Daily Archives: December 8, 2009

The Democrats have announced a deal on the Health Care Plan

This came out via Reuters this evening:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democratic negotiators said they had reached agreement on Tuesday on a compromise on a scaled-back public insurance plan in a broad healthcare overhaul and would seek cost estimates on the deal.


“We have a broad agreement,” Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told reporters, refusing to give details on the proposals that will be sent to the Congressional Budget Office.

The government-run plan, along with the issue of abortion, was one of the two biggest hurdles remaining for the overhaul, which is President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

A team of 10 Senate Democrats — five liberals and five moderates — had been working for days on a substitute to the government-run plan included in the Senate bill, which has dismayed some moderates.

Democratic Senate sources said the substitute proposal would create a non-profit plan operated by private insurers but administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which supervises health coverage for federal workers.

The sources said negotiators also sought cost estimates on an expansion of the Medicare health program for the elderly, which is now available at age 65, to Americans as young as 55 who could “buy-in” to the coverage.

“Insurance companies will certainly have more competition,” Reid said of the deal. “The American people will certainly have more choices.”

The other potential hurdle to the healthcare overhaul was abortion, and the Senate on Tuesday rejected an attempt to tighten restrictions on abortion coverage — a vote that could threaten a crucial Democrat’s support for passage of the final bill.

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson’s amendment to tighten the bill’s restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions, identical to a provision approved by the House of Representatives last month, was killed on a 54-45 vote.

Without the abortion language, Nelson had threatened he would not back the final healthcare bill when it came to a vote. If he followed through, Democrats would be one vote short of the 60 they need to pass the measure.

But after his amendment failed, Nelson softened his stance slightly. “It makes it harder to be supportive. We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters.

This also doesn’t bring up Lieberman. But since it is killing the words “Public Option, then maybe this is solved. We’ll have to see if this makes a final vote… I’m starting to get lots of petition e-mails and other things trying to get the public option back and it’s getting argued all over (boy, I’d love to get on Medicare NOW.)

After watching Ben Nelson push the Anti-Woman Amendment on his Colleagues…

… this afternoon, I got an even bigger kick out of the piece our friend Tengrain put on Mock Paper Scissors. Take a look HERE:
There’s People Dumber Than Dirt… and the there’s Ben Nelson

Drop over and read it (and tell Tengrain that btchakir sent you.)

Does it occur to you that there is really no escape from bad news?

I was just browsing headlines, and the level of depression THAT can create is enough to send me directly to a Cymbalta capsule.

Some examples:

Karzai Says Afghan Army Will Need Help Until 2024

Greenhouse Gases Imperil Health, E.P.A. Announces

Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water

Car bombings kill 103, wound 197 in Iraq’s capital

Elf Arrested After Threatening to Blow Up Santa (I just call ’em as I see ’em)

Vatican Cardinal on Gays and Transsexuals: ‘No Heaven for You!’

Oy! I’m going to the gym. A nice workout will make me forget all this for an hour.

Restore the Glass-Steagall Act?

“Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.” – Frank Zappa

Here’s something that probably won’t get pulled off – but the more I think of it, the more I realize what a good idea it is. Here’s a clip from Shahien Nasiripour’s article in the HuffPo…there’s more if you go in and read it.

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Five House Democrats will call this week for a return to a Depression-era law that separated Wall Street investment banking from Main Street commercial banking.

If adopted, the measure would give banks one year to choose between being commercial banks or investment banks.
The Obama administration opposes the measure.
The amendment’s five co-sponsors — Maurice Hinchey of New York, John Conyers of Michigan, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington, and John Tierney of Massachusetts – want to restore the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prohibited commercial banks from underwriting stocks and bonds. The act was repealed in 1999 at the urging of, among others, Larry Summers, now President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser.

The five congressman all voted against the repeal then — and now they want it back.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is one of a number of financial luminaries calling for at least a partial return to Glass-Steagall.
  blog it

Pure Zappa for Zappadan – Black Napkins

This is from the (very long) video of Frank doing BlackNapkins at the Palladium broadcast by MTV. You can’t celebrate Zappadan without hearing the classic Zappa guitar work on Black Napkins at least once. Enjoy:

– and an UPDATE –

Dweezil Zappa plays Black Napkins… Like Father, Like Son:

Hope this starts your day off in a great way!