Thursday, December 24, 2009

Senate Passes Health Care Bill 60-39

I just watched what is being called an historic vote in the U.S. Senate.

The President of the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden, presided over the proceedings.

All Senate Democrats and Independents voted for the bill, and all Republicans who were present voted against the bill.

Now, since the Senate version just passed is different from the House version that passed a while back, the two bills go to a conference committee in January, where the differences will be hammered out and a final bill produced.

Then both the House and the Senate will have to have a floor vote on the final, combined bill.

UPDATE: President Obama just finished making comments on the Senate's passage of the bill, saying it is the most reform concerning insurance companies ever.

He said it will add 31 million Americans to the list of those having health care coverage.

He said he will work with the Conference Committee to resolve the differences in the two bills, then he will sign the final version upon its passage by both the Senate and the House.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Way Out Of Afghanistan Is "Way Out"

In case you were wondering where going with the cash flow generated by the new placate the warmongers bill President Obama just signed takes you, check out the graphic.

In a post appropriately entitled "The great Afghan spaghetti monster", the author states:
The graphic from the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff looks like a tangled ball of multicolored yarn, or perhaps it is the military's depiction of the all-powerful, all-knowing Flying Spaghetti Monster...

Whatever the case, it documents the complex relationships between Tribal leaders, soldiers, aid workers, drug dealers, militants, ethnic groups, government leaders, etc.
(McClatchy News). It could not be better for the intellectual warmongers who have now so entangled us in stupid, costly, and homeland damaging wars it boggles the sane mind.

But not theirs, they are so smart in their own eyes they are opening a new war zone in the Americas south of our border.

In the wise words of the Author of the Bill of Rights, the Father of our Constitution, war and warmongers are our worst enemy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So Obama Thinks I Am Critical?

Oh to the contrary, I have held my tongue compared to others who voted for him.

Take for example the University Professor, Psychologist and Neuroscientist:
What's costing the president and courting danger for Democrats in 2010 isn't a question of left or right, because the president has accomplished the remarkable feat of both demoralizing the base and completely turning off voters in the center. If this were an ideological issue, that would not be the case. He would be holding either the middle or the left, not losing both.

What's costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.

The problem is not that his record is being distorted. It's that all three have more than a grain of truth. And I say this not as one of those pesky "leftists." I say this as someone who has spent much of the last three years studying what moves voters in the middle, the Undecideds who will hear whichever side speaks to them with moral clarity.

Consider the president's leadership style, which has now become clear: deliver a moving speech, move on, and when push comes to shove, leave it to others to decide what to do if there's a conflict, because if there's a conflict, he doesn't want to be anywhere near it.
(Huffington Post, emphasis added). Ouch! That rant goes on and on.

See, I have only criticized the administration in the hope that his advisers would wake up to the reality I reminded them of time and time again.

They seem to think they can ramrod their notions down the voters ballot box, a notion that will be tested like it was in the last election when the people rejected that approach.

My criticism of the administration has been exclusively to criticize them for continuing what the people rejected in the election. For an apologetic in support of all the administration's deeds, and a pro-con comment session afterwards, see this post.

Monday, December 21, 2009

State Department vs. The Independent

The British Independent has a story to tell which is at odds with The State Department Story concerning 7 military bases in Colombia.

Three of the seven bases are Air Force, two are Navy, and two are Army.

It may turn out that the definition of "soldier" or "troops" will end up being the defining reality of the story, unless the law and treaty with Colombia is changed by congress and Colombia.

Is this a jobs thing for Blackwater which will mean thousands of mercenaries being moved from Iraq, Pakistan, or Afghanistan to Colombia?

The suspicious part is the reactivation, after 58 years, of the 4th Fleet, and now sending them south allegedly to take part in "the drug war".

The drug war that is the real drug war is the drug oil which the U.S. is addicted to, thus, sending the 4th Fleet after marijuana growers is not the real story.

The propaganda is going to crank up for sure.

More Tug o' War Then The Final Votes

The Senate Democrats and Independents got past the Republican filibuster of the Senate Version of the Health Care Legislation in a late night vote on a cloture motion made by Senator Reid.

The vote was a classic 60-40 Cloture vote, which will send the current bill to the floor for a debate and for a vote to pass it or not pass it.

Then, since it is different from the House Version of the Health Care Legislation, it will go to conference for final hammering out of final details to fuse the two different bills into one final version of the bill.

Then both the Senate and the House must vote again to accept the Final Conference Bill or not to accept it.

Both the House and the Senate must pass it if it is to go to the desk of the President.

The President and his operatives will be very busy during the Conference Committee proceedings, as will Senator Reid and Representative Pelosi.

There is still a possibility of improving some of the bad aspects of the bill.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bipartisan Critics See Through The Fog

When these fellows who are in trouble in their districts and who are running to be elected once again announced a deal in the Senate Friday, what happened is best explained by Joe Scarborough, Howard Dean, and Daily Kos:
On Sunday's Meet The Press, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was asked a simple question about health care: What has President Obama achieved? His answer: "He has made a lot of people with insurance stock a lot richer."

"This [bill] is great for insurance companies," he explained. "They were going to reform the system [but] neither side wanted to take on the insurance companies. Neither side wanted to get rid of anti-trust exemptions. Neither side really pushed hard to allow you or me or anybody here to buy across state lines. And as Howard Dean said -- and this is a devastating fact -- insurance companies' stocks reached a 52-year [actually 52-week] high on Friday after this so called reform bill got its 60th vote.
(Huffington Post, emphasis added). The Senate version of the bill is what they were talking about, not the House bill.

Investors are not buying stock in the insurance companies because they want to lose money, they know something don't they.

Daily Kos has charts to support the notion that the insurance companies are happy with what they think will be the result of the fusion of the House and Senate Bills later, and so are investors.

Little wonder those who care for the middle class and poor, who are losing homes, jobs, savings, and health care, are not so happy; while the military oil complex gets everything it wants.

There is reason to believe it is an under the table bailout of the insurance companies who they bailed out in the open (e.g. AIG), causing widespread outrage.