Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
Good morning, Capitolists! It's been a long, ugly, finger-pointing, name-calling road to health care reform. We've seen people called liars, baby-killers and worse, and we've barely begun the Senate debate.
But in the words of Harry Reid, awkwardly quoting the words of Rodney King: Can't we all get along, Capitolists? Based on the e-mails that the Capitolist Nation sends me, I say: Yes, we can. But based on a new Harris poll reported by the Daily Beast, I'm not so sure.
Read about that and everything else making news in Washington in the next 60 seconds: - Your Turn, Senate.
The upper chamber continues debating the reconciliation portion of the health care bill today at 9 a.m.. This is the package of amendments that will nix the Cornhusker kickback, add billions of federal subsidies for people to buy health insurance, and reform the federal student loan industry. Watch it live on C-SPAN 2 to hear full arguments for and against the overall reform effort. - No White House Pep Rally Today.
President Obama has a second signing ceremony today, this time for the executive order banning any federal funding from the health care bill for abortion coverage or services. Unlike yesterday's press conference/ pep rally/bill signing, today's event is closed to press -- maybe because of press like this from Kathleen Parker
, who calls Rep. Bart Stupak's agreement with the White House "one feckless moment." - Obama's GOP Numbers: Just Plain Scary. John Avlon at the Daily Beast
writes up a new Harris poll that shows 67 percent of Republicans believe President Obama is a socialist, 38 percent say he's "doing things that Hitler did," and 24 percent say he may be the Antichrist. In Avlon's words, "To anyone who thinks the end of the health-care vote means a return to civility, wake up." - Scott Brown's Lunch Date.
Massachusetts' new Republican senator has a power lunch scheduled with Vice President Joe Biden this afternoon. No word on the occasion for the midday meal, but as Biden might say, lunch with the veep is usually "a big f***ing deal."
- Hold On, Where's Holder
? Not on the schedule today is a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder is the only Cabinet secretary who hasn't gone to the Hill this year for his annual budget hearing, an event that will surely turn into a grilling for the AG on the status of Guantanamo prisoners, the policy on arresting terror suspects domestically and the plan for the Patriot Act. Holder's hearing, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed, but we'll keep an eye open for his return to the Hill.