Monday, March 8, 2010

The Daily Strike-3/8/10-On the Road Again

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Make sure you read the entry below to get caught up on the week in politics.

HEALTH CARE: President Obama took his health care pitch to supporters at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. We've seen the President give many speeches on health care, but none of them were quite as direct as this one. Once again, President Obama called on Congress to get the job done, and that reform is "within our grasp." He blasted the Washington media for being so focused on the "sport of politics" and feeding misinformation on the health care legislation. He also framed his bill as a proposal that includes the best ideas of both parties. This claim seems unlikely, though it is 100% true. The excise tax was based on John McCain's proposal to help do away with the employer-based system. The individual mandate was first implemented in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney. I think the President hasn't always talked enough about how the bill is actually a very moderate proposal. The public needs to understand that Republicans oppose the bill not because it's left-wing bill, but for strictly political purposes.

The speech may not have changed any minds in Congress, but it can help get a drumbeat of momentum going that might help push the bill over the finish line.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF ERIC MASSA: Congressman Eric Massa was elected in November 2008, and immediately he was in the good graces of myself and The Big Picture. We loved that he was a former Navy Seal who staunchly opposed the Iraq War. He also was an ardent supporter of single-payer health care who in a conservative upstate district.

Boy, were we wrong. Massa has completely gone off the deep end. In the past week, he announced his retirement because of health issues, he admitted to improper conduct with some of his staffers, and he resigned his seat because of the investigation into this conduct. The charges against Massa are just plain weird. Massa admitted to being drunk at a wedding party and making inappropriate sexual references to one of his staffers. I highly recommend you read the dirty details. Speaking of dirty details, THIS is weird.

Now Massa is claiming that the ethics investigation has been orchestrated by the House leadership and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in retaliation of Massa's "nay" vote on health care legislation. Massa has absolutely no proof to substantiate these charges, but that hasn't stopped the right-wing to go crazy over these allegations. To top it off, Massa has agreed to be on Glenn Beck's show tomorrow night. This should be very interesting.

Massa officially resigned his seat tonight, leaving the whole number of members in the House at 431. There are currently 253 Democrats and 178 Republicans. Democrats will need to muster 216 votes to pass health care legislation. We'll have more on the vote count in the House later.

No action in Congress today, they return tomorrow. We will see you then!

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