His neighbor the cat is a real
 swinger, too,
 He goes:
 "meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!"

This was one of those songs that I taught to my children. They turned out okay! Really!


 A very hip bird sits in his cage,
 He sings: "Tweet tweet tweet tweet
 Tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet."
 His neighbor the cat is a real
 swinger, too,
 He goes:
 "meow meow meow meow meow meow meow!"
 As cool is the mouse who digs on his
 He goes:
 "Squeak squeak squeak Squeak squeak
 And the dog is a scattin’
 "Cause he’s in his own house,
 He goes: "Bow wow wow wow wow wow

 And the bird in his cage does a buck
 - and - a - wing,
 He’s dancin’:
 "Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
 Hep cat and his buddies play the
 "Do da do dodo, do da do da doo doo
 As cool is the mouse who digs on his
 He goes:
 "Squeak squeak squeak Squeak squeak
 And the dog is down home
 he’s got the beat by the tail, He’s
 "Bow wow wow wow wow wow wow!"

 When they do this together it’s a
 euphonious whale!
 "Squeak, bow, tick, tweet"
 When they do this together
 they make a euphonious whale!

“Dan Hicks is an American Treasure.  ‘I Scare Myself’ and ‘It’s Not My Time to Go’…
I think they’re two of the best songs ever written” – Elvis Costello
 It's Not My Time to Go -- “A voice keeps calling to me, so loud and so clear....I'll just pretend I'm not here"


248 Responses to “THE EUPHONIUS WHALE”

  1. blessedistruth Says:

  2. blessedistruth Says:

    She’s her own grandmother.

    This song reminds me of my daughter.

  3. blessedistruth Says:

    This album is one of those which I’ve in a box in my garage.

    I have the original album and also the CD when it was issued.

    I have so much music out there, including albums worth a whole lot.

    And albums which have never been reissued.

  4. blessedistruth Says:


    Everything you gave me I’m giving
    back to you
    And that’s what’s going to save me
    and maybe save you too
    and if to you that’s heavy well
    say you may be right
    The dope that you been giving me
    just ran out tonight
    The least that I could do for you
    is what you did for me

    *And give some (givin’ you, givin’
    you some)
    Of you own (givin’ you, givin’ you
    Medicine (Watch out, for cheaters
    don’t win)
    (Watch out, for cheaters don’ win) (2

    I hope that you can take it
    but I’m sure you can
    And I’ll be sure and make it as easy
    as I can
    The mess you made out of my head
    needs some company
    The least that I could do for you
    is what you did for me


    Don’t come in a bottle don’t come in
    a can
    How you get it don’t really matter,
    Don’t really give a damn


  5. blessedistruth Says:

    cactus is our friend

  6. blessedistruth Says:

    This is one of those images that cannot be refuted. It just is.

  7. blessedistruth Says:

    Everyone thinks me a loon already.

    So I may as well share this.

    The image of the Holy Spirit above the head of the Madonna.

    I have seen that. I mean for real.

    I was working with a friend on raising funds to send people to Medjugoria.

    And she was a Eucharistic minister. After communion, when she was returning the Body of Christ to its holy place, I saw this same apparition above her head as can be seen in the image above.

    I know I should go to church. I know I should go.

  8. blessedistruth Says:

    We are so far removed from any semblance of a relationship with our Creator.

    What can I do?

    I guess I can try and remind you.

    I think we have to put everything else aside.

    And just hone in on that.

  9. blessedistruth Says:

    Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

  10. blessedistruth Says:

    Dem House Vote-Counter Lacks Health Care Votes Now

    House’s Democratic vote-counter still hunting for votes on Obama’s health care overhaul

  11. blessedistruth Says:

    Wishful thinking?


    I haven’t seen any vote count, from anyone, that shows the majority near 216, but there seems to be a sense that as the various elements fall into place — a CBO score, a final reconciliation budget fix, an unambiguous commitment from the Senate, the likely inclusion of student-loan reform — the majority will fall into place, too.

    The gamesmanship and strategizing is hard to decipher from the outside, but if the leadership thought there was a reasonable chance the votes simply wouldn’t materialize, the Democratic rhetoric this morning would sound quite a bit different.

  12. blessedistruth Says:

    Catholic bishops send message to faithful: We oppose ObamaCare

  13. blessedistruth Says:

    Ed Morrissey

    My appearance at Kill the Bill rally in St. Paul, MN

  14. blessedistruth Says:

    White House backs down on health bill deals

    The White House is backing down from trying to get senators to remove some special deals from the health care bill.

    Senior adviser David Axelrod says the White House only objected to deals that affected just one state, such one involving Medicaid and Nebraska that’s being cut from the legislation.

    Axelrod says that deals that could apply to more than one state are OK.

    That means deals pushed by senators from Montana and Connecticut would be fine because they’re written in such a way that other states could potentially qualify.

    It’s a change from a couple days ago when press secretary Robert Gibbs singled out the Montana and Connecticut deals and said President Barack Obama wanted them gone.

    Axelrod spoke on ABC’s “This Week.”


    deals that could apply to more than one state are OK?

    So does this mean it’s okay for seniors in three counties in Florida to be treated differently than seniors in Arizona?!

    As far as I know, that stinky provision applied to “more than one state.”

  15. blessedistruth Says:

    President Barack Obama says he wants projects helping specific states yanked from the health care bill Congress is writing.

    Democratic senators, being senators, beg to differ.

    The Senate-approved health measure lawmakers hope to send to Obama soon would steer

    $600 million over the next decade to Vermont in added federal payments for Medicaid and

    nearly as much to Massachusetts.

    Connecticut would get $100 million to build a hospital.

    *** About 800,000 Florida seniors could keep certain Medicare benefits. ***

    Asbestos-disease victims in tiny Libby, Mont., and

    some coal miners with black lung disease or their widows would get help, and

    there are prizes for Louisiana,

    the Dakotas and

    more states.

    “We’re going to do what we have to do to get a bill out of the House and Senate,” said James Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

    As for Obama’s wish list of deletions:

    “We’ll certainly keep it in mind as we pull together a final bill.”

    That tepid salute underscores the prickliness with which many senators have greeted what they consider Obama’s meddling in their business and raises questions about

    *** how successful the president will be in erasing the special projects from final legislation. ***

    Apparently, not very successful.

    If memory serves the Gator-aid stinky provision does apply to one or two other states as well.

    And if that stays in any final reconciliation bill, how is Pelosi gonna pass that?

  16. blessedistruth Says:


    “House Budget Chairman John Spratt said House Democratic leaders want to try to pass the bill through the House by March 19.

    But House Majority Leader Hoyer cautioned that could slip into that weekend. …

    The [Democratic] Caucus also was informed that the corrections bill eliminates two special deals in the Senate bill —

    one for Nebraska, dubbed the ‘Cornhusker Kickback,’ that gave the state extra help with Medicaid funding, and

    another for Florida that slowed Medicare Advantage benefit reductions.”

    (I guess we’ll have to wait to see which stinky provisions are actually eliminated by any final reconciliation bill.)

    “The bill will not eliminate additional Medicaid funding for Louisiana or a hospital deal for Connecticut, aides said” (Edney, House and Sanchez, 3/13).

  17. blessedistruth Says:

    To: iowamark

    What J.D. Hayworth should have said …

    Geraldo: J.D., are you a birther?

    J.D. Hayworth: Geraldo, I’m a Constitutionalist. I’m disappointed any American would become angry, disjointed or hostile to anyone else when they are asked to provide historical documentation about their life as an American.

    Obama’s apology tour is working. Somehow, it has entered the mainstream American mind that birth records, education records and voting records are off limits to voters.

    It’s an entitlement culture run amok, Geraldo. John McCain can’t be held responsible for his voting record. The Establishment has annointed John and he get a pass. The Establishment wants average Americans to wait until John decides to retire before real reform can begin.

    5 posted on Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:19:56 AM by SvenMagnussen

    To: SvenMagnussen

    The Left has done an excellent job defining the Obama past.

    Sad to see that all politicians are so afraid to confront this issue, including J.D.

    7 posted on Sunday, March 14, 2010 3:54:01 AM by Rational Thought

    To: Rational Thought

    The Left has done an excellent job defining the Obama past.

    BTW, when will there be an unauthorized biography of Obama coming out? I heard there are two Glen Beck unbios coming soon. I still want to know who my President is…..

    9 posted on Sunday, March 14, 2010 5:31:45 AM by The_Media_never_lie

    (I’m still inclined to believe that the way McCain has chosen to go after Hayworth will hurt him in the end. It strikes me as unseemly and unbecoming for a man of McCain’s stature. I’ll be very interested to see the next poll.)

  18. blessedistruth Says:

    NBC-7: ‘Strange lights’ reported over south Walton County coastline, Florida

  19. blessedistruth Says:

    It occurred to me that I hadn’t listened to Dr. Steven Greer in a while.

    Documents Highlighted in the Obama Briefing

    A little more than a year ago Dr. Greer sent a comprehensive briefing on the UFO and Energy issues to President Obama.

    The cover letter was released Oct. 2009. Today he will discuss in depth the 5 documents highlighted in the briefing and why they are so important. What do they reveal about the ET issue and the secrecy surrounding it?

  20. blessedistruth Says:

    This compilation includes many of my favorite NASA UFO encounters/sightings that I have archived over the years.

    All of these examples (with the exception of the second-to-last one) were captured on film by NASA astronauts or Russian Cosmonauts over the past half-century

    – showing many amazing examples from different eras –

    Gemini, Apollo, Apollo/Soyuz Test Project, Skylab, STS, the ISS, plus a couple Russian-source additions from their unmanned Zond and Mir Space Station programs as well thrown in to round things out.

    The second last example is the only one in the compilation that features footage that was not taken in space and is not official-source (NASA or Soviet/Russian Space Agency).

    That clip shows an LTP (Lunar Transient Phenomenon) event captured through a camera connected to the eyepiece of a terrestrial-based telescope that luckily was being focused on the Moon at the time.

    In this case, the LTP manifests as an object transiting across the face of the lunar disc.

    Many thanks to amateur astronomer Alberto Mayer of Italy for doing a wonderful job of filming this stunning event (and for stacking the footage for us all to see).

  21. blessedistruth Says:

    Part 2

    Aliens in the NASA Archives – More Stunning NASA UFO Anomalies Captured On Film

  22. blessedistruth Says:

    It’s just possible that Obama has been threatened NOT to disclose.

    As he has much to hide.

    So I wouldn’t hold your breath, good people.

    And just why are manned space flights being discontinued?

    Too many human eyes, too many human voices?

    Not so easy to explain away.

  23. blessedistruth Says:

  24. blessedistruth Says:

    More NASA Alien Anomalies – a closer look at the Apollo 16mm “DAC” Footage (Trailer)

  25. blessedistruth Says:

    So Fox News and all the rest of them choose to show amateur video shot by some well-meaning person in their backyard.

    Instead of footage like this?

    Ask yourself why.

  26. blessedistruth Says:

    Speaking of “fastwalkers”

  27. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:

  28. blessedistruth Says:

    That’s what I love about music. Sometimes a song just takes you by surprise.

    Yeah, that’s a cool song.

    Then I looked at the title, “Make Love”

    Even cooler.

    Yes, I listen to Daft Punk!

  29. blessedistruth Says:

  30. blessedistruth Says:

    These links still work.

  31. blessedistruth Says:

    blessedistruth Says:

    January 8, 2010 at 2:15 am |

    Santa Rosa de Lima was conceived on Isla Taboga.

    The first saint of this hemisphere, was born on Isla Taboga.

    According to Taboga historians, the parents of the young girl who was later to be canonized lived in a charming house on the beach near Playa Hondo on the northern side of the island.

    The house still exists today, although somewhat modernized.

    Later, the family moved to Peru where Peruvians refer to the saint as Santa Rosa de Lima de Taboga.

    She was known best for her humility and kindness to those in need.

    Her caring nature spread quickly, and the sick, the lame, and the suffering came to her for comfort and guidance for their salvation.

    She is also known in many other parts of South America and in Mexico and also in the Philippines.

  32. blessedistruth Says:

    snowy andes

  33. blessedistruth Says:

    CABANAS LOS ANDES: Nevados de Chillan POWDER

  34. blessedistruth Says:

  35. blessedistruth Says:


  36. blessedistruth Says:

    Rough draft my son uploaded. This is the rough draft?! Not bad.

  37. blessedistruth Says:

    March 15, 2010

    You can click on green arrow at end of each line, I mean if you choose to.

  38. song Says:

    Hola Rosa,

    Been out of commission for a day or so?? Still so weary after finishing my book, I can’t even look at it! Geez.

    you said: “Everyone thinks me a loon already.”

    Not I….nope.


    Love that song that reminds you of your daughter. I remember Dan Hicks quite well. Love that group.

