Day: January 19, 2011

Health Care Repeal Vote Passes House

In a symbolic attempt to appease the Tea Party faction of the GOP, the Republican majority in the House voted to repeal Health Care.  The vote was 245-189. 

Since the 2010 midterm elections, when the GOP picked up more than 50 seats in the House, they are now the majority and can easily pass bills that they favor, with ease.

Of course the bill will die in the Senate, which still remains in Democrats’ control, therefore having no chance of actually passing both houses.

Huffington Post

House Republicans voted unanimously on Wednesday to fully repeal health care reform, though Senate leaders have said they will not take up the lower chamber’s bill. Instead, the fight will move to the less glamorous arenas of funding and rule writing. The vote was 245-189, with three Democrats — Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) — voting for repeal.

The vote to repeal health care was initially delayed by a parliamentary debacle in which two House Republicans skipped the swearing-in ceremony for a Capitol fundraiser, yet voted despite not being official members of Congress. It was delayed an additional week as the House paid tribute to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of the Arizona massacre.

The health care bill that the House would repeal allows parents to keep children on their health plans until the age of 26, bars insurers from denying service due to preexisting conditions, expands Medicaid funding dramatically and extends coverage to some 30 million uninsured Americans by 2019. It’s the largest piece of social policy the Democratic Party has enacted in decades. “It is a big deal, as Joe Biden said, in other words,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told progressive media Wednesday morning.

The GOP is calling it the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. Democrats, defending the bill, argued that covering 30 million additional people necessarily creates jobs in the health care sector and reduces the burden on small businesses. And repealing it would add more than $200 billion to the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. “I want to just advise people watching at home playing the now-popular drinking game, if you take a shot whenever the Republicans say something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said.

Lawrence O’Donnell Heatedly Clashes With Trent Franks About Gun Control, Loughner (VIDEO)

Lawrence O’Donnell really hates it when a guest doesn’t give a straight answer…

Huffington Post

A furious Lawrence O’Donnell clashed with Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks on his Tuesday show about gun control and the Arizona shooting. O’Donnell was clearly incensed that Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter, was legally allowed to put so many bullets into the weapon he fired.

Franks gained wide attention when he said last week, “I wish there had been one more gun there that day in the hands of a responsible person.”

O’Donnell began the interview by asking Franks, “Congressman, don’t you wish Jared Loughner had a smaller capacity ammunition clip when he went to Gabby Giffords’ event in Tuscon?” Franks dodged the question, saying that “to focus on the clip is like saying…we’ll combat drunk driving by limiting the size of fuel tanks.”

O’Donnell asked Franks to imagine if the shooting had occurred in 2003, when, due to gun control laws then on the books, Loughner “would not have been allowed to get his hands on a magazine that held 30 bullets…and more citizens of Arizona would be alive today in your state.”

When Franks tried to make a different point, O’Donnell began to shout. “So, you’re not going to answer that question about the magazine?” he said. “Will you answer the question about the magazine?” Franks started to say that the individual, not the gun, should be blamed for the tragedy.

“I blame the individual for the first 10 bullets,” O’Donnell yelled. “I blame the law for the next 21 bullets that he fired.”

Watch:

Congresswoman Giffords To Be Moved To Houston

The Congresswoman’s progress has been phenomenal…

Huffington Post

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will be moved Friday to a rehabilitation hospital in Houston to begin the next phase of her recovery from a gunshot wound, barring medical issues that would delay the transfer, her family said Wednesday.

Giffords’ husband said his wife’s care will continue at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, where he lives and works as an astronaut. Doctors say the exact day of the move will depend on Giffords’ health.

“I am extremely hopeful at the signs of recovery that my wife has made since the shooting,” Mark Kelly said in a statement released by Giffords’ congressional office. “The team of doctors and nurses at UMC has stabilized her to the point of being ready to move to the rehabilitation phase.”

Kelly is scheduled to command NASA’s last space shuttle flight in April, but that’s uncertain now.  He has been a constant presence at Giffords’ bedside since rushing to Tucson after first getting word of the attack.

Giffords was gravely wounded by a gunshot to the forehead on Jan. 8 as she was meeting with constituents outside a grocery store in Tucson. The gunman shot 18 other people, killing six and wounding 12 more.

Since then, Giffords has been at University Medical Center in Tucson, where her condition has improved almost daily, doctors have said.

Word of the move was met with elation from Giffords’ friends and others who have been visiting the three-term Democrat at the hospital.

“It’s good news for all of us and for all the people who have been praying for wisdom and strength for the surgeons and others who have been helping her,” said Stephanie Aaron, Giffords’ rabbi at Congregation Chaverim in Tucson. “It’s nothing short of a miracle, but it’s also Gabby’s will to fight. It’s her strength of spirit.”

Giffords’ neurosurgeon said the family considered hospitals around the country, including in Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago.   More…

 

VIDEO: House Republicans Explain Why They Won’t Give Up Their Own Government-Sponsored Health Care

Republicans in Congress are not only using government-sponsored health care, they are whining about having to wait for it.  Yet, they want to repeal it for everyone else. 

