Long National Nightmare Just Beginning

The doctor will see you now.

Hooray! The healthcare bill passed the Finance Committee!

Well, the one without the Public Option.

It passed 14-9, all Demrats plus Star Turncoat Olympia Snowe. But while everyone’s cheering Bipartisan!, bear in mind she expressly voted to kick it upstairs, and is withholding judgment on whatever form it ultimately takes.

Now it just has to be merged with the other Senate bill, survive a filibuster, pass the Senate, squeeze through the conference committee, pass the House again, survive another filibuster, pass the Senate again, be signed by the President, and then we’ll be filling those FEMA camps with recalcitrant rebels who refuse to buy mandatory coverage from predatory insurance companies.

LIVEBLOG: Senate Finance Committee Votes On Health Care Reform Bill [TPM]

Part One of Updated SchoolHouse Rock

Boy: Woof! You sure gotta pass through a lot of fat teabaggers to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington. But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?

I’m just a healthcare bill.
Yes, I’m only a healthcare bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee,
But I know I’ll be a law someday
Many US Americans hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

Bill: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn’t even a bill, I was just an idea called NaziCommieSocialistDeathPanels Health System that the rest of the fucking world has but not US Merka. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed cause they were dying and getting fucked by the Health Insurance Scam, so they called their local Congressman and he said, “You’re right, let me check who contributes to my campaign. Hmmm, nope. Yes, there oughta be a law.” Then this NaziCommieSocialistDeathPanels Lover sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I’ll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.

I’m just a bill
Yes I’m only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well, now I’m getting raped in committee
And I’ll sit here and wait
While a few key toadies under the pay of the AHIP discuss and “debate”
Whether they should let me be a law.
How many hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Listen to those congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you? Why is that one using a picture of Hitler?

Bill: Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. Most bills, like Hilsbotcare or the US Birfer act, never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favourably, otherwise I may die.

Boy: Die?

Bill: Yeah, die in committee. Oooh, but it looks like I’m gonna live! Now I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.

To Be Continued…

where did you find that great pic of Chuck Grassley?

@Capt Howdy: And you made me crack up like Janet Napolitano.

I’m glad fellow Oregonian Ron Wyden is on the side of the angels, but man, he annoys the hell out of me. Is Portland TV that starved for soundbites?

Nojo, the plan is to use the Senate budget reconciliation just like Uncle Dick and the Shrub did to shove “drown the government in the bathtub” tax cuts down our throats. No filibuster. 51 votes pass the bill. A little wrinkle in the legislative process that didn’t make it into SchoolHouse Rock.

@Dave H: There’s certainly been some chatter about Reconciliation, but I’m not yet hearing it as a major strategy. If so, they could just blow off ten Dems and have Plugz cast the deciding vote.

Maybe we’ll hear more as things get down to the wire, but right now Olympia Snow seems to have a veto.

@nojo: My guess is reconciliation is overlooked because it takes all the elements of a horse race out of the process and that makes for boring TV. Fox and MSNBC both need constant political conflict to keep people watching. In the LBJ school of Senate politicking all the arm twisting took place out of sight and that’s what I think has been happening here.

I also think today was Olympia Snow’s big day in the spotlight and now that the Senate bills are all out of committee the GOP Senators become essentially irrelevant. They either shoot themselves in the foot again by stalling the budget process or the Obama health care legislation quickly becomes law over their opposition. Heads I win, tails you lose.

@Dave H: That’s a phenomenally upbeat read. The other possibility is that the Rethugs steal the coin in mid-toss.

Interestingly, Brand W’s post on the senate commitee passing the bill, posted some half hour later, starts with the very same words, “our long national nightmare,” and, although it now follows with some different words, I could swear that this afternoon, it continued with “is just beginning.” Hmmph.

@Promnight: Since you made me look

Our Long National Nightmare… Will Now Be Merged With Another Senate Bill, Debated On The Senate Floor, Voted On, Merged With An Also-Debated/Merged House Bill In Conference, Voted On In Both Houses…

Ummm, Jim? I’m very forgiving, but that’s cutting it close.

@nojo: Fucking assholes. I always hated those fucks. Nojo, where do we hurl the can of gasoline?

I think we are fast approaching the “Gingrich shuts down government” point where republican idiocy trips a public tipping point.

Things do not happen as quickly, for the public, as we perceive things, from our lofty intellectual perches, we saw August go by, wondering why Obama was to our eyes dithering and doing nothing while the teabaggers made fools of themselves at the townhalls, but in the end, the net effect was to increase public support, a bit, for real reform, and to increase support for the PO, and we found ourselves saying, “hell, he actually played that rope-a-dope pretty well.”

I think Obama is playing the timing and pacing of things very well, for those of us who are all gung-ho, go for the knockout, we were disappointed, but it turns out, maybe he knew enough to plan for a 15 round decision, and not an early round knockout, and correct me if I am wrong, but its working. Public opinion, support for the PO, resistance to insurance industry propaganda, is solidifying, not weakening.

Obama is definitely playing a defensive game, but here, where the opponent is stupid, and vastly overestimates its strength (and the tards do so completely overestimate their real strength, the real extent of public approval and support for their position) maybe the best strategy after all was to let them foment and make fools of themselves, they swung wildly again and again, but the fact is, they have been completely ineffecctual, and their repeated over the top hyperbolic crying wolf (socialism, nazism, etc) has lost its force and I am confident in this zeitgeist assessment, its begun to be seen by the public at large as empty alarmism, and as they continue to howl, their howlings grow less and less effective.

I have to say, I was worried, and second-guessed, but just how many left-side cries of doom and “all is lost” have proven premature thus far?

I am getting all hopey again.

I listened to the ice-bitch president of NHIP on NPR commuting home today and she was disturbingly cogent, Obama-esque I would even give her for delivery, insisting that health-care reform is utterly necessary, that there is no possibility that nothing will be done, and that if we don’t have mandates with teeth to force everyone to subscribe to usurious insurance rates or face foreclosure on their homes and stiff penalties up their asses in jail, health insurance will still cost 40% more in the next five years. The “or else” was just implied, but nobody could miss it.

The cowered NPR spokes-model timidly proffered the situation in which a fambly raking in $40K annual could face $3K in penalites, hinting that would be, effectively, an incredibly punitive tax hike on the lower-middle class. To which the ice-bitch snarled, “We are working with Congress to find other ways to punish deserters.”

@ManchuCandidate: @Pedonator: I second Pedonator’s assessment. It is brilliant and beautiful.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment