. It’s hard to be both.”

  93. blessedistruth Says:

    To: eeevil conservative

    Glenn has gone over the hill with his bashers of conservatives and birthers.

    31 posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:48:31 AM by stockpirate (Hey Beck, Thomas Jefferson was a birther!)

    To: butterdezillion

    IBTABT – In Before the AFTER-birthers Trolls.

    19 posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:35:39 AM by stockpirate

    To: stockpirate

    I refer to them as Gullibles:

    23 posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:47:22 AM by Beckwith

    To: Beckwith

    AFTER-birthers is more accurate, first we had the birthers, then those who attacked the birthers came about, so hence they are AFTER-birthers.

    24 posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:49:50 AM by stockpirate

  94. blessedistruth Says:

    Glenn Beck the Birther Basher has probably done more to awaken this sleeping issue than anyone recently.

    BTW, once I did hear Mark Levin say on his show, “Cough it up, Obama!” referring to the long form birth certificate.

    I’m sure Levin would like this issue to go away, too.

    But bashing birthers will have the opposite effect.

  95. blessedistruth Says:

    The push in the House and Senate for finishing the Senate bill through reconciliation, and the push to include the public option in that reconciliation sidecar, has focused attention on the need for 50 votes in the Senate.

    The road to 218 in the House (actually 217 now, because of two vacancies) has been less discussed, but people are starting to understand that passage is not guaranteed there.

    And the main impediment has always been Bart Stupak and his allies on the abortion funding issue.

    He considers the Nelson amendment from the Senate bill unacceptable, and the reconciliation sidecar strategy offers no way to ameliorate it within the current bill.

    … it becomes a simple question of math.

    Stupak probably brings 10 House members or so with him on this, not because they are as invested in the abortion funding issue, but because it’s a nice way to vote against a health care bill they don’t want to see pass anyway.

    All of those votes would need to be made up on the other side, with members flipping from No on the House bill in November to Yes on this one.

    Virtually all of those potential flippers come from conservative-leaning districts, and all but three are up for re-election in November.

    If Nancy Pelosi can find 10 votes out of there she’s a miracle worker.

    I don’t buy Jim Clyburn’s spin that the House would get even more votes for the bill on the second pass.

    And Bart Stupak provides the reason why.

  96. blessedistruth Says:

    The sell on reconciliation is that it’s a few final tweaks to a bill that has already passed.

    The White House’s health-care proposal reflected that theory.

    Resuscitating the public option is a very different play:

    It’s a big change rather than a small tweak, and it’s a polarizing decision after weeks of rhetoric emphasizing comity.

    But the White House has stayed quiet — and confusing.

    Publicly, Kathleen Sebelius said the White House would do whatever Harry Reid wanted.

    Privately, there’s been no support for this public option push, and the idea didn’t even make a token appearance in their white paper.

    They wish this wasn’t happening, but they’re not willing to put a stop to it.

    Instead, they hoping someone else — maybe Jay Rockefeller — stands up and calls the play.

    This is, however, the worst of all worlds.

    In refusing to disappoint the left early, they’re assuring the sense of betrayal will be much more acute because the feeling of momentum will have far longer to build.

    And in refusing to embrace this strategy cleanly, they’re making it harder to lay the groundwork for an effective communications strategy around a bill that’s tougher on insurers.

    (Lefties who still believed that a public “option” was viable only have themselves to blame.)

  97. blessedistruth Says:

    Well, let’s see: It costs $75 billion more than the Senate plan. It delays the one sure-fire cost-control measure, the tax on high-end plans.

    And it gives the federal government new authority to block insurers from increasing premiums. That last one is particularly wrong-headed.

    The policy thrust of ObamaCare was supposed to be to reduce costs by changing how healthcare was delivered, not through rationing.

    But price caps are nothing more than rationing.

    As Cato’s Mike Cannon puts it:

    “As I have written elsewhere, artificially limiting premium growth allows the government to curtail spending while leaving the dirty work of withholding medical care to private insurers:

    “Premium caps, which Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is currently threatening to impose, force private insurers to manage care more tightly — i.e., to deny coverage for more services.”

