Monthly Archives: January 2010

TPM has a healthcare timeline.


I hope the Obama folks aren’t thinking that the state of the union + the baltimore smackdown are enough to turn this thing around by themselves. Unless the President is going to do something like that pretty much daily it’s going to take a lot more than the fancy talkin’ to get us going in the right direction, especially with Ninefingers McCavington still running the show.

Old theater food does sound a lot more interesting than hotdogs, pretzels and slimy popcorn. But what’s up with the periwinkles?

The preferred snacks for Tudor theatre-goers appear to have been oysters, crabs, cockles, mussels, periwinkles and whelks, as well as walnuts, hazelnuts, raisins, plums, cherries, dried figs and peaches.

Some clues even suggest that 16th-century fans of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe also ploughed through vast quantities of elderberry and blackberry pie – and some may even have snacked on sturgeon steaks.

The evidence has emerged from the most detailed study ever carried out on a Tudor or early Stuart playhouse. Archaeologists have been analysing the thousands of seeds, pips, stones, nutshell fragments, shellfish remains and fish and animal bones found on the site of the Rose Playhouse on London’s South Bank.

via AMERICAblog News: Old England ate pretty well at the theater.

Except Brown hasn’t been seated yet and you could still pass the bill if you wanted.

Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said negotiators from the White House, Senate and House reached a final deal on healthcare reform days before Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.

Labor leaders had announced an agreement with White House and congressional representatives over an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans on the Thursday before the special election.

The latest revelation shows how agonizingly close Democrats came to passing a final healthcare bill in time for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

But Sen.-Elect Brown’s stunning victory on Jan. 19 gave Republicans control of 41 seats in the Senate, enough to sustain a GOP filibuster of the healthcare bill.

via Harkin: Health deal was reached days before Brown’s victory –

One typically-valid heuristic for bullshit detection: any story involving Nancy Pelosi, misuse of military resources and Judicial Watch is a safe bet to be false.

Without even looking into this I’m going to say that if this is true it probably has something to do with common security precautions, kinda like the last time this shit came up. I mean gee, it’s not like there would be any potential leverage to be gained for some terrorist theoretically kidnapping the family of the Speaker of the House right? The Bush daughters had their own Secret Service detail, etc.

Of course if I’m wrong I’m wrong, but this is just one of those riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight moments.

Meet the Pelosi family! Using Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Judicial Watch uncovered thousands of pages of travel documents related to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of military aircraft.

What hasn’t been revealed so far is that military aircraft are being used to shuttle Pelosi’s kids and grandkids between DC and San Francisco without any Congressional representatives even onboard! Put simply, the United States Air Force is serving as a multi-billion dollar chauffeur- and baby-sitting service for Nancy Pelosi’s kids and grandkids — presumably because commercial travel is beneath the families of the autocrats.

via Un-frickin-believable: U.S. Military Serving as Chauffeurs, Babysitters for the Pelosi Kids: Receipts That Will Blow Your Mind.

Obama accepted an invitation to do a townhall type thing at a GOP gathering in Bawlmer. Didn’t go so well for them as it turns out he can speak without a teleprompter after all. You think they really thought he was going to show up and trip all over himself? This is worth watching in full. I don’t know where this guy has been for the last year but it’s the most encouraging thing I’ve seen in awhile.

Also available in a more convenient downloadable form: here for video, here for mp3.

*cough* I suppose there’s some potential political benefit to admitting this somewhere but I’m not seeing it. This isn’t a revelation, as anyone who paid attention could infer this, but they just made it real on the level of campaign ads and so forth. “Even the President’s top advisor admits…” blah blah blah.

The White House had no contingency plan for health care reform if Democrat Martha Coakley lost the special election in Massachusetts, and officials did not discuss the possibility a Democratic loss would dramatically imperil their legislative efforts, a top adviser said today.

President Obama’s senior advisor David Axelrod said there “wasn’t much discussion” about an alternative path to passing health care with just 59 Democrats in the Senate because there was “widespread assumption was that that seat was safe.”

“The truth is the flares went up about 10 days before that election,” Axelrod said during a briefing today with reporters and opinion-makers.

“There wasn’t much discussion about the implications if the thing went the other way,” he said.

via White House Didn’t Have MA-Sen Health Care Contingency Plan | TPMDC.