July 31, 2009

Bring It, Bitches!

Given the shitty performance so far by the Democrats in the Health Care debate, I wonder if I should be scared or amused by this story.

But Democrats who’d pushed for a vote before the break are dreading an onslaught of advertisements funded by business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is putting $2 million toward fighting a Democratic proposal to create a government-run “public plan” to compete with private insurers.

To counter that, Democratic leaders will be coordinating media strategies and grassroots efforts with advocacy groups such as Health Care for America Now, Families USA and AARP, along with unions such as AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union.

In a briefing with reporters Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged that Democrats have been losing the message war "a little bit" to Republicans. He said Democrats have had problems communicating with the bill as it changed in the legislative process.

“We’re responsible for putting together a plan. We've been focused on that,” Hoyer said. "Republicans have been free to conjure up whatever they want.”

But now, he noted, some industry groups like the American Medical Association and the pharmaceutical industry who derailed reform in the 90s are on the side of Democrats who want to overhaul the system.

“Harry and Louise are going to be saying this is a good thing,” Hoyer said. “We're going to be on the air, we're going to be in the neighborhoods.”

In addition to noting presidential events, the three-page strategy document lays out a detailed campaign of district events, rapid response, and conference calls with lawmakers to update them on strategy.

Posted by: eddiebear at 09:23 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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July 23, 2009

Blue Dog Democrats Raking In The Cash?

Not surprisingly, the 50 or so "centrist" House Democrats are raking in big time cash donations from lobbying groups.

In the 2008 election cycle, as fundraising for the National Republican Congressional Committee declined by roughly one-third from 2006 and fundraising for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee grew by just 26 percent, the Blue Dog PAC more than doubled its take (from $1,239,516 to $2,636,273).

And it raised more than $47,000 per Blue Dog from other political action committees — more than twice the $22,000-per-member total from the 2004 cycle.

Some of that cash came from interests that aren’t necessarily in sync with labor or even with traditional Democratic constituencies. In just the first half of 2009, all told the Blue Dog PAC took in $1,058,750 in contributions from other PACs, including health care PACs, which have already kicked in $297,500; energy PACs, $162,500; and financial services PACs, $134,500.

Former Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) says the business community’s strategy is no mystery. It is making donations, in part, to gain influence with the Blue Dogs.

“I mean, what other conclusion could you come to?” he said with a laugh. “And that’s something that the Blue Dogs have sought. They want to be in that position, to have influence.”

I give it about 3 years before we start hearing about some of these Blue dogs taking shady money for their influence. just a thought.

Posted by: eddiebear at 11:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 22, 2009

Guy who can't win PA Senate seat within 1 pt in poll

When "Benedict" Arlen Specter switched parties there was a massive recruitment effort on the part of the PA-GOP and the NRSC to recruit some other Republican candidate "who can win" to challenge Pat Toomey.

Well, the latest Quinnipiac Poll has Specter 45 to Toomey 44. The same poll also shows Toomey ahead of Specter's Democratic primary challenger Rep. Joe Sestak 39 to 35.

So, to those frantically trying to recruit Tom Ridge, Bill Scranton, or State Sen Jane Orie, or trying to get Rep. Gerlach to switch from the Gov race to the Senate race, you can officially get bent now. We've got our guy, and he knows how to win with a conservative message tailored to persuade independents.

Get a summary of the poll here, follow news and analysis at PaWatercooler.com, GrassrootsPA.com, and PoliticsPA.com.

Posted by: JoeCollins at 07:21 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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July 21, 2009

Moron Corrections Department, Overpriced Ham Edition

Fuck! And I thought we had us an awesome scandal to get worked up about.

The references to "2 pound frozen ham sliced" are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy "2 pounds of ham" are wrong. In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191 million, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound. In terms of the dairy purchase referenced, USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) purchased 837,936 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 4,039,200 pounds of processed cheese. The canned pork purchase was 8,424,000 pounds at a cost of $16,784,000, or approximately $1.99 per pound.

Posted by: eddiebear at 12:46 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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July 02, 2009

Budget still stalled out in Harrisburg

State employees are now not being paid.  Basically, we're projected to run a $3 billion dollar shortfall already, and Fast Eddie Rendell and the Democrats want to spend yet more money (the state already spends way too fucking much) and raise taxes (they're already high in PA).  The GOP has the Senate, and they're refusing to have anything to do with raising taxes.  They know that if they don't hold firm against the Democrats, they'll be replaced by people who will.  So it ought to be interesting to see what happens.  I should note, Fast Eddie has never gotten the budget out on time.

Posted by: doubleplusundead at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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