Friday, March 19, 2010

Wonkery: Surplus "reform" tabs 

An analysis of the economists who have weighed in for and against health care "reform" reveals a curious correlation.

The dangerous precedent in the health care bill.

The equivalent is for Congress to treat future cuts in Medicare as if they were a newfound source of wealth to be tapped. Once they adopt this precedent, they can increase spending on whatever they want, in unlimited amounts, while claiming deficit neutrality. Future Medicare spending is so high that you can always come up with cuts, as long as they deferred.

Abortion politics and procedural arcana. I am in favor of lawful abortion, but for the life of me do not understand why any Democrat would sacrifice the health care of millions -- a signal liberal agenda for three generations -- to establish the principle that the federal government should underwrite abortions (which are, after all, pretty darned inexpensive procedures). It is craziness, and an indication that even on the left there are many Democrats willing to sacrifice Obama's presidency for political purposes.

Miscellaneous other linkage.

What a freaking mess.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 19, 09:56:00 PM:

I close to the "wake me up when it's over" stage.  

By Blogger Mystery Meat, at Fri Mar 19, 09:58:00 PM:

Ooops! Make that "I'm close..."  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sat Mar 20, 12:30:00 AM:

Does Nancy have the votes?

I had some prolix rants on this earlier today, but it looks like I'm on the right trail. If my speculation proves out, it'll be a "Holy Shit" headline with profound consequences. You're warned ... skip what follows if you're not a nerd:

Current scuttlebutt is that Nancy is still five to eight votes short, even after gaining a few Yes's today. This morning, it felt to me that Nancy was short at least a dozen votes -- or more ! See below.

If you click through TH's link, it says that Pelosi met with Stupak tonight. Funny ... just a week ago, Obama-Pelosi were using MSM proxies to threaten Stupak with trumped up ethics charges. But now -- late on Friday evening ... with the FDR pen scheduled to be uncorked on Sunday -- it's clear that Nancy still needs the votes of Stupak and some of his Dirty Dozen. So Queen Nancy deigns audience.

As expected, Stupak is holding out for a binding Senate vote of some kind to approve his anti-abortion funding language -- not a promise that the Senate will vote on it later. "You blow me first." Stupak is not being obstructionist about this -- and is even suggesting creative ways to get from here to there. But procedurally there's no way to give Stupak "what he wants" without it being awkward. This is because to do so, Obama-Pelosi-Reid need to circumvent the ordinary Conference Committee process ... not just because of timing ... but because they don't really have majority consensus ... only two term sheets with conflicting terms. I don't see this gap getting bridged easily. Thus, don't expect Nancy to have Stupak's votes by Sunday.

"What Stupak wants": Stupak is now being made out by many Democrats to be a Bad Guy. But he and his little gang were promised their anti-abortion language as a condition for their earlier support. Obama and Peloso have welched. LBJ would be appalled. No matter what the outcome of Healthcare, this will have consequences for Obama and Pelosi within the Democratic caucus -- you can't trust these SOBs. After Sunday, they'll have a hard time getting Congress to name a post office.

Obama has summoned a House Democratic-only caucus for late Saturday afternoon. This strikes me as desperate. If Obama-Pelosi were that close to 216 votes, this is the wrong forum to be bribe and threaten just a handful.

I'm going out on a limb here: It's not 212-212, with just a few to commit, as MSM is saying as I write. My spidey sense hears a dog that didn't bark: several -- maybe "many several" -- former YES votes have privately told Obama-Pelosi that they won't drink the Kool-Aid no more. In response, Obama-Pelosi have insisted that they keep it private. If so, these "turns" have been missed in MSM counts. If so, Obama-Pelosi have a bigger gap to bridge. This would explain the many tells that Obama-Pelosi have given over the last week. The Speaker doth protest too much.

Still developing ....  

By Anonymous Web Development Karachi, at Sat Mar 20, 01:17:00 AM:

It’s quite appreciable that such information is being shared through a huge network. Keep it up.  

By Blogger Buku, at Sat Mar 20, 10:49:00 AM:

General's rally the troops when they expect to win too...

Not only to twist arms...

A weaker but plausible counter consideration to your well reasoned post.

We do have the votes, this is going to be historic, lets all mend feences and get along.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sat Mar 20, 11:56:00 AM:

Buku, you may be right. Which makes it so interesting. But Pelosi's pursuit of Stupak seems like a tell ....

Stupak postponed a press conference that he had called for 11 am this morning, at the last minute and without explanation. If Stupak were reaching a deal with Pelosi he would have kept to schedule, presumably. Some of the representatives from the Great State of NARAL have gone public this morning to piss on Pelosi's doing any kind of deal with Stupak, which can't be helpful. Ordinarily, Queen Nancy wouldn't give Stupak the time of day -- she needs his votes. It doesn't look like she'll get them.

Obama goes to the Capitol today to meet with House Democrats and Harry Reid, tip-off at 3 pm.

Sheriff Bart: Well, can't you see that's the last act of a desperate man?
Howard Johnson: We don't care if it's the first act of "Henry V" ...

I've actually been hoping for something like Act III of "Julius Caesar." Is there a Democrat in the House with the nads to play the role of Casca? ... "Speak, hands for me!"

Republicans have had to be deferential to Obama in recent public gatherings with TV cameras. The Democrats today don't have to be. There's bigger stakes in play here today than Healthcare legislation, actually.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sat Mar 20, 07:29:00 PM:

Well, there goes my Julius Caesar fantasy. Obama didn't give anyone the chance.

I found a leftie website that has been running a good tally of expected House voting:


As of Saturday at 6:21 pm they have it as:
204 Yes, zero "Lean Yes"
207 No, 10 "Lean No"
10 Undecided

If the issue going into today was that the House didn't trust the Senate to make promised changes, particularly on abortion funding language, how is
(1) Pelosi dissing Stupak,
(1) Obama's quoting Lincoln,
(2) Pelosi giving up "deem and pass" so the House will be asked to vote the Senate bill into law tomorrow as a stand-alone, and
(3) Harry Reid's saying that he held in his hand the names of 51 undisclosed Senators

supposed to make a difference.

It looks like Obama-Pelosi still don't have the votes.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sat Mar 20, 07:35:00 PM:

Should have seen this angle immediately.

The House will vote on the proposed Senate changes first. Obama-Pelosi should win this vote. If they then lose on the bigger vote, they'll call it a win and then take it to the Senate.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sun Mar 21, 08:05:00 AM:

Pelosi is still short 12, with 10 "Stupak" and 8 "Unknown", as of 11:14 pm last night.  

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