Posted by at 09:59  Democrats, Politics
Mar 222010

As you know, the Democrats in the House of Representatives finally passed health care reform in the United States last night. It was a long time coming and long overdue. Of course, the Republicans did everything they could to block this historic legislation, complaining and whining late into the night. So late, in fact, that I finally had to give up and retire for the night before President Obama was able to deliver his congratulatory message to the American people. If you missed it like I did, here it is:

Transcript follows the break.

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Health care passes

 Posted by at 22:46  Democrats, Politics
Mar 212010

The Democratic party passed health care reform in the United States. They did it without a single Republican vote. So much for bipartisanship. Why do the Republicans hate Americans so?

House passes health care bill on 219-212 vote

President Obama won a historic victory in the struggle for health care reform Sunday as the House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill overhauling the American medical system.

The bill passed in a 219-212 vote after more than a year of bitter partisan debate. All 178 Republicans opposed it, along with 34 Democrats.

The measure, which cleared the Senate in December, will now go to Obama’s desk to be signed into law. It constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago.

A separate compromise package of changes expanding the reach of the measure was passed by the House after its vote on the Senate bill. That reconciliation bill will advance to the Senate.

The overall $940 billion plan is projected to extend insurance coverage to roughly 32 million additional Americans. It represents a significant step towards the goal of universal coverage sought by every Democratic president since Harry Truman.

Most Americans will now be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. Larger employers will be required to provide coverage or risk financial penalties. Total individual out-of-pocket expenses will be capped, and insurers will be barred from denying coverage based on gender or pre-existing conditions.


Health care will pass

 Posted by at 16:40  Democrats, Politics
Mar 212010

I know Bart Stupak and his band of merry uterus watchers are patting themselves on the back right now, but they really got nothing that wasn’t already in federal law. It’s fine if they want to believe they did. President Obama has made history, accomplishing what every president before him since Teddy Roosevelt has tried and failed. The Republicans are walking away looking like the whiny, corporate ass kissing obstructionists they are. All will be good…

House leaders announce impasse-breaking deal on abortion funding

President Obama, rallying last-minute support for landmark health-care legislation nearing a crucial vote in the House, announced Sunday that he will issue an executive order after passage attesting that the bill is consistent with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions.

The arrangement won the support of a key bloc of anti-abortion House Democrats, whose leader, Rep. Bart Stupak D-Mich.), said at a news conference, “I’m pleased to announce we have an agreement.”

Appearing with Stupak were half a dozen other holdout Democrats. With them on board, “we’re well past” the 216 votes needed in the House to approve the health-care legislation, Stupak said.

White House officials said they believe the addition of the anti-abortion Democrats to the “yes” column will provide House Democratic leaders considerable breathing room during the next several hours as they head toward critical votes. Before Stupak’s announcement, a top Obama adviser had said that without a deal, passage appeared possible but would have been extremely close. In the wake of the agreement, West Wing aides appeared relieved.

“While the legislation as written maintains current law, the executive order provides additional safeguards to ensure that the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health care legislation’s restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement. “The president has said from the start that this health insurance reform should not be the forum to upset longstanding precedent. The health care legislation and this executive order are consistent with this principle.”

UPDATE: President Obama plans health care statement Sunday night. (That would be tonight.) Time to be determined.

Weekly Address 03-20-10

 Posted by at 11:02  economy, Politics
Mar 202010

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Barack Obama reiterated his call for comprehensive reforms to the financial system including commonsense rules of the road and a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that will advocate for everyday Americans. The President also urged the Senate to remain strong and resist the pressure of those who wish to preserve the status quo.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The transcript of the president’s weekly address, as prepared for delivery, is available after the break.

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Mar 192010

Click on the thumbnails to make them larger or to start a slide show.

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As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Bonus video: Jon Stewart parodies Glenn Beck (viewable, I understand, probably in U.S. only)…


Fox Interruptus

 Posted by at 13:04  Politics
Mar 182010

The following video is from MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, broadcast March 17, 2010.

(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)


UPDATE: Think Progress has put together a short video contrasting Fox News’ Bret Baier’s style as he was interviewing George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Fair and balanced? You be the judge…


Into the lions’ den

 Posted by at 19:16  Politics
Mar 172010

President Obama granted a rare interview today to the “news” network that has stood in opposition to everything his administration has tried to accomplish. Here is video of his interview with Bret Baier of Fox News.

Many are viewing today’s interview as a last ditch effort to bring some of the more conservative Democrats on board for health care reform. The President predicted that health care reform would become the law of the land.

OBAMA: I’m confident it will pass. And the reason I’m confident that it’s going to pass is because it’s the right thing to do. Look, on a whole host of these measures, whether it’s health care, whether it was fixing the financial system, whether it’s making sure that we passed the Recovery Act, I knew these things might not be popular, but I was absolutely positive that they were the right thing to do and that, over time, we would be vindicated in having made those tough decisions.

I think health care is exactly the same thing. We — I’ve got a whole bunch of portraits of presidents around here, starting with Teddy Roosevelt, who tried to do this and didn’t get it done. The reason that it needs to be done is not its affect on the presidency. It has to do with how it’s going to affect ordinary people who right now are desperately in need of help.

Click here to read the transcript.

For Natoma

 Posted by at 15:23  Politics
Mar 152010

President Obama went to Ohio today to talk about health care insurance reform because of this letter from Natoma Canfield:


Could you or anybody you know have written a similar letter?

Remarks by the President on Health Care Reform in Strongsville, Ohio:

Transcript from the White House website follows the break.

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Explaining to Tom

 Posted by at 20:05  Politics
Mar 142010

Senior presidential adviser David Axelrod was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press this morning. He tried to explain to senior right-winger (and anti-boomer) Tom Brokaw how important health care reform is and how it fits in with the rest of Obama administration’s agenda. He really tried…

Transcript available here.

Weekly Address 03-13-10

 Posted by at 09:04  Politics
Mar 132010

From the White House weblog:

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama announced that on Monday, his administration will send to Congress the blueprint for an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act that will overhaul No Child Left Behind. The plan will set the ambitious goal of ensuring that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and a career, and it will provide states, districts and schools with the flexibility and resources to reach that goal.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The transcript of the president’s weekly address, as prepared for delivery, is available after the break.

Continue reading »