Senator Dick Durbin reaches out to Daily Kos blog, asks them to help set the “Senate agenda”

The Senate Majority Whip bowed to far lefty Dem supporters at the ultra-liberal blog Daily Kos this morning. Read his passionate plea here.

Allah provides a timely reminder of what Kos and co. are all about. These are the people Durbin wants to solicit for opinions on the Senate agenda??

Things in the Senate, and the House for that matter, are goin’ a little cuckoo, I’d say …

Update: It must be Senate Tribute to the Far Left Day at Daily Kos, as Senator Kennedy posts a piece about Bush’s surge plan. In a post titled “Escalation: It’s Not Up To Him”, Kennedy writes:

I am on my way to the National Press Club in Washington in a few minutes to speak about a new bill. If passed, it will prohibit escalation in Iraq without express Congressional approval of a plan and budget.

In other words, Kennedy is hoping to worm his way around the Constitution by taking CIC authority away from the President, by demanding approval of a plan.

The Huffie Post has video of a speech Kennedy did on the issue of Iraq – where he calls Iraq GWB’s Vietnam. Watch it -if you can stand it – here:

Prescription for disaster? Ahnold proposes healthcare ‘requirement’ for all Californians

At a cost of $12 billion. The LA Times reports:

SACRAMENTO — Calling for massive changes throughout a healthcare system he called “broken,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday proposed a $12-billion plan that would require all Californians to obtain medical insurance while helping the poorest to afford it.

The plan, which both critics and supporters called the most audacious in the country, would dramatically reshuffle the financial underpinnings of an already fragile industry. The governor said his plan would control spiraling health costs while ensuring coverage for the quarter of a million children and 5.6 million adults who lack insurance.


Employers with 10 or more workers would have to offer plans that cost them at least 4% of their payroll. Those who refuse would be required to pay an equivalent amount into the state’s insurance fund for people with no other option. That mandate, while greeted skeptically by businesses, was criticized as too lax by advocates who said that a majority of companies that now provide insurance already contribute much more money.

“It’s the equivalent of setting the minimum wage at $3 an hour,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer advocacy group.

Those earning more than 2 1/2 times the federal poverty level — a total of $41,500 a year for a family of three — would not receive a subsidy but would still have to buy insurance if their employer did not offer it. The cheapest plan would require families to pay $2,000 a year in premiums, and as much as $10,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs.

“By setting this as a minimum, the tendency will be to undermine and reduce the current level offered by some employers, who will use this to justify reducing their benefits much more,” said E. Richard Brown, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, who nonetheless called the proposal “very impressive” in its reach.

“Everyone in California must have health insurance,” Schwarzenegger said via teleconference from Los Angeles, where he is recuperating from a broken leg. “If you can’t afford it, the state will help you buy it, but you must be insured.”

Only Massachusetts has required all residents to carry insurance, but California’s larger population of uninsured and poor makes Schwarzenegger’s goals much more challenging. To pay for the plan, Schwarzenegger proposed placing new fees and obligations on doctors, hospitals, employers and insurers — all powerful lobbies in Sacramento.

The state GOP’s position is as expected:

“If we put any form of mandate on a business, we are seeing a jobs tax,” said Assembly Republican leader Michael Villines of Clovis, echoing the argument that Schwarzenegger himself made in 2004 when he successfully campaigned against Proposition 72. That Democratic plan would have required employers to provide health insurance or pay into a state fund.

The administration insisted that its plan did not include taxes, instead labeling the levies “coverage dividends.” The debate is more than semantic: A measure with taxes needs two-thirds support in the Legislature, giving the GOP veto power. Otherwise, it needs only a simple majority that could be obtained solely with Democratic votes.

Nice trick by the Ahnold admin, eh? Label taxes as “coverage dividends.” Wanna bet a lawyer suggested he word it that way?

Here’s the Governor’s press release.

What say ye?

Update: Captain Ed gives the “Healthinator’s” plan a thumbs down.

Calling all anti-war far lefties: ‘human shields’ are needed in Iraq

The old, lame, and tired argument about how those who advocate war should enlist has been brought up again, this time by the leftie blogosophere’s favorite blowhard Glenn Greenwald. John Hawkins counters GG’s argument here with a suggestion of his own:

If he doesn’t think you can back the President on a surge without participating, then the reverse should be true. Since Greenwald wants us to surrender to the insurgents in Iraq, he should be over there acting as human shield for a member of the sectarian death squads. Heck, if you add in all his sock puppets, Greenwald could act as a human shield for 4 or 5 terrorists and neck cutters.


If people like Greenwald don’t like the idea of a surge, there is certainly an argument that can be made against it. It’s not sustainable. It encourage the Iraqis to rely on our troops instead of doing things for themselves. It will likely increase casualties and costs. If we “surge” and nothing comes of it, it could boost the morale of the enemy. Unlike Greenwald’s lame “chickenhawk” argument, at least those are legitimate criticisms of a surge.

