Daily Archives: September 29, 2009

Senate Finance Committee – with Baucus leading the way – votes down the Public Option.

This is dismal. Both Jay Rockfeller (my Democratic Senator from here in WV) and Chuck Schumer, D-NY, proposed Public Option amendments to the Finance Committee’s bill… and 3 Democrats voted against Schumer, 5 voted against Rockefeller. The leading Democrat to step on the Public Option was Chairman Max Baucus. The one Republican who people seem to think might go along with a bill, Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, also voted against both amendments.

Senator Schumer:

My amendment to add a public option to the Senate Finance Committee bill came up just two votes short of being adopted by the full committee this afternoon.

This is unfortunate news but not a surprise. Remember, the Senate Finance Committee is more conservative than the Senate as a whole. And 4 out of 5 Congressional committees with jurisdiction over health care reform have passed a public option.

This is the opening day of our fight, and I will continue to work to improve the health care reform bill as we take the legislation to the Senate floor.

Some of the other Democratic Senators are now looking at bringing the Public Option to the Senate Floor and polling is showing increasing support by the voting public. Baucus is sitting on the $3.4 Million that the Insurance companies have invested in his campaigns and working as hard as he can to keep them in the catbird seat.

Snowe is getting pushed hard by her constituency as well:

So far the 4 proposals from House Committees and the one other Senate Committee bill HAVE a Public Option… Eventually this has all got to be brought together as one bill… and whether it can get 60 Senate votes to avoid a Republican filibuster, or the mere fifty votes necessary for a “reconciliation,” will remain to be seen.

I’m willing to campaign against ALL Democrats who work against what the majority of Americans want and need. Millions of others will be playing on the same team. Baucus should wise up.

I agree with Debbie about Roman Polanski

I copy this intact from Debbie Does Nothing:

Roman Polanski raped a child

I’m so sick of all the “artists,” including people I admire like Debra Winger, bemoaning the fact that Roman Polanski was arrested on outstanding warrants on the child rape for which he was convicted. They keep saying oh, it’s been 30 years, isn’t it time to just let it go?

Whose fault is it that it’s been 30 years? If he had stayed in California, he would have served his time and been released many years ago. If he served any time at all – chances are lawyers could’ve got him out on appeal.

People seem to forget he drugged a 13 year old girl with quaaludes and champagne, forced her to pose for nude photos, then fucked her in the ass.

She was 13.

13.

My wife and I watched this on the TV news last night… all the European fols who are saying he’s suffered enough. Don’t they have daughters?

And in his suffering he got to keep directing and even won an Oscar. That’s suffering all right.

Quote of the Day

“Democrats must accept that bipartisanship is dead. It’s not sleeping, it’s not comatose, it’s not hiding. It is dead, dead, dead. Republicans clearly have no desire to work constructively for a bipartisan bill.”

– Paul Begala in Politico

If you’re watching the Senate Finance Committee markup today and listened to Chuck (The Schmuck) Grassley, then this goes without saying.

Here’s one for Theatre folks like me… one you probably haven’t seen…

Got this in my morning e-mail from Thomas Cott (who calls his posts “You’ve Cott Mail”… funny, no?). It was from a theatre web blog (which I am adding to my Blogroll) called 99 Seats:
Commentary: Why sports win out over theater — and what we should do about it

$ 943.3 million. $188 million. $1.1 billion. Those three numbers are the 2008 total revenues for the 43 shows on Broadway, the 2008 [ticket] revenue for the New York Yankees and the amount of money New York City contributed to the building of the new Yankee Stadium. If you want to argue that art is unnecessary, then you better be ready to argue that sports are even less necessary. And, yes, many, many people argued that it was a poor use of public funds to build a stadium. But that didn’t stop it. Sports win out because, despite the number of people who don’t like it, who can’t afford to go to the stadium, despite the overpaid players and despicable owners, it’s still perceived as a thing of joy and beauty for the whole city. Theatre can’t shake its rep of being just for the moneyed elites. A sports team is part of the fabric of a city, the spirit of a town. Theatre is a luxury. It’s controversial, a political hot potato, and nothing anyone wants to get caught dead supporting, unless it’s something that’s going to turn a quick profit, or get them in bed with a comely chorine. This is at the root of all of our problems in the theatre. We don’t rate enough for real government support. That’s why I support less non-profit and more for-profit ventures. More theatres eating what they kill, so to speak. More independence from donors and less need for government money.

This is something I’ve been saying for years, and it goes way beyond City governments and expenses. It goes back to the basics of our educational system where schools pour both money and requirements into athletics and put the arts on the First To Cut list. Did your High School or College require you to participate in Theatre? Did they require you to participate in a Sport? You tell me.

I’ve always felt that I’m in a distinct minority… I could care less about the Sunday football game on Television, but I’ll go out of my way for the smallest Community Theatre production. A trip to New York without going to the Theatre is a great waste of time. You see where I’m gong with this.

So if you think the arts are unnecessary, think again. PLEASE!

Opponents of Alaska wilderness road enlist ex-secretary Babbitt

I found this in my McClatchy update this morning… with everything else that has changed for the worse in America since Reagan, the state of our National preserves is one thing I would hope would remain pristine in the face of corporate advances.
clipped from www.mcclatchydc.com
Opponents of a proposed road through Alaska’s Izembek Wildlife Refuge have enlisted the help of an environmental heavyweight: former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.

Babbitt, a former Arizona governor who served in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, has signed a letter asking the current occupant of the office, Ken Salazar, to find that a road through the refuge is not in the public interest.

If Salazar agrees to the road, it would the first-ever road authorized in a wilderness area in the 45-year history of the Wilderness Act, Babbitt warned, setting a “dangerous precedent.”

The road could “jeopardize all the wilderness lands that we and so many others have worked tirelessly to set aside for future generations: every national park, refuge and wilderness area that the Department is pledged to protect,” Babbitt wrote to Salazar.

The Interior Department is reviewing Babbitt’s letter, said spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff.

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