Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

health care reform

Thank You, Madam Speaker (and Open Thread)

I think this morning is the first quiet time I’ve had to really sit down and think about our achievement on HCR Sunday evening. That night, I was too caught up in the thrill of victory to think about how we got there. Monday night I was out of town chaperoning my kid brother at an eardrum-shattering post-hardcore concert, and afterward, I spent most of Tuesday grappling with the epiphany that I feel much older in the wake of being amidst all those rowdy, loud, carefree kids than I’ve ever felt before… So it wasn’t until this morning that I got a chance to really sit in my home in solitude and quiet and mull over the process and the implications of this accomplishment. I am awash with emotions, and the only thing to which I can liken this feeling is the way I felt in the days and weeks following the 2008 elections. Yet in some ways, for me, this is a more stunning triumph still — I have, after all, been an advocate of health care reform for far longer than I’ve been a supporter of Barack Obama.

But as my mind wanders, the feeling I keep coming back to is gratitude. There are a lot of people to thank — a lot of people who had a hand in the passage of HCR. But the name that stands out foremost is Nancy Pelosi.

Open Thread: History Made….Again

So tonight (technically “last night” now?) was the long-awaited health care vote, and as I’m sure you all know, it must be a monumental event indeed to bring Kysen not only into the open, but into writing a diary… however disjointed and meandering it may be.  😉  The past few days have been the stuff anxiety attacks are made of for those of us who have invested our time, money, hopes, and passions in health care reform. The uncertainties seemed endless… would we have the votes, would something go wrong at the last minute? But much to the relief of all those holding their breath…


It passed.

This will be an open thread (surprised?). Follow me below the fold for more.  

Healthcare Reform Passed: Victory Celebration Open Thread

Tonight, the President and the Congress will pass comprehensive health care reform.  There are absolutely no voices left to refute this fact.

At this moment – 9:39 pm ET – on FOX News Hannity is spending time to forecast the defeat of certain Democratic Congressfolks in November: a Far Right concession speech if ever there was one.  On MSNBC Ed Schultz is saying that Barack Obama may just be a genius: a stronger nod from the Far Left than is usually found from that source.  CNN is running its viewers through the benefits of the now-finished reform bill as they will – not “may” – unfold over coming years.

Consider this a Victory Celebration Open Thread

Cometh the Hour – Cometh the Man (and the Woman!) UPDATED

Words Fail me. This is someone who’s internalised all those great speeches and great thoughts, and then says the right thing at exactly the right moment…learned not by teleprompter, but by heart

But he didn’t do it alone: great footage here of Nancy Pelosi pissing off Teabaggers, marching arm in arm, Selma like, with John Lewis, and wielding a mighty scary weapon – the gavel

A transcript of the whole amazing extempore speech after the flip

Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) announces support for passing health care bill

On March 17th, Congressman Dale Kildee of Michigan announced he will cast a yes vote on health care. Kildee, a pro-life Democrat, was considered a question mark after voting for the Stupak-Pitts abortion amendment in the House version of the health care bill.

Kildee, who has a liberal voting record except on abortion, has said he is “a staunch pro-life member of Congress.” First elected in 1976, Kildee has never faced a serious primary or general election challenge. Throughout his 33 years in office he has been an advocate for children and on labor issues. Kildee, a Roman Catholic, is known for his strong pro-life stance.

In his written statement Kildee said, “There is nothing more pro-life than protecting the lives of 31 million Americans. Voting for this bill in no way diminishes my pro-life voting record or undermines my beliefs. I am a staunch pro-life member of Congress — both for the born and the unborn.”

The announcement by Kildee adds to the growing list of House members who have committed to voting for the bill after being considered on the fence. Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) announced his support for the bill, as did Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.). Perriello also backed the Stupak-Pitts amendment in November, 2009.

While support for passage of the bill is growing in Congress, another announcement may be as significant. A consortium of 60 leaders of Catholic religious orders representing 59,000 nuns sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to pass the bill. This is in direct opposition to the stance of The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says the bill’s anti-abortion provisions are not strong enough.


The Final Stages of the Battle for Health Care Reform

The fight for health care reform in this country started more than 100 years ago. The current stage of the fight started more than a year ago. It has been raging ever since Barack Obama took office in January, 2009. We are now in the final days of the latest battle and the Right is bringing its full force to bear to try to prevent any changes to the status quo.

