Daily archives: December 14th, 2009

Lieberman (the Tail) Wags the Dog (Senate): Democrats Likely to Drop Medicare Expansion

First, check Salon.com for Senator Joe Lieberman’s latest attempt to kill health care reform:

One of Joe Lieberman’s colleagues in the Connecticut delegation doesn’t think very highly of the way the "independent Democrat" has been mucking up healthcare reform legislation.

"Joe Lieberman has always been a person of conscience, and I take him at his word when he says he is opposed — but the ball seems to move," Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told a handful of reporters outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office Monday afternoon.

Lieberman, of course, announced late Sunday that no matter how much support the idea of a Medicare buy-in might have garnered from other Senate moderates, he’s not interested in playing along. Never mind that hesupported a very similar plan only a few months ago.)

From the New York Times:

Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that they were prepared to drop a proposed expansion of Medicare and scrap a new government-run health insurance plan as they tried to rally their caucus in hopes of passing the bill before Christmas.

After a tense 90-minute meeting on Monday evening, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Finance Committee, was asked if Democrats were likely to jettison the Medicare proposal.

“It’s looking like that’s the case,” Mr. Baucus said, indicating that the provision might be dropped as a way of “getting support from 60 senators.”

Under the proposal, uninsured people ages 55 to 64 could purchase Medicare coverage. The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, floated the idea about 10 days ago as a way to break an intraparty impasse over his earlier proposal to create a government-run health insurance plan.

The signal from the party leadership came after the closed-door session to gauge sentiment for moving ahead with a pared-back measure that would not contain elements that liberal lawmakers had sought, particularly a public health insurance option.

Lawmakers and top aides said that the overriding view at the session held just off the Senate floor was that they had come too far in the health care debate to give up and that they should forge ahead with some legislation even if it was not all that they wanted.

I have been steaming about this all day. Lieberman (I- Connecticut) essentially works for the for-profit health insurance industry, not the American people. His wife certainly profits from the for-profit health insurance industry.

We have been bought and sold.

Wells Fargo To Repay $25 Billion In Bailout Funds

From WTAE Pittsburgh :

Wells Fargo is selling $10.4 billion in new stock to help repay all $25 billion in bailout aid it received from the government at the height of the market meltdown last fall.

The San Francisco-based bank’s announcement comes hours after Citigroup said it will repay $20 billion worth of taxpayer funds.

The move will extricate Wells Fargo from the pay restrictions and close oversight that came with the bailout program.

To think I was actually worried that Wells Fargo and Citigroup executives would be limited to $500,000 salary caps. How could they possibly get by if they couldn’t afford financing on those gold-plated toilets?

Kudos to the Obama Administration.

Guantanamo Comes to Illinois: Thomson Chosen for Guantanamo Detainees

From Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times:

The White House will announce Tuesday that President Obama will seek to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center in northwestern Illinois to house detainees now held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

I reported in Saturday’s editions of the Sun-Times that the Obama administration had settled on the nearly vacant Thomson and would be making the announcement soon.

Obama has directed the federal government proceed with the acquisition of Thomson to house federal inmates and a "limited number" of detainees from Guantanamo Bay Military prison in Cuba to be housed in a facility operated by the Department of Defense.

And justice for all.