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RUSH: All right, the health care debate on the Senate floor yesterday, I was actually mentioned by Sheldon Whitehouse, Debbie Stabenow, and Dingy Harry. Dingy Harry is all upset, ladies and gentlemen, at me because I criticized McConnell. McConnell said, (paraphrasing) ‘No, we’re working this weekend. You’re not taking the weekend off, Dingy Harry, and so you can’t go to your fundraiser down in Louisiana with Mary Landrieu.’ So Dingy Harry is all upset that he can’t go to his fundraiser with Mary Landrieu down in Louisiana, is blaming me for ripping into McConnell which caused McConnell to get tough, refused to give Dingy Harry his request for the weekend off.


RUSH: To the audio sound bites, Dingy Harry, floor of the Senate yesterday.

REID: Based on that, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, which is on all the news today, they’re upset at Senator McConnell because he’s not opposing the health care bill enough, that reasonable process on this, there are no efforts made to improve this bill, only to kill this bill. And I think that this debate has really come to a point that I’ve rarely seen in the Senate, in fact, I’ve never seen it. To have my friends on the other side of the aisle come to the floor and in some way try to embarrass or denigrate me by virtue of the fact that — in fact, try to embarrass me. What they should understand, any events that I have scheduled this weekend have been canceled.

RUSH: Yeah, okay, so he’s upset about that. He’s embarrassed about the fundraiser. McConnell embarrassed him with the fundraiser. He wanted a weekend off to go to the fundraiser after saying we’re going to work, work, work, get this thing done. He thinks McConnell would not grant him the weekend off because I jumped on McConnell. So Sheldon Whitehouse bemoans the obstructionist Republican Party which is prodded by me to make sure the president fails. Last night in Washington, DC, Senate floor, Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island.

WHITEHOUSE: This is about creating a political defeat for the president of the United States on their side, nothing to do with health care, entirely about creating a defeat for this new president, when in the face of all the obstruction that the distinguished Senator from Michigan described so eloquently, this record-breaking, unprecedented in the history of the Senate obstruction that we’re seeing, the person who I think right now seems to characterize the leadership of the radicalized right wing that is running the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, is telling the other side that they haven’t been obstructive enough.

RUSH: That’s true. He’s exactly right about that. Damn right. But only one correction, Senator Whitehouse. It is necessary to create a political defeat for the president. I don’t deny that we’re after that, but it’s necessary to save the country, sir. It is necessary to save the United States of America as it was founded. It’s necessary to defeat the president politically and this bill, ’cause this bill isn’t about health care, Senator. What must it be like to be one of a hundred people in the most amazing deliberative body in the world and have the people who elect them be 25 times as smart and informed as they are on this? What an idiot.


RUSH: All right, so Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat, Rhode Island, the American people, in his view, the vast majority of them oppose government-run health care, not because they oppose what the plan would do to them, no, no, no, no, we oppose it because we want Obama to lose. So Sheldon Whitehouse says that I am leading a conspiracy with the public against Obama. See, this is how these fools think. It’s all about Obama. Not the people, but Obama and the Democrats and their power. It’s not about you. It’s not about us. It’s about Obama and whether he’s going to get a win here. Hopefully he won’t.


RUSH: Sheldon Whitehouse, here, play number eight again because we’ve got this and then two more to go with this. This is Sheldon Whitehouse on the Senate floor. Dingy Harry yesterday afternoon had denigrated me, blamed me for getting tough on Mitch McConnell, which made McConnell say no to Dingy Harry’s request for the weekend off to go to a fundraiser. Sheldon Whitehouse then got up there, Democrat from Rhode Island, he said this.

WHITEHOUSE: This is about creating a political defeat for the president of the United States on their side, nothing to do with health care, entirely about creating a defeat for this new president, when in the face of all the obstruction that the distinguished Senator from Michigan described so eloquently, this record-breaking, unprecedented in the history of the Senate obstruction that we’re seeing, the person who I think right now seems to characterize the leadership of the radicalized right wing that is running the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, is telling the other side that they haven’t been obstructive enough.

