The Physical Improbability of Health Care Reform In the Mind of Nancy Pelosi


Vote count performance art?

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted that, at least at that particular time, she had the votes to pass health care reform. Problem was, her whip hadn't started an official count yet.

Now he says he has. And he also says that as of yesterday morning, the votes aren't in place.

Still, Pelosi and the Obama administration are insisting that, when the time comes, the votes will be there. But given that House leadership expects a vote by this coming weekend, it's not at all clear that this is true.

Here's The Daily Caller's Jon Ward on the current outlook:

It will take a vote whip for the ages, according to The Daily Caller's own reporting and an analysis of vote tallies by other news organizations (FireDogLake, The Hill, The Examiner, CNN).

The latest vote count from David Dayen at the liberal FireDogLake on Sunday put the tally at only 191 definite yes votes and 203 definite no votes. That leaves 37 House Democrats as the group that will make the difference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs 216 yes votes to pass a bill, so she will have to nab 20 of the 37.

Pelosi faces two challenges. First, she must keep Democrats who voted for the bill in November from bolting (20 lawmakers are in this category, by Dayen's count). That alone is big task, because so many moderates are looking at the polls and the political winds and calculating that a vote for this bill will likely cost them their job.

Pelosi's second challenge is even more difficult. She must convince a number of Democrats–at least five–who voted against the bill the first time to switch and vote for it this time.

Tag team!

Ward says there are six former no votes who might change their votes, but on Good Morning America, ABC's Jon Karl reports that all 37 of the original no votes have told him that, as things stand, they will not flip. If that remains true, then the reform bill probably won't pass.

But of course, it's tough to tell how accurate any of the current vote counts going around really are. How many of the legislators stating their likely positions are just looking for home-state handouts or other goodies? We all remember how Sen. Ben Nelson played the Senate vote to his advantage. My guess is that, as in the days before cap-and-trade passed in the House, the true count is still fluid enough that Pelosi potentially could pass the bill, but doesn't actually know yet that she will.

The other thing we don't know is what leverage Pelosi has over her members. If she and the White House are pushing forward with this much confidence, she presumably has something to offer undecided members. But what? With Democrats likely to lose the House in November, she won't be in power much longer. And passing health care on a party line vote is likely to make Congressional Republicans even more intransigent (if that's possible).

So passing additional legislation after this isn't going to be easy. And consequently, there won't be many new opportunities to hand out favors between now and November. Which may be why the White House is now signaling that it's open to certain kinds of state-by-state deals that it had previously opposed; without those deals, Pelosi may not have enough leverage to pass the bill.

If it passes, it'll likely be on a tiny margin that comes through at the last minute. Until then, it's a waiting game. For the last year, health care reform has looked simultaneously inevitable and impossible; by the end of the week, we should know which it actually is.

NEXT: Where Have You Gone, Mario Savio?

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  1. I know hitting women is wrong but can I take a bat to that bitch's head?

    1. She is not human. Evil transcends gender and species.

      Bat away.

      1. I read a piece today that said she looked enbalmed.

        1. If ever there was a reanimated corpse walking around, it's her.

    2. Women are equal. Hitting a man or woman is always wrong except for the times it is right.

  2. That's an awfully small tank for such a big shark. Where's PETA when you really need 'em? Or do they only protect the cute, cuddly aminals...

    Oh, and, Liberty Bill? By all means.

    1. I want to know how Damien Hirst got his hands on a shark preserved in formaldehyde.

      1. He preserved it himself. And fucked up the first try, apparently. Rotting shark, anyone? Anyone?

        The work was funded by Charles Saatchi, who in 1991 had offered to pay for whatever artwork Hirst wanted to create. The shark itself cost Hirst ?6,000 and the total cost of the work was ?50,000.[5] The shark was caught by a fisherman commissioned to do so, in Australia.[5] Hirst wanted something "big enough to eat you".[6]

    2. That looks like a great white, which does not live in captivity no matter the size of the tank. You're better off going with a bull shark.

      1. According to Wikipedia, it's a tiger shark. And it's certainly dead.

      2. It's dead. The tank is filled with formaldehyde. And it's one of the most ridiculous pieces of "art" ever made. Hirst is a class-A jackass who's gotten obscenely rich off his bullshit "art".

  3. If people start to think that it is not likely to pass, she will never hold her 191. Who the hell wants to vote for an unpopular bill that is not even going to pass? If the individual members start to think that the bill is not going to pass, they will start to bail so they don't have to answer for voting for the bill in November and Pelosi will be fucked.

