This just in…. Democrats cave on healthcare reform

    The following headline comes by way of a New York Times breaking-news update.

    Senate Leaders in Preliminary Deal to Drop Government-run Insurance Plan

    That’s right… No public option… Good work, Dems.

    Here’s a clip:

    Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said that Senate leaders “have a broad agreement” on dropping a government-run plan from the health care bill, and that the
    Congressional Budget Office would review the implications of such a move.

    Update: The details are now coming out. It looks as though a group of 10 Democrats (described as “five liberals and five centrists”) have brokered a deal to hand the whole thing over to private, profit-driven insurance companies. Here’s a clip.

    …Democratic aides said that the group had tentatively agreed on a proposal that would replace a government-run health care plan with a menu of new national, privately-run insurance plans modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents.

    A government-run plan would be retained as a fall-back option, the aides said, and would be triggered only if the new proposal failed to meet targets for providing affordable insurance coverage to a specified number of people…

    Update: More from the Huffington Post:

    …The discussion has focused on abandoning or greatly narrowing the public health insurance option. In exchange, people 55-64 would be able to buy in to Medicare and Medicaid eligibility would be expanded to people within 150 percent of the federal poverty line. And people within 300 percent of poverty would be eligible for a program pushed by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) modeled on her state’s Basic Health. Cantwell is not one of the ten in the meetings but has stopped by to brief negotiators…

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      47 Comments

      1. Posted December 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        I’d originally called this thread something like “Democrats suck ass, ruin healthcare, throw money at insurers” but then felt that maybe “suck ass” went a bit too far. The more I think about it, though, the more I think I was right. The Democratic party really does suck ass. And I’m beginning to think that it, like the Republican party, needs to be completely obliterated. In this new decade, I think it’s going to be all about the Tea Partiers vs. the Greens. You wait and see.

      2. Peter Larson
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        I have to say you’re wrong on this one Mark. I think that extending Medicaid to lower age brackets and allowing regular people to enter into plans that exist under the same regulation that the FEHBP is a step in the right direction.

        Contrary to popular belief, not all countries which have universal care have a large public option. I think it best to decide standards in insurance plans and delivery, cost management and accessibility and end line accountability and let the insurance providers themselves be private. This is how it works in Japan and Germany, two countries which have very different systems, but they are similar in this regard.

        A blanket “public option” is likely to be frought with problems and probably would not serve those it intends to in a consistent fashion. Just my opinion.

      3. EOS
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Don’t worry too much. The possibility of passing any health care reform vanished when the Senate rejected the amendment to ban taxpayer funded abortions and any amendment to eliminate coverage for illegal aliens. So much for Obama’s promises.

        What haven’t the Democrats caved on? We’re still in Iraq, still have Guantanamo, expanding the war in Afghanistan, still losing jobs, home foreclosures continue at a record pace, and the value of the dollar continues to decline.

        Only things that are on the rise are the deficit and the debt and more bullshit on the global warming crisis. And before you even mention it, I know – it is all Bush’s fault, but tell me what has improved with Obama?

      4. Oliva
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Harry Reid claims it ain’t so, re. dropping the public option–but it’s been refashioned maybe beyond recognition. We’ll see. Bernie Sanders said it wasn’t a great instrument as it was constructed in this case anyway, so that’s interesting.

        There is a lot of new energy going on in a battle between left-tilting people who are willing to work toward goals slowly and those who feel more fierce and insistent about enacting progressive reforms now and more quickly, without much discernible room for compromise. It is getting interesting, if painful. Some (fine!) folks–Mark Morford at San Francisco Chronicle, Steve Benen at Washington Monthly, Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic–are counting up quite a few laudable steps taken by the new administration toward change and undoing a lot of bad stuff and setting the country on a better footing, over these first ten months. And other (fine but more furious) folks are not stomaching this path bedecked with compromise at all well–Arianna Huffington at Huffington Post, Glen Greenwald at Salon, and others. The Treasury pick and related issues, the apparent civil rights capitulations by the administration, etc., has them so damn mad and cynical. For me the second group’s quite palpable and incessant fury is too close to fear-making to permit room for those who agree with many of their points but get physically stymied (so that clear thinking suffers) when emotion and intolerance lead.

        What a mess. Even Conyers and Obama are sparring. Waaaa . . .

        Daily Kos had a boycott of Organizing for America, which is fine in terms of honing its ideological position but not so great for moving the country forward by finding a way to get government and grassroots to become more unified. And all this up against the #*%@&s on the Far Right. As I said, what a mess . . .

