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Pietà 14 January 2010

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A man carries a child injured by the earthquake [Ivanoh Demers/AP]

No need to go stand in the presence of Benny and marvel at the Pieta.


Oh I know it is an easy shot……… Tapper v Gibbs.  Mara Liasson pipes up as well.  FWIW….

TAPPER:  There are reports from sources familiar with the negotiations that a tentative deal has been reached on the excise tax in the health care reform measure.  What can you tell us about that?

GIBBS:  Nothing more than I just told Ben in answering — in asking me largely the same thing.  If we have more later today, we will certainly — if we’re in a position to talk more about that, we will.  Obviously, the president met a few days ago with — with representatives from labor unions all over the country who were concerned about the structure of the tax impacting their working men and women, their members.  The president has obviously a strong desire to see a bending in the cost curve for health care, while at the same time not impacting working men and women. So those meetings have taken place in order to try to find some sort of compromise that does not impact working men and women, while at the same time we take responsible actions to ensure that the amount of money that people are paying for health care, that we change the direction of that curve.

TAPPER:  When you say “working men and women,” do you only mean working men and women who are members of unions?

GIBBS:  I mean that, I guess, euphemistically for those that are largely middle class employees.

TAPPER:  As a theoretical — theoretically, is it fair to exclude — and I’m not saying that this is what the deal was — but as a theoretical question, is it fair to exclude health insurance plans that were the result of collective bargaining from this tax, and ones that were not a result of collective bargaining be hit with this?

GIBBS:  Well, Jake, let me wait for us to get into where those details are. I would say that throughout this legislation there will be — there are, in a number of areas, measures and ideas that are phased in over time in order to transition from where we are to something that is better for the American people, more sustainable on our budgets, and provides better quality care for those in need.

TAPPER:  I guess my question is, certainly there are a lot of — you would not dispute the fact that there are a lot of working people who are not members of unions, maybe they’ve tried to form unions and are not allowed to, maybe they’re in so-called right-to- work states. But certainly the administration would never agree to something that would exclude working men and women….

GIBBS:  I think we’ll have a better chance to talk about this when we walk through, hopefully, something that has been agreed upon that moves health care closer to passage.

TAPPER:  And just one quick follow-up:  Yesterday when I asked you how, you know, how are you guys going to avoid banks passing on this — this fee, this tax, to the consumer, you said it would be constructed in such a way.  But so far, all I can really discern that the only thing that would prevent it is this idea of shame and the fact that 50 banks are going to be hit and 8,000 others are not.

GIBBS:  Well, except for the fact that, again, the structure — the way this is structured is — look,  you could have structured this a number of different ways.  Right?  We could have sought…


GIBBS:  Well, but — but — but you have 100 and — we believe, and we’ll show in the budget, $117 billion dollars left to be repaid to the TARP to make it whole again.  That’s down from I think earlier in the year on the order of about $340 billion.

We structured this in a way that we felt was reasonable and responsible for an industry that has, quite honestly, bounced back pretty quickly, again, largely because of — excuse me, almost entirely because of the help of taxpayers in making sure that there was a floor.

We believe it’s structured in a way that banks shouldn’t pass this on, and that it shouldn’t be something that is considered so amazingly onerous on them. Again, if you’re a bank and you’re going to pay into a fee structure that we think will recoup on the order of $90 billion to $100 billion — let’s use that as a range over a 10-year period of time, because we think that $117 billion’s likely to still come down some — but if you’re likely to — if you — if you’re — if that’s the pool of money you’re talking about, there’s a number greater than that pool of money that’s now being set aside for bonuses.

Now, maybe I missed their testimony yesterday where they said, “We’re going to pass all of our bonuses, the cost of all our bonuses on to their customers, and we’re going to, you know, pass each and everything on to” — we believe it’s structured in a rational and reasonable way that would allow banks to meet their requirements — meet our requirements under the law, not be overly onerous, but at the same time not be such that it’s such a tremendously new business expense that would need to be passed on.

I think the way it’s structured…


TAPPER:  Why not just tax — why not just tax the bonuses?

