Presidents Day Open Thread

Today is Presidents Day, which is a day that was invented in order to roll Lincoln and Washington's birthday into one national holiday. For some reason, we could not just add a holiday to honor Martin Luther King.

What Presidents Day brings to mind for me? Ads like this one:

[Video gone]

Ugh. No offense to Washington and Lincoln, but the celebrations of their birth have set advertising back like nothing else.

This is an Open Thread.

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    I'm sure the Presidents would want me to take note (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:39:35 AM EST
    of my sagging mattress.

    The funny thing is (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:39:16 PM EST
    MLK Day isn't on MLK's birthday either - it's been made so there's another 3 day weekend and yes, more mattress sales.

    I don't think MLK wanted people to take vacation and for kids to roam the streets and be out school in his honor.


    Just continuing from the healthcare debate. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Salo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:09:07 AM EST
    Btal posted a link to the Times reporting that the nhs will prioritize treatment for staff- doctors, nurses And ambulance drivers spending extra money if needed to hurry the process along.   Spending about $3 million doing so. Again call the cops.  A healthcare organization ensuring it's own people are able to function as workers. The horror! I mean like doctors and nurses medicating each other. Where will it end?    

    I beat you by less than a minute. (none / 0) (#7)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:11:16 AM EST
    Good info though.

    Oh my goodness (none / 0) (#22)
    by cawaltz on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:40:07 AM EST
    You mean they are incentivizing a highly specialized field in which expertise is needed to keep up with demand?

    The horror! The horror!


    Thanks, but I prefer to celebrate today (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Cream City on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:54:55 AM EST
    as Susan B. Anthony's birthday -- as it really is her birthday, while it is neither George's nor Abe's birthday.  

    So I celebrate this day every year, as millions of women have been doing for more than 150 years in honor of another great American.  And we don't need no stinkin' declaration from Congress to do so.  

    Nor do we take off the day for play.  We do what Susan B. and all those millions of women before us did on this day; we get right back to work.

    Oh, and by the way, millions of us celebrated yesterday, too -- not Valentine's Day but the 90th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters . . . or really, the renaming of that organization actually founded in 1869 by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others.  But more than a century ago, the group under its previous guise, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which opted to meet to change its name in 1920 on the eve of this day when women across the country already were accustomed to celebrating Susan B., anyway.

    Now, to tie all this together and really honor all of these heroes, we all need to get back to work to get presidential debates back in the purview of the League of Women Voters, after what we witnessed in 2008 -- 20 years after debates were taken out of their hands and handed to the networks.  Enough.

    All in favor of (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by brodie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:58:53 AM EST
    going back to the old system of presidential debates run by the LWV with the panel of journalists asking questions, rather than the one soft-touch corporatist news anchor going through the motions.  Not perfect back then, of course, but they were better than what we later got.  

    And if I'm not mistaken, that decent Dem interim senator from MA, Paul Kirk, played a major role years ago when he helped the two parties engineer a hostile takeover from the League.


    Here here! (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:48:37 AM EST
    Commercialism run amok. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lentinel on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:40:05 AM EST
    No offense to Washington and Lincoln, but the celebrations of their birth have set advertising back like nothing else.

    Jesus might have something to say about that.
    I think he is still in first place.

    Well, at least they don't portrayJesus (none / 0) (#33)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:05:55 AM EST
    in the actual Christmas advertising. Though I would find it amusing.

    Weren't they selling (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:14:05 AM EST
    (gin-yoo-ine) talkin' Jesus's at Walmart awhile back?

    Apparently any Dem who wants to (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by tigercourse on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:18:29 AM EST
    run for Bayh's seat has just 4 days to gather 500 signatures from 9 different districts (each) in order to get on the ballot.

    So the Dem's (none / 0) (#43)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:32:53 AM EST
    will have to appoint someone to run in Bayh's place.  If only they could nudge Birch out of retirement!