        Hope lives . . . but where? (Hope lives in Ypsilanti, thank goodness.)

      5. Oliva
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        Pardon the italics, a little coding slip-up in that last comment. Here’s a link to Morford’s piece, if anyone’s interested–a little bit like a softening force, an early holiday present from the West Coast:

        Obama, the great disappointment?
        The Miracle President hasn’t actually accomplished much? Wrong

        By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

        Wednesday, December 2, 2009

        Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/12/02/notes120209.DTL#ixzz0ZCELl3NA

      6. Jim
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        I’m also not too upset about what I’ve heard, as long as the Medicare and Medicaid expansions stay in the bill. Medicare is a very popular, government-run insurance program, and much closer to a single payer system than the watered-down versions of the public option still under consideration in recent weeks. And the heinous Nelson amendment was tabled.

        I’m confident that we will get a law that achieves near-universal coverage, but effective cost controls will have to wait for future regulations and legislation. Time to get this passed and move on to other problems.

      7. Mr. X
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        I don’t think you’ll get any argument that it’s not a step forward. The argument is that Democrats had the majority, and they had the public behind them, and they didn’t push harder for reform. We’re not likely to have a chance like this again in our lifetimes. While the idea of incremental reform is good, it’s not likely to be a reality. And I agree with those that say triggers, while they sound good, are just a stalling mechanism. The bottom line is that this is a big give-away to private industry – the folks who pull the strings.

      8. EOS
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        While it is true that the majority want some kind of health care reform, they don’t want this kind of reform.

        Quinnipiac University Poll/December 9, 2009

        –Voters disapprove 52 – 38 percent of the health care reform proposal under consideration in Congress, and they disapprove 56 – 38 percent of President Obama’s handling of health care.

        –Voters split 48 – 46 percent on whether they think covering everyone will decrease the quality of their own care, but by 71 – 21 percent they do not think universal coverage is worth lower quality of care.

        margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points

      9. Brackinald Achery
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        That’s how the bad big wig “capitalists” get big and bad — they skirt the risks of the free market and use big government to give them an unfair advantage. All the lawmakers have to do is blow enough smoke up enough people’s asses and bribe the public with the public’s money, and the right corporate puppets keep getting elected no matter what. Party differences are just useful misdirection tools to motivate voters by fear and anger, when the policy outcomes end up being almost entirely the same. That’s why the founders wanted our federal government to be small, and only have a few limited powers. They were familiar with this outcome.

      10. Jim
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        I think that this debate again calls into question the legitimacy of the Senate as currently constituted. It’s bad enough that every state gets two Senators regardless of population, but the self-imposed requirement that all legislation requires 60 votes means that the majority can not be held responsible for their failure to act on pressing matters. The Senate needs to become less of a millionaire’s club and more of a representative body responsive to its constituents. Getting rid of the 60 vote rule would be a good start.

      11. Glen S.
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        As a progressive, I was never under the illusion that President Obama and the Democratic Congress would be able to accomplish as much as I, personally, might like. I understand that compromise is necessary in politics, and I appreciate many of the positive steps Obama and the Dems have taken to undo the damage done over the past 8 years.

        That said, I think there are some issues which are simply non-negotiable — and making affordable, high-quality health care available to all American’s is near the top of my list. If President Obama (who theoretically has a 60-vote, veto-proof majority in the Senate, and a large margin of support in the House ) ends up caving health-insurance and pharmaceutical company special interests and passing a watered-down plan without a strong public option, I will seriously have to question whether I will continue to support Democrats on the Congressional or Presidential ticket.

      12. Oliva
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        per the Ipsos/McClatchy Poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, Nov. 19-22, 2009, which Nate Silver compared to other polls and found more refined and more meaningful:

        Ipsos . . . did something that no other pollster has done. They asked the people who opposed the bill why they opposed it: because they are opposed to health care reform and thought the bill went too far? Or because they support health care reform but thought the bill didn’t go far enough?

        . . . 43 percent of people favor health care reform, whereas 38 percent oppose it (20 percent are undecided). But the actual plan under consideration gets numbers that are more or less the reverse of that — 34 percent in favor, 46 percent opposed — because a significant number of people think the plan doesn’t go far enough.

        . . . a significant fraction of the opposition to the health care bill comes from the left, and that opposition is almost certainly holding its polling numbers down overall.

        http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/12/in-polls-much-opposition-to-health-care.html

      13. Peter Larson
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I think you are all really overestimating the American public’s knowledge of the specifics of the bill and of knowledge of how health care in America works. Since most of them don’t even have the math skills necessary to calculate a home loan, I can’t imagine that they can get their collective heads around the complexities of health care in the US. Hence, you will get wildly different answer to these polls based on how you phrase the questions and little insight into what people would think had they any knowledge of what is being debated and what it all intends to fix.