Hypocrisy at its worse, in my opinion…

Think Progress

With the Republican legislative agenda increasingly focused on repealing health care reform, many observers are beginning to question whether GOPers in Congress will personally abide by their beliefs and take the next step of forgoing government-sponsored health insurance for themselves.

In sum, only eight GOP congressman, or three percent of all House Republicans, have opted out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. One Republican loudly complained about having his own government-sponsored health insurance delayed approximately four weeks. But most GOPers have quietly continued to accept government-sponsored health care while loudly decrying the government’s role in helping provide health care to a segment of the American public.

ThinkProgress recently caught up with a number of congressmen to ask whether they too planned to continue receiving health insurance through the federal government. Their reasons for continuing to take government-subsidized health insurance ran the gamut — from Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), whose justification was that he was “actually lowering” premiums for older members of Congress, to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who admitted that accepting government-sponsored health care “could be” hypocritical, but shrugged it off nonetheless.

ThinkProgress compiled a video of other Republican congressmen explaining why they want to repeal health care reform for the nation but plan to keep government-subsidized health care for themselves.     More…

Watch it:

Wednesday Morning Blog Round Up

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Mark Kelly’s Diane Sawyer Interview: Gabrielle Giffords Feared She Wou..
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Insurgents Renew Attacks on Iraqi Security Troops
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Ron Reagan talks about his father’s Alzheimer’s
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Video: Facebook users suffer online privacy disaster
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Joe Scarborough to right wing: Stop whining about shooting!
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RIP, Sargent Shriver
Condolences to family and friends: R. Sargent Shriver, the Kennedy in-law who became..

‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier to face corruption, embezzling charges
Haiti on Tuesday filed embezzlement and corruption charges against former dictator Je..

Tea Party Senators Ignore Tea Party Base, Reject Timetable For Withdra..
In November, President Obama and NATO proposed a new timetable for the end of combat..

Pay To Play: Corporations Pay For New GOP Governors’ Inaugural Balls T..
In the era of professed “austerity,” some Republican governors have foun..

Fox’s One-Man Clean-Up Crew: A History Of “Hannitization”

 

Hannitizing is Sean Hannity’s job over at Fox News.  Media Matters via Slate’s Dave Weigel shows how it’s done…

Media Matters

[S]late’s David Weigel proposed a new definition to the neologism “Hannitize”: “to clean up a messy situation with a softball interview.” Indeed, Hannity has become the go-to interviewer for right-wing figures following scandal or controversy.

Sarah Palin

George W. Bush

Meg Whitman

Christine O’Donnell

Rand Paul

Michael Steele

James O’Keefe

Jon Stewart Mocks Sarah Palin’s Double Standard Over Inflamed Political Rhetoric

Jon Stewart does it again…

Mediaite

Jon Stewart opened The Daily Show tonight by discussing the miraculous recovery of “the victim our nation has been tracking so closely for the last ten days.” Of course he was talking about Sarah Palin, who last night sat down with Fox News Sean Hannity for her first live interview since becoming a central character in the finger pointing that followed the Arizona shooting tragedy. Stewart ridiculed Palin’s hypocrisy of calling out inflamed rhetoric whilst making the very same types of attacks herself.

It was a brilliant take down of the angry Alaskan Governor, best summed up with Stewart saying “Is it possible Governor that you have become a lightening rod, less for your clarity of vision but more for your ability to turn any criticism of you into persecution of you, while still very casually being able to dismiss a pretty large portion of America.”

See video on Mediaite here…

Bomb Found On MLK Day Parade Route, Says FBI

Balloon Juice states it best:

Authorities have yet to decide whether this was done by a liberal plant or by a crazy person who has never watched Fox News or listened to talk radio.

An incendiary device found along the route of a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, Wash., was “likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties,” the FBI said today.

 Expect more of this. And remember it’s all coincidence that it’s all aimed at black people, Democrats, and people who work in the federal government.

Huffington Post

The FBI offered a reward Tuesday for information about a potentially lethal bomb found in a backpack along the downtown route of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

The discovery before Monday’s parade for the slain civil rights leader raised the possibility of a racial motive in a region that has been home to the white supremacist Aryan Nations.

“The confluence of the holiday, the march and the device is inescapable,” said Frank Harrill, special agent in charge of the Spokane FBI office. “But we are not at the point where we can draw any particular motive.”

He called the planting of the bomb an act of domestic terrorism that was clearly designed to advance a political or social agenda.

The suspicious backpack was spotted by three city employees about an hour before the parade was to start, Harrill said. They looked inside, saw wires and immediately alerted law enforcement.

The parade route was changed to avoid the device. A bomb disposal unit disabled it without incident, he said.

Harrill declined to release details of the device, other than to call it a functional bomb that could have caused multiple casualties.

“The potential for injury and death were clearly present,” Harrill said.

The FBI received no warnings in advance and did not have a suspect, Harrill said. No one has claimed credit for planting the bomb.    More…