    1. And that includes the members from really liberal districts from bolting. They have to answer to their constituents about the lack of a public option. If they don't think this thing will pass, they will vote against it and go back to their districts claiming they didn't vote for it because it was a payoff to the insurance companies.

    2. If she doesn't think it will pass, she's not going to allow it to come to a vote, so it's irrelevant.

      1. I don't mean actually vote. I mean if Reps figure out that it is unlikely to pass, they will tell her they are a "No".

      2. You would think that, yet she let TARP go to a vote and it got voted down the first time. Don't count out Pelosi's stupidity.

      3. I agree with John.

        Her statements about have enough votes is nothing but an attempt to keep people from bailing. She may not let it come to a vote, but that will be at the very last moment. Until then, she doesn't want anyone who may vote yes to jump ship.

  4. LibertyBill, that's no woman, that's Nancy Pelosi. Swing away.

  5. Pelosi will be fucked.


    1. I wouldn't do her, either.

      1. Not even with my penis.

  6. Look at that picture. Obama is getting really fucking old in a hurry.

    1. Pelosi is actually Dorian Gray, and Obama's her painting.

      1. Win! And I shall steal this meme.

  7. 191 definite yes votes and 203 definite no votes. That leaves 37 House Democrats as the group that will make the difference.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs 216 yes votes to pass a bill, so she will have to nab 20 of the 37.

    Help me out with the math, here. If she needs 216 votes, and has 191, doesn't that mean she needs 25 out of the 27 votes that are still for sale?

    1. Aargh. 37 votes still for sale.

      1. They are for sale, but at this point what threat or bribe hasn't already been offered? I don't see how things magically change this week.

        1. There is the promise of a certain Ways & Means chairmanship recently "temporarily" vacated by Rangel.

          C'mon John, there are all sorts of incentives that Pelosi et al. can employ.

          Also keep in mind it isn't just bribes and strongarming, don't rule out retiring members of the House flipping their votes as well.

    2. Many of them are anti-abortion Democrats which wont vote for it if federal funded abortion is in the bill.

    3. Yeah, think that was a typo, cause he talks about needing another 5 to flip a bit later

  8. I was pretty gotdamned cynical before this whole Great Deform Forward, but I'm afraid that seeing the corruption in the sausage-making so blatantly displayed has fused my cynicism directly to my soul.

    My only sliver of hope is that many, many other voters will have the reaction of revulsion and act accordingly.

  9. The woman is 70 years old. How many of you guys will look as good when you're that age?

    Want people to join your cause? How about canning the misogyny. If you think how sexually appealing the speaker of the house is to you is of some importance, then I suppose Dennis Hastert is more your guys' taste?

    1. "If you think how sexually appealing the speaker of the house is to you is of some importance"

      How sexually appealing any woman is to me is of some importance (to me). That doesn't have to mean that I think it has anything to do with the awful job she's doing though.

      1. Fine. I mean I disagree with you on how bad a job she's doing... she's representing her district well, and as a strategist and vote-getter, she's second-to-none as speakers go. Granted she probably doesn't champion the same policies you would, but that doesn't make her a bad speaker.

        Putting that aside, as long as you can criticize her without referring to her looks, then you're way ahead of the vast majority of rightwingers, who for some reason think fuckability is an important trait in a House speaker.

        1. "she's second-to-none as speakers go"

          Yeah. Best speaker in the house.

        2. That's all well and good, but, honestly, the woman is hideous. It's like trying to pretend the Elephant Man is just a regular looking guy.

        3. First of all, she doesn't look any good for her age. By trying to look the way she does, makes her more hideous because she is a fake bitch.

          She may be representing her district well, but that just means her district is full of entitled bastards where I desire to happen a devastating flood or mountainslide or wildfire or whatever they do in California for a fun time. But they would just go ahead and bail themselves out with my money.

    2. Good point, Tony.

      Guys, let's make sure not to call Nancy Pelosi a fucking cunt anymore. We wouldn't want the fucking cunt to think we're sexist, now would we? Thanks for making us more sensitive, Tony, you oozing fucking cunt.

