1.) Coming soon to a walk-in clinic near you: Nancy Pelosi — “Imprecise” and “confusing” language in the health care bill may bring an end to congressional participation in the federal employees health care program, writes the New York Times. Apparently, there is an “assumption” in the health care bill “that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.” Oh lawdy, won’t that suck! Such analysis comes courtesy of the Congressional Research Service, which exists for exactly one reason–to make people feel dumb about the life choice they just made. Writes the Times, “If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?” HAHA, of course not!
2.) White House crushes Clinton’s SCOTUS hoop dreams — People who care about these things took a brief respite from howling about Elena Kagan on Monday long enough to consider Hillary Clinton for the Supreme Court. Disgraced Clinton pollster Mark Penn had someone ask his opinion again, and just like in the old days, he delivered by positing in stilted prose that Clinton “would bring a revolution to the court and would be confirmable.” According to Politico’s Ben Smith, not only would Clinton move quickly through the Senate (thanks to all her friends there?), she would then use the skills she “honed” during her time “as a freshman senator from New York” to “charm fellow justices.” We presume this to mean that Clinton would replace the non-dairy creamer with straight-up blow, force fellow justices to take high-interest cash loans, and fix Chief Justice John Roberts up with the hottest tail in the city. Then late Monday the White House said, “Hell no,” and now there is zero chance that Hillary Clinton will be the most powerful person with a mullet ever.
3.) Patrick Leahy will complain about people like himself during press conference later today — As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy knows that opportunities like replacing Justice John Paul Stevens do not come around often. Sometimes he can’t believe a Vermont boy like him got all the way from state attorney’s office in Chittenden County to the United States Senate! Today, Leahy is going to hold a press conference that will focus on “Republican obstruction of President Obama’s judicial nominations.” Even though there are no nominees as of this moment to obstruct, Sen. Leahy wants to make clear that when there are some nominees, Republicans had better like them! In keeping with the network’s utter right-wing bias, FOX News congressional reporter John Brandt plans to ask Leahy “just how different current Republican tactics are from those he employed in 2006-07 to block several of President George W. Bush’s appellate court nominees.” Obstructionism!
4.) Massachusetts judge installs insurance price ceiling — “A Suffolk Superior Court judge yesterday denied a request that would have let six Massachusetts health insurers go forward with double-digit rate hikes for tens of thousands of small businesses and individuals, setting up a protracted battle that could become a test of government’s role in controlling health care costs,” reports the Boston Globe. Many of the insurers plan to appeal the decision, but during the interim they will have to insure new customers at current rates. The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans protested the ruling, arguing that several of its member companies suffered operating losses last year thanks to RomneyCare and who knows what else. The group summed up its frustrations in a post-ruling statement: “Making health care affordable needs to start with addressing the market clout of certain hospitals and physician groups.”
5.) Andy Stern to bid SEIU bon voyage? — Close Obama ally Andy Stern may announce his resignation as SIEU president this week, reports the AP. “SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said only that Stern plans to address ‘speculation’ that he would leave his post later this week, at the close of the union’s executive committee meeting.” While the SEIU press office gets its act together, read this brief recap about Stern’s practice of putting politics ahead of the health and well-being of his members: “While Stern has swelled his union’s ranks with aggressive, hard-driving tactics, his topdown management style has rankled many. He forced smaller SEIU locals to merge with other locals to become massive organizations that increased their bargaining and political power. Some members complained that Stern negotiated deals with employers that limited benefits for the rank and file in return for a pledge not to oppose new membership drives.” And then there’s those pensions!
6.) John Boehner reiterates his strong feelings on health care — “This is why the anger that’s out there, frustration that’s out there, and frankly, I think, a lot of this is now turning to resolve — resolving that the American people are going to do something about this,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said Monday on the Bud Hedinger radio show. What he means is that a lot of voters didn’t want health care–not like this, NOT LIKE THIS–because it is turning out to be expensive and poorly thought out. And because of that, Boehner is saying he would like his caucus to make repealing health care its “No. 1 priority.”