Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Joe Lieberman

Tuesday Miscellany

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* Howard Dean: Kill the Senate bill. Markos Moulitsas: Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate. It falls to poor Matt Yglesias to declare victory. As I suggested earlier, my pragmatist streak will probably push me to support reform no matter how much Lieberman extracts, and Ezra Klein (still under fire for his rude reminder that policy has consequences) and Steve Benen make that pragmatist case here and here. Still, this rankles. I wouldn’t want anyone who matters (quiet, Ezra) to commit the unpardonable sin of being honest, but I’ll personally send Harry Reid a hundred dollars for his reelection if he turns around and uses reconciliation to pass the public option anyway just as soon as the current insurance reforms are passed.

* Much-needed good news: The DC City Council has endorsed marriage equality.

* Bad Astronomer tackles transporter metaphysics.

* More than 65 million years ago, a cataclysmic event drove a majority of the Earth’s species into extinction, and tragically, wiped out the last of the dinosaurs long before bazookas could be invented and used on them. (Thanks Russ!)

* io9 has the series bible for Batman: The Animated Series.

* And dueling reviews of Avatar insist it does and does not suck. (Thanks to Dan for the “suck” version. “Avatar is the corniest movie ever made about the white man’s need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt.” This I have to see.)

Because We’re Not Callow

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The chart from Nate Silver that shows why health care reform is worth supporting even after Lieberman.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 15, 2009 at 8:59 am

Monday Night

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* A key feature of capitalism in America is the complete insulation of elites from the violence the system inflicts against the poor. This is illustrated well in today’s health care debate; the actual human suffering and death caused by our broken health care system is invisible to people like Joe Lieberman, who is therefore free to consider health care reform as a purely abstract game centered around revenge against his enemies. To bring up the fact that people are actually dying over this is considered unspeakably rude—a total breach of decorum. Frank Rich and BAGnotes make the same point today about the invisibility of suffering in the economic crisis as a whole.

* In any event, Lieberman won (with an apparent assist from Rahm): the Medicare buy-in is officially dead.

* Ezra Klein explains why everyone is so terrified of reconciliation.

* Grist says the big story out of Copenhagen’s first week is the emergence of tensions between richer and poorer developing nations.

The one significant new feature of this treaty round is the emergence of a distinct voice for small island nations and the poorest states—the folks for whom climate change is an existential, not just economic, problem. Inside the talks, this manifested in the tiny island state of Tuvalu’s call for a new, post-Kyoto treaty that would require mandatory reductions not only from rich countries but from the biggest and fastest-growing developing nations, including China and India. It would also set 1.5 degrees C as the target for limiting the rise in global temperature, rather than the 2 C agreed upon in previous talks (and still maintained by big emitters). This amounts to the first big public eruption of the simmering tensions between major developing countries and their smaller/poorer brethren. Whereas China and India want to shelter their economic development above all else, Tuvalu, well, might go under water soon.

* The ultimate Disney/Marvel mashup.

* Millions of “lost” Bush administration emails discovered by computer technicians. MetaFilter has your schadenfreude.

* Could Bernanke really withdraw his nomination for chairman of the Federal Reserve?

* And I wanted to post this a few days ago, but seem to have forgotten: the situation with Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is rapidly growing completely insane.

Monday Midday

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* Some in the Obama administration want the expansion of the increasingly misnamed war in Afghanistan to include drone attacks on cities in Pakistan the size of San Francisco:

“If we don’t do this — at least have a real discussion of it — Pakistan might not think we are serious,” said a senior U.S. official involved in war planning.

Well, we certainly can’t have that. Via Kevin Drum, who says “history is rhyming.”

* Following up on earlier posts: Timo tracks down more fake English in response to this post while this morning’s Muppet post prompts Eli to report that the Jim Henson biopic The Muppet Man is both promising and doomed.

* Meanwhile, President Lieberman remains the talk of the Internets. Does Joe have principles? (Only one.) Is Joe smart? (Not really.) What are our options now? (Not many.) Did Lieberman really endorse the Medicare buy-in compromise he’s now rejecting just three months ago? (Of course he did.)  Is it time for reconciliation? Josh Marshall still says no. Open Left says it doesn’t matter how, just get it done. There are even conflicting reports that the White House may be backing Lieberman’s latest tantrum. Taibbi weeps.

* ‘Philosophy prof won’t go to jail for making unofficial Derrida translations available to students.’ Jail’s too good for him!

* Also at Boing Boing: ‘Man returns library book due in 1955.’ What I like about this story is that he specifically took advantage of a late-book amnesty to do an almost $2000 fine. Kafka weeps.

* In the Yes Men’s first transatlantic action, an email purported to be an official Environment Canada press release this afternoon announced an incredibly ambitious plan to cut carbon emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. It also went on to commit Canada to paying 1% and eventually up to 5% of its GDP in 2030 to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

* The New Yorker analyzes China’s climate and energy policy.

