Daily Archives: March 21, 2010

Democrats Pass Historic Health Care Legislation

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff applaud in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In the video below, Speaker Pelosi and other House Democrats march over to begin their series of votes on health care reform. Pelosi is carrying the gavel used when the House voted to pass Medicare in 1965; it was provided by Rep. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in history, whose father presided over the 1965 vote. At Pelosi’s side were Georgia congressman and civil rights-era leader John Lewis and her close friend Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.).

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One More Step Towards Health Insurance Reform

Today, the President announced that he will be issuing an executive order after the passage of the health insurance reform law that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion.

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.

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.

The President is grateful for the tireless efforts of leaders on both sides of this issue to craft a consensus approach that allows the bill to move forward.

Text of the pending executive order

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with a Member of Congress in the Chief of Staff 's office at the White House, March 21, 2010. From left, aides Phil Schiliro, Sean Sweeney, Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina, and DanTurton. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller writes, “Anticipating victory, Pres. Obama to make East Room statement tonight after House final passage of health care reform legislation.” The White House says Obama will make a statement no matter how or when the vote takes place, either tonight or early Monday.

Fox News’ Major Garrett said the White House will likely not have a public signing ceremony when the President signs the Senate bill — the public event will take place after the Senate finally passes the reconciliation fixes.

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Filed under (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid, (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi, Congress, Democrats, Health Care Reform, Obama Administration, Pres. Barack Obama, Senate, Uncategorized

Obama’s Health Care Victory Puts His Critics to Shame by Frank Schaeffer

Posted by: Audiegrl

Op-ed by Frank Schaeffer

Re: Health Care Reform;

President Obama: 1

Critics: 0

Frank Schaeffer

Author Frank Schaeffer

Oct 8 of 2008 I predicted — right here on Huffington Post — that Obama would have a great presidency. Not only do I stand by my remarks made then but reiterate them now in the light of today’s historic health care bill’s passage. I also hereby call out the Democratic Party doubters (from the left) of our president who have been so ready to dismiss him. Who is looking smart today?

Presidents are made great by horrible circumstances combined with character, temperament and intelligence. Like firemen, cops, doctors or soldiers, presidents need a crisis to shine.

Obama is one of the most intelligent presidents to ever step forward in American history. The likes of his intellectual capabilities have not been surpassed in public life since the Founding Fathers put pen to paper. His personal character is also solid gold. Take heart, America: we have the leader for our times. He’s just outworked and outsmarted the far right and the far left. The Tea party troglodytes are reduced to yelling racial epithets from the sidelines. The Lefty critics have egg on their faces.

I say this as a white, former Republican active on the Religious Right before I got disgusted with right wing hate and changed my mind in the mid-80s. (Something I write about in my memoir Crazy For God.) I say this as just another American watching his health care costs go stratospheric.

I say this as someone happy to have been called a fool for going out on a limb and declaring early in the primaries that, 1) Obama would win the nomination and then the election, and 2) that he was going to be amongst the greatest of American presidents.

You doubters beware. In November the Democrats will do much better than expected right now. You were wrong on health care. You are wrong about problems in November too. And while we’re at it: Obama is not in the “pocket of Wall Street.” He is not “betraying working America.” What you saw today you’ll see next in financial reform of banking laws. And you’ll also see the economy turn around.

Obama puts service ahead of ideology. He also knows that to win politically you need to be tough. He can be. He just has been. Ask the Republicans today!

This is a man who does what works, rather than scoring ideological points. In other words, he is the quintessential non-ideological pragmatic American. He will (thank God!) disappoint ideologues and purists of the left and the right. He’s already made them angry. And because he did that he just won a huge victory.

Obama has a reservoir of personal, physical courage that is unmatched in presidential history. Why unmatched? Take a look at the signs the Tea Party people carry. Take a look at the weapons they carry. As the first black president, Obama is in great physical danger from the seemingly unlimited reserve of unhinged racial hatred, and just plain unhinged ignorant hatred, that swirls in the bowels of our country. By stepping forward to lead, Obama has literally put his life on the line for all of us in a way no white president ever has had to do. His health care reform victory just made his life more dangerous. What personal risk have his critics taken? What courage was required to snipe from the sidelines?