    Well, Peyton Manning is probably a Republican, (none / 0) (#46)
    by steviez314 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:44:59 AM EST
    but what about Reggie Miller?

    Larry Bird (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:53:57 AM EST
    is a Democrat - he'd just have to move home to French Lick.  

    Did not know that (none / 0) (#55)
    by brodie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:16:53 PM EST
    about Larry Bird.  But then I seem to recall he was always pretty good on the hardcourt going to the left.  Fellow Dem Magic Johnson could stump for him around the state.  If dullard Bill Bradley could make it, why not Larry Legend?

    Other possibilities in a similar vein:  Gene Hackman.  Hardnosed but not crazy, principled yet flexible.  Barbara Hershey.  Same.  Both Hollywood, yes, but both firmly attached in the public mind as at least Honorary Hoosiers.


    I meant to have (none / 0) (#58)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:41:25 PM EST
    IF in my comment about Bird -- just want to clarify that.

    Has verdict in the Saddiqui case been discussed? (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jawbone on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:57:31 PM EST
    I searched TalkLeft, found nothing, but there may be variants in spelling.

    Ian Welsh directs his readers to Paul Craig Roberts' piece showing how this case indicates the US is already a police state.

    I was a bit put off by the title -- until I read the incredible paucity of evidence that this 100 pound woman grabbed a rifle from a US soldier in a Baghram interrogation room and shot twice (none of which hit any US personnel); she was shot twice in the stomach.

    On reading this piece I am, well, stunned.  And not only bcz the MCM did not bother to report any of the discrepancies noted in the article.  Yikes!

    I am also becoming convinced that US citizens have been so made so frightened and  propagandized that any Muslim accused of anything remotely linked to terrorism cannot get a fair trial. Altho it did take the Bushies several trials and a move of venue from FL to the Midwest to nail those poor, deluded guys in Miami.

    Dr. Siddiqui, a scientist educated at MIT and Brandeis University, was seized in Pakistan for no known reason, sent to Afghanistan, and was held secretly for five years in the U.S. military's notorious Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Her three young children, one an 8-month-old baby, were with her at the time she was abducted. She has no idea what has become of her two youngest children. Her oldest child, 7 years old, was also incarcerated in Bagram and subjected to similar abuse and horrors.

    Siddiqui has never been charged with any terrorism-related offense. A British journalist, hearing her piercing screams as she was being tortured, disclosed her presence. An embarrassed U.S. government responded to the disclosure by sending Siddiqui to the U.S. for trial on the trumped-up charge that while a captive, she grabbed a U.S. soldier's rifle and fired two shots attempting to shoot him. The charge apparently originated as a U.S. soldier's excuse for shooting Dr. Siddiqui twice in the stomach, resulting in her near death.

    On Feb. 4, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted by a New York jury for attempted murder. The only evidence presented against her was the charge itself and an unsubstantiated claim that she had once taken a pistol-firing course at an American firing range. No evidence was presented of her fingerprints on the rifle that this frail and broken 100-pound woman had allegedly seized from an American soldier. No evidence was presented that a weapon was fired, no bullets, no shell casings, no bullet holes. Just an accusation.

    Wikipedia has this to say about the trial: "The trial took an unusual turn when an FBI official asserted that the fingerprints taken from the rifle, which was purportedly used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S. interrogators, did not match hers."


    This is the unmistakable hallmark of a police state. And this victim is an American citizen.

    Anyone can be next. Indeed, on Feb. 3 Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence told the House Intelligence Committee that it was now "defined policy" that the U.S. government can murder its own citizens on the sole basis of someone in the government's judgment that an American is a threat. No arrest, no trial, no conviction, just execution on suspicion of being a threat.

    This shows how far the police state has advanced. A presidential appointee in the Obama administration tells an important committee of Congress that the executive branch has decided that it can murder American citizens abroad if it thinks they are a threat.

    I can hear readers saying the government might as well kill Americans abroad as it kills them at home - Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Black Panthers.