      1. I don't want you to be more sensitive, I just want you to admit that you're into fatty daddy bears.

        1. Years of trolling here and Tony finally says something truthful.

          1. Silence, baby-bear. You'll speak when you're spoken to.

            1. I'll have your guts for garters, insolent whelp!

        2. I may be fat and hairy, but I'm not into that sort of honey.

    3. Tony, your dictionary definition of misogyny must read "...because I said so".

    4. We make fun of ugly male politicians too.

      1. Who, Waxman? That's just too easy. F'real, Tony has a point, but I don't think it's a bit oversimplistic to cry 'misogyny'.

        1. I seem to remember Jerrold Nadler getting some abuse here. OMG ANTI-SEMITES

    5. Then she should stop trying to look like a 20 year old model.

      Margaret Thatcher looked just fine as an elderly politician.

      1. Yeah, there's this, too. But I agree with Tony that taking shots at Pelosi's looks is cruddy and lame.

        1. We made fun of Rick Santorum's fucking kids. No one is safe from this group.

          1. joe, is safe now.

            1. Yglesias is harboring him. We all know where he is when it comes time to skin him alive. Of course, that fat fuck and his sniveling sycophantic scabhumpers would probably just filter us.

    6. The woman is 70 years old. How many of you guys will look as good when you're that age?

      Want people to join your cause? How about canning the misogyny. If you think how sexually appealing the speaker of the house is to you is of some importance, then I suppose Dennis Hastert is more your guys' taste?

      When I call Waxman a hideous fuck is that misogyny too? No, it's plain ol' ad hom.

      If you want specifics why I think Pelosi is an incompetent speaker look no further than how long she allowed Charlie Rangal to chair Ways and Means. Or you can recall her various health care bill pronouncemnts that a high school freshman wouldn't believe.

      Face facts, team blue. You elected a piss poor leader Speaker of the House.

      1. The House has passed nearly 300 bills, some of which were very difficult votes, and many of which are being held up in the Senate. She's actually a very effective speaker.

        On looks, I really don't get why righties go there. Is obese and pasty considered aristocratic chic these days?

        1. Jesus. Even if I were a loyal Democrat, I'd despise Pelosi for her ineptness and ability to turn most things into a clusterfuck.

          It's been a while since we've had a good Speaker.

          1. Shhh, goddamnit! That is a feature, not a bug!

        2. She's actually a very effective speaker.

          You got a prescription for that dope you're smoking?

        3. 300 bills? That's a good thing??? Yeah, that's what we need, more activist government!!! It has worked out so well up to this point.

          1. By my count 330 bills comes to 7500 unintended consequences which will require 300 more bills with more unintended consequences and it just goes on exponentially forever.

          2. Just think how much easier life will be - those 300 bills will mean 300 fewer decisions you have to make in your day-to-day life.

        4. "The House has passed nearly 300 bills"

          All thanks solely to Pelosi's speaker skills!

          The democrats wouldn't vote the way they do without her!

    7. "then I suppose Dennis Hastert is more your guys' taste?"

      I'd do him.

    8. Politics turns women into nasty shrews. It's men's work.

    9. I'd bang Pelosi. Seriously, I would. And yes,

      How many of you guys will look as good when you're that age?

      I have no intention of botoxing the shit out of myself.

    10. Oh yeah, take a note from the progressives on misogyny.

      1. What was that about a "reanimated walking corpse"?

        1. snappish for your ho


    It would be Insane not to Overhaul Health Care For America why ?? Definition of Insanity;

    Doing The Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting a Different Results;

    This is What We Will Be Doing If We DON'T PASS Mr. Obama's HEALTH CARE REFORM ! !

    OUR Current Health Care System is BROKEN and We Have A SMALL Window of Opportunity to fix it For AMERICANS; All AMERICANS & Not To Take Advantage of this Opportunity Is INSANE ! !


    Common Sense Also Tells Me This;

    If Health Care Could Have Been Fixed It Would Have Been Fixed Years Ago ! !

    Thank You, Respectfully,


    1. Idiot. If you want people to read your tripe, please learn the slightest little bit of grammar and punctuation.

    2. Too addled; didn't read

    3. The forest is broken! Let's burn it down!

      1. Lets destroy the village to save it.

    4. You have a great future in the direct mail business, however, the format does not translate to the screen well. On Teh Intarwebz, your liberal use of line breaks and capitalization just looks crazy.

    5. Michael, I appreciate your offer to think "out of the box" for me, but I'll decline. Thanks anyway!

      1. Oh, PS:
        We Have A SMALL Window of Opportunity to fix it For AMERICANS; All AMERICANS & Not To Take Advantage of this Opportunity Is INSANE ! !