GIBBS:  Well, but — but don’t you think…


TAPPER:  … they can’t — they can’t pass, necessarily, they can’t pass that on to the consumer.

GIBBS:  My guess is that you would have them say that they’ll pass that on to.  And my…

TAPPER:  They already are.  I mean, they’re already — they’re already saying that they’re going to pass this on…

MARA LIASSON, NPR:  Why do you care what…


LIASSON:  Why do you care what they say?


GIBBS:  I’m not caring what they say, I’m trying to explain to — I’m trying to answer Jake’s question about what they pass on and whether or not they rationalize what’s being charged to them in a responsibility fee as to their M.O. for them passing that on to — to consumers.

LIASSON: (inaudible) why not tax bonuses?

GIBBS:  No, I understand.  Again, it was structured in a way — we believe this was structured in a way that makes this the most responsible way to do (inaudible).

LIASSON:  (inaudible) bonuses would not be the most responsible way?

GIBBS:  Well, we came up with a way that we thought was the best way to do this.

TAPPER:  Aren’t the banks supposed to have four years to pay this money back?

GIBBS:  Over the — the law calls for by — I think it’s by 2013 Congress and the executive branch have to have a way to make taxpayers whole.  I don’t believe the law stipulates the length of time for the actual repayment.  I don’t think they got into that.


Can you imagine the furor if there is some trickily worded agreement that favors union workers, as is rumored – negotiations remain secret!, over other workers? 

And I must say Gibbs, whose job can be done by a Capuchin monkey with a series of signage to hold up, sounds shakey as ever on this or any issue.

Fireworks and popcorn.  Churn the butter.  Harvest the salt.

I do think the Obama smile is just perfect for a dart board.



1. catnip - 14 January 2010

Via CSPAN’s site where I’m checking out today’s testimony:

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission wrapped up its two days of hearings into the U.S. economic crisis. Today, the commission heard from federal, state and local officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder. They are scheduled to deliver a final report by December 15th.

December 15th? Looks like that’s the right date, according to this Time magazine article. Can they possibly move any slower?

marisacat - 14 January 2010

Anything after midterms. Surprised it is not Dec 15, 2012.

catnip - 14 January 2010

That’s telling. IOW, if the Dems thought the process would actually help them during the elections, they’d push for an earlier report date. As it stands then, it looks like they already know whatever they propose will just be some watered-down “regulation” that the public will lash out at.

marisacat - 14 January 2010

well people DO seem to be laughing as Ob and GibbsNut and Rahm try to say that selling HC is a good deal for the Mid Terms.

As Coakley struggles.

yeah it all makes so much sense.

I see the righties are already plowing into the “deal” worked otu with Labor.

Gah and Double Gah.

2. catnip - 14 January 2010
3. catnip - 14 January 2010

White House, unions reach deal on taxing insurance coverage

Four labor negotiators briefed lawmakers on the parameters of the deal at a luncheon at the Capitol. Lawmakers said the agreement would raise the cost of unusually generous health policies and ignore secondary coverage, such as vision and dental plans. Health plans negotiated as part of collective-bargaining agreements would be exempt for two years after the 2013 effective date, giving labor leaders time to negotiate new contracts.

Administration officials have resisted any change in the 40 percent surtax assessed to such policies, as proposed by the Senate.

Senior lawmakers were scheduled to return to the White House at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, where staff have continued working throughout the day. Gibbs said announcement of any final deal could stretch into early next week, but his tone was hopeful, saying that “tremendous progress” was made in the eight-hour meeting with negotiators on Wednesday.

catnip - 14 January 2010

All of this wRang(e)ling is so bloody confusing.

marisacat - 14 January 2010

I had just read that……………… they should offer a translation: Hype, Figleaf and Ass Cover into Real Life.

catnip - 14 January 2010

Well, maybe they could put together a colouring book or something…

marisacat - 14 January 2010

Tapper has up a post on the current “deal”.

[T]he new deal raises the threshold for plans considered “Cadillac” plans to $24,000 for families and $8,900 for individuals.

Significantly, it exempts insurance plans that were part of state and local collective bargaining agreements – union members – until January 1, 2018. They call this a “transition period” in which unions and re-adjust the way they’ve negotiated wages and health insurance in agreements with employers.