    Yes, the U.S. government has murdered its citizens, but Dennis Blair's "defined policy" is a bold new development. ....

    Nope (1.00 / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:44:20 AM EST
    You don't get treated in the US if you are poor or marginal

    I take it you have never heard of Medicaid and have video of people being tossed out of ER's.

    Look. We need reform to a single payer system but comments like the above don't help.

    And yes, England's NHS paying employees health insurance is an admission that they have problems. Real problems.

    That's why our plan should be inclusive and provide enough money to do a good job. That means everyone pays and everyone uses. No exceptions.

    Look up who Medicaid covers (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:06:39 PM EST
    in most states sometime, buddy, and then come back and talk about how it covers poor people.

    As for ERs, yes, you can get emergency treatment in an emergency if you have no insurance and can't pay.  But not the follow-up care or even thorough diagnostics, never even mind the prescription drugs needed to treat your condition and keep you from ending up the emergency room in crisis again.

    Don't even begin to try this nonsense comparing our "system" favorably to NIH.  It's total garbage.


    Emergency care is not free, (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:11:51 PM EST
    even though private hospitals are required to treat you to the point of stabilization before shipping you out - whether on your own two feet or to the nearest non-private hospital for further treatment.

    Medicaid rules are such that one can have almost no assets in order to qualify - that means no house, no car, no bank account or other assets that exceed roughly $2,600.00.

    There are millions of people who are not poor enough to be Medicaid-qualified, but who still cannot afford private insurance or out-of-pocket costs that are often higher - considerably higher - than those charged to individuals with insurance.

    I know you are in favor of single-payer, but I think it is important to debunk what is a mostly right-wing myth, and that is that the answer to those who need care and cannot afford it is: enroll in Medicaid or go to the ER.

    As many have pointed out, the NHS is not the only option available to Britons; to say that the use of private coverage for NHS providers signals real problems with NHS is a conclusion for which there are not enough facts or information to reach.

    Are they having trouble attracting providers?  I don't know - but I would say that offering private health coverage might be one method of doing so.  Do you know, for example, whether VA providers in this country - those employed by the VA medical system - are covered by the VA, or are they treated like all other federal employees who get to choose a health plan from among hundreds of private companies?  If they get the choice all federal employees do, does that mean the VA system is in trouble?

    My husband has VA insurance, so I will have to ask him to ask the next time he goes.


    Many people say the VA system is in trouble (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:47:45 PM EST
    I don't know.

    Are they having trouble attracting providers?  I don't know - but I would say that offering private health

    That is the definition of taking action to hire the needed skill levels. Offer a benefit. Obviously private insurance is seen as a benefit.

    Most people I know understand that you have to be poor to qualify for Medicaid so I don't think that the "Righties" are under some misunderstanding.

    And as we both know, Obama's planS won't help those in the middle and will hurt Medicare.


    You sure couldn't prove that through (none / 0) (#73)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:12:20 PM EST
    the exceptional care and benefits given at the Seattle area VA centers. My dad is a WWII veteran who lost his right arm in the war. There is practically nothing that isn't available to him through the VA...medical, dental, both prescription and OTC medications. If he were still wearing his prosthetic arm, they would replace it whenever he needed them to. I am pretty sure they don't single him out for great care.

    Medicaid has holes the size of planets. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Salo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:21:46 PM EST
    The mortality stats bear this out. It's means tested too which is designed to humilate and exclude the poor and disorganized.

    Poor people die earlier than rich people (1.00 / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:40:06 PM EST
    for a variety of reasons... Diet and smoking head the list...

    And everyone is means tested every time they try and buy anything.

    But read what I said. You are preaching to the choir.

    Medicaid and ER treatment does exist. Your comment ignored them. And that's a shame because the cost of ER is often ignored by those who oppose a single payer system.