        My favorites are the people that can’t get past abortion and illegal immigrants. Seriously, is that all they can come up with? What about all the other hundreds of thousands of problems we have that aren’t so easily boxed up and packaged?

      14. EOS
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        It’s a strange society where the person who calls another a liar is publicly censored while the one who lies is admired. I wonder if more than a few in Congress have knowledge of the specifics of the bill and of knowledge of how health care in America works. I can come up with significantly more issues than abortion and illegal immigrants as reasons to oppose the current health care bill. It’s just that those two issues are sufficient to prevent getting 60 votes in the Senate.

      15. applejack
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        For me the reform effort has always been about Ends rather than Means. While the public option seemed like a good plan to me I’m not dead set on that particular mechanism. If they have to change the name and create a patchwork quilt of coverage rather than the blanket public option in order to get a bill passed, then I’ll still support it. As long as the end result is positive (or positive enough to warrant all this wasted time/attention).
        Meanwhile I agree with Mark that we might see third-parties enter the equation in a real way. I’ve seen polls showing that more people identify as Tea-Partiers than Republicans… The Greens aren’t quite there yet but who knows. We might have a three way race between the populist Tea Party and Greens versus the pro-business republican-democrat party

      16. Glen S.
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        A “patchwork” would be fine with me if I truly believed the health insurance/big pharma lobbyists wouldn’t immediately begin figuring out ways to unravel the “seams” in order to continue gaming the system.

        This whole debacle makes me think we should have never settled for less than single-payer in the first place. It is simpler, cheaper and easier for the public to understand (and support.)

      17. Oliva
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your sentiment, Glen S., but also think the argument could be seen as reasonable (serious hedging in that phrasing) that it would be daunting to establish a whole new system and so a patchwork makes sense as a step toward that finer goal of single payer. And with the extreme views of nearly all Republican congressmen and senators, it realistically wouldn’t happen, so we’d have nothing. But it is frustrating about this gaming the system thing, which is so sickening (ha!) and true. (Be sickening, eh? Then more patients to get more money from. Not so funny really, despite my “ha!” as stress really is a killer and heartbreaker.)

      18. Meta
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Daily Kos has a good new article up called “The New Compromise: The Good, the Bad, and the Murky”. Here’s a sample:

        People from 27-55 are still out of luck in terms of high quality, affordable insurance. In the base bill, the basic, lowest level qualified program in the exchange has a very low actuarial level, 60%, which is worse than 99% of employer-based plans. What that basically means is that patients will have to pay, between premiums and out of pocket costs, 40% on average of their supposedly covered costs. Lots of people, mandated to buy insurance, are going to be choosing this lowest level program because it will be the least expensive. There will be some basic preventive care included in the package, but in the event of a serious illness or injury, the people in this plan will still face huge bills. The House bill sets that lowest level at 70%.

        Compounding that, according to “people familiar with the negotiations” Medicaid eligibility expansion has been dropped, apparently confirming what Rockefeller said yesterday. He had been attempting to raise the eligibility to 150% of poverty, but it remains at the level in the base bill, 133%. The House bill sets Medicaid eligibility at 150% of poverty.

        More:
        http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/12/9/812493/-The-New-Compromise:-The-Good,-the-Bad,-and-the-Murky

      19. Gilla
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        TPMDC
        Health Care

        Health Care Relief In 2013 Giving Dems Heartburn
        Christina Bellantoni | December 9, 2009, 4:01PM

        2012 calendar and The Capitol, Washington, DC

        Though the health care bill is far from signed, one thing is becoming clear – when it does become law, some of the reforms won’t kick in for several years.

        Political hands are worried that delay could spell trouble in the 2010 midterm Congressional elections and, tougher still, in 2012 when President Obama starts a reelection bid.

        “It’s a huge problem, a bigger picture problem,” said James Boyce, a Democratic consultant who has worked on presidential campaigns and who advises the team behind Public Option Please.

        Progressive Pro-Public Option Group Calls Senate Compromise ‘Outrageous’
        Evan McMorris-Santoro | December 9, 2009, 4:01PM

        The Progressive Change Campaign Committee doesn’t feel like compromising on the public option, regardless of what Democrats in the Senate say is required to pass a health care reform bill. In an email sent to its membership today, the PCCC calls the new compromise plan unveiled last night “outrageous” and urges pro-public option members of the Senate to reject it.

