Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GOP "independent" analyst? Actually owned by insurance company

Is it a blatant lie to say an arm of a health insurance company is independent?

Or is it normal Republican-speak?

Thanks to Daily Kos and SEIU for getting this to my attention.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

C-Span shows China-US talks; Did Rubin zing Kissinger?

Again I get stuck in a live C-Span thing, going on for quite a while now Tuesday evening, talks between the US and China on strategic and economic issues, and no doubt quite important. After all, this connection is where we apply government health care to the sclerotic global economy and to the atmosphere choking on tons of carbon effluent.

As I flip it on, there’s a stage and people coming up and introducing each other, and here’s Robert Rubin, former guru to the Clintons, former Citibank over-achiever. And he says he’s introducing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

This is a reversal of their earlier roles, he said, alluding to a time when Geithner was the apprentice and Rubin the boss. And Rubin went on to say (here your blogger is closely paraphrasing) , I won’t recite his resume, but he has a long record of public service – except for the period when he worked for Henry Kissinger.

This earned a burst of startled laughter from the crowd of business and government figures. Made me snort, too, as it appears to cast aspersions on the life work of Henry Kissinger.

And sure enough, a half-hour later, up there on live C-Span is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the microphone with an effusive introduction for Henry Kissinger as the pioneer who led the opening to China that they are now building upon. Makes him sound quite heroic, in fact, though I hear that most think Henry K was just doing what his president, Richard Nixon, told him to do, rather than being the initiator himself.

Kissinger, gracious in his advanced age, has the task of introducing the main Chinese speaker, State Counselor Dai Bingguo, and devotes most of his time to praising the courage of the Chinese side back in the 1970s, led by Deng Xiaoping, to respond to the US overtures .

Well, the significance of this event is not clear to this distant observer, so I’ll just say, Thank you, C-Span, for the amazing stuff you show live.

UPDATE: This link take you to the text of the memorandum of understanding issued after the talks. I searched around the NY Times for some analysis of this two-day set of negotiations between the two biggest polluters on earth but found only a small blog entry. The Washington Post has a nice dull article about it all. As to other atmospherics, I saw on Facebook a report from Miami's own Noah Gray that there was a HUGE anti-China demo at the White House. No doubt some fallout from human rights issues on the Uyghurs. Thanks, Noah.


The Huffington Post beat the big newspapers in substantial coverage of this event. Robert Borosage notes in his piece that the Times and Post are mute on the topic. Yay, blogosphere wins again!

What are we talking about here? Says Borosage:

This represents a staggering transformation that will require stark changes in policy across the world.

Our unsustainable “way of life,” as the Bush administration called it, has got to go. And we’re talking about it with China. And the mainstream media can’t get a handle on it while Sarah Palin distracts attention, so it goes uncovered.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sen. Bill Nelson is lobbied again on health care

Bigger crowd than last time -- Thanks to the many who turned out for Friday's meeting outside Sen. Bill Nelson's office in Coral Gables to push for a strong public option in health reform.

Here's my video report with a moving narrative by Miami Beach resident Isabel M. de la Rionda on how her husband lost his job and health insurance, and then had a mild heart attack.

Thank you, Ms. de la Rionda, for telling your story.

Our gathering seems to win approval from many who drove by and honked and waved. A few, however, apparently had drunk the Kool-Aid and believed in magic. "Get a job," was a characteristic yell. Well yes! Get a job. Has he noticed that millions of hard-working people have lost their jobs for no fault of their own? What magic will bring a job? And what magic will pay the medical bill while the unemployed wait for coverage in their next position? And will they get coverage for the heart attack they had in the last job?

This is the reality of hard times. Today's hard times. People still get sick even if they were happy with the health coverage they used to have when they used to have a job.

The case for universal coverage grows stronger every day.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the Miami Herald's story on the event. The comments run on and on, revealing the large crowd that has drunk the far-right Kool-Aid.

ALSO: I am uncomfortable about giving any hits to this anti-health-care doctor, but we should know the caliber of our opposition. Here's a link to the now-withdrawing doctor who passed along a photo-shop of President Obama as a witch doctor. In other words, they will stop at nothing.

