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House due for its health reform vote tomorrow

Once whatever passes passes (or doesn't) employers know the environment into which they're putting a major portion of their budgets, and can firm decisions on whether to hire, or how much, next year.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Defying a Republican Day of Rage on the Capitol steps, House Democrats said they will vote through a health reform bill, with a public option, on Saturday.

For history buffs, the protest came a little over 40 years after the left's infamous Days of Rage, a series of protests against the Vietnam War that turned violent and tarred all liberals for a generation.

Yesterday's event featured most of the House Republican leadership and signs comparing reform to Naziism, Maoism, and the Joker as played by the late Heath Ledger.

There was no violence, just a star turn by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (right, naturally), the tea party's Janis Joplin, who performed a medley of her greatest rhetorical hits and basked in the love.

Keith Olbermann called the protest "an orgy of veiled threat," but perhaps getting him riled was part of the point. (Snarks might say Bachmann took another little piece of Keith's heart now, ba-bee.)

As the vote neared President Obama became more visible, appearing at the White House briefing room to tout endorsements of the House plan by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

For the bill to become a law, it must be merged with a yet to-be-passed Senate bill, then go through both Houses again. Opponents of reform in the Senate may have to depend on Sen. Joe Lieberman (CFL-Conn.), who as noted last week has said he would support a filibuster aimed at killing any proposal with a public option.

After a decade of Democrats watching Lieberman as Droopy Dog playing Hamlet (will he, won't he, he din-nit) now Republicans can enjoy that thrill. Starting Monday he will have become their Obi-Wan Kenobi, their only hope.

Here is the smart takeaway on all this (as opposed to the smart-aleck takeaways above). Once whatever passes passes (or doesn't) employers know the environment into which they're putting a major portion of their budgets, and can firm decisions on whether to hire, or how much, next year.

The show has been fun, but it needs to close.

UPDATE: Maybe not tomorrow, maybe later. Like some old rock concerts I don't remember.

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