        So let's fix it now cause it would be insane not to. Got it!

        If Health Care Could Have Been Fixed It Would Have Been Fixed Years Ago ! !

        Wait a minute...so we can't fix it, because, definitionally, we'd have fixed it years ago if it could be fixed.

        OK, now I got it - thanks! I think...

        1. ""We Have A SMALL Window of Opportunity to fix it For AMERICANS; All AMERICANS & Not To Take Advantage of this Opportunity Is INSANE ! !""

          I don't know Almanian, depending on the subject I like that argument. Let's shut down Congress for the rest of the year because it would be insane not to.

          1. O yeah, if we change the subject...

            I have to finish my beer tonight because IT WOULD BE INSANE OF ME NOT TO! For AMERICANS! ALL AMERICANS!!

            Yeah - that and shutting down Congress - I'm with you. Good argument for those kinds of things!

    6. Get back in the box, please.

    7. Thank you, Mr. Proper Noun.

  11. What's pretty amazing is that if she just relented and put the Stupak Amendment back in, she would probably have just enough votes to squeak the sucker through.

    But she won't do it, because she and her extreme left wing base want to open up a back door to taxpayer funded abortion. It's truly remarkable that they're willing to die on that sacrificial altar.

    1. I don't think she could, abortion doesn't fit the reconciliation requirements, so there's no way to get it into the bill.

      1. LOL. Your gal is already willing to bend every rule under the sun.

        If it doesn't pass, which seems likely, you can blame the NARAL gang.

        1. Mike M.

          The problem is that it's not Pelosi's rule to bend; the parliamentarian is the decider on this, and it would have to get through the Senate parliamentarian too.

          1. Peter,

            You are certainly correct that in theory everything will have to ultimately get past the Senate parliamentarian. However, I assert that I am also right that Pelosi is already bending every rule in the book, with their brazen idea of the so-called "Slaughter Strategy".

            As it is, this strategy will already allow Senate republicans to invoke the "Byrd Rule" and challenge every item one by one, so there's no reason why Pelosi couldn't try it on behalf of Stupak as well.

  12. Pelosi and the Obama administration are insisting that, when the time comes, the votes will be there. But given that House leadership expects a vote by this coming weekend both are proven pathological liars, it's not at all clear that this is true.


    1. I think Obama has reached a Jim Jones level of self-delusion. He believes what he says. It's no longer a matter of trying to create a self-fulfilling prophesy or simply trying to fool people.

  13. Pelosi kind of looks like Yoda in that pic with Obama (wan Kenobi).

  14. With Democrats likely to lose the House in November

    In your wet dreams. Can I get a cite to back this assertion up?

    1. If you're going to voice an opinion, you need to keep yourself somewhat informed on the issue.

      1. I got $10,000 that says the Dems retain the majority in the House. Care to put your money where your mouth is? (If you can unclamp it from around the GOP's cock, that is)

        1. Pelosi herself wouldn't take that bet. It's a lock--the GOP will control the House after November. The way things are going, the Senate appears to even be in play, something thought totally improbable not very long ago.

          The problem for the Democrats was encouraging the idea that this was "Obamacare", permanently attaching their most prominent face to a bill that was never very popular (with Congress as well as with the public) in the first place. Now they're so obsessed with saving face that they're going to help the GOP get even more seats later this year.

          This is not to suggest that the GOP is doing much right or will do much right when it takes over one or both houses. They just benefit by not being the Democrats.

          1. Intrade has it at 43.6 (GOP taking the majority) to 56.0 (Dems retaining). It's hardly a foregone conclusion. If HCR passes, Dems will have a generational accomplishment to tout, and the GOP will still be where they are now: being useless.

            1. If HCR passes, Dems will have a highly controversial generational accomplishment catastrophe to tout overcome. . . .

            2. Like it's a popular bill. Like it does anything that any of us voters want in our healthcare reform--left, right, libertarian. Je-sus.

              1. Tony - please, please, please promise to stick around after November. Please don't pull a Joe and run off as your party self-destructs in plain view.

                I swear it's not so I can laugh at you. I want to see your thought processes as you begin to realize how very, very deluded you are/were about this subject. When the November election is over, and the Republicans control the House, and the Democrats have been subjected to nine months of fury and abuse from constituients across the country, and it dawns on them that they've thrown away their congressional careers for this dreaful piece of legislation, and they start trying to run away from it the way they all ran away from their votes in favor of the Iraq war -- I want to know if you think, even if only for a minute, "Huh. Maybe I just didn't want to see what was going on."