And Channel 4: Our event at Sen. Nelson's office provided a lot of footage for a comprehensive report by Michael Williams broadcast on Channel 4.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today is the day to lobby our Senators on health care

Obama-linked activist group to target Nelson, Martinez in health care rallies

Hey, that's us! We Democrats and allies are making news up there in Tallahassee with plans to be at our senators' offices around the state today lobbying for strong reform of health care. Not the first time, either. We've been at the offices of Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez repeatedly on this issue.

Come out at 4 p.m. to Nelson's office at 2925 Salzedo St. in Coral Gables. Health professionals: please wear your scrubs.

UPDATE: In case you don't have their numbers, here they are:
  • Sen. Bill Nelson at 202-224-5274.
  • Sen. Mel Martinez at 202-224-3041.
They just came in an email from OFA urging that we all call our senators and lobby for health reform.

AND FYI: I took part this morning in a news conference call with Peter Orszag, head of the White House budget office. Among the questioners was the Miami Herald's Lesley Clark, who asked Orzag what he thought of having Democrats put pressure on their Democratic senators such as Bill Nelson. Orszab declined to respond saying he's not licensed to do politics.

You could ask us at Sen. Nelson's office in Coral Gables this afternoon, Ms. Clark. You would hear that we want leadership from Sen. Nelson toward the goal of a strong public option for health reform. We put him in office and want to give him advice and hear his consent.

Scooped the Herald on Sally Heyman's coffee van

Check out and click on the video link. Today the first one up shows Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman serving coffee from her mobile coffee shop. Hey, looks familiar! Your peripatetic blogger posted that on Youtube way back on June 28 as part of a report on a day of health service run by Organizing for America. Sally Heyman is my rep on the County Commission.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Read all about it: GLBT meeting in Key West

Over 100 attendees and a good meeting. Full report is available on the Freedom Democrats website:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cronkite: too much adulation for my taste

Coming from the world of journalism, I have a couple Cronkite stories, too. In a minute.

UPDATE: Hit pause, please. A day later, I have just watched the Saturday evening CBS news with Katie Couric, a nice and tender portrayal of Walter Cronkite and his career. The half-hour ended, and what then came on our local CBS4? An infomercial for a workout program! How TV has fallen. Wait -- When was it called a wasteland? It was in 1961! One year before Cronkite became the anchor! Television was not only a wasteland but a vast wasteland. Read it at this link to America's greatest speeches. END UPDATE.

As I write, MSNBC is on with one soaring remembrance after another. Now switching to CBS4 – CBS doesn’t have an always-on cable news outlet like NBC or Fox, so it’s regular programming, no Walter. And now to CNN and what do I find? – the infinitely annoying voice of the late Billy May, and that channel is OFF right away. (Once I figure out why the wireless mouse doesn’t make it happen …)

Fox is doing Apollo 11 and maybe hasn’t heard or doesn’t have its derisive point of view straight yet.

Back to CNN and clips of Cronkite and great events he voiced. Here he is with the Watergate in the background, but CBS didn’t break any important revelation on the biggest ordinary criminality to happen in the White House.

Now somebody on CNN is talking about Cronkite and the way he kept all the things he worked with, the press passes, the notes, the background files, the AP Stories – ah – my cue to tell a Walter Cronkite story.

It was November 1977. I was the new No. 2 guy in the Tel Aviv bureau of the AP. Menachem Begin had become prime minister, the first from the right wing of Israeli politics in the country’s 29-year history. And there was a big surprise. The president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, announced he was coming to Jerusalem to negotiate with the Israelis. Amazing. And how did it become known? Walter Cronkite interviewed Begin and Sadat separately about prospects for peace in the Middle East, and Sadat, talking live with Cronkite, said he was going to travel to Israel.

And when would that happen? In two days. Man, talk about excitement in the little world of news reporting in Israel. Nowadays we would learn this on the internet immediately. Then it was sent around the world as a bulletin on the AP wires. People in news offices all over got a yell from the copy boys, jumped up and read it off the tickers.

The biggest story of decades in the Middle East was about to descend on us. By the time the bosses in New York called, we knew the event would be in Jerusalem. At the Jerusalem Theater. None of us had ever seen it.

A day later we were working non-stop in the Jerusalem Theater setting up news and photo offices in dressing rooms and hallways, cables snaking all over the place. Telephones were being installed wherever needed – a miracle in a country where people waited years to get a single line at home.

