Kill Bill, Volume 1

First off, I want to thank Tommy for asking me to blog here. I think political blogging is best when there’s an exchanglee_stranahan_daily_dosee of ideas and voices. I’m honored to be able to add mine to the great work Billie and Tommy are already doing here.

That being said, let’s jump into it…

“The highway is alive tonight,
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes.”

– Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad

As Tommy mentioned, I’m an advocate of health care reform. Congress has been busy for months working different proposals and this week, the House version emerged– one that’s been hailed by many, including Howard Dean, as ‘real reform’.

I believe the house bill should be killed.

There’s something that happens in casinos. A gambler may have been playing for hours and winning. Then they begin to get fatigued. They get tired of playing so they start playing sloppy. Rather than walking away from the table, the tired gambler starts to take a perverse pleasure in losing because it means they can finally STOP. So they grin while throwing money away and eventually when they are broke, they walk away from the table.

The casino doesn’t take those chances. They replace dealers with fresh ones, regularly. They have pit bosses watching those dealers. They have other bosses watching those pit bosses.

The battle for health care reform is battle against huge corporate interests. Those interests don’t get tired and there are billions at stake here. They have ground down health care reform for months, including plying key Congressman and the Obama administration with piles of cash that any casino would salivate at.

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Introducing Lee Stranahan

Hi, Daily Dose readers, remember me?  The guy on the poster next to the pot-smoking alien?  Sorry I’ve been away for so long.  I’m still getting used to the extraordinary blessing that is being a real, full-time writer.  For those of you who don’t know, my initial deal with Mediaite only called for a weekly column.  The rest of what I wrote was voluntary gravy.  As of this month, however, I’ve gone from Pinocchio to real boy, with an obligation to crank out lots of content.  Concurrently, Asylum has also been asking for a lot more content from me.

As a result, I’ve been an absentee father to my home here.  Billie has stepped up admirably to fill in the gap, and traffic hasn’t really suffered.  I hope to be back here posting regularly soon, but it still won’t be what it was.

I’ve also been trying, for awhile, to establish a small contributor base.  This is tough, because I have high standards for you, our readers.  With this in mind, I’m proud to introduce you to our newest contributor, Lee Stranahan.

Lee Stranahan really needs little introduction, but I’ll do it anyway.  Lee first crossed my radar early in the 2008 Presidential campaign when I caught some of his very funny, satirical videos.  Our paths have crossed online quite a bit since then, especially on the Twitter.

He also blogs at Huffington Post, where he landed after being banned by Daily Kos for daring to believe what his lying eyes were telling him about John Edwards.  Lee currently spends his time writing and making films in support of aggressive health care reform.

Stylistically, Lee brings a harder ideological edge to the site than you might be used to here.  He’s also a very responsive guy, but I’ll remind you all to remember the rules anyway.  Let’s have fun.

Bill O’Reilly Backs Public Option While Declaring it Dead

janeane

When I saw this item at HuffPo, declaring that Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly backs the public health insurance option, I immediately thought “There has to be a catch.”

The clip at HuffPo was only about a minute long, so I figured there must have been a walkback later in the interview.  I found the full interview at the Heritage Foundation’s website.  There’s no walkback, but the clip has some great moments.  Not only does O’Reilly nail why the public option is necessary, he also makes several comically half-assed stabs at pronouncing  long lost Janeane Garofalo twin Nina Owcharenko’s name:

While O’Reilly doesn’t back off from his support for the public option, he does preface his remark by saying it’s not going to happen.  Aside from my own reporting to the contrary, O’Reilly might take heart from this widely-circulating clip from yesterday:

While media accounts of the death of the public option may have created the impression that public support for it may have waned, perhaps repetitions of this scene, along with some actual facts, will help to turn that tide in favor of O’Reilly and “the folks.”

Hmmm…Does the President Support the Public Option?

heckle

During President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress last night, delivered over the din of Republican obstruction, he spent 7 paragraphs speaking about the need for a public health insurance option, and included one in the White House’s reform plan.  What did the Associated Press take away from all of this?

Analysis: Obama willing to deep-six public option

This analysis seems to spring from these two sentences:

For example — for example, some have suggested that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others have proposed a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring.

So, two sentences placating the GOP’s and Blue Dogs’ macaroni art constitutes a repudiation of the public option?

Read the rest at Mediaite

Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Pubic Option

screwdriver

The current sticking point on health insurance reform is the public health insurance option, with a majority of congressional Democrats favoring it, a handful of Blue Dogs wetting themselves over it, and the Republicans hallucinating about it.  What’s being left out of the equation in Washington is how the American people feel about it.

Polling on this issue has been misleading.  After a June poll showed 76% support for a public health insurance option, pollsters simply stopped asking that question.  Instead, they’d ask overly broad questions about the overall reform effort, and the headlines were all about “slipping support.” Nowhere was it considered that the “slipping support” might have had something to do with the regular reports of the death of the public option.

When they finally did ask again, 79% of Americans said they favor a public option.

What hasn’t really changed, and what everyone acknowledges, is that almost everyone opposes the pubic option.  That’s the one where the insurance companies have you by the short ones, able to refuse you coverage for a pre-existing condition, deny your services with their own death panels, retroactively terminate you if you get sick and made a mistake on your application, and pretty much just build their profits into whatever coverage you get, because your life depends on it.

The problem is, the public option is the only real solution to the pubic option.  There’s no way to pass regulations strong enough to ensure that you don’t end up with cheap, junk insurance that’s already putting people in the poor house (Try to remember the last time your auto insurance paid for anything).  The public option will serve as that safety net, and despite even more recent rumblings that it’s been left for dead, the President can, must, and will make sure it passes.

Postlet #1: Really? The PhRMA Deal Sucks?

Obama_Roadhouse

Tonight, I introduce the postlet.  The name might indicate a short blog post, but what it really is is a post that’s short on links and polish, and long on me mouthing off because I am constantly having my time wasted, so I’m really annoyed.  I’m also including a random picture, because I like my posts to have a picture, but I don’t feel like thinking of one that goes with this post.

I’m not going to tell you who has been wasting my time today, because I want you to have the fun that comes with those “blind gossip” items, like, “Who’s the blonde starlet recently seen playing nude backgammon with that married entertainment lawyer?” or “What committee has press people who don’t, y’know, interact with the press?”

On a completely unrelated note, someone in the press is finally noticing how awful the $80 billion PhRMA deal is.  Except not really.  This Fortune article misses everything I pointed out in June, but does point out new awfulness that’s based on details that hadn’t emerged when I wrote mine.  So, add this + this.  Well, I guess now we know all we need to know about that story.

Billie’s Quickies…President Bush responsible for influx of illegal aliens?

Your inspiration for today for health insurance reform – long but worthwhile:

Oh, wait, never mind, I know why there wasn’t complaining from the right…Union thuggery!