    No doubt the Obama administration would lay the blame for coverage denials on private insurers and claim that such denials demonstrate the need for a so-called “public option.”

    Who knows if this thing can actually pass, but using reconciliation to do it will only amp up the partisan and polarized nature of Congress.

  98. blessedistruth Says:

    Gregg, Wyden Offer Plan to Simplify U.S. Tax Code

    In a statement, Messrs. Gregg and Wyden said they were aiming to alleviate the headache the tax code causes individuals and businesses trying to sort through its minutiae.

    “For far too long, our tax system has been overly complicated, burdensome and unfair to taxpayers and to small businesses that are the economic engines of our nation,” Mr. Gregg said in a statement.

    Messrs. Gregg and Wyden assert that the average individual or family earning less than $200,000 would do “as well or better” under their plan than current tax law, in large part because the plan would nearly triple the standard deduction.

    “Many taxpayers who currently itemize will find it more advantageous to switch to the standard deduction which will both reduce their tax bills and eliminate the burden of maintaining records and receipts needed to document itemized deductions,” the plan states. Most taxpayers would be able to use a one-page form to submit their taxes, according to Messrs. Wyden and Gregg.

    The capital gains tax also would see broad changes under the plan. The legislation would exempt the first 35% of capital gains income from the tax. Also, the first $500,000 of investment would be held for at least six months to be considered long-term capital gains income, and the next $500,000 would have to be held for a year to be considered long-term.

    Write to Patrick Yoest at

  99. blessedistruth Says:

    “We’ve spoken to a number of multinational companies that see this rate as extraordinarily attractive and [they] seem to be receptive,” Gregg said. “A 24 percent rate is just a huge boon to American businesses.”

    “You’re going to get to retain more of your profits to reinvest in your business to create more jobs,” Gregg said about enactment of their bill. “This [legislation] is going to be a huge incentive.”

  100. blessedistruth Says:

    A desperate President Barack Obama is pulling out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to salvage his $950 billion health care plan but critics of this latest move from the White House call it more of the same and more hyperbole than reality.

    Been there, done that say Republicans.

    “Deja vu all over again,” says Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.


    Hey, that’s my line!


  101. blessedistruth Says:

    Wallace was wrong then, and Beck is wrong now.

    The differences between Bennett and Levin and Beck should be fully appreciated, not minimized, lest the charismatic Beck become a vindictive Pied Piper who divides the Obama opposition because he rejects the two-party system.

    Beck said at CPAC 2010 that he despises Woodrow Wilson with all of his being and he regularly rails against McCain hero Teddy Roosevelt.

    Ironically, it was TR’s decision to break from the Republican Party to form a Progressive Party that allowed Woodrow Wilson to be elected President in 1912.

    McCain would have been a much better president than Obama, and Beck may become Obama’s unwitting ally.

  102. blessedistruth Says:

    In advance of the much publicized health care summit, Republicans such as Paul Ryan, R-WI, have been putting forward plans intended to reduce health care costs, reduce government intervention and thereby expand coverage.

    While the Congressional Budget Office seems to concur with Rep. Ryan’s assessment of his plan, some details remain to be worked out.

    Still, with polls showing the continued and growing unpopularity of the Democrat’s health care proposals, Republicans are calling for the summit to be used as a new starting point; a place to begin fresh and hash out a real bipartisan plan.

  103. blessedistruth Says:

    Delta Shaped Hole in Clouds: At Yosemite National Park, Ca. on 12-19-09, I noticed the clouds looked unusually s…

  104. blessedistruth Says:

    I’m off to see the wizard!

    Have a good day!

  105. blessedistruth Says:

    McCain the Birther Basher

    “Equal justice under law: Doesn’t that include this president and his birth certificate?” Hayworth asked on the July 15 show, according to a recording the McCain campaign is sending to reporters.