Sadat was due the next day. About then Walter Cronkite walked into the cramped dressing room where the AP was assembling an editing/writing station with two telexes, a teletype machine with the AP newswire running at the usual speed of 66 words a minute with a two-copy carbon roll, and space for the portable typewriters that were the instruments we played. Not to forget 3-4 precious phones. Cell phones were a decade away. These things had dials on them. Rotary.

I heard a familiar voice over my shoulder. “Can I see the AP wire? What’s going on?” Walter Cronkite’s voice asked. And there he was. Wanting to read the wire and see what was going on in the world, especially what related to the big event about to descend on us.

We exchanged a few sentences. I said he should have given us more warning of the event that had become known on his broadcast, and then we could have put an AP ticker in all the rooms. We both were too busy to spend more time. That’s the extent of my personal interaction with Walter Cronkite.

Three years earlier I was still in New York waiting for an overseas assignment and volunteering as a co-editor of the Wire Service Guild union’s monthly paper. My co-editor, who came from UPI (where I also had worked a little before catching on with the AP), had interviewed Cronkite about his years at UPI, and the two of us collaborated to run the long interview in two issues of the paper. It was a lot of fun to read. If I remember right, he started or had one of his early jobs in Kansas City in the late ‘30s. One of the great centers of the blues.

Anyway, that’s as close as I got to Walter Cronkite

A good point on CNN from a Cronkite colleague, Morley Safer. Asked if there could be a Cronkite today, he said it might be possible. You’d need “someone who’s not a poseur.” Meaning someone who actually gets out and covers the news rather than just reading it.

Later there’s film on CNN of Cronkite wearing a steel helmet in Vietnam after Hue. One of the places where the United States didn’t win and didn’t lose before finally giving up. Partly thanks to Cronkite’s willingness to voice his doubts on air. This was a great step, but in my hindsight (as a Vietnam combat vet as well as a student of international relations and a 20-year foreign correspondent including three wars in the Middle East), why did it take so long to sink in? Cronkite uttered his judgment during the Tet offensive. Which happened in early 1968. It was seven long and bloody years before the war finally ended. This still haunts me about our war in Iraq, and the one in Afghanistan. We’ll decide to get out … and it will take a couple decades. And that’s the way it is.

We always need better explanations than we get.

Mel Martinez: Yes to Sotomayor

Braver than Empty Suit Charlie (see the preceding post) is the man he's vying to replace, Sen. Mel Martinez, who's among the Republicans declaring he'll vote to confirm Sotomayor.

Why is this? Could it be the presence in the Republican race of way-far-right Marco Rubio that makes us increasingly aware that Charlie Crist will never make "Profiles in Courage"? Thanks, Marco.

Here's another link to Martinez's decision -- his own statement.

"Empty suit" Charlie Crist gets national attention

I think this ad from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee would be more effective if it pointed out that Crist is chicken to say anything about Sonia Sotomayor, but anyway, here it is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

REAL Public Option Day of Action at Senator Nelson's Coral Gables Office, 2925 Salzedo Street, 4pm, Thursday, July 23rd.

REAL Public Option Day of Action at Senator Nelson's Coral Gables Office, 2925 Salzedo Street, 4pm, Thursday, July 23rd.
RSVP at:

Huge health care votes are expected the last week in July. So on July 23rd, we're organizing letter delivery events at Senator Bill Nelson's Coral Gables office at 2925 Salzedo Street at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, July 23rd. to urge him to stand up in support of real health care reform, including a strong public health insurance option.

A strong public option must meet four key criteria: it should be national, available to anyone, ready on day one, and publicly run. No weak half-measures--like the regional, private co-op plan--are acceptable.

We'll hold a media event and then go inside to meet with staff to deliver a letter laying out the four keys to a strong public option. To make the events even more powerful, we'll recruit folks from the community who have powerful stories to tell about the need for health care reform.

REAL Public Option Day of Action at Senator Nelson's Coral Gables Office, 2925 Salzedo Street, 4pm, Thursday, July 23rd.
RSVP at:

We had a great Public Option NOW Healthcare Rally at Senator Nelson's Coral Gables Office on Thursday, July 9th at Senator Bill Nelson's Coral Gables office with 60 people from SEIU, AFL-CIO, MoveOn, OFA, DFAM, and Democracia and made CBS4 News with Michael Williams: "Intense Healthcare Debate Sparks Rally In Fla."

