The New Louisiana Purchase

The Great Bribe of the 21st Century.

Washington Post: And so it came to pass that Landrieu walked onto the Senate floor midafternoon Saturday to announce her aye vote — and to trumpet the financial “fix” she had arranged for Louisiana. “I am not going to be defensive,” she declared. “And it’s not a $100 million fix. It’s a $300 million fix.”

Got to admire her balls. Yes, I was Bribed. I wanted to be bribed! I’m proud of it! Aren’t I Magnificent!! 🙂

It was an awkward moment (not least because her figure is 20 times the original Louisiana Purchase price). But it was fairly representative of a Senate debate that seems to be scripted in the Southern Gothic style. The plot was gripping — the bill survived Saturday’s procedural test without a single vote to spare — and it brought out the rank partisanship, the self-absorption and all the other pathologies of modern politics. If that wasn’t enough of a Tennessee Williams story line, the debate even had, playing the lead role, a Southerner named Blanche with a flair for the dramatic.

After Landrieu threw in her support (she asserted that the extra Medicaid funds were “not the reason” for her vote), the lone holdout in the 60-member Democratic caucus was Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Like other Democratic moderates who knew a single vote could kill the bill, she took a streetcar named Opportunism, transferred to one called Wavering and made off with concessions of her own. Indeed, the all-Saturday debate, which ended with an 8 p.m. vote, occurred only because Democratic leaders had yielded to her request for more time.

Even when she finally announced her support, at 2:30 in the afternoon, Lincoln made clear that she still planned to hold out for many more concessions in the debate that will consume the next month. “My decision to vote on the motion to proceed is not my last, nor only, chance to have an impact on health-care reform,” she announced.

Landrieu and Lincoln got the attention because they were the last to decide, but the Senate really has 100 Blanche DuBoises, a full house of characters inclined toward the narcissistic. The health-care debate was worse than most. With all 40 Republicans in lockstep opposition, all 60 members of the Democratic caucus had to vote yes — and that gave each one an opportunity to extract concessions from Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) won a promise from Reid to support his plan to expand eligibility for health insurance. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) got Reid to jettison a provision stripping health insurers of their antitrust exemption. Landrieu got the concessions for her money. And Lincoln won an extended, 72-hour period to study legislation.

“I have concluded that I believe it is more important that we begin this debate to improve our nation’s health care system for all Americans rather than just simply drop the issue and walk away. That is not what people sent us here to do,” Lincoln said. (ABC)

Actually, the will of the people was for you to vote “No”. But that didn’t fit in with your ego did it Senator?

And the big shakedown is yet to occur: That will happen when Reid comes back to his caucus in a few weeks to round up 60 votes for the final passage of the health bill.

Obama 1/20/2009: “We come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics,” he said.

So how’s that working out for you. The singularly 2 most partisan votes in recent memory (The House Bill and the Senate Bill).

All 58 Senate Democrats — along with independent Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — supported bringing the measure to the floor. All the Republicans voted against it. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, did not vote.

But don’t worry, it’s all the Republican’s Fault.

The Republicans “are frightening people,” said Sen. Tom Harkin

The Democrats are 100% not to blame for this and the massive and in your-face Bribery to get there.

No, not at all. 🙂

Sen. Landrieu,“I’m not thinking about my reelection” in 2010.”

Yes, Senator we believe you… 🙂

Sen. Landrieu clarified that her vote was not an endorsement of Reid’s bill and said she might ultimately vote against the legislation if it is not changed during the Senate floor debate

Sure, Mary, we believe you. You’re going to leave the $300 Million dollar Bribe and walk way, later…

Sure, whatever you say… 🙂

Sen. Lincoln (D-Ark) said: “I’m not thinking about my re-election, the legacy of a president or whether Democrats or Republicans are going to be able to claim victory in winning this debate. “My first loyalties are with the people of Arkansas,” she said. “Not insurance companies, the health care industry or my political party.”(MSNBC)

The Arkansas Poll, conducted in mid-October by the University of Arkansas’s Survey Research Center, found that 39 percent of voters support a public option and 48 percent oppose the idea.

So, Yes  Senator, please continue to tell yourself that as you gather around the Turkey this week and then come back to Washington to stuff it down our throats.

Sen. Burr (R-NC) hoisted the bill as he spoke at the Republicans press conference.

“This 20 pounds is the size of most people’s turkey next week and that’s what most people in North Carolina think of it,” he said.

“This is the Harry Reid layaway plan for the holiday season,” Burr said. “Pay in for four years before you get anything out of it.”

This will put more than a food coma on the economy.

But at least The New Louisiana Purchase is safe!

“At what point is the government going to step in and say, ‘We are not paying for that and you are going to die earlier than you would if you had received that treatment,'” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

And This Indyfromaz signing off for the day from Obama’s Post-Partisan Utopia… 🙂