Tag Archives: Sean Hannity

Can CBO News Boost the Public Option?

We’ve been hearing for quite awhile now that adding a public option to healthcare reform would break the bank. “More than a trillion dollars!!!” lawmakers screamed. And many of them were Democrats. Now comes word that a preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of a House Democratic bill with a public option at $871 billion.

For those who like to count numbers, that’s less than the $900 billion dollar cap set by President Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress last month. But wait, there’s more good news. The Democrats’ version would also reduce the deficit in the first 10 years. The CBO report is due to drop Wednesday, and its ramifications could be far reaching. It gives House Speaker Nancy Pelosi much more ammunition in trying to get a bill with a strong public option through the House.

For reasons best known to themselves, so-called “blue dog” Democrats in the House have been arguing for the lame, government run insurance plan promoted by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Published reports say that plan won’t save as much as the one with the public option. So what will be their excuse now? Speaking of which, when will President Obama get behind the public option, for real?

We’ve said this before. Barack Obama says he favors reform with a public option. Yet he hasn’t put the full weight of his office behind it, and he lets some of his aides equivocate when asked about it. As the late Jim Morrison once opined, “The time for hesitation’s through. No time to wallow in the mire”. Let’s put this bluntly. If President Barack Obama wants to leave a lasting presidential legacy, this is it. Time to get off the dime, Mr. President. The numbers favor you, and those members of the House who have fought hard to provide adequate, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Let the Rush Limbaughs, the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys do their best. They can’t impugn the integrity of the CBO. They use numbers from the agency when it suits their purpose. Do they really want to cry socialist forever? There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the public option, but it’s not law yet. Those who favor it, and many have been doing yeoman work in their advocacy, need to raise their voices even louder.

And I’m not just talking about well known people. I’m talking about the folks who send healthcare messages in every Facebook post they make, the people who keep it alive on Twitter, the underground majority who get that this is a matter of national pride, and can’t be left to the loud, the selfish, the lawmakers whose votes are bought and paid for.

I, for one, am optimistic the public option will become law. How about you?

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Did Empty News Cycle Cause Obama Speech Controversy?

By the end of Tuesday, President Barack Obama will have spoken to the nation’s schoolchildren, and hopefully the auto-generated mess it created will be history. It was quite something to behold, the President wanting to tout education to young people, and conservatives going bonkers. So how exactly did all this happen?

Well for one, Congress was in the last week of its summer recess. For whatever reason, the healthcare debate that roiled the nation most of the summer died down just a little. Low and behold, there’s wasn’t much for media to talk about. At least as far as media was concerned. Then came manna from heaven. The letter describing the president’s back to school speech contained a seemingly simple request. It asked teachers to have students write to themselves about how they might assist the President.

To some, this was red meat. In an otherwise dead news cycle, it was even better for conservative media.

Jim Greer, Florida’s Republican Party chair, condemned the President’s “use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”

Jim Greer
Jim Greer

Then the piling on began. Some right wing radio and TV hosts urged parents to keep their kids home from school so they wouldn’t hear the speech. It’s as if they thought Barack Obama would be wearing a dashiki and talking to kids about reparations.

Is making the most of your time in school a socialist agenda? Is standing as a role model to show that yes, any American can be president indoctrinating schoolchildren? But hey, there wasn’t much else to talk about, and in some quarters, anything that hurts President Obama is a goof thing. Just ask the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world.  And for what?

Even if you argue that the letter Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent contained some vague, unclear language, there’s no excuse for using children as a political weapon.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Education Secretary Arne Duncan

But that’s just what happened. It will continue until Americans demand that more be done during periods when there’s little breaking news (BTW, have you seen what passes for breaking news on cable news channels lately?). It will also continue, sadly, until the President realizes just what and who he’s up against, and that compromise with many of his enemies (not opponents) isn’t possible. They’ll keep coming until Barack Obama makes them fear his wrath.

And now we all know they’re not above using children. We’ve asked time and time again whether there’s been some defining event that will make this President take the gloves off.

My question to you is, are we there yet?

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Will Repubs Go After Sotomayor?

First, before I get started, from by blog post, “Who will POTUS pick for SCOTUS?” on May 4th comes this.

“Based on what I know about her, and the politics of the moment, I’m going with Sonia Sotomayor”

sotomayor

Hah!!! Don’t want to say I told you so, but this time I got it right. Sonia Sotomayor is the right choice for this court vacancy for a whole bunch of reasons. She has, you see, the legal background and life experience to make ann outstanding Supreme Court Justice. Sure, the Mitt Romneys of the world will call her nomination “troubling”. Fortunately for the nation, he’s not president.

Yet the short answer to the question at the top of this post is, “not as hard as you might think”. Republican elected officials, unlike those who carry their water in the media, realize what extraordinary damage the immigration issue did to their party among Latinos. To rake Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina nominated to the highest court in the land, over the coals would doom the GOP among Latinos for years to come.

No, they’ll leave the heavy lifting to their shadow government on talk radio and cable television. Let’s see now, who have we got here? Rush Limbaugh. Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and don’t forget Lou Dobbs and Joe Scarborough, although they’re not as reliable as the first group. These will be the warriors the Republicans will use while members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on camera mind you, tell her how inspiring her life story is.

What shouldn’t be missed is this. Sonia Sotomayor is not a story without substance. Her nomination shouldn’t simply be seen as the first Latina and the third woman in the history of the court. She brings serious chops to the job. She’s been on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for more than a decade. You don’t get that far being a lightweight.

As I said in the May 4th post, all of those being considered for this job had serious qualifications. We should have expected nothing less from a president who used to be a law professor. What will be interesting going forward is the measure of bipartisan support her nomination receives. If Samuel Alito can be confirmed by a vote of 58-42, Sonia Sotomayor should pass muster no problem.

Unless, of course, you think the conservative echo chamber can kill a Supreme Court nomination single handed. Are they dumb and egocentric enough to think they can?

You tell me.

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