Dr. Nancy Snyderman sums up how a lot of us feel about this absolutely horrid Stupak amendment. No, it's not fair and it is outrageous. It's bad enough we've got one party that wants to keep women living in the 1950's. We don't need two. And we don't need the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops writing legislation for Democrats.
Snyderman: Kelly I must admit this one caught me by surprise because I thought the public option was going to be the real rallying cry for Saturday. Because the Hyde amendment was in place over the summer we kept saying no federal money spent on abortions, and then the Stupak came in, really tightening the chance for a woman’s right to choose. Clarify for me.
O’Donnell: Yes, this issue has been bubbling under the surface for quite a while now and those who have strong views about abortion rights have been paying attention but you’re right, more generally we’ve been focused on the public option. What this would do is restrict the ability to have insurance coverage pay for abortion services. Now looking at the House plan it would create a public option and a market place that they call the exchange which would basically be a menu of insurance plans that people could choose from and if any of those plans take federal money or if as an individual you receive federal subsidies you would not be able to get abortion coverage. One alternative is to be able to purchase what they call a rider, an extra sort of mini-insurance plan specifically targeted for covering abortion services. But women, especially on the progressive side really stood up against that and said that would really require women to anticipate someday having the need for an abortion and they really strongly oppose that. But this amendment passed.
Why? Well certainly it had Republican support because you have a stronger abortion opposition on the Republicans side, but among Democrats there is a group that really feels strongly about abortion rights as well and they wanted to make very clear that no federal money could in any way be traced to abortion services and they had a lot of pressure from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who wanted to see health care pass but wanted to be certain that no federal money would be in any way connected with to the potential for abortion services. So this really became a hot-button issue over the weekend and as you mentioned the Hyde amendment which goes back thirty years, which prohibits federal money being used for abortion with the exception of rape, incest or life of the mother, this now brings it into the issue of insurance coverage and even private plans if people get help from the government to pay for that insurance, they would be subject to this new rule.
Snyderman: Kelly, you know what I find so infuriating about this? I mean, absolutely infuriating? And this isn't about being pro-choice or pro-abortion or any of the hot button lingo. We know women pay more for insurance than men. We know women are restricted in the states. And now it's basically, if you're a 50 year old woman and you're in a monogamous relationship you suddenly find yourself pregnant, you better know that have an abortion rider in order to access health care that you thought you had? It is one more pressure on women. I mean, I'm surprised that frankly there isn't more outrage over the fact that ...this isn't fair!
O'Donnell: What you're voicing is what woman after woman on the Democrat side, the progressive side of the party, said on the House floor. They came out one after another, speaking in very strong terms against this amendment. The amendment did pass despite their objections. And they really said it puts, as you describe it so pressure on women to anticipate a need for something that is a very difficult personal experience—there are a lot moral implications. It's not an easy situation for any woman and to now ask them to plan ahead for the potential and to buy an extra policy, those who oppose this amendment say that is simply too much. Nancy.
Snyderman: A white man deciding a woman's…… a woman's responsibility in her own procreation. I mean I ... I find it infuriating. I mean, I really think it doesn't matter what side of the abortion issue or pro-choice issue you're on, the fact that they are now making health care harder and harder for women to navigate the system. I think it's outrageous—just outrageous. Kelly O'Donnell, thank you so much.
And folks it's not about abortion. It really is about one more burden for women navigating the health care system. Before I blow my top, time to turn to Monica Novotny at the news desk. Monica, get me out of here.
Clair McCaskill appeared on Morning Joe today to talk about the health care bill that just passed the House and what's next for the Senate. When asked to respond to Rachel Maddow’s comments on Meet the Press that the Stupak amendment is a poison pill that will lose a lot of support for Democrats by women if the amendment is not taken out in conference, Clair McCaskill said this.
McCaskill: Well, I am not sure that it is. Obviously, I have been a pro-choice candidate my entire political career, and obviously there is controversy always surrounding this issue. but we are talking about whether or not people that get public money can buy an insurance policy that has any coverage for abortion. And that is not the majority of America. The majority of America is not going to be getting subsidies from the government. The vast majority of America are going to continue to get their insurance at the workplace just like they do now.
