My only complaint about this terrific and important essay, is what he says about Heath care reform. Of course, he's right in the main, but he ignores the fact that it's the only step in the only direction we could get.

It might have been a leap, but for the monumental lying by conservatives, the US Chamber of Commerce, virtually all elected Republicans, Hatriot talk radio, and of course, Fox News. Much of  it was merely a louder variant on the same kind of lying that enabled both the Vietnam war, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even so, this essay is brilliant at summarizing the civic malfeasance and neglect that got us to this miserable place in history. Conservatism has raped this nation, raped its people, and raped history.  It's time we put it on trial, find it guilty, execute it, and cremate the corpse along with all its DNA.  Before it does the same to us.

It is time to grow out of our materialistic fetishes and begin cultivating the personal and civic maturity we like to fancy we possess, but which we don't. It is time to grow up and accept the burdens of mature citizenship, among the most important of which are a capacity and a willingness to tell the truth, letting go the comforting but corrosive lies in the confidence that courage mustered now will yield not only greater self respect today but a more sane, a more decent, and a safer society in the future.

It is important that we commemorate Vietnam, both to mourn the objective horror of what it was, but also to redeem our capacity to tell the truth, to ourselves, about ourselves. Only in that way can we begin to reclaim the country and the people we want to imagine ourselves to be.

Read the entire essay by Robert Freeman (Common Dreams)

Thanks to @goldymos for this.


Wendell Potter, the former health insurance who has exposed much of that industry’s lies and deceptions, has recently called for more videos precisely like this one:


In August of 2009, my brother and I went to a family summer camp in Ontario.  While there, we decided we’d use his little family cam and do some interviews with real Canadians, discussing their health care system.  But for a few prepared questions, it was completely unscripted. Most of the people were all from a small Island community.

It was far more successful than we dreamed, mainly because it exposed just how little the American media—or its the government—were really doing to tell the truth about the Canadian health system.  It’s received tens of thousands of YouTube views, and almost as many comments. It was also blogged by Huffington Post, and received over 1000 comments.

As of today (3/25/2010), the United States has just made a giant step toward finally providing some basic health care for its people.  It was made difficult mostly because of a half-century of selfish, corporate, and Republican resistance and malfeasance. 

It’s a big step, but only the very first step. The goal must be a true single payer system, every bit as good as the one you are about to hear about in this video.



Comment Threads


Lost In The Noise of HCR

In the raucous, noisy, bloody lie-filled Health Care war we just won, a huge and immediate benefit that Republicans didn't want you to even know about—and the media never told you about—is the Bernie Sander's Amendment. America's only elected declared socialist, quietly inserted provisions that, in and of themselves, are a massive change we can believe in.

What is it? Merely $14 billion a year to finally operate up to 10,000 community health centers across the country.

A $10 billion investment in community health centers, expected to go to $14 billion when Congress completes work on health care reform legislation, was included in a final series of changes to the Senate bill unveiled today. The provision, which would provide primary care for 25 million more Americans, was requested by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Please retweet this, so everyone knows of this huge win of America—and President Obama?

When You Watch The Bill Signed Today

Live stream:

Just think about how huge a change this is for millions of Americans. And this is why this bill is so important. It's not perfect, but it has completely changed the game. It's not public health care yet, but it certainly will be a major stepping-stone toward it.  And that, of course, is why conservatives tried so hard to kill it. They failed. 

So you see, this is change you can believe in. It proves that, yes, in fact, we can.


Bernie Sanders On His Bill


Here's your playbill for today's — and probably tonight's —historic activities (we should hope).

I will be updating it with more resources throughout the day.


"This is our moment." — President Barack Obama, 3/20/2010

Live Coverage

C-Span — Will be streaming the events all day, starting at 12:00 noon

Guides and Info


People to Follow on Twitter

  • @kagrox — David Waldman, from Congress Matters.  And expert on the messy sausage making of democracy
  • @karoli — As close to a citizen expert as we have on #HCR
  • @noetical — Always the purveyor of awesome.
  • @ezraklein — Washington Post blogger, who may know even more about #HCR than @Karoli (but isn't as cute).
  • @rkref  — He cuts through the clutter, and enjoys knowing where the bodies are buried.
  • @markos — Daily Kos founder. With and wisdom from the right side of the aisle (a.k.a. left side).
  • @bradbaumn — Sunlight's communication director, and an expert on District ditherings.
  • @markknoller — CBS White House Correspondent
  • @shoq —  Some chucklehead. Sometimes good for a chuckle.
  • @lizzWinstead  — because she's a lot fucking funnier than you are.
  • @nationalLampoon — It's a pretty funny feed, lately. A new editor, I hear!
  • @sanuzis — Saul Anuzis, Republican operative. Follow the #gopFail! 
  • @ewerickson — Soon to be next president of the Conservative News Network (CNN)


"The Speech"

President Obama's eloquent speech on why the time for health care reform is now. No notes. No teleprompter. Just vintage Barack Obama.

