Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas - See You Next Year

The Gruntled Center will take a break for Christmas week.

I am grateful for the early Christmas present of Senate passage of the health care bill.

See you in the new year.


Axlerod said...

Merry Chicago Christmas to you and yours!
It was a sneaky, behind closed doors theft not a present. We have the best politicians money can buy. It is really a shame. God bless us all.

Anonymous said...

A present is usually purchased and paid for by the giver. In this case the present was not paid for by the giver but by us poor schlubs. Merry Christmas indeed!

Anonymous said...

It is a sad situation indeed. Hopefully, 2010 will see a replacement of many of those who have not listened to the will of the people!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Come now, this is an issue that has been talked about for months now. It was debated extensively in both houses of Congress and had several (several!) changes made (and it's still not done). Senate was in session on Christmas Eve for the first time in over one-hundred (100) years to vote on this bill and every member of Congress, save one cast a vote (Mr. Bunning...). Neither side is totally happy (I have yet to talk to any hard-core liberal who has said more than "well, at least it's something") but neither walks away completely empty handed either, which usually means it's something everyone can live with. Yes there were last minute negotiations, but let's not kid ourselves that these sorts of deals aren't made in any important legislation.

I think that to call this a "theft" or "a sad situation" is completely partisan and way off base. This is a shining example of how the Senate is supposed to work and the give and take involved in legislating extremely complicated and controversial issues. Bless those right-leaners for sticking to their guns and demanding more fiscal responsibility and bless the left-leaners for their flexibility and determination in hammering out a plan that would pass.

I don't see how legislative wrangling can get much better than this without resurrecting Henry Clay.

PS - "The will of the people"? I assume by that you mean the will of people who agree with your point of view, which I think was heard loud and clear through the 39 Senators who voted against the bill and the hand-full that demanded amendments. "The people" is an awfully big and diverse group to ascribe a collective "will" to as the split in this vote demonstrates. As the Human Torch says "Flame On!"

Peter said...

If it is such a good idea why do Nebraska and Florida Democrats (and other Dems) want exemptions? No one wants exemptions from good deals.

This is classic government overreach. There was plenty that could have been done in a bipartisan manner but because of political greed it wasn't.

Paul, I'll bet you the will of the people changes after the 2010 elections. People don't really want Department of Motor Vehicle health-care.

I voted for Mr. Obama. I was duped. I won’t happen again.

Anonymous said...


Since the polls say that only about 35% of the people wanted this health care bill to pass, then that is probably what was meant. This vote was made by a group of people who think that they are smarter than the American public and can make better decisions that we can.

When a bill is passed solely on partisan lines, I don't think that is an example of how the Senate is supposed to work. I would think that a bipartisan bill would have been more preferable.

I think your defense is pretty partisan.

Anonymous said...

When you write a 2000 page bill you guarantee that no elected official knows what's in the legislation. No elected official can understand it. It is a flawed way to run this country. Both parties do it. Together we can stop it.

Unknown said...

People want affordable health care. Period. Given the choice of "DMV" health care or affordable health care provided by responsible businesses that have their client's best interest as their bottom line, not profit, then I think everyone would choose the latter. Unfortunately the latter is not an option we've been given. Something different had to be done.

I would have loved to have seen more bi-partisan-ism, but I think Republicans did not like parts of the bill and were willing to let things remain as they are rather than negotiate realistic amendments. I don't think doing nothing was a viable option in this case, Republicans did. Because of this the negotiations were between liberal and conservative Democrats and deep concessions were made to the conservative Democrats. There is no single payer system in the Senate bill. There is no public option. Both of these were ideas that liberal Democrats fought hard for, but in the end they conceded because they understood that doing something, even something less than what they felt was than optimal, was preferable to doing nothing.

Republicans never wavered from their do-nothing stance, and this was a political move on their part. If Republicans knew that the bill would pass, even if everyone of them voted against it, why wouldn't they get on board so that they could be part of the discussion? Theirs was a wasted vote except that now they can go back and claim "we never gave in." But how did their resistance change anything? Conservative Dems. got changes by working with liberals to get to a bill they could live with. Republicans got nothing because they took themselves out of the game from jump. Now they get to use their vote to try and get re-elected instead of using it to make the bill better. Isn't that political greed?

Fred said...

Not a penny of higher taxes from honest people until the government stops the $70 billion plus of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Medical tort reform.

Competition across state lines.

More consumer choice.

Stop accusing the Republicans of wanting to do nothing, it is a straw man argument and only shuts down debate.

These would be a good start for TRUE bipartisan health reform.

halifax said...

As an insightful woman once said, 'the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.'

halifax said...

The real problem with this program is that the American people have become servile, and thus they deserve this administrative farrago of quasi-socialist government. They would rather suck at the teat of the leviathan state than take responsibility for their own lives.

It has always been one of the primary weaknesses of democratic political structures (and recognized as such from Aristotle through Montesquieu) that the majority of people are both incompetent at self-government and will use their power to appropriate the property of others if given the opportunity. The Democratic Party in America (though the Republicans aren't much better) has become the vehicle for a politics of envy and incompetence.

I would say that I am happy not be there except for the fact that Quebec is so much farther down the line in terms of its shameless dirigisme. As I have told Maria several times, I have seen the future of the US and it speaks bad French.

randy said...

moi, j'avais vu le futur de les celui-la, ca parle la langue francais assez mal.

:) thanks madame ciholas, centre french prof circa 1982...

Michelle O. said...

Halifax for President of the U.S.A.

I think we could probably find you
a certificate of birth, just to make it legal.

halifax said...

I, too, admire Mme. Ciholas and I am an American citizen, so no special dispensation is necessary. However, as LBJ once said, I am not seeking nor will I accept my party's nomination for president (since I have no party, that makes it easier).

SPWeston said...

Our current health system costs dramatically more than the system used in any other developed nation, and it delivers substantially worse health outcomes.

Myself, I'd like something close to the German system of competing nonprofit insurance companies, paid for by employees and employers with the government paying for those who lose their jobs, backed up by the French medical record cards that eliminate paper files.

We won't get that this year: the current bill is about the best our corporate overlords will allow.

Still, with the Senate bill, more infants will survive their first year, more people with treatable diseases will survive, and fewer of our neighbors will be forced into bankruptcy by sickness. Plus, the provisions for those with pre-existing conditions matter will protect members of my immediate family from being abandoned in a way that couldn't happen in any other industrial democracy.

I'll take it.

pauline said...

"We won't get that this year: the current bill is about the best our corporate overlords will allow."
(How Jane Fonda)Democrats have both houses and the presidency remember?

If you can wait until you are sick(pre-existing conditions) to start paying premiums it is not insurance. Sometimes you people don't think things out.