Byron Dorgan’s amendment to allow for drug reimportation failed this evening. The roll call certainly made for some strange bedfellows, though it does seem that some Yeas were illegitimate. The defenders of the PhRMA deal were forced to round up so many Democratic votes because the GOP decided to make mischief on the Senate floor. Eighteen Republicans — nearly half their total — broke with their traditional opposition to reimportation and voted with Dorgan, many of them smiling as they watched nervous Democratic leaders huddled around the table in front of the Senate president’s desk. When it was clear it would fail, two of them -= Sens. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) =- switched their votes back to no. Ensign was rewarded for his flip-flop by a sharp Senate-floor tongue-lashing from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime and serious supporter of reimportation. Sens. Kerry and Kirk voted against the amendment. Of course, we cannot know how Sen. Kennedy would have voted, but he did co-sponsor a bill in 2004 allowing for drug reimportation. One of the most unfortunate things about this amendment was the bald-face lies that the White House told about the safety issues concerning [...]
No doubt following up from this Sunday BMG Thread (“Time for reconciliation on health care”), former DNC head Howard Dean today urged just that approach. HuffPo: In light of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to give in to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and agree to scrap a Medicare compromise, and with the public option already off the table, many ardent supporters of health care reform are giving up on the legislation. Former presidential candidate Howard Dean said in a radio interview Tuesday that he agreed. “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate,” Dean said. “Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.” The piece continued: “‘Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate,’ wrote DailyKos founder Markos Moulitas on his Twitter feed Monday night.” Hear, hear. Now the crucial question: just how far is President Obama prepared to go for health care? Far enough to use reconciliation? What do you think he should do? Personally, not only do I [...]
Sorry for the short diary, but I’m surprised no one posted on this: “Capuano took to the microphone, looked out at his colleagues and condensed what he’d learned into two words. “You’re screwed,” he told his friends in the House, according to one attendee. The room’s silence was broken only by soft, nervous laughter.” http://www.bluenewstribune.com…
It'll be ahot time on a cold day Wedensday, 12/16, at Boston City Hall. Councilor Sam Yoon's last shot is a proposal for mayoral term limits. He says it will almost certainly get an amendment in tomorrow's City Council meeting to limit councilors' terms as well.
It's split down the 13-member party, with Yoon hoping to swing the decisive seventh today. He was able to join us at Left Ahead! for today's podcast to discuss it — about 46 minutes into the show.
The MIRA Coalition would like to extend its thanks to Senators Kerry and Kirk for their support of immigrant inclusion in the Senate health reform bill. Both senators have signed on as co-sponsors of Senate Amendment 2991, filed by Senator Menendez of New Jersey, that would provide states with the option to remove the 5-year waiting period for lawfully-residing immigrants to obtain Medicaid. Under current federal law, dating back to welfare reform of 1996, legal permanent residents, or green card holders, are barred from eligibility for many federally-funded benefit programs, including Medicaid, Food SNAP (Stamps), TANF (or AFDC) and others, for their first five years in that status (commonly referred to as the “five-year bar”).
Clearly, in MA we know first hand the effect of restrictive federal health care eligibility for immigrants. The five-year waiting period hurts families across our country, threatens community health, and punishes states, like Massachusetts, who do the right thing by covering a population that pays the same taxes as U.S. Citizens and should be eligible for the same coverage. In addition, it makes not only moral sense to include this population, but it also makes financial sense, since, in general, immigrants are healthier and access health services less than the general population.
FY 2011 Budget Forum in Melrose
Moderated by Governor Deval Patrick
TONIGHT at 7:30
Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 7:30pm
Melrose City Memorial Hall
590 Main Street
GAR Room, 2nd floor
Melrose, MA 02176
This fall, the Patrick/Murray Administration is hosting a series of FY 2011 Budget Hearings and Forums to discuss the state our of economy, our budget, what it means for the critical services we provide, and how the decisions we must make will affect us all. Over four weeks the Administration is hosting 19 public hearings and forums across the Commonwealth to ensure that all feedback can be taken into account in developing the Governor’s budget recommendations, which are due in late January.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the 22 million found White House e-mail or Tony Blair’s latest confession to mass murder will move Bush, Cheney and Rove closer to prosecution and perhaps a jail cell.
Vincent Bugliosi lays put the rationale and the case in his documentary, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”
Famed Charles Manson prosecutor and three time #1 New York Times bestselling author Vincent Bugliosi stars in this most powerful, explosive, and thought-provoking documentary.
I found myself getting really annoyed the other day listening to Scott Brown challenge Martha Coakley to take the “no new taxes” pledge. Martha rightfully called it a gimmick and refused to take the bait, I think it might be time for her (and other dems) to call the pledge out as a monumentally stupid and profoundly irresponsible idea, particularly at the federal level.
Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. I don’t like paying them any more than the next person, but as a responsible grown-up I know they are critical. I eat my fruits and vegetables, too, and like taxes, have come to appreciate what they do for me.
Follow me below the fold for the reasons this tax pledge gimmickry makes me so angry, and the taxes I would happily support.
To analyze, and be able to cite to the cause of a problem is appropriate. Only by understanding the actual causes of a problem can the current administration do the following: 1. Avoid repeating the same error. 2. Determine the root cause of the problematic situation. 3. Evaluate competing potential cures to the problem. For example, the insufficient revenue to maintain core services, is an “inherited structural revenue imbalance”. In reviewing the actions of the past three administrations [Weld, Celucci, Romney] improvident revenue management, rubber stamped by the legislatures in place at that time becomes evident. That “improvident” management did the following: 1. In good times, cut taxes at the request of lobbyists, in ways that solely benefitted special interests more than 40 times for a net revenue loss to the Commonwealth of over 4 billion dollars. 2. In bad times, cut services without overturning the “luxury cuts” and “luxury subsidies”. Note that neither the “luxury cuts” nor the “luxury subsidies” which were sold to the legislature and those three administrations did what was promised – “create jobs” – the sole beneficiaries of these cuts and subsidies were lobbyists and their clients, not the citizens of the Commonwealth. One [...]
It’s time for all of you who support Democrats, but are not registered as Democrats, to think of changing your party registration.
There are many good reasons to register as a Democrat. Registering as a Democrat makes a statement about your beliefs. Addtionally, it allows you to take part in the governance of the Democratic Party. The reason to register NOW is that it will allow you to take part in the caucuses in February and possibly to be a delegate to the Democratic Convention. Under the Party Charter, if you are a registered Democrat as of the last day of December, you are eligible to take part in your local caucus to elect delegates to the Convention.
Many BMG readers took part in caucuses for the first time in February of 2009. Others might have done so, but didn’t know the importance of being a registered Democrat prior to the December 31 deadline.
Here is some information on the upcoming convention: