Okay, fine. We read it. We looked at how it compares to the House and Senate bills. And, as advertised, Obama’s healthcare “proposal” is pretty much a summary of negotiations that were taking place before the Naked Senator distracted everybody.

And despite our anxiousness to just pass the damn thing and move on, Ezra Klein may have the more perceptive take on the politics involved:

This is not the first time Democrats have waited out a bad political period and then used a combination of televised events, substantive releases, and legislative progress to take back control of the media’s narrative.

As evidence, Ezra cites the healthcare speech after Town Hall Hell, and waiting out the fallout after Senator Douchebag’s Medicare buy-in treachery. His argument is that Obama’s Fightin’ Demrats weren’t being pussies by not fighting back, but strategic.

And y’know? He might be right.

Certainly that’s how Obama ran his campaign — with overwhelming Electoral College polls since summer, he could afford to sit out McCain’s increasingly desperate attacks. But governing is not campaigning, and results are far less predictable. Delaying a bill, we’re told, is tantamount to killing it.

Yet healthcare reform — or something that goes by that name — remains on the table, and Obama remains willing to spend significant political capital on it. (Yes, joint-session speeches and high-profile “summits” are significant.) Maybe we wish he’d spend more, and to more progressive ends, but we’re resigning ourselves to the notion that we won’t really know the result until the final gavel of the 111th Congress.

The Democratic plan: Finish this bill [WaPo]

I’ve got a headache.

T/J When world-travelling, what online site do stinquers use for booking flights and such as? I’m afraid of Orbitz. Should I be?

@Benedick: I almost ate a $1000 ticket to Montana purchased on short notice when the court cancelled my hearing. Orbitz has a “no refund” policy, so I went anyway to go meet with the client and local counsel. Now I just book through the airline and make sure the ticket is refundable.

Like RML, I usually book through the airline. Never buy a vacation package anyway and prefer to “drift along” when I travel.

@ManchuCandidate: I’m planning a trip with several destinations and a sort-of schedule. I’ve used priceline quite successfully in the past.

@redmanlaw: You can choose a refundable option on most sites. Don’t know if orbitz has it. I’m suspicious of the way they break down ticket price into fare and taxes. It makes me suspect it’s run by paultards out of Mike Lee’s basment.

@Benedick: I recommend – it’s found some great cheap options for me that weren’t advertised on the airline websites, and you can play around with it in terms of simultaneously adjusting dates, times, layovers. If you’ve got multiple destinations (i.e. a lot of one-way flights) and you’re within the continental United States, Southwest is almost always the cheapest for those types of flights and most flexible airline in terms of cancellations or changing the ticket.

this is interesting from the Las Vegas Sun:

Washington — One-third of voters in Nevada say they would be more likely to vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this fall if he wins passage of the public option in the health care bill, according to a poll released today.


@SanFranLefty: I’ll try that. I saw the site but didn’t get into it.

I’m pretty excited and/or hysterical. I’m considering Vienna/Prague/London. Haven’t been abroad in a very long time time and I’m not coping all that well. I’m having anxiety attacks about Austrians tricking me into eating ground pork products.

@Capt Howdy: Surprise!

When I get begging calls from Democrats I tell them No reform, no contributions.

@Benedick: For international flights, in addition to kayak, look at and The later website also has European train tickets on it. I haven’t used it but I have used vayama and liked it.

/travel freak

@SanFranLefty: Thanks. I’m planning one leg by train. The eurotrain site is pretty impressive and good value.

Inhofe finds a nut

he thinks.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called “the greatest scientific scandal of our generation” — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate Files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify.

“In [Gore’s] science fiction movie, every assertion has been rebutted,” Inhofe said. He believes Vice President Gore should defend himself and his movie before Congress.

@Capt Howdy:
Isn’t Inhofe sore with the Kochs’ hands lodged up his ass?

it made me smile to find this flower among the ruins this morning:

Wow. Just as soon as the “Hot Air” blog was purchased by the Christian conglomerate Salem Communications from conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, it has suddenly become an advocate for all things gay. What in the world is up with that?
For background, GOPROUD is an organization dedicated to advancing special rights for homosexual behavior, and advocates the overthrow of the Defense of Marriage Act and the overthrow of the law banning homosexual service in the military.
Not only was GOPROUD welcomed at CPAC, an event which is supposed to be the annual showcase for conservative values, the organization was allowed to sponsor the event, giving visibility and recognition to its effort to legitimize sexual deviancy.
A Saturday post, from Repurblican, takes one of my new heroes, Ryan Sorba of California Young Americans for Freedom, to task for making the common sense statement at CPAC that homosexual sex cannot lead to reproduction. For this obviously correct observation, he was booed off the stage. And “Hot Air,” now under Christian management, has made Sorba out to be the bad guy.
For speaking truth to power, “Hot Air” accused Sorba of “bombthrowing,” and said his remarks represented a “gratuitous and public…slam on homosexuals.”
The lead blogger of “Hot Air,” Ed Morrissey, has apparently experienced a new-found freedom under Salem’s Christian leadership to bash proponents of morality grounded in natural law. Said Morrissey, “At some point, Republicans will need to get over their issues with homosexuality.”


@Benedick: Do not, under any circumstances, book Ryan Air or Easy Jet, no matter how cheap the flights. I’ve done it and it was a nightmare. They make Southwest look like Virgin Atlantic First Class, and god only knows who’s flying them.
Kayak and Momondo are both good. Kayak just finds the price and then lets you buy from the airlines website, so you avoid extra fees, get the additional frequent flier miles, etc. Momondo is run by the Danes, which just makes it seem more trustworthy somehow.

@Capt Howdy: Seems someone has just discovered that teh gheyz have lots of disposable income, and probably aren’t so bad after all. Sure, you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take their money.


i always book with the airline directly, too many travel agents i’ve used are fucking retarded. first though, peruse kayak and get an idea of what airline you want to take.

i’m curious about priceline. the last time i checked into a hotel, some loudmouth was announcing he got a $35 room rate through priceline.
even though captain kirk is at the helm, it scares me.
show me the priceline ropes….i’m preparing a trip to miami.

@Mistress Cynica:
I think that was 5 or ten years ago.
they are realizing now that they not only vote but have friends.
and most of all they dont want a draft so anyone who is willing to volunteer is welcome.

@baked: The problem with Priceline (among many) is that you don’t know exactly which hotel you’re staying at – they don’t tell you until you buy. Mr. SFL and I wound up in a scary as hell motel in Reno (which is saying something) a few years ago after using priceline. We left after about 10 minutes, given the tweaker hookers in the parking lot offering blow jobs and the stains of bodily fluids on the bedspread and walls, not to mention my usually mellow dog was freaking out (no doubt sensing the bad juju or my tension).

@baked: I’ve done well with Priceline but you need to understand what you’re getting into. I’ve found very good hotels in NYC and paid about 60 bucks a night. You can specify 1 to 4 stars. On the other hand there’s lefty’s experience. You have to be flexible as to area, etc. They also now have a flat rate service which lets you book a specific hotel. I’ve also done well with Expedia. With them you see exactly what you’re getting.

@baked: I’ve gotten better-than-travel-sites rates on Priceline (including one for my upcoming trip to Chicago— Stinque-up Alert!!) but I will only book if I know which hotel I’m getting. My one experience with buying a pig in a poke was much like Lefty’s.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Ever see “Dinosaurs for Hire”? Three dinos run a detective agency, chase crime . . .and the ladies.

@SanFranLefty: Hey SFL…thanks for the vayama reference. Much appreciated!

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