RUSH: Well, here’s Sheldon Whitehouse. Notice that we just want to politically defeat ‘this new president.’ I don’t care if he’s new; I don’t care if he’s old; I don’t care if he’s black, I don’t care. All I care about is what he’s trying to do to this country and stopping it. So, Senator, you are exactly right. But I’m not alone, Senator, do you realize that support for this bill in the Senate is plummeting, it is cratering? You’re down into the low forties and high thirties in some polls, Senator, of people who approve of this. The vast majority do not want this thing to pass, and are you telling the world, Senator, that the American people, the vast majority of whom oppose government-run health care do so not because of what the plan would do to them but because they want Obama to lose? Are you saying the entire American population opposing this is only interested in Obama losing? So I’m part of a conspiracy here with the public against this new president, Obama? This is how these fools think, folks. It’s all about Obama. It’s not about the people. It’s all about Obama and the Democrats and their power.

Here’s a question. I have a question for Sheldon Whitehouse and his master, Harry Reid. Why do you reject what the people are telling you? Why do you hate the American people? Why do you hold the American people in contempt? Why do you insist on enslaving us in some kind of government-run health system, when they are telling you loudly and repeatedly they do not want this? Why don’t you believe in the public’s will? Why don’t you understand that they understand what you’re doing? Why don’t you believe in representative government? Why don’t you believe in the limits placed on you in the Constitution? What do you think your role is, to flood the zone with so much confusing rhetoric and stuff that you’re just going to swamp people? What is your role here? Are you mini-little dictators talking about wanting Obama to fail? You want Obama to succeed regardless what it is he’s trying to do?

Tell me, Senator Whitehouse, why haven’t you supported an amendment that would apply the same government health care you would impose on the rest of us on you and your own family? Why are you such a self-serving hack, Senator Whitehouse? If this is so wondrous, if this health care bill is so miraculously needed and wonderful, why don’t you sign onto it? Tell me, Senator Whitehouse, who died and named you chief of doctors? Who died, Senator Whitehouse, and named you chief of nurses and hospitals and nursing homes? Tell me, Senator Whitehouse, who gave you the power over our health decisions? Tell me, Senator Whitehouse, who are you? Who appointed you? Who appointed you to suggest that we follow your mandates on any aspect of our health care? Who are you? Where’s the resume? I want to see it. Well, this continued. He then asked, with Debbie Stabenow, what Rush Limbaugh would say if the Democrats tried to work with Republicans.

WHITEHOUSE: Do you think there’s any likelihood that people on the other side would suddenly want to cooperate with the president and not — President Obama and not hand him a defeat? Do you think suddenly if we did that, Rush Limbaugh would say, ‘Okay, Republicans in the Senate, go ahead, work with the Democrats now, don’t just be the party of obstruction and delay, but try to work cooperatively for the American people.’

RUSH: Before commenting on that, this is what Stabenow said.

STABENOW: I can’t imagine. Frankly, I think it’s unfortunately they view it as in their self-interest, whether it’s a business decision, as a radio host, whether it’s a decision of the other party. I appreciate the fact that it’s hard to lose elections. We’ve all been in those situations. I appreciate the fact that folks don’t want to be in the minority and most of us have been in that situation. I appreciate that. But I think all of us were really hoping that this year, with two wars, with the deficit we have, with the challenge on health care, with the need to create jobs, with the financial crisis that we have, that this year, somehow, it would be different for a while.

RUSH: Play me the violins. Let’s get the piano from Love Story, ‘Where do I begin?’ Back to Sheldon Whitehouse, ‘Any likelihood that people on the other side would suddenly want to cooperate with President Obama and not hand him a defeat?’ See, even it’s about Obama. It’s Obama that’s not talking to Republicans, Senator Whitehouse, it’s Obama that’s not accepting any alternative ideas, it’s Obama this, it’s Obama that. And, by the way, why do you need Republicans, you have 60 votes there. Why do you need the Republicans? Obviously you’re worried, you don’t have 60 votes; you don’t have 60 Democrats so you dump on me? You blame me because you don’t have any Republican support? You ever stop and think that maybe there are people that genuinely don’t like this bill? I listen to these people in absolute awe. I am overawed by these people and not in a positive way.


