Friday, February 11, 2005

18 Suckers

Sam Heldman says the class action "reform" bill is crazy. And 18 of our boys and girls in the U.S. Senate voted for it. 18.

[I checked some of the Senate member websites to see what rationale they were offering for why they supported or opposed this legislation. Tom Carper has a press release on his site, explaining why he voted for it, but most of the others have nothing.]

While Kos is encouraged by reports of a new unity among the Senate Democratic caucus, Seeing the Forest concludes we have work to do.

What I wanna know is, how many bills supported by Clinton and the Democratic majority during the 1993-1994 session, got 18 Republican votes in the Senate? I can't imagine 2, let alone 18, Republicans voting for anything Clinton supported. Republicans would have voted against a bill to have a likeness of Ronald Reagan carved into Mount Rushmore, if Clinton or the Democrats favored it.

Harry, Nancy, I know you're trying. And I know you object to having the DNC chair trying to control policy, but when you can't keep our own guys in line on something like this, you don't exactly do a lot for our confidences, you know what I mean?

In other news, President Bush has vowed to veto any changes to the Medicare prescription drug bill passed last year. With cost estimates for the bill--which prevents price negotiations with drug companies over the cost of drugs the federal government would cover for beneficiaries--now projected to rise to $724 billion over the next decade, some members of Congress are calling for changes in the government's bargaining position. But Bush is pledging to veto any such changes on the grounds that "I signed Medicare reform proudly, and any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors and to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare, will meet my veto".

Now obviously, Bush's remarks and veto threat have nothing to do with wanting or being able to fullfill the promises of the legislation to Medicare beneficiaries. Rather, he wants to make sure the profits of the pharmaceutical companies and the lifestyles of its executives are protected at all cost.

If only we had a real news media, and a real oppositional party...

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