Ben Nelson Makes It Sixty–At A Price

It looks like there are now sixty votes to pass the Senate bill without any Republican support. After gutting the bill to protect the insurance industry to appease their Senator, Joe Lieberman, it was time to buy off Ben Nelson:

Sen. Mary Landrieu got the “Louisiana Purchase.” Sen. Ben Nelson got the federal government to pick up most his state’s future Medicaid tab — forever.

As part of the deal to win Nelson’s support, the federal government will pay for Nebraska’s new Medicaid recipients. It’s a provision worth about $45 million over the first decade.

It is a miracle that more Senators don’t hold off on promising their vote until they get more in exchange.

Garrison Keillor Objects To Jews Writing Christmas Songs

Garrison Keillor objects to many modern trends in the celebration of Christmas, including the number of Christmas songs written by Jewish song writers:

If you don’t believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn “Silent Night” and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism, and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write “Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah“? No, we didn’t.

Christmas is a Christian holiday – if you’re not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don’t mess with the Messiah.

What, you mean that Christmas isn’t about getting Chinese carry-outs and watching White Christmas with all its Irving Berlin music? What if Jesus wrote a Christmas song? Are Jews getting upset because Orrin Hatch wrote a Hanukkah Song:

Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

If he objects to  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, written by Jewish song writer Johnny Marks, what would he think of the Yiddish version? Keillor doesn’t have any qualms about borrowing a little Yiddish as he refers to “the rest of that dreck.”

I imagine he’d really hate Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People.

Canadian Backlash Against Sarah Palin

Canadians aren’t happy about Sarah Palin suggesting they dismantle their heath care system and replace it with a private system:

Sarah Palin has been given the boot as a celebrity fundraiser for hospitals in Hamilton, Ont., but she will come to town raise money for a local children’s charity instead.

Palin has brought the American health care debate to Canada and it is causing a storm of controversy as concerned hospital supporters have protested her appearance to raise money for two local institutions in April.

The former vice-presidential candidate was supposed to speak at a fund-raising event for the Juravinski Cancer Centre and St. Peter’s Hospital in Hamilton. But a backlash of negative publicity cancelled those plans.

The Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation received about 60 angry calls and e-mails from residents since the event was announced last week. About 10 people said they would not be donating to any event in which Palin has a role.

Palin is an out-spoken conservative critic of new public health care plans in the U.S. and is scornful of Canada’s universal health care system.

“It was a bit of mixed match with the politics of Sarah Palin matched with the needs of hospitals in Canada to raise money as publically funded institutions,” said Jeff Valletine, vice-president of communications for Hamilton Health Sciences.