“It is appalling to me that this White House and union bosses have struck a back-room deal to strong arm the 90% of Americans who don’t belong to unions into either pay more health care taxes or joining a union,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who said this “so-called deal punishes Texas and 21 other ‘right-to-work’ states.”

I got a big horse laugh this afternoon, local talk radio was [semi] bitching and moaning about this… pointing to TX as a “right to work state.. WITHOUT mentioning we are too… and it came down in Cali under a so-called “liberal” state SC in the 80s.



BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2010


4. catnip - 14 January 2010
marisacat - 14 January 2010

It’s nto getting off the ground, in a sense. Forget two sick old shits running anything. As if they do, or did.

I wonder just how many unforced errors (picking W when he blames him for everything?) Ob is gonna make.

But the influx was interrupted Thursday afternoon when the Federal Aviation Administration halted all civilian flights from the United states to Haiti at the request of the Haitian government because the airport tarmac was clogged with planes unloading relief supplies. The airport also lacks sufficient fuel stocks to refuel departing flights, officials said.

Nine U.S. planes were already in the air when the FAA issued the order, an official said. The FAA imposed the “ground stop” order until at least 6 p.m. Eastern time. …

marisacat - 14 January 2010

The Guardian is calling Port au Prince a tomb.


The streets are now Haiti’s living room and bedroom with everything closed,” said RAMhaiti, who as Richard Morse is the manager of the Hotel Oloffson, made famous in Graham Greene’s The Comedians. “Money, food, drinks, supplies, rotting bodies, frustration, impatience, despair will all become a problem. The devastation is so widespread that the folks who should be helping, are probably taking care of their own issues.”

Transport planes laden with supplies and emergency teams were landing at the airport sporadically filling the runways, but doctors worried that dehydration and disease may outpace the aid effort. “Money is worth nothing right now, water is the currency,” said one foreign aid worker.

A power blackout, scant water and medicine and decomposing corpses was a lethal cocktail, Peter Hotez, head of the department of microbiology at George Washington University, told CNN.

“What you have is the perfect storm of infection. What you have is a breakdown. It is already a fragile infrastructure with high rates of infectious and neglected tropical disease. Now there are potential breakdowns in sanitation, clean water, housing and subsequent crowding. That’s a terrible mix.”

it will only get worse…

5. catnip - 14 January 2010

Sex sting in Poconos nets former chief U.N. weapons inspector.

A former chief United Nations weapons inspector is accused of contacting what he thought was a 15-year-old girl in an Internet chat room, engaging in a sexual conversation and showing himself masturbating on a Web camera.

Scott Ritter of Delmar, N.Y., who served as chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-98 and who was an outspoken critic of the second Bush administration in the run-up to the war in Iraq, is accused of contacting what turned out to be a Barrett Township police officer posing undercover as a teen girl.

marisacat - 14 January 2010

I don’t suppose it matters, as nothing will stop the wars… and even tho his first arrest was dismissed by a judge a few years ago, with some harsh words abut the case (iirc) …. he likely cannot recover from this.

marisacat - 14 January 2010

hmm Instahoohoo has this comment (he links to the Pocono report as well):

So you don’t think Scott Ritter was blackmailable, or anything, and that this might have had something to do with his sudden change of position?

hmm Madman emailed that Ritter had been missing from TruthDig, turning up again recently and I think with a book soon to come. But if he has “changed position” I don’t know what that was about.

Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2010

Changed position? I don’t know what that would be, either.

6. catnip - 14 January 2010
7. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2010

Creating Hospitals From Thin Air

“We’re prepared now and have prepared freight, including an emergency inflatable hospital so we can set up exactly those services we’re currently missing,” Paul McPhun, Doctors Without Borders operations manager for Haiti, told the press. An inflatable hospital?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a temporary hospital with inflatable components that can be deployed whenever needed. Doctors Without Borders has been employing them for years, including an impressive inflatable nine-tent, 120-bed center in Pakistan following a 7.6 magnitude earthquake there in 2005. The hospital post-and-beam frames can be made from the same fabric in inflatable lifeboats. Nylon interior and exterior walls leave space for air to create an insulating effect. The Cleveland Plain Dealer created an infographic showing one kind of inflatable hospital.

marisacat - 14 January 2010

Oh I saw a segment a few months ago on the inflatable hospital.

