• comment on a post Socialists Ousted as Hungary Veers Right over 4 years ago

    I find troubling on how conservatives are winning everywhere in the world. In addition, next month, conservatives will surely win in Britain. It seems like the reaction of the world to The Great Depression was to make the conservative  world even more conservative.

    I'm disappointed on how conservatives have been successful in blaming left of center governments on the financial crisis even though they took power after the Great Recession began. The Republicans are poised to make tremendous gains in the United States, the Socialists are kicked out of power after only one year in Hungary, and the socialists in Greece are being blamed for the debt crisis they inherited when they took power about a half year ago. It seems like that not only are conservatives in the United States  better than progressives at political persuasion, but conservatives are better than progressives world wide at framing the debate. I wonder if something genetic is going on that makes conservatives better than liberals at propaganda.

  • I forgot that there were less than nine supreme court justices in the beginning. Congress expanded the Supreme Court to nine justices many years later.

  • The individual mandate is written as a 2.5% tax on AGI up to the maximum penalty amount. Thus, defenders of the individual mandate will argue that its an income tax permitted by the 16th Amendment. The opponents will have to argue that its really not an income tax. That could be a tough argument to make even with the current conservative Supreme Court. As for the other provisions in HCR, it will be tough to argue that health insurance doesn't constitute interstate commerce. Moreover, the state opt out provision would make it tough to overrule it on Tenth Amendment grounds.

    However, I disagree that the 1798 Act was an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. It was an authorization to tax certain people so that they could have discounted services at hospitals funded by the government.

    Finally, George Washington won the first election and he got to pick the first nine supreme court justices. That's why Alexander Hamilton's point of view about the constitution won over Jefferson's point of view of the constitution. The general welfare clause was ruled to give the govt. broad tax and spend authority and Congress was not limited to what was listed in Article 1, sec. 8 of the Constitution.

  • I would be more worried about how voters feel about the general direction of the country. The best indicator on how the election turns out is the percentage of people that feel the country is on the right track versus how many people feel that the country is on the wrong track. Also, the plunge in this morning's consumer confidence report is alarming. Ever since I can remember, and I've been looking at polls since the 1970's, Democrats have been more popular than Republicans on the issues, yet Republicans win their share of elections. With Obama having very few major legislative victories in his presidency, the election is going to come down to what the unemployment rate this fall.

  • May be what you propose would be worth a try. Although some Republicans say they will go for pre-existing conditions legislation, in the end they'll discover that such a policy will cost insurance companies profits. The second bill will never be acceptable, again that will cost insurance companies profits. Fourth bill, will never fly with Republicans - that's against their small government religion. Bill five has already been recently rejected by Congress. Finally, bill three probably would fail because it sounds too much like the public option.
  • Stocks dropped more than 122 points today wiping out more than all of yesterday's gains. The prospect of Brown's victory boosted health care stocks, but today, investor's realized that the lack of insurance in the United States gives American business a competitive disadvantage against foreign business.

  • comment on a post UPDATED: Hillary Doesn't Look So Bad Now... over 4 years ago

    I remember a couple of years ago when Obama sneered that Reagan was a transformative president and Clinton was not. After one year, Obama's biggest legislative achievement was a modest budget stimilus bill which will expire at the end of the year. His next biggest acts were the bailouts which were passed by the Bush administration. His most lasting biggest achievements were getting tobacco classified as a drug, and violence against gays as hate crimes. Those two new laws were nice pieces of legislation, but hardly transformative. In contrast, in one year, Clinton had passed America Corp, the Family Leave Medical Act, legislation that ended the ban on federal workers to attend political caucuses, The Violence Against Women Act, and whether you like it or not NAFTA.

    The problem with Obama is his kumbya politics. It demonstrates that he does not understand the conservative mind. Conservatives look at kumbya politics as a sign of weakness. Democrats in Congress are at fault, too for not using tit for tat strategies against the Republicans. As long as their obstructionist tactics keep rewarding Republicans with great electorial victories, Democrats will never be successful in passing progressive legislation. They've got to show to Republicans what goes around comes around. I believe that Hilary Clinton would have been more willing to do that.