And so, I am not sure that this is going to be enough to kill the bill, and frankly, once again, this is an example of having to govern with moderates. We can't just turn our back on the fact that the reason we are in majority, is because states like Indiana, and Arkansas, and Louisiana, and Missouri, and North Carolina, and Virginia sent Democrats to the Senate.
Since when does “moderate” have to mean anti-choice? Here’s McCaskill’s contact information if you’re as unhappy about this as I am.
Apparently some House progressives aren't going to stand for this as well as Sam Stein reports at the Huffington Post:
If, indeed, the Stupak language makes it into the Senate bill, it would be a major blow to pro-choice advocates. It would also seemingly ensure that the restrictions on abortion access would survive conference committee with the House and end up in the final piece of legislation. If that is the case it sets up a major showdown, once again, in the people's chamber. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), for one, has insisted she and 40 additional colleagues will oppose any final bill that includes the Stupak amendment.
"There's going to be a firestorm here," DeGette told The Washington Post. "Women are going to realize that a Democratic-controlled House has passed legislation that would prohibit women paying for abortions with their own funds. . . . We're not going to let this into law."
Update: Well what do you know. Looks like Sen. McCaskill may be having a change of heart from this morning.
What are Peggy Noonan and Walter Isaacson smoking?—and Fareed Zakaria for that matter. During this 'very serious' debate on CNN's GPS, Peggy Noonan claims that President Obama is 'governing from the left' and that he's 'damaged his brand' by threatening to raise taxes. She also tries to paint the New Jersey governors' race as a twenty point drop in support for the President.
I didn't know he was on the ballot there Peggy. And Walter Isaacson thinks Obama should have had brought in John McCain, Bobby Jindal and Bob Dole to help draft his health care policy. So allowing the Baucus-dogs to run the show in the Finance Committee and the 180 Republican amendments they adopted wasn't quite bad enough for you Walter?
When have any of these Villagers ever suggested that if a Republican President had just brought in the Democratic challenger and allowed them to help craft policy that the public would have been more accepting of it? Did we hear any of this kind of talk after Gore or Kerry lost? I don't think so.
This is not included in the clip above, but here's how Zakaria framed the panel discussion.
ZAKARIA: We have a great show for you today -- a star-studded panel of historians to talk about Obama's first year in office, the political climate in America and around the world.
In the United States it was a good week for the Republican Party that has been on the retreat for almost five years now. It's actually also a sign of a fascinating global pattern, which might not turn out to be bad news for Democrats.
Imagine that you have been told five years ago that a financial crisis, prominently featuring irresponsible banks, would plunge the global economy to its worst level since the 1930s. If you were then asked to predict the results of elections held after this crisis of capitalism, you might have said that the right, the party of free enterprise and of bankers, would do badly, and the left, the party of government, would do well. And you would have been dead wrong.
Last week in the United States, the Republicans did better than anyone expected. Last month in Germany, the center right won a resounding victory. In France, Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing government reigns with considerable public support. In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi has managed to stay in power, largely because the electorate is dissatisfied by the left. In Britain, the conservatives are poised to win their first national election in 17 years.
Look at the kinds of right-wing parties that are winning. David Cameron of Great Britain calls himself a progressive conservative. Sarkozy of France assails bankers, and calls for much stricter financial regulation. Merkel of West Germany rejects arguments for free market reform and defends Germany's social market economy.
Even in America, the Republicans who did well did so by stressing mainstream positions on restricting government spending. The right has moved to the center, which remains the high ground of politics these days. If Democrats want to stay vibrant, all they have to do is just remember that.
All day long on cable news talk shows we hear about how President Obama is doing. On Fox, some say he's a socialist who's trying to indoctrinate our children, even as he mortgages their future. On MSNBC he is the lonely hero, fighting to give help to the sick, employ the jobless and end racism in our time. And here on CNN, well, I won't say an answer today.