"I am bound to be true."

Must see.

It has taken 50 year to get this far, and thousands of people have spent hundreds of thousands of man hours getting us this far.

Please take ONE HOUR of your time and:

  • Make calls.  They ALWAYS make a difference. Teaparty  has been inundating these representatives with NO calls.
  • Send Emails. See below for how to easily (and not so easily ) send emails. Remember, most click-to-send systems will only list your own reps. We want to lean on everyone's Reps.

You MUST urge them to VOTE YES on Health Care Reform

Representative Phone (D.C. Office) Phone (District) Fax November HCR Vote
Brian Baird (WA 3) 202-225-3536 360-695-6292 202-225-3478 NO
Rick Boucher (VA 9) 202-225-3861 276-628-1145 202-225-0442 NO
Jerry F. Costello (IL12) 202-225-5661 618-233-8026 202-225-0285 YES
Kathy Dahlkemper (PA 3) 202-225-5406 814-456-2038 202-225-3103 YES
Lincoln Davis (TN 4) 202-225-6831 931-490-8699 202-226-5172 NO
Joe Donnelly (IN 2) 202-225-3915 574-288-2780 202-225-6798 YES
Steve Driehaus (OHIO 1) 202-225-2216 513-684-2723 202-225-3012 YES
Marcy Kaptur (OH 9) 202-225-4146 419-255-9623 202-225-7711 YES
Daniel Lipinski (IL 3) 202-225-5701 312-886-0481 202-225-1012 YES
Jim Matheson (UT 2) 202-225-3011 801-486-1236 202-225-5638 NO
Alan B. Mollohan (WVA 1) 202-225-4172 304-623-4422 202-225-7564 YES
Glenn Nye (VA 2) 202-225-4215 757-326-6201 202-225-4218 NO
Earl Pomeroy (ND) 202-225-2611 701-224-0355 202-226-0893 YES
Bart Stupak (MI 1) 202-225-4735 989-356-0690 202-225-4744 YES
John Tanner (TN) 202-225-4714 731-423-4848 202-225-1765 NO
Joseph Cao (LA) 202-225-6636 504-483-2325 202-225-1988 Yes
Nick Rahall (WVA) 202-225-3452 304-252-5000   Yes

Please reload this page often to see changes that may come throughout the weekend.

A special thanks to @Misha44_ and @Watergatesummer for their help maintaining this list.



We have learned that many representatives are now only accepting emails through their websites. So everyone should use plan A below, to bulk send to some, and if you have the time, plan B for sending to everyone else.

Email Plan A: Bulk email to Reps that still accept email

Click this link, to send to the Reps indicated. For others, you must use Plan2 below.

Click here to email text below to these Representatives (or their Chiefs of Staff

  • Alan B. Mollohan (WVA) Brian Baird (WA 3)   
  • Earl Pomeroy (ND) 
  • Nick Rahall (WVA)
  • Scott Schloege (Bart Stupak)
  • Bob Siggins (Earl Pomeroy)
  • Tina Mengine (Kathy Dahlkemper)
  • Beecher Fraiser (Lincoln Davis)
  • Chad Causey (Marion Berry)
  • Becky Coleman (Rick Boucher)
  • Greg Mecher (Steve Driehaus)


LETTER: Please Vote YES on H.R. 4872: Stop Discrimination Against the Sick.

Dear Representative:

I'm writing to tell you why I'm such a strong supporter of health reform. With 51 million uninsured and the number growing daily, we can't afford to wait any longer. Too many Americans live in dire fear of getting sick. Businesses suffer, people suffer, and people die. American competitiveness around the world is at risk. 

Holding the future of our health care hostage for raw political gain is just wrong. Failing to right this wrong for fear of jeopardizing your own political future is cowardly. Please vote for health care reform and stop the immoral discrimination against the sick. 

Vote YES on H.R. 4872: The Reconciliation Act of 2010. 

Thank you.




Email PlanB: Reps. only accepting mail on their websites

Find a Rep here here HR4872

Obviously, you can skip the names included in PlanA above. Paste the text from letter above into form.


Americans for Prosperity invites us to:

Join Rep. Mike Pence For Health Care Tele-Town Hall Tonight!

Tonight at 8 p.m. ET

we’re holding a national tele-town hall meeting with the 3rd ranking Republican in the House and a leading free-market champion – Congressman Mike Pence. I hope you’ll join us.

Call (888) 356-3090 Ext.14326#.

We’ll brief you on key undecided House members, detail

I say we join in the hilarity!

What say ye?

Use the Twitter hashtag: #ratdrop—Short for Rat Droppings. Familiar to people who followed wingnut conference calls.

About Americans for Prosperity

Please do sign-up for this

So you get all the hilarity of their planning missives, as Michael P. Leahy lures all the suckers into one big marketing tent for his goofy Saul Alinsky books with their make-believe history.

Oh, and it may also help screw up AFP/David Koch's bus-buying and booking plans for the big event, too.