Well said, and in a lot less words than Mr. Sock-puppet himself (read more about that here).


Joe Klein feels the hate

Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein is feeling the hate from the left these days. He’s against the Iraq war, against the idea of a troop surge, and can’t stand the administration. Well then, what’s the problem? you may ask. Here it is: he wants us to win in Iraq. He’s also very critical of war plan critics in the press, like the NYT’s Paul Krugman. Klein wrote yesterday:

I’m afraid I’m going to get cranky about this: The Democrats who oppose the so-called “surge” are right. But they have to be careful not to sound like ill-informed dilettantes when talking about it.

The latest to make a fool of himself is Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who argues that those who favor the increase in troops are either cynical or delusional. Mostly the latter. Delusional neocons like Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan, to be precise. But what about retired General Jack Keane–whom Krugman doesn’t mention–and the significant number of military intellectuals who have favored a labor-intensive counterinsurgency strategy in Baghdad for the past three years? They are serious people. They may be wrong about Iraq now, reflexively trying to complete a mission that has been lost, but they are not delusional. They may be wrong about Iraq now, reflexively trying to complete a mission that has been lost, but they are not delusional. The counterinsurgency doctrine they published in 2006 is exactly what the U.S. military should be doing in places like Afghanistan.


Liberals won’t ever be trusted on national security until they start doing their homework.

Check the comments to that post. It would seem that Klein committed numerous “nonos” with the anti-war far left: 1) he attacked liberal icon Paul Krugman, 2) he slammed liberals for not being more informed on the issue, and 3) he wants us to win the war in Iraq.

In a follow-up post last night, Klein responded to his critics:

The illiberal left just hates it when I point out that the Democratic Party’s naivete on national security–and the left wing tendency to assume every U.S. military action abroad is criminal–just aren’t very helpful electorally. The fact that I’ve been opposed to the Iraq war ever since this 2002 article in Slate just makes it all the more aggravating. But it’s possible to have been against the war and to hope for the best in Iraq. I’d bet that the overwhelming majority of Americans who now oppose the war are praying for a turn for the better in Iraq. Listening to the leftists, though, it’s easy to assume that they are rooting for an American failure.

And so a challenge to those who slagged me in their comments. Can you honestly say the following:

Even though I disagree with this escalation, I am hoping that General Petraeus succeeds in calming down Baghdad.

Does the thought even cross your mind? As for me, it’s easy–I’ve been rooting for U.S. success ever since the invasion because, after the overpowering arrogance and stupidity that led to this disaster, we owe some peace and stability to the Iraqis and the region.

Klein’s just hit on what so many anti-war leftists (including certain members of Congress) don’t want to admit: they don’t want us to succeed in Iraq. Success in Iraq would not just be a victory for America, but also for President Bush’s policies in the war on terror, and that doesn’t sit well with the Bush-haters in the Democratic party who have portrayed him as a bumbling, inept Commander in Chief.

Back in December of 2005, I quoted a post of Steve Verdon’s at Outside the Beltway, which I thought summed up what the anti-war Democrats’ attitude on Iraq perfectly. Verdon wrote:

Frankly, the Democrats tactic of saying we can’t win in Iraq strikes me as precisely the wrong approach to the problem. If the Democrats “win” on this one the result is that we lose. We lose in Iraq and we quite possibly degrad[e] our ability to prosecute the war on terrorism in other parts of the world. Maybe that is what the Democratic party leadership wants, but it doesn’t look like a very good strategy for making the U.S. safer…which ironically is one of the Democrats complaints about invading Iraq in the first place.

He was right then, and even more right today. If America loses in Iraq, the Democratic party ‘wins.’ Klein is clearly a liberal, but he nevertheless pushes and hopes for American success in Iraq. It’s not about party to him, it’s about winning. Unfortunately, all too many other Democrats don’t hold his position and equate being an advocate of winning in Iraq (in spite of being against the war) to being a Bush shill.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of the Democratic party who are now, unfortunately, the new majority in Washington, DC. The only way they ‘win’ on the issue is if we lose in Iraq. Think about it.

Related: Speaking of anti-war Bush-haters, check out this imbeach, I mean, “Impeach Bush” rally held a few days ago at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Note how the word “Bonfire” is outlined in red in the first pic :-? (Hat tip: See-Dubya, guest blogging at Michelle Malkin’s)


Ah, but they do have a plan

My friend Jules Crittenden blogs this morning about what he believes is a non-existent Democratic war plan:

Democratic War Plan here.*

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on how the Democrats plan to execute their war plan here.

“We have a platform we didn’t have before, Leader Pelosi and I, and we’re going to … focus attention on this war in many different ways,” said Reid. (see Democratic War Plan, here.)

You’ll note that two of the three links above don’t lead anywhere, as if the Democrats don’t have a war plan.

Well, actually they do. And they worked very, very hard to get themselves in a position to be able to implement it. Read all about their pathetic little war plan here.

Read related thoughts via Greg Tinti at The Political Pit Bull.