Good news for people who live in Connecticut, already have health insurance and work for Aetna, Cigna or Oxford Health Plans! According to the New York Times, Joe Lierberman (D–CT, net worth $2 million) seems finally to have succeeded in torpedoing the public option. The former Democrat announced Sunday that he would filibuster any Senate bill that included the Medicare buy-in compromise Harry Reid struck with ten liberal and centrist Democrats last week. That’s a slight difference from the position he articulated last Tuesday, when he said he was against the public option but for the expansion of Medicare, and an utter goddamn sea change from the position he articulated in 2000, when he ran for Vice President promising the exact same Medicare expansion he now threatens to filibuster the Senate to stop. How soon we forget, Joe Lieberman. Either that, or how willing we are to do whatever we think might get us elected to public office. “My wife said to me, ‘Why do you always end up being the point person here?’” Lieberman told reporters on Monday. She was probably eating caviar out of an ostrich egg at the time, and considered it rude to add, “Is it because you’re an unprincipled dwarf?” with her mouth full.
Those of us with recently re-dislocated shoulders and $35,000 insurance deductibles can go straight to hell and fuck ourselves again, as the federal government has decided overwhelmingly that, as a nation, we must conquer Afghanistan and then leave, but that we must not offer any sort of public health insurance. Those two issues are not strictly connected, but still. According to the New York Times, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D–NV, net worth $3–$6 million) announced a compromise last night among 10 Senate Democrats that would eliminate government-run health insurance, but retain the possibility of allowing individuals to buy into the same group plans currently offered to members of Congress. It will also let people aged 55 to 64 buy into Medicare, which is not too terribly helpful for the nation, considering that age group contains the lowest percentage of uninsured adults of any demographic in America. Such compromises are necessary, though, in order to get moderate and liberal Democratic senators to agree to pass some sort of health care reform bill. Notice that sentence did not contain the word “Republican.” That’s right, Combat! readers: the Democratic Party, which enjoys a sixty-seat majority in the Senate and controls both the House and the presidency, in its continuing effort to pass the centerpiece of its legislative agenda for this election cycle, has rejected a measure that 68% of Americans support because it has been forced to compromise with itself.
Now that Sarah Palin has been eaten by a grue, the mantle of Person In the Republican Party Who Might Actually Believe That Stuff has been taken up by Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. You may remember Bachmann from her bizarre assertions about the US Census and its possible role in a massive government conspiracy—something she stopped talking about after a census worker was killed in Kentucky. Like Palin, Bachmann believes in an American People whose will is diametrically opposed to that of the federal government—particularly the Congress part of the government, which she, bafflingly, is a part of. Also like Palin, her signature issue has become health care reform. Despite polls showing that most Americans favor a public option, Bachmann knows that “real, freedom-loving Americans” oppose the government “taking away [their] health care.” To make their voices heard, she’s taken it upon herself to organize a protest on the steps of Capitol Hill at noon today, at which she encourages protestors to enter their congresspeople’s offices and demand that they vote against health care reform. “This is the Super Bowl of freedom, this week,” she says. How can Michele Bachmann find the resources and communication apparatus to organize such a Super Bowl, in which an abstract concept competes with another, unnamed abstract concept on a week’s notice? Well, fortunately there’s Fox News:
The photo at left was sent to me by alert reader Ben Fowlkes, whose near-constant cruising for chimpanzee snuff movies on the internet is interrupted only by his cruising for chimpanzee snuff porn movies on the internet. National Geographic published this photograph of Dorothy, a female chimpanzee in her late forties who died of congestive heart failure. According to the NGM blog, the other chimps in the Sanga-Young Chimpanzee Rescue Center gathered to watch her burial in eerie silence. “If one knows chimpanzees, then one knows that [they] are not [usually] silent creatures,” said photographer, center volunteer and typographical error Monica Szczupider. Dorothy was a maternal figure for many of the residents of Sanga-Yong, which rehabilitates chimps traumatized by habitat loss or the African bushmeat trade. It would appear that the chimps pictured above are grieving. Next time someone smugly refutes Darwin’s theory of species differentiation through natural selection by pointing out that his grandma wasn’t an orangutan, viewing this picture gives you legal grounds to slap him in the mouth.
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is an independent in the truest sense of the word. He may be an elected representative of the American people, but that doesn’t mean he gives a damn what you think. You think he’s against George Bush just because he was on the opposite ticket in a Presidential election? Bam!—he votes to invade Iraq. You think you can keep him out of the Senate by voting for the other guy, who didn’t want to invade Iraq, in the Democratic primary? Bam!—he runs as an independent. You think the $1.98 million in campaign contributions he’s received from securities and investment firms since 2005 make him a darling of the financial industry? Girl, Joe Lieberman can’t be tied down to one lobby. Even though the insurance, health and pharmaceutical industries have only given him a million dollars in the last four years, he’s still declared himself willing to filibuster any health care bill that includes a public option. Joe Lieberman is the Senator from the great state of Fuck You, and when Harry Reid moves for cloture on whatever Keep America Strong and Healthy Flag-Lovers Bill he comes up with, Lieberman is going to stand up, look straight into the C-SPAN camera, and spend the next 36 hours calmly describing exactly which blindingly white and quivering part of his body the American people can bite.