    “Mr. Hayworth can run from his record, but he can’t hide,” McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers said of the clip. “We welcome Mr. Hayworth attempting to shift positions on this issue, but he can’t obscure his real record as he backtracks. Facts are stubborn things, JD.”…

    “As a talk show host, it was J.D.’s job to provoke discussion, including on this issue since people were calling in about it,” said Jason Rose, Hayworth’s senior advisor. “Questions were asked when that topic was in the news. Those questions have been answered to the satisfaction of jd and most of america. The issue is closed.”


    That would be these comments, I take it.

    Exit question: Did McCain move to soon in hitting him on Birtherism?

    If he had waited until the end of the race to bring it up, he would have looked desperate (especially if it was close), but by pushing it out there now, I wonder how long it’ll take for people to get bored with it to the point where it loses its sting.

    Especially since Hayworth is already backing away.

  106. blessedistruth Says:

    To: pissant

    The Republican Party is complicit in Obama’s coup d’état. They became a party to the conspiracy, and the Democrats compromised the Republican candidate when Leahy and company “resolved” that John McCain was/is a “natural born” citizen. He isn’t, and was/is equally ineligible to serve as CiC.

    The Democrats neutered McCain who never said a word about Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Alice Palmer, and the rest of the communists, socialists, black nationalists, and other assorted dirtbags that form Obama’s closest and longest lasting relationships and associations.

    Most members of Congress are attorneys. The judges too. They all studied the Constitution. They know the law (at least enough to pass the bar). They know Obama is ineligible, but they made a deal with the devil and now have to live with it.

    59 posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 2:36:43 PM by Beckwith (A “natural born citizen” — two American citizen parents and born in the USA.)

  107. blessedistruth Says:

    Bill requiring citizenship proof for presidential contenders passes House committee

    PHOENIX — The House Government Committee voted Tuesday to require presidential contenders to prove to Arizona’s secretary of state they’re “natural born citizens” to get their names on the ballot.

    The 6-1 vote came on the proposal by Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, who said it’s only fair to require those who want to lead our country prove they meet the standards of the U.S. Constitution. She said that, at the very least, it means producing a birth certificate.

    “One must have a birth certificate if you’re going to enroll your child in a sports program for school,” Burges said. The same is true of passports.

    Burges never mentioned President Obama during Tuesday’s hearing or the controversy over whether he was actually born in Kenya and not Hawaii. Another legal theory of “birthers” who have challenged Obama’s right to be president is that even if he was born in Hawaii, he lost his citizenship when his mother married an Indonesian and moved the family there.

    But Burges previously told Capitol Media Services she has suspicions about Obama’s loyalties, including bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia and a quote from his book — taken out of context — that “when it came down to it, he would be on the Muslim side.”

    Matt Benson, lobbyist for Secretary of State Ken Bennett, said there are all sorts of problems with HB 2441 which now goes to the full House.

  108. blessedistruth Says:

    Funny Birther Cartoon

  109. blessedistruth Says:

    To: 2ndDivisionVet

    Obama just will not run in the states that refuse to put his name on the ballot. He likely wouldn’t have picked up any electoral votes in those states anyway. It’s still a good common sense thing for Arizona to do, though, and it will look bad for states who refuse to take these measures.

    43 posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:00:49 AM by Perchant

  110. blessedistruth Says:

    I’m guessing McCain assumed he wasn’t going to get the “birther” vote anyway.

    Still, he needn’t have gone there.

    That would have been the noble path.

    I’m a registered Dem, so this will only make a difference for me personally IF McCain wins Repub primary.

  111. blessedistruth Says:

    Isn’t it amazing though that birther issue refuses to go away.

    There’s only one man who could make it go away, Obama.

    I still believe he doesn’t because he can’t.

    Still, I do wish the issue would go away, at least for a while.

    And bashing birthers will have the opposite effect.

    McCain, you’re a big fat dope!

  112. blessedistruth Says:

    Senate Votes 70-28 to Approve $15 Billion Jobs Bill

    The vote was 70 to 28. Thirteen Republicans joined 55 Democrats and two independents voting in favor.