                Because I just can't see how a reasonably well-informed, rational adult can look at the news, watch what's happening, and still think that this bill is popular with likely voters or will prove to be an electoral victory for the Dems. That's self-delusion of a scale I'm just not familiar with.

                1. This bill may not be popular, but what it does is very popular, in the range of 70% for its various provisions.

                  If Repubs were so certain passage would doom Dems, they should be whipping Dem votes themselves. Instead, all they're doing is offering their totally sincere advice to kill it.

                  1. No, Tony. No.

                    Various aspects of the bill, when taken separately, poll positively. But that's ireevelant because those aspects aren't separate bills - they're all squished together with a lot of shit into THIS BILL, and THIS BILL, as written, polls horribly. If the bill were genuinely popular, why would Pelosi have be auctioning off the country to get the bare minimum of votes? If congressional Democrats thought it was popular, why would they be contemplating the Slaughter Rule? Why are they going to vote to "deem" it passed, instead of voting for the bill itself? Because for some dumbass reason that makes sense only them, they think it will give them cover so that they can say "I didn't vote for the bill, I just voted to deem it passed."

                    There's a small group of Democrats sitting in safe, safe, safe seats and demanding that all the other Democrats in less-safe seats walk off the cliff. Nancy seems to think that if this thing gets passed, Americans will suddenly decide they like what's in it.

                    This is fucking delusional, Tony. I can't prove that, of course, because I can't predict the future. All I can do is ask you to stick around beyond November so we can compare notes.

                    I knew Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton wouldn't last. I knew the Astros wouldn't win the World Series in 2005. I knew that electrode thingy that you attach to your stomach to pulse away the fat without exercising wouldn't work, and I knew the Houston metro rail would not attract anywhere near the number of regular riders it was projected to attract, and that it wouldn't prove profitable. And I know that this bill will be catastrophic for Democrats.

                    And it's not because I'm psychic.

                    1. People don't know what's in the bill. "The bill" is something they oppose because for the most part it's been defined by enemies of the bill.

                      Poll its provisions separately and they're broadly popular.

                      This is to say, once people are informed about what's in the bill, they like it. You're for people being informed, aren't you?

                    2. I apologize, Tony. I didn't understand the extent of your reading comprehension problem.

                      I'll quit trying to explain why polling provisions separately is a thoroughly pointless and dishonest way of gauging the popularity of a bill whose sum is way more than just the popular parts.

                      Or, no - one last time, because I'm an optimist.

                      I hate - and I mean absolutely loathe -- Greek salad. I like lettuce, and greens, and feta cheese, and cucumbers, and tomatoes. But I can't stand olives or onions. If you make a Greek salad and leave out the olives and onions, I love it - of course, then it's not Greek salad, it's just salad.

                      If you poll me on the ingredients of a Greek salad, and you decide I love it because I love greens, tomatoes, etc., and you try to feed me Greek salad, I'm going to be very annoyed.

                      HCR is Greek salad, and a clear majority of likely voters do not like onions or olives.

            3. "Dems will have a generational accomplishment to tout"

              Killing off the old and infirm is really nothing to tout.

              1. Actually something I am already on board with, I just don't agree with the democrats method of doing it because it costs me too much.

        2. If only both parties were "Being Useless", you'd probably have no reason to troll these threads. Frankly, I think they are both dangerous and should be treated with the vitriolic suspicion parents aim at convicted child molesters.

        3. Sure, would you care to propose an escrow service?

        4. Seriously,

          I bet we can find 10 guys on this board that would make this bet with you at 1k a piece.. or were you just talking?

          1. What, aren't there any square-jawed heroic entrepreneurs around here who can spare a 10 spot on a sure thing?

  15. Still, Pelosi and the Obama administration are insisting that, when the time comes, the votes will be there.

    If we had a Congressional Free Choice Act in place, Pelosi could just fill in their votes for them.

  16. One shark in formaldehyde per post, please.

  17. I think if this monstrosity passes (especially given the procedural shenanigans) it's time for civil disobedience. Let's go all "French" about it. Strikes. Barricades. Street marches. Close the mofo down.

    (The amusing difference being that the French would do all of these things if you took their socialism away, whereas we'd be doing it because we don't want socialism.)

    1. "Monstrosity"


  18. El Presidente's motorcade is passing by our facility as he departs the Cleveland airport for the Strongsville Community Center for his pitch on this monstrosity. We had to close gate 12 to traffic - for teh security, of course.

