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As my "usual" SOP in diary prep, I'm composing this section while eating lunch at my desk. I'm listening to the mark - up in the attempt to polish Senator Baucus' turd sandwich; I've listened to it all morning. Whenever a GOPer's about ready to speak, well, this darlin' speaks for me.

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Thank goodness for "this day in history" items! OK, we have a couple birthdays in the music world that represent whiplashian tastes but that I can enjoy (neither of which are country!!), so I'll go ahead & mention both in the hopes that some of you will like one of them. Opera singer Andrea Bocelli is 51 today.

The other singer who is the exact same age is Mr. Bocelli is Joan Jett; yea, she's a little more "my speed!" GET DOWN WITH YER BAD SELVES! HA!!

And, finally, it's Bob Loblaw's birthday today! Arrested Development fans know who I'm talking about, but for those who never watched AD, that would be Scott Baio. He's 48.

Let's Countdown!

We get Lawrence O’Donnell DHing for Keith tonight – thank you! I hope Keith’s Dad’s OK.

#5 "Second Opinions" AKA "Design by Committee" AKA "Wages VS. Sin" AKA "Health Care Deform" - Before what I’m sure will be a barn – burner segment about today’s mark – up session in attempt to polish Maxie’s turd sandwich, I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents’ worth based on listening to every...single...minute this morning; I missed the afternoon session because of a meeting away from my desk. No one – ABSOLUTELY NO ONE – is pleased with what Senator Baucus came up with; it was universally panned on both sides of the political aisle. Well, it was panned after the obligatory self – stroking & group stroke in praise of Maxie’s "leadership" on the Senate Finance Committee. The GOPers on that committee, well, I know this revelation will come as a huge shock to y’all, have their heads crammed up a dark & stinky place. And, here’s photographic evidence of that fact.

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Every single damn one of them wants to either scrap everything that’s been done so far & start over or urged "caution" & expressed "dismay" that we’re all just going too damn fast. Hm...depending on how far back you wanna go in the history of attempted health care reform, all this began with Teddy Roosevelt! That’s around a century by my admittedly – weak math skills. People are dying EVERY DAY because they don’t have health insurance. People are losing their health insurance EVERY DAY. People who thought they had health insurance are finding out some awful truths about their coverage EVERY DAY, and they’re going bankrupt or losing their houses because of the high cost. The time to slow down is over; the time to scrap everything & start over is gone. One "honorable" GOP Senator I found especially odious today was Senator Enzi; he had the sparkin’ GALL to say the bill from the HELP Committee was too partisan. He has the TurdBlossom memory. How many GOP amendments were added to the HELP Committee bill? And, how many GOPers voted for the damn HELP bill? ZERO! ZIP! NADA! A BIG ROTTEN STINKIN’ DEAD GOOSE EGG. Further "negotiations" with these people are the textbook definition of insanity; it is time to sweep them into the dust pan of history & let the grownups take charge. In an ideal world, Senator Baucus will lose his chairmanship. In our less – than – ideal world, though, Senator Harry Reid is Senate Majority leader, and we all remember how forgiving he is to Dem traitors going against the will of we, the people. What was that elf in CT’s name again? Oh well... enough of my rant. Oh, I forgot to mention the new "excise tax" talking point. The health insurance big – wigs sent a letter to Senator Max Baucus THANKING HIM for his great bill; OK, that reason alone should strip him of his chairmanship, his Senate seat, etc. But, they still want more; Senator Baucus apparently didn’t smooch their backsides enough. Do they want dinner, too, or something?! SENATOR Franken (suck on it, BillO!) is leading efforts to not tax makers of health & wellness equipment. Massachusetts could have someone in Senator Kennedy’s seat (literally – not figuratively) by Thursday. DAMN! Gov. Deval Patrick may have the authority as soon as tomorrow to designate a place holder until the January special election. Howard Fineman made a good point; there are still apparently a whole lotta people out there who STILL THINK the government is out to monkey with health insurance they already have. Well, in some ways, that’s true; some brave souls in the government want to introduce that tried – and – true aspect of capitalism – COMPETITION – into the mix. If you have craptacular health insurance, if some in the government have their way, you can look for a better deal! People just cannot get it through their thick skulls about what they may find out about their health insurance when they get sick & actually NEED IT. Over the last 10 years or so, health insurance companies have raised premiums anywhere between 90 and 150% depending on which state you live in. Wages have gone up only 38% in that same period of time. Oh, bless VP Biden for explaining how these facts will still affect people who have health insurance through their jobs! Many employers have to find SOME way to cut their costs if they want to keep providing this benefit to their employees. They may have to be "selective" in deciding what do cover, or they may take a bigger chunk out of employees’ checks to cover costs. I am fortunate enough to not only have a job, but I get health insurance through my job. However, the amount of money that has gone out of my check over the years for my contribution to this benefit has gotten bigger & bigger. Wendell Potter is so my new hero! Has anyone in the health insurance industry or on the GOP side of the aisle dismissed Mr. Potter as some sort of disgruntled former employee yet? If not, I’m damn surprised! Thank you all so much for some of my ranting about the health care reform issue! Many of you know why this issue is so personal for me; if you don’t know, my email’s in my profile, and I’ll tell you why.