        The group again calls on Democrats in the Senate to abandon their goal of getting 60 votes to pass reform and instead use the reconciliation process to push a public option past its Senate opponents on both sides of the aisle. From the email:

        The Senate has the right to pass a bill with 51 votes — but to avoid offending Republicans, Democrats haven’t used it. That’s just weak.

      20. dragon
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        When this process started out, part of the goals were to : 1. Decouple Health Insurance and Employment 2. Control costs 3. Make it more affordable and more accessible to the middle class (those who dont qualify for medicaid) 4. Get somewhere near universal coverage for the uninsured.

        1 and 2 have been completely erased. 3. Isnt really happening unless you are 55+. And 4. has taken the form of a mandate. Mandating coverage is not providing universal coverage.

        Since I fit into the group that Meta (above) shows will not benefit at all from this, I hope it fails. It appears the only hope is to let health care spin completely out of control, crash and burn before these assholes will take our concerns over corporate payoffs.

      21. Brackinald Achery
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        but to avoid offending Republicans

        Hahahaha. Right.

      22. Shaunna
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Mark, many things can be learned by starting to see the magic in everything.
        Sometimes it seems to be hiding, but it is always there. The more we can see the magic in one thing, a tiny flower, a mango, someone we love, then the more we are able to see the magic in everything and in everyone. Like applejack or Peter Larson.

      23. Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I know you mean well, Shaunna, and I appreciate the sentiment, but I refuse to see the magic in Pete Larson.

      24. Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        And, for what it’s worth, Pete, I wasn’t suggesting that this deal would be a step backward. Anything that promises to cut costs and insure more people is a good thing. I was just calling attention to the fact that the Democrats had a mandate for substantive change, and, at least from my perspective, weren’t able to really act on it.

        Going into this administration, do you remember all the talk of what a ruthless ball-breaker Rahm Emanuel was? What a joke. When push came to shove, he couldn’t even control Lieberman. And, yeah, I think that’s pretty pathetic. I think Lieberman should have been bounced out of his committee appointment, and every dollar of stimulus money headed for Connecticut, should have been redirected to someplace else. Why is it Democrats refuse to play hardball like the Republicans? I guess they think they’re taking the high road, but I don’t see it as all that noble, if all it gets us is more uninsured and richer insurance companies… Sorry for the rant.

      25. Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        ….But, wait. Maybe Magic Pete can fix it!

      26. Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        And thanks for the links, everyone. Looks like I’ve got a lot of reading to do tonight.

      27. Shaunna
        Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Mark, anyone can see the magic in another with some practice. Do you have any problem areas? Any illnesses? Do you have trouble explaining yourself to people, or find yourself at a loss for words? Are you constipated? Have you been hurt in a love affair? Gall stones?

        Perhaps it is you who secretly desires to play hardball but instead you are leaving it up to others to do on your behalf?

        These could all be things that are blocking you.

      28. Kim
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        I’ve regained a bit of respect for Obama after listening to his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize this morning.

      29. Brackinald Achery
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Words.

      30. kjc
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        yeah i gotta agree. i really can’t stand listening to him talk anymore.

      31. Peter Larson
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        He doesn’t write the speeches. It’s like “The Great Communicator” who had Alzheimers but a great speech writing staff.

        Still, Palin, even though she doesn’t write her own speeches, sounds like a moron.

      32. Ryan
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Corporate candidates yield corporate results. It’s amazing to me that anyone is even remotely surprised by this.

      33. Brackinald Achery
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Con artists and charming sociopaths always make you feel like it’s your fault for them screwing you. But it isn’t. It’s no sin to trust people; the sin is defrauding people that trusted you. If the charming sociopaths could comprehend or be persuaded of this concept, they wouldn’t be sociopaths.

        The lesson is, as always, to judge people by their actions and not their words.

      34. Oliva
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        The lesson might also be also to calibrate self-projections against the reality of a person, to be more fair to both parties and not set oneself up for cynicism, which is a kind of poison or wounding tool. And also to . . . okay, kick me, but Be the Change. Not as if it will do all, be all–but it helps, right? And it is much nicer inside to nurture mutual good and reasonableness than to be a Palin or Cheney (sorry–that’s shorthand for a denier/hater/nincompoop or hater/scoundrel/nincompoop). That in itself is a Christmas present to oneself. Not to be like them, also symbols, sure.

        I thought it was an admirable and intelligent speech. Wish a whole lot of people had the multiple intelligences to reach those many points and directions in one pretty important speech. Okay, wish I did.