I jsut read that a Chinese medical crew that managed to get in, is literally set up on tables in the open air.

8. catnip - 14 January 2010
9. catnip - 14 January 2010

Barack Obama: Papa in Chief

Now he’s “post-evil” too. Mon dieu.

10. BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2010

During last Fall’s sinking of the USS Corzine , I noticed a floundering cry from one of the lesser of the lesser pwog bloggers, “clammyc” AKA Adam Lambert ( CPA FinCo suckling by day/ Dem operative wannabe by night)

Anyways, on Blue Jersey, one of the numerous state Democratic
Party Line “box car blogs” you guys tagged early on as meant for such things…
mallet-struck-clammy was looking for a fainting couch and bitching about …polls….how “‘tsard ” ~ its all so hard – sigh –

New polls show that polls are all over the place
by: clammyc
Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:45:00 AM EDT

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of partisan polls that showed a substantial narrowing of the gap in the Governor’s race……

And then there is a Quinnipiac poll showing a 10 point Christie lead, up from 9 in early August.

I’m not even going to bother analyzing the underlying metrics in terms of the other questions, because at this point, I think it is pretty safe to say that nobody knows what the hell is going on with the polls other than Christie still leads but by less than a few months ago.

Or not, depending on what poll you look at.

So help me out here fellow tomato chuckers…
Do these guys have the same pathetic piece that follows the same pathetic fops across state lines when they are getting the proverbial shit kicked out of them?

LOL: Check this out from “Blue Mass Group” –
the Massachoo choo choo of the box car blogs.
( love the name BTW – Blue Mass Group – so corporate )

Suffolk poll shows Brown ahead 50-46
by: David
Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 23:39:23 PM EST

Well, the polling is just all over the freakin’ place in this race. Suffolk’s new poll, taken Monday through Wednesday and released tonight, has Brown at 50%, Coakley at 46%, Kennedy at 3%, and 1% undecided. Suffolk shows Brown with 65% of unenrolled voters, which mostly accounts for the difference between this poll and our poll. Suffolk polled 500 “very” or “somewhat” likely voters, so their margin of error is +/- 4%.

I’m too tired to pore over the details. The questions and answers are available here. The crosstabs are supposed to be linked from this page, but at the moment they seem to have the wrong file uploaded. Perhaps they will fix that soon.

One really interesting thing about all the recent polling is that Coakley’s numbers have pretty consistently been high 40’s to low 50’s (though Suffolk’s 46 is definitely the bottom end). But Brown’s numbers fluctuate dramatically from poll to poll. My own theory, based on nothing more than a gut feeling, is that that’s because it’s really, really hard to figure out how many teabaggers are going to show up next Tuesday. They are the element that has caught everyone by surprise in this race, and no one is quite sure what to make of them, or maybe even who they are.
I dunno. I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.
Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Who backs off their numbers like that if they’re legit?
Well, the “BM Group” – as it apparently is evolving,
had just released a 500 voter Sunshine up the Ass poll showing Coakley up by the _~ would you believe ? ~ 9? 9 points? variety …No doubt to blunt Rasmusssens latest 1000 Likely Voter sample that had Coakley up by 2 the day of the last debate. Well, It should be decided within his MoE. Which at this point means Coakley will be lucky to win by 5. IF AT ALL.

So Let’s call the Blog Boyos outlying crap what it is: ASTROTURF.
From the type of useless sorts who were humping Corzine..
Which is almost enough to call the race for Brown NOW. 😆

marisacat - 15 January 2010

ooo clammyc…. or whatever his name is. Wowo what an over worked and tired little puppy. It’s hard taking back your country! Needs some sleep and a bottle.

Good lord.

Myself, I think that late poll showing Coakley up 9 was to goose fundraising.

11. BooHooHooMan - 15 January 2010

Oh they are shitting themselves now.

