Run for the hills. Halloween’s coming early, inspired by one lawmaker in particular. We can expect locked doors, dim back rooms and mysterious murmuring in the very near future, predicts Rick Scott, director of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, a grass-roots group.
“You’d think we were in a haunted house. But it’s Capitol Hill we’re talking about here, now that the fate of health care reform is in the hands of Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid,” Mr. Scott tells Inside the Beltway.
“He’ll literally play the role of Dr. Frankenstein, as he patches together a monster health care bill from the HELP and Senate Finance committees. The temptation for ‘Halloween Harry’ and his minions to reanimate the ‘public option’ is going to be difficult to resist. All of us must keep a wary eye on this process,” Mr. Scott continues.
Americans are keen on lower costs, not higher taxes and long waits for care, he says - and are loath to fall into the clutches of “a government-run health care monster.”
Mr. Scott suggests that both the public and lawmakers get at least 72 hours to read Mr. Reid’s new “creation,” which could be a weighty 1,000 pages or so, and might require a jolt from, say, lightning bolts. Or a new brain.
“The last thing the American people want is for it to remain hidden in October shadows before senators vote,” he adds.
Speaking of Sen. Reid, he was channeling his inner Yogi Berra on the floor of the Senate Wednesday, his curious aside overheard by our ace political editor David Sands.
In his never-ending quest to speed up proceedings in the chamber, the majority leader began to read his morning statement without formally asking the presiding officer, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, to set aside the bill that was the pending business before the Senate - a parliamentary no-no.
Heavens. Imagine such a thing.
“Sorry, Mr. President,” Mr. Reid said. “I was trying to hurry up a little too fast there.”
Well, stop the presses. Veteran newswoman Helen Thomas has a soft spot in her heart for former President Gerald Ford, admires Nancy Reagan and thinks President Obama “lacks courage.” Wait, what? Who knew? That is what she told Phil Bronstein, editor-at-large of the San Francisco Chronicle, who interviewed the 89-year-old media maven in a recent public forum. The crowd gasped.
“It was interesting,” Mr. Bronstein tells the Beltway. “I guess I was prepared that she was so forthcoming; she’s a columnist now and can say what she wants.”View Entire Story
A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.
She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...
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