    (Now compromise with these 13 Repubs and get something done on HC!)

  113. Troy Says:

    blessedistruth Says:

    February 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    Good morning, Troy!

    Thanks for the link!

    My best to the RosettaSister Gang of Liberty Lovers!

    Foxie Rosie
    I hope you enjoyed it…We all miss you over there! 🙂

  114. blessedistruth Says:

    But Eric Cantor’s inconvenient memo refocused attention on the fact that the House may not have the votes to pass any kind of health care bill.

    Throwing more cold water on efforts to pass the bill, Kent Conrad, the chair of the Budget Committee who would nominally be in control of a reconciliation process, said that such a tactic was impossible unless the House passes the Senate bill first, which simply cannot happen (and I would submit Conrad knows that).


    “The only way this works is for the House to pass the Senate bill and then, depending on what the package is, the reconciliation provision that moves first through the House and then comes here,” said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) outside the upper chamber this morning. “That’s the only way that works.”

    I pointed out that House leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has repeatedly insisted they won’t take a flier on a reconciliation package–that they will only pass the Senate bill after the smaller side-car reconciliation bill has been all wrapped up.

    “Fine, then it’s dead,” Conrad said.


    It’s Conrad’s intonation that the House has to eat the Senate bill and hope that reconciliation will get used to change it which will put a swift end to the hopes of passage.

    Nothing like reality to temper optimism.

    (See, not all lefties are dopes!)

  115. blessedistruth Says:

    I heard this guy on Coast to Coast AM last night. Here’s an earlier show.

  116. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:

  117. blessedistruth Says:

  118. blessedistruth Says:

    February 24, 2010

  119. blessedistruth Says:

    Troy Says:

    February 24, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I hope you enjoyed it…We all miss you over there!


    Awww, Troy, you’re sweet!


  120. blessedistruth Says:

    Cato Experts Live-Blogging Health Care Summit

  121. blessedistruth Says:

  122. blessedistruth Says:

  123. blessedistruth Says:

    Ezra Klein not optimistic

    Sen. Lamar Alexander explains why there’ll be no compromise

    At best, what you can say today is demonstrating is that there’s a sharp contrast in the philosophies on display:

    Democrats believe the federal government is capable of writing and implementing legislation that will take a big step forward on a hard problem.

    Republicans believe government doesn’t have that capability, and shouldn’t try.

    There’s no real compromise available between those two position, but they’re philosophies that the American people can choose between.

  124. blessedistruth Says:

    Another Lefty (But Realist) Interpretation

  125. blessedistruth Says:

    The Gergen declares WH made a mistake with get-together

  126. blessedistruth Says:

    Is That Really What Free-Market Means? [Veronique de Rugy]

    It’s hard to see how the Left could feel otherwise after the president spent billions bailout the financial industry and in light of the very special ties that exist between this administration — as well as prior administrations — and the corporate world (AIG, Goldman Sacks, Freddie and Fannie to cite only a few).

    It is also hard to see how the business community wouldn’t be left feeling that this administration is severally anti-businesses. (severely anti-business)

    First, there is the nonstop populist rhetoric aimed mainly against banks and the financial industry.

    Then, there are the attacks on the corporate income tax that will do nothing to address the real problem with the tax but only penalize American companies doing business abroad.

    There are also the tax increases, cap-and-trade, and health-care reform that will hurt the small business community.

    The only irony is that the president can’t or won’t see it.

  127. blessedistruth Says:

    Experts on the 1947 Roswell UFO crash, Tom Carey and Don Schmitt recounted various details of the incident and cover-up. Joining them for a segment was Arthur J. Osepchook, the last surviving member of the B-29 crew that flew the alleged alien bodies out of Roswell Army Air Field on July 9, 1947. Osepchook described how crates in the plane’s cargo area were hidden from the flight crew, which was very unusual. Schmitt said the crates were heavily guarded as they were loaded onto the plane.