Nate Silver declares MA-Sen a tossup
by Populista

If you are reading this you’ve probably heard that the special election in Massachusetts is close, and you probably also [know] who Nate Silver is and know his track record for accuracy.

Well Nate just called the race a tossup. When Nate says it’s a tossup it’s a tossup.

I love how as these trends develop, NONE of these spoon fed Party handicappers are willing to venture an assessment.
I mean, WTF?!? Do these youngsters ALL decide to powder their bums in the homestretch? Good Lord.

Well , For vacuous sloganeering fans,

Everyone needs to do what they can. (14+ / 0-)

The DSCC has had to take over Coakley’s campaign, and DNC and DSCC have and will continue to send staffers up there. Should Coakley win, it’ll be the party cmtes that saved her campaign. (So yeah, when the party cmtes are sending people up there, it means she really is in trouble.)

Win or lose, the lessons here are:

1. Message discipline matters.

2. Campaigns matter.

3. Don’t stop until you’ve crossed the finish line.

Donate to progressive organizations that make a difference

by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 10:20:09 PM PST

And EXTREME IRONY Alert in a comment from the diarist named Populista.

I think the big message is (2+ / 0-)

you’ve got to have a competent staff and you’ve got to listen to them or you’ll lose. Clearly, that was not the case until the national committees got involved.

Get active: Netroots4Healthcare: Twitter & email|DKGreenRoots

by Populista on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 11:14:52 PM PST

Go Grassroots DSCC! ~ blurble blub burble~
People Power!
Get Active! – >> Tell the DSCC to cut your balls off!

Who the fuck could possibly give credence to these retards anymore?

marisacat - 15 January 2010

Isn’t wisdom like “it’s a tossup” designed to try to get your bse out? I like the Nate Silver site (tho I have not been there in 6 months or so, LOL) but don’t they all, the wee lemmings, treat him as … oh, ZEUS or somebody like that???

12. BooHooHooMan - 15 January 2010

More panic…

How HCR will defeat Coakley
by equern

If Coakley loses, Tim Kaine must be fired
by HerculePeroit

marisacat - 15 January 2010

well… I am sharpening the stick for Kaine’s head, but nothing to do with Coakley.


wht a twit.

marisacat - 15 January 2010

I am sharpening the stake for Kaine’s head……………..

… but 😆 in my case it does nto have much to do with Coakley.

I am so fuckign tired of the Kaines and the Obs intoning on abortion, that I could lie down and die

13. BooHooHooMan - 15 January 2010

Breaking News on FireDogLake –

Civil Rights Pioneer: Post-Racial World Doesn’t Exist
By: Tula Connell Thursday January 14, 2010 3:45 pm

marisacat - 15 January 2010

“Breaking” Nooz.. very funnee……….

Post-racial does not exist because, as I have said for years, we are still in the Reconstruction.


and so on………………

marisacat - 15 January 2010

Politico on the Brown fundriaisng and resurgent run.

hmmm all he has to do is come close, seems to me.

marisacat - 15 January 2010

oh surely this is the definitive comment on the run… 😆

“We don’t know it’s close — I just disagree that the polls are accurate,” Coakley told ABC’s John Berman, as featured on “Top Line” Thursday.

marisacat - 15 January 2010

uh hoh.

The White House has shown increasing alarm about the race, with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel placing calls to top Massachusetts Democrats to assess Coakley’s chances and weigh the costs and benefits of a potential Obama visit. …

via Bn Smith.

catnip - 15 January 2010

lol…but but but Gibbs said it wasn’t on Obamalama’s “schedule” earlier this week.

What a bunch of clowns.

14. marisacat - 15 January 2010

Geesh (via The Note) maybe Charlie Cook could point ot himself. He sure humped for Obama, every chance he got. Played the part of the Good ol’ Boy who finds it in his heart to vote for the Black Candidate.

Nearly a year after Obama’s inauguration, judging by where the Democrats stand today, it’s clear that they have made a colossal miscalculation,” Charlie Cook writes for National Journal. “Obama and his party have no doubt taken on big and important fights. But given the nation’s tremendous economic troubles, they don’t seem to have picked the most urgent ones.”

15. marisacat - 15 January 2010

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