I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Congressional roundup: Joe Lieberman edition
With Senator Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., saying yesterday that he would filibuster any health care bill that he doesn’t agree with, Congress watchers have been thrown for a loop.
And Lieberman says he will not vote for a bill that includes a public option.
The liberal blog Firedoglake called out reporters for not identifying falsities in Liebermans’s reasoning for opposing the public option.
Meanwhile, the conservative blog Redstate says this is because “left wing bloggers” backed Ned Lamont in the 2006 Democratic primary, forcing Lieberman to run as an independent in that year’s general election. “The Democrats will now have to surreptitiously implement it through some sort of ‘let the states opt-out’ or trigger option nonsense that will still amount to the public option,” Erick Erickson writes. Of course, the “opt-out” provision is in the legislation which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., proposed on Monday.
FiveThirtyEight says that Lieberman has a slightly different motivation.
What Joe Lieberman wants, in all probability, is attention. He wants Harry Reid to have to stand up and say things like : “I don’t have anyone that I’ve worked harder with, have more respect for, in the Senate than Joe Lieberman.” He wants face time on Meet the Press. He wants to make liberals feel some pain — especially those who tried to get Ned Lamont elected in his place. He wants everyone to know how maverick-y he is.
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo explains the problem for Senate Democrats who are trying to get health care through:
You can’t understand this process or debate without keeping it first and foremost in your mind that there are two votes. The vote on the bill itself requires only fifty votes. But you need sixty votes to bring the bill up for a vote. And a few other things. But that’s the key one. It’s almost inconceivable that the bill will get sixty votes. The real question is going to be whether there are handful of conservative Democrats that are going to be willing to vote to allow an up or down vote and then vote against the bill itself.
They won’t have any help from Republicans either, as Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, the only Republican to have shown any interest in voting for health care reform, said she will not vote for the bill as it is currently constructed.
At the New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzenberg had an insightful look into the public option, including an examination of Reid’s motivations for inserting it into the Senate version of the bill.
Looking forward, Charlie Cook wrote (subscription required) that intensity matters in elections. Obama’s election and the Democratic gains in Congress have convinced conservatives that their view is not universally held. But that conviction just adds to the urgency they see in getting their message out and convincing others of the danger they see for our country. As the Democracy Corps report says, “They believe this position leaves them with a responsibility to spread the word, to educate those who do not share their insights, and to take back the country that they love.”
Cook is riffing off the Democracy Corps study that I wrote about last month.
And the mayors of New York and Philadelphia (Michael Bloomberg and Michael Nutter, respectively) have a bet on the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Philles (which begins tonight and features a New Mexico umpire):
If the Phillies win the series, Mayor Bloomberg will travel to Philadelphia to take part in the day of service while wearing a Phillies jersey. If the Yankees win the series, Mayor Nutter will travel to New York to take part in the day of service while wearing a Yankees jersey. The Mayor of the losing city will also buy the Mayor of the winning city and his fellow volunteers lunch.