    So? I found Django for you, as my gift to your musical offering this fine day.. keeping with your theme. (ahem)

  39. song Says:

    Beaterator video was great! Nice son you have Rosa!

    Not surprised at that!

  40. blessedistruth Says:

    Thanks, song!

    What a nice way to start the day!


  41. blessedistruth Says:

    First, a health care-related item.

    The House Budget Committee released a health care bill they will mark up tomorrow, but it’s a shell bill, basically HR3200, to satisfy the requirements of using a bill for reconciliation that pre-dates October 15, 2009.

    The real changes to the Senate bill will be made probably in the Rules Committee, and they will be a series of agreed-upon changes.

    Kagro predicted this procedural move two months ago.

    • Right now all eyes are on the House, but in the Senate really the only man available to stop the reconciliation fixes from happening will be the Parliamentarian, Alan Frumin.

    Democrats will whip against any amendments; only Frumin will have the ability to change the bill by throwing out anything not germane to reconciliation.

    It’s completely unknown how big a problem this will become.

  42. blessedistruth Says:

    That translates into specific concerns with the Senate legislation—and

    *** none of these objections would be addressed by the proposed fixes. ***

    Over 70%—indeed in several districts over 80%—of respondents, across party lines, said that the following information made them less supportive:

    the bill mandates that individuals purchase insurance or face penalties;

    *** it cuts Medicare Advantage; ***

    it will force potentially millions to lose existing coverage;

    it will cost an estimated $2.3 trillion over its first 10 years; and

    it will grant unprecedented new powers to the Health and Human Services secretary.

    (If this is correct, then Gator-aid Medicare Advantage special treatment for seniors in three counties in Florida doesn’t get fixed?!)

  43. blessedistruth Says:

    Consequently, the program (Medicare Advantage) is universally popular in swing districts with large proportions of elderly voters.

    And, old people vote, as all Congressmen know.

    For that reason, in fact, Florida US Senator Bill Nelson had the residents of three South Florida counties grandfathered in to the program, a special deal that has drawn national condemnation.

    The simple thing to do politically is to not cut Medicare at all, thus reducing the political danger to Democrats of cutting a popular entitlement.

    However, just as the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback” on Medicaid funding has been extended to all 50 states in the reconciliation bill,

    so then, grandfather all current recipients of Medicare Advantage.

    (and pay for that how? I just want to know if this stinky Gator-aid deal is in or out of the reconciliation bill.)

  44. blessedistruth Says:

    Obama Drops Objections to Sweetheart Deals as House Moves to Craft Health Care Fixes

    The White House is backing down from efforts to drop “sweetheart” deals poisoning health care legislation as House Budget Committee Democrats meet Monday to craft a final bill that does not yet have a price tag.

    For instance, the Senate deal gives Medicare coverage to asbestos-sickened residents of Libby, Mont., the only place where that’s happened so far.

    But such a deal could apply to other places where public health emergencies are declared.

    “The principle that we want to apply is that are these: Are these applicable to all states?

    Even if they do not qualify now, would they qualify under certain sets of circumstances?” Axelrod said Sunday.

    Dodd’s deal would leave it up to the health secretary to decide where to spend $100 million for construction of a hospital, though Dodd has made clear he hopes the University of Connecticut would be the beneficiary.

    The decision to back down from the costly add-ons comes as the House awaits an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office on the price of a bill that House lawmakers hope will be passed

    *** after they approve the deal-heavy Senate legislation. ***

    Late Sunday, the House budget panel put a placeholder bill on its Web site that they envision as a fix to Senate legislation preferred by Obama.

    That placeholder legislation includes language resembling the House bill passed last year that offered a so-called public option.

    That language may be an incentive toward liberal Democrats who voted against the House bill last year because, they said, it didn’t have a strong enough government option.

    The Senate version that House lawmakers are being asked to support offers

    a heavily subsidized health insurance exchange

    so when push comes to shove, Democrats could be convinced to vote for half a loaf, rather than none at all.

    House Democrats are meeting Monday to go over

    the secondary legislation (reconciliation bill)

    that when agreed to by Budget Committee members will start a 48-hour clock for lawmakers to inspect the bill.

    (I still don’t know if Gator-aid is in or out.)

  45. blessedistruth Says:

    From same article

    Medicare would be used to fund nearly half the plan, which means subsidies to Medicare Advantage programs used by seniors will be redirected.

    However, the government will close the so-called “doughnut hole” that forces seniors to pay for a portion of their prescription drugs.

    Medicaid would be expanded to cover childless adults living near poverty.

    (Still not sure about Bill Nelson’s stinky provision.)

  46. blessedistruth Says:

    In the case of Nebraska, what everyone was outraged about was that it seemed to be a special deal just for one state.

    That is not going to be in this bill.”

    Under the previously passed Senate bill, one provision would give $100 million to the state of Connecticut to build a hospital.

    Victims of asbestos-related illnesses in the home state of Finance Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, Libby, Mont., secured aid.

    Massachusetts and Vermont secured extra Medicaid funding.

    *** Seniors in Florida and New York would be able to keep Medicare Advantage benefits being cut for seniors everywhere else. ***

    Axelrod defended the deal secured for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., saying

    “what has been portrayed as a provision relating to Louisiana says that if a state, if every county in a state is declared a disaster area, they get some extra Medicaid funds.”

    (Sounds like Gator-aid deal will NOT be fixed in reconciliation. If that isn’t enough for an undecided House Dem to vote no on the underlying bill, then I don’t know what is.)

  47. blessedistruth Says:

    The Florida delegation

    — including Reps. Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Alan Grayson, Alcee Hastings, Ron Klein, Kendrick Meek and Debby Wasserman Schultz —

    would have a hard time voting to strip the deal shielding 800,000 Florida seniors from Medicare Advantage cuts.

    (Well, yeah. Maybe that’s why the sweetheart deal will NOT get fixed. Honestly, it drives me mad when I can’t get a straight answer!)

  48. blessedistruth Says:

    Last week, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said of special deals:

    “Massachusetts and Vermont I’m told are not in there.

    The Medicare Advantage stuff for New York and Florida is not in there.

    There’s a provision I think that benefited Michigan that is not in there, and I think as the story said today, and as I’ve said earlier, there are additional things like maybe Montana and Connecticut that we’ve asked the Senate to take out.”

    *** It’s unclear whether that still stands. ***

    Senators have pushed back against the president’s request that the deals be removed and Axelrod’s statement seemed to reflect a new policy pertaining to the deals.

    (Obama wants Pelosi to pull a rabbit out of her hat before he leaves on Sunday, AND IT’S UNCLEAR WHETHER THAT STILL STANDS!!! I can feel my blood pressure rising!)

  49. blessedistruth Says:

    New Health Care Whip Count: 190 Yes, 205 No (with leaners, 202-207)

  50. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats need 26 of a combination of the 14 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 22 potential Yes-No flip votes.

    So they need 26 out of the remaining uncommitted 36.

    If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 14 of the last 22 uncommitted.

  51. blessedistruth Says:

    I don’t usually listen to Rush Limbaugh, but maybe he’s discussing this.

    Actually, Mark Steyn is guest host.

  52. blessedistruth Says:

    I just heard Carl Cameron say on Fox News that Gator-aid deal will be fixed in reconciliation.

    I hope he’s right.

    But we won’t know for sure until we actually get a copy of the reconciliation bill.

  53. blessedistruth Says:

    This list is probably not comprehensive.

    We need to know, House Dems need to know which sweetheart deals get fixed and which do not.

    * The Cornhusker Kickback?

    * $300,000,000 of bribes to Louisiana’s Senator Mary Landrieu?

    * A new hospital in Connecticut for morally challenged Senator Chris Dodd?

    * Roughly ten billion in community health centers to buy off Vermont’s Bernie Sanders?

    * An exemption of Bill Nelson’s Florida constituents from the Medicare Advantage cuts applicable to everyone else?

  54. blessedistruth Says:

    Q: Don’t abortion opponents have other concerns about the bill?

    A: A major one has to do with $11 billion that Obama wants to pump into community health centers serving low-income people and the uninsured.

    As the bill is currently written, those funds are not explicitly covered by the Hyde amendment.

    White House health overhaul spokeswoman Linda Douglass says Obama is willing to clarify the language.

    (So $10 billion is going to Vermont for “community health centers.” Does this mean American taxpayers will be funding abortions ONLY in Vermont?)

  55. blessedistruth Says:

    Interesting discussion here:

  56. blessedistruth Says:

    Another good place for updates:

  57. blessedistruth Says:

    Rasmussen Obama Approval

    45% — 54%

    If I were an undecided House Dem, I would not be encouraged by this.

    Obviously the very same people who elected Obama are not with him now.

  58. blessedistruth Says:

    Is Obama an egomaniac?

    Uh, yeah.

  59. blessedistruth Says:

    This is what the people of Chile were listening to in 1966, when we were listening to the Beatles.

    I wonder if Victor Jara ever covered a Beatles song.



  60. blessedistruth Says:


    March 15, 2010

    You can click on green arrow at end of each line, I mean if you choose to.

  61. blessedistruth Says:

    song, Pat is the funniest person I’ve ever met.

    Once, when I was driving into Manhattan to drop him and his girlfriend off at the train or the bus to head on up to school in Potsdam.

    This song came on. And they were in the backseat.

    Next thing I know, Pat is singing this song like the cookie monster would.

    On more than one occasion, I’ve begged him to stop before I pee my pants.

    He’s that funny. I miss him so.

    Try to hear how the cookie monster would sing this song.

  62. blessedistruth Says:

    I think Pat has been torn between performing and arranging and producing.

    He seems to be leaning toward producing. In fact, he’s found a niche for himself.

    Could any one of us ask for anything more?

  63. blessedistruth Says:

    House Budget Committee Reports Reconciliation Bill Out

    (How can this be when we haven’t even seen the reconciliation bill yet? I was listening to Sean Hannity and he mentioned that some have reported that the Dem leadership got the CBO score over the weekend and it wasn’t pretty. So I guess they’re busy tweaking things until they get to a score of their liking. And we won’t actually see any reconciliation bill until then, and so we really don’t know what’s going to end up in there. How can these fence-sitters even make a determination until they see what get’s fixed, what doesn’t get fixed, and the price tag? BTW, even if Pelosi manages to muster 216, House Dems will decide based on reconciliation “fixes.” And I guarantee you not all of those fixes will survive the Senate.)

  64. blessedistruth Says:

    Still 10 votes shy, according to HotAir.

  65. blessedistruth Says:

    Keith Hennessey don’t know, either!

    I hope that the pending health legislation is not enacted into law.

    If it is, fiscally responsible legislators, including those on the new Fiscal Responsibility Commission, should include in their formal recommendations repeal of all the deficit-increasing provisions of these new laws.

  66. blessedistruth Says:

    White House to Allow Special Deals to Remain in Bill

    umm, which special deals, exactly?

    we really won’t know until we see that CBO score.

    cha cha!

  67. blessedistruth Says:

    Geez Louise! After all that I need some music!

  68. blessedistruth Says:

    Great vids here:

  69. blessedistruth Says:

    I noticed cynka dynka doo posted this. Another good site for updates.

  70. blessedistruth Says:

    And here, of course.

    ezra don’t know, either.

  71. blessedistruth Says:

    Hugh Hewitt

  72. blessedistruth Says:

    New Health Care Whip Count: 191 Yes, 206 No (204-208 with leaners)

  73. blessedistruth Says:

    Just to finish up some whip count business.

    Jay Cost may claim that the NRCC is still targeting Scott Murphy and Jason Altmire, but their own target sheet lists them both as Yes votes.

    And you can reason them as Yes votes without that information, too.

    • MoveOn’s using the history argument (as in, “be on the right side of history”) to argue for passage.

    The President maintains he’ll get the votes.

    Chris Bowers analyzes my whip count and finds himself optimistic.

    Jim DeMint is pessimistic.

    I’m looking at the raw votes, and there’s still some work to be done on the part of the Democrats.

    (When will we see reconciliation bill and CBO score?)

  74. blessedistruth Says:

    This should be interesting.

    Nancy Pelosi’s Official ‘Tea Party Etiquette’ For March 16 CODE RED Kill the Bill Day on the Hill

  75. blessedistruth Says:

    You know, some on the right have been dissing birthers, saying don’t be distracted.

    Birthers, unite!

    Don’t be distracted by the talking heads on the right or on the left.

    Because the left really is trying to hijack this argument, to use it against us.

  76. sisterrosetta Says:

    If they don’t have more than 200 now, it may be that some Democrats are holding out for their own version of the Cornhusker Kickback and not withholding support for any other purpose. Stupak sees the CBO score as the watershed event, but the CBO can’t score the bill until Pelosi finally hollows out the shell and starts filling it with legislative language and pork.

    Hot air

  77. blessedistruth Says:

    New Health Care Whip Count: 190 Yes, 206 No (205-209 with leaners)

    Democrats need 26 of a combination of the 13 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 22 potential Yes-No flip votes.

