Current Issue
Back Issues
 Subscribe to BartBlog Feed
How to Read
Members ( need password)
Subscribe to BartCop!
Contact Us
Advertise With Us
Link to Us
Why Donate?
The Forum  -
The Reader
Poster Downloads
Shirts & Shots
BartCop Hotties
More Links
BFEE Scorecard
Perkel's Blog
Power of Nightmares
Clinton Fox Interview
Part 1, Part 2
Money Talks
Cost of Bush's greed
White Rose Society
Project 60
Chinaco Anejo


Search Now:
In Association with

Link Roll
American Politics Journal
Barry Crimmins
Betty Bowers
Consortium News 
Daily Howler
Daily Kos
Democatic Underground 
Disinfotainment Today 
Evil GOP Bastards
Faux News Channel 
Greg Palast
The Hollywood Liberal 
Internet Weekly
Jesus General
Joe Conason 
Josh Marshall
Liberal Oasis
Make Them Accountable 
Mark Morford 
Mike Malloy 
Political Humor -
Political Wire
Randi Rhodes
Rude Pundit 
Smirking Chimp
Take Back the Media
More Links


Locations of visitors to this page

Help Committee Update
 by Mary AD

While everyone was watching Michael Jackson on every channel except maybe the Golf Channel, 
I have been watching the HELP Committee hearings on C-Span.  

HELP stands for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and is chaired by Sen. Ted Kennedy.  
Since Kennedy has been ill, the acting chair of the committee is Chris Dodd.  Listening to this committee 
is sort of like watching Star Wars.  Senator Dodd is Obi Wan Kenobi (our only hope) and his Jedi council
is made up of fellow democrats Patty Murray of WA, Barbara Mikulski of MD, and Jeff Bingaman of NM.  
For a complete list of committee members, look here:

This shows 22 members, but think there are 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans.  The Darth Vader of this 
committee is Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-Likes to Hear Himself Talk) of Oklahoma.  Since Coburn is a former OB-GYN, 
he knows everything and the rest of the committee members know nothing.  Over the last two weeks, tons of 
amendments have been presented to the committee and the democratic ones pass every time and the republican 
ones seldom make it.  

Essentially, the republicans are trying to “amendment” the democrats to death to stall for time.  Most of their 
amendments want to take money from a possible single payer program and move it into some private insurance program.  
They also have lots of digressions about possible government-funded abortion.  Coburn referred to his treatment of women 
with an ectopic pregnancy as an abortion.  

One surprise was that even though John McCain is a member of this committee, he didn’t show up for a single 
meeting until today.  All senators voted by proxy when not in attendance.  Sen. Burr of NC was all shook up 
about the definition of family.  It wasn’t clear whether he was worried about gays or immigrants getting benefits!  

The person who stood up the most for the common man was Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  Senators Bingaman 
and Mikulski asked the most questions about the nonstop Coburn amendments.  They all but said “That’s bullshit because….” 

Sen. Dodd’s sister passed away last week and briefly the committee was chaired by Tom Harkin, D-Confused.  
He made several procedural errors but clearly had good intentions.  Here’s a link to today’s hearing: 

The republicans on the committee who were knowledgeable and respectful were ranking member Mike Enzi-WY 
and Lisa Murkowski-AK.  The red headed stranger on the committee was committee staffer David Bowen who 
politely answered even the most bone-headed questions.  I think this is all going to the Congressional Budget Office 
after today’s markup session.  As someone with no insurance, I am hoping something good will come out of this committee!
 Mary AD

  Back to

Send e-mail to Bart  |  Discuss it on The BartCop ForumComment on it at the BartBlog

Privacy Policy
. .