  • comment on a post The best path forward on health care reform over 4 years ago

    There is no way any Republican is going to support any expansion of medicare or medicaid. They want to go in the opposite direction, like abolishing medicaid and replacing medicare with private medical accounts. My guess, the next major effort at health care reform be made by the next Republican president to do just that. The Democrats have given up on in trying to pass a bill before Brown is seated, and House Democrats will never vote for the senate bill as is. The Republicans are emboldened for they have won the jackpot with their obstructionist tactics, as they won the jackpot with the same tactics as in 1993-1994. They will continue their tactics and Democrats will continue to fail with passing their progressive agenda until they are willing to use tit for tat strategies. Democrats will not have any success with their domestic agenda until they show Republicans what goes around comes around.

    For progressives, the game is over as far as a domestic progressive agenda is concerned. The next Congress will be more Republican, if not controlled by the Republicans. Obama can still play if he is willing to accept some of the GOP agenda, and may be he can pass some legislation with a coalition of Republican and Conservative Democrats. I doubt that will happen, so Obama's will end up being mainly as a foreign policy president.

  • comment on a post Brown favored to win over 4 years ago

    Ted Kennedy fought so hard for health care reform all through his career. How sad it is that his death is one of the events that are about to kill health care reform.

    Obama made the same mistake as Clinton by not taking advantage of his honeymoon period to pass major legislation such as energy, financial regulatory and health care reform. Studies show that the bulk of a president's major domestic achievements occur during the honeymoon period. It was admirable that he tried a bipartisan approach. Unfortunately, the GOP took it as a sign of weakness and they took advantage, and in the end, his bipartisan approach was his downfall.

    The good news is that there is an inverse correlation to popularity in the first year of a presidency with eventual success in a presidency. I predict after the Democrats lose big in 2010, Obama will comeback and score a big victory in 2012.

  • comment on a post Bush Didn't Get All He Wanted with 55 GOP Sens. over 4 years ago

    Most presidents get what they push for during the honeymoon period of their first term. Bush waited too long to push SS privatization and immigration reform. Had Bush pushed for privatization of SS in his first few months of office, or a week after 9-11, he probably would have gotten the legislation through Congress.

  • comment on a post Was electing Obama worth getting a GOP Congress? over 4 years ago

    The GOP didn't want the financial meltdown and wanted to win the 2008 presidential election. They had a goal of replacing Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court with a radical right winger.

    Not only did the GOP want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but they want to make all social programs and all rules and regulations enacted by state and federal governments since 1850 held unconstitutional using the Commerce Clause and/or Takings Clause of the Fifth Amemdment of the US Constitution.

    The GOP was so close of realizing their dreams of making America into a Theocratic Libertarian Authoritarian Society. No, the GOP wanted to win the 2008 election. What they didn't count on was that their economic theories they religiously believe in our wrong.

  • comment on a post The Democratic weaklings in Washington over 4 years ago

    Why did the scorpion cause his drowning by biting the turtle who was giving him a ride across the river? Answer: Because it was his nature.

  • comment on a post Democrats commit suicide over 4 years ago

    If health care reform fails, then the Democrats will be in trouble in 2010. Accomplishment and a sense of momentum is what keeps a political party in power. Once they are perceived to be ineffective they are thrown out of office. The Blue Dog Democrats for some reason are stuck on the idea that they must vote on the middle of every issue in order to get reelected. But history shows that if the Democrats fail, the Blue Dogs are the first to be thrown out of office.

  • comment on a post Healthcare: On the Fruits of Capitulation over 4 years ago

    That's what will the Democrats get if health reform fails. Incumbent parties do well in off year elections if there is a sense of accomplishment and momentum. Failure is a recipe for the opposing party to take control of Congress. In 2002, the Republicans had a rare incumbent party victory because Bush was able to ram through what he wanted. The Republicans were sinking until 9/11 gave Bush a sense of Mission and from there, Bush was able to steamroll the Democrats with the conservative agenda.

    When Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton failed to get legislation through Congress, voters did not react by punishing the Republicans who stopped the legislation. The opposite happened. The Republicans won. When Democrats stopped Bush's Social Security Reform, that was the end of the Republican majority.

    Blue Dog Democrats make the wrong assumption that following the desire of the majority is the key to victory. What they don't realize is that voters don't like losers. Actually, if the Democrats are perceived to be losers, the Blue Dog Democrats will be the first ones to be thrown out of office, just like what happened in 1994.

  • The Republicans won't accept a Co-opt and will scream that the Co-opt is the first step toward Stalinism and Nazism. The public will scream and the Democrats will drop the co-opt plan, too. If anything happens in this Congress it will be a few minor rule changes on pre-existing conditions.

    Meaningful health care reform is probably dead as a door knob.


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