    So they need 26 out of the remaining uncommitted 35.

    If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 11 of the last 17 uncommitted.

  78. blessedistruth Says:

    Updating the Price Tag

    The CBO should issue a new ten-year score for Obamacare

    If 2020’s spending simply equals 2019’s $130 billion in anticipated outlays, this would seem to push last year’s CBO score from $849 billion to a hefty $979 billion.

    This is heart-stoppingly close to $1 trillion, and far higher than the “fiscally prudent” $900 billion threshold below which Democrats have tried to keep Obamacare’s official cost.

    Pro-Obamacare Democrats most likely will not ask CBO a question whose answer they prefer not to hear.

    A new CBO score that shows costs shooting through the Capitol Dome will send moderate and otherwise-wavering Democrats diving for cover.

    Pelosi’s vote-counting arithmetic suddenly will become trigonometry.

    So, it falls upon congressional Republicans to call on CBO to issue a new score.

    Republicans should do this immediately and repeatedly until CBO gets this done.

    Whether one believes Obamacare belongs in the U.S. Code or on the ash heap of history, Americans deserve to have members of Congress vote on this momentous measure with a clear understanding of what it costs — not yesterday, but today.

    (What the writer is talking about is getting a new CBO score on the Senate bill, NOT INCLUDING the price tag for any reconciliation “fixes.”)

  79. blessedistruth Says:

    Fuzzy Math in the Health Care Legislation?

    The chief Actuary for Medicare and Medicaid, Richard Foster, said the same thing — that cuts in Medicare

    “… cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays… and to extend the trust fund…”

    Other outlays refers to about 400 billion in new subsidies to help Americans buy health insurance, along with adding some 15 million people to Medicaid and other reforms.

    Maya Macguineas says “you cannot make the claim that a dollar is both being used to extend life of medicare trust fund and to pay for a new health care entitlement. a dollar can only be used once here.”

    But the current plan would spend those dollars twice.

    So analysts say it is clear that

    either there wouldn’t be enough money for Medicare to pay its obligations–

    or there wouldn’t be enough to pay for new subsidies to buy insurance and other reforms, such as an expansion of Medicaid.

    In that case, say experts of all stripes — in which case, the deficit would explode in ways that no lawmaker can stomach or justify.

    (And we’re still waiting for reconciliation bill and price tag.)

  80. blessedistruth Says:

    House Democrats triggered the countdown Monday for the climactic vote, with the House Budget Committee agreeing 21-16 to fast-track rules for the health bill, a necessary first step before floor action.

    Even so, the legislation remained incomplete.

    House Democrats caucused Monday evening, and a number of rank-and-file lawmakers straggled out discouraged that they still didn’t have final legislative language or a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

    Leaders hope to get both those things Tuesday.

    Until then there’s only so much they can do to pin down wavering lawmakers who will soon be asked to make one of the riskiest votes of their careers.

    “There’s no decision yet on what the process is going to be,

    there’s nothing back from the CBO,

    there’s no commitment yet from the Senate that they can get 51 votes, and

    there’s no bill to show me what it’s in it,”

    said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., a freshman who voted “yes” last year and has been targeted by Republicans.

    “So until those things get resolved I’m staying uncommitted.”

  81. blessedistruth Says:


    The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London is reporting that President Barack Obama will refuse to campaign for any congressional Democrat who dares to vote against healthcare reform — Obama-style.

  82. blessedistruth Says:

    Final Text Elusive But House Still Expects Health Care Vote This Week

    “The expectation is we will do health care reform later in the week,” Hoyer said.

    But he wouldn’t say if Democrats have the 216 votes they will need to pass the health care package.

    House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller , D-Calif., was asked by reporters about reports that preliminary CBO scores showed that

    the reconciliation bill does not save $2 billion over five years as required under budget rules, and that

    the costs of the total bill topped $1 trillion.

    “I don’t know that yet,” he replied.

    “We’re waiting to hear back from CBO.

    When I left the meeting last night, we were sending it back to CBO.”

    Rep. Robert E. Andrews , D-N.J., who has been asked by House leaders to help promote the bill, also declined to talk about whether

    initial CBO estimates may have revealed problems.

    “They were preliminary scores.

    By the nature of the fact that it’s a draft, I don’t want to comment on it,” said Andrews.

  83. sisterrosetta Says:

    What Moderation?   [Rich Lowry] What’s so striking about Obama’s health-care gambit is how immoderate it is in every way. On the substance, he is pushing for the left-most plausible plan. Some of his apologists will say he’s a centrist because he dropped the public option, but he gave up on it only because it didn’t have the votes (seems almost quaint, doesn’t it?). And the reason Obama is doing everything he can to avoid going back to the Senate under the regular rules is that he doesn’t want to compromise an inch of the current left-most plausible plan with moderate Republicans. On top of the substance, there’s the immoderate, Dostoevsky-worthy political gamble Obama is making — it’s bold verging on reckless. He is staking his presidency (at least in the near term) on the outcome in the House with no guarantee that he can get the votes. He may well get them at the end of the day, but this is extraordinary risk-taking. And why is he doing this? Presumably because he’s a true believer, with a passionate conviction that a semi-nationalization of health care is worth it — downside consequences be damned. All of this runs exactly counter to the image of Obama as a moderate, coolly calculating man of nuance. We can believe that, or the evidence before our eyes in the health-care debate every day. 03/16 01:43 PM

  84. blessedistruth Says:

    Sean Hannity must have a good source. As he was reporting on problems with CBO scoring of reconciliation “fixes” yesterday.

    Coming up at top of the hour.

  85. blessedistruth Says:

    Too Much Debt Means U.S. at Risk of Losing AAA Credit Rating [Veronique de Rugy]

    (This is one smart lady. I would listen to her.)

  86. blessedistruth Says:

    March 16, 2010

    You can click on green arrow at end of each line, I mean if you choose to.

  87. blessedistruth Says:

    Altmire on Hannity!

  88. blessedistruth Says:

    Sean, ask him about lack of CBO score.

  89. blessedistruth Says:

    Altmire opposes process. i.e., slaughter solution


    statesmen, deem and pass

    not right format

    not corruption, inappropriate

    honestly, I think this whole deem and pass is a non-issue

    it comes down to the House passing Senate bill

    stinky provisions — Cornhusker

    we don’t even know which sweetheart deals are still in there

    no guarantee from Senate

    Altmire — sounds like Sean thinks him a no?

    behind scenes?

    Altmire — he’s listening but no decision yet

    how does he determine how constituents stand

    this weekend — vote

    I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t decided yet

    is altmire a narcissist, too?

    he seems to be enjoying the spotlight

    or maybe, just maybe, he needs to justify a no vote

  90. blessedistruth Says:

    Finally, geez you guys are slow!

    C-B-Oh No! Budget Office Holds Up Health Reform?

  91. blessedistruth Says:

    Governor asks Indiana House members to reject health care reform legislation

  92. blessedistruth Says:

    It’s hard to see how the Democrats win with this approach.

    First, they may not have enough votes to pass the reconciliation sidebar bill that would “deem” the Senate bill to have been passed.

    The CBO report on reconciliation could come back negative, or the amount of vote-buying inserted by Nancy Pelosi could create another Cornhusker Kickback backlash.

    Beyond that, though, the process looks sleazy and will contribute to the sense that Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama are pulling illegal or at least unethical stunts to keep opponents from stopping the bill.

    Americans want to see more transparency in government, not less, and using parliamentary chicanery to hide from a floor vote on the Democrats’ biggest domestic agenda item hardly qualifies as transparency.


    I still think this a nonissue.

    America, don’t you know that IF Pelosi can get to 216, it doesn’t matter if they vote on the Senate bill directly or indirectly, it will become the law of the land?

    I think the CBO score or lack therof is a much more important story.

    One of the commenters over at Ezra Klein’s blog (Washington Post) believes the Dems will just keep piling on until they get to the required number.

    He said that’s why the Dems shoved student loans in there.

    As projected “savings” will help HC number.

    And he said HC will in reality cost twice as much as projected.

    Undecided House Dems will be able to point to CBO language that justifies a yea vote.

    So that is where our attention should be directed.

    And Stupak.

    If in the end, after all is said and done, if he ends up voting yea.

    He will be viewed as the Devil Incarnate, fairly or not.

  93. blessedistruth Says:

    cha cha!

    Dems Still Don’t Have the CBO Score They Want

  94. blessedistruth Says:

    Congress still waiting on CBO numbers

  95. blessedistruth Says:

  96. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:

  97. blessedistruth Says:

  98. blessedistruth Says:

    Billy Stewart is one of those peculiar artists who should’ve been more popular than he was.

  99. blessedistruth Says:

    Don’t have a lot of Billy Stewart, but I’ll share what I do have. (Found on an old mp3 disc)

  100. blessedistruth Says:

    New Health Care Whip Count: 191 Yes, 206 No (206-209 with leaners)

    Democrats need 25 of a combination of the 13 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 21 potential Yes-No flip votes.

    So they need 25 out of the remaining uncommitted 34.

    If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 10 of the last 16 uncommitted.

  101. blessedistruth Says:

    David Dayen

    Everything else is in a holding pattern, at least until the CBO score comes out and the schedule gets set.

    Every day that we wait for that score, and the date of a final vote, is probably a day that the House leadership grows nervous.

  102. blessedistruth Says:

    Report: CBO set to score House reconciliation fix as more expensive than thought

    Update: If they can’t get the numbers to work by tomorrow, is that the final crack in the dam for wavering Dems?

  103. blessedistruth Says:

    Good point.

    So how can CBO score this thing when new deals are being added to it every 5 minutes?

    ctmom on March 16, 2010 at 7:59 PM

  104. blessedistruth Says:

    Meanwhile, House leaders want to dramatically scale back one of the most powerful deficit-reduction tools in the Senate bill: a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost insurance policies.

    Obama has proposed to delay implementation of the tax until 2018 and to limit the number of policies that would be subject to the tax.

    Obama and House Democrats have proposed to pay for their changes by raising Medicare taxes on the wealthy.

    They were hoping to reduce deficits further by incorporating Obama’s plan to overhaul the federal student loan program to cut out private lenders.

    Those changes are unlikely to match the long-term savings proposed in the Senate bill, aides and lawmakers said, leaving House leaders scrambling to come up with additional sources of cash.

    Failure to comply with the reconciliation rules

    would imperil the package in the Senate and

    could cause big problems in the House, where the votes of many fiscally conservative Democrats hinge on the ability of health-care legislation to rein in soaring budget deficits.

  105. blessedistruth Says:

    With Congress just days away from an expected vote, Democrats still hadn’t settled on final language of the bill, and until they do the Congressional Budget Office can’t release an estimate for how much the complete package would cost.

    The House was set to vote as soon as the weekend on two bills—

    the health bill approved by the Senate Dec. 24 and

    a companion package of changes Democratic leaders hoped would solidify support. (reconciliation bill)

    The overhaul of the student-loan program was separate from the health bill in policy terms, but Democratic leaders were planning to include it in the companion package as a way of speeding it through Congress.

    The student-loan provisions would end federal subsidies to banks that make college loans and shift lending responsibilities to the government, while also raising federal support for Pell Grants, which benefit lower-income students.

    *** The changes, however, were estimated to save less money than expected—about $65 billion over 10 years, down about $20 billion from last year’s estimate. ***

    The lowered estimate reflected in part revised assumptions about the economy.

    Democrats had hoped the student-loan provisions would provide more savings in the health bill and

    *** were scrambling to hit the measure’s deficit-reduction targets, ***

    congressional aides said.

  106. blessedistruth Says:

    Dr.Steven Greer: Obama Briefing

  107. blessedistruth Says:

    “a new price control entity” — “the ability to price control” — “the back door public option”,2933,589543,00.html

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, last night in the mark-up, anything change?

    RYAN: Nothing changed. We went at the bill with lots of what we call “motions to instruct.”

    There are versions of amendments to try and change the textness (ph) of the bill.

    The Democrats did the same thing.

    One thing that they did do, which I found was telling, is

    *** they added a motion to say, Let’s put a new price control entity in this law. ***

    This is what President Obama is saying he wants to add to the Senate bill.

    Give the government,

    in addition to having one person, the Health and Human Services secretary, be the regulator of all health insurance in America,

    *** he (Obama) wants to give that person the ability to price control ***

    What that is another way of saying is

    that’s basically *** the back door public option. ***

    *** It gives the government the ability to run insurance, private insurance, out of business so that the government is the only player left. ***

    They want to try and insert this language in this bill in the Rules Committee, at reconciliation.

    (If Dems “insert this language” a bad bill will get much, much worse.)

  108. blessedistruth Says:

    The Kucinich Switch And The Whip Count

    I don’t think Kucinich’s announcement really sways any of them;

    Kirkpatrick, a freshman from a swing district, would actually do more.