    It makes me feel so close the the levers of power in government when some gummint official's arrival causes us to close the gate(s) and the Men in Black stand around our gates looking all...Men in Blackish!

  19. "What do I have to do to convince, Bart? Do you like what you see?" Nancy cupped her gelatinous breasts through the thick foundation garment under her pant suit. Bart's eyes widened as Nancy flicked at the area her nipples should have been. Her drunken stroke-victim slur intensified. "Quish Prow Crow, Bart. I have thumbthing you want, you have thumbthing I want."

    "I'm not going to back down on the abortion language, Nancy. No Federal funding for abortions. Ever." He gasped as Nancy stepped forward and grabbed his scrotum. She squeezed, just a few pounds of pressure below his pain threshold. "These chompersh come right out, Bhart." Nancy sucked down the top plate of her expertly made dentures and used her tongue to dart them in and out of her mouth. "You ever have a gum job, Bart?" Nancy asked, clacking the dentures back in place. "Throat fuck me, shit in my mouth, I don't care. Just vote my way." Her fetid breath carried a whiff of corruption. Nancy was dying, but Bart's wife hadn't touched him in years.

    "Turn around," he said thickly. "I'm going to fuck you right in the shit facktory."

    1. the area her nipples should have been

      More, more!

    2. Pure, concentrated, undiluted, adulterated slashfic.


      You rule, Saccharin Man.

      1. Now I see why critics have such a tough job. It's hard to express how truly terrific that passage was and actually do it justice. Bravo.

    3. SugarFree inspires a new appreciation for the First Amendment. In most countries, he'd get the bastinado for posts like that.

      1. It has always been my deepest desire to be formally condemned by an act of Congress.

    4. Forget throwing up in your mouth, that's enough to make you projectile vomit.

    5. I love the ending!

      1. That was done just for you, Gobbler.

        1. Blessings on your house and family.

    6. Simply brilliant - glad I revisited the comments

  20. Dear Jesus.

  21. Thank you, SugarFree. I was actually getting a lot of stuff done around the office today. Then i took a break and read your piece of... literature. Now i'm stuck in a cycle of alternately giggling, crying, and vomiting.

  22. It's a lock--the GOP will control the House after November.

    I want to believe, but the power of incumbency is awesome to behold.

    1. There's an "Obama callig his penis a bunker-buster" joke somewhere in there.

      1. I wish the people of Iran would just rise up and hang those bastards and be done with it. I really don't want a war with Iran. It would suck bad.

        There would be one upside (which in no way would make up for the downside of another war); laughing my ass off at the people who voted for Obama because McCain was a war monger who was going to bomb Iran.

        1. I could get behind airdropping rifles into Iran. Those poor kids who demonstrated last year deserve a fighting chance.

          1. I would be game for that.

          2. If we took the guns we're dropping in off of our streets through some kind of weapon exchange deal thingie, then it would be a win for the left and the right.

          3. So they could yell bang as they pulled the trigger? What about ammo?

            That would work as well as air dropping food in Somilia.

    2. FTA:

      "They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran," said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. "US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours," he added.

    3. Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

      Gotta love that eminent domain!

      And is it just me, or is this following statement contradictory?

      "The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely," he added. "The US ... is using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran's actions."

  23. You know those unseen and undetectable gremlins that hide in Toyota's electronic throttle controls? Turns out they have it in for elderly drivers.

    The Los Angeles Times has compiled a list of 56 fatal incidents over 19 years purportedly involving unintended Toyota acceleration, and according to my Overlawyered co-blogger Ted Frank ? in a Thursday analysis refined and extended the next day by Megan McArdle of The Atlantic ? the age of the driver can be publicly ascertained in a little more than half the instances. That median age turns out to be 60 ? that is to say, half the drivers were that old or older. By contrast, only 16 percent of general auto fatalities in 2008 occurred with a driver 60 or older behind the wheel. Whatever is causing Avalons, Highlanders, and Tundras to misbehave is largely bypassing drivers in their twenties and thirties and instead homing in on drivers old enough to remember the Eisenhower era.


  24. "If HCR passes, Dems will have a highly controversial generational accomplishment catastrophe to tout overcome. . . ."