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#4 "The Role of Racism" AKA "Not Black and White" AKA "Color Bind" - Here I go ranting again. I am getting really REALLY tired of people misinterpreting what President Carter had to say last week about the potential roll of racism in today’s political "discourse." Too many people who should be smart enough to know better (yes, President Clinton, I’m talking to you) are limiting their reactions to the health care reform issue. But, as Keith so admirably pointed out in a brilliant but sickening "review" last week, the overtones of racism are deeper than & have gone above and beyond the issue of health care. Keith said this so much better than I could ever do. I think President Clinton (and his wife) may still have some "issues" with the Carters that may be influencing his/her opinion. Even during the most rancorous days of the health care debate in the early 90s, no one questioned President Clinton’s legitimacy to hold the office nor his patriotism nor his background or anything else like that. Except for a few less – than – classy demonstrations against Hillary Clinton personally, the majority of the rancor was over process & policy; that’s it. Mr. O’Donnell, I love you more than my luggage, but it ain’t just about health care!! Here’s a new face – Professor James Peterson! Welcome to him! Professor Peterson is leaning toward President Carter’s interpretation of events. Professor Peterson is absolutely correct in the catch – 22 President Obama finds himself in approaching the race issue. He’s damned if he does & damned if he doesn’t. During the primary process & the POTUS campaign last year, he waited as long as he possibly could before he gave that brilliant insightful "race speech" in light of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s stuff.

#3 "Push for Peace" AKA "Peace Core" - President Obama has officially begun his efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East. Sorry folks, it ain’t...gonna...happen. People in that part of the world have hated each other for thousands of years. A whole lotta bitter angry vengeful hearts & minds are going to have to change. That hasn’t happened; it won’t happen. When each side of an issue or a war can point to their "holy book" to claim the side of right for their cause, forget it. Sorry to rain on this parade, but I know my history. Sadat & Begin shook hands, too. Rabin & Arafat shook hands, too. President Obama met with both Israel’s & the Palestinian "head honchos" today. President Obama said "compromise"? Oh honey... not in that part of the world. People get shot or blown up in efforts to "compromise." Former Senator George Mitchell just got back from the Middle East, and SOS Clinton is heading over there.

#2 "Obama, Why?" Will Ferrell & John Handman are throwing their celebrity creds into the health care reform debate.

What’s so American about competition?

HA!! I love it!! That, my dears, is almost sig line worthy. Oh, that ad was GREAT! I just love Will Ferrell. If y’all didn’t catch his HBO specialthat was his "swan song" to GWB, o...m...sparkin’...g..

**I AM NOT DIARYING THE "EXTERMINATOR’S" DANCING! Contrary to what some believe, I DO have standards. ** Here is just about my favorite dancing of all time!

Originally posted to CityLightsLover on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 06:41 PM PDT.

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