    And as I’ve said repeatedly, it’s the Stupak bloc, or members from it who split off, who will ultimately be in the position to decide this thing.

    In addition, if Jason Altmire finally ends his public hand-wringing and decides he can’t support the bill, or some of the lean Yes votes I have switch things up, the count tilts again.

    As one House Democrat said this week, “We have no bill, we have no date, and we have no (CBO) score.”

    Until that gets resolved, there are still a lot of variables here.

    Kucinich’s announcement gives Democrats momentum, without question.

    But it’s not yet a done deal.

  109. blessedistruth Says:

    Obamacare Increases Unemployment, Insurance Premiums, Deficit, and Debt

  110. blessedistruth Says:

    WASHINGTON (MNI) – The House is moving into the final phase of the health care debate later in the day, with the Congressional Budget Office expected to release its much awaited cost estimate of the reconciliation bill and as Democrats reveal the final language of that package.

    The House Rules Committee is expected to meet Thursday to consider the procedures governing the rules of the debate.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has said that he expects the House vote to occur by the end of the week.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will post the reconciliation bill on the Internet at least 72 hours before the vote.

    Some lawmakers have said they expect a House vote Saturday or Sunday.

  111. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats are also waiting on the Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan arm of Congress which estimates the cost of legislation,

    to issue its “score” or cost estimate for the “corrections” or “fixer” bill

    which is intended to repair what House Democrats see as the flaws in the bill which the Senate passed on Christmas Eve.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to give the public 72 hours to read the final bill before it comes up for a vote.

    Democrats had hoped to see the CBO score by Monday, but, so far, it’s nowhere to be seen.

  112. blessedistruth Says:

    AP: Obama Misleads Voters about ObamaCare’s Effects on Premiums

    Note also that the CBO predicts premiums would rise by an average of 10-13 percent in the individual market.

    Consumers who currently purchase the most economic policies would see larger premium increases.

  113. blessedistruth Says:

    Remember how Bush tax cuts supposedly destroyed the economy? New House Ways and Means chair says extending (most of) them is top priority.

  114. blessedistruth Says:

    At this point, there are two health care reform “known unknowns.” One is the CBO score, which we haven’t seen. The other is the final reconciliation language. Once those become “known knowns,” we’ll be one step closer to the health care reform Götterdämerung.

    Götterdämmerung (English: Twilight of the Gods)

    is the last in Richard Wagner’s cycle of four operas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (English: The Ring of the Nibelung, or The Ring for short).

  115. blessedistruth Says:

    FACT CHECK: Premiums would rise under Obama plan

  116. blessedistruth Says:

    In this first scene from the third act, the three Rhine Maidens, Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde mourn the lost Rheingold. Siegfried happens by, separated from a hunting party. They urge him to return the Ring and avoid its curse.

    The sun
    Sends hither rays of glory;
    In the depths is darkness.
    Once there was light,
    When clear and fair
    Our father’s gold shone on the billows.
    Gleaming gold!
    How bright was once thy radiance,
    Lovely star of the waters!

    O sun,
    The hero quickly send us
    Who again our gold shall give us!
    If it were ours,
    We should no longer
    Envy thine eye for its splendour.
    Gleaming gold!
    How glad was thy radiance,
    Glorious star of the waters!

    GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG Twilight of the Gods Act 3 Scene 1 WAGNER Sir Georg Solti

  117. blessedistruth Says:

    In December, the Congressional Budget Office said the Senate health care bill – the one under consideration — would reduce federal deficits by $132 billion over the next 10 years.

    A revised CBO estimate last week put the figure at $118 billion – though critics say the bill’s accounting gimmicks put much of the savings at the end of the 2010-2019 window, and are therefore unlikely to come to fruition.

    (And we’re still waiting for CBO scoring of “fixes.”)

  118. blessedistruth Says:

    It’s not too late for bipartisan health reform

    By Tom Scully

  119. blessedistruth Says:,2933,589544,00.html

    VAN SUSTEREN: They must not think that is true.

    HATCH: They know it’s true. Their own budget says it’s true.

    And let me tell you, their own actuary says this is going to cost the American taxpayers $200 billion more.


    And yet they play these phony games to hide the rotten things they’ve done here, like the special deals for people.

    You’re talking about a $10 billion deal for Vermont of all things.

    I mean $500 million for Massachusetts.

    I mean it’s unbelievable.

    There are like 870,000 people who still get — will get Medicare advantage while all the rest of the country doesn’t get the benefit of that.

    You can have millions of seniors that really are going to be left out in the cold while they take care of a few special Democrat places.


    The American people have caught on this bill is a travesty. It is going to cost an arm and a leg. It is going to double and triple our national debt.

    It is going to cost $500 billion in new taxes.

    Medicare is going to lose $500 billion and they are going to use that to start a new entitlement program.

    There are going to be 1,700 new federal programs that the secretary of Health and Human Services can call and do.

    I mean, my gosh, it doesn’t take any brains to realize these people are nuts.

    I’m sorry to be so harsh on my colleagues, but they know it.

    They just — they’ve come to this conclusion if they don’t pass the bill they get killed.

    If they do pass it then it is probably better for them.

    I don’t think so.

    I think if they pass it the American people are never going to get over it.

    There is no guarantee it Senate is going to do what they want on reconciliation.

    And they better not rely on Senate to make the changes that they want, because they are unwilling to vote for the original bill in the House.

    They’re counting on Senate living up to —

    VAN SUSTEREN: You don’t that is going to happen?

    HATCH: You never know, but all I can say is the Senate is a big mess.

    There’s just one other thing.

    This bill is going to allow taxpayer financing of abortions. Look —

    VAN SUSTEREN: They say no.

    HATCH: Oh come on.

    (Don’t forget we’re still waiting to hear which stinky Senate provisions don’t get “fixed.” And what other little goodies Nancy piled on.)

  120. blessedistruth Says:

    Washington is waiting with bated breath for the Congressional Budget Office’s verdict on the president’s health-care bill.

    Thanks mostly to a regrettable eleventh-hour deal to delay the phase-in of a new tax on high-cost insurance plans, the final version of Obamacare is not yet delivering the deficit reduction the White House wants to claim.

    Based on the Senate bill, President Obama has been saying health reform will trim $100 billion from projected deficits in its first 10 years and a cool trillion in the decade after.

    It’s an essential part of the president’s pitch — the definitive rebuttal to the Overreaching Socialist Takeover claims of his foes.

    How bankrupting or pinko can the thing be if it reduces the deficit by these big-sounding sums?

    Now, preliminary CBO numbers (shared privately with Capitol Hill Democrats as part of the routine back-and-forth that accompanies such estimates) show deficits each year in reform’s second decade ranging from tens of billions lower (good) to tens of billions higher (uh-oh).

    This means that if the White House is to preserve its “fiscally prudent” talking points, it may have to find another few hundred billion in “scorable savings” overnight.

    But here’s the rub.

    The political molecule that is health reform has been so carefully assembled and the hour is so late that any attempt to revisit deals that interest groups view as settled risks scuttling the entire package.

    Maybe a last few shekels can be shaken from the pockets of hospitals, health plans, doctors, drug companies and device makers.

    But that will almost certainly still leave a hefty gap if Obama is to offer Democrats needed fiscal cover for their coming votes.

    Enter the “magic asterisk.”

    This symbol of budget villainy dates from the Reagan era, when White House budget director and uber-deficit monster David Stockman sought to mask his reckless debts behind a footnote pledging large “future savings to be identified.”

    Today, the Democrats’ version would involve a promise to cut spending by a certain amount if savings don’t otherwise materialize between 2020 and 2030.

    If such an automatic spending cut is written into law

    (in the Senate reconciliation “sidecar,” for those keeping track of the arcane mechanics),

    the CBO has to score it.

    Presto: The talking points are preserved, health reform passes, and America continues its endless if unsteady march toward a more perfect union.

    Republicans will slam the maneuver as the crowning deception in Obama’s nefarious plot to destroy the American way, but, as the president says, that’s what elections are for.

    (This writer is a lefty, of course.)

    “Today, the Democrats’ version would involve a promise to cut spending by a certain amount if savings don’t otherwise materialize between 2020 and 2030.”

    (If undecided House Dems think they can sell this to their constituents, they are as “nuts” as Senator Hatch says they are.)

  121. blessedistruth Says:

    Rasmussen Obama Approval

    44% — 55%

  122. blessedistruth Says:

    Deficit Reduction In The Second Decade Holding Up Health Care Bill

    The delay in CBO numbers comes from their importance to meeting the needs of the budget reconciliation process.

    Basically, the House has not finalized the CBO scores yet because they have been confounded by how to meet the requirement of lowering the deficit beyond the original bill’s dictates

    in the second ten years of the budget window.

    This has pushed us into Wednesday, without CBO scores.

    And while that release is reportedly imminent,

    the problem having been solved, (yeah, right!)

    if Speaker Pelosi wants to hold to her pledge of posting the bill for 72 hours before passage, no bill could get a vote before Saturday, and probably Saturday night.

    Most of the fixes sought in the reconciliation sidecar spend more money –

    closing the donut hole,

    increasing the subsidies,

    expanding the federal component in Medicaid expansion,

    delaying the excise tax.

    So something must plug the gaps to achieve the same deficit reduction under the rules

    (and that answers your question of why student loan reform, a deficit-reducer, entered the picture).

    We’ll get a look at that tonight, if all goes well.

    So while rounding up the votes has delayed the process, the particular requirements of the CBO have also thrown a wrench into things.

    (“a wrench” — I wish this were only fascinating, because it is. But we’re at such a crossroads.)

  123. blessedistruth Says:

    Still hoping and praying Nancy cannot get to 216.

    Certainly, undecided House Dems must be considering what will happen to their reconciliation “fixes” in the Senate.

    I hope it never comes to that, we’ve been through enough already as a nation.

  124. blessedistruth Says:

    Jon Kyl warns what’s coming if the House uses screwy measures to pass Obamacare.

    HH: One more question before we move back to the politics of this.

    If in reconciliation, I saw it referenced that some Republicans might bring up, because it’s related to the appropriations process, a binding resolution on Guantanamo Bay.

    Does that mean if that passes, and I assume it would, because no one wants to close Guantanamo Bay who has a clue, the House is going to have to vote on Guantanamo Bay?

    JK: Everything that changes, the House would again have to vote on.

    And that’s why we’re trying to tell people in the House look, don’t assume that you can amend this Senate bill without having the Senate make any changes.

    *** The Senate will change your bill. ***

    You cannot accomplish everything you want to.

    A lot of it is subject to points of order, which we can sustain, because I’ve got a letter with 41 Republican signatures on it saying we will sustain the points of order.

    And it takes sixty votes to override a point of order.

    (cont’d below)

  125. blessedistruth Says:

    HH: And will the GOP caucus in the Senate hold together on the point of order motions that you’ve referred to earlier as being part of reconciliation?

    JK: Yes. And there are several pieces of what the President wants that he’s got to put in that House reconciliation bill, but which are clearly subject to a point of order.

    And I’m sure the chair will rule that way, so that the other side will have to overturn the ruling, and that takes 60 votes.

    And they won’t have 60 votes, because we’ve already got a letter that says 41 of us will vote to uphold those valid points of order.

    HH: Is there any particular example that jumps out, Senator Kyl?

    JK: Sure, just to give you one, the President has said forget the state insurance commissioners.

    We’re going to have a federal insurance commissioner that’s going to rule on premium increases of insurance companies. (this is what Paul Ryan was talking about)

    You’ve all heard about that. (actually, we haven’t)

    Well, that doesn’t have a federal budget impact, or a significant federal budget impact, and therefore, it’s subject to a point of order.

    He can’t do it in the reconciliation bill.

    HH: And last question.

    I know Robert Byrd is not, he’s under the weather a little bit, but has he spoken on this?

    This must appall him as the dean of the United States Senate.

    JK: He spoke to it a little less than a year ago in a letter, but he hasn’t spoken from the floor of the Senate.

    But in the letter, he said that using the reconciliation process for either the health care legislation or the cap and trade legislation would be an outrage that must be resisted.

    Direct quote.

    HH: Jon Kyl, good luck in resisting it, good luck in being heard by your former colleagues in the House, and good luck if it all goes to heck in a hand basket in turning it over in the courts.

  126. blessedistruth Says:

    Geez, Obama even ruins our Saint Patrick’s Day!

    I’ll be listening to music while we all wait.

    March 17, 2010

    You can click on green arrow at end of each line, I mean if you choose to.

  127. blessedistruth Says:

    All windows are wide open here in the Valley of the Sun.

    Eat your heart out!

  128. blessedistruth Says:

    Here’s my post from a year ago.

    Geez, I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for over a year now.

    I really need to get a life!