YouTube video “Public Option NOW Demo at Sen. Bill Nelson office...” by larryjthorson:

Also, we had 10 counter-protesters from the South Florida Tea Party, (their website at: Their website starts with "NO" and that's the only thing the Republican Party stands for these days.

REAL Public Option Day of Action at Senator Nelson's Coral Gables Office, 2925 Salzedo Street, 4pm, Thursday, July 23rd.
RSVP at:

Take Dolphin Expressway/SR-836 toward the Airport.
Exit SOUTH on 42nd Ave./Le Jeune Road. Go 3 miles.
Turn LEFT at Palermo Ave. Turn RIGHT at Salzedo.
Meter park at Sen. Nelson’s office at 2925 Salzedo.

Take Metrorail to Douglas Road Station.
Take #42 Bus toward Golden Glades via 42 Ave.
Exit at Catalonia Ave. Go NORTH to Palermo Ave.
Turn RIGHT & walk EAST 1 block to Salzedo.

Sotomayor's pals in South Florida

After watching a lot of Senate confirmation hearings the last few days, I was lucky to have my heart warmed by this fine Michael Mayo column in the Sun Sentinel about Sonia Sotomayor's connection to South Florida. Read it and be touched.

She has pals in West Palm, through her mother. Especially good to my taste was the note that the nominee's mother had such a lonely upbringing that her best friend was a book.

I watched so much of the hearings that I was relegated to today and had it playing on one of my two computers. (This was one of the few times that my extravagance of having two computers was the only way to go.) When the cable news channels cut away to aerial views of overturned trucks in giant pit mines or similar non-events, I could keep the hearing on.

Toward the end when the panels of outside witnesses spoke, it was good to be reminded of how implacable the hard right is. Linda Chavez, former flak to Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, was merciless on Sotomayor's tiny flaws and blind to any virtues. Most of her diatribe was directed to an attack on what she saw as the nominee's "identity politics."

So it was unexpectedly refreshing and even moving to hear a gentle ripost from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC. Addressing her, he asked if she was aware that even Republicans sometimes resorted to identity politics. She refused to budge, and finally he asserted that even Republicans sometimes put up a slate designed to show that it's not merely a "party of short white men." I don't think she got it.

Usually I can barely stand to listen to Graham, with his prosecutorial lines always so sharply delivered. But from experience I know he sometimes makes a good point. And a day like today makes me wonder if he might move from South Carolina someday and become more of a national figure. He appears to be susceptible to rehab. But South Carolina is impossible as a national base for anyone but the far right.

Stop marketing calls to your cell phone

I just did it. You can, too.

The number to call using your cell phone is 1-888-382-1222.

It connects you to the Federal Trade Commission and in a few steps you can register your cell phone to make incoming marketing calls, for which you will pay, STOP. Or at least to make the caller liable to penalty.

Alas, the stop doesn't take effect for a month, so in the interim you could get some calls. I got one recently and am still boiling.

Thanks, Kristin, for the tip.

UPDATE: Much later someone sent an email saying this was a canard, and cell phones are not open to marketing calls. Great, but why am I getting marketing text messsages on my cell phone? Is a text message something different?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Miami-Dade Democrats favor universal health plan

Candidates for the Democratic nomination for US Congressional District 17, from the left: Yolly Roberson, Phillip J. Brutus, Shirley Gibson, Roderick Vereen.

A good Democratic Party meeting Monday night, and a fine setting at Florida Memorial University’s up-to-date auditorium.

A lot of new members of the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee were sworn in, more than I could count with confidence. Almost 20, I think, a good sign that people are coming aboard even in the summer doldrums. Chairman BJ Chiszar said DEC membership was very close to his interim goal of 300.

Main events were three:

· We passed a resolution urging Congress to go for universal care in health reform. There was spirited debate as to whether it was good to go against President Obama’s plan that would add a public option to a wide modification of the present system.

· Candidates for the state legislature had the opportunity to speak from the stage and make themselves known. Seven Democratic challengers in open seats were featured, along with two incumbent reps, Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens (District 103) and Ron Saunders of Key West, whose District 120 includes a chunk of Miami-Dade as well as Monroe County.

· Four of the Democrats vying to succeed US Rep. Kendrick Meek in FL-17 (he’s running for US Senate) were on stage for a candidates’ forum, making statements and responding to questions. The four were former state Rep. Phillip J. Brutus, Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson, state Rep. Yolly Roberson and attorney/activist Roderick D. Vereen. Also among Democratic candidates in FL-17, according to the Florida Division of Elections, are Haitian activist Marliene M. Bastien and state Rep. Frederica S. Wilson.

All three of these agenda items were well worth the drive to Miami Gardens, and the meeting remained lively until after 10 p.m.

State Rep. Ron Saunders, who is slated to be leader of the Democratic minority in the state House in 2010, described the statewide strategy to build the number of Democratic winners in next year’s election. The Democrats are specially targeting 34 of the 76 seats the Republicans now hold in the 120-seat House. The criterion for choosing them, he said, was to identify districts in which Alex Sink got 48 percent or more of the vote in her run for Florida chief financial officer in 2006.

Sink, now running for governor, is the only Democrat in the state cabinet. She won with 53.5 percent in 2006, meaning there must have been plenty of state House districts where she captured otherwise Republican voters.

And here's a three-hour event compressed to 40 seconds:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wheels starting to turn in US House Districts 18 and 25

I think there were two developments on Tuesday in the coming races for the US House of Representatives from Miami-Dade County, involving Joe Garcia and Annette Taddeo, the Democratic candidates who waged strong campaigns in 2008 but lost in FL-25 and FL-18, respectively.

I’m guessing that Joe Garcia took himself out of the House race in 2010 by accepting a nomination for a job in the Obama administration, and Annette Taddeo declared, once again, that she’s mad at the incumbent Republican, and she squashed talk that she’d run for chief financial officer of Florida.

Taddeo’s stump speech in her brave battle to unseat Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in 2008 always included the story of her decision to run. It was because Ros-Lehtinen had voted repeatedly against expanding children’s health insurance coverage. Taddeo would bring tears to her listeners’ eyes by recalling her many surgeries to repair a cleft lip, and she would say this experience convinced her to challenge Ros-Lehtinen, who’s been in the US House now for 20 years.

Now the issue is the environment, Taddeo said in a statement ruling out a run to succeed Alex Sink as Florida’s CFO. She didn’t declare outright for Congress, but it sure sounds like the next thing in her sights.

Here’s most of what she said:

I have taken time to seriously examine this [CFO] opportunity and to confer with family, friends and supporters. I’ve had an opportunity to do some soul searching about my future and I’ve come to some clear realizations. I am most passionate about my family, my business and public service. I’ve dedicated my entire life to family, while dedicating my professional life to building and growing my company, LanguageSpeak. Through my service on a variety of public boards and groups and then my run for Congress, I have been able to follow my passion for public service.

The Chief Financial Officer position is very appealing to me. I believe my background as the owner and active CEO of a small business gives me the skills I would need to serve the people of Florida in this position. As I examined the opportunity, I felt confident I could raise the money to be competitive and that I could do the job well and with vision.

But something was missing.

Just over a week ago, the House of Representatives passed landmark legislation to attack climate change and to address our dependence on foreign oil and the deadly greenhouse gasses that fossil fuels spew into our environment. I followed that debate with rapt attention and realize the legislation isn’t perfect. However, in spite of the science, in spite of the clear and present danger climate change presents to the future of Florida, my own member of Congress voted against the bill.

I realized at that moment what was missing as I considered the CFO race. I just wasn’t passionate about it at this time. I am passionate about climate change and health care and restoring our economy. I am passionate about economic development and job creation and making sure America is on the forefront of innovation for the future. I feel we are being let down, once again, by political leaders who can’t see beyond the next election.

Therefore, I have decided not to be a candidate for CFO or any other office at this time. I hope and believe that I will run for public office again in the near future. I have decided to keep my focus on my family, my business and to engage in public policy from the perspective of a wife, mother, business owner and activist for now. Thank You.

A month ago, at the Jefferson-Jackson Day event in Miami Beach, she said she wouldn’t run for Congress again without the full backing of the Democratic Party, as she had to do in 2008. Well we remember the thrashing and gnashing that went on as we in the grassroots begged and yelled for our incumbent Democrats in the US House, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) and Kendrick Meek (FL-17), to get behind the strong Democratic candidates challenging the three Republicans in our county’s US House delegation. It was like the poor Sisyphus pushing his boulder up the impossible mountain.

In the end, Taddeo lost 42 percent to 58 percent – the same margin that Democrat Raul Martinez lost to Lincoln Diaz-Balart in FL-21.

Joe Garcia did considerably better against Mario Diaz-Balart in FL-25, losing 47 percent to 53 percent.

Not long ago I heard Joe Garcia speak at a Democracy For America-Miami-Dade chapter meeting, and he clearly was leaving the door open to a new run for the US House. The demographics are getting more and more favorable for a Democrat in this district that includes Miami’s southwestern suburbs and through the Everglades to the eastern part of Collier County.

But now Garcia is taking an interesting chance in Washington, and I think this rules out a run for the US House. It’s already July of 2009, and within six months he’d had to have a campaign up for the November 2010 election. Somehow Joe Garcia doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d put the citizenry through the agony of confirmation hearings and then a few months later quit and run for some other position.

Yes, confirmation hearings – that’s what the Miami Herald says on the Naked Politics blog.
Click on that and you'll see that the White House said of Garcia:

"Joe Garcia's dynamic public service career spans over 20 years and consists of a diverse body of work in the fields of energy, foreign policy and human rights. As a law student, Mr. Garcia directed the Exodus Project, a non-profit refugee resettlement program that reunited over 10,000 families at no cost to American tax-payers. In 1992, the late Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Joe Garcia to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), where he fought for lower utility bills for the people of Florida. In 1998, Mr. Garcia's fellow commissioners elected him as chairman of the PSC. As PSC Chairman, Joe Garcia worked across party lines to pass the largest energy rate cut in Florida's history, saving Florida's families more than $1 billion. In 2001, Mr. Garcia was named as the Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation, where he served as a tireless proponent of freedom and improved human rights conditions in Cuba and throughout the Americas. In 2004, Mr. Garcia was named Executive Vice President and Director of the Hispanic Project for NDN, a policy research institute in Washington D.C. Joe Garcia earned his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Miami."

Oh, yeah. The job is director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact at the Department of Energy.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Public Option NOW!

Our health care system is broken, and American families and businesses urgently need a solution.
• Forty-six million Americans are uninsured.
• Premiums are growing four times faster than wages.
• Half of all personal bankruptcies stem from medical expenses
President Obama has challenged Congress to pass real health care reform in 2009 that upholds three basic principles:
1. Reduce costs by improving efficiency and investing in preventative care.
2. Guarantee every American the right to choose their plan and doctor—including a public insurance option.
3. Ensure quality, affordable care for every American.
Congress must past real health care reform in 2009.
We've petitioned. We've called. We've faxed. We've dropped off fliers. Now, the health care fight is really heating up in the Senate, and some Democrats are trying to bargain away the heart of President Obama's health care plan—a strong public health insurance option.
We need to escalate our campaign for real health care reform. On Thursday, July 9th, we are organizing a "Public Option NOW!" Health Care Rally at Senator Bill Nelson's Coral Gables Office at 4:00 PM.
On Thursday, July 9th, we will send a strong message to Senator Nelson and every senator: Health care reform must include a strong public health insurance option. NOW!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sen. Bill Nelson still waffling on health care

We’re getting through to him, at least in the sense that he has heard the phones ringing off the hook. Sen. Bill Nelson, whose former job as state insurance commissioner makes us suspect him of being too close to the insurance business (definitely not a problem in his earlier career as astronaut), is listed as “unknown” on this chart at Open Left. Dear me, unknown is further from the goal than the maybes.

Come on, Senator. We who put you in office are in a big majority for strong health care reform with a strong public option. Why waffle? We like leaders better than those who tinker at the edge.

Here’s what’s up on his Twitter page, dated June 18.

Lotta folks asking me about health-care reform. We really need it. I'm working on it. But we need a viable plan for how to pay for it.4:43 PM Jun 18th from web