        People who work with the prez say unlike Reagan (whose speeches never did a thing for me) Obama really does the main work on his important speeches. I can look for the evidence to support this comment and will–but am busy and under the weather, so not this minute.

      35. Oliva
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        “The lesson might also be also . . .”

        And be careful about aversion, eh? Or you become the thing you don’t want to be! I just wrote like Palin. (Here’s hoping I don’t accidentally go shoot a wolf or a friend next . . .)

      36. Oliva
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        And “both parties” meaning the projector and projectee, not our two accursed political parties.

      37. kjc
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        I guess I just don’t really care how well Obama can use words to justify actions I think are wrong. It all becomes specious to me. And the better he gets at it, the more he feeds a cynicism I personally do not want to have.

        Then again, that t-shirt “i’m not cynical. i just understand the situation.” is probably apropos.

      38. Oliva
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Okay, a few more quick ones and then back to work for me.
        Before I get pummeled for invoking Gandhi . . .

        Consider the enormity of the project against super well-entrenched corporate power, inscribed in law for heaven’s sakes. (Corporations are people, yea right–but it’s the law of this very goofy land.)

        Rhetorical utterances from a U.S. president are important alongside action, and they don’t always meet up perfectly, but the first can map out some worthy goals and ideals.

        Anyone else want to move to Costa Rica?

        That Mark Morford piece in SF Chronicle is is pretty worthwhile, I think (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/12/02/notes120209.DTL#ixzz0ZCELl3NA).

      39. dragon
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        I just wrote like Palin. (Here’s hoping I don’t accidentally go shoot a wolf or a friend next . . .)

        Oliva
        Did you see the winners of the ‘write like Sarah Palin’ contest that Slate held.

        Here’s first place:

        “One night after a long day of campaigning, when the haters had made my spirits reach a nadir, I looked into Todd’s eyes, which were as blue as the stripes on Old Glory, and too representing truth and loyalty, and he looked back at me with a twinkle of determination which I hadn’t seen since I told him my goal of having another baby in my fifties and naming it Tron, then did I know for sure that I could carry on, like he, and we, have done together all of these years on this long, Iron Dog race of a marriage that is at once grueling and celestial, onerous and majestic.”

      40. Nic
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        he best explanation of the Public Option in Healthcare, from Robert Reich. All in 90 seconds:
        http://wysi.best.vwh.net/rr/The_Public_Option.mov

      41. Oliva
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Oh, dragon, that is very hilarious. That was SP asking her ghostwriter for a few big words to sprinkle in, eh? I am not so like her, after all–or, alas, Obama–because I sit here relishing the words victuals and chitterlings, especially enjoy having the voice at m-w.com speak the words. Try it, it’s funny and . . . possibly educational. (Yea right, someone is supposed to be working!)

      42. dragon
        Posted December 10, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        O
        I love the spoken word. My current favorite, along the funny and educational line…is Goethe. Go low.

        Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.

      43. Oliva
        Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.

        Oh, thank you, Beauty (and dragon and Goethe).

      44. Me
        Posted December 13, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        Peter Larson wrote, “I think you are all really overestimating the American public’s knowledge of the specifics of the bill and of knowledge of how health care in America works.”

        Isn’t the bill several hundred pages long? Weren’t those bullshit “town hall meetings” debating and stirring up shit over the bill before anybody ever even started to write it? Aren’t our representatives in congress a bunch of useless boobs just trying to steal money and lie to us? They don’t even bother to read the bill that sends their own fucking country to war on a mentally handicapped President’s whim. Aren’t the insurance companies just trolling for more customers (mandatory insurance)? Isn’t the TV news just a complete waste of time that doesn’t even bother to explain what the bill is all about, but just throws up a bunch of “personalities” with huge lips and tight sweaters on our TV screen? Isn’t the paperwork that goes between the hospitals and the insurance companies enough to keep millions of people doing nothing but pushing pencils, shuffling papers and pulling their hair out for eight hours a day?

        Yeah, I can see why the American public would throw its hands up and say, “Fuck ‘em”.

        So what is the bill about, without all the salesmanship, glittering generalities, partisan, high school clique frat-house bullshit? Does anybody really know? Oh, enlightened elite mathematician estimators?

      45. Brackinald Achery
        Posted December 13, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Tight sweaters, you say?

      46. Me
        Posted December 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        Uh-huh. Huge, red lips and smoking tight sweaters.
        By the way, whatever happened to Rudy Bakhtiar? She was such a knockout.

      47. Kim
        Posted December 14, 2009 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Rudi is presently Director of Public Relations at the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). And she is a knockout.

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