  129. blessedistruth Says:

    Michael wakes you up with sweets
    He takes you up streets and the rain comes down
    Sidewalk markets locked up tight
    And umbrellas bright on a grey background
    There’s oil on the puddles in taffeta patterns
    That run down the drain
    In colored arrangements
    That Michael will change with a stick that he found

    Michael from mountains
    Go where you will go to
    Know that I will know you
    Someday I may know you very well

    Michael brings you to a park
    He sings and its dark when the clouds come by
    Yellow slickers up on swings
    Like puppets on strings hanging in the sky
    They’ll splash home to suppers in wallpapered kitchens
    Their mothers will scold
    But Michael will hold you
    To keep away cold till the sidewalks are dry-


    Michael leads you up the stairs
    He needs you to care and you know you do
    Cats come crying to the key
    And dry you will be in a towel or two
    There’s rain in the window
    There’s sun in the painting that smiles on the wall
    You want to know all
    But his mountains have called so you never do-


  130. blessedistruth Says:

  131. blessedistruth Says:

    New Health Care Whip Count: Still 191 Yes, 206 No (205-209 with leaners)

    Democrats need 25 of a combination of the 13 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 21 potential Yes-No flip votes.

    So they need 25 out of the remaining uncommitted 34.

    If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 11 of the last 17 uncommitted.


    Still lots of work for the leadership to do. And where’s that CBO score?

  132. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats spar with AP over health-care fact check

    (God Help Us!)

  133. blessedistruth Says:

    Sean Hannity

  134. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats are still waiting for the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to release a score of the healthcare bill with the changes proposed by Obama.

    Leaders are expected to give lawmakers 72 hours to review the CBO score and legislative language before moving to a final vote.

    The later the score is released, the less time Democrats will have to get their caucus together and hold a vote before President Barack Obama on Sunday heads off for an overseas trip.

    CBO’s score is expected within the day.

  135. blessedistruth Says:

    Great Quote!

    There’s lot of talk about systemic risks to the economy, but the real systemic risk “is this Congress,” Gregg said.

  136. blessedistruth Says:

    68 — 29

    The Senate voted 68-29 Wednesday to pass legislation that would provide a tax credit for employers who hire new workers.

    (If Reid could get to 68 votes in the Senate on HCR, most Americans would be behind it.)

  137. blessedistruth Says:

    Slate: House is 8 away from health bill’s passage

    Last night Paul Ryan said they were ten down.

    Glass half full?

  138. blessedistruth Says:

    Melinda feels strongly that her research demonstrates why there can’t be an official UFO disclosure without addressing the abduction phenomenon.

  139. blessedistruth Says:

    S4 Informers Volume One

    The long-awaited release of the 1991 “Connor O’Ryan” testimony. Featuring Wendelle C. Stevens, Robert O. Dean, Gem Cox and many others. We let you know it all…

    S4 Informers Volume Two.

    Takes up where the first volume leaves off. Things just get more and more interesting.

  140. blessedistruth Says:

    “But there wasn’t a discussion about doing a letter that specifically says we will vote for reconciliation when we haven’t seen the bill.

    But a letter showing that we were generally supportive of moving forward on health care, we thought that that would be helpful.”

    Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said after the lunchtime caucus meeting that leaders had asked Members “who may have a problem with it to let us know.”

    He said that regardless of the Senate letter he has “a positive feeling” about getting enough Democrats to support reconciliation on final passage.

    The House had preferred an approach that would put Senators on record as supporting the reconciliation bill,

    but leaders had yet to unveil a bill as of Wednesday afternoon.

    And it was unclear when a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate would be available.

    (Even if you get 50 Senate Dems to go on record saying they’ll vote yea on House reconciliation bill, you cannot get to 60 to waive points of order.)

  141. blessedistruth Says:

    Create your own fairies and take flight into the world of fairy fun with Tinker Bell Nancy and her fairy friends!

    Health Bill Faces Delay as Democrats Tinker With Cost

  142. blessedistruth Says:

    S4 Informers Volume Three

  143. blessedistruth Says:

    ObamaCare whip count(s): Pelosi in trouble?

  144. blessedistruth Says:

    I’ll have to file this under “for future reference.”

    Rep. Paul Ryan: Obama’s New Budget Will ‘Literally Crash the U.S. Economy’

  145. blessedistruth Says:

    FACT CHECK: Obama plan only slows premiums rise

  146. blessedistruth Says:

    Jerry Costello Flips into the Stupak Bloc

  147. blessedistruth Says:

    The abortion language was always going to be a problem for the Illinois lawmaker, and this is a fairly clear sign that he has returned to the Stupak bloc and out of the “Stupak-curious” realm.

    So add another no vote to the big board.

    With leaners, you’re at 205-210,

    with Democrats able to lose only 5 of the remaining uncommitted 16:

    Jim Matheson,

    Harry Teague,

    Travis Childers,

    John Barrow,

    Zack Space,

    Chris Carney,

    Brad Ellsworth,

    Henry Cuellar,

    Nick Rahall,

    Solomon Ortiz,

    Earl Pomeroy,

    Bill Foster,

    Harry Mitchell,

    Jason Altmire,

    Marcy Kaptur,

    Melissa Bean.

    Foster, Mitchell and Bean are the most gettable of those left, but the rest are going to be very tricky.

    And if any of the lean Yes votes changes, then it gets much more difficult.

  148. blessedistruth Says:

    Two days after officially entering the congressional race in Iowa’s 1st District, Ben Lange, an advocate of common sense health care reform, issued a statement urging liberal Democrat incumbent, Bruce Braley, to oppose the government health bill that could come before the House this week.

  149. blessedistruth Says:


  150. blessedistruth Says:

    I do still have some Irish music online!

    Enjoy, good people!

  151. blessedistruth Says:

    Too good to check: Rep. Joe Barton says CBO score will exceed … $1 trillion

    cha cha!

  152. blessedistruth Says:

    Unable to Pay for Health Care Bill, Dems Look to Raise Excise Tax on Middle Class

  153. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats plan to include in their health care package a change to the student loan program that opponents say would cause lenders to shed jobs – and could cost the vote of Sen. Evan Bayh.

    (This is IF, big fucking IF, Tinker Bell Nancy can get to 216. Please excuse my Irish, but anyone who’s been over there knows that everyone, and I do mean everyone, speaks this way.)

    (Except for my mother, not an untoward word from her, ever.)

  154. blessedistruth Says:

    Fuck the Eonomist!

    Don’t expect a quick fix, America.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    Sistah Toldjah

  155. blessedistruth Says:

    I actually used to subscribe to the Economist.

  156. blessedistruth Says:

    For Saint Patrick, whose “magic” we are celebrating this day.


  157. blessedistruth Says:

  158. blessedistruth Says:

    The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate”, is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

    I bind to myself today
    The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
    I believe the Trinity in the Unity
    The Creator of the Universe.

    I bind to myself today
    The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
    The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
    The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
    The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

    I bind to myself today
    The virtue of the love of seraphim,
    In the obedience of angels,
    In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
    In prayers of Patriarchs,
    In predictions of Prophets,
    In preaching of Apostles,
    In faith of Confessors,
    In purity of holy Virgins,
    In deeds of righteous men.

    I bind to myself today
    The power of Heaven,
    The light of the sun,
    The brightness of the moon,
    The splendour of fire,
    The flashing of lightning,
    The swiftness of wind,
    The depth of sea,
    The stability of earth,
    The compactness of rocks.

    I bind to myself today
    God’s Power to guide me,
    God’s Might to uphold me,
    God’s Wisdom to teach me,
    God’s Eye to watch over me,
    God’s Ear to hear me,
    God’s Word to give me speech,
    God’s Hand to guide me,
    God’s Way to lie before me,
    God’s Shield to shelter me,
    God’s Host to secure me,
    Against the snares of demons,
    Against the seductions of vices,
    Against the lusts of nature,
    Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
    Whether far or near,
    Whether few or with many.

    I invoke today all these virtues
    Against every hostile merciless power
    Which may assail my body and my soul,
    Against the incantations of false prophets,
    Against the black laws of heathenism,
    Against the false laws of heresy,
    Against the deceits of idolatry,
    Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
    Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

    Christ, protect me today
    Against every poison, against burning,
    Against drowning, against death-wound,
    That I may receive abundant reward.

    Christ with me, Christ before me,
    Christ behind me, Christ within me,
    Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
    Christ in the fort,
    Christ in the chariot seat,
    Christ in the poop [deck],
    Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.

    I bind to myself today
    The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
    I believe the Trinity in the Unity
    The Creator of the Universe.

  159. blessedistruth Says:

    Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
    Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.


    Apparently Saint Patrick was attracted to women.

  160. blessedistruth Says:

    My feeble attempt to honor Patrick.

  161. blessedistruth Says:

    Governors Rise Up Against Federal Takeover of Health Care

    Dem’s Job-Killing Takeover Dumps Costs to States, Threatens Medicaid Bankruptcy

    By House Republican Leader John Boehner

  162. blessedistruth Says:

    Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Chief, Called To White House Over Last Minute Health Care Flare Up

    Trumka, who has fought tirelessly against an excise tax, was summoned to the White House to discuss the matter late in the afternoon.

    Whether the adjustment was agreed to or was enough to endanger the powerful union’s support for health care legislation is not yet known.

    The AFL-CIO will be discussing the matter more formally at a meeting among officials tomorrow.

    “I can’t get in to what he discussed with the White House,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale.

    “But he will be discussing health care with the executive committee tomorrow.”

    (“Whether the adjustment was agreed to” — honestly, any undecided House Dem who falls for this needs to be”run out of town on a rail.” I love that expression!)

  163. blessedistruth Says:

    Like at the end of this clip.

    I’m related to Charles Durning through marriage.

  164. blessedistruth Says:

    Kent Conrad to House Dems: Yep, reconciliation in the Senate will be pretty darned dodgy

  165. blessedistruth Says:

    Hugh Hewitt

    I do hesitate to post this.

    Mr. Hewitt is so damned smart, if only he weren’t such a pompous ass.

    Mr. Hewitt, you can make your point without minimizing your opponent.

    Easy to be hard.

  166. blessedistruth Says:

    But the bigger short-term problem is finding a sidecar fix that complies to the deficit reduction requirements within the 10- and 20-year budget windows.

    Most of the items in the sidecar increase federal spending or decrease revenues.

    And the offsets for that, like taxes on the wealthy, do not enthuse the remaining conservative Democratic votes necessary to pass the bill in the House.

    So back goes Rich Trumka to sign off on potentially increasing the excise tax on high-end insurance plans.

    Since this doesn’t apply until 2018, it wouldn’t much matter to the short-term budget picture, but it would get the number-crunchers over the line in the second ten years.

    This comes right as labor has dumped $11 million dollars into a last-ditch effort to convince Stupak Democrats to support the bill.

    Surely the enthusiasm for that will rise upon this news, right?

    Once again we see an expectation for liberals who want health care reform to knuckle under, and in this case accept an increase in the excise tax, which they’ve long opposed.

    UPDATE: Sam Stein has more, says that the White House wants to lower the indexing to just the CPI instead of the CPI + 1%.

    (I need a Guiness, no I need a Bushmills!)

  167. blessedistruth Says:

    Rep. Michele Bachmann: Reform efforts are making us sick!

    Bwahahahahahahaha! Bwahahahahahahaha!

  168. blessedistruth Says:

  169. blessedistruth Says:

    Sunday Health Care Vote Increasingly Likely

    (So has His Highness postponed his trip yet again?)

    BTW Hannity, stop calling Obama the Annointed One.

    David is the Annointed One.

  170. blessedistruth Says:

    No CBO score tonight, Pelosi’s office says

    No Kidding!

  171. song Says:

    hola Rosa, I listened a little bit to the special release about the UFO working at area 51. I don’t know about this? i guess there are many kinds of extraterrestrial experiences?

    Btw. Your son sounds wonderful, and you sound wonderful.

    so? how’s that?

  172. song Says:

    Oops, I forgot to share an Irish song widya Rosa of the Mountains.

    no embedding allowed on this one.

  173. blessedistruth Says:

    Btw. Your son sounds wonderful, and you sound wonderful.

    so? how’s that?


    pretty good if you ask me!

    song, you’re wonderful for saying so

    and very good for my self esteem


  174. sisterrosetta Says:

  175. blessedistruth Says:

    Boehner said Republicans will do “everything we can do” to kill the legislation.

    Market News International

    “It’s a trillion dollars they are going to spend,” Boehner said of the Democratic health care bill.

    Market News International

    “They can tweak this thing, and still it’s a trillion dollars they’re going to spend,” Boehner said in response to new budget office numbers.

    The Hill

    “The American people know we’re broke,” Boehner told reporters at the Capitol. “The last thing we need to do is add debt to our kids and grandkids.”

    The Hill

  176. blessedistruth Says:

    Implications of the CBO Score on the Whip Count

    More than anything, some members probably feel they need an excuse to change their vote from No to Yes, and maybe they can find something in the CBO analysis that would offer that.

