"ThinkFast: September 9, 2009"
In his speech to a joint session of Congress tonight, President Obama “will press for a government-run insurance option in a proposed overhaul of the U.S. health-care system,” but will also say that “he is open to better ideas on a government plan if lawmakers have them.” Obama is likely to say that a public option will “not provide a level of subsidies that give it an unfair advantage over private insurers.”
Yesterday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee held an event outside the White House with former staffers of Obama’s 2008 campaign calling on the president to sign health care reform with a public option. Today, the group purchased a full-page ad in the New York Times.
Politico takes a look at congressional freshmen and writes that Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), the lead sponsor of the “birther” bill, “has taken a hit with his colleagues and most serious politicos of both parties.” Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Posey’s bill “cheapens the debate,” and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said “it’s harmful to the country.”
Environmental advocates yesterday “unveiled a major coalition aimed at getting a climate and energy bill passed this year.” The 63-member coalition includes NAACP, the Sierra Club, VoteVets, AFSCME, Catholics United, and others. The alliance “aims to combat the attacks against climate action and keep the issue atop the agenda this fall.”
41 percent: Europeans who “believe that transatlantic ties have improved over the past year,” double the percentage in 2008 during the Bush administration. Thirty-one percent of Americans believe the same, “triple the amount from one year ago.” Seventy-seven percent of Europeans also support Obama’s handling of foreign policy, compared to just 19 percent for Bush in 2008.
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) has decided that he will remain chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, likely clearing the way for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to take over the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee vacated by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Harkin’s ascension on the HELP panel could lead to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) taking over the Agriculture Committee.
National Journal reports that key posts at the Department of Homeland Security remain unfilled. “Two of the most significant nominations still awaiting Senate confirmation are Rafael Borras to be undersecretary of Homeland Security for management and Tara O’Toole to be undersecretary for the department’s Science and Technology Directorate.”
And finally: Ever wonder what goes on “inside the mind of Mark Foley,” the congressman who had to resign after sending inappropriate messages to underage pages? Well, now you can know! Foley is set to debut a radio show on Sept. 22 on West Palm Beach radio station WSVU 960 AM. “You’re going to be amazed,” promised Foley’s spokesman.
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