From March 9 through March 31 Freedom Loving Tea Party activists
will be traveling to Washington DC to HELP STOP Obamacare.
We need YOUR HELP. If you would like more information, please
fill out the form below and we will be in touch ASAP about how
you can help. THANK YOU! — Michael P. Leahy (#tcot Founder)

Take the Town Halls to Washington.


I can't wait to see all 85 gazillion billion trillion Teapartiers all assembled on one block.

Sunlight Foundation comes through again with another great data exhibit. This time one that demonstrates just how much, how often, and how intensely the Republican party will lie about anything to control the narratives, no matter how evident and easily discoverable are the facts. 

Look at all the red bars (#GOP) moving past 50 votes in the Yea column, each time THEY used this process to "ram through" their vicious, selfish agendas. How dare those democrats use the same process to give all Americans—at least better—access to health care.

It's just shameful that Fox, Beck, Rush and the #GOP have helped lower our bullshit threshold this far, to where a simple dataset could be so telling of the viciousness and shamelessness of the lying being done in this Health Care reform fight to do the right thing.




Resist net and the TEABAGGERS have launched a massive call-in campaign and are bombarding the progressive members of Congress.

@SandiBehms has written about this here (but do NOT go there yet)

There is only an hour left to this critical day.  We need thousands of volunteers to

call Nancy Pelosi RIGHT NOW @ 202-225-4965,

and tell her: The Senate bill must pass, and use reconciliation for the public option.

You will probably get a fast busy signal, but they answered my calls twice after 10 seconds of it. 

When you get through, tell the operator that you have a message for the speaker, and you get patched through to the voice mail where you can leave the message.

If Box full, or you just can't get thru, divert to Sen. Harry Reid




I find no shame in admitting that this entire health care issue can be  mind numbingly complex.  Reading clear explanations of them can really help.  If you have items for this page, please post them as a comment.

Why Do We Need Individual Mandates?

Because, the argument goes, it ensures there are enough health people paying into the system to keep costs and premiums down, and keep the entire scheme solvent.  The Reform bills are insurance solutions, not entitlement programs. Without that mandate, only sick people who can't or won't get insurance elsewhere would buy in, jacking the price up so high, that everyone pulls out.

The Case For Mandates, Uwe E. Reinhardt

Thus, both theory and the empirical record teach us that if we want to impose guaranteed issue and community rating on the private health insurance market — even within age bands — then we should be prepared also to impose on individuals a fairly strict mandate to have insurance.

Uwe E. Reinhardt (1936- ) is the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University. bio

Why we need a Mandate, by Ezra Klein

This is called an insurance death spiral. If the people who think they're healthy now decide to wait until they need insurance to purchase it, the cost increases, which means the next healthiest group leaves, which jacks up costs again, and so forth.

Why We Need an Individual Mandate, CNN Money

Thus, while the individual mandate is necessary to make these markets work, it is also necessary to provide subsides to lower and middle class households who wouldn’t be able to purchase the insurance without such help.


Do Republicans Support or Oppose  Mandates?

Almost universally opposed (this month).

For Them Before They Were Against Them

Sen. Olympia Snow Opposes Them

Michelle Malkin and Hot Air Opposes Them


Do Liberals Support or Oppose

Opposes Mandates

Markos Moulitsas, Daily Kos

Strip out the mandate, and the rest of the bill is palatable. It's not reform, but it's progress in the right direction. And you can still go back and tinker with it at a later time.

Keith Olbermann, @MSNBC

And it completely delights Republicans. See this Newsbusters orgasm over his special comment.


Supports Mandates

Can Democrats Govern? Joe Klein, Time

There are those who say that Democrats shouldn't favor any system that continues to include private insurers. Good luck with that. I've been covering these issues for 40 years and I've come to this conclusion: anything that actually helps people is good, whether or not it fits into an ideological pattern.

The Left Is Playing With Fire, Jonathan Cohn, New Republic

I'm all for a loud, angry left. If nothing else, we need it to balance out the loud, angry right. But there's a fine line between being constructive and destructive. This latest gambit, I think, crosses it.


Are There Alternatives To An Individual Mandate?

Paul Starr's "5 Year Opt-out" Plan  — Basically, prevent people from dropping coverage until they are sick, but providing a penalty box timeout before they can buy back into the system.  I like punishing the stupid this way, but of course, we'll have a lot of stupid people who get sick.  Who pays for them when that happens?  We do. That said, this may still be a reasonable way to appease the people who want to bring the whole reform plan down over the existence of a mandate on which the entire plan rests.

Under my proposal, you could decide not to pay for insurance and therefore not to receive those subsidies for five years. After that time, you could reconsider and decide whether or not to take another five-year opt out. But what you could not do is go back and forth at will, paying for insurance only when you're sick and then dropping insurance when you're healthy. There is no health-insurance system in the world that allows people to do that. And to think that we could start out that way is just plain silly.



Pass the Bill, by Paul Krugman