I wanted to see if we could get some of a clear-eyed look at what kind of a president he really is, and what kind of a world he faces. So I've gathered a panel of talented historians and writers -- people who know greatness and the lack thereof when they see it, to help me accomplish this mission.
They all somehow forgot to talk about the Congressional races that the Democrats won, and Fareed Zakaria actually implied with a straight face that the Republican Party is moving to the center and the Democratic Party has not already. Who does he think he's kidding? So no, this is not Fox News Fareed, but it may as be when you’re reciting from the same talking points that they are. Transcript from CNN below the fold.
In case we didn't get it the first time last week, Joe Lieberman went on Fox News Sunday and spat in Harry Reid's face again. So how's that promise from Joe Lieberman working out for you, Harry? We can trust Joe Lieberman, huh? Yeah right.
Transcript from Think Progress:
LIEBERMAN: A public option plan is unnecessary. It has been put forward, I’m convinced, by people who really want the government to take over all of health insurance. They’ve got a right to do that; I think that would be wrong.
But worse than that, we have a problem even greater than the health insurance problems, and that is a debt — $12 trillion today, projected to be $21 trillion in 10 years.
WALLACE: So at this point, I take it, you’re a “no” vote in the Senate?
LIEBERMAN: If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today. I don’t want to do that to our children and grandchildren.
Lieberman's promises are as empty as his rhetoric. And if Reid got any assurances from him, why is he coming on the T.V. again threatening to filibuster with the Republicans? This man should not be chairing any committees if he's going to filibuster his own caucus.
Rep. Edward Markey on the Republican's "do nothing substitute" health care bill. Well said Congressman.
Markey: You know the G.O.P. used to stand for Grand Old Party. Now it stands for grandstand, oppose and pretend. They grandstand with phony claims about non-existent death panels. They oppose any real reform and with this substitute they pretend to offer a solution while really doing nothing. G.O.P.--grandstand, oppose and pretend and make no mistake about it the Republican substitute is not real reform. It does nothing to curb skyrocketing healthcare costs. It does nothing to provide real insurance coverage to millions who are now uninsured. It does nothing to stop the unfair practices of insurance companies. I urge my colleagues to vote no on the Republican do-nothing substitute.
November 07, 2009 FOX Wanda Sykes Show
Wanda Sykes goes after Ann Coulter, FOX News and George W Bush on very first monologue of her brand new late night Television talk show
SNL spoofs Fox News for their coverage of the Virginia and New Jersey governors’ races and the NY-23 Congressional race. Jason Sudeikis' Glenn Beck impersonation is eerily close to the mark.
One of John Boehner's more childish moments on the House floor tonight, asking Charlie Rangel for assurances on what's going to come out of the Conference Committee in the final bill, and cutting him off before he has a chance to answer him.
Homeland Security Chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman told Fox News' Chris Wallace that he wants the Department of Defense to launch an investigation into the shooting rampage at Ft. Hood. Lieberman said evidence indicates that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was probably a "self-radicalized, homegrown terrorist."
"If the reports that we're receiving of various statements he made, acts he took, are valid, he had turned to Islamist extremism, and, therefore, if that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact,it was the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on american soil since 9/11," Lieberman said Sunday.
Lieberman wants the Department of Defense to conduct a special investigation to see if the shootings could have been predicted. "While the Army and the FBI are conducting the criminal investigation about exactly what happened and what Dr. Hasan should be charged with, the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense has a real obligation to convene an independent investigation to go back and look at whether warning signs were missed, both the stress he was under, but also the statements that he was making which really could lead people to believe that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist," said Lieberman.
"A couple of years ago, after a two-year investigation, my committee put out a report that said the new face of terrorism in America would not just be the attacks as 9/11 organized abroad and sending people in here, it would be people within this country, homegrown terrorists, self-radicalized, often over the internet, going to jihadist websites, and there's concern from what we know now about Hasan that, in fact, that's exactly what he was, a self-radicalized home grown terrorist," Lieberman concluded.