Tag Archives: max baucus

Health debate a boon for kids TV – Nickelodeon to spend lobbyist millions on more blue dog episodes

The heavy lobbying of Congress on health insurance reform has led to an unexpected benefit to American pre-school age children.

So much is being spent by insurance lobbyists that, in addition to millions in donations to Blue Dog Democrats, millions were given by mistake to the Nickelodeon TV network.

“The memo lines on all the checks specified ‘for the blue dogs,’ so we decided to order three more seasons of Blues Clues,” said Cindi Cation, Nickelodeon director of non-Sponge Bob programming.

“The sponsor’s wish is our command,” Cation added.

Blues Clues, about a puzzle-solving dog named Blue, ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2006 and won critical praise as well as high ratings. Early childhood educators and development experts praised the absence of singing dinosaurs, and pop-sociologist Malcolm Gladwell called Blues Clues “as ‘sticky’ as the FEC filings of Senator Max Baucus (D-Schering-Plough).”

The Cupboard Was Bare, Blue’s first-paw account of his time in Iraq as an International Atomic Energy Agency inspector, was the first mainstream media report to question the Bush administration’s justification for going to war.

Friday’s disclosure of the donation error sent a shockwave through the Washington DC lobbying community. One lobbyist said privately that the return of Blue is being feared as equivalent to an appointment of a special prosecutor.

Clay M. D’Niall, executive director of the insurance industry think tank Liberty Copayment Institute, admitted offering Blue’s Clues producers 50,000 shares of Cigna in exchange for Blue’s Thinking Chair, but was unsuccessful. “Dammit, that mutt could figure out our entire scam,” D’Niall said.

Obama health plan points the way – Now entire government could become co-ops

Only days after signaling it is willing to drop a public option from a health care reform package, the Obama administration is indicating that it is willing to end the public option for the entire federal government as well.

“If moving away from public options is how things are going to get through Congress, we’re going to look hard at it as a best practice,” President Obama said today at a town hall-style forum in Washington DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Capitol Hill was chosen for the event by administration strategists as a test of the president’s coattails. The area was strong for Obama in last November’s election, but has recently seen a large amount of gentrification resulting from reverse “white flight” from the K Street district.

Although a clearly well-heeled audience, many in attendance at the meeting exhibited the boisterousness that has materialized at many such forums held by senators and representatives during their August break. One man, Cent Konrad of Bismarck, North Dakota, shouted out several times until he got Obama’s attention.

“Since insurance corporations can’t compete against a public option, what about the rest of government — which is public by definition and therefore socialist? What other corporations are having their freedom restricted?” Konrad challenged Obama.

Obama moved quickly to reassure Konrad’s concerns. “Public options are not the entirety of government, any more than it is the entirety of health care reform,” Obama said. “This is just one sliver, one aspect of it.”

Following his remarks concerning best practice, Obama added that he is looking with increasing favor on applying the so-called “co-op” alternative to a wide range of government programs, to which another man, Bax Maucus of Helena, Montana, responded favorably.

“I really like co-ops because co-op means cooperating with private corporations. That’s what 45% of the American people voted for, and it’s what 40% of the Senate will allow,” said Maucus, who later identified himself to reporters as “just a concerned citizen.”

Obama told Maucus he would do all he can to press for co-op solutions. “During my four years as a senator, I learned from Harry Reid that majority opinion cannot determine American policy. So we’re not going to bow to the majority on health insurance, not on withdrawal from Iraq, not on the economy, and not on our foreign policy,” said the president.

Obama then personalized the issue by relating a recent experience he had with co-operating. “When I was going to get my girls a dog, we proposed a public pound option — a nice beagle, let’s say,” recalled the president.

“But Mitch McConnell called the public pound option socialistic, and he reminded Malia that a bureaucrat would stand between her and her choice of dog,” Obama said. “So we co-operated, and got a Portuguese water dog from a private source.”

“A co-op solution worked for Portuguese water dogs, so I think this proves co-ops deserve a chance to solve our health insurance crisis,” he said.

The co-op approach is seeing an uptick in the opinion polls for Obama. A telephone survey of residents of Pyongyang, North Korea, shows 100% support if the president were to convert the U.S. State Department into a co-op.

INSURANCE LOBBY SHOOTS PUBLIC OPTION – $170M smoking gun found at scene

The public option was shot by the health insurance lobby today at the U.S. Capitol, in full view of shocked, shocked representatives and senators.  Activity on the capitol campus was halted for hours, although no one noticed any difference.

The health reform proposal was rushed to the emergency room at the Executive Office Building, where it remains in critical condition.

Police arrested the health insurance lobby at the scene. “I’m just a corporate personhood activist trying to protect profits and the sanctity of corporate life,” he shouted as he was wrestled into a fundraiser for Rep. Mike Ross (D-Blue Cross).

A weapon believed used in the attack was recovered at the scene, said by police to be a $170 million double-barreled Influence Special.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Schering-Plough) denounced the shooting as “abhorent,” but said he continues to support a pro-corporate life movement that seeks to achieve its goals peacefully. “Life begins at incorporation, everyone agrees on that,” Baucus said.

In other news, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today announced his opposition to First Lady Michele Obama’s new shorter hairstyle. “This will put the government between Americans and their hair stylists,” warned McConnell.

“Only your hairdresser should know for sure,” McConnell added.