Note to Simmons and McMahon: Crystal Balls and Teabaging don't mix

Smash mouth political commentary from Linda McMahon and Rob Simmons:
"Isn't it sad that after 30 years in Washington, Chris Dodd is still writing letters and putting out press releases after the fact,'' Ed Patru, spokesman for Linda McMahon, said in a press release. "The H1N1 shortage didn't just occur over night - it has been months in the making. Connecticut families deserve to have H1N1 vaccine availability, but they also deserve a Senator who puts timely leadership ahead of late-to-the-game outrage."

And Rob Simmons, another one of Dodd's GOP opponents, compared the government's handling of the flu vaccines to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.

"It is intolerable that H1N1 vaccines have arrived on Wall Street before they found their way to the most vulnerable on the Main Streets of Connecticut where infections grow by the day,'' Simmons said in a statement. "This situation is quickly becoming Katrina-like in its mismanagement, and it is providing an early glimpse at how government-run health care would operate under Senator Dodd's plan."
We could solve the real problems, the shortage of swine flu vaccine, by removing the source of the problem...

The failed free market unable to react to the needed production of vaccine.
U.S. health officials expressed frustration Wednesday with the nation's struggles to produce vaccines against the H1N1 flu strain and told lawmakers they cannot guarantee that supply problems won't resurface.

The new flu strain is spreading faster than the U.S. can make vaccines against it. Equipment problems and the slow pace in growing the new flu strain in laboratories for vaccines scuttled plans to have 161 million vaccines available by October. Today, just 32.3 million doses are available, far less than the 159 million needed to cover all those at highest risk from the H1N1 flu, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said at a House Appropriations subcommittee briefing Wednesday.
Or we could be stupid republicans and ignore the real issues in healthcare. The government does not produce the vaccine. Free marketeers do. If they can't keep up with the demand, perhaps they are in the wrong business?

This is the free markets' bathtub. Let them drown in it.

As for the "letter after the fact"? What the ???

Was Dodd supposed to go all Reagan and ask astrologer Joan Quigley to divine the future on what he should do to solve all of the h1n1 problems before they even existed?

For all of you that advocate crystal balls and teabaging?
"By the time it was over, medics had administered government-run health care to at least five people in the crowd who were stricken as they denounced government-run health care. But Bachmann overlooked this irony as she said farewell to her recruits."
Pick up your teeth on the way home, Okay Teabagrrrs?


Single Payer Activists Arrested at Lieberman's DC office

They came, they sat, they chanted:
8 Protesters backing a universal health care system briefly occupied Sen. Joe Lieberman's office this morning.

Protesters were arrested, one by one, and dragged out of his office amid chants of "Everyone in and noone out, universal healthcare now!" and "Represent Connecticut, not AETNA!"
Activists hopefully moving the Overton Window - in our case leftward - because too many Democratic party politicians were too stupid to do that on their own at the start of the healthcare debate.

Many in the Blogosphere had already set the long term strategy table for using Single Payer as a focus to keep dragging a compromise leftward. Part of why it made no sense to push single payer aside and settle on the compromise out of the gates.

Many in the Blogosphere had already set the long term strategy table for using Single Payer as a focus to keep dragging a compromise leftward. Part of why it made no sense to push single payer aside and settle on the compromise out of the gates.

The strategy was left there unused to the detriment of the entire cause.

8 people are sitting-in the office of Sen. Lieberman!

8 people are sitting-in the office of Sen. Joseph Lieberman demanding that he stop taking money from the insurance industry. The massive campaign donations and lobbying spending of the insurance industry is blocking real reform that would provide everyone in America with access to health care. When 45,000 people are dying annually due to lack of health care it is a moral imperative that America act now to provide health care to all. We are able to do this for senior citizens, why not for all Americans?

Please take the following steps:

1. Call Lieberman and tell him to stop taking insurance money. His numbers are: (202) 224-4041and (860) 549-8463.

2. Sign the petition urging Lieberman to stop taking insurance money. Click here to sign the petition now. Urge everyone you know to sign the petition.

3. Make a donation to support the Mobilization. Donate for bail money for those sitting in Lieberman’s office.

Since beginning just over one month ago thousands have signed up to participate in “Patients before Profits” sit-ins and over 920 have signed up willing to risk arrest. By the end of this week the Mobilization will have held 32 sit-ins in 28 different cities with more than 150 arrests and over 220 risking arrest. We started out wanting 100 people to risk arrest at “patients before profits” sit-ins and now more than 920 have done so. The Mobilization needs to continue to grow in order to achieve health care for all.