Obama is the sober voice of reason at a time of unreason. He is the fellow keeping his head while all around him are panicking. Both the Left and Right not only blinked but ducked. Obama stood tall.

Obama brings a healing and uplifting spiritual quality to our politics at the very time when our worst enemy is fear. For eight years we were ruled by a stunted fear-filled mediocrity — Bush — who expanded his power on the basis of creating fear in others. Fearless Obama is the cure. He speaks a litany of hope rather than a litany of terror. Bush legalized torture. Obama just legalized health care for all. Which line would you rather stand in?

America is fighting its “Armageddon” in one fearful heart at a time. From the nutty Right we were told that Obama wanted to kill old people. From the nutty Left we were told Obama had “sold out to big pharma.” What nonsense! A brilliant leader with the mild manner of an old-time matter-of-fact country doctor soothing a frightened child is just what we need.

The fact that our “doctor” is a black man leading a hitherto white-ruled nation out of the mess of its own making is all the sweeter and raises the Obama story to that of moral allegory. Literally we have a president that is now a healer of millions hitherto uninsured.

Obama brings a moral clarity to his leadership reserved for those who have had to work for everything they’ve gotten and had to do twice as well as the person standing next to them because of the color of their skin. His experience of succeeding in spite of his color, social background and prejudice could have been embittering or one that fostered a spiritual rebirth of forgiveness and enlightenment. Obama radiates the calm inner peace of the spirit of forgiveness. Doubters from the left and right just look cranky by comparison.

A hundred years from now Obama’s portrait will be placed next to that of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Long before that we’ll be telling our children and grandchildren that we stepped out in faith and voted for a young black man who stood up and led our country back from the brink of an abyss.

We’ll tell them about the power of love, faith and hope. We’ll tell them about the power of creativity combined with humility and intellectual brilliance.

We’ll tell them that President Obama gave us the gift of regaining our faith in our country. We’ll tell them that we all stood up and pitched in and won the day. We’ll tell them that President Obama restored our standing in the world.

We’ll tell them that by the time he left office health care was reformed! We’ll tell them that our schools were on the mend, our economy booming, that we’d become a nation filled with green energy alternatives and were leading the world away from dependence on carbon-based destruction.

Remember our slogan as we fought for our candidate: “YES WE CAN”?

We just did!

Thank you Mr. President!

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism)

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Waterloo by David Frum

Posted by: BuellBoy

Op-ed by David Frum

David Frum

David Frum

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

More here

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Filed under Barack Obama, Conservative, Health Care Reform, Republicans, RNC, Uncategorized

Congressman Ryan Denounces Tea Party Behavior

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Filed under Creepy right-wing antics, Republicans, RNC, Tea Party Protestors, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Knocking Down What They Make Up

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Macon Phillips

Increasingly desperate opponents of health reform continue their effort to shift the debate from the popular aspects of reform, such as more consumer protections for people, competitive marketplaces that offer small businesses health insurance at reasonable rates, and the reduction of overall health care costs over time. Instead, opponents of reform often choose to invent wild claims without any regard for evidence or accuracy.

Take, for example, recent outlandish and false allegations in the news that the White House has sent unsolicited emails to drum up support for reform. Let’s be clear — and done — with this incorrect claim: the White House only sends mass messages to email addresses submitted through email signup forms on WhiteHouse.gov. And every message we send has a clear unsubscribe link at the footer to stop receiving messages at any time.

While some people unsubscribe from the White House’s email program, many more have signed up. Since inauguration, the number of people who have opted-in for email updates has steadily grown, making this an increasingly popular way for anyone to stay current and informed about what’s happening with President Obama and the White House. Anyone can sign up for them here.

Just today a fierce critic of health reform, Karl Rove, went a step further on ABC’s “This Week” by making the absurd and unfounded claim that the White House “sent out unsolicited e-mails to federal employees asking them to contact their legislators about this bill.” This is simply not true and unless Mr. Rove can point to a White House email making this request of anyone, federal employee or otherwise, he should correct this dangerous and inaccurate assertion.


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Filed under Change, Health Care Reform, Pres. Barack Obama

Photo of the Day: Bo-Bama in the Rose Garden

Bo, the Obama family dog, in the Rose Garden of the White House, March 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Filed under Pets, Photography