President Obama’s message to progressives who are dissatisfied with the Senate health care bill is two fold: First: Don’t forget about the uninsured. Second: Don’t forget what failure to pass this bill would do to the party and my presidency.
In a meeting with House progressives today, Obama made the pitch.
Speaking to reporters in the Speaker’s lobby off the House floor, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said the President reminded them that “If this opportunity passes, much of our agenda, on the progressive side…it would be difficult, if not impossible for a generation to get back to this issue.”
I asked if the message was convincing to those in attendance.
“It’s pretty compelling,” Grijalva said.
That’s a significant change from his tone earlier in the week, when Grijalva said he was inclined to vote against the bill from the left.
Obama reminded the assembled Democrats that doing nothing would be politically disastrous. “To maintain a strong presidency we need to pass this bill,” the President said, according to Grijalva.
Directly on the heels of Obama’s meeting last night at the White House with center-leaning House Democrats, today’s gathering and the leaked substance of Obama’s plea to those in attendance demonstrate the lack of a majority of votes right now in the House for the Senate bill. No Republicans will vote for the Obamacare package, while about two dozen centrist House Democrats have already announced their opposition, and a few far left progressive House Dems are announced no’s as well. The next few days could be decisive in the White House drive to push the Senate Obamacare package through the House and achieve the largest reform of the American health system in history.
UPDATE: Hotair has a different take on the meeting than TPM.
The pilot of the plane had set his house on fire beforehand….a federal official told CNN.
Two F-16’s were scrambled to the Austin, Texas area in the aftermath of the explosion, but it appears now that no other planes are involved. No official word as of yet regarding the identity of the pilot, however, CNN, Fox, and other media are now reporting that the pilot set fire to his own home before taking flight in a plane earlier today, a fire that continues as of 1PM today. The tragic spectacle of an unhinged pilot intentionally flying a plane into a building in America sadly reminds Americans of the horror of 9/11, albeit on a much smaller scale. The plane involved, Cirrus SR22, is a single-engine four-seat aircraft, much smaller than the airlines hijacked by the 9/11 terrorists on that awful day.
All told, it appears the unnamed pilot had a suicide wish, and he proceeded to implement that twisted desire by flying a plane at full speed (as reported by the Austin Statesman) into the side of a building which houses the IRS and other agencies in Austin, Texas. Whether this incident is a terrorist incident or whether there is any connection to overseas organizations is an open question at this hour.
UPDATE: The suicide pilot has been identified as Joseph Andrew Stack, and a lengthy suicide note was left on Stack’s website in which Stack attacks former President George W. Bush with “Bush and his cronies are puppets of plutocrats” and states his disapproval of the “joke we call the American medical system … [that’s] murdering tens of thousands of people a year”. Such sentiments clearly indicates that Stack strongly disapproved of former President George W. Bush and further strongly disapproved of the present American health care system. Indeed, the leftwing new media, the leftwing old media like the NYT and Democrats have often used the same line used by Stack regarding “tens of thousands” of deaths per year caused by the lack of reform of the American health care system.
The primary motivation, however, appears to be Stack’s vitriolic hatred for the IRS, as the building attacked housed IRS agents and his statement in his suicide note that “Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man… take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”
Predictably, the leftwing netroots new media contingent is in full dander, explicitly claiming that Stack was a “teabagger” associated with the Tea Party movement, with the Daily Kos attempting to set the media narrative that the suicide attack by Stack was a result of ideas pushed by “Teabaggers”:
This guy may not have been a member of any organized Tea Party, I have no way of knowing. He may have been a nut with a beef against the IRS. But the kind of crap he spews in this manifesto is just the sort of thing you will hear at a Teabagger rally. Will this be the beginning of further such events, or will the Teabaggers renounce this kind of violence?
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Stack’s clear denunciation of the capitalist system and praise for the communist system, in the last two lines of his suicide note, appear to definitely state a portion of Stack’s ideological makeup. Whether the mainstream media takes its cues from the Daily Kos and Democratic Underground in reporting this horrific attack as the work of a deranged tea partier or whether the mainstream media instead actually reviews Stack’s words and reports on the evidence of his potential motivations objectively will be an interesting test of the media’s level of left wing bias as America moves into a general election season.