* Signs of what could be a previously unknown ancient civilization are emerging from beneath the felled trees of the Amazon. Also via MeFi.

* “James Chartrand” tells the story of how picking a male pseudonym got her more freelancing gigs and more money for them. Via MetaFilter.

* The end of Haloscan. Looks like I helicoptered out of Blogspot just in time.

Joe Lieberman Is Your President Now

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Image shamelessly stolen from Ezra Klein, who writes:

To put this in context, Lieberman was originally invited to participate in the process that led to the Medicare buy-in. His opposition would have killed it before liberals invested in the idea. Instead, he skipped the meetings and is forcing liberals to give up yet another compromise. Each time he does that, he increases the chances of the bill’s failure that much more. And it’s hard to imagine there’s a policy rationale here, as he decided against even bothering to wait for the CBO’s analysis before moving against this idea. At this point, Lieberman is just torturing liberals. That is to say, he’s willing to directly cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.

More on the inscrutable whims of President Lieberman here and here.

The single biggest failure of leadership we’ve seen this year has been the needless decision of Democratic hierarchy to insist on 60 votes in the Senate at any cost. That things could reach this point was 100% predictable months ago; where is Reid’s contingency plan?

Going forward, things are not looking good:

The leverage that Lieberman and other “centrists” have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.

Lieberman is a lost cause, and likely Nelson too. The cost of Snowe or Collins is too high. It’s time to start talking about reconciliation again—that is to say, it’s time to write the 50-vote version, introduce it to the chamber, and see if that weakens Lieberman’s dickish resolve. We missed the Christmas deadline anyway, and I’m tired of one-sided negotiations.

At least Harkin is still talking about that bill to end the filibuster. Good.

Thursday Night Links

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Wednesday Health Care

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More details on the latest health-care compromise. Matt Miller at the Daily Beast gives it a strong thumbs up, while the Wonk Room is a bit more tepid—but unfortunately for us Joe Lieberman hates everyone and everything. Ezra Klein thinks he’s finally figured this game out.

As for Lieberman’s continuing concern over the public option, there’s a big part of me that believes the tacked-on trigger that calls a public option into being if the nonprofit plans don’t emerge is actually there so Lieberman can take it out and justify his eventual vote.

Like me, both Matt Yglesias and Angry Bear think the Medicare buy-in could be our real camel’s nose in the tent. Here’s Angry Bear:

I only add a Leninist argument for centrist compromise. The worse it is the better it is. The 55 year limit is totally arbitrary and unfair. I don’t think that’s an easy line to hold once 54 year olds see how much extra they are paying to keep private insurance companies in business. The 65 year minimum for Social Security old age pensions and Medicare is arbitrary too, but it is now so long standing and familiar that tea partiers can sincerely argue that government run health insurance is unacceptable because it isn’t good for Medicare.

I can’t even imagine how people will argue that it was OK to let people over 55 buy in but not to let people under 55 buy in.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Good News / Bad News (UPDATED)

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I’m glad to see the Stupak Amendment language tabled in the Senate health care bill, but all this talk of a “broad agreement” to cut the public option fills me with dread. I imagine the final bill will combine the worst possible compromise alongside an untabled Stupak amendment—at which time Lieberman and Nelson will filibuster anyway. From the AP:

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told reporters he didn’t like the agreement but would support it to the hilt in an attempt to pass health care legislation.

Sounds fantastic.

It’s the unnecessary insistence on beating a filibuster that keeps leading us to this bad result. Reid voluntarily handcuffed himself when he decided not to pursue reconciliation at any price; now look where we are.

UPDATE: On the other hand, if this is true I owe Reid a Coke:

Tonight, though, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested that might not be the case. “All the things you’ve read in the newspapers…’the public option is gone,’–it’s not true,” Reid said at an impromptu press conference after tonight’s meeting broke.

Reid wouldn’t elaborate further–and it’s worth noting that in recent days, aides and members have tried to characterize some of the ideas on the table as a form of “public option” when in fact none of them are.

UPDATE 2: Kos has links to some additional details.

But Democratic aides said that the group had tentatively agreed on a proposal that would replace a government-run health care plan with a menu of new national, privately-run insurance plans modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents.

A government-run plan would be retained as a fall-back option, the aides said, and would be triggered only if the new proposal failed to meet targets for providing affordable insurance coverage to a specified number of people.

The agreement would also allow Americans between age 55 and 64 to buy coverage through Medicare, beginning in 2011.

UPDATE 3: Just a little bit more from TPM. Ezra Klein says the deal is surprisingly good.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Closing My Tabs

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* First, more on the Medicare “buy-in” that is getting so much attention today, with support from Kevin Drum, Donkeylicious, Digby, Steve Benen, and others. I excitedly await Joe Lieberman’s promise to filibuster this.

* UNL has a huge collection of free government comics. (Thanks Steve!)

* David Foster Wallace is once again in the New Yorker. Don’t let that silly aside about atheism as “anti-religious religion” ruin the whole thing.