There is anger growing in the country at the failure of Congress to put forward a national health care plan that provides health care to everyone in the United States. It is important that people speak out now to push Congress and the president to achieve this urgent moral imperative. When President Obama ran for office he raised hopes in Americans that health policy would be reformed so that no one would go without health care. When the reform process began he talked about universal coverage now millions will go without health care access ten years from after the reform bill is passed. That is unacceptable. We need to demand that health care reform achieve the basic goal – that no one go without health care in a country as wealthy as America. We can achieve that goal if we speak up now and demand action. The United States has been effectively providing health care to senior citizens for 40 years through Medicare, we can do the same for everyone.

Thank you for your support. Please take action now.


Lamont In - Rell Out There Somewhere?

Still waiting on word from Rell on whether or not she will be running - presumably she is having trouble forming an opinion on whether or not to run without Dautrich first poll testing the ideas - but, via Paul Bass, it looks like Lamont is getting ready to run for Governor:
Ned Lamont, who took on U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman three years ago, has formed an “exploratory committee” for a challenge to Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2010. He plans to talk about Moody’s, not Moody.

Lamont planned to start informing past supporters of his move Wednesday morning, a day after the polls closed on the 2009 municipal elections and attention officially turns to the already crowded 2010 campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.

h/t to TPMDC for the full press release from Ned Lamont:

Norwalk, CT - Ned Lamont, successful businessman, co-founder of the state policy center at Central Connecticut State University, and Democratic nominee for US Senate in 2006, announced that he will be filing papers today with the State Elections Enforcement Commission establishing an Exploratory Committee for statewide office:

"As I have continued to meet with citizens across our state over the last three years, as co-chairman of President Obama's Connecticut campaign and on behalf of health care reform, I have been constantly reminded that Connecticut is not living up to its potential and that too many of our families are being left behind," said Lamont.

"Like businesses, states thrive with strong executive leadership, and they fall behind with weak leadership. As measured by the loss of jobs, young people leaving our state, and the never-ending budget crisis, Connecticut's Chief Executive is simply not getting the job done."

Since the 2006 campaign, Lamont has continued to serve as Chairman of the Board of Campus Televideo, a Connecticut company he founded twenty-five years ago. He is also a distinguished professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University, where he co-founded a policy center which has brought together leading business, labor, and non-profit leaders to formulate a strategic plan for the state of Connecticut. In addition, he serves on the boards of Conservation Services Group, a leading provider of energy efficiency programs, Teach for America/CT, and Mercy Corps, an international non-profit organization that focuses on job training and small business start-ups around the world.

Banks - Breaking up is hard to do:

Via the LA Times:

Britain is forcing breakups of bailed-out major banks

The British government -- spurred on by European regulators -- is forcing Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Northern Rock to sell off parts of their operations. The Europeans are calling for more and smaller banks to increase competition and eliminate the threat posed by banks so large that they must be rescued by taxpayers, no matter how they conducted their business, in order to avoid damaging the global financial system.

The move to downsize some of Britain's largest banks comes as U.S. politicians are debating whether American banks should also be required to shrink. The Obama administration has maintained that large banks should be preserved because they play an important role in the economy and that taxpayers instead should be protected by creating a new system for liquidating large banks that run into problems. But Britain's decision already is being cited by a growing chorus of experts, including prominent bankers and economists, who want the United States to pursue a similar approach.

"We still need to see exactly which parts the [British] banks will need to sell off to judge whether the goal of having smaller banks is really achieved," said Richard Portes, an economics professor at the London Business School. "But there are lessons here for the United States. The supposed economies of scale of massive financial institutions are outweighed by the difficulties in controlling risk inside them."

Hopefully the US will follow suit but I don't expect that since the big banks that failed here still managed to hold on to their biggest asset: The US government.

Free Marketeers Against Healthcare? Go Galt and take your communist influence with you...

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, …”

I assume they were not discussing welfare payments for high ranking military officers when they mention "promote the general welfare". And the 16th amendment allows for the government to tax for the purposes of promoting the general welfare.

16th Amendment

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

There are numerous other mentions in The Constitution supporting their right to tax you for whatever they deem is for the good of the nation. 

And not just to "promote the general welfare" but to "provide" it, as well:

Article 1 Section 8

"Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;"

It is safe to say that keeping Americans healthy would be providing for the general welfare of the United States. You may not like it. But that is The Constitution.

As for healthcare being a right? Article 25, section 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 25  Section 1

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care [...]”

Signed by the President of the United States of America and ratified by Congress, healthcare is a right in the USA.

The basis of the Declaration of Human rights was not meant to be an enforceable treaty, but it was to be a recognized document to give legal definitions to generalized ideas like freedom and rights around the world. Things that had, up until then, not really been legally defined have been since that time.

You can and should thank Eleanor Roosevelt for her small part in all of that.

For those of you that screech "free markets" extremism and falsely tout The Constitution, threatening to "Go Galt"? None of this infringes on your rights to pursue “Life, Liberty and Happiness” unless your definition of those things are having a few more bucks so the poor can die of illness. If you think those things than you are an extremist because nothing in The Constitution guarantees you those things as a "right". And, in fact, the legal definitions could not support your extremist misconceptions.

Even Adam Smith, the “father of modern economics”, recognized that a capitalist society based on free markets would cease to function if there were no taxes, wage controls and strong social safety nets to balance the free markets. From his wiki:

“One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Adam Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics.


Smith has been celebrated by advocates of free market policies as the founder of free market economics, a view reflected in the naming of bodies such as the Adam Smith Institute, Adam Smith Society and the Australian Adam Smith Club, and in terms such as the Adam Smith necktie.
Alan Greenspan argues that, while Smith did not coin the term laissez-faire, "it was left to Adam Smith to identify the more-general set of principles that brought conceptual clarity to the seeming chaos of market transactions". Greenspan continues that The Wealth of Nations was "one of the great achievements in human intellectual history". P. J. O'Rourke describes Adam Smith as the "founder of free market economics".

However, other writers have argued that Smith's support for laissez-faire has been overstated. Herbert Stein wrote that the people who "wear an Adam Smith necktie" do it to "make a statement of their devotion to the idea of free markets and limited government", and that this misrepresents Smith's ideas. Stein writes that Smith "was not pure or doctrinaire about this idea. He viewed government intervention in the market with great skepticism ... yet he was prepared to accept or propose qualifications to that policy in the specific cases where he judged that their net effect would be beneficial and would not undermine the basically free character of the system. He did not wear the Adam Smith necktie." In Stein's reading, The Wealth of Nations could justify the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, mandatory employer health benefits, environmentalism, and "discriminatory taxation to deter improper or luxurious behavior"."

I have not bolded any particular part since his entire wiki page is worth the read. Go read it all since…

You’ll also find that Adam Smith, the original free marketeer that founded the line of thought free market extremists screech about in the USA today was also one of the strong influences on communist theories.

Classical economists presented variations on Smith, termed the 'labour theory of value', later Marxian economics descends from classical economics also using Smith's labour theories in part. The first volume of Karl Marx's major work, Capital, was published in German in 1867. In it, Marx focused on the labour theory of value and what he considered to be the exploitation of labour by capital. The labour theory of value held that the value of a thing was determined by the labor that went into its production. This contrasts with the modern understanding of mainstream economics, that the value of a thing is determined by what one is willing to give up to obtain the thing. Smith is often cited not only as the conceptual builder of free markets in capitalism but also as a main contributor to communist theory, via his influence on Marx.

Yeah, Karl Marx loved him some free marketeer.

So, if you're against healthcare reform for all of the really stupid reasons? The reasons that are not there in The Constitution and the reasons that don't work in a balanced free market and the reasons that are so extremist they are actually going against The Constitution and the laws of the United States of America:

Please, feel free to "Go Galt" and take all of your communist influence with you.


Windsock Joe

We really want to know which way the wind blows, Joe? The other day you were dead set against the Public Option, much to the chagrin of Connecticut voters. And now?
Sen. Joe Lieberman has reached a private understanding with Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will not block a final vote on healthcare reform, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

The unpredictable Democrat-turned-Independent last week publicly stated he would join Republicans in filibustering the Democratic legislation after Reid (D-Nev.) announced he had included a government-run health insurance plan in the bill.

But sources said Reid’s staff is telling liberal interest groups that Lieberman (Conn.) has assured Reid he will vote with Democrats in the necessary procedural vote to end debate, perhaps with intentions to change the bill.
Careful or you'll end up with whiplash if you keep this up, Joe.