Have you heard the news (via Crooks and Liars):

Harry Reid held a press conference earlier [Mon] and said he’s including a “public option” in the Senate bill that will have a states “opt out” provision, which means that all the states will have to stay in the bill until 2014 and then have the opportunity to opt out of it.

Frankly I’m shocked that he stood up to the White House on the public option and said no to President Olympia Snowe. Remember when all the Chuck Todds of the pundit class said that the public option was dead and liberals supported it because conservatives didn’t? Wrong again.

If you’re wondering about Harry Reid’s sudden turnaround on healthcare, well chickadee, there’s something you might not know.

Behind the scenes, very quietly, a certain disgraced senator from Chicago has surprisingly taken a strong stand. From The Grio on Oct 19:

A Democratic Senator, shunned by some members of his own party who were reluctant to even seat him, may now be a key player in the health care debate.

For months, Democrats avoided Illinois Sen. Roland Burris because of his ties to now-disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich).

Now, they need him, and every other Democratic senator, plus the two independents, to stave off Republican fillibuster attempts when a health care bill reaches the floor of the Senate, possibly this week.

Burris insists there’s one thing he won’t compromise on — the need for a public insurance option in the bill. He says he won’t support any bill that doesn’t have it.

Democrats need 60 votes to override GOP objections and Burris’ stated position on the public option means that Democrats can not take his vote for granted.

Sure, it’s deeper than just Burriss. Still, dang if I ever thought I’d have anything nice to say about America’s current lone black senator. Maybe sitting in Obama’s former seat has had a good influence on him. He doesn’t need to take a strong stand at all — he’ll be leaving the Senate soon and this is the twilight of his political career. There’s no up for him from here. Except doing the right thing for folks hurting in Illinois and the nation at large and leaving behind a positive legacy.

Maybe that’s why he did it — I support him using his office, however ill-gotten, for good. Roland, thanks for the righteousness.

Now if only Joe Lieberman would shut up. Everytime that guy opens his mouth, there’s a set of brain cells that just burns to a crisp in apoplectic fury. Even as I type, I can smell brainflesh sizzling with hatred. Why is he still a Senator??? WHY? Apparently he needs some more attention and is threatening to join a filibuster with Republicans against the public option.

As Crew of 42 said Tues:

The more important event for the public option happened today on the Senate side. Sen. Joe Lieberman revealed he would vote against a bill with public health insurance in it. No chance of Lieberman going against his core constituency. So was it a good idea to allow Lieberman to continue as chair of Homeland Security after he socked it to Pres. Obama on campaign? Is it a good idea for the Ds to let him sit there in the Democratic lunch every week when he’s really a Republican?Where is Lyndon Johnson when you need him?

Just to be clear – this is the guy who said, during the 2008 campaign, it was “a good question” to ask whether Sen. Barack Obama was a “Marxist.” Not only did Lieberman endorse John McCain for President, but Obama also had to get up in Loserman’s grill about giving half-hearted denials about rumors that Obama was Muslim. Oh and more to the point: he supported both Bush’s and McCain’s Social Security privatization plans — which, given the recent rape of Main Street by Wall Street, would have been a unmitigated disaster for our nation’s grandmas and grandpas. His way of thinking is not what America needs.

What Lieberman needs…is to hear from you. As do all the other members of Congress — we need serious healthcare reform now. And that includes the safety net of the public option where the free market has failed to provide American citizens with decent healthcare coverage. Period.

Color of Change has a campaign going on that makes it easy to contact your reps. Ask for a solid, serious public option with no opt-out and no trigger. Please, do it now, for the uninsured people you know in your life. And if you live in CT, this goes double for you. The nation calls on you to give Lieberman the smack upside the head he so richly deserves.

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