    In the 90s (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Salo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:56:48 PM EST
    My boy swallowed a penny and choked a bit. Took him to emergency they xrayed him he'd successfully swallowed it far enough to be safe.  $600 bill I was a poor student wife was on Medicaid at the time. She was also a student in LA.  I've been through that system. It worked nicely while I had private care. These things, happened back when I was a boy in the uk and there were no bills plopped in the mail box. All my medical horror stories have been in the US. Never in the Uk. It'smy experience and it tends to confirm my theory.  

    Okay so (1.00 / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:10:30 PM EST
    the anecdotal bits happened.

    So some people are embarrassed to ask for welfare and medicaid.

    But there is a safety net in this country. Denying it proves nothing and is counter productive.

    I would like to improve the safety net.

    Question:  I think a single payer, read government, system should be paid for by a national sales tax that everyone pays.

    Do you agree?

    Question: I think everyone, no exceptions, should use the same system because I have long known that when people have skin in the game they are more involved, etc.

    Do you agree?

    And would you agree that the ability of many to opt out of the English NHS is the cause of their problems?


    There is no safety net in this (5.00 / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:01:40 PM EST
    country.  When my daughter was looking at divorce and two kids to support she qualified for NOTHING!  If it had not been for her father and I they would have ended up in a shelter until her husband was forced to have to pay her something until the divorce was final....and not that $350 would have done a whole lot.  Spare me Jim, there is no safety net.  You've had your head in the sand or someplace else for far too long.

    Yes MT (1.00 / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:40:22 PM EST
    there is a safety net. We both know that.

    That it didn't catch your daughter may be part of the problem but it doesn't wipe out the many other programs.

    So please put your attack stick back in the corner until you find something that makes sense to use it on.


    There is no safety net (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:36:32 PM EST
    You have no proof.  I have proof there isn't one.

    huh?? (none / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:23:00 AM EST
    Come on MT, we have a huge amount and number of programs. That your daughter wasn't covered in one instance doesn't mean there are NONE.

    National sales tax! (5.00 / 0) (#77)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:53:23 AM EST

    Then how would you pay for it? (none / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:28:03 AM EST
    The opposition we have now is broad and based in families that make more than around $38K a year who pay FIT. Say single payer to them and they immediately see their taxes going up to pay for someone else's healthcare. And that is also one of the main objections to Obamacare. (Plus his attack on Medicare.)

    To make it more fair we can always exempt unprepared food, utilities, cars older than X years, etc.

    But it will never fly unless the American taxpayer is convinced that everyone is doing their share.


    Your reply (none / 0) (#81)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 03:04:26 PM EST
    The inclusion of exemption for utilities, etc., leads me to believe that you're advocating for a national sales tax to replace income tax.

    If that's the case then you are clueless regarding the catastrophe to this nation if a national sales tax, the model of regressive taxation, replaced the only fair method of taxation; the graduated income tax.

    You're dead wrong about the public's attitude regarding single payer. A strong "super" majority supports single-payer.  In fact polls have shown that people are willing to pay higher taxes for universal health care.

    But, you never miss an opportunity to promote crackpot, extreme right-wing bromides.  

    You right-wingers will be the death of this country.


    Okay so (none / 0) (#67)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:00:49 PM EST
    link me to a place at your "there are no moderate Democrats" website where you discuss your support for a single payer.

    Why do I so strongly suspect that the whole social liberalism thing is a charade in order to give you just enough liberal credibility to not be branded a troll when you drop in to drop the latest, up-to-the-minute Rethug talking point?

    Link please.


    Link? (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:36:39 PM EST
    Good grief... I have been posting the same for 7 years, and you can't prove different... so keep on claiming.

    Your problem is that I am a social liberal, not a Left winger. Vast differences on such issues as Hate speech, defense, etc.

    But yet, when you could use some assistance you break out the "purity" card.

    Now, go strongly suspect. It fits you.


    Oddly, all the UK rugby players on my (none / 0) (#62)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:00:25 PM EST
    team when I played in the late '80's had entirely different experiences than you.