    Speaking as someone who’s followed these numbers closely, I still see a path to victory, but just as easily a path to defeat.

    Expect a wave of folks to sign on today and tomorrow who already were pretty likely to do so, giving the impression of momentum.

    If you don’t see that, by the way, don’t expect a vote on Sunday.

  177. blessedistruth Says:

    Kyl blasts CBO figure on health care

    Sen. Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) on Thursday said the $940 billion cost estimate for health reform by the Congressional Budget Office only adds to the tab taxpayers will eventually have to pay.

    “Every time a new iteration of the Democrats’ health-care bill is unveiled, the price tag goes up,” he said in prepared remarks. “The only thing that remains the same is that the American taxpayer will be on the hook to pay for it.”

  178. blessedistruth Says:

    The CBO Score, As Reported by Steny Hoyer [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    House Budget Committee Ranking Republican Paul Ryan responds to an NRO query about the news this morning:

    “The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that there is currently no official cost estimate.

    Yet House Democrats are touting to the press — and spinning for partisan gain — numbers that have not been released and are impossible to confirm.

    Rep. James Clyburn stated he was ‘giddy’ about these unsubstantiated numbers.

    This is the latest outrageous exploitation by the Majority — in this case abusing the confidentiality of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — to pass their massive health care overhaul at any cost.”

    This CBO reporting this morning really is remarkable to me — the news is simply what Steny Hoyer says it is.

  179. blessedistruth Says:

    Update II: As I suspected, the source for this price is House Democrats:

    And it may very well say that, but so far the CBO hasn’t said it.

    We’ll see, and then we’ll see how it got to that number and whether the claims made by Democrats this morning actually pan out.

    Update III: Paul Ryan’s office has just released a statement saying that the CBO denies that they have completed their analysis:

    The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that there is currently no official cost estimate.

    Hot Air

  180. blessedistruth Says:

    It was a given that Tinker Bell Nancy would get the CBO score she wanted eventually.

    But we still don’t know what gets “fixed” and what doesn’t.

  181. blessedistruth Says:

    GOP Optimistic It Can Derail Health Bill

    At the news conference that followed, Boehner told reporters that House Republicans would try to force a vote on a resolution Thursday that would block Democrats from deeming as passed the Senate health care reform bill.

    The deem-and-pass maneuver would allow Democrats to avoid a separate vote on the Senate bill and just cast votes for the reconciliation package, which contains a series of “fixes” to the Senate version.

    Recent party-switching Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) has been slated to introduce the resolution, which requires the House to take a direct up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed health care bill.

    Meanwhile, Republicans dismissed the revised Congressional Budget Office cost estimate of the health care reform bill, which now includes numbers for the Senate-passed bill and the reconciliation package.

    Democratic sources revealed Thursday morning the two pieces of legislation would cost $940 billion over 10 years and result in $130 billion of deficit reduction during the first decade and $1.2 trillion of savings during the second 10-year period.

    “They’re still going to spend $1 trillion to impose government-run health care on the American people,” Boehner said.

    “It’s not too late,” McConnell added. “All we need is enough Democrats in the House of Representatives to do the right thing for the American people.”

    (The Senate can only force changes in the reconciliation bill. IF Pelosi can get to 216, the underlying Senate bill will become the law of the land.)

  182. blessedistruth Says:

    Breaking: CBO releases the actual report; Update: Almost all $940 billion incurred in just six years

  183. sisterrosetta Says:

    We already knew about changing the excise tax indexing to the CPI rather than the CPI plus one percent. But the bolded section is key.


    An important component of the longer-term analysis is that, beginning in 2019, the reconciliation proposal would change the annual indexing provisions so that the premium subsidies offered through the exchanges would grow more slowly; over time, the spending on exchange subsidies would therefore fall back toward the level under H.R. 3590 by itself.


    You’re going to hear a lot about how the bill was improved by reconciliation, and in particular the subsidies – the amount spent to provide affordable coverage for lower-income Americans.

    In this leaked document you can see how those subsidy changes are highlighted: those receiving subsidies would pay a slightly lower percentage of their income for health insurance, and cost sharing would be slightly higher.

    But the bolded section tells us that these improvements will be RATCHETED BACK in the second ten years, to conform to the deficit reduction needs of reconciliation.

    Therefore, by the end of 2029, the subsidy numbers will essentially be the same as in the Senate bill.

    UPDATE: There will be a press conference from the House leadership at noon.


    Most of it is familiar:

    Closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors,

    applying the delay in the excise tax to all workers,

    extending the Medicaid expansion assistance to all states,

    applying consumer protection standards to private plans rather than keeping a “grandfathering” clause that would have exempted them.

    The rate review board, as mentioned yesterday, has been tanked.

  184. blessedistruth Says:

    @MayBeeTweet Yes
    20 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to MayBeeTweet

    So they released prelim scores today to be able to claim they gave 72 hrs to look at it before a vote SUN.
    20 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    RT @annaedney: Final cbo scores to replace preliminary just released expected friday or saturday, a leadership aide says
    22 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    CBO: Reconciliation bill has $13.7 bln in additional cuts to Medicare Advantage compared with Senate bill.
    30 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    CBO: HC bills would cost $17 billion in first 4 years, $923 billion in remaining 6 years!
    38 minutes ago via TweetDeck

  185. blessedistruth Says:

    the actual (preliminary) report

    a shabby fraud?

    “Gross Cost of Coverage Provisions”

    This is why they’re delaying the start of the program, of course.

    If it kicked in right away, the decade-long estimate would obviously be well into the trillions.

    So they simply stalled it for four years, incurring just $17 billion in costs — or 1.8 percent of the total 10-year estimate — through 2013 so that wavering Democrats could go back to their districts and tell baldfaced lies to their constituents about the pricetag.

    A perfect ending to this travesty.

  186. blessedistruth Says:

    The Democrats have apparently received the score they wanted from the CBO on the House health-care reconciliation package.

    We don’t yet know how they did it, because we haven’t seen the CBO score* and the bill itself was put together in a back room.

    But one way they might have increased costs, cut revenues and still managed to get the score they wanted is

    by combining the health-care bill with a separate student-loan bill and dipping into the “savings” from the latter.

    Why “savings” and not savings?

    As I explained on the home page today, the student-loan bill would probably save a lot less money than the Democrats are saying it will.

    The number they are claiming — $68 billion over ten years — comes from a CBO score that does not adjust for market risk.

    Sen. Judd Gregg asked CBO to re-run the numbers after accounting for the cost of risk and the cost of administering the program.

    *** The new estimate knocked $28 billion off the score. *** (Huh?!)

    What we have here is two different accounting standards for the same kind of program and no public policy reason for why it should be so.

    The Democrats are not required by law to use the more accurate savings estimate for their student-loan bill, so they won’t,

    even though Congress has recognized, with respect to TARP, that it’s a better way to account for government credit programs.

    This was sketchy enough when the Democrats were planning to spend the non-existent student-loan money on other education programs.

    But if what I’m hearing is accurate, they’re now using the “savings” to plug holes in their health-care bill.

    What a spectacle!

    I hope this health-care debate never ends.

  187. blessedistruth Says:

    Report: Rep. Michael Arcuri Goes from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’ on Health Care

  188. blessedistruth Says:

    David Dayen already had Arcuri as leaning no.

    (though I’ll make Arcuri a lean No)

  189. blessedistruth Says:

    New Health Care Whip Count: 192 Yes, 208 No (205-210 with leaners)

    Democrats need 24 of a combination of the 12 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 19 potential Yes-No flip votes.

    So they need 24 out of the remaining uncommitted 31.

    If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 11 of the last 16 uncommitted.

  190. blessedistruth Says:

    Health care creates a half-trillion dollar deficit, Republicans counter

    Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee assert that Democrats are manipulating the CBO score of health care reform when they say it will create a budget surplus.

    The image below illustrates what they are calling the budget tricks that make a $582 billion deficit that it will create (over ten years) look like a $118 billion surplus:

    Line by line, here is my quick and dirty explanation based on their memo:

    (1) This is the Democrats’ estimate — a $118 billion surplus over ten years.

    (2) The Democrats are counting extra Social Security tax revenues that they expect to collect when employers drop their workers’ health insurance and pay them more in salary instead. But that $53 billion in the first ten years has to go toward increased Social Security payouts later. How can it also go toward ObamaCare?

    (3) This is revenue expected from people buying into a new voluntary long-term care insurance program. But like all insurance, this program will eventually have to pay out for long-term care — so how can it also go toward ObamaCare?

    (4) The spending referred to here is so-called “discretionary” spending that CBO says will be needed to implement ObamaCare. Because the spending isn’t actually included in this bill, but will have to be appropriated later, the Democrats decided not to account for it when they spread early CBO rumors this morning.

    (5) This speaks to the entire “double-counting” issue once again. President Obama’s repeated statements that his bill uses cuts to Medicare Advantage to shore up Medicare’s long-term prospects is inconsistent with this use of the savings to pad the books on ObamaCare.

    If you take the Democrats’ interpretation of the CBO score and make those adjustments, you get the Republicans’ interpretation of the score. You can decide for yourself which is more accurate.

  191. blessedistruth Says:

    “his bill uses cuts to Medicare Advantage”

    cuts to seniors — which seniors exactly? (Gator Aid)

    and is Vermont still getting ten billion dollars for community health centers?

    and which stinky deals got “fixed?”

  192. blessedistruth Says:

    Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft.

    This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.

    In other words, this isn’t a final scoring of the the health care bill, and it isn’t complete because Congress hasn’t told the CBO what’s in the reconciliation package that they’ve supposedly been working on for a week now.

    One Capitol Hill reporter stated on Twitter earlier that a final CBO scoring won’t be released until tomorrow, or Saturday.

    If that’s the case, then the 72 hour clock has NOT started running yet and we won’t see a vote on this until early next week.

    Don’t let them fool you.

    (That won’t stop Tinker Bell from trying!)

  193. blessedistruth Says:

    Sunday Vote Eyed on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, Democrats Still Lack Votes

    On a conference call today, according to conservative writer Matt Lewis, pro-life Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a respected Republican, said Pelosi is still 5-7 votes short of what she needs and confirmed pro-life Democrats still strongly oppose the bill.

  194. blessedistruth Says:

    Obama cancels Asia trip as health care vote likely Sunday

  195. blessedistruth Says:

    CBO: 98% of Spending in HC Bill Comes in Last 6 Yrs

    What basically happened is that Democrats were rushing to get out the CBO scores so that they could have some sort of claim to have released them 72 hours prior to a vote, which they want to hold on Sunday.

    But we won’t have 72 hours to look at the actual final scores.

    An initial reading of the report suggests that Democrats employed similar accounting gimmicks as in previous iterations of the health care bill, while making up a shortfall with

    more cuts to Medicare Advantage,

    siphoning money from the Student loan bill, and

    raising taxes further.

    While I’ll go into further detail later once I’ve had a chance to look at all of the moving parts, and analyze the actual bill itself, one thing worth highlighting is that as expected,

    Democrats have maintained the strategy of delaying the major spending provisions until 2014 to create the appearance that the bill is cheaper over the CBO’s ten year budget window, from 2010 through 2019.

    In this version, the bill spends $17 billion in the first four years, while the remaining $923 billion, or 98 percent, is spent in the next six years.

    I’ve illustrated this tactic in the chart below.

    One thing to note is that the oft-quoted $940 billion number only pertains to the cost of expanding coverage — which is the bulk of spending in the bill — but

    *** it does not include all other costs, ***

    such as the providing more Medicare prescription drug subsides, which costs about $20 billion.

    I’ve used the $940 billion figure in the chart below, but have specified that it’s only the cost of the coverage provisions.

    (Click link to see chart.)

  196. blessedistruth Says:

    No-mentum: Arcuri flips from yes to no on ObamaCare

  197. blessedistruth Says:

    I issued this statement today following the Democrats’ leak of the unsubstantiated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of their health care bill:

    My Democratic colleagues never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no CBO score. What there is, is a preliminary review, and what it reveals is nothing more than a guess. It is a desperate attempt by Democrats to resuscitate a health care bill that was pronounced dead by the American people months ago.

    By John Cornyn at 2010-03-18 12:24

  198. blessedistruth Says:

    A Few Tricks to Make Your Deficit Look Smaller

    1. The Medicare savings, which may not actually materialize because they depend on reimbursement changes Congress has been loath to maintain in the past, total nearly $500 billion during the first decade, compared to total deficit reduction of $130 billion.

    2. The reconciliation bill includes changes to student loan programs that CBO estimates will reduce spending by $19.4 billion during the first decade.

    By contrast, the “doc fix” that was originally envisioned as part of the health care package, since it deals with Medicare payments to physicians, was carved out and placed in a separate bill.

    It costs more than $200 billion.