    A bombardier aboard the flight named Felix Martucci recognized amongst the officers waiting on the tarmac, a mortician named Glenn Dennis, whom he’d gone to school with, Schmitt reported. Dennis has long claimed that he’d been on the base, and spoken to a nurse who witnessed an alien autopsy.

    Carey speculated that an ET craft was hit by lightning in July 1947, “and whatever it was made out of exceeded its tensile strength and came apart,” crashing in two different locations. An “inner cabin” was not breeched, and this wound up at the impact site closer to Roswell, along with the alien bodies, one of whom survived, he continued. Carey and Schmitt both believe the smoking gun in the case is the Ramey memo, seen in a photograph. Under computer analysis, it’s been shown the memo refers to a disc and “victims of the wreck,” rather than a weather balloon.

  128. blessedistruth Says:

    Coast to Coast AM 2/24/2010 [9/15] Roswell Revelations

  129. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:

  130. blessedistruth Says:

    A new candidate for Nurse X–Mary Lowe

    (New! July 2009) Yet another good candidate for Nurse X was Mary Crowley Lowe. In 1998, Tom Carey was tipped off to her existence by friends of hers, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Huttanus. In 1960, Mrs. Huttanus had been a civilian employee at the base (now named Walker Air Force Base), where Lowe was also employed. Mrs. Huttanus claimed, much to her shock, that Mary Lowe told her, “Back in 1947, I was a nurse and happened to be at the hospital when the aliens from the UFO crash were brought in.” Huttanus said Lowe would say no more. The Hutanuses refused to identifiy the woman and added that she would deny the story even if she was located. However, they did inadvertantly leave a significant clue indicating she still lived in Roswell and that her husband was employed as a golf pro there at New Mexico Military Institute. With a little sleuthing, she was quickly identified as Mary Lowe.

    Carey and Schmitt decided to have an associate, UFO historian Wendy Connors, approach Lowe in July 1999, believing a woman might have a better chance at gaining her trust. Connors was invited in for a two-hour chat, but Mary Lowe denied being at the base in 1947, saying she was an Army nurse stationed in Scotland at the time (similar to Dennis’ story of her being sent to England immediately afterwards). However, her Army records indicated she was supposedly discharged in 1946 for marrying an enlisted man. (Military regulations then forbade officers and enlisted people marrying one another.) There was no explanation for the discrepancy.

    When Connors asked Lowe if she had been at the base hospital in July 1947, Connors reported Lowe wanted to know if Glenn Dennis had been her informant. She was also very interested in Glenn Dennis’ affidavit, which Connors read to her, while she remained silent, afterwards denying she was stationed there at the time.

    Carey and Schmitt then approached Dennis the next day, to test his reaction to their new candidate for Nurse X. Providing only her first name of “Mary,” Dennis quickly responded, “Oh, Mary Lowe. Yeah, she knows everything.” Evidently, Lowe and Dennis knew each other very well.

    The next day, Dennis retracted his statement. “About yesterday, forget what I said about Mary Lowe. I was mistaken. She doesn’t know anything!” Carey and Schmitt suspect Mary Lowe erroneously blamed Dennis for outing her existence, called him on the phone soon after her interview with Wendy Connors, and told him to shut up, causing Dennis to retract his story. Since then, both Lowe and Dennis have refused to talk about it. Lowe is now believed to be dead, the reason Carey and Schmitt revealed her existence in their 2009 expanded edition of “Witness to Roswell” (pp. 149-151). Schmitt also confidentially told me the story of Lowe and Dennis several years ago, and I have only added it now that she has been made public.

    Another indication that Mary Lowe may be Nurse X is a casual comment Dennis made to me in August 2001 when I was visiting the International UFO Museum in Roswell. I asked him about the nonexistent “Naomi Marie Selff”, which he indicated was a made-up name, because he promised never to reveal her real name while he was alive. He then told me that one of her names was nearly correct , in retrospect presumably the “Marie” part. (Then again, “Miriam” Bush would also be close.)