    So what does all that prove?


    I would have wanted MLK (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    observed separately. Now that he has to share his day with Robert E Lee though where I live, I'm fine rolling it into one.  Not that they wouldn't try to throw Robert E Lee into that brood too, but it would be funny throwing him in there with Lincoln. The blatant refusal to quit celebrating racism around here wouldn't appear so blatant, but the blatant refusal to admit that the civil war is over would be pretty obvious.

    Lincoln and Pulaski (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:38:05 PM EST
    are both holidays in Illinois. Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12, is still a holiday, and school is out. Another Illinois favorite is Casimir Pulaski Day, celebrated on the first Monday of March. This holiday honors the Polish military officer and tactician Pulaski, who came to America and helped to train the Revolutionary Army. School is out on this, too, in Illinois.

    Why Pulaski? Lots of Poles in Illinois. The only city with more Poles than Chicago is Warsaw.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:43:36 AM EST
    Maybe MLK could have shared with Columbus.

    President's Day came about not that many decades ago. I remember it being an alterating holiday...one year Washington's Birthday, the next year Lincoln's, 'cause they aren't too far apart. They also eliminated protests that other President's didn't get their birthdays recognized with a separate holiday.


    King - Columbus? (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:01:24 AM EST
    Im guessing a lot of people would have problems with honoring King and a person who worked native slaves to death in Spanish mines on the same day.

    Perhaps we should petition (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:02:04 PM EST
    to eliminate Columbus Day.

    I could live without Columbus Day (2.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:46:05 PM EST
    but I did watch the Sopranos and we may have a problem.

    Columbus Day just (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:52:42 PM EST
    disappeared from the state holiday list in CA.

    Perhaps the country could consider (none / 0) (#72)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:01:50 PM EST
    Making any "holiday" that honors just one person have time limits....10 years, then, if it can't be turned into a holiday that represents many, it fades into being a "day" :)

    MLK could share his day with Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, etc.


    MLK Day is a state holiday (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:58:49 PM EST
    in CA as is Cesar Chavez. But Lincoln just lost his separate birthday holiday.

    Just another no meaning holiday for many (none / 0) (#3)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 08:59:47 AM EST
    Yep just a holiday that people and businesses take advantage of that having nothing to do in honoring Washington and Lincoln birthdays.

    If you did a Jay Leno J walk and asked people what is the significance of President's day 90 percent would not know or give a dumb answer.  Always liked that segment of Leno it showed just how dumb some people really are.  

    Here is a good link on its history

    For BTAL (none / 0) (#4)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:07:56 AM EST
    The thread yesterday has 200 comments so I can't reply. You offered your evidence about NHS and private insurance. It was exactly as I recalled, and not the same as what Salo was discussing.
    NHS spent 1.5 million lb. on private insurance for some employees.
    As I said---a miniscule amount, of no relevance to policy discussions. That seemed to be your main piece of evidence on NHS, and it's nothing at all.

    Sorry about lb. for pounds the (none / 0) (#6)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:09:23 AM EST

    Look at how the number(s) (none / 0) (#8)
    by BTAL on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:39:17 AM EST
    are increasing.  Each year, the NHS is adding more staff to the list of "exempted" employees.  If it was a one-off situation or the numbers were flatlined for some sort of mission critical personnel then your point would be completely valid.

    Yes, 1.5m GBP is not an earth shattering number, but we are talking about insurance premiums not actual health care costs for these people.



    I guess these costs are on the (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:41:38 AM EST
    order of magnitude of 1 millionth of total NHS expenditures.
    This is pathetic, and NOT what you were promising in your teasers yesterday.
    You might as well complain about how much the UK spends on ACORN.

    The amount of money (2.00 / 0) (#10)
    by BTAL on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:49:04 AM EST
    is not the core point and we all know that.  The core point is the treatment delays in the NHS.  Yes, the adage is true, treatment delayed is treatment denied.