RUSH: Hi. Welcome back. Senator Whitehouse, tell me one more thing. Who is it who is meeting in secret? Who is it who cut out Republicans? Who is it who keeps these bills from the American people? Who is it who promised transparency and negotiations aired on C-SPAN but lied about it? Who? It was President Obama. You guys, you Democrats are the ones doing this in secret.


RUSH: All right, Mike, on the audio sound bites, stand by for 11, 12, and 13 in order.

I have a question, ladies and gentlemen. William Shatner asked me, ‘How do you know? How do you know?’ Do you know who that question needs to be asked of? Why doesn’t somebody ask Sheldon Whitehouse, ‘How do you know?’ Somebody needs to ask Harry Reid, ‘How do you know?’ Somebody needs to ask Barack Obama, ‘How the hell could you know? What the hell have you ever done? Who the hell are you?’ Somebody needs to ask Hillary Clinton, ‘How do you know?’ I’m talking about this health care fiasco. They ask me, how do I know? I do know. I know more than they know. They’re lying. They are liberals. Somebody needs to ask Dianne Feinstein, ‘How do you know it is moral to take taxpayer money to fund insurance policies that will pay for abortions? How do you know that that’s right?’ We’re asking the wrong people, ‘How do you know?’ I’m not the subversive.

In fact, I want to tell you something, folks. These same people, the Obamas on down, these people in the sixties, they were the ones, their mantra was: ‘We must challenge authority.’ So here I am challenging authority, and I’m the subversive. I gotta shut up. ‘How do you know, Limbaugh? How do you know?’ That’s not the question. I can’t do anything to anybody. I can’t get in the way of your doctor-patient relationship. I can’t do a thing about your insurance policy. Harry Reid is trying to. Obama is trying to. How do they know? Where is it written we have to be deferential to these people when we elect them?

Now, let’s get to the guts of this. Here’s the latest intelligence, ladies and gentlemen, from Capitol Hill and the Senate particularly on health care. Staffers from Senator Reid’s office, the Senate Finance Committee, and the health committee all had a conference call with several stakeholders last night. Here are the notes from the call. Health care will resume on Monday, the Congressional Budget Office score will come out on Monday or Tuesday, they will finalize the language on the OPM and the Medicare buy-in and any roll of public option and abortion and then Reid will file cloture on Tuesday or Wednesday. Now, the three cloture motions, because there’s three different versions floating around here, and all these amendments, the three cloture motions will each take 30 hours of debate. This means if you do the math that they are hoping to pass a bill, anything, in the Senate, on the 22nd or 23nd of this month.

Now, what’s also known is that the House will not pass the Senate bill. Whatever comes out of the Senate, the House is not going to go for it. So there will have to be some kind of conference. The original plan was to have the House rubber-stamp a Senate bill and a Senate bill that would look much like the House bill but that’s not going to work out. Obama is not going to have a bill on his desk by Christmas, but they want the Senate for Obama to get the bill in the Senate done by then. Now, many experts think that this is a very ambitious and optimistic timeline, that there’s a lot to try to get done here by the 22 or 23rd and here are the factors. Dorgan has an amendment, and he’s irritated. Dorgan is irritated that his colleagues, particularly Carper, who has the hold on it, and Lautenberg, who is trying to neuter it with a second degree amendment, are messing with his amendment. I’ll tell you about his amendment in a second. It’s about the reimportation of drugs from Canada, cheap drugs.

Harry Reid has voted for the reimportation previously, but the White House knows — and this is key, this is the Dorgan amendment, now — the White House knows that if Dorgan wins his amendment, and that means this bill permits the reimportation of ‘cheaper’ drugs from Canada, then Big Pharma has no choice but than to try to kill it, and they don’t want a fight with Big Pharma. They’d rather have Big Pharma on their side. So Reid is in a pickle still. Don’t believe any of these stories that say they’re close, that they’ve come to a groundbreaking deal or any of this. There is a long way to go before they get to paradise. And Senator Obama, by the way, Senator Obama voted for reimportation. When he was still in the Senate he voted for reimporting drugs from Canada at a cheaper price. Next is CBO. Reid is counting on getting favorable estimates next Monday or Tuesday from the CBO on this latest deal that they announced earlier this week where they get to get rid of the public option, they’re going to have this nonprofit insurance company, private sector supervised by the federal government. That’s what they’re waiting on the CBO to score and he’s expecting that he’s going to get a favorable number out of that.