    If this bill passes the Democrats will own the entire health care system. They will spend the rest of their lives defending a system, everyone left right and in between hates. Further, it will end any hope of them being able to lie their way to power for at least a decade. They got their 59 votes in the Senate by convincing the country that people like Jim Webb, Max Bachus and Ben Nelson were different from the Pelosi wing of the party. Well all of those shitbags voted for this bill. And their chances of ever getting another Democrat elected from anywhere other than California and New Jersey are going to end.

    1. I'd like to believe you're right.

      I don't. In the long haul the only thing this will do is entrench a strong leftward shift in American politics.

      Which is why they're willing to suffer short term losses to pass this piece of shit.

      1. That is what they think. SugarFree just below gives a pretty good summary of what leftist think about this legislation. Perhaps I have too much faith in the country. But I think this one, if it passes and I still don't think it will, will be different.

  25. I actually hold little hope that what ever fucked up health care reform that passes from this hideous process will ever be gotten rid of or even be unpopular in a non-libertarian sense.

    The third party payer problem will be intensified, the cost of health care swallowed by the lazy "I pay taxes" sentiment prevalent in the non-productive class. Problems created by government intervention will look like they have been cured by government intervention and it will take a few decades for the cracks to begin to show again. And even if people see ObamalosiCare as a problem, the fix will be to move to single payer, not scrap it.

    People will get used to waiting for an MRI. People will get used to the DEA reviewing every prescription. People will get used to seeing a rotating team of doctors. It will take decades to feel the effects of physician becoming a profession for the intellectually mediocre exclusively.

    People adjust quite rapidly to the new normal.

    1. I like your fiction better.

    2. I am more optimistic, but I see your point. I think this is going to be different than medicare and medicaide. Those programs were popular. So people tend to minimize their problems. No one really wants to admit they supported a dumb shit idea. Obama care in contrast is unpopular. In the same way people don't like to admit their ideas are dumb, they love to ascribe every problem under the sun to ideas they don't like. For that reason, Obamacare will become a tar baby upon which every health care ill gets tacked. For that reason, I think it might get repealed.

      1. """I think it might get repealed."""

        Never, it will be modified according to the party in power. Many republican's would love for this to pass against the people's will. It will give them more seats in Congress and they can then modify the law to their liking without taking the political hit of passing it.

    3. What Nick said. Add some dick jokes to your depressing posts, asshole.

      1. Poop, poop. Fart. Poop cock.

    4. I think the Dems are right on their self-interested strategic calculation -

      (1) ObamaCare puts us on the fast track to single-payer.

      (2) ObamaCare will mean that every election from now on will be mostly about government healthcare - how to make it "work better."

      (3) ObamaCare will mean a sea change to the left in political discourse, cementing for all time the primacy of the Total State and destroying any notion that this is a government of limited enumerated powers.

      1. I think they are delusional. And I think conservatives who whine about that are pathetic. The debate is not going to be about how we can get more government. The debate is going to be about how liberal democrats passed a policy that in a very objective and personal way made everyone worse off. It will discredit big government more than any big government program ever has.

        1. Just like TARP, right?

          1. TARP is one of the main reasons there's a tea party movement. So, yeah, it will further discredit big govt.

      2. RC Dean has it about nailed here. If Obamacare passes, the entire body politic will simply be in a long protracted war over healthcare. And the question will never be how to undo it, but how to tweak the governments role in it so it'll finallyl work they way Dems promised.

        "Who cares what's in the bill, let's pass it now and fix it later".

        When the party admits this, upfront, you know that's where we're headed.

        Every tax increase, every law will be about how it will affect healthcare for millions of registered voters.

        1. It will be one "protracted war" alright. But the Democrats will have damaged their credibility with voters so badly, I don't see how they will fight it.

          If Obamacare were less controversial or had even a couple of Republican votes, I would agree with you. But since it is not, the Democrats will be left saying "yes we passed this bill over everyone's objection by sleazy means, but if you just give us one more chance we can fix it and make it all better". As a politician you can't admit that you have made a mistake. You have to always claim your ideas and your bills were the right way or at the very least claim the other side bares just as much blame. Once they pass this bill, the Democrats cannot come back and say "the health care system is broken, we need to reform it" in the next election. They will by necessity have to claim the reform was a success and the system is no longer broken.

        2. ""If Obamacare passes, the entire body politic will simply be in a long protracted war over healthcare.""

          I wouldn't bet on it. The same thing could have been said about the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. There is no protracted war over government snooping on it's citizens. The side that was complaining about it quit complaining once their party was elected.