The Right has fought against any reforms that will benefit the American people at the expense of business interests. They have labeled the effort as an attempt to take over the entire health care industry. They have told people that it will turn the country into a socialist country, even though there is absolutely nothing to justify that claim since the public option was removed from the Senate bill. They have claimed provisions in the bill will lead to “death panels” that will kill off your grandparents or disabled children. They have lied and misled to the point that some people actually fear for their lives if this bill passes. They are not above using any tactic, telling any lie, and smearing any progressive in an attempt to protect health insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry profits.

The Right knows this is the final stages of the battle and are pulling out all the stops to prevent the American people from benefiting from Health Care Reform. They are flooding the internet with emails urging people to call Congress to pressure representatives. The list below comes from one of those emails. These are the people they are targeting in Congress. Please scan the list for your representative and call with a message of support if you find them in the list. Be sure to tell whoever you talk to that you are aware that opponents of reform are mounting a deliberate campaign and that you want them to know that you support reform. Also remind them that the calls against reform are coming from people that got their name from right-wing mailing lists and those people are not going to vote for them no matter what.

This is it, people. It’s up to us now. We can win this battle, but only if we are willing to fight. Call today. Call now. Call often. Send emails. Send faxes if you have access to a fax machine. Fight for what is right.

List after the break.

Parachuting In (Update)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has successfully reenergized many among the disillusioned Left, declaring that health care reform is not in fact dead, as some of the more cynical voices among us may have come to fear. At this point, the confusion over what’s going on with HCR has become thoroughly discouraging to many who have spent the last few months (or years) championing the cause. The debate became muddled early on in the midst of GOP outrage and hysteria, and as the process progressed, the Left split along ideological lines. We were having enough trouble when we were largely united, and the growing number of divisions have simply confused the issue further.

And though I personally am fond of the president, I still feel that his lack of leadership on health care has been damaging in the long run, and possibly his largest failing thus far. Mixed and ambiguous messages from the administration about key components of the package like the public option only helped to muddy the debate. The lack of vocal support for progressives in Congress and the eagerness to praise disappointing compromises with conservadems has frustrated the liberal and progressive blogosphere to no end, and understandably so. Some among us, myself included, still believe that the better path to HCR would have been an initial push toward single payer, gradually adjusting and making concessions until we worked our way down to a strong public option, which would then have been seen as the marginal compromise that it really is, rather than the socialist government takeover of health care that the Right likes to pretend it would be.

Then again, hindsight is always 20/20, and if we really wanted a president who would push for single payer to begin with, we should have all voted for Dennis in 2008, now shouldn’t we?

Open Thread: Late Night Grab Bag

According to Congressional Quarterly, in terms of winning Congressional votes on issues he took a stand on, Obama had the most successful Presidential first year in generations (based upon more than five decades of CQ keeping records).

“His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That’s an extraordinary number,” Cranford says.

The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953. Cranford notes that George W. Bush’s score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says.


While the road gets tougher moving forward (due to members of Congress preparing for their own campaigns/re-election efforts in the 2010 mid-terms and the likely subsequent loss of seats in both House and Senate), Obama has made his first year historic by yet another measure.



The votes in the Senate came down 60-40, as expected. Not one, not a single Republican voted for health care reform, not even GOP “turncoat” Snowe. Despite all the concessions — all the revisions — not one Republican cast a vote in favor of the American people early this morning. That is why I will stand beside Barack Obama and his allies on this bill. Not because I like the bill personally. Certain aspects of it already horrify me, and I haven’t even read the thing yet. But I will stand beside it because it is, at this time, the best we can do — and because it is likely better than we will be able to do in a year’s time. The people hollering “Kill the bill!” are as unrealistic as the ones who thought Ron Paul had a shot at the White House. The last time health care reform died in Congress, we didn’t get another shot at it for over a decade. What makes anyone think it will be any different next time around?

And the only reason we’ve gotten so far this time?

I'm Tired of My Body Being Used as a Wedge Issue

Exhausted, actually.

It’s used against Democratic politicians by their opponents during elections, and now it’s being used against all of us in the health care debate. What’s worse, it is Democratic Senators and Representatives who are holding health care for ransom, their votes for reform contingent upon greater restrictions on my body and my rights. A few weeks ago, I watched the House vote to limit my reproductive freedom in such ways as were legally possible, and now I am watching the Senate haggle over my options as well. Why is this acceptable in our society? Why do I have to limit my choices and see my autonomy over my own body compromised because of the wishes of a bunch of stuffy old men? Why are my rights subject to their whims?