    3. CBO warns that it “does not generally provide cost estimates beyond the 10-year budget projection period” and that its projections for the second decade are subject to “an even greater degree of uncertainty” than its projections for the first 10 years.

    It estimates that the unmodified Senate bill “would have a total effect during that [second] decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of gross domestic product.”

    The changes in the reconciliation bill, it says, would “further reduce federal budget deficits in that decade, with a total effect that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP.”

    When the range of numbers in a projection includes zero, it seems fair to say the projection is not very helpful as a guide to policy decisions.

    Yet the Democrats have transformed these highly uncertain projections into a seemingly precise and reliable dollar figure:

    $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction during the second decade.

  199. blessedistruth Says:

    The sweetheart Medicaid deal for Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D) Nebraska has been eliminated, though Pelosi ducked questions about whether other, similar state-based deals have also been scrapped.

  200. blessedistruth Says:

    Five Reasons The CBO Figures Are Phony

    5. It’s a CLASS act

    In the Senate health bill, a new, voluntary long-term care insurance program called CLASS accounted for some $72 billion of the deficit reduction.

    The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program is supposed to be deficit-neutral long-term.

    But Democrats are counting the upfront premium surplus in the short term and ignoring the significant operating deficits after 2029.

    But wait, there’s more! Let’s assume that the cost savings materialize as planned.

    It still makes the long-term fiscal outlook worse. Why?

    Democrats are using up a lot of tax hikes, spending cuts and upfront payment just to get barely better than deficit-neutral.

    That leaves future lawmakers less scope to bring the nation’s finances into order.

    On a related note, Democrats continue to maintain the health bill would extend Medicare’s solvency by several years.

    But they plan to use those as-yet-unrealized Medicare cost savings for a huge new entitlement and to reduce the overall deficit.

  201. blessedistruth Says:

    Stephen Lynch A No On Health Care?

    … don’t underestimate the lingering effects of the Scott Brown election on members of the Democratic caucus in Massachusetts.

    They saw first-hand how the health care bill affected their constituents.

    And they may be more sensitive than anyone to allowing it to go forward.

    I don’t know if this is enough to make me think Lynch will vote no.

    But it does show the tremendous difficulties Speaker Pelosi has in getting to 216.

  202. blessedistruth Says:

    More no-mentum: Lynch says firm “no” from earlier yes on ObamaCare

  203. blessedistruth Says:

    Man, I wouldn’t want David Dayen’s job!


    On the other hand, Betty Sutton has announced her support.

    And Heath Shuler pronounced himself undecided.

    And I may have to take Allen Boyd off the board, too.

  204. blessedistruth Says:

    Rush Limbaugh, then Sean Hannity

  205. blessedistruth Says:

    An Optimistic Take . . .

    I concur on Cao; he’s been talking about his doubts on the Senate version since January.

    Arcuri was more or less suspected to be a “no.” Lynch surprises me.

    The Sunday departure was in trouble when the CBO didn’t offer its score yesterday afternoon.

    By my count, Pelosi still needs a lot of folks to flip from “no” to “yes.”

    You know the likely crew:

    Bart Gordon,

    John Tanner,

    Brian Baird,

    John Boccieri,

    Suzanne Kosmas,

    Betsy Markey,

    Scott Murphy,

    Jim Matheson,

    Harry Teague,

    Travis Childers,

    John Barrow,

    Jason Altmire,

    Glenn Nye.

  206. blessedistruth Says:

    Lies, Damned Lies, and CBO Estimates

    Michael Cannon already has explained that the cost estimate is fraudulent because of what it leaves out, so let me explain why it is fraudulent because of what it includes.

    The CBO has a very dismal track record of getting the numbers wrong, in part because there is no attempt to measure how a bigger burden of government has negative macroeconomic effects,

    but also because the number crunchers do a poor job of measuring the degree to which people (recipients, health care providers, state and local politicians, etc.) will modify their behavior to become eligible for other people’s money.

    (Very good point!)

    The problem is compounded by similar mistakes for revenue estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation, which (like CBO) makes no attempt to capture macroeconomic effects and has a less-than-stellar history of predicting behavioral responses.

    If the legislation passes, we will get more spending, more taxes, and more debt.

    Equally troubling, we will get more dependency.

    That’s good for Washington and bad for the country.

    (That’s good for Dems.)

  207. blessedistruth Says:

    CBO: Health Bill Would Force Families to Buy Insurance Costing a Minimum of $12,000 Per Year–Whether Government or Employer Helps Them or Not

    Families earning more than $88,200 a year (or whatever 400 percent of the poverty level equals in any given year) would be entirely on their own.

    Under the Senate bill, employers would not be required to purchase health insurance for their workers, and if they decided not to do so, the maximum penalty they would have to pay would be $750 per year for each worker they did not insure who subsequently received a federal subsidy to buy insurance.

    *** The $750 penalty on employers who decided not to insure their workers would be far less than they would pay in premiums for the $12,000 minimum required plan. ***

    According to the CBO analysis, the insurance plans the Senate bill would require families to purchase would cost an average of $15,200 per year in 2016.


    This “incentive to drop coverage” was what worried me most:

    “An employer mandate tax of $400 per employee that would be an incentive to drop coverage.”

  208. blessedistruth Says:

    Speaking of Stinky

    Do you know how bad is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to wave her imperial wand and deem the unconstitutional government health care bill “passed?”

    It’s so bad that even one of her floor whips (whose job it is to whip up votes to support the Speaker’s initiatives) Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Democrat from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, says it stinks.

  209. blessedistruth Says:

    I trust Judd Gregg.

    US’s Gregg: Dems Health Bill Remains ‘Fiscally Irresponsible’

  210. blessedistruth Says:

    BREAKING — Reconciliation bill posted

  211. blessedistruth Says:

    Dems Vote 222-203 To Move Health Bill Sunday

  212. blessedistruth Says:

    Let me count the ways!

    Six Ways the Senate Health Care Bill Raises Health Care Costs, Kills Jobs, and Weakens the Economy

  213. blessedistruth Says:

    Text of the Reconciliation Sidecar Up

  214. blessedistruth Says:

    UPDATE II: Lynch will meet with the President today. He really sounds serious about this.

    David Dayen

  215. blessedistruth Says:

    Sec. 1102. Medicare Advantage payments.

    Freezes Medicare Advantage payments in 2011.

    Beginning in 2012, the provision reduces Medicare Advantage benchmarks relative to current levels.

    Benchmarks will vary from 95% of Medicare spending in high-cost areas to 115% of Medicare spending in low-cost areas.

    The changes will be phased-in over 3, 5 or 7 years, depending on the level of payment reductions.

    The provision creates an incentive system to increase payments to high-quality plans by at least 5%.

    It also extends CMS authority to adjust risk scores in Medicare Advantage for observed differences in coding patterns relative to fee-for?service.

    Sec. 1103. Savings from limits on MA plan administrative costs.

    Ensures Medicare Advantage plans spend at least 85% of revenue on medical costs or activities that improve quality of care, rather than profit and overhead.

    (I still don’t know if Gator Aid got “fixed” or not.)

  216. blessedistruth Says:

    Sean, pls ask Mike Pence if Gator Aid and other stinky provisions are still in there!

  217. blessedistruth Says:

    Ace of Spades: “I am getting really worried, because if 222 Democrats voted for this unconstitutional, very-unpopular maneuver, doesn’t that mean that all 222 will also vote for the bill itself? Why vote for this if you’re not going to vote for that?”

    (I was thinking the same thing, but not necessarily so.)

  218. blessedistruth Says:

    Gregg Cites Health Bill Rule Violations

    The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee asserted Thursday that portions of the health care reconciliation package likely violate the rules for such legislation —

    *** and that one violation might result in the entire bill losing its reconciliation status. ***

    Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said a preliminary review of the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill revealed a proposal that might affect Social Security.

    The Budget Act stipulates that reconciliation legislation cannot affect Social Security.

    If the Senate Parliamentarian upheld a budget point of order on the grounds that such a violation exists,

    the bill would be stripped of its status as a reconciliation measure, Gregg said,

    which means Democrats could no longer clear it with just 51 votes.

    “Under the Budget Act, the budget process is not allowed to impact Social Security. It’s off the table. And so any budget bill that comes to the floor — either a budget bill or a reconciliation bill … cannot impact Social Security,” Gregg said.

    “That’s a pretty big issue.”

    Republicans are also scrubbing the legislation for other possible rule infractions, particularly “Byrd rule” violations.

    The Byrd rule dictates that provisions of budget and reconciliation measures must have a direct budgetary affect. (effect)

    Gregg said it would be impossible for him to have a firm handle on the reconciliation package’s flaws until he had a chance to review legislative text, which became available Thursday afternoon.

    “There are a lot of moving parts right now,” Gregg told reporters during a joint news conference with Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.).

    Meanwhile, Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he expects more provisions to be removed from the reconciliation package prior to it dropping on the House floor in order to guard against rule violations when it arrives in the Senate.

    Conrad noted that several provisions have already been removed from the bill because those items were vulnerable to being struck by budget points of order Republicans have vowed to raise.

    “There’s been a substantial amount taken out because of Byrd rule challenges,” Conrad said.

    “I’d say from the initial draft as much as 25 percent because of initial Byrd rule issues. …

    We still don’t know how the Parliamentarian will rule on everything, so I’d expect that perhaps some more will come out.”


    “some more will come out” — so House Dems are basing their decision on a reconciliation bill which hasn’t been finalized and which hasn’t received a final CBO scoring?

    (this is all well and good, but if Pelosi can get to 216 on underlying bill, then it hardly matters what happens with reconciliation bill after it leaves the House.)

  219. blessedistruth Says:

    GOP plots Senate health roadblock

    It’s a pre-emptive strike meant to scare jittery House Democrats into withholding their support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who needs 216 votes to pass the Senate bill and a companion measure that fixes unpopular elements of the bill.

    If she falls short, comprehensive health care reform dies.

    Senate Republicans will advance their campaign Thursday with floor speeches detailing why a provision to delay the “Cadillac tax” — a must-have for House liberals in the companion bill — could fall victim to the chamber’s parliamentary rules.

    The provision is just one of many that Republicans expect to challenge.

    Under a strategy developed by Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota and Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire,

    Republicans are plotting ways to strike major elements of the reconciliation bill,

    including changes to the special Medicaid deal for Nebraska and

    the carve-out for Florida senior citizens from Medicaid Advantage cuts.

    They are also going small bore, looking to strike seemingly minor provisions, including

    one that would fix language dealing with the employer mandate and the construction industry.

    One senior Republican aide said staff and senators believe that as much as 40 percent of the measure can be killed through procedural objections.

    (so, senate repubs are hoping Pelosi cannot get to 216, but warning house dems that if she can, then this is what senate repubs will do to their changes. I don’t doubt that this is what they will in fact do, but this is surely meant to make undecided house dems think twice.)

  220. blessedistruth Says:

    “Under the Budget Act, the budget process is not allowed to impact Social Security. It’s off the table. And so any budget bill that comes to the floor — either a budget bill or a reconciliation bill … cannot impact Social Security,” Gregg said.

    “That’s a pretty big issue.”

    (Uh, yeah!)

  221. blessedistruth Says:

    Frankly, I’m amazed that no one else has quoted Senator Gregg on this.

  222. blessedistruth Says:

    Democrats need 25 of a combination of the 13 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 20 potential Yes-No flip votes.

    So they need 25 out of the remaining uncommitted 33.

    If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 13 of the last 18 uncommitted.

  223. blessedistruth Says:

    Coburn: GOP on High Alert for Sweetheart Deals in Health Bill

    Coburn suggested Democrats might try to avoid the appearance of a quid pro quo — giving something in return for votes — by arranging for juicy payoffs down the road, like a federal appointment or local project.

    As Democratic leaders try to win over just a few more hold-outs to reach the 216 votes needed to pass the Senate-approved bill in the House, the feisty Oklahoma Republican said he’ll have his eye out for exactly that kind of deal.

    “If you voted no and you vote yes, and you lose your election, and you think (your nomination) to a federal position isn’t going to be held in the Senate, I’ve got news for you — it’s going to be held,” Coburn said.

    “No. 2 is, if you get a deal, a parochial deal for you or your district, I’ve already instructed my staff and the staff of seven other senators.

    We will look at every appropriations bill at every level, at every instance, and we will outline by district, and we will associate that with the buying of your vote.”

  224. blessedistruth Says:

    Maybe I do understand the strategy of Senate Repubs.

    They’re saying if you think you can run away from your vote by no recorded vote on the underlying bill …

    When reconciliation bill comes to Senate we’re not going to make your life any easier by going along with your changes, EVEN IF those changes really would improve the underlying bill.

    Message: You’re going to have to own up to your vote with your constituents.

    God’s Will Be Done.

    There are so many reasons for hoping that Pelosi cannot get to 216.

    The main reason is it will fundamentally change who we are as a nation.