    And here, in a world where we are ruled by (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:25:20 AM EST
    private insurance, treatment delayed/denied puts lots of dollars in the pockets of industry executives and stockholders, but does not improve the health of those it purports to insure.  

    The rising cost of premiums paid just for the privilege of maybe having some of the cost of our care covered is putting more and more people in financial jeopardy, throwing more and more of them off the insurance rolls altogether and subjecting them to the mercy of whatever providers want to charge, causing chronic conditions to escalate to acute ones and burdening state and local entities with higher and higher costs.

    In our world of private insurance, our health system is ranked by WHO at 37, while the Brits, who have to wait so, so long for their care, are ranked at 18; hpw'd they manage that???

    We spend a lot more, but we don't get a lot more; our people are sicker, die sooner and we get to pay more and more for those bad outcomes.  There's something wrong  - a lot wrong - with that picture, and the points you are attempting to make regarding Britain's NHS, in an effort to argue against a public system, are not compelling.


    Respond to Salo, (none / 0) (#13)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:02:17 AM EST
    who explained the issue. For me, the cost is so low I couldn't care less. The amount of money the UK spends on ACORN is as relevant to me.
    Yes, I do know what that amount is.

    Wonkroom at Think Progress censors links to PNHP (none / 0) (#11)
    by lambert on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:54:24 AM EST
    I can't imagine why, but that's what they do.

    According to reports... (none / 0) (#14)
    by michitucky on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:03:31 AM EST
    Evan Bayh to retire.

    At the last minute (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:08:06 AM EST
    He's turned out to be nothing but (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:58:20 PM EST
    a huge jerk.

    Since Obama won Indiana, this should be an easy (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:36:51 AM EST
    seat for Democrats to win in November.  All Obama has to do is to show up in Indiana, and all his supporters will vote for the Democratic candidate.  Heh.

    Not at all unhappy with (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by brodie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:49:59 AM EST
    EB's decision.  He never lived up to the early promise that he would be a bold legislator for progressive change in the fine tradition of his father Birch.  

    Birch Bayh:  major role in enacting the 25th and 26th amendments and Title IX on gender equality in sports, proposed the Equal Rts Amendment, and led the fight for elimination of the Electoral College (but for filibustering by Sen Ervin and other southern conservatives, this one might well have passed with 2/3 of Congress).  

    Birch was also, by the early 70s, easily presidential material.  Too bad he got into that crowded 1976 race so late and we got the more conservative JC instead.

    Evan turned out to be a small-bore bore of a milquetoast Demican who seemed to want to set himself apart from his famous bold-stroke father by legislating in tiny increments from some artificial halfway ideological point he drew between the two parties.  What a contrast in political courage between father and son.


    I actually believed (none / 0) (#28)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:57:57 AM EST
    that we'd see a new Bayh after the last election.  He seemed so different campaigning for HC during our fun Dem primary here in Indiana.  That energy carried over when campaining for Obama. I was so happy when Obama won Indiana- I still can't believe it.  The minute the election was over Bayh reverted back to form.  

    Was the energy and enthusiasm he displayed for HC and then BO only to advance his case as possible VP?  


    He's taking his bat and his ball and (none / 0) (#36)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:15:01 AM EST
    going home:

    "Two weeks ago, the Senate voted down a bipartisan commission to deal with one of the greatest threats facing our nation: our exploding deficits and debt. The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted `no' for short-term political reasons," he said. "Just last week, a major piece of legislation to create jobs -- the public's top priority -- fell apart amid complaints from both the left and right. All of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens, my beloved state and our nation than continued service in Congress."

    Hmmm...wonder what those could be?

    Here's a clue:

    At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor."

    I have a feeling soon-to-be-Private-Citizen Bayh has a cushy, lucrative industry job lined up...

    In the meanime, someone please call the Waaaaaah-mbulance.