          I do believe both sides will modify it how they see fit when they are in power, but I don't think it will rise to protracted war.

          1. The Patriot Act was popular and passed with support of both parties. So that example is just not relevant.

    5. If there truly is a productive/non-productive split, and healthcare supporters and opponents fall on one side or another of it, isn't the solution for the productive side to build up some supplies of food and gas and so on, and then go on an extended strike until the government cuts benefits?

  26. Intrade is pricing the passage at 66%:


    WTFWTFWTF!!! Does Scott Brown taking the free health care champion's seat mean anything to these people and that the only reason why they have a chance is that Bush was such a domestic fuck up of a conservative and Obama helped college kids get laid???

    If the blue dogs vote for this, they should just resign rather than get their asses handed to them!

    1. I think Intrade is highly overrated as a predictor. At best it reflects current conventional wisdom, which may or may not be correct.

      1. It seems to become pretty reliable in the final moments of the home stretch. Martha Coakley was trading in the 80s and 90s up until a day or two before the special election, when people suddenly realized Brown could actually win and he rocketed up the board.

        To use InTrade now to gauge what will happen in November; you would do just as well to use a Ouija board.

        1. Everytime I ask my Ouija board anything about 2012 it keeps spelling "End of World"

    2. Intrade suffers slightly from a small flaw, namely that NO ONE CAN TELL THE FUCKING FUTURE.

      1. Wisdom of crowds. If the mob goes there, it must know something or something like that. I always though Inatrade was a stupid concept. If such a scheme could accurately predict the future, most NFL games would push because the spread would accurately predict the score.

        1. Intrade might have some validity for elections, if we assume that people will be biased to bet on their candidate. But I have a hard time thinking that's any better than a poll.

          Other than that, Intrade is worthless.

    3. Intrade has a pretty good record as a predictor of elections. Its a couple years old, but take a look at this:


      Not to forget - it called Brown's victory as well.

      What I don't know is how good their longer-range predictions are. A lot can and will happen between now and November.

      Oddly, I don't really think that passing or failing to pass healthcare will make that much difference in this year's elections. Them that hates it, will vote against its supporters regardless. Them that wants it, don't want it that much, and are hardcore partisan Dems anyway. Whether the bill passes or not won't move many votes, as far as I can tell.

      1. "Not to forget - it called Brown's victory as well."

        It called the Brown victory two days out after everyone knew he was going to win. Before that it had Coakley up big. It is a lagging indicator not a predictor.

  27. Pelosi potentially could pass the bill, but doesn't actually know yet that she will

    Their final strategy seems to be to insist that it's going to pass, to pretend that it's only a matter of time, and to begin speaking of the battle in the past tense while planning the victory party.

    1. The whole thing is a big jedi mind trick. By Thursday Pelosi will be telling reporters "what do you mean, health care already passed".

    2. The strategy seems to be to pretend that it is inevitable and tell wavering Democrats they don't want to be the guy who didn't vote for a bill that is going to pass anyway. That seems like a pretty desperate gamble.

  28. Poop, poop. Fart. Poop cock.

    Quit sockpuppeting Tony.

  29. If I was Republican House member, right about now I would lie to Pelosi through my teeth, tell her I'll vote yes, and then vote no when she brings it to a vote.

    If she's going to use every dirty trick in the book to try to pass it, then the Republicans are entitled to use every dirty trick in the book to scuttle it.

    1. I like that, Hazel. But to make it convincing, you'll need (a) a Republican from a swing district or a Republican who isn't running for reelection (b) extracts some convincing concessions from her. Ideally, you'd have two or three, just to make sure.

      1. Say, I wonder what kind of ridiculous concessions you get get to buy your Republican vote?

      2. Other problem might be that you have to make sure other Republicans are in on it, so they aren't tempted to switch sides. But that No Democrats are tempted to switch.

        i.e. relieve the pressure from just the ones that prefer to vote no, without putting pressure on the ones that mgiht wnat to vote yes.

        While simultaneously keeping it hush-hush.

        So all the Republicans have to act shocks and horrified when a few "defectors" pretned to be voting in favor.

        1. Other problem might be that you have to make sure other Republicans are in on it, so they aren't tempted to switch sides.

          Just tell Nancy that your conversion has to be kept absolutely confidential, and that if any hint of it escapes her simultaneously collagened and wrinkled lips, the deal is off.

          Of course, she'll leak, but then when you cancel, that throws off their count, and they have lost precious days.

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