    The thought of how brutal reconciliation will be in the Senate is just one more reason.

    If only we were voting on Wyden-Bennett or Judd Gregg’s HCR.

    If only.

  225. sisterrosetta Says:

    More on. Republican strategy

  226. blessedistruth Says:

    UPDATE II: Travis Childers and his odd moustache will vote no. I expected this, but had him in the undecided camp. So make it 193-207, with leaners 204-211.

    Kent Conrad definitely snuck in some help for the state-chartered Bank of North Dakota in the student loan title of the reconciliation bill.

    Conrad, however, just asked that the provision be removed because he didn’t want to cause a distraction.

    I’m more interested in Conrad’s assessment (probably true) that reconciliation won’t survive the Senate without changes.

    That would mean another ping-pong back to the House, and another vote.

    And another whip count! Gah!

    (assuming Pelosi can get to 216)

  227. blessedistruth Says:

    A major question is whether Republicans will be able to take down the bill on the basis of proposed changes to the excise tax on high-cost health plans.

    Republicans assert this would amend the Social Security Act, which is not allowed under the Byrd Rule.

    But Democrats, after consulting with the parliamentarian, say this objection will fail.

    “There’s no change in law occurring ere, there is a provision to transfer money to the Social Security fund to make up for any indirect effects to the fund, which is just a good-policy thing to do,” said Conrad.

    “Our people think [the objection] will be stricken.”

    After battling over Byrd Rule objections, Republicans will attempt to delay the bill by offering a slew of amendments when the 20 hours of limited floor debate expires.

    There’s no limit as to how many amendments GOP senators may offer, and lawmakers such as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) have vowed to propose as many as necessary to keep the bill on the floor.

    But Durbin noted that amendments must have a score from the Congressional Budget Office to be considered germane.

    The CBO is overworked to the point that it took longer than Democrats expected to get a cost analysis for the healthcare reconciliation package.

    Democratic leaders doubt Republicans have many amendments that would be (?)

    Democrats are confident the parliamentarian will rule Republican efforts to slow the process with a storm of amendments as dilatory and out of order.

    The lack of germane amendments will make it difficult for Republicans to argue otherwise.

    (so undecided House Dems are basing their decision on “fixes” which may or may not be stricken. wouldn’t it make sense for them to get a ruling on that BEFORE they decide. And changes will add to the price tag. is it possible that a high enough price tag will quash the entire reconciliation bill?)

  228. song Says:

    This backpage is the most informative posts about Healthcare on the web. i am following your comments through my gmail. Reading every one. For someone who knew next to nothing, I now can say after following you that I know, why this must be a ‘no’. Bottom line, it undermines our Constitution, it is inequitable, it forces people to pay, therefore it helps big Insurance.

    Am I getting it, Rosa-?


  229. blessedistruth Says:

    i am following your comments through my gmail.


    I’m honored, song!

    And I’m learning, too.

    And I sure have a lot of questions for someone from NJ!

    (well, my parents were born there)

  230. blessedistruth Says:

    Favorite album sides (cont’d.)

    SIDE 1

    2. Slave To Love
    3. Don’t Stop The Dance
    4. A Waste Land
    5. Windswept

    SIDE 2

    1. The Chosen One
    2. Valentine
    3. Stone Woman
    4. Boys & Girls

  231. blessedistruth Says:

    Good night, good people!

  232. blessedistruth Says:


    Democrats are up to 194 yes votes, with 208 No votes.

    With leaners, it’s the same: 203-211.

  233. blessedistruth Says:

    This Congress is already debating a “doctor fix” that rescinds the reimbursement cuts to providers, even though the numbers they submitted to the CBO rely on those lower figures.

    The Post also fails to identify the larger risk with the so-called “Cadillac plan” tax, which is that insurance companies will simply stop offering those kinds of plans in the future.

    They will tailor their plans to avoid the tax, and as a result, the expected revenues from that tax will eventually dissipate — and probably much faster than anyone thinks.

    The CBO should have developed alternate cases for these potential outcomes, but in their defense, they’ve been asked to score a fantasy from the very beginning.

    The Post reminds us that there are plenty of reasons to take the CBO analysis with a Lot’s Wife-sized grain of salt, not the least of which is the fact that it depends on Congress to follow through on their pledges.

    This is the reason that incremental change makes a lot more sense.

    It eliminates the need to compound assumptions, and it’s more reversible when it fails.

  234. blessedistruth Says:

    No new promises, please

    … at best this bill makes our long-term fiscal problem no worse, while using up options to solve it.

    The pending legislation takes all of the easiest hard choices and uses them to offset the new promise.

    This leaves even harder and more painful policy choices when policymakers choose or are forced to address the long-term fiscal problem.

    The pending legislation raises taxes “on the rich.”

    When someone tries to close our long-term fiscal gap, these tax increases will no longer be available.

    The pending legislation slows the growth of Medicare spending, but then spends that money on the new promise.

    We still have the old unfunded promises, and those relatively easy Medicare policy changes will no longer be available to fund them.

    When you or your successors choose or are forced to solve our long-term fiscal problem, these tools will be unavailable.

    *** You will have to reduce benefits and charge seniors higher premiums, copayments, and deductibles. ***

    You will have to cut provider payments even more.

    You will have to means-test benefits more aggressively.

    You will have to raise the eligibility age for these programs.

    *** If you favor tax increases, you will find yourself evaluating options to raise them not just on the rich, but also on the middle class. ***

    The arithmetic will force you to do these things.

    You will have to do some of these things even if the pending health care bills die.

    You will have to do many more of them if these health care bills become law.

  235. blessedistruth Says:

    Read the Bill: Senate Plan Would Pay for Abortions at Community Health Centers

  236. blessedistruth Says:

    Cardinal George also pointed out that the Senate bill authorizes billions of dollars in “new funding outside the scope of the appropriations bills” covered by the Hyde amendment’s restrictions.

    New funds for community health centers could fund abortions because no statute would prevent changing regulations that currently abide by Hyde.

    He also complained that the Senate bill lacks Hyde’s strong conscience protections on abortion and offers no “meaningful” conscience protection beyond abortion.

    “This is not quibbling over technicalities,” Cardinal George insisted when explaining why the Catholic bishops “must” oppose the Senate bill.

    “The deliberate omission in the Senate Bill of the necessary language that could have taken this moral question off the table and out of play leaves us still looking for a way to meet the President’s and our concern to provide health care for those millions whose primary care physician is now an emergency room doctor.”

    He quoted Pope Benedict by affirming there is “an indissoluble bond between an ethic of life and every other aspect of social ethics.”

    Evidently that “indissoluble bond” is not so important for the liberal evangelicals and Catholics lobbying the House for the Senate version of Obamacare.

  237. blessedistruth Says:

    DeFazio’s Objections Could Set Off Other Members

    “Unless they put that back in, I can’t support it,” Defazio said, referring to the medicare disparity fix.

    The Medicare disparity fix seeks to normalize reimbursement rates across regions.

    It was particularly important to people in rural areas, whose doctors don’t receive as much money in reimbursement.

    My assumption would be that budget-counters determined that it cost too much to include in the reconciliation bill, although the Byrd rule was also flagged as a possibility.

    But if you look at who’s remaining in the whip count, a lot of those members come from rural areas.

    If DeFazio doesn’t carry through on his threat, those other members – who are needed to pass the bill – might.

  238. blessedistruth Says:

    Medicare disparity fix?

    so this fix must not be in underlying Senate bill, as that is set in stone.

    and also not in reconciliation bill

    “Unless they put that back in” — they’re still making changes to the reconciliation bill?!

    how can undecided House Dems decide w/o a finished product? then we really don’t know the price tag yet, either.

  239. blessedistruth Says:

    Stupak video

    Stephanopoulos asked about the idea floated by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), another pro-life Democrat, to hold a separate vote on reinstating the Stupak language on abortion insurance, as a whole different bill.

    Stupak said that this was one possibility — but he wanted to make sure such a bill would in fact be signed into law.

  240. blessedistruth Says:

    Nancy Pelosi Rejects Stupak Deal to Remove Abortion Funding From Senate Bill

  241. blessedistruth Says:

    Now Mr. Stupak understands what some of the rest of us have endured.

  242. blessedistruth Says:

    Health Care Whip Count Updates: Titus Yes, Kaptur Lean Yes (195 firm Yes, 208 firm No)

    Mike Arcuri, now a No vote, is just getting hammered in his home state of New York.

    The Working Families Party is recruiting a third-party challenger, and the SEIU will end their support of the freshman Dem and look for a challenger as well.

    I don’t know if this is enough to switch Arcuri’s vote – he seems pretty dug in – but they’re certainly trying.

    UPDATE: As David Waldman notes, Arcuri’s position on the powerful House Rules Committee may also be at risk.

    Moving Titus to yes and Kaptur to lean yes, the whip count now stands at 195-208, with leaners 204-211.

  243. sisterrosetta Says:

    The Republicans’ specific strategy for prolonging the debate is to exploit a potential problem with the reconciliation bill. 

    The main trouble spot is that the package includes a change to the controversial tax on high-cost “Cadillac” insurance plans — under a compromise, because liberal Democrats and unions despise it, the tax would be put off until 2018, as opposed to 2013. 

    But Republicans argue that the adjustment would run afoul of a congressional rule that says reconciliation cannot be used to tweak Social Security.

    Because the tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans is projected to bring in revenue to Social Security, any change to that tax would presumably affect Social Security. 

    This is a clear violation of the rule, GOP sources told Fox News. 

    It takes 60 votes to waive any objections Republicans might bring up on the floor on those grounds, but Democrats have only 59.

    And there aren’t a lot of senators crossing aisles these days. 

    Even Democratic North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, in an interview with Fox News, conceded that changes are likely.

    But his strategy is to fix the bill on the House side before it gets to the Senate to minimize the chances of it getting sent back. 

    The GOP strategy appears to be two-fold, though:

    Either toy with the bill when it gets to the Senate and drag out the process, or prevent the bill from coming to the Senate at all. 

    If Republicans can make the case that key parts of the “sidecar” bill will never be passed, then they hope a number of fence-sitting House Democrats will not want to go on record in support of a Senate bill they see as seriously flawed. 

    “So if you’re a member of the House of Representatives, the best you can hope for is you’re going to get a bill back to the House that has a lot of these provisions that you care about knocked out,” Thune said,

    calling the idea that the Senate is going to fix all the problems in the original bill an “incredible leap of faith.” 

    Fox news

  244. blessedistruth Says:

    The House is taking a big risk:

    It must swallow the much-despised Senate bill whole, likely “deeming” it to be passed alongside its fix-it bill.

    But the president must sign the House-passed Senate bill before the Senate can begin work on the second health-reform bill containing these so-called fixes.

    Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad said Thursday that it is unlikely the Senate will be able to pass a health care reconciliation bill unchanged from what the House passes.

    Yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday, “There has to be complete agreement on what the package is…[so] I would be able to convince my members to go forward.”

    House members might well ask themselves some questions:

    1) Can they trust the Senate to pass its fix-it bill after they already have passed the original Senate bill and it is signed into law?

    2) Can the changes the House wants in its fix-it bill pass muster with the Senate parliamentarian, or will they be thrown out?

    3) Are they willing to be on the hook, perhaps permanently, for taking a vote for the Senate bill that may never get changed?

    4) Does the fix-it bill really makes the Senate bill that much better?

    5) Is this really health reform?

  245. blessedistruth Says:

    Potential Byrd Rule Violations Would Add To Never-Ending Process of Health Care Passage

    This is weedy, but basically the Republicans will try to knock out as much as they can just to force a House vote.

    Until a sidecar with the same language passes both Houses, the Senate bill itself would be the law of the land.

    Nancy Pelosi believes that their side has “scrubbed” the bill of all Byrd rule violations.

    But it only takes one to ping-pong the bill back to the House.

    Of course, voting against the sidecar would be spun by Democrats as affirmatively voting for the types of “special deals” Republicans have hammered throughout the past several months, like the “Cornhusker kickback” or the Florida Medicare Advantage deal.

  246. blessedistruth Says:

    Yes, but … (repost from above)

    Maybe I do understand the strategy of Senate Repubs.

    They’re saying if you think you can run away from your vote by no recorded vote on the underlying bill …

    When reconciliation bill comes to Senate we’re not going to make your life any easier by going along with your changes, EVEN IF those changes really would improve the underlying bill.

    Message: You’re going to have to own up to your vote with your constituents.

    God’s Will Be Done.

    There are so many reasons for hoping that Pelosi cannot get to 216.

    The main reason is it will fundamentally change who we are as a nation.

    The thought of how brutal reconciliation will be in the Senate is just one more reason.

    If only we were voting on Wyden-Bennett or Judd Gregg’s HCR.

    If only.

  247. blessedistruth Says:

    New Thread:

    Had to put up new post as my right thumb was about to fall off from that ball thingy on my bberry!

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