Then there’s Lieberman. Lieberman is there because if the public option is not done away with to his satisfaction, he’s not on board, and they need Lieberman. Then of course there’s Ben Nelson, and he’s twisting in the wind on abortion. Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu still not a done deal. Any of these things can still blow up. Plus, there are the Republicans using procedures, parliamentary procedures and offering all these amendments. Now, I talked to Senator McConnell about the purpose of the amendments. He said we’re trying to flush out with these amendments just who it is that really we have to focus on here. The two names that he mentioned were Ben Nelson and Jim Webb in Virgina because there’s something that Webb is not going along with the Democrats on, I forget specifically what it is. My point in mentioning all of it is that the Republicans in the Senate are using parliamentary procedures, they are offering all these amendments, not to make the bill better but to flush out and to find out who it is that they really need to work with to stop this. That is their objective to stop it.

So Reid has a very ambitious and optimistic plan with a lot of obstacles in his way, and part of the plan is to adopt a public position, ‘Oh, we’re so close. It’s just a fait accompli. It’s just a matter of time. We’ve all come to agreement on these big things,’ it’s designed to dispirit people and get you not to show up on December 15th at a Code Red rally, that’s Tuesday afternoon, December 15th at 1:30 in the afternoon, people are going to be flowing in, flying in, driving in, busing in. The question is, will Pelosi let ’em get anywhere near the Capitol? She denied it last time. But there’s a huge groundswell because just like the Sheldon Whitehouse guy, he’s blaming every American who opposes this of simply wanting to defeat Obama, not that they don’t want the bill, not because they don’t like what the bill is gonna do to them and their doctor-patient relationship. So Sheldon Whitehouse is not listening to his e-mails, he’s not listening to his phone calls. He’s in Rhode Island. I don’t even know what the polling on this health care is in Rhode Island. They don’t poll much there. So, anyway, people are fried on this, they’re fit to be tied. Because they believe that this is a representative republic and that elected officials serve constituents, and they’re learning that these people serve Obama.

Now, here’s Reid’s problem with Dorgan, and I referred to this mere moments ago. Reid has the problem that he has to figure out what to do with Dorgan’s amendment, which is ready to be voted on. Dorgan’s amendment would allow drug reimportation, which most of the left and some Republicans for various reasons would vote for ’cause it’s cheaper prices and, of course, you think you’re serving your constituents if you do anything that lowers prices. Now, if it passes, Big Pharma will have to get involved, take on the bill, and Reid does not want that, nor does Obama. Lautenberg’s amendment is the loophole that makes reimportation toothless, and this is what Dorgan is not happy about. The Lautenberg amendment to the Dorgan amendment would preclude reimportation unless safety were certified by the secretary of Health and Human Services. And since we don’t have the capacity to certify manufacturing and distribution abroad, certification never would happen. It is a toothless amendment, and it makes Dorgan’s amendment worthless, and Dorgan’s not happy about this.

Now, I would assume that the Republican leadership knows that the Dorgan amendment is one of our best weapons right now, which is why Reid doesn’t want to bring it up for a vote right now. By refusing the uniform consent, that means that they can skip all the procedures, just skip all the debate, just vote on it. So if they refuse the uniform consent, McConnell has made life really miserable here and more difficult for Harry Reid and has bought us a lot more time. I would rather deal with this, as I say, on the ideological front and just say this whole thing is worthless and needs to be opposed because of the people supporting it. But I know that doesn’t fly with a lot of people. Some people want details so I dug deep and that’s the best that I can figure out to tell you where this stands legislatively. To me it’s all. It is a piece of garbage that needs to be thrown out, and certainly do not put it in the recycle bin. Put it where it is going to be destroyed and never come back. But people want to know what the details of it are, the Dorgan amendment, the Lautenberg amendment. The point of all this is that the Democrats are the ones not unified. The Democrats are the ones angry at each other. The Republicans cannot stop this with votes. The Democrats have the votes.

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