    The fact that Dennis was well aware that Mary Lowe was still alive and well and living in Roswell I suspect to be the reason he was less than honest about her name, and maybe altered some other details about her to further conceal her true identity (such as being told that she had died in a plane crash in England), perhaps making her a composite of several similar people at the base hospital, including Miriam Bush and Adeline Fanton.

  131. blessedistruth Says:

    Evidence of Aliens? – I Believe in UFOs: Danny Dyer – Highlight – BBC Three

  132. blessedistruth Says:

    More about this episode:

    Danny Dyer goes on a quest to spot a UFO, spurred on by a meeting with his boyhood hero Sir Patrick Moore. Danny examines reported UFO landing sites and the sinister evidence that aliens may have been conducting scientific experiments here in Britain.

  133. blessedistruth Says:

    February 25, 2010

  134. blessedistruth Says:

  135. blessedistruth Says:

    Really there are two issues at this point – working out the reconciliation process itself, included the order of which chamber would vote first; and then determining whether the House and Senate actually have the votes.

    Both have unresolved questions, but the question of the votes in the House seems like the major obstacle.

    Bart Stupak has identified 15-20 Democrats who voted for the bill previously who would not do so again, citing the abortion language.

    And it’s entirely unclear whether that gap can be made up with those who voted no initially, even if Stupak is exaggerating.

    Recent House retirements and deaths have thinned the margin for passage even more.

    And one of the few House Democrats who was amenable to flipping his vote, Jason Altmire (D-PA), didn’t think the votes were there this time around.

    At some point, the determination by the leadership to move forward must be met with the determination to solve the jigsaw puzzle that leads to 50 votes in the Senate and 217 in the House to ensure final passage of a single bill.

  136. blessedistruth Says:

    Imagine that John McCain had won the 2008 election.

    Confronted with a Democratic majority and interested in recapturing his reputation as a politician far above partisan politics, he decided to co-opt a longtime Democratic priority and reform the health-care system.

    After a series of long and grueling meetings with Democratic leadership, he settled on a plan they felt able to support.

    The plan looked like the Senate plan.

    Not exactly, but enough for the purposes of this hypothetical.

    Remember that Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, McCain’s main Senate allies, were both Wyden-Bennett sponsors.

    Compromise that plan down a bit and you’re left with something a lot like the Senate bill:

    private insurance,

    government regulation,

    public subsidies,

    some taxation of benefits,

    individual mandate,

    state exchanges and

    all the other major features.

    Put aside whether you think that proposal would’ve been the likely outcome.

    What would the vote be?

    How many Republicans would support the bill if it were their party that looked likely to benefit?

    How many House Democrats would stick with the plan if it was taxing some benefits and had no public option and a Republican president had his name on it?

    And if you think that the differences in vote composition would be dramatic — and I do — then what does that say about the usefulness of evaluating legislative fights on grounds of policy disagreements?

  137. blessedistruth Says:

    Republicans were aware of polls showing Americans in favor of changing the health-care system and were determined to show they, too, have ideas.

    They laid out a six-point plan that included curbs on malpractice lawsuits, allowing small businesses to band together to buy insurance and an expansion of high-risk pools to cover the sick.

    Mr. Obama offered a concession on one GOP priority—limits on malpractice suits.

    He agreed with a Republican proposal that would allow states to experiment with alternative ways to resolve such lawsuits.

    But the president conditioned his approval on Republicans agreeing on a broader package to reduce health costs.

    But Republicans weren’t looking to have their ideas incorporated into the Democratic bill.

    When it was over, leaders from both sides followed the president back across the street to the White House, where they held separate news conferences that made it clear they were no closer to an agreement than they were at the start of the day.

    House Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said the same thing he’s been saying for weeks: “The bill needs to be scrapped.”

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said that Democrats would move ahead even without Republican support.

    —Greg Hitt contributed to this article.

    Write to Laura Meckler at and Janet Adamy at

  138. blessedistruth Says:

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    New Thread:

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