* A marriage equality bill will go to the New Jersey Senate Thursday. Fingers crossed.

* Reimportation-of-colonial-violence watch: “Unmanned aerial ‘Predator’ drones to patrol US/Mexico border.”

* 15 Failed Predictions about the Future. There will never be a list this great again.

Always Already Monday

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* Isaac Asimov’s “The Relativity of Wrong” uses an “English Lit major” as its punching bag. Damn you Asimov! (via)

* The Savage Critic explains misogyny in the Marvel Universe.

The origin of our vagina monster? It’s a woman wanting sex. Sex makes women crazy and dangerous. The result of female sexual excitability is a “genetic W.M.D.”…

The obvious conclusion to draw from DARK REIGN: THE LIST– X-MEN #1 is that at the close of 2009, a woman with an appetite for sex is apparently the very definition of fear and horror for Marvel comic creators and their audience.

* So weird to see Canada being a less responsible global citizen than the U.S.

* “Tea Party” now more popular than GOP.

* ‘How Joe Lieberman Turned The Public Option Fight On Its Head.’ Ezra Klein has some details on the latest set of compromises brought about through the Democratic Party’s ongoing negotiation with itself.

* Meet your new GRE.

* And MetaFilter has your music videos of the day.

I Guess He Showed Us

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Understanding Lieberman: So why is he doing this? Because he’s bitter. According to former staffers and associates, he was upset by his dismal showing in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary. And he was enraged by the tepid support he got from many party leaders in 2006, when he lost the Democratic primary to an anti-war activist and won reelection as an independent. Gradually, this personal alienation has eaten away at his liberal domestic views. His staff has grown markedly more conservative in recent years, and his closest friends in Congress are now Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham. For Lieberman, the personal has become political, and it has pushed him further to the right. (via everywhere, but most recently Steve Benen)

Written by gerrycanavan

November 25, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Closing Some Tabs

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I want to close some tabs before I got to sleep.

* Each day Humble Oil supplies enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glaciers.

* The Senate’s health care bill is out, and you can read all about it at the usual places. I must admit I’m glad to see from Matt that reconciliation is still an option, if necessary; I think it might be, if Joe won’t budge.

* Fox got caught doing the same unmarked-file-footage trick Jon Stewart busted Hannity for just last week.

* Whoops: Texas gay marriage ban may have outlawed all marriages in Texas.

* Whoops: A study from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services concludes the Stupak Amendment will eventually ban all insurance coverage for abortion.

* The U.S. highway system as a subway map. Via Yglesias.

* Academic buzzwords at PhD Comics. Funny, but hasn’t he done this exact gag before?

* Ireland, alas. I will be rooting so hard against France this year.

Closing Some Tabs

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Closing some tabs.

* Terrible news, everyone: International Science Fiction Reshelving Day has been canceled.

* Still mad at SIGG for lying about the BPA content in its canteens? Don’t worry; there’s BPA in everything.

* Having solved all the world’s ills, the Catholic Church paid $500,000 to see marriage equality go down in Maine.

* I was hoping Ned Lamont would make another run against Joe Lieberman. Too bad.

* And Neil sends in a fun Flash application about scale.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 5, 2009 at 3:42 am

Midday Links

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Midday links while I wonder whether tonight’s elections will go long or short.

* Open Left wisely points out that today’s elections don’t really tell us anything about national politics while Kos’s Jed Lawson pre-spin takes a different tack in arguing that Owens wins even if he loses. Steve Benen points out that a district in California that is essentially a mirror image of NY-23—historically very Democratic, though significantly less one-sided than NY-23’s century-and-a-half Republican streak—is having a special election tonight that doesn’t count (UPDATE: Think Progress, too), while TPM debunks in advance the bogus assertions of electoral fraud already erupting anywhere Republicans could lose tonight.

* Virginia is never enough: McDonnell 2012? Really? Even Sarah Palin managed to serve a few months before seeking national office.

* Reid too is saying there’s no deal with Lieberman. Maybe not anymore.

* Why do humans kiss? To spread our germs.

* A brief history of innoculation.

* And MetaFilter wishes happy birthday to Sputnik and the Blob while saying goodbye to Claude Lévi-Strauss and Laika the dog.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 3, 2009 at 7:45 pm

"Don’t worry," we’re told, "Lieberman is totally insincere."

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Harry Reid’s office is telling people Reid and Lieberman have a “private understanding” regarding cloture on health care:

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.

“At the end of the day Sen. Lieberman will vote to cut off debate,” said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager of Healthcare for America Now. “He’ll do what he has to do. He’s making a lot of noise.”

Take it for what it’s worth.

UPDATE: Lieberman’s office: “Senator Lieberman’s clear position is that he will vote for the motion to proceed to the health-care bill because he supports health-care reform that will control costs and insure people who don’t have it now, but will oppose cloture on a final bill if it contains a public option.”

Written by gerrycanavan

November 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm