As I'm sure everybody knows by now, the Senate voted 60-40 (right along party lines) in favor of the health care reformish bill of recent debate, thus decimating Republican hopes of a filibuster. And do you know which quasi-Democratic senator America really has to blame for this?
No, it's not Ben Nelson, who, at zero hour, decided that he was more in favor of health care reform than in the subjugation of women.
And it wasn't Joe Lieberman, who — after seeing to the gutting of substance from the bill — apparently ran out of plausible reasons to torture Democrats.
Nope, it wasn't Bernie Sanders, who, I'm guessing, eventually got around to looking around the room at the people he was talking to, slumped his shoulders and gave up hope of actually accomplishing anything non-cosmetic.
The real villain in this health care reform bill passage is the ailing 4,947-year-old Dixiecrat Robert Byrd who obstinately refused to die over the weekend, despite the most strenuous prayers of Republicans…
At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon — nine hours before the 1 a.m. vote that would effectively clinch the legislation's passage — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. "What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight," he said. "That's what they ought to pray."
It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads — but without his vote, Democrats wouldn't have the 60 they needed.
To be totally fair to Sen. Coburn, I suppose he could have been praying for an icy car accident fatality of any one of the 60 Democratic senators.
I don't mean to mischaracterize his words.
Tags: Ben Nelson, Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Health Care, Joe Lieberman, Republicans, Robert Byrd, Senate, Tom Coburn
Tom Coburn's on-demand live reading of Bernie Sanders' 767-page Medicare amendment was canceled last night, so now we'll never know how it ends. Apparently someone decided he didn't want to sit through the whole program…
Sanders's decision to withdraw the amendment will stop the reading and allow debate to continue.
The amendment would have extended Medicare coverage to all who wanted it. The program currently serves people ages 65 and up.
Senate aides estimated that the bill-reading would have taken eight to 10 hours, which would have sidelined the healthcare debate as Democratic leaders attempt to pass the overhaul by Christmas.
For those keeping score at home, the Senate health care proposal has now had its Medicare expansion and its public option forcibly removed, thanks to Tom Coburn and Joe Lieberman. Bernie Sanders is so frustrated about this that he might not vote for the bill at all, because what the hell is left at this point?
I don't know, though, I think he's making a mistake. Someday Bernie Sanders will have to tell his grandchildren that he didn't vote for the most critical photograph of two aspirin that this country has ever seen.
Tags: Bernie Sanders, Health Care, Medicare, Senate, Tom Coburn
If you're interested in seeing how grown-up adult people behave while governing one of the most the powerful countries on the planet, click over to C-Span2's live feed now to watch the Senate clerk spend half a day reading Bernie Sanders' proposed 767-page Medicare amendment out loud.
Why is this happening? Because that's the kind of thing that grown-up adult politician people make other grown-up adult politician people do…
Republicans have deployed a particularly irritating delaying tactic to keep healthcare legislation from moving forward, insisting that the clerk read the entire text of an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., before debate on the amendment can begin…
Reading the entire text could take 10 to 12 hours. Usually, the Senate avoids such delays by getting unanimous consent to consider bills read after the clerk gets a few words in. But Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., objected twice to a request from Sanders to skip the reading, leaving Sanders shaking his head in disgust.
Well played, distinguished gentlemen of the Grand Old Party.
Well played, indeed.
Tags: Bernie Sanders, Health Care, Medicare, Senate, Tom Coburn
Will beardly Ben Bernanke win a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve? Yes he will, because even with gajillion percent unemployment nobody in the Obama administration is about to write that help wanted ad ("ISO chief executive to become symbol of everything that is wrong with the economy, management exp. necessary, whiskers preferred").
But we can still have a little fun with today's confirmation hearings, thanks to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Rogue-VT), who has "put a hold" on Ben. Hold him closer, Bernie …
Sanders's action means that Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) will have to win the assent of 60 senators before a vote can be taken on the nomination. Typically, 51 votes are needed to confirm.
In other words, everyone will have more time to grandstand and holler at Ben, who will respond by… hmm, how will he respond?
"He has to stand up and connect the dots between what the Fed has done to help Wall Street and the economy on Main Street, and that's a difficult thing to do," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.
Ah, but not if you look the other way while a huge bubble of dots builds up in the market and then try to take credit for stepping in at the last minute to clean up the aftermath of the massive dot explosion.
This'll be no sweat.
Tags: Ben Bernanke, Bernie Sanders, Economy, Federal Reserve, Senate
By now, we've probably all heard that the crazy conservative conspiracy theorists who thought that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or ACORN) was a corrupt tool of the worst elements of liberalism were completely justified in their crazy conspiracy theorizing.
But have you heard this interesting thing?
[T]he Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly to prohibit Housing and Urban Development grants from going to [ACORN], which bills itself as "the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate income families."
That's not really the interesting part. Of course the Senate would "overwhelmingly" vote to stop American tax dollars from going toward the illegal trafficking of sex workers and the fostering of whorehouses. I mean, really, you'd just have to be pretty dumb and politically suicidal to not vote against a thing like that.
Here's the interesting part…
Eighty-three senators voted for an amendment from Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., to ban the funds, with seven senators voting against the amendment and nine not voting.
Seven United States senators voted against the bill! And they're all fucking Democrats (except for one who's an independent socialist, which is pretty much like a super Democrat)…
NAYs —7 Burris (D-IL)
So, you were wondering how the Democrats were planning their spectacular implosion in the 2010 midterms? Does this give you any ideas?
Tags: ACORN, Bernie Sanders, Bob Casey, Corruption, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, Roland Burris, Senate