    Hmmmm, interesting.. (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:13:06 AM EST
    wonder what is up with that? Just re-election fears?

    Don't think re-election fears (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:45:26 AM EST
    Dan Coats was already damaged.  And, from what I've heard, Bayh's people had a big hand in that.  So if last week they were very engaged in the process -- what changed?

    Seems like something else is going on.  As an Indiana resident who has voted for Bayh before, what choice did I have, I had already called his office and written him that I would not be voting for him this time around.  I expect obstructionist Republicans, but I don't expect obstructionist Democrats.  


    No chance for the Dems to (none / 0) (#17)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:20:50 AM EST
    keep that seat,right?

    If I were Bayh, I'd be looking for (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:22:00 AM EST
    a job where I could influence the Obama adminstration more: energy lobbyist would be good, to help Obama with the global warming scare.

    Bayh and Kennedy feel they would lose? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:44:07 AM EST
    Is that why they are running for the hills because they feel they will lose upon re election?

    Seems a chicken way to go out to me.  

    Won't be long before Obama loses control of the both house at this rate.

    The domino theory is on a roll.

    Bayh was well ahead (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by brodie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:52:23 AM EST
    in the most recent polls against Coats.  And I'm not aware of Patrick Kennedy being faced w/a major political challenge.  I suspect in his case, with his history, it really was for personal and not political reasons.

    Then why risk it. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:58:14 AM EST
    Unless there is a serious medical or family problem and you just have to leave OK but if that is not the case and if by you leaving you will guarantee the republican take over of your seat then I think you are doing a dis service to your party and country especially if your vote would pass major pieces of legislation.  

    Stick it out I say since the major reason you took the job was to see what good you could do for  the majority of the people in your district and the rest of the country.


    That's the very question (none / 0) (#32)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:02:36 AM EST
    I'm asking about Bayh.  Last week he and his people were actively planning for his re-election.  They participated and encouraged in the campaign which politically damaged his opponent.

    The polls showed him ahead.

    So what happened to suddenly make him withdraw 4 days before the filing deadline when Dems will have to scramble to find another candidate.


    A scandal we will soon lear about? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:08:36 AM EST
    Maybe.  Just does not make sense to me.  

    A bunch of wimps IMO on some of these guys.


    It's worse than that (none / 0) (#40)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:25:02 AM EST
    A candidate has until Friday, Feb. 19, noon, to file with the secretary of state, but he/she first must have his/her petition signatures certified by county voter registration offices.  The deadline for filing a petition of nomination with a county office for verification of signatures is tomorrow at noon.  Link.  Not a whole heck of a lot of time for another candidate to gather and submit sufficient signatures, unless someone has been gathering signatures for awhile.  It's almost as if Bayh wants his seat to go to a Republican.  

    Bayh doesn't care about (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:34:37 AM EST
    about anyone other than Bayh.  Of course, there is the possiblity of him/wife 'hiking the Appalachian Trail' or a serious health issue for him, children or wife.

    It does seem that way, IndiDemGirl (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:00:30 PM EST
    He has certainly shown that he doesn't care about the Democratic Party or the needs of the voters.  I guess it's really "all about me" for Evan.  Not much like his father.  (And I wonder what Birch thinks of his son's actions and voting record?)

    It is a sad (none / 0) (#54)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:16:41 PM EST
    state of affairs when the only defense of Bayh's action is that there must be some scandel that forced his hand.

    Maybe he was bribed by the Repbulicans (none / 0) (#41)
    by Saul on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:29:07 AM EST
    or they got something on him like a scandal

    Bill Bradley syndrome (none / 0) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 12:09:48 PM EST
    Cut and run.

    Doesn't constitute. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Salo on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 11:22:37 AM EST

    And a TSA B*tch (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 02:48:46 PM EST
    You guys didn't screw the damned cap back on my Zyrtec and it all ended up all over my suitcase.